Agenda and minutes

Environment and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 1 March 2018 2.00 pm

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

Contact: Anna Poole (Tel. 0116 305 2583)  Email: anna.poole@leics.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

In attendance.

Mr. B. Pain CC, Cabinet Lead Member for Environment and Transport.

Mrs. C. M. Radford CC, Cabinet Support Member for Environment and Transport.

Mrs. B. Seaton CC, Chairman Elect, Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Minute 65 refers).

Mr. S. D. Sheahan CC, Labour Spokesperson, Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Minute 65 refers).

Mrs. D. Taylor CC, Deputy Chairman Elect, Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Minute 65 refers).

 

58.

Minutes. pdf icon PDF 380 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 18 January 2018 were taken as read, confirmed and signed.

 

59.

Question Time.

Minutes:

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

 

60.

Questions asked by members.

Minutes:

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

 

61.

Urgent Items.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items for consideration.

 

62.

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.

 

Mr Pain declared a Personal Interest in relation to Item 8 ‘Mainstream and Special Educational Needs Home to School Transport Policy’ as members of his family run a taxi company.

 

63.

Declarations of the Party Whip.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of the party whip.

 

64.

Presentation of Petition: Street Lighting to be Returned to All-Night Operations In Broughton Astley. pdf icon PDF 280 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport which responded to the petition containing 502 signatures which had been received on 11 January 2018. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 7’ is filed with these minutes.

 

The terms of the petition are:

 

“Previously the council made a decision to turn off certain street lights after 12/1am in the Broughton Astley area.  This is troubling as many now feel unsafe walking on the streets at this time.  Particularly as certain public houses in the area don’t close until 1am.  Switching said lights back on will allow people to feel safe being out of their homes and could help in creating a safer community.  Particularly as many people’s property (homes, vans, caravans, public houses) have been the target of burglaries, especially within the past few weeks.  Signing this petition will make it clear that as a community we want to create a safe environment to live in.

 

We the people of Broughton Astley, who have signed the petition, ask Leicestershire County Council to turn the lights back on in our village, for all of the reasons listed in our petition. We would like every light on, if this isn't possible, every other light. Specifically in cul-de-sacs and other residential areas.

 

It has become clear recently that the Oadby area rectified this decision after dealing with burglaries and antisocial behaviour.”

 

 

A statement from the Lead Petitioner, Julie Harding, was tabled at the meeting as she had been unable to attend the meeting due to the poor weather. A copy of the statement is filed with these minutes.

 

The Chairman read out a statement on behalf of Mr. Liquorish, the Local Member, who was unable to attend the meeting:

 

“First and foremost I have looked at the names on the petition. I know that Broughton Astley is one of the largest villages in Europe, if not the largest, but to be World renowned and Countrywide renowned is quite remarkable on such a local issue of street lighting, so I will not pay too much attention to the names recorded.

 

I did some time ago put my points of view over to Mrs Julie Harding. I told her that we have a very good relationship with the Local Police Team in Broughton Astley, and would have high regard to any comments they make around street lighting problems, if any. She is right in saying that the Council made a decision on part night lighting, but she fails to say that it was after consultation with the residents through the Parish Council in Broughton Astley, and through the media including a Newsletter (Broughton Matters) which is circulated to every household. She also makes the point about people coming out of Public Houses after midnight. I would think on that score, that any vulnerable person would make arrangements to be transported home safely at that time of night. I also pointed out that there are savings on energy costs, carbon emissions and light pollution. I explained to Julie that I represent nearby villages, namely Ashby Magna/Parva, Leire, and Frolsworth. All have elected to control their own street lighting and have their own lamp systems to cut down on light pollution and to blend in with the village scene.

 

I have had no direct approaches to me about Street lighting timings apart from two people being against the petition.”

 

Statements from two residents, who opposed the terms of the petition, were also tabled at the meeting. A copy of the statements is filed with these minutes.

 

In response  ...  view the full minutes text for item 64.

65.

Mainstream and Special Educational Needs Home to School Transport Policy. pdf icon PDF 557 KB

A copy of the report to be submitted to the Cabinet at its meeting on 9 March 2018 is attached. The Committee is invited to comment on the proposals. The views of the Committee will be reported to the Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport concerning proposals to revise the Special Educational Needs (SEN) Transport Policy and the Mainstream Home to School Transport Policy. A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 8’ is filed with these minutes.

 

A statement was received from Dr Eynon CC and from Annie Bannister, a parent of a child affected by the proposals. A copy of these statements is filed with these minutes.

 

Mrs Seaton, Mrs Taylor and Mr Sheahan, the Chairman Elect, Deputy Chairman Elect and Labour Spokesperson on the Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee attended by invitation for this item.

 

In the ensuing discussion, the following points were raised:-

 

i)       The proposals related to discretionary transport provision for children with SEN or disabilities under the age of 5 years, for young people with SEN aged 16 to 18 and other young people aged 16+; the proposals would generate a saving of up to £800,000, against an initial savings target of £1million;

 

ii)         In response to the statement by Dr. Eynon CC tabled at the meeting, the

Committee was informed that analysis of the consultation results had not been analysed by the Department but by the Business Intelligence Unit in the Chief Executive’s Department. The analysis was consistent with industry norms and the results highlighted in the report were those that were deemed statistically significant for the relevant questions. It was acknowledged that the proposals were unpopular.

 

iii)       Leicestershire Equalities Challenge Group had been consulted and had been particularly helpful in assisting the development of proposals to mitigate the impact on people;

 

iv)       Regarding Personal Transport Budgets (PTB), Members were informed that measures would be developed to help support families in moving to a new system. This would include, for example, working with schools to identify families who could share home to school transport, potentially arranged by the school and funded through each family’s PTB. Mitigation measures would be put in place to help address potential drop-out rates;

 

v)         Exception arrangements would be put in place to address and support families for whom a PTB was unworkable. Exceptions would be considered on a case by case basis by staff well experienced in dealing with PTBs as well as mainstream and SEN home to school transport. Criteria for an exception could not be set out as each case was individual. A two-stage appeals process would be in place; the first stage would be dealt with by staff who were well-versed in the area of work, although had not dealt with the case previously; and the second stage would be handled by an independent panel. The committee was informed that, should significant issues arise with the operation of the PTB, the system could be reviewed;

 

vi)       Mechanisms would be put in place to monitor use of PTBs to identify early on any issues being experienced by individual families. Payments would be made monthly in advance to help support families with budgeting;

 

vii)      Where a student was deemed likely of entering into care as a result of transport pressures which had led to poor attendance at school, a robust escalation process would be in place. This would be developed, in conjunction with schools and the SEN service, should the proposals be approved by the Cabinet at its meeting on 9 March 2018;

 

viii)     Members were informed that officers had worked closely with Children and Family Services to identify mitigation measures to minimise any potential effect on the social care budget, should children be unable to attend school due to financial pressures;

 

ix)       There were numerous hackney cabs  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65.

66.

Performance Report Quarter 3 2017/18. pdf icon PDF 310 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport which provided an update on departmental performance at the end of quarter 3 of 2017/18. A copy of the report marked “Agenda Item 9” is filed with these minutes.

 

Arising from discussion, the following points were raised:

 

i)          It was an ambition of the County Council to increase the rate of recycling across all Council buildings and sites. The Committee was informed that this was more challenging in community-based buildings; officers had visited all sites external to County Hall to discuss recycling rates and methods. The revised Environment Strategy, which would include more realistic targets for recycling rates across the Council, would be brought to the Committee for consideration in the spring of 2018;

 

ii)         Results for the National Highways and Transport Survey regarding the overall public satisfaction with the condition of roads had recently been issued. The results for Leicestershire showed an overall 39.5% satisfaction rate, which placed the Council as one of the best performing among its statistical neighbours;

 

iii)       Bus patronage had continued to decline, which was in line with the national trend.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the update on Departmental performance at the end of Quarter 3 of 2017/18 be noted.

 

67.

Road Casualty Reduction in Leicestershire. pdf icon PDF 404 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport which provided an update on road casualty statistics and Leicestershire‘s approach to casualty reduction, and reviewed the suitability of the casualty reduction targets. A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 10’ is filed with these minutes.

 

Arising from discussion, the following points were made:

 

i)          A national system was in place to record the level of killed, seriously or slightly injured casualties; the data was collated by Leicestershire Police;

 

ii)         There was no evidence to suggest that the level of road casualties had increased as the population aged; the County Council delivered training courses which equipped older drivers for the modern driving conditions;

 

iii)       Concern had been raised nationally regarding the policy change related to the reporting of collisions that had been implemented by the Police. Officers would discuss the impact of the change to reporting policy on the accuracy of the road casualty data with the Road Safety Partnership. The Department for Transport had recently begun a consultation on the reporting of accidents.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the report and the update provided on the following be noted:-

 

           reported road casualty statistics;

           Leicestershire’s approach to casualty reduction; and

           the suitability of the casualty reduction targets.

 

68.

Date of next meeting.

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled to take place on Friday 6 April 2018 at 2pm.

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting of the Committee would be held on Friday 6 April 2018 at 2pm.

 

Webcast.

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