Agenda and draft minutes

Economy, Environment & Place Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 13th December, 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: Astley Room - Castle. View directions

Contact: Jayne Briscoe 2250 

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES

Minutes:

Apologies were received from the Vice Chair (Councillor Reddish) and from Councillor John Cooper.

2.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

MINUTES OF LAST MEETING (S) pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To consider the minutes of the last meeting of the Committee held on 26 September and 11 October 2018

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved:     That the minutes of the meetings held on 26 September and 11 October be agreed as a correct record.

4.

SMART MOTORWAY/M6 - JUNCTIONS 15 AND 16 AND IMPLICATIONS OF HS2

Representatives of the appropriate bodies have been invited to attend the meeting.

Minutes:

Representatives from HS2 attended the meeting in response to a request from scrutiny members to examine plans and opportunities for future lobbying to improve the section of the M6 motorway that passes through the Borough Council area.

 

 HS2 representatives made a presentation and described the roads affected by the Hybrid Bill Road including the A51 Stone Road, A53 Newcastle Road and A51 Nantwich Road together with proposals designed to offer permanent improvement at the Hanchurch junction (near j15) through additional junction capacity. As part of arrangements a highways working group had been established with Staffordshire County Council. Hybrid Bills are used to provide powers to build maintain and operate major infrastructure projects whilst those specifically and directly affected had a right to be heard, change was a natural part of the process.

 

Members were concerned about the impact of construction traffic on the area  and asked for sight of the evidential results of the modelling exercise currently being undertaken into traffic flows.

 

Agreed:      That the presentation be noted and that HS2 be requested to make a further presentation to this Scrutiny Committee once all the traffic movement details have been published.

5.

REVIEW OF TOWN CENTRE CAR PARKS pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report on the management and operation of town centre car parks.  The report by the Executive Director (Regeneration and Development) followed discussions with the Newcastle under Lyme BID and with the aim of increasing usage, and increasing footfall to improve the town centre economy and stability of income for the authority.

 

Cabinet (17/10/2018) approved a number of recommendations in relation to the charging policy on town centre car parks and scrutiny members reviewed the progress made.

 

Scrutiny Members raised the following issues/ area of concern:-

 

·        The availability of spaces/signage for blue badge holders

·        What measures could be undertaken to ensure residents were made more aware through visible signage on the difference in the County Council and Borough street parking and charging.

·        The introduction of cashless pay be progressed and the facility to Pay by Phone on Borough car parks be highlighted

·        Further investment was required at the Midway car park including regular cleaning  to enhance the customer experience

 

The Chair presented to members some estimates of the financial implications in giving free parking on all Borough car parks in order to increase footfall in the Town Centre: –

 

·        To provide free parking every Saturday would cost £200,000

·        To reduce all car park charges to those of Nantwich Borough would cost £400,000

·        Completely free car parking on Borough Council car parks would cost £1m in net income or £27 per annum for a band D taxpayer.  

 

The Chair highlighted the imperative from the Newcastle under Lyme BID for action to be taken to encourage footfall within the town centre in advance of the 10 year Parking Strategy which was being developed.  

 

 

 

Agreed:         That Cabinet be informed of the comments from Scrutiny Members.

 

 

 

 

6.

BOROUGH MARKET MANAGEMENT pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Minutes:

Members received a briefing report from the Executive Director (Regeneration and Development) following a Cabinet decision (7/11/2018) to review the operation of the market.

 

The review process, which was anticipated to be developed by February 2019 would include an analysis of customer facing opinions on the management review, would include an independent opinion from the National Association of British Market Authorities together with work undertaken previously by this Committee.

 

Agreed:         That the report be noted and Cabinet be requested to continue to consult with this Scrutiny Committee, the reasons for the failure of the previous tender to be reported to this Committee.      

7.

DISCRETIONARY GRANTS SCHEME pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Minutes:

In response to a request from the Newcastle under Lyme BID the interim Executive Director of Resources and Support Services submitted a report which outlined the discretionary rate relief fund which operated  in the Borough for 4 years from 2017-2018 to support businesses that faced the steepest increase in their business rate bills as a result of the 2017 revaluation. 

 

Under this scheme Newcastle under Lyme had been awarded a total of £468,000 up to 2020/2021.  Eligibility criteria were set out together with the amount of relief which would be awarded automatically to qualifying ratepayers.

 

Agreed:         That the report be noted

8.

RECYCLING AND WASTE SERVICE pdf icon PDF 152 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with a request from this Committee the Executive Director of Operational Services submitted an update report on the recycling and waste service which included:-

 

Progress on the introduction of Chargeable Garden Waste

Progress on the planning for changes to the dry recycling and separate food waste service

A briefing on how the department copes with bad weather and contingency plans for this year

Staff absence issues affecting the service this year

Quarter 2 performance (for information)

The Communications Plan

 

The Chair commented on the 20% absence rate, which he considered could not be sustained and confirmed that he had requested support from the HR function to help address this issue.

 

At the time of the report 1,500 residents had subscribed to the green waste recycling scheme.  A balance between the loss of recycling credit income, against subscription income, and the resources required to operate the subscription service is necessary to ensure the scheme was economically viable.  Based on the number of expressions of interest, and the subscriptions paid so far, the Council was on target to achieve this.

 

Information was requested on the number of missed assisted collections as a comparison to the missed collections as a whole.

 

An alternative to wheelie bins for areas of terraced houses was also requested.

 

Agreed:  That the report be noted and that Cabinet note the high staff absence issues and ensure relevant HR support is given to the Department.

 

 

 

 

 

9.

WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Minutes:

Agreed:         (i)         That the work programme be amended to reflect that a report on the recycling and waste service will be submitted to every scheduled meeting of this Scrutiny Committee.

 

                        (ii)        That the issue of single use plastics be considered at the March meeting of this Scrutiny Committee.

 

                        (iii)       That the Chair, in consultation with the Leader, progress a 6 monthly report to this Committee on the Joint Local Plan.

 

                         

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.

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 urgent business