Agenda and minutes

Environment and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 7 December 2017 2.00 pm

Venue: Sparkenhoe Committee Room, County Hall, Glenfield. View directions

Contact: Anna Poole (Tel. 0116 305 0381)  Email: anna.poole@leics.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

In attendance.

Mr. B. Pain CC, Cabinet Lead Member for Highways, Strategic Transportation and Waste.

 

38.

Question Time.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive reported that no questions had been received under Standing Order 35.

 

39.

Questions asked by members under Standing Order 7(3) and 7(5).

Minutes:

The Chief Executive reported that no questions had been received under Standing Order 7(3) and 7(5).

 

40.

Urgent Items.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items for consideration.

 

41.

Declarations of Interest.

Minutes:

The Chairman invited members who wished to do so to declare any interest in respect of items on the agenda for the meeting.

 

Dr. P. Bremner CC declared a personal interest in Item 9 “Market Harborough Transport Study” as a County Councillor for Market Harborough West and Foxton.

 

Mr. B. Pain CC declared a personal interest in Item 9 “Market Harborough Transport Study” as a Member of Market Harborough District Council.

 

Mr. A. E. Pearson CC declared a personal interest in Item 8 “Melton Mowbray Distributor Road” as a Member of Melton Borough Council.

 

 

42.

Declarations of the Party Whip in accordance with Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rule 16.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of the party whip.

 

43.

Presentation of Petitions under Standing Order 36.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive reported that no petitions had been received under Standing Order 36.

 

44.

Environmental Performance Report 2016-17 and Greenhouse Gas Report 2016-17. pdf icon PDF 373 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport which provided details of the Council’s environmental performance and greenhouse gas emissions for 2016-17. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 7”, is filed with these minutes.

 

Arising from discussion, the following points were raised:-

 

i)             Officers were seeking creative solutions, including working with partners and volunteers, to improve the quality of the Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSIs) as resources were not available to address the improvements needed;

 

ii)            There had been a 37% reduction in CO2 emissions from Leicestershire (under local authority influence) compared with the base line year; current performance now exceeded the target set for 2020/21 due to a variety of measures undertaken, including for example the LED street lighting replacement project and fleet rationalisation;

 

iii)           Regarding waste water discharges from passenger transport depots, members were informed that there were three depots that had been deemed non-compliant; one was to be closed soon and so no works were planned.  Of the remaining two, audits had been completed which showed that one was connected to a foul sewer, which would be addressed and the other was not connected to the sewer. Officers were currently exploring engineering options and related costings and agreed to inform the Committee of the timeframes required for the works once decisions had been made;

 

iv)           Regarding local wildlife sites which were in poor or declining condition, Members were informed that these would be assessed and prioritised according to the nature of the work required. Officers would explore a variety of options to complete the work required, including support from volunteers and the use of consultants for specialist work. The Committee asked that a report outlining the approach to the management of local wildlife sites once this is determined be presented at a future meeting.

 

RESOLVED:-

 

That the report on the County Council’s environmental performance and greenhouse gas emissions for 2016 – 17 be noted.

 

45.

Melton Mowbray Distributor Road Proposals. pdf icon PDF 1 MB

The Cabinet at its meeting on 12 December 2017 will be considering a report of the Melton Mowbray Distributor Road. A copy of that report will be circulated to Members of the Committee separately.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport concerning the Melton Mowbray Distributor Road Proposals. A copy of the report, marked “Agenda Item 8” is filed with these minutes.

 

Arising from discussion, the following points were raised:-

 

i)          That the eastern route had been chosen rather than the western route as it was more economically viable being shorter and requiring less additional structures to be built along the route.

 

ii)         Extensive community engagement had been carried out throughout the initial planning stage; this would be ongoing throughout the project. To date, there has been good support for the proposed route;

 

iii)        The distributor road would be a single carriageway, at 7.3 meters wide, which was standard width for a distributor road. A dual carriageway construction was not appropriate at this time and another consideration was that this would pass through or adjacent to new housing developments. Members were assured that the distributor road would present a quick and efficient route around Melton Mowbray, due to the speed limits of up to 40 miles per hour on the northern stretch and 60 miles per hour on the eastern stretch. Plans for the distributor road would include cycle routes and footpaths;

 

   iv.        The funding bid to the Department for Transport (DfT) included the northern and eastern section only. It was expected that construction of the southern section would be funded by developers as considerable development was planned for the southern side of Melton Mowbray as part of the Local Plan;

 

    v.        Members were assured that modelling work for the distributor road had considered the wider impacts of the road construction on traffic in and around Melton. Results showed that without construction of the northern/eastern section of the road, more traffic would be directed onto Welby Road and other roads around the town. The Transport Strategy for Melton Mowbray also included consideration of the wider transport issues such as walking and cycling, junction improvements, public realm and public transport.

 

   vi.        The total cost of the road was estimated at £74m. £55m would be sought from the DfT, and the remaining £19m would need to be funded from other sources. Most of the £19m would be recouped from developer contributions, but it was anticipated that there may be a shortfall. Officers of the County Council and Melton Borough Council had drafted an agreement which would enable any funding gap to be met by a combination of additional funding and revenue that the Borough Council would receive from housing developments and economic growth and County Council funds. This agreement was due to be considered by Melton Borough Council’s Policy, Finance and Administration Committee on 7 December 2017. Members of the Committee commented that it was important that Melton Borough Council approved the funding agreement in order for the County Council to be in a position to submit a bid to the DfT.

 

RESOLVED:-

 

That the Cabinet be advised that the Committee supports the submission of a bid to the Department for Transport for funding of the Melton Mowbray Distributor Road subject to the approval by Melton Borough Council of the proposed funding agreement. 

 

46.

Market Harborough Transport Study. pdf icon PDF 350 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport concerning the Market Harborough Transport Strategy. A copy of the report, marked “Agenda Item 9” is filed with these minutes.

 

Arising from discussion, the following points were raised:-

 

i)       The Market Harborough Transport Study identified the key challenges faced by Market Harborough and the mitigation measures needed to address them. Developer contributions and potential Government funding would be required to fund the improvements;

 

ii)     Network Rail had been approached regarding the need to increase the clearance (height) of the rail bridges at Rockingham Road and Kettering Road. Network Rail had been unable to fund these works; it was hoped that they would see the benefits of supporting this case in any future works;

 

iii)    Members were informed that Highways England was responsible for informing residents of the closure of major routes, for example the A14.  Where it was an emergency, it was not possible to do efficiently notify residents in advance. The Department was working with Highways England to improve communication and emergency route planning.

 

RESOLVED:-

 

That the Cabinet be advised that the Committee supports the adoption of the Market Harborough Transport Study.

 

47.

Date of next meeting.

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled to take place on 18 January 2018 at 2pm.

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting of the Committee would be held on 18 January 2018 at 2pm.

 

 

 

Webcast.

A webcast of the meeting can be viewed at [insert link].