Agenda and draft minutes

Communities, Environment and Highways Select Committee - Tuesday, 14 June 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Surrey County Council, Woodhatch Place, 11 Cockshot Hill, Reigate, Surrey, RH2 8

Contact: Kunwar Khan, Scrutiny Officer  Email: kunwar.khan@surreycc.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

25/22

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS

    To report any apologies for absence and substitutions.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Apologies were received from Colin Cross, Helyn Clack substituted for Keith Witham and Jonathan Essex substituted for Catherine Baart.

     

26/22

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETINGS: 8 MARCH 2022 pdf icon PDF 226 KB

    To agree the minutes of the previous meeting of the Communities, Environment and Highways Select Committee as a true and accurate record of proceedings.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The minutes of the Communities, Environment and Highways Select Committee held on 8 March 2022 were formally agreed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.

     

27/22

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

    All Members present are required to declare, at this point in the meeting or

    as soon as possible thereafter:

     

    i. any disclosable pecuniary interests and / or;

     

    ii. other interests arising under the Code of Conduct in respect of any

    item(s) of business being considered at this meeting.

     

    NOTES:

     

    ·         Members are reminded that they must not participate in any item

    where they have a disclosable pecuniary interest;

     

    ·         as well as an interest of the Member, this includes any interest, of

    which the Member is aware, that relates to the Member’s spouse or

    civil partner (or any person with whom the Member is living as a

    spouse or civil partner); and

     

    ·         Members with a significant personal interest may participate in the

    discussion and vote on that matter unless that interest could be

    reasonably regarded as prejudicial.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cameron McIntosh declared an interest in Item 5, A Devolution Deal for Surrey, noting his employment with the Department for Levelling UpHousing and Communities (DLUHC) and left the meeting for this item.

     

28/22

QUESTIONS AND PETITIONS

    To receive any questions or petitions.

     

    The public retain their right to submit questions for written response, with such answers recorded in the minutes of the meeting; questioners may participate in meetings to ask a supplementary question. Petitioners may address the Committee on their petition for up to three minutes. Guidance will be made available to any member of the public wishing to speak at a meeting.

     

    Notes:

    1.    The deadline for Member’s questions is 12.00pm four working days before the meeting (8 June 2022).

     

    2.    The deadline for public questions is seven days before the meeting(7 June 2022)

     

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

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    None received.

29/22

A DEVOLUTION DEAL FOR SURREY pdf icon PDF 146 KB

    Purpose of report:

     

    To provide the Committee with an opportunity to engage with and contribute to the council’s approach to developing and securing a devolution deal for the county. This report and accompanying Annex 1 set out the context behind this work, some of the potential key areas of focus for a deal, and the council’s approach to developing the proposal collaboratively.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cameron McIntosh left the meeting at 10:07am

     

    Witnesses:

    Tim Oliver, Leader of the Council

    Rebecca Paul, Deputy Cabinet Member for Levelling Up

    Michael Coughlin, Executive Director Partnerships, Prosperity and Growth

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1. Vice-Chairman inquired if the devolution deal would provide Surrey County Council (SCC) any meaningful powers and whether any such deal would be fully funded to allow delivery. The Leader of the Council informed that a Level 2 deal would not guarantee any new or additional funding. Two aspects that might bring some funding within a Level 2 deal were around skills and adult learning – funding was currently provided through Local Enterprise Partnerships Scheme (LEPs). A Level 2 deal would provide the County Council the powers and responsibility to address the SCC’s key focus areas of growing a sustainable economy, tackling health inequality, enabling a greener future and empowering communities.

     

    1. A Member asked for clarity around the specific powers that would be devolved. The Leader of the Council said that potential devolved powers identified by the government had been set out in the ‘Devolution Deal for Surrey’ paper with areas for further devolution to be discussed more broadly with the districts and boroughs.  

     

    1. A Member noted that the government had confirmed there would be no financial assistance to authorities to offset the powers devolved. The Leader of the Council said that devolution of the LEPs and adult education functions could bring with them pre-existing funding already available to them, this would be the only additional funding available through a Level 2 deal.

     

    1. A Member queried if the SCC would submit a devolution bid if the districts and boroughs were not in agreement. The Leader of the Council noted that districts and boroughs had no right of veto, however following the positive engagement that had taken place following a programme of visits to various districts and boroughs to explain the deal, no opposition had been raised so far and the aim was to reach a unanimous approach.

     

    1. The Member asked if Surrey County Council expected to take over any of the Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF) and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding that were currently district funded sources. The Leader of the Council noted the SPF’s priority of supporting economic development and SCC needed to consider this within functional economic areas on a county wide level to achieve the greatest possible financial benefit. CIL funding was a matter for government to change or offer guidance on but the Leader of the Council noted the importance of using CIL to support the infrastructure and mitigate the impact of housing developments.

     

    1. A Member asked for clarification regarding the transfer of LEP, SPF and CIL funding and enquired what would happen if all the districts and boroughs voted against a county deal. The Leader of the Council explained that examples of pots of money that may be included in a county deal had been provided to districts and boroughs and would follow conversations between all three tiers of government  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29/22

30/22

ENVIRONMENT, TRANSPORT & INFRASTRUCTURE PERFORMANCE REVIEW (APRIL 2021 - MARCH 2022) pdf icon PDF 243 KB

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    Purpose of report:

     

    The purpose of this report is to provide the Communities, Environment & Highways Select Committee with performance information on the Environment, Transport & Infrastructure directorate, and respond to questions and feedback of the content therein.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

    Matt Furniss, Cabinet Member for Transport and Infrastructure

    Marissa Heath, Cabinet Member for Environment

    Katie Stewart, Executive Director, Environment, Transport and Infrastructure

    Natalie Fisken, Chief of Staff I Environment, Transport and Infrastructure

    Jo Diggens, Planning, Performance and Improvement Manager

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1. The Chairman thanked the officers for this important report. He noted the absence of a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for carriageways in either red or amber condition and asked why performance was not rated higher considering the additional capital expenditure given to highways. The Cabinet Member for Transport and Infrastructure explained that there was a backlog of £300 million and said that £40 million would need to be spent solely on roads to clear the backlog and maintain what has been achieved in recent years. The backlog was being actively addressed, and although the £50 million brought forward is dedicated to roads, the original highways funding included structures such as the drainage network and street columns in addition to roads and pavements. The Planning, Performance and Improvement Manager explained that the aim was to achieve a steady state and noted that the 35 per cent achieved was in line with the rest of the country.

     

    1. The Chairman asked why Surrey County Council was aiming for a steady state rather than improvement. The Cabinet Member for Transport & Infrastructure clarified that with the latest increases in capital funding being made available for highways, SCC was looking to improve.

     

    1. The Chairman asked if a limited addition of KPIs more specific to Surrey could be considered rather than relying on the national picture to reflect that Surrey County Council is achieving a steady state for roads and pavements. The Planning, Performance and Improvement Manager said that this could be broken down and there was potential for a target to be set to provide further information on how much of the road network is rated red.

     

    1. A Member said that in a recent meeting of the Greener Futures Reference Group, it was reported that targets to achieve the overall programme had an amber rating. The Member noted the detailed suite of KPIs for the Greener futures activity would not be available until early 2023 and asked if this reflected the urgency required by the climate emergency passed almost three years ago. The Chief of Staff, Environment, Transport and Infrastructure explained that since publication of the report, data had recently been superseded and Members that attended the recent Greener Future Member Reference Group would have seen more up to date 2030 target data which became available last week. These latest figures show that Surrey County Council's organisational emissions have reduced by 27 per cent since the original baseline year of 2019/2020 when the aim had been a 33 per cent reduction, and that did not mean that net zero would not be met by 2030 but a five to six per cent deviation was expected. The amber rating reflected that the programme was slightly behind the trajectory but remained achievable.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30/22

31/22

MINERALS & WASTE LOCAL PLAN pdf icon PDF 211 KB

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    Purpose of report:

     

    To update members about progress in preparing the Minerals and Waste Local Plan.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

    Matt Furniss, Cabinet Member for Transport & Infrastructure

    Katie Stewart, Executive Director, Environment, Transport and Infrastructure

    Lee Parker, Director of Planning, Infrastructure and Major Projects

    Caroline Smith, Planning Group Manager

    Dustin Lees, Minerals & Waste Policy Team Leader

     

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1. The Chairman commended the considerable effort made with regards to the consultation. He asked if the service was content with the response received and was it representative sample.  The Cabinet Member for Transport and Infrastructure said that he was satisfied with the feedback for this part of the long process. Stakeholders were not usually enthusiastic until the later stages of the process when locations were discussed and this was the expectation in this case. Themes emerging from the considerable work done by the team to engage hard to reach groups were consistent with general representational feedback. The Executive Director, Environment, Transport and Infrastructure said that recognition that however accessible a consultation, there were certain demographics that would remain unlikely to engage. The Directorate had embraced this and a small amount of spending had been put into the commissioned focus groups, which alongside the more traditional routes for consultation, would ensure that the Directorate is able to access a representative view of its work going forward – a hybrid approach to consultation that the Directorate is keen to develop further.

     

    1. A Member noted commentary received directly from residents who attended the Addlestone library session on the 4th of March 2022 said that “it was only held a matter of days before consultation phase one closed and left little time for residents to incorporate what they had learned from the session into their responses” The Member asked for assurances that more public consultations would be taken into account. The Cabinet Member for Transport and Infrastructure gave an assurance that this would be the case. 

     

    1. A Member noted that the regeneration bill references a minerals and waste plan for every local authority with responsibility for its delivery. Given that the next phase of public consultation for this preferred option was due to be considered and progressed in June 2023, a Member queried if there was a sense of urgency to be considered or was the 12-month delay as a result of what was included in the draft legislation acceptable. The Cabinet Member for Transport and Infrastructure explained that the 12-month period was to deliver the technical work necessary to prepare that draft plan for the preferred options and public consultation material.

     

    1. A Member noted that 2011 Minerals Plan currently in place was over 10 years old and when set against the revised national planning framework, was weakened every day. Several major planning applications involving minerals would be put at risk given that the new plan would not be implemented for at least two years. The Cabinet Member for Transport and Infrastructure accepted that the existing plan was out of date but confirmed that it was reviewed in 2014 and again in 2019 against soundness and conformity to the Mineral Plan  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31/22

32/22

RECOMMENDATIONS TRACKER AND FORWARD WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 94 KB

33/22

DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING: 6 OCTOBER 2022

    The next public meeting of the committee will be held on 6 October 2022.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Committee noted its next meeting would be held on 6 October 2022.