Venue: Committee Room 1, Council Offices, The Burys, Godalming. View directions
Contact: Kimberly Soane Democratic Services Officer
The Minutes of the meeting of the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee held on 17th June 2019 are attached, and Members are asked to confirm them as a correct record.
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 17th June 2019 were confirmed as a correct record of the meeting, and signed.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS
To receive apologies for absence and note substitutions.
Members who are unable to attend this meeting must submit apologies by the end of Monday 2nd September 2019 to enable a substitute to be arranged, if applicable.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors J Gray and R Reed.
No Councillors attended as substitutes.
DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS
To receive from Members declarations of interests in relation to any items included on the agenda for this meeting, in accordance with Waverley’s Code of Local Government.
No declarations of interests were declare prior to or at the meeting.
QUESTIONS BY MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
The Chairman to respond to any questions submitted by members of the public in accordance with Procedure Rule 10.
The deadline for submission of written questions for this meeting is 5pm on Monday 2nd September 2019.
No questions by members of the public had been submitted prior to the meeting.
QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS
The Chairman to respond to any questions received from Members in accordance with Procedure Rule 11.
The deadline for submission of written questions for this meeting is 5pm on Monday 2nd September 2019.
No questions from members were submitted prior to the meeting.
The Corporate Performance Report provides an analysis of the Council’s performance for the first quarter of 2019-20. The report, set out at Annexe 1, is being presented to each of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees for comment and any recommendations they may wish to make to senior management or the Executive.
It is recommended that the Overview & Scrutiny Committee considers the performance of the service areas under its remit as set out in Annexe 1 to the report and makes any recommendations to senior management or the Executive as appropriate.
The Committee received a report from Nora Copping on the areas of the Corporate Performance Report for Q1 2019-2020 (April-June 2019) relating to the committees remit.
Planning & Economic Development
The committee were advised there were only a few areas of concern within the report. KPI P3 (% of planning appeals allowed) was off target for the 4th quarter. This was an area of concern and the committee would be receiving a report at the November meeting on the impact of this and how it is going to be addressed.
The service plans were 90% achieving. The majority of plans off track related to the implementation of the new IT system.
It was highlighted that more detail had been included this quarter on the complaints missed. 3 of the 18 level 1 complaints received were missed this quarter and this was due to unplanned absences.
There was an adverse variance in the financial forecast was due to a reduction in planning application fees for major applications. This would be closely monitored.
Issues raised by the members:
· It was agreed that more needed to be done on planning appeals. It was felt the delay of LP2 was not helping with this.
· Concern was raised regarding the 9 month delay in implementing the new IT system. ( P6.1 of Service Plan)
· It was felt that although the report highlighted quantities that quality was not highlighted and this was just as important.
The committee noted that although KPI E1 was still out of target that the last 5 quarters the figures had decreased significantly which was a vast improvement on the reject rates of recycled materials.
EN191 had shown excellent progress. It was noted there was a typographical error on the figures which should have been displayed as kg and not %. This would be amended. (Action)
The Chair thanked Nora for her report.
· LP2 to be processed as a matter of urgency to assist with the improvement of KPI P3 – Number of planning appeals allowed.
· Quality of performance as well as quantity should be highlighted more in these reports.
The purpose of this report is to provide an overview on article 4 directions. It includes background information on permitted development rights; the process for removing permitted development rights through article 4 directions; the pilot article 4 direction in Beacon Hill and the further requests that have been made by town and parish councils.
The committee received an overview on article 4 directions. Graham Parrott and Matthew Ellis gave background information on permitted development rights and the process of removing permitted development rights through article 4 directions. It was highlighted that article 4 directions were requested where there was concern regarding the number of commercial properties which are being lost to housing.
It was explained that although there was a key government policy to boost residential properties this needed to be balanced by the effect the loss of commercial property could have on an area.
Graham highlighted the pilot scheme in Beacon Hill and advised that we were still awaiting the effects of this. Planning had had active requests from both Haslemere TC and Godalming for article 4 directions. It was emphasised that even if there is an article 4 direction in force in an area that applications for development would still be considered on a case by case basis.
Issues raised by the committee:
· There is a general fear regarding what is happening with certain settlements.
· Often changes of use from commercial to residential go hand in hand with lack of parking in that area.
· It was asked if there were any performance standards that went along with permitted development. Graham advised that there were still guidelines/provisions that had to be met.
· Graham was asked to clarify if conservation areas could still have permitted development. They were advised that change of use would not be allowed.
· The developments at Cattershall Lane were raised as an example of change of use. The committee were advised this area was targeted as there were good quality buildings in dis-use. WBC had made representation against these developments but it was allowed.
· The committee asked for clarification on the scope of permitted development rights.
Matthew Ellis advised that guidance on when permission is required could be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/when-is-permission-required. The section on Article 4 Directions is from papragraph 36.
The chair thanked Graham and Matt for their report.
To receive a report on the scope for the Greenspace Strategy and provide input into the direction and content of the strategy.
It is recommended that the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee considers the setting up of an Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee sub-group to work with officers and the Portfolio Holder to define the scope of a Green Spaces Strategy.
The committee NOTED the report on the scope for the Green Space Strategy. Matt Lank outlined the intention to produce a strategy and how this would benefit the council and its residents.
The committee were advised that the plan was to develop a working group to set out the scope of the strategy.
Councillors Brian Edmonds, Martin D’Arcy, Michaela Martin and Liz Townsend agreed to be the representatives on the working group.
The committee asked for a timeline for the strategy. Matt advised that this depended upon the scope that was developed
To present the 2019 Air Quality Annual Status Report (ASR), highlight some of the actions in response to it and seek comments / recommendations from the Committee.
It is recommended that:
1. Members receive the report, welcome the progress in improving the accuracy, openness and transparency of Waverley’s air quality monitoring and the proposals for future activity to contribute to the improvement of air quality in the borough.
2. Members make comments and recommendations to the Executive as appropriate;
3. Progress with the EV charging project and the measures being taken to ensure consistency of approach are welcomed; and,
4. Comments and recommendations on the proposed membership of the AQSG and FAQWG are made to the Executive as appropriate.
Richard Homewood outlined the 2019 Air Quality Annual Status Report which was submitted to DEFRA at the end of June.
· This was the first report for 3 years. Waverley has had a turbulent journey since 2016 but a number of measures had been implemented since then to ensure Waverleys air quality measurements are robust and correct.
· Since 2016 two working groups had been established. The Air Quality Steering Group, to monitor and steer the air quality management across the borough and the Farnham Air Quality Working Group focussing on Farnam specifically.
· An external company has been engaged to monitor the diffusion tubes within the borough and submit the readings.
· The diffusion tube network has been reviewed to ensure they are still monitoring the correct areas.
· Monitoring was now more robust so we are confident of the quality of our data now.
· Subject to the outcome of further monitoring consideration may need to be given to adjusting the boundaries of the Farnham AQMA or declaring a separate AQMA around Station Hill as it has been identified as a hotspot due to the increase in train arrivals and departures causing additional traffic stopping at the level crossing.
· In contrast the AQMA in Godalming may be deregistered as levels have improved considerably in this area.
Richard highlighted the local initiatives which are being carried out to promote alternative transport opportunities.
· Park and Stride in Farnham to encourage motorists to park out of town and ‘stride’ in.
· Schools Project which includes air quality education, anti-idling outside schools and promoting walking and cycling.
· Electric Vehicle (EV) charging – encouraging residents to look at reducing the impact of vehicle emissions by way of ensuring vehicles are well maintained, limit idling and when option arises to change the vehicle to consider low and ultra-low emission vehicles such as electric options. There encouraging developers to install EVP’s and to procure a contract to install EPV’s in our busiest car parks.
The committee were also advised that Waverley are jointly funding an exercise around PM 2.5 (particulate matter).
The proposed membership for the AQSG and FAQWG were outlined. It was questioned why there were two members from the Farnham Society proposed but no other community groups.
· Are two automated air quality analysers enough within the borough? Committee welcome the PM 2.5 exercise but asked why we do not measure more particulate matter?
Yes it is believed so as the diffusion tubes monitor the other areas and if the readings go above 40µg/m3 regularly then continuous monitoring would be considered in those areas.
· Are we discussing with SE Trains ways to better synchronise train arrivals and departures to cut down on level crossing closures and thus length of time cars are idling in Station Hill?
Yes discussions are taking place with SE trains to look at ways to address the issue.
· Who decided on the positons of the diffusion tubes? Are there any plans to put tubes near schools to monitor?
When the AQMA’s ... view the full minutes text for item 22.
To report on the proposed introduction of a Public Space Protection Order in relation to dog controls and the proposed timetable for progressing this work.
That the committee makes comments and recommendations to the Executive as considered appropriate.
Richard Homewood outlined the report proposing the introduction of a Public Space Protection Order in relation to dog controls. It was explained that this follows on from the PSPO in relation to dog fouling which took effect on 1 January 2019.
The committee was advised the PSPO was aimed at irresponsible dog owners and not there to penalise responsible dog ownership.
The initial scope of the PSPO was to look at 3 areas:
· Dog fouling;
· Dogs on leads; and
· No of dogs one person may be in control of in a public place at one time.
Responses were favourable with regard to dog fouling but were very mixed for the dog controls. It was therefore decided to separate the two elements. Further analysis of the responses regarding dog control showed a lot of opposition regarding numbers one person could have in their control at one time, therefore it was decided to once again revise the proposals and focus on Dogs on leads.
Richard explained that the proposals do not represent a blanket requirement to keep dogs on leads everywhere in the borough. For the majority of the borough the only requirement is to put a dog on a lead if requested by an authorised officer. In some areas the requirement will be for dogs to be on leads at all times and in areas such as play areas and cemeteries dogs will be excluded.
· Was consideration given to areas with ground nesting birds? Could have missed a chance.
Did consider seasonal bans in certain areas but felt it would be difficult to manage. Owners could still be ordered by an officer to put dogs on leads if they are seen to be out of control and likely to disturb ground nesting birds.
· Often see dogs chasing ducks. Owners respond with aggression when challenged.
As above difficult to control but can be ordered to put dog on lead if officer feels it is out of control.
The committee welcomed the proposal for the introduction of a Public Space Protection Order in relation to dog controls.
BUDGET STRATEGY WORKING GROUP UPDATE
To receive a verbal update on the work of the Budget Strategy Working Group.
Councillor Liz Townsend, representative on the Budget Strategy Working Group updated the committee on the work carried out so far by the BSWG.
The committee were advised that:
· The working group had met three times so far this year.
· They were looking at driving the mid-term project plans to address any shortfalls.
· The group were currently focussing on work stream 2 relating to understanding public priorities. This involved carrying out a questionnaire to a target group.
· The working group are meeting with HoS to look at potential efficiency savings in each service area.
· It was hoped the group would be ready to make recommendations by Q4.
The chair thanked Cllr Townsend for her update and the BSWG for their work.
The Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee, along with the O&S Coordinating Board, is responsible for managing the Committee’s work programme.
The current work programme (attached) includes items agreed at the O&S Coordinating Board and takes account of items identified on the latest Executive Forward Programme (Annexe 2) as due to come forward for decision.
Members are invited to consider their work programme and make any comments and/or amendments they consider necessary, including suggestions for any additional topics that the Committee may wish to add to its work programme.
The committee NOTED the current work programme and items that were scheduled for the next meeting in November.
These were highlighted as:
· Corporate Performance Report Q2
· Planning Appeals
· Budget Strategy Working Group Update
· Draft Car Parking Review
· Domiciliary Care Food Provision (Food Hygiene Checks)
The committee were keen to look at Electric Vehicle Strategy, Richard Homewood advised that this would be fed into the car parking strategy as well as the Climate Emergency Plan so should be drafted by Novembers meeting.
The chair advised that she wanted the Environment O&S to be assessing executive and planning decisions as to how they impact the environment whether it be a positive impact or adverse.
Graham Parrott advised that all planning reports should now have environmental implications written into it.
The scrutiny officer suggested members consider looking at specific ‘themes’ at future meetings to focus attention on one specific area.
EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC
To consider, if necessary, the following recommendation on the motion of the Chairman:
That pursuant to Procedure Rule 20 and in accordance with Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items on the grounds that it is likely in view of the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the public were present during the items there would be disclosure to them of exempt information (as defined by Section 100I of the Act) to be identified at the meeting.
ANY ISSUES TO BE CONSIDERED IN EXEMPT SESSION
To consider any matters relating to aspects of any reports on this agenda which it is felt need to be considered in Exempt session.
There were no issues to be considered in exempt session.