Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Advisory Board - Communities and Place
Friday, 7th June, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Conference Room A and B, Cumbria House, Carlisle

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

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

To receive any apologies for absence.

 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Mr D English, Mr D Gawne, Mr A Kennon and Mr D Wilson.

 

2.

MEMBERSHIP

To note any changes in membership of the Board.

 

Minutes:

Mr P Turner was substituting for Mr A Kennon for this meeting only.

 

3.

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:

Mr F Cassidy, Mr K Hamilton, Mr W McEwan and Mrs H Wall declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 8 – Waste National Policy Changes and Implications (minute 8 refers) as they were members of Barrow Borough Council, who were the Waste Collection Authority.

 

4.

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:

The Chair confirmed that there were no items on the agenda during which the press or public should be excluded. 

 

5.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 202 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 15 March 2019 (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

 

 

RESOLVED that,     with the amendment of the word ‘undertake’ being changed to ‘deliver’ on Minute 75 (third line of first paragraph), the Minutes of the Meeting held on 15 March 2019 be agreed as a correct record.

 

6.

Highways Permit Scheme pdf icon PDF 163 KB

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

 

Minutes:

The Board received a presentation from the Head of Infrastructure Recovery and Major Programmes (the officer) on the progress of the introduction of the Highways Permit Scheme in Cumbria, bringing it in line with national guidance.

 

The officer outlined the legal context of the scheme together with the key benefits such as:-

 

  • Managing and co-ordinating activities on the Cumbria Highways Network, minimizing the impact, while allowing essential activities to take place;
  • Enhancing reliability of journey times in Cumbria;
  • Reducing customer complaints by improving the public perception of how we manage our Highways;
  • Reducing potential incidents/accidents at road activities;
  • Reducing the impact of noise and improve air quality by better control of timing of activities

 

The officer highlighted the work undertaken so far and key tasks that needed completion.

 

In answer to a question on damage caused during under road works that had resulted in an eight week road closure, the officer advised members of the benefits of moving to the permit scheme.  It was hoped that it would allow better agency co-ordination, better quality control and the introduction of financial penalties for not adhering to deadlines. 

 

A general discussion centred around providing information to members.  Members asked to be notified of neighbouring divisional work and the Acting Executive Director agreed to action this.  Members also asked to be notified of major road closures following incidents.

 

In discussing reputational damage to the Council when external contractors were working on the highway, the officer agreed to check legislation on whether contractors were required to have vehicle identification.  The Temporary Assistant Director for Highways and Transport reported on the intention to introduce a notification system for members on contractors working in their area.

 

The Vice Chair raised the issue of BAPAs (Basic Assessment Protection Agreements), arising from a longstanding delay in repairs to a damaged railway bridge in his division. The difficultly with BAPAs and the insurance position was explained at the meeting.  The Acting Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure reassured the Vice Chair that a solution was being sought and it was of high priority.

 

In answer to a question from the Chair on creating a sub-surface map for Cumbria, the Temporary Assistant Director for Highways and Transport informed members that, together with United Utilities, the production of a map was being trialled in the north of the county.

 

To conclude members were advised of the timescale for implementation.  Members thanked the officer for his presentation and it was

 

RESOLVED,             that a brief update report be provided at the next meeting of the Board.

 

7.

Highways Condition and Inspection Team pdf icon PDF 224 KB

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

 

Minutes:

Members received a presentation on the introduction of the new Highways Condition and Inspection Teams.

 

The Head of Infrastructure Recovery and Major Programmes (the officer) outlined the reasons and benefits of the changes, the teams’ current position and the funding implications of these.  Included in the report was the timetable for the implementation of the changes.  These mirrored national practice, where there were dedicated inspectors, with a separate team carrying out repairs.

 

In discussion, members asked for clarity on some individual elements of the presentation.  The officer assured members that the changes would not diminish member or local committee involvement.  It was hoped that the new system would provide better team coordination, lead to a more effective and efficient service and support an asset management approach to the full comprehensive network.  The necessary maintenance works could be identified, reviewed, scheduled and charged to the capital budget.

 

The officer outlined the staffing structure and confirmed that internal staff had been appointed to the inspector roles with no additional cost to the revenue budget.  This had involved retraining and had partly led to the delay in implementation.

 

A discussion took place around the responsibility of maintenance of back street alleys.  The officer advised members that the Council was responsible for adopted back streets but, unless advised on specific issues, these were classed as low priority.  Following a question from the chair, the officer advised members that dashcams in highway vehicles was being explored.

 

Members thanked the officer for his presentation and it was:-

 

RESOLVED,             that a brief update report be provided to the next meeting of the Board.

 

8.

WASTE NATIONAL POLICY CHANGES AND IMPLICATIONS pdf icon PDF 219 KB

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was received from the Waste Operational Manager that set out the scene for current waste policy changes and examined specifically, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Resources and Waste Strategy published on 18 December 2018.  The report also included a summary of the key consultations associated with the strategy (launched to date) and the implications for the Council.

 

Members noted that the response to the strategy had already been agreed by the Acting Director – Economy and Infrastructure in consultation with the Leader.   Further consultations would be needed.  The strategy was being driven by the focus on climate change but at present lacked detail.

 

Members, in discussion of the report, raised some concerns such as the potential increase in fly tipping, the necessity to secure government funding and the changes working for the county’s rurality.  Members highlighted the necessity for successful joint working between the county’s authorities. 

 

Members thanked the officer for the presentation.

 

RESOLVED,             that the report be noted.

 

9.

Section 106 Agreements (Planning Obligations) pdf icon PDF 109 KB

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board Members received a report which provided some background context as to what a Section 106 Agreement was and how it could be used to secure

contributions to mitigate the impact from development on infrastructure and

services the County Council is responsible for.

 

The report also provided Members with an update on the sessions that had taken place with all the Local Committees to explain what a Section 106 Agreement was, how it could be used to mitigate the impact of development on County Council infrastructure and services, issues the County Council faced when negotiating Section 106 Agreements and what had been secured in that Local Committee area. Included at paragraph 3.19 of the report was feedback from the sessions and proposed changes following the feedback that the Flood and Development Management team intended to implement.

 

In discussion of the presentation, members asked that the Yorkshire Dales National Park be incorporated in the S106 figures going forward.  Concerns were raised about the approval of planning applications and the negative effects on the surrounding highway infrastructure and/or education system and the likelihood that expections may be raised which the council is unable to meet.  The Acting Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure advised that joint working was taking place at senior level to produce a joint statement of intent to mitigate the effects of developments.

 

Members asked for a further briefing on types of section agreement and planning conditions.  The Acting Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure advised that an internal audit was taking place at present and it would be of benefit to wait until that process had been concluded.  Members also asked for training on these issues.  It was therefore:-

 

RESOLVED,that

 

1)    the report be noted;

 

2)    a briefing on section agreements be brought to a future meeting of the Board following the completion of the internal audit;

 

3)    officers look into the possibility of arranging training for members.

 

10.

BOARD BRIEFING pdf icon PDF 86 KB

To consider a report by the Senior Manager – Policy and Scrutiny (copy enclosed).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was given to Members on the Board’s current work programme, together with the current forward plan of decisions.

 

Members were asked to consider the Board’s work programme as set out in paragraph 3.2 of the report and consider the Forward Plan of Key Decisions 1 June 2019 – 31 July 2019 (Appendix 1 of the report).

 

RESOLVED,that the report be noted.

 

11.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

To note that the next meeting of the Board will be held on Thursday 5 September 2019 at 10.00 am in Committee Room No 1, County Offices, Kendal.

 

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting of the Scrutiny Advisory Board – Communities and Place will be held on Thursday 5 September at 10 am at County Offices, Kendal.