Agenda and minutes

Economic Prosperity, Environment and Highways Board
Thursday, 21 April 2016 10.30 am

Venue: Ashcombe, County Hall, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, KT1 2DN

Contact: Huma Younis or Rianna Hanford, Room 122, County Hall, Kingston upon Thames 

Items
No. Item

1/16

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS

2/16

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING: 10 March 2016 pdf icon PDF 2 MB

3/16

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

    To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests from Members in respect of any item to be considered at the meeting.

     

    Notes:

    ·         In line with the Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012, declarations may relate to the interest of the member, or the member’s spouse or civil partner, or a person with whom the member is living as if they were civil partners and the member is aware they have the interest.

    ·         Members need only disclose interests not currently listed on the Register of disclosable Pecuniary Interest.

    ·         Members must notify the Monitoring Officer of any interests disclosed at the meeting so they may be added to the Register.

    ·         Members are reminded that they must not participate in any item where they have a disclosable pecuniary interest.

    Minutes:

    There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests.

     

4/16

QUESTIONS AND PETITIONS

    To receive any questions or petitions.

     

    Notes:

     

    ·         The deadline for Member’s questions is 12.00pm four working days before the meeting (15 April 2016).

     

    ·         The deadline for public questions is seven days before the meeting (14 April 2016).

     

    ·         The deadline for petitions was 14 days before the meeting, and no petitions have been received.

     

    Minutes:

    There were no questions or petitions.

     

5/16

RESPONSES FROM THE CABINET TO ISSUES REFERRED BY THE BOARD pdf icon PDF 84 KB

    A response is included from the Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning following recommendations made by the Board to Cabinet on 22 March 2016.

    Minutes:

    Key points raised during the discussions:

     

    1.    The Board agreed that the referral made by the Board to Cabinet had been sufficiently covered by the debate at the call-in meeting of 14 April 2016 although there were still concerns and future scrutiny needed to be agreed.

     

    2.    The Cabinet Member advised the Board that further scrutiny would be welcomed and stated that the Board had a Countryside Member Reference Group whose terms of reference covered the scrutiny of the management of the county councils countryside estate.

     

6/16

RECOMMENDATIONS TRACKER AND FORWARD WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 55 KB

    The board is asked to monitor progress on the implementation of recommendations from previous meetings and to review its forward work programme.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Key points raised during the discussions:

     

    1.    The Chairman advised the Board that all of the existing recommendations on the tracker had been completed.

     

    2.    The Board discussed potential future items for their forward work programme through the Cabinet Forward Work Plan. It was decided that Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Transport item to be considered at Cabinet would be better scrutinised by the Education and Skills Board with input from this Board as appropriate.

     

    3.    The Chairman noted a number of upcoming items on the Cabinet’s forward plan that the Board had scheduled for scrutiny. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman would continue to monitor the Cabinet’s plan and bring items to the Board’s attention. Regarding the Surrey Waste Plan, the Cabinet Member stated that he would speak to the Chairman about this item. 

     

    4.    It was suggested and agreed that an item on Community Recycling Centres (CRC) be added to the forward work programme and that the Cabinet Member’s report contain a breakdown of all the recyclables the CRCs processed and what happened to the resulting materials.

     

    5.    It was further added that an item would be added to the forward work programme around the impact of changes made to CRC’s. The Cabinet Member stated that charges had not yet been applied but would be starting later in the year.

     

    Actions:

     

    ·         For an item to be added to the Board’s forward work programme on items collected at CRC’s and the process on what happens next.

     

7/16

UPDATES FROM MEMBER REFERENCE GROUPS AND TASK GROUPS

    To receive a verbal update from the Board’s Task and Member Reference Groups.

    Minutes:

    Key points raised during the discussions:

     

    1.    The Chairman of the Countryside Member Reference Group (MRG) reported that there was nothing further from the group following the recent call-in meeting.

     

    2.    The Chairman of the Customer Service Excellence MRG explained that the customer service excellence standard had been renewed and that the group would be  undertaking a mystery shopper exercise.

     

    3.    The Performance and Finance sub group would next meet in July to review quarter one financial results. Highways for the Future was meeting on a regular basis, the Local Transport Review was on today’s agenda and the Winter maintenance task group would meet in July and had concerns with the saving target set for 2016/17. The Chairman of this group stated that he would review the Cabinet paper on salt depot investment and report back to the Board on any key concerns.

     

8/16

SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL LOCAL TRANSPORT REVIEW pdf icon PDF 204 KB

    Purpose of the report: To enable scrutiny of the proposed changes to local bus services in Surrey to meet the required savings target. These proposals are due to be presented to Cabinet on 24 May 2016.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

     

    Paul Millin, Travel and Transport Group Manager

    Laurie James, Bus Service Planning Team Manager

    Valerie Sexton, Senior Transport Officer Planning

    Mike Goodman, Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning

     

    Key points raised during the discussions:

     

    1.    The Chairman explained that Annex B, provided to Members for the duration of the item, was confidential as it related to commercial contracts and that any discussion of its contents would require the meeting to be placed into part 2 conditions (by virtue of paragraph(s) 3 of Part 1 of schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972)..

     

    2.    The Travel and Transport Group Manager provided an introduction to the report outlining the £2m savings target the service had to achieve. A consultation had been held with residents between January and March which received 2,677 responses to shape the options for future provision. The Local Transport Review MRG had also given valuable feedback during this process.

     

    3.    The Board sought reassurances that there would be sufficient capacity to cope with growing numbers of children and young people using buses to travel to school. The Board also enquired how officers managed the issue of bus connections. The Travel and Transport Group Manager confirmed that peak movements were considered and they work with schools directly where possible but that September would be the real test. The Bus Service Planning Team Manager acknowledged the difficulty of managing connections but was clear that parents do take this into consideration when sending their children to school.

     

    4.    Officers were asked about the nature of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project and whether they had factored in increased use of bus services in their proposals for Cabinet. Members were informed that the first year of the three year project had been about understanding why people don’t use buses before the development of options for change in the second year. The Travel and Transport Group Manager agreed to bring the outcomes of the project to the Board for review at a future meeting.

     

    5.    The Board asked whether officers had expectations of future patronage of bus services. Members were informed that through negotiations with service providers the council hoped to keep subsidised routes near to current levels and would seek to encourage growth in commercial routes and in areas of demographic growth.

     

    6.    The Board highlighted the survey results and in particular the importance of accessing medical appointments to residents. Officers explained that this was mostly due to the high proportion of older respondents and that the council listened to these views and this was reflected in the revised options post-consultation and now 72 people would be adversely affected rather than 160.

     

    7.    Members asked officers about sanctions when services were not reliable and the availability of real time information. The Bus Service Planning Team Manager advised that on commercial routes reliability was the responsibility of other national statutory bodies although the council could offer support to alleviate issues. On council contracted routes penalties were available but it was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8/16

9/16

BASINGSTOKE CANAL UPDATE REPORT pdf icon PDF 103 KB

    Purpose of the report:  To update members on progress with the Basingstoke Canal and to agree next steps going forward.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

     

    Ian Boast, Assistant Director for Environment

    Mike Goodman, Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning

     

    Key points raised during the discussions:

     

    1.    The Assistant Director informed the Board that developments around the Canal had taken place with Hampshire and a position around commercial negotiation was being reached.

     

    2.    Clarification was sought by the Board on the £349m value placed on the Canal in the report. The Assistant Director stated that the report was not stating that the Canal itself could be sold for this figure instead it referred to the wider benefits the existence of the Canal brought to the community and environment alongside its social, health and wellbeing contributions.

     

    3.    The Board asked if companies had been approached to run the canal as an estate. The Assistant Director explained that the land based associations for development were additional to the operational aspects of the canal that were being considered. The Chairman queried whether the property aspects could be considered when the Task Group met with officers in June. The Assistant Director confirmed that the property team would be available to discuss this further.

     

    Cllr Michael Sydney was invited to participate in the remainder of this item.

     

    4.    The Board queried why options one and two in the report had not been taken forward. The Assistant Director advised that the evidence to support these options was not available but they had been explored and discounted as unviable options. Evidence could be made available to support these decisions. The other options that relate to potential opportunities of the surrounding land have not been discounted as evidenced by the £349m referenced in the report. The Board felt that the county council should take a more commercial approach to the future options for the canal and the Chairman advised Members that he had written to the Leader on the wider topic of income generation.

     

    Recommendations:

     

    The board noted the update report.

     

    Actions:

     

    ·         For a meeting of the Basingstoke Canal Task Group to be arranged for June to consider options for the future management of the Basingstoke Canal.

     

10/16

UPDATE ON THE SUPERFAST SURREY PROGRAMME PUBLIC CONSULTATION pdf icon PDF 178 KB

    Purpose of the report: To providean update to the Board on the status of the Open Market Review (OMR) Public Consultation.

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

     

    Graham Cook, Programme Manager for Superfast Surrey

     

    Key points raised during the discussions:

     

    1.    The Programme Manager updated the Board on the status of the Open Market Review public consultation. Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) had approved for Surrey to proceed with its OMR Public Consultation the consultation would be published on 25 May and run for one month. The consultation would focus on responses from areas in the county graded ‘white’ i.e. internet speeds of less than 30 mbps and also less than 15 mbps to identify areas of greatest need.

     

    2.    The council would contact hundreds of stakeholders, including Members of the council, to encourage responses to the consultation. Members questioned the efficacy of such a plan given the connectivity problems experienced in these areas. The Programme Manager stated that the full consultation document was over 600 pages long, preventing the production of multiple hard copies for circulation. He assured the Board that the programme team would provide assistance to residents unable to view the document on line as necessary and that residents are able to respond in writing should they wish to do so.

     

    3.    The Programme Manager further clarified that residents and businesses need only respond to the consultation if they believed that the Superfast Surrey team had incorrectly represented the availability of broadband services in their area as officers were interested in the disparity between service provider claims and customer reality. It was added that consultation emails would be sent to all residents and business  that had contacted Superfast Surrey regarding poor internet connections.

     

    4.    Regarding the next steps in the process the Programme Manager explained that the team would analyse the response to the consultation challenging the internet service providers coverage claims on an evidence basis where appropriate. Superfast Surrey would approach BDUK to agree the area for state intervention and once agreed BT would be tasked to model solutions.

     

    Nikki Barton left the meeting at 12:29

     

    5.    The officer reiterated that the consultation related to the availability of infrastructure in those areas not the service that individuals had paid for.

     

    6.    The Board queried whether Surrey residents with poor internet who live in areas where they were served by infrastructure outside the county would be eligible for intervention. The Programme Manager remarked that in theory these individuals may be eligible for intervention but there would be considerations about how to deploy services and that the opportunity of re-parenting services in these areas was more likely in 2016 than in the past.

     

    Recommendations:

     

    The board noted the update report.

     

    Actions:

     

    None.

     

11/16

DATE OF NEXT MEETING: 9 June 2016