Colin Chick, Strategic Adviser (Communities & Infrastructure) to update the Committee on current issues.
6.1 Colin Chick, Strategic Adviser (Communities & Infrastructure), updated the Committee on current issues. In particular, members noted that:
· The new highways contract is going very well.
· Unfortunately the Chepstow Bypass bid for funding to the Western Gateway Sub-national Board submission was rejected as it did not meet the objectives. It will stay on the list and the Council can bid again if another funding route isn’t found.
· Under 3.6 the report should state 2020 not 2019.
· In relation to the Local Transport Plan (LTP) – GCC and all district councils are in agreement that a co-ordinated approach on land allocations is the best way forward. The developing LTP will look forward to 2041, identifying long term aspirations through connections and transport schemes.
· To highlight that the changes at Arle Court have been well received by the community.
6.2 Looking next at the submitted quarter 3 and 4 performance scorecards for the department, it was highlighted that almost all of the performance indicators were achieved or overachieved. This was despite numerous major projects such as junction 10 on top of the department’s usual workload.
6.3 It was referenced that for completeness of the quartered reports, the Fire and Rescue Service had been included but this would not happen going forward due to the Committee’s remit change following the scrutiny review.
6.4 On questioning of the Director’s report, a member asked why they had heard Javelin Park would begin taking waste in around 3 weeks time via the media. Members were informed that there have been set up delays which keep altering the timeline. Both of the previous 20 days notices to GCC have been cancelled and there is doubt around the current one. To avoid confusion, officers are liaising with the districts constantly to make sure everyone is as up to date on progress as possible.
6.5 A local member to the area raised concern regarding the displaced traffic from GCHQ due to the changes at Arle Court. Officers reassured that as one of the largest employers in the county, they’re working closely with GCHQ on a travel plan refresh to try and improve numbers on walking, cycling and public transport use.
6.6 Members noted that currently, the Joint Waste Committee are in discussions about the future shape of the partnership. All are in agreement that there needs to be something that co-ordinates waste management on a county basis, and this was welcomed by members of the Committee also.
6.7 A member questioned the impact of the forthcoming decision on third party recycling credits. It was advised that as part of the department’s savings, waste needed to carry a percentage of those savings and this is one option (not yet definite). The issue is that some organisations who claim the credits are branches of major national charities. Officers are currently trying to find a way of identifying smaller charities that benefit more from these credits.
6.8 Cllr Patel raised a concern regarding repeated requests for parking enforcement action and it was advised this concern would be passed on to the parking team to look into.
ACTION: PHILLIP WILLIAMS
6.9 There was a discussion about concerns over long queues at recycling centres across the county. The Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning advised they are actively looking to improve overall access at these sites.
6.10 A point was noted that due to the future change in materials being used e.g. the reduction of single use plastics, there will need to be a review of how recyclate is weighed and calculated.
6.11 There was a discussion about the progress on critical improvements to junction 9 following Tewkesbury being awarded the ‘Garden Town’ initiative from Homes England meaning around 10,000 extra houses are due in the area. The Committee were assured that officers are making every effort to resolve this issue but as there is no infrastructure funding attached to the initiative, there are no specific funding streams currently available.
6.12 The Committee were reassured that officers are using every possible national/local funding steams:
· Junction 9 will be on GCC’s funding submission to the GFirst LEP for 2019/20 project pipeline.
· The project ended up ranking 1st within a bid for the western gateway allowance but the budget was too high for that particular stream.
· It was also noted that the success of the junction 10 bid will give weight to the junction 9 case going forward.