Agenda and minutes

Environment and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 5 March 2020 2.00 pm

Venue: Sparkenhoe Committee Room, County Hall, Glenfield

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

Media

Items
No. Item

In attendance.

Mr. B. Pain CC, Acting Deputy Leader of the Council.

 

57.

Minutes of the meeting held on 16 January 2020. pdf icon PDF 609 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 16 January 2020 were taken as read, confirmed and signed.

58.

Question Time.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive reported that no questions had been received under Standing Order 34.

59.

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).

60.

To advise of any other items which the Chairman has decided to take as urgent elsewhere on the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items for consideration.

61.

Declarations of interest in respect of items on the agenda.

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. D. Bill CC declared a personal interest in relation to Hinckley Zone 4 – Rugby Road and Town Centre Improvements (minute 67 refers).

62.

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

Minutes:

There were no declarations of the party whip.

63.

Presentation of Petitions under Standing Order 35.

Minutes:

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

64.

Leicestershire County Council's Revised Strategic Plan 2018-22. pdf icon PDF 471 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Chief Executive concerning the revised Strategic Plan 2018-22. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 8’, is filed with these minutes.

 

In introducing the report, the Director advised changes had been made to the Strategic Plan following a light touch review to strengthen the environmental and equalities strands within the Plan. Members were advised a full review would be undertaken in the following financial year.

 

Arising from the discussion the following points were noted:

 

i)             The Committee were pleased that the changes reflected that the Council was taking Climate Change seriously recognising the actions it needed to take.

 

ii)            Members were assured that the Council had not developed the Plan in isolation and was committed to working together in key partnerships to deliver joint strategy commitments towards joint outcomes.

 

iii)           The Director assured Members that the County Council was not stopping the Master Composter scheme across the county which was being supported through further environmental courses for the volunteers. Officers would look into the Master Gardner scheme and feedback.

 

iv)           In reference to the strategic outcome relating to ‘Affordable and Quality Homes’ Officers informed Members that it was for the districts, as planning authorities, to ensure and encourage developers to build above the minimum housing regulation specification.

 

v)            Relating to the strategic outcome ‘Strong Economy’ it was requested that the supporting outcome ‘Leicestershire has the right infrastructure for sustainable clean growth’ also included reference to Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the comments of the Committee be forwarded to the Scrutiny Commission for consideration at its meeting on 8 April 2020.

 

65.

Revised Environment Strategy. pdf icon PDF 440 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report of the Director of Environment and Transport outlining revisions to the Environment Strategy, Action Plan and Tranche 1 Carbon Reduction Roadmap. A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 9’, is filed with these minutes.

 

The Committee thanked officers for the work being undertaken and the progress being made in addressing the climate emergency as declared in May 2019 by the County Council. Arising from the discussion the following points were noted:-

 

i)      The Tranche 1 Carbon Reduction Roadmap focused on the County Council’s own emissions under its control, as defined by Government, and reported annually in the Council’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions report. This report did not include emissions from operations such as procurement, county farms, water and operational waste. Reporting on and reducing emission from such operations would be addressed as part of the Tranche 2 Carbon Reduction Roadmap and be brought to the Committee later in the year.

 

ii)     Leicestershire County Council had a statutory duty as waste disposal authority. As part of Tranche 2 officers would look at all disposal options and weigh up the negatives and benefits of different methods..

 

 

iii)   Work had commenced regarding biodiversity within the County Council’s parks, sites of scientific interest and rights of way. This area was recognised as one requiring significant improvement.

 

iv)   It was noted that currently the Council, in its role as Highway Authority, could not take into account air pollution resulting from congestion and standing traffic but this would be looked into.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the comments of the Committee be forwarded to the Scrutiny Commission for consideration at its meeting on  8 April 2020.

 

66.

Leicester and Leicestershire Strategic Transport Priorities. pdf icon PDF 262 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report of the Director of Environment and Transport as part of the consultation on the Leicester Leicestershire Strategic Transport Plan. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 10’, is filed with these minutes.

 

The Plan set out a strategy for the growth and development of Leicester and Leicestershire to 2050, that would enable the partners to consider the longer-term needs of the area and opportunities which extended beyond the conventional timeframe of a Local Plan.

 

Arising from the discussion, the following points were noted:-

 

i)      An ongoing concern for some members regarding the A46 Priority Growth Corridor and the impact such a development might have on the area.

 

ii)     Concerns about connectivity of public transport in Leicestershire and a request to do more for the benefit of County residents. The recent  announcement of Government funding for public transport was welcomed and  it was hoped such funding would help the Council support rural public transport including the use of flexible and demand responsive transport services to address the issue of rural connectivity.

 

iii)   The inclusion of the Leicester to Burton railway line was welcomed. However, members questioned why it only appeared in ‘Theme 1 Leicester Connectivity’, and not within ‘Theme 3 Travel around Leicestershire’. .

 

iv)   The Members Advisory Group led on the Strategic Growth Plan and was chaired by Mr Pendleton CC the new Lead Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport.

 

v)    Members suggested that the document could do more to recognise the differing travel needs of  county towns, villages and isolated rural settlements. Reference also needed to be included that journeys to work were the main contributor to congestion.

 

vi)    A concern was raised that the document did not seem to have a  long term vision and that given the  plan was intended to cover the period up to 2050 the dominant mode of travel remained the private car.

Mr Pain CC, Deputy Leader advised Members that the document served as the strategic priorities for the City and Council, more detail would sit beneath the Plan. It was stressed that the Council was not yet able to predict changes to modes of transport, but as knowledge and understanding progressed the plans that sat underneath the Leicester and Leicestershire Strategic Transport Plan would be able to reflect changes.

 

RESOVLED

 

That the comments of the Committee be submitted as part of the consultation.

 

67.

Hinckley Zone 4: Rugby Road and Town Centre Improvements. pdf icon PDF 375 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport concerning Hinckley Zone 4 – Rugby Road and Town Centre Improvements. A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 11’ is filed with these minutes.

 

The Director informed Members that the proposals had been subject to full consultation from 21st October 2019 to 18th November 2019, following which the Brookside junction had been redesign and the  residents parking scheme extended. These changes to the residents parking scheme would be subject to further consultation as part of the Traffic Regulation Order process required to implement such a scheme..

 

Members thanked officers for a thorough report that took the comments of residents on board in the revised documents. Arising from the discussion, the following comments were noted:-

 

i)            In response to a query regarding the visibility on Spa Lane turning to London Road the Director informed the Member that an officer would be in contact to explain the rationale for the design and discuss the matter further.

 

ii)           Mr Bill CC, as local member, stated that whilst he was supportive of the Phase 4 proposals it was unfortunate that no means had been found to address the two pinch-point crossings north and south across Hinckley Road.

 

iii)         Comments from local councillors representing Burbage had been passed on and the Director assured Members that these comments would be taken into consideration as part of the consultation process prior to the report to Cabinet on 24 March 2020.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the comments of the Committee be forwarded to the Cabinet for consideration at its meeting on 24th March 2020 and that Cabinet be advised that the Committee supports the proposed transport improvements for Hinckley.

 

68.

Environment and Transport 2020/21 Highways and Transportation Capital Programme and Works Programme. pdf icon PDF 342 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport which provided details of the Council’s Capital Programme and Works Programme 2020/21. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 12’, is filed with these minutes.

 

The Director informed the Committee that the report set out the current position but there was a need for flexibility within the works programme as more detailed information became available regarding the road network. Members would be kept updated with the latest work programme via the Members Hub.

 

Arising from the discussion, the following points were noted:-

 

i)      The Lutterworth Development Infrastructure included £31million Housing Infrastructure Fund which has yet to be confirmed. If that bid was unsuccessful then a decision on the timing of the scheme and additional funding required would need to be taken.

 

 

ii)     A concern was raised whether the significant additional funding on advanced design, would be better spent elsewhere given the risk that funding for major schemes was dependent on funding bids which might not be approved by Government.

 

iii)   Mr Hunt highlighted concerns with the A512 M1 Junction, and the apparent lack of benefit to residents in Loughborough. He questioned whether it would ever be feasible for new infrastructure to address congestion. In response the Director advised the Committee that the A512/M1 Junction scheme had been undertaken to address capacity issues arising from the nearby sustainable urban extension. Developers, as part of their planning consents, agreed to work with the County Council and Highways England to deliver increased capacity as a whole. Planning consent included a requirement to consider public transport, walking and cycling within the sustainable urban development.

 

iv)             Mr Bill CC advised that concerns had been raised with him regarding the state of Blaby Road in South Wigston and Elston Lane. These roads had recently been resurfaced but had quickly deteriorated. Officers advised they would look into the concerns.

v)     

RESOLVED:

 

That the comments of the Committee be forwarded to the Cabinet for consideration at its meeting on 24th March 2020 and that Cabinet be advised that the Committee supports the proposed Highways and Transportation Capital Programme and Works Programme.

69.

Environment and Transport Performance Report to December 2019 pdf icon PDF 234 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a joint report of the Director of Environment and Transport and the Chief Executive on Environment and Transport performance to December 2019. A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 13’ is filed with these minutes.

 

Members noted the likely deterioration of Leicestershire County Council’s road network. While the Council had an additional £3.5million to spend on the network, approximately £13.5million was needed annually to address the backlog of work and stem the deterioration. Despite this Members noted that the condition of Leicestershire roads was significantly better in comparison to neighbouring authorities.

 

Mr Pain CC assured Members that he and the Council continued to lobby for extra resource from the Government, but in the meantime the Council would continue to do the best it could with the limited resource available.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the report be noted.

 

70.

Date of next meeting.

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled to take place on 4 June 2020 at 2pm.

 

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting of the Committee would be held on 4 June 2020 at 2pm.