Agenda and minutes

Economy, Environment & Place Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 26th September, 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: Astley Room - Castle. View directions

Contact: Jayne Briscoe 2250 

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES

Minutes:

There were no apologies.

2.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

Councillor Gardner declared an interest in the University Growth Corridor as an employee of Keele University.

3.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING - 4 JULY 2018 pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To agree as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting (s)

Minutes:

Resolved      That the minutes of the meeting held on 4 July 2018 be agreed as a correct record.

 

4.

REPRESENTATIVES OF THE BID - INVITED TO ATTEND THE MEETING

Minutes:

On the invitation of the Chair Mrs Viv Bradford, Mrs Amy Williams, and Mr Doug Morris, representatives from the Newcastle under Lyme Business Improvement District, attended the meeting and highlighted the achievements of the organisation during 2017 within the priority work areas of:

 

·        Promoting Newcastle under Lyme

·        Developing the Distinctive Newcastle under Lyme Experience

·        Growth and Investment

 

They explained that businesses were encouraged to attend networking events and to meet on a regular basis to help ensure that the trader’s voice was heard. Parking in the town centre was highlighted as a priority area for joint working with the Borough Council.  The appearance of the empty town centre vacant units which included the Ryecroft area was a concern for the BID members.  The development of the CCTV strategy and a town centre Wi-Fi were further opportunities for joint working. 

 

An elected member suggested that the bandstand in Queens Gardens could be used for an afternoon Sunday summer concert and the BID representatives agreed that this could be considered at the Events Committee.  

 

The Chair questioned the level of support offered by the Borough Council and the BID members referred to the previous agreement in respect to free parking after 3pm in conjunction with Christmas late night shopping events.  BID members noted that the Ryecroft car park was consistently under occupied. 

 

Members of the BID asked for clarification of Central Governments discretionary business rate support scheme.

 

  Agreed:       (i) That, at the December meeting of this Committee, the charging policy at the Borough town centre car parks be examined in relation to the need to encourage footfall

 

(ii)  That, Cabinet be informed of the view of this Committee to support the BID in their request for free car parking in conjunction with Christmas late night shopping.

 

                        (iii)       That a report clarifying the Councils position in respect of the Governments discretionary business rate support scheme be submitted to the December meeting of this Committee.

 

 

 

5.

EXECUTIVE RESPONSE TO SCRUTINY COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIONS - TREE MANAGEMENT - CHAIR TO REPORT

Minutes:

The Chair of the Committee, Councillor G White reported on the response received from the Leader of the Council to the request from the Committee to retain the supplement of £30,000 for tree maintenance within the future budget allocation.  The Leader indicated that this amount was built into the base budget and that to ensure that the money was spent effectively and efficiently it would be reviewed every year.

 

Agreed:         That the report be noted.

6.

RECYCLING SERVICE - UPDATE pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Recycling and Fleet Services presented a review of the recycling collection service following the report of a Cross Party Cabinet Panel Task and Finish Group, which included the proposal to charge for the provision of a garden waste collection service.

 

 Members of this Committee were asked to scrutinise the performance of the service in terms of the recycling rates being achieved however it was considered that there were a number of additional KPIs which the Committee could also monitor.

 

The Chair pointed out to members that there was a potential call in on this item. 

 

Members discussed the proposed recycling service and were supportive of the intention to reduce the number of recycling containers.

 

It was confirmed that the new scheme could be delivered within budget, including the current overspend. With regard to the cost of new bins it was confirmed that this was approximately £1m and that new vehicles would need to be procured. 

 

A member requested evidence to confirm that the incidence of flytipping had not increased within the 60% of Authorities who made a charge for the collection of garden waste.

 

It was anticipated that any resident with a large garden could access, at cost, a home compost bin.

 

The capacity of the bin may be an issue with the move to fortnightly recycling bin collections.

 

Agreed:         That the report be noted

 

 

 

7.

UNIVERSITY GROWTH CORRIDOR pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was submitted, for the view of this Committee, on the vision and proposals for the University Growth Corridor, an area of land to the west of Newcastle substantially comprising the Keele University campus and the site of the former Keele Municipal Golf Course.

 

The consultant delivered a brief presentation confirming the boundaries of the study area; the technical constraints relating to the land (highlighting the Green Belt designation); the broad principles of arranging the land uses to respond to the Local Plan requirements for housing and employment and indicative plans showing the arrangement of housing-led development on the former golf course (amongst retained woodland areas and public open space), along with a new primary school and expansion of the University to enable delivery of more Science and Innovation Park business space, academic floorspace, post-graduate accommodation and renewable energy provision.

 

The general consensus was that the principle of development was acceptable however there were areas of concern:-

 

·     quality of housing / density;  Specific concern was raised about the potential risk of the development being too dense for this urban fringe/rural location.

·     mix of housing; there should be a wide range of house types and tenures to meet local need as well as any demand arising from the University’s growth.

·     Transport and community infrastructure; Members felt that it was important for the development to reflect future infrastructure requirements in the wider area particularly in relation to highways but notably in relation to medical facilities such as a GP and dental practice.

·     open space; linked to the earlier point about housing density Members were keen to ensure that there would be adequate levels of publicly accessible open space in addition to the retained woodland areas.

 

 

          To conclude the discussion Members were asked to focus upon the following three questions:

1.    Are Members happy that the main objectives of the masterplan have been met; in particular, in relation to the case for Green Belt release?

Members agreed that, as far as their remit was concerned, the masterplan objectives had been met

Are Members satisfied with the economic growth case put forward?

Members agreed that, as far as their remit was concerned, there was a very compelling case for economic-led growth in this location.

2.    Are Members content, in principle, that the proposed quantum, scale and nature of development on the former golf course are consistent with the Council’s objectives for land disposal

Subject to any future, more detailed plans addressing the specific points raised, and as far as their remit was concerned, Members were satisfied with the indicative proposals in respect of the Council-owned land.

.

8.

SMART MOTORWAY pdf icon PDF 134 KB

Minutes:

Agreed:         That representatives from appropriate bodies in connection with the Smart/M6 motorway and HS2 be invited to attend the meeting of this Committee in December with the objective being to clarify what is planned for the section between junctions 15 and 16 along with junction 15 itself (because of its difficult geometry).

 

 

9.

WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Minutes:

The Committees work programme was presented by the Scrutiny Officer who pointed out that there were currently no items to be considered at the meeting of the Committee on 13 December 2018.

 

Agreed:  That the work programme be amended as follows:-

 

·        That, representatives from the appropriate bodies including HS2 be invited to attend 13 December meeting to enable  members to consider the issues surrounding the potential future improvement of the M6 Motorway between J15 and J16, along with the junction 15 itself

 

·        That, at the 13 December meeting, members scrutinise the Councils policy of charges at Town Centre Car Parks with a view to advising Cabinet on future measures that will encourage footfall in the Town Centre.

10.

PUBLIC QUESTION TIME

Any member of the public wishing to submit a question must serve two clear days’ notice in writing, of any such question to the Borough Council.

Minutes:

There were no questions from members of the public on this occasion.

11.

URGENT BUSINESS

To consider any business which is urgent within the meaning of Section 100B (4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

There were no items of business on this occasion.

12.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

Thursday 13 December 2018

Minutes:

The next meeting would be held on Thursday 13 December 2018.