Agenda and minutes

Environment and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 28 June 2018 2.00 pm, NEW

Venue: Sparkenhoe Committee Room, County Hall, Glenfield

Contact: Miss C Tuohy (0116 305 5483).  Email: cat.tuohy@leics.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

Webcast.

A webcast of the meeting can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=5auaDsPCC9U

 

In attendance.

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

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

 

90.

Minutes. pdf icon PDF 301 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 31 May were taken as read, confirmed and signed.

91.

Question Time.

Minutes:

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

92.

Questions asked by members.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive reported that questions had been received under Standing Order 7(3) and 7(5).

 

Mr Hunt CC asked the following questions of the Chairman:

 

Casualty Reduction Schemes

 

a)    “In the Overview and Scrutiny Committee report we received on road casualties in March we heard that there were 4 safety schemes completed in 2015/16. These schemes cost £110,000 in total. How many schemes were completed in each of the years from 2010/11 to date and at what cost?

b)    What is the budget for the next three years? 

Traffic Management Schemes

 

c)    What are the equivalent figures for Traffic Management Schemes (for low cost improvements aimed at managing existing traffic flows more effectively)? 

Residents Preference Parking Zones

 

d)    What are the equivalent figures for each new, and amendments made to, residents parking zones? 

Forestry and Tree Management

 

e)    What are the equivalent figures for Forestry and Tree Management work related to the Highway?

District Council Schemes

 

f)     Under what budget was the recently abandoned project for in Loughborough Town Centre funded (to correct confusing traffic regulation orders and other related matters)?

 

g)    What was the cost to the County Council?  

 

h)   What part of that cost has been recompensed to the County Council?

 

i)     In what way are such schemes with District Councils prioritised against Casualty reduction Schemes and Traffic Management Schemes or, indeed, funding for residents parking zones requested by members, parishes or the public.”

 

 

 

 

 

The Chairman replied as follows:

 

         Casualty Reduction Schemes

“a)

Number of Safety Schemes

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

6

15

11

10

13

4

0

5

Spend of Safety Schemes*

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

£980,000

£700,000

£740,000

£744,000

£810,000

£230,000

£30,000

£245,000

 

(*These figures would include preliminary works for schemes delivered in later years and are in line with the agreed MTFS.)

b)

2018/19**

2019/20

2020/21

£500,000

Schemes identified will be considered as part of the annual MTFS capital programme refresh

 

** the delivery of some of the 2018/19 budget may slip into the subsequent years.

 

Traffic Management Schemes

 

c)

The number of schemes varies between years according to the size of the works and how they were recorded, for instance in 2012/13 there were a high number of sign installations which were classed as single schemes.

 

The 2017/18 figure also includes the preparatory work for schemes that will be delivered in 2018/19.

 

All figures should be viewed as indicative only.

 

Number of Traffic Management Schemes

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

N/A

50

170

36

N/A

47

92

212

Spend on Traffic Management Schemes

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

£350,000

£350,000

£250,000

£350,000

£350,000

£220,000

£220,000

£220,000

 

 

 

The figures for 2018 onwards are estimates only.

 

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

£220,000

£220,000

£220,000

 

 

Residents Preference Parking Zones

 

d)

No separate budget for this as it would be assessed as part of the small scale traffic management schemes.

 

Forestry and Tree Management

e)

The number of forestry schemes relate specifically to the amount of recorded trees and groups. This work was undertaken for health and safety reasons and involved remedial tree pruning. The figures  below do not account for any storm related call out work carried out.  In addition there are certain major schemes which are not reflected in the numbers  including the cutting back of thousands of trees along the A6, A607 and A47.

 

Number of Forestry Schemes

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

1013

1744

2028

1618

1665

1638

1601

N/A

Spend on Forestry Schemes

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

£450,000

£550,000

£520,000

£500,000

£480,000

£400,000  ...  view the full minutes text for item 92.

93.

Urgent items.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items for consideration.

94.

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.

 

No declarations were made.

95.

Declarations of the Party Whip.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of the party whip.

96.

Presentation of Petitions.

Minutes:

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

97.

Response to Petition: Request to Improve Road Safety at Moira School. pdf icon PDF 892 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport responding to the petition advising on the outcome of investigations following the presentation of a petition voicing concerns about road safety outside Moira Primary School, in Blackfordby Lane. A copy of the report, marked “Agenda Item 8” is filed with these minutes.

 

Mr. S. Sheahan CC, the Local Member thanked officers for a thorough report and accepted the conclusions of the report though believed more could be done to reduce speed going into the village. A travel plan prepared by Moira Primary School was subsequently given to officers at the meeting. Mr Sheahan also indicated that he  would encourage the School to get in touch regarding the enforceable zig-zag pilot.

 

It was noted that if any external funding came forward the County Council would be happy to help facilitate any further measures.

 

Mr B. Pain CC, Lead Member for Environment and Transport encouraged all members to get in touch with schools encouraging them to contact the Department and participate in the pilot to enforce zig-zag markings outside schools.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the report and proposed actions be noted.

 

98.

Additional Highways Maintenance Funding. pdf icon PDF 642 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport on Additional Highways Maintenance Funding. A copy of the report, marked “Agenda Item 9” is filed with these minutes.

 

Arising from discussion Members noted that funding levels for highways maintenance have reduced significantly in recent years in line with the Council’s overall financial position. Whilst the additional funding was welcomed, it was noted that if funding levels had been maintained at the 2009/10 level the department would have had an additional 40million available.

 

Despite the challenging situation, Members agreed the County Council was performing well and accepted that the extra funding would give the department the breathing room to be able to manage deterioration on the network while the Council move to the new preventative based approach.

 

Mrs Richards CC thanked the Customer Service Centre and the Environment and Transport Department for the improvements in response times.

 

Mr Pain CC, Lead Member for Environment and Transport stressed that if the Government were to offer medium term funding allocation it would help the Department to help plan works and use the money more efficiently.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the report be noted.

99.

Melton Mowbray Distributor Road. pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport concerning the Melton Mowbray Distributor Road. A copy of the report, marked “Agenda Item 10” is filed with these minutes.

 

Arising from discussion, the following points were raised:-

 

i)     The Preferred Route remained a 4.3 mile single carriageway which passes to the north and east of Melton Mowbray. As a result of consultation the design of the route had been amended at two locations, the crossing of the River Eye and the alignment between Scalford Road and Melton Spinney Road.  This amended route is now the Preferred Route for the Melton Mowbray Distributor Road;

 

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

 

iii)  That the proposed realignment of the River Eye would put it closer to its natural line, this was supported by the Environment Agency and the County Council was working closely with them to mitigate any ecological disturbance;

 

iv)  Members were assured the appropriate cycle/footway provision had been included along the route and would be looked at further during the detailed design process and as part of the consultation during the planning process.

 

RESOLVED:-

 

That the Cabinet be advised of the views now expressed and that this Committee supports the proposed route.

100.

Ash Dieback Action Plan. pdf icon PDF 236 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport concerning the Ash Die Back Action Plan. A copy of the report, marked “Agenda Item 11” is filed with these minutes.

 

Arising from discussion, the following points were raised:-

 

i)     The Ash Dieback Action Plan was a risk based approach with an emphasis on maintaining the highest levels of health and safety for the public while aiming to minimise the impact on landscape, ecology and the environment. The Action Plan had been developed in line with the latest Defra and Tree Council guidance.

 

ii)    The potential loss of trees would present a significant impact on the county’s landscape. The County Council was working with the Tree Council to identify a range of suitable native and naturalised tree species that could replace them. The Medium Term Financial Strategy included this as a future potential financial pressure.

 

iii)  Trials had been established elsewhere in the country looking at young and mature resistant strains with the aim of creating a strain resistant to Ash Dieback.

 

iv)  A comprehensive communications and engagement plan was being developed to support work with private and other public landowners regarding Ash Dieback.

 

v)    The County Council was also looking into potential commercial opportunities linked to Ash Dieback such as tree management services and potential options for the use of felled wood as a by-product. .

 

RESOLVED: -

 

That the comments of the Committee be submitted to the Cabinet and the Cabinet be advised of its support for the Action Plan.

 

 

101.

Environment Strategy 2018-2030. pdf icon PDF 306 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport concerning the Environment Strategy. A copy of the report, marked “Agenda Item 12” is filed with these minutes.

 

In response to comments and questions the Committee was advised as follows

 

i)     The Strategy sets out six broad themes with aims and objectives of delivery. These have been written in such a way to allow for flexibility to respond to the nationally changing picture as and when the Government sets out its policy position on the environment and how it expects its policy position to be delivered.

 

ii)    Single use plastics was recently identified as a key issue in the public consciousness. Within the theme “Reduce use and Low/Zero Carbon Energy” the action plan includes exploration of reducing single use plastics. Whilst this was scheduled to start in October officers had already began looking at how plastic use could be reduced within the County Council.

 

iii)  The governance arrangements would enable the Council to look at its position across all departments allowing a more joined up approach than had previously been taken.

 

iv)  The carbon reduction plan had been subsumed within the Environment Strategy to allow more joined up working. It was however noted, that economic growth meant the challenges of traffic emissions were likely to increase.

 

v)    The County Council had come a long way with introduction of its biomass boiler, LED lighting and solar panels. The Environment Strategy would enable the Council to go further in minimising its environmental impact and improving the health and wellbeing of people whilst contributing to the sustainable economic development of the County.

 

RESOLVED: -

 

That the comments of the Committee be submitted to the Cabinet and the Cabinet be advised of its support for the Environment Strategy.

 

102.

Date of next meeting.

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled to take place on 6 September 2018.

 

Minutes:

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