Agenda and minutes

County Council - Wednesday, 7 July 2021 2.00 pm

Venue: Nelson Suite, Leicester Racecourse, Leicester Rd, Oadby, Leicester LE2 4AL

Contact: Rosemary Whitelaw - Tel: 0116 305 2583  Email: rosemary.whitelaw@leics.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

11.

Chairman's Announcements.

Minutes:

Mr John Thomas

 

The Chairman reported with great sadness the death of former County Councillor Mr John Thomas.  He served on the County Council representing the Rushey Mead electoral division from 1994 to 1997. Following the re-organisation of local government in 1997 he served as a member of Leicester City Council

 

Mr Thomas served as a member Police, Education, Public Protection, Planning and Recreation and Arts, Libraries and Museums Committee.

 

Members joined the Chairman by standing in silent tribute to Mr Thomas.

 

 

12.

Minutes. pdf icon PDF 226 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Mr Harrison, seconded by Dr Feltham and carried:-

 

“That the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 19 May 2021, copies of which have been circulated to members, be taken as read, confirmed and signed.”

 

13.

Declarations of Interest.

Minutes:

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

 

All members who were also members of district councils declared a personal interest in the Notice of Motion on improving the local highway environment (minute 20(a) refers).

 

Mr J Miah declared a personal interest in the Position Statement from the Lead Member for Equalities, Community Engagement and Rural Partnerships as he was a trustee of a Community Centre that had received a Covid Grant (minute 15 refers).

 

Mr L Phillimore declared a personal interest in the Position Statement from the Lead Member for Children and Family Services as his wife worked in the fields of Early Years and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (minute 15 refers).

 

14.

Questions asked under Standing Order 7(1)(2) and (5).

Minutes:

(A)      Mrs Hack asked the following question of the Leader or his nominee:

 

“The 22nd September is World Car-Free Day when all around the world towns, counties and cities allow people to experience streets free of motor traffic and as such aligns with and supports our environment strategy (tranche 2), our draft walking and cycling strategy, as well as supporting bids for future funding. Therefore:

 

1.     Will the County Council be taking the opportunity to support this and promote events around the day?

 

 

2.     Would the Council consider particular promotions around County Schools where competition for road space and its accompanying hazards are at their most acute?”

 

 

Mr O’Shea replied as follows:

 

“1.    The County Council will be promoting World Car Free Day on the 22nd September through a variety of communication channels including our Choose How You Move website https://www.choosehowyoumove.co.uk/

 

2.     There is an ongoing programme of active travel encouragement for individuals, schools and businesses. This work takes many forms such as personalised travel planning to give detailed advice to households about alternatives to car use, through to working with businesses to encourage modal shift away from car use.

 

School traffic continues to be a challenge in some locations and we continue to promote the development of school travel plans and encourage all forms of active travel and help facilitate this through school travel grants and partnership working to implement measures such as park and stride so that areas around schools are less congested.

 

We have plans to explore trials of a scheme called ‘School Streets’ which brings in varying car free measures as appropriate to school locations. The measures need to be tailored to suit individual site locations. It is anticipated that this work will be looked at during the next academic year.”

 

Mrs Hack asked the following supplementary question:

 

“What does ‘we continue to promote the development of school travel plans’ mean?  Is the County Council actively involved in the development of school travel plans?  If so, please could we have some more information?”

 

Mr O’Shea replied as follows:

 

“I will make sure Mrs Hack gets written reply to her question.”

 

[Subsequent to the meeting, the following written reply was provided:

 

The Safe and Sustainable Travel Team are actively involved in the promotion and development of School Travel Plans.

 

An on-going Choose How You Move schools programme is managed and delivered by a Safe and Sustainable Travel Officer in partnership with Leicestershire Rutland Sport (LRS). Leicestershire County Council is an active member of the MODESHIFT STARS programme which is a free (to primary schools) travel plan platform and accreditation system.

 

All schools across Leicestershire are invited to use MODESHIFT STARS and can receive support through the Choose How You Move schools programme to encourage active and sustainable travel, implement initiatives, and apply for sustainable travel grants. A variety of communication channels are utilised to engage with schools and information is readily available on www.choosehowyoumove.co.uk.

 

Since the partnership with LRS was formed in 2018, 23 schools have developed a full national standard travel plan through the MODESHIFT STARS platform. Schools have delivered travel plans to a bronze, silver and gold accreditation level and individual schools have been recognised nationally for their excellence in promoting sustainable travel.]

 

15.

Position statements under Standing Order 8. pdf icon PDF 233 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader gave a position statement on the following matters:

 

·       Police and Crime Commissioner;

·       East Midlands Global Gateway (Freeport);

·       Fair Funding;

·       Tree Strategy;

·       Covid Memorial Walk.

 

The Lead Member for Children and Family Services gave a position statement on the following matters:

 

·       SEND Provision;

·       Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children;

·       Foster Carers;

·       Voice;

·       Performance.

 

The Lead Member for Equalities, Community Engagement and Rural Partnerships gave a position statement on the Annual Report of work carried out within her portfolio to support Leicestershire Communities over the past financial year.

 

The Lead Member for Highways and Transport gave a position statement on the Members Highway Fund.

 

A copy of the position statements is filed with these minutes.

 

16.

Report of the Scrutiny Commission.

16a

Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2020/21. pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Mr Mullaney, seconded by Mrs Page and carried:

 

“That the information contained in the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2020/21, attached as Appendix A to this report, on its activities, be noted.”

 

17.

Report of the Constitution Committee.

17a

Proposed Changes to the Structure of Overview and Scrutiny Bodies. pdf icon PDF 209 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Mr Rushton, seconded by Mrs Taylor and carried:

 

“That the proposed amendments to the Council’s Constitution, as set out in the report of the Constitution Committee and Appendix A thereto, be approved.”

 

18.

Report of the Corporate Governance Committee.

18a

Proposed Changes to the Contract Procedure Rules. pdf icon PDF 107 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Mr Barkley, seconded by Mr Richardson and carried:

 

“That the proposed amendments to the Contract Procedure Rules, set out in Appendix A to the report of the Corporate Governance Committee, be approved.”

 

19.

To appoint members of the Highways and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Environment and Climate Change Overview and Scrutiny Committee. pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Minutes:

It was moved by Mr Shepherd, seconded by Mr Charlesworth and carried:

 

“That the membership of the Highways and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Environment and Climate Change Overview and Scrutiny Committee, as set out below, be approved.”

 

A copy of the list setting out membership of the Committees is filed with these minutes.

 

20.

To consider the following notice of motion:

20a

Improving the Local Highway Environment.

(a)          That this Council notes:

(i)     Many Leicestershire roads contain clutter resulting from highways maintenance, contractors and other parties work on the highway;

(ii)    Too much litter, including recyclable cans and bottles, is being thrown onto grass verges and pavements and is a threat to the environment and wildlife;

(iii)   Lighting is required for the safety of some footways and cycleways;

(iv)   The need to maintain the highway network to a high standard and this includes footways and cycleways;

(v)    The importance of biodiversity on roadsides; 

(vi)   The risks of tree foliage hiding lighting and tall grasses at junctions.

(b)          This Council therefore calls for the development of a Considerate Highway Charter to:

(i)          Obtain a common agreement across all partners for cleaning roads including the district authorities who are responsible for street cleansing and Highways England where the road is under their responsibility;

 

(ii)         Work with the relevant organisations including utility companies and developers to ensure that all highways clutter is removed and stored rather than being left at the roadside;

 

(iii)       Consider the management of lighting cycleways and footways in response to Government’s commitment to active travel to support greater choice in how people move around the county safety when walking and cycling, particularly in the winter months;

 

(iv)       Commit to a ‘safety first’ approach to maintenance and management of the roadside;

 

(v)        Work in partnership with the district authorities to seek to persuade the public to act in a more responsible way, taking litter home, and consider approaches taken by other local authorities, such as Lincolnshire County Council and Highways England who provide litter bins in every parking refuge point on the A46 to seek to minimise roadside litter;

 

(vi)       Include a management plan for all future tree planting at the roadside to ensure that the benefits for the local environment and air quality are maximised, as well as considering the long-term costs of tree management; 

 

(vii)     Set out arrangements already in place to maintain roadside verges and green spaces where there is split responsibility for particular stretches of a road to as to ensure that residents are clear as to how that particular road is managed.

 

Minutes:

Mrs Hack, with the consent of the seconder of the motion, sought the approval of the Council to move the following altered motion:-

 

It was moved by Mrs Hack, seconded by O’Shea, and carried:

 

“(a)     That this Council notes:

(i)    Too much litter, including recyclable cans and bottles, continues to bethrown onto grass verges and pavements and is an increasing threat to the environment and wildlife;

(ii)   Despite the best efforts of the local authorities and other agencies, many Leicestershire roads contain signing clutter resulting from highways maintenance, contractors and other parties work on the highway;

(iii) The importance of biodiversity on roadsides is under-recognised.

 

(b)      That this Council also notes:

(i)    The safety of some footways and cycleways can be improved by better lighting;

(ii)   The need to maintain the highway network to a high standard includes footways and cycleways;

(iii) The risks of tree foliage hiding lighting and tall grasses at junctions.

 

(c)      That this Council will therefore:

(i)    Continue to work with the relevant organisations including utility companies and developers to ensure that temporary highway signage is removed and stored rather than being left at the roadside when works are complete;

(ii)   Continue to work with the organisations responsible for highway cleansing (district authorities and Highways England) to seek improvements as well as on campaigns to persuade the public to act in a more responsible way respecting the natural environment and so reducing highway litter and damage to the environment;

(iii) Review the lighting of cycleways and footways in response to Government’s commitment to active travel to support greater choice in how people move around the county safety when walking and cycling and in line with current operating procedure.

 

(d)      That this Council further notes that the County Council’s Tree Management Strategy and emerging Action Plan already recognise the significant role roadside grass verges could play in improving the ecology and biodiversity of the county by appropriate planting and maintenance focussed primarily on safety.”