Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Advisory Board - Communities and Place - Friday, 15th March, 2019 10.15 am

Venue: Committee Room 1 - County Offices, Kendal, LA9 4RQ. View directions

Contact: Daniel Hamilton  Email: daniel.hamilton@cumbria.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

67.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

To receive any apologies for absence.

 

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

68.

MEMBERSHIP

To note any changes in membership of the Board.

 

Minutes:

No changes in membership have taken place since the last Board meeting in November 2018.

 

69.

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:

No Members declared any interests relating to any agenda item.

 

70.

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 are no items on the agenda during which the press or public should be excluded.  

 

71.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 198 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 20 November 2018 (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 20 November 2018 were approved.

72.

Cabinet Response to Recommendations of the Waste and Third Sector Task and Finish Group pdf icon PDF 188 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Strategic Policy & Scrutiny Advisor presented the report on the Waste and Third Sector Task and Finish Group, which provided the Board with the opportunity to consider Cabinet’s response to the Waste and Third Sector Task and Finish Group report. The Waste and Third Sector Task and Finish Group Report, along with the Cabinet response, were considered at Cabinet on 7 February.

The Chair of the Task and Finish Group provided an overview of the recommendations within the Waste and Third Sector Task and Finish Group report.

In response to questions from members about whether the Task and Finish Group had identified the importance of apprenticeships, especially in relation to upcycling furniture, and the process for identifying certain third sector groups for consultation, the Chair of the Task and Finish Group confirmed that engagement took place with a wide range of partners from across the county and that apprenticeships were explored as one of several options which could be developed through the Re-use Forum.

The Waste Operational Manager presented the Cabinet response to the Waste and Third Sector Task and Finish Group. Of the six recommendations, Cabinet had approved four recommendations, had approved Recommendation 6 in part and not approved Recommendation 2.   

 

Members were concerned that Recommendation 2 relating to the Waste Prevention Fund had not been approved, especially within the context of additional powers for Local Committees. The Waste Operational Manager stated that prior to its removal in 2016/17, the fund was not fully utilised by some Local Committees, or in a few cases used for other initiatives and not as intended..  Within the context of financial constraints, the Acting Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure stated that the recommendation had not been approved because an alternative saving would need to be identified during the formal Strategic Planning budget process. The Acting Executive Director stated that the directorate is continually considering new proposals, including through support and funding from central government.  The Waste Operational Manager emphasised that the Waste Prevention Team is actively pursuing other funding streams to support reuse activity, such as the Resource in Communities Fund, and therefore will engage with the Scrutiny Advisory Board and Local Committees.

 

The Waste Operational Manager stated that Recommendation 6 had been agreed in part due to the focus on partnership working in achieving the benefits of waste reuse. A proposal to establish a Partnership Development Officer role, to coordinate and maximise reuse opportunities on a countywide basis, was currently being developed.

 

Members discussed the recycling and reuse of certain hospital equipment, and enquired whether there was provision for its collection. The Waste Operational Manager confirmed that such equipment can be taken to Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs), however, the NHS have certain safety requirements in place, which is outside of the Council’s control.  The cost of fully reconditioning the equipment to these standards seemed to be a factor in the NHS’s preference to “buy new”.

 

In a wide ranging discussion, members highlighted that the County Council website currently does not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 72.

73.

REQUEST TO ESTABLISH A TASK AND FINISH GROUP - KESWICK TO PENRITH RAILWAY LINE

To consider a verbal request to establish a Task and Finish Group to review the feasibility of reopening the Penrith to Keswick.

Minutes:

Following a request made from Eden Local Committee to the Board on 28 January, Mr N Hughes updated the Board on the history and background of the reinstatement of the Penrith to Keswick Railway and outlined the proposals being brought forward by Cockermouth Keswick Penrith (CKP) Railways plc.

 

Mr Hughes stated the scheme’s benefits and the wider ambition to eventually link Penrith to the Cumbrian Coast Line, and recommended to the Board that a Task and Finish Group be established on the issue.

 

The Acting Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure informed the Board that a significant amount of work has already been undertaken by CKP Railways plc, including feasibility, design and development work. The next stage is for CKP Railways plc to submit a private application for a Transport and Works Act Order (TWA) to the Department for Transport (DfT).  The Acting Executive Director explained to the Board that the TWA process is a formal statutory process and it is the Secretary of State who makes the decision on whether to make an Order. The procedure includes a minimum 6 weeks consultation period with public, businesses, stakeholders and statutory consultees. The County Council will be a key statutory consultee in respect of the Order and any associated planning applications. 

 

Within this context, members felt that it was unclear what the Task and Finish Group would scrutinise. Following an extensive discussion, the Board was reassured that CKP Railways had already undertaken the initial feasibility and as such, it was decided that a Task and Finish Group would not be useful at this stage in the process. However, members agreed to receive further updates as the TWA application progresses and would like to be kept informed of any informal and formal consultations being undertaken.

 

RESOLVED that

1)    the Board should write a letter to CKP railways highlighting the Board’s interest in receiving information about future consultations and other developments;

 

2)    the Acting Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure should offer to provide an update to Eden Local Committee on the TWA (Transport and Works Act) process and the Council’s engagement to date with DfT and CKP.

 

74.

FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE INSPECTION PREPARATION SCRUTINY WORKING GROUP pdf icon PDF 236 KB

To consider a report by the Chair of the Working Group (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

The Strategic Policy and Scrutiny Advisor summarised the report, which provided the Board with an update on the work of the Fire and Rescue Service inspection preparation scrutiny working group, and their input into the preparations for inspection to date. The working group had held three sessions, one on each of the inspection works treams: People, Effectiveness and Efficiency.

The Chief Fire Officer and Area Manager provided a verbal update on the working group’s progress. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has confirmed that Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service will be inspected in the week commencing 17 June 2019, and will be part of the third tranche of inspections. The Service has been considering the themes from the Tranche 1 lessons learned report, and is considering this as part of overall preparations.

 

The Chief Fire Officer updated the Board that they have submitted supporting documents for HMICFRS’ consideration in the lead-up to the inspection. The Chief Fire Officer emphasised the efficient nature of a County Council-supported Fire and Rescue Service, due to support from Cumbria County Council’s back office functions. He compared its £15.5m fire revenue budget with standalone Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, which has a revenue budget of £28m albeit with fewer retained fire stations.

 

The Chief Fire Officer stated that preparation activity had highlighted that Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is a good service, although it is expected there will be some areas of improvement identified through the inspection process. The Service faces substantial challenges due to its rurality and topography, such as the recruitment and retention of on-call firefighters. However, through the Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) 2019-23, plans will be put in place for innovative service delivery models, such as the introduction of Rapid Response Vehicles and exploring further additional blue light hubs.

 

Members enquired whether the Trade Unions were supportive of the fire reform agenda. The Chief Fire Officer stated that there are challenges nationally, but the Service engages closely with the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), Fire and Rescue Services Association and the Fire Officers’ Association on reform proposals.   Members also asked for an update on the Furness Peninsula Blue Light Hub in relation to preparations for the inspection. The Chief Fire Officer confirmed that the hub is expected to be completed by late autumn/winter, although it could slip further. Members further enquired whether North West Fire Control (NWFC) would be within the inspection’s scope. The Chief Fire Officer confirmed that HMICFRS would look at the NWFC’s effectiveness and efficiency, especially focussing on whether it is a resilient model in pooling resources, such as in the recent Moorland fire in Lancashire and major flooding events like we have previously experienced.

 

In response to a question about whether the Fire and Rescue Service has plans in place for specific events, the Chief Fire Officer confirmed that  bespoke response plans for weather-related events were in place as well as for over 100 risk sites, such as Sellafield. Members also asked whether  ...  view the full minutes text for item 74.

75.

SEND TRANSPORT PILOT - EVALUATION pdf icon PDF 281 KB

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

 

Minutes:

The Senior Manager – Transport Services and Operations Manager introduced a presentation evaluating the SEND Transport Pilot. In September 2018, the Cumbria Transport Operations Team began to undertake the Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Transport into selected educational establishments, as well as Vulnerable Adults Transport into selected Day Care Centres, in the south of the County. In total, the pilot has included supplying daily transport on 15 routes, for 94 children and 29 vulnerable adults, with net mitigating pressures of over £200,000 per annum.

The Senior Manager advised that generally, the service has operated effectively and received positive feedback from schools and families. Requests from schools to expand the service further have been forthcoming, with opportunities including Out of County Taxi routes, mainstream home-school transport and further SEND and day services transport. The first opportunity for internal provision will be in September 2019, when Cumbria Transport Operations Team (CTOT) will assess the re-procurement of Eden and South Lakes mainstream transport. The County Council has also recently approved a capital request of £1.95m over the next three years to purchase additional buses, coaches and mini buses.

Board Members discussed the benefits of internal provision, and whether a pilot scheme had been considered previously. The Acting Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure said the establishment of CTOT and the pilot scheme has been considered within the context of increased demand.

The Acting Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure concurred with Members on the importance of ensuring that the internal provision does not disturb the transport market. The Senior Manager – Transport Services said that the Council carefully assesses internal provision taking into account the local market.

The Chair thanked the Senior Manager – Transport Services and Operations Manager for their presentation.

 

76.

Board Briefing pdf icon PDF 144 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:

The Policy and Scrutiny Advisor presented the Board Briefing, which outlined activity since the last meeting, and considered the work programme and the Forward Plan of Key Decisions.

Members highlighted issues relating to visitor parking permit arrangements in Barrow, emphasising that a single permit scheme would be beneficial for residents. The Assistant Director – Highways and Transport emphasised that the Council would like to see a more efficient and simpler permit system, with close links to the forthcoming customer and digital improvements to the highways service.

The Acting Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure stated that Local Committees and their respective Highways Working Groups will in due course consider whether they would like to move to a single permit scheme, or retain their current individual schemes.

Members discussed issues relating to street works permit schemes. The Chair emphasised that it was important to address the high failure rate of current street work activity within the new scheme, and it was necessary to establish a baseline prior to the forthcoming scheme monitoring.

The Acting Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure said that the new scheme aims to minimise disruption to residents and emphasises the need for time requirements and adequate post-activity reinstatement. The Acting Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure offered to provide Board Members with the performance measures that will be used for the new scheme in due course.

In response to a question about the process that had been followed regarding the ‘Award of contract for the Supply of Waste and Wastewater Services’. The Acting Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure confirmed that this had followed a robust procurement process and the award of contract is dependent on the Cabinet’s decision on 25 April 2019.

RESOLVED That

the Acting Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure will provide Board Members with performance measures relating to the implementation of the new Highways Permit Scheme.

 

77.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

To note that the next meeting of the Board will be held on Friday 7 June 2019 at 10.15 am in Cumbria House, Botchergate, Carlisle.

 

Minutes:

The next meeting of the Board is on 7 June 2019, at 10.00 am in Cumbria House, Carlisle.