Agenda and minutes

Environment and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 18 January 2018 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. L. Pain CC, Cabinet Lead Member for Highways, Strategic Transportation and Waste.

Mr Rhodes CC, Cabinet Lead Member for Resources.

Mrs Radford CC, Cabinet Support Member.

 

 

48.

Minutes. pdf icon PDF 235 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 22 November 2017 and 7 December 2017 were taken as read, confirmed and signed.

 

49.

Question Time.

Minutes:

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

 

50.

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).

 

51.

Urgent Items.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items for consideration.

 

52.

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 disclosable pecuniary interest in relation to all items in the budget proposals that related to public and passenger transport. 

 

The Chairman advised the Committee that, following discussion with the Monitoring Officer, given the exceptional nature of the meeting and with a view to avoid Mr Pain having to leave the meeting repeatedly, it was proposed that Mr Pain would remain in the room but not participate in the discussion.  However, if the debate became contentious and was likely to lead to a vote Mr Pain would be asked to leave the room.

 

53.

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

Minutes:

There were no declarations of the party whip.

 

54.

Presentation of Petitions under Standing Order 36.

Minutes:

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

 

55.

Medium Term Financial Strategy 2018/19 to 2021/22. pdf icon PDF 482 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a joint report of the Director of Environment and Transport and Director of Corporate Resources which provided information on the proposed 2018/19 to 2021/22 Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) as it related to the Environment and Transport Department. A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item ‘8’ is filed with these minutes. 

 

The Chairman welcomed Mr. B. L. Pain CC, Cabinet Lead Member for Highways, Strategic Transport and Waste, Mr Rhodes CC, the Cabinet Lead Member for Resources and Mrs Radford CC, the Cabinet Support Member to the meeting for this item. Mr Rhodes and Mrs Radford attended in place of Mrs Posnett CC who unfortunately was unable to attend.

 

In introducing the report, the Director and Cabinet Lead Members advised members of the financial challenges facing the Council and the significant change that had taken place across the Department to enable it to achieve total savings of £43million since 2010/11. The report now outlined how the Department intended to meet the additional required savings of £7.1million by 2022.

 

Members of the Committee noted the significant savings achieved to date and commended the Director and her team. Members however, noted that the savings going forward would be more challenging and now included reconsideration of savings proposals previously not taken forward as they were deemed difficult.

 

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

 

Proposed Revenue Budget and Budget Transfers and Service Transformation

 

i)          The Department would continue to explore opportunities for generating income but there were some legal limitations regarding local authority operations on how far this could be pursued.

Growth

G16 – SEN Transport

ii)         This growth was essentially to meet the increasingly complex needs now being presented by some service users.

G18 – Recycling and Reuse Credits

iii)        Currently all District Councils received recycling and reuse credits. From the start of the new financial year, four of the seven district councils would no longer receive these credits and the remaining three would stop receiving credits when their current contractual agreements came to an end during the year.

G19 – Waste Tonnage Increase

iv)        No growth had been included for 2018/19 given the low level of increase in waste tonnage experienced in the current year. However, growth of 1% per year was assumed for subsequent years.

Savings – Highways and Transport

 

ET1 – Street Lighting

 

v)         The work of the Department to implement LED street lighting was commended as both a welcome cost saving and as a contribution to environmental improvement.

ET4 – Revised Passenger Transport

vi)        This saving was taken out at the budget meeting in 2017/18 when the Council was advised that further work would be undertaken into the cost effectiveness of the Council’s policy on Public Transport. It was, therefore, shown as a new saving.

 

vii)      The review of the existing policy would seek to define clearly what was meant by ‘essential need’ and how the Council would ensure value for money. The Cabinet on 9 March 2018 would be asked to give approval to consult on a revised strategy.

ET5 – Social Care and SEN Transport

viii)     The proposed saving was in part contingent upon the Cabinet considering the outcome of the consultation recently undertaken and determining whether it wished to proceed. The proposed savings were at the mid-point range of the options consulted upon so the Cabinet would have discretion and be able to reflect the consultation responses in any final decision.

 

ET 6 – Review of staff absence

 

ix)        The Department had already put in significant measures to reduce both long and short term sickness  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.

56.

Community Bus Partnership Review. pdf icon PDF 456 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport concerning the review of Community Bus Partnerships (CPBs) operating in Leicestershire and the development of a new Passenger Transport Policy. A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 9’ is filed with these minutes.

 

In response to questions the Director advised as follows:-

 

i)             In developing the new Passenger Transport Policy consideration would be given to the suggested Hub and Spoke Model and the feasibility of secure cycle parking at key bus stops;

 

ii)            Whilst the review of Community Bus Partnerships had concluded that there was no significant benefit should a local community wish to operate a CBP, the Department would consider any proposals put forward;

 

iii)           Bus operators had to give 56 days’ notice of a decision to reduce or cease a service. This did not provide much time for consultation and engagement with local communities. Local members were alerted and consulted about the replacement option. With regard to the replacement option members were advised that the Council sought to meet ‘essential need’ as defined on Page 57 of the report and as such rarely would there be a like for like replacement;

 

iv)           The draft Passenger Transport Policy would be submitted to the Cabinet on 9 March 2018 and subject to its agreement would be consulted upon between March and June 2018. The outcome of the consultation would be reported to the Cabinet in the Autumn.

 

RESOLVED:

 

a)    That it be noted that there is no evidence that CBPs have achieved their original objective of making bus services more financially viable; and

 

b)    That the decision to extend all bus service contracts, including CBPs, pending a review against the new Passenger Transport Policy be supported.

 

57.

Date of next meeting.

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled to take place on Thursday 1 March 2018 at 2pm.

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting of the Committee would be held on Thursday 1 March 2018 at 2pm.