Agenda and draft minutes

Scrutiny Advisory Board - Communities and Place - Thursday, 2nd September, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: County Offices, Kendal

Contact: Lorraine Davis  Email: lorraine.davis@cumbria.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

76.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

To receive any apologies for absence.

 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Mr S Collins Mr D Wilson (Mr P Turner substituting) and Mr A Kennon (Mr G Roberts substituting).

 

77.

MEMBERSHIP

To note any changes in membership of the Board.

 

Minutes:

It was noted that the following changes had been made to the Board membership:-

 

Dr K Lockney had replaced Mrs H Wall as a member of the Board; and

Mr C Hogg had replaced Mr N Hughes as a member of the Board.

 

78.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

Members are invited to disclose any disclosable pecuniary interest they have in any item on the agenda which comprises:-

 

1          Details of any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.

 

2          Details of any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the authority) made or provided within the relevant period in respect of any expenses incurred by you in carrying out duties as a member, or towards your election expenses.  (This includes any payment or financial benefit from a trade union within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

 

3          Details of any contract which is made between you (or a body in which you have a beneficial interest) and the authority

 

            (a)    Under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed; and

 

            (b)    Which has not been fully discharged.

 

4          Details of any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the authority. 

 

5          Details of any licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy land in the area of the authority for a month or longer. 

 

6          Details of any tenancy where (to your knowledge).

 

            (a)    The landlord is the authority; and

 

            (b)    The tenant is a body in which you have a beneficial interest.

 

7          Details of any beneficial interest in securities of a body where

 

            (a)    That body (to your knowledge) has a place of business or land in the area of the authority; and

 

            (b)    Either –

 

                     (i)         The total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body; or

 

                     (ii)        If that share capital of that body is of more than one class, the total nominal value of the shares of any one class in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.

 

In addition, you must also disclose other non-pecuniary interests set out in the Code of Conduct where these have not already been registered.

 

Note

 

A “disclosable pecuniary interest” is an interest of a councillor or their partner (which means spouse or civil partner, a person with whom they are living as husband or wife, or a person with whom they are living as if they are civil partners).

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made at this meeting.

 

79.

EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC

To consider whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any item on the agenda.

 

Minutes:

There were no items of business that required the exclusion of the press and public.

 

80.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 284 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 12 March 2021 (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,that the minutes of the meeting held on 12 March 2021 be agreed as an accurate record.

 

On Minute 73, third paragraph, members noted that a representative from the Fire Service had taken up the service’s position on the Barrow Highways Sub-Group and the issue of emergency vehicle access in Dalton was being addressed. 

 

On Minute 74, second paragraph, members were informed that the Chair of the Board had raised the request for a Task and Finish Group with the Chair of the Scrutiny Management Board.  The Scrutiny and Policy Advisor agreed to follow up and raise the issue.

 

81.

National Bus Strategy for England: Bus Service Improvements Plan pdf icon PDF 660 KB

To receive a presentation from the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

Members received a presentation on the National Bus Strategy for England from the Assistant Director – Highways and Transport and the Senior Manager - Transport Services.  Members were informed the Strategy was introduced in March 2021 with the aim to rejuvenate local bus services making them more attractive, greener, cheaper for passengers, easier to understand and use, faster and more reliable.

 

The Senior Manager outlined the Government funding that had been invested in improving bus services and the Council’s Bus Service Investment Plan (BSIP) that was being developed with input from bus operators and groups from local communities, bus user groups and the Local Enterprise Partnership and informed by public survey.  Members noted that £100,000 funding had been provided by the Department for Transport to each local transport authority.

 

Members noted the BSIP functions which set out agreed principles/objectives, the structure for detailed implementation planning and would be used as a bidding document to unlock funding.  The officer outlined stakeholder engagement and the results of the public surveys carried out.

 

To conclude the Senior Manager outlined the next steps to be implemented. The BSIP would be shared with members and stakeholders before being presented to Cabinet in October.  Subject to Cabinet approval, the BSIP has to be published at the end of October and signed and ready for changes to be delivered by the enhanced partnerships with operators by March 2022.

 

The discussion centred around the suggestion to introduce a tourism tax that could be used to improve the whole public transport infrastructure and that inclusion of sustainable transport should be in the BSIP.  The Executive Director – Economy and Environment advised that a Cabinet working group had been established to look at sustainable transport, and that tourism tax would not feature in the BSIP.  A member suggested the introduction of electric ticketing instead of paper issue.  The Senior Manager agreed to feed this back to operators.

 

The national concessionary fare scheme was discussed and the officer confirmed that the issuing authority was responsibility for the cost of this.  Members noted that consultation was taking place on next year’s concessionary fare scheme before submission to Cabinet later in the year.   

 

The Senior Manager agreed to liaise with the local member for Gosforth to assist with community transport in that area and to engage with Sellafield to see if they could provide assistance with a community bus scheme.  The challenges of providing a bus service in rural and town locations and balancing that service with usage was discussed.  The officers confirmed that engagement and benchmarking did take place with other rural authorities. 

 

Barrow members highlighted the need for improvement in their bus fleet and the lack of a night time service.  The Senior Manager asked members, with local knowledge, to feed in day-to-day issues as regular meetings took place with bus operators where these could be raised.  The need for improvements in public transport to assist workforces in the struggling hospitality and tourism trades was highlighted.

 

The officers were thanked for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 81.

82.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service - Improvement Plan Update pdf icon PDF 321 KB

To consider a report by the Chief Fire Officer (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

The Chief Fire Officer provided members with an update on the delivery of the Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) Improvement Plan and how CFRS had responded to the recent Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) Covid-19 thematic inspection

 

Members were informed the Improvement Plan was considered as a standard agenda item at the Programme Board and in total the CFRS improvement plan had 32 actions that needed to be delivered and of those 32, 14 had been completed and 7 were on target for completion by the original target date.  Some were constant pieces of work that adapted and changed over time, often as a result of national drivers or developments in best practice.

 

The Chief Fire Officer outlined the approach to safeguarding.  A safeguarding framework had been introduced to ensure that every member of staff received training appropriate to their role.  Two safeguarding lead officers were in place to oversee the training and relationships had been created with community safety partners to ensure emerging themes were included in the training programme. 

 

The Chief Fire Officer concluded by outlining the work undertaken on service assurance and how the Fire Service had and continued to respond to Covid 19.  Members were informed that Cumbria’s inspection had taken place in September. In summary, the inspection highlighted that the service had adapted and responded effectively to the pandemic, continuing to respond to emergencies and had given additional support to the community during this time.

 

The Chief Fire Officer agreed to provide a copy of the Fire Service’s Action Plan associated with the inspection report to the local member for Kendal Castle.  The Chief Fire Officer informed members of two other expected Action Plans, one arising from Grenfell Tower and the other from the Manchester Arena bombing.  The Chief Fire Officer stated that the Grenfell Tower’s action plan wouldn’t specifically focus on high rise buildings and claddings, but would address broader issues such as building infrastructures, controls and regulations. The proposed new control room communication system for the emergency services and timescale for the implementation of this was discussed.

 

The Chief Fire Officer agreed to pass on thanks to the representatives of the service that had attended a community event in Barrow. The spike in deliberate fires was mentioned.

 

The Chief Fire Officer was thanked for his very informative presentation.

 

RESOLVED, 

 

(1)  the feedback and progress being made by the Fire Service against its Improvement plan be noted;

 

(2)  the update on how the Service faired in the recent Covid 19 inspection and the intentions against any recommendations made HMICFRS be received.

 

83.

National Waste Policy Update and Implications pdf icon PDF 275 KB

To consider a report by the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure (copy enclosed).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received a briefing paper from the Waste Operational Manager that provided an outline of the waste industry in terms of emerging policy and how this would impact on Local Authorities; in particular, on Cumbria. The briefing contained details regarding UK regulation following the UK withdrawal from the EU and how the UK Government intended to transpose EU Directives into UK Law.

 

Members noted that included in the briefing paper were details on policy direction and emerging regulations that is likely to have a significant impact on UK Waste Management linked with the UK Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy.  The recent Local Government Reorganisation (LGR) announcement by the Government that Cumbria would be required to implement, subject to Parliamentary approval, was the proposal for two unitary councils - an East unitary council covering the existing areas of Barrow, Eden and South Lakeland and a West unitary council covering the existing areas of Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland. Although LGR had set out two unitary authorities, it was not clear as yet what the impact of LGR would be.

 

The Waste Operational Manager outlined the next steps which included continuing to engage with the waste partnership (CSWP) to develop and implement a new Waste Strategy for Cumbria and maximising the opportunity to continue to work through the implications of RWS, aligning this with LGR.

 

Members requested information on Plastic Tax which the Government was proposing to introduce to stimulate increased levels of recycling and collection of plastic waste, diverting it away from landfill or incineration.  The officer confirmed that the administration of this would lie with HMRC and producers at the front end would be largely responsible to reduce plastic packaging. 

 

Members discussed waste and green garden collections focussing on the different levels of services offered around the county.  Members noted that green garden waste collections were a district council function, but not a statutory one, and was being looked at by district councils with the LGA. 

 

The local member for Risedale thanked the Waste Operational Manager for the work at the waste recycling centre on Walney Road, Barrow.  It was hoped that resolution of this issue would reduce fly tipping in the area.

 

RESOLVED,that the proposals made by the UK Government’s national waste strategy and the consequences those would have for Cumbria in terms of waste collection, storage and treatment be noted.

 

84.

Independent Planning Review Outcome Report pdf icon PDF 326 KB

To consider a report by the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure (copy enclosed).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received the outcome of the Independent Planning Review single case study into the ‘Verus’ Energy from Waste (EfW) Section 73 (S73) planning application. 

 

The Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services introduced the report as the officer who had commissioned the Planning Advisory Service (PAS) to undertake an independent review of the determination of the S73 planning application for the Energy from Waste plant at Kingmoor Industrial Estate, Carlisle.  The focused review examined the handling of the planning application, reviewing a number of identified planning errors that had been identified and also reviewed the background to the allocation of the site in the Minerals and Waste Local Plan.  The Council, through the review, had sought to understand if there had been a systematic failure in the processing of the S73 planning application to assess what lessons could be learnt and to put adequate measures and improvements in place to avoid future errors.

 

The Assistant Director – Environment and Enterprise and the Waste Operational Officer outlined the scope of the review, the findings and the key learning points.  The Executive Director outlined her response to the Review.  Members noted the key learning points/areas of improvement would be developed and integrated within the planning service.  Work with Development Control and Regulation members, together with the planning and legal teams would be undertaken.  It was suggested that a further update report be brought back to the Board in six months to confirm the outcome of adopting the learning.

 

A member proposed that this item remain on the agenda until assured that the PAS learning points/improvements had been implemented and that an interim report on this be brought to the next meeting of the Board in November.  A member challenged some of the PAS’ findings but welcomed the way forward.

 

RESOLVED,that

 

(1)  the key findings and learning points from the Independent Planning review be noted;

 

(2)  the response from the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure be noted;

 

(3)  an interim report be brought to the Board in November.

 

85.

BOARD BRIEFING pdf icon PDF 213 KB

To consider a report by the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services (copy enclosed).

 

This report informs members of new and updated items of significance to the Board (including relevant aspects of the Council’s Forward Plan and Key Decisions).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was received by members on the Board’s work programme, together with the Council’s Forward Plans of key decisions.

 

In discussion of the Forward Plan and the Planning Performance Agreement with BAE, the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure welcomed the invitation to attend the Barrow Local Committee to discuss this.

 

RESOLVED,that

 

(1)  the Board’s current work programme be noted, to include the items raised at the meeting;

 

(2)  the Forward Plan of Key Decisions for 1 September 2021 – 31 October 2021 be noted;

 

86.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

To note that the next meeting of the Board will be held on 22 November at 10 am in Cumbria House, Carlisle.

 

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting of the Board will be held on 22 November 2021 at 10.00 am.