Agenda and draft minutes

Health and Environment Policy Committee
Tuesday, 9th July, 2019 6.30 pm

Venue: Walton Suite, Guildhall, Winchester

Contact: Claire Buchanan, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 01962 848 438 Email: cbuchanan@winchester.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Chairperson's Announcements

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed all those present to the first meeting of the new Health and Environment Policy Committee.

 

2.

Appointment of Vice-Chairperson for Municipal Year 2019/20

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

            That Councillor Laming be appointed Vice Chairperson of the Committee for the 2019/20 Municipal Year.

 

3.

To note the date and time of future meetings of the Committee

·         Tuesday 9 July 2019

·         Wednesday 9 October 2019

·         Tuesday 10 December 2019

·         Wednesday 4 March 2020

 

Meetings commence at 6.30pm unless otherwise stated.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

            That the timetable of meetings for 2019/20 be agreed, as set out on the agenda.

 

4.

Public Participation

To receive and note questions asked and statements made from members of the public on matters which fall within the remit of the Committee.

Minutes:

Councillor Power made the following comments regarding reports on the agenda for consideration:

·         The Parking Strategy (Report HEP2 refers) should increase its emphasis on areas outside of Winchester city centre, particularly the market towns.  In particular, a strategy was required for New Alresford;

·         She supported the recommendation in CAB3173, but emphasised that improved enforcement of on-street parking was essential in market towns.  She queried whether it was possible to retain free on-street parking and cover the costs of enforcement?

 

The Chair thanked Councillor Power for these comments which would be considered further under the appropriate agenda items.

 

Ian Tait raised a number of comments as summarised below:

·         Questions regarding the Councillor Prince’s recent statement regarding the review of the new Leisure Centre;

·         With regard to the Car Parking Strategy, concern that the outer close of the Cathedral was being widely used for car parking.  Whilst this was appropriate for visitors and Cathedral workers with disabilities, the perception was that this facility was being used by many more people, impacting on the historic setting;

·         Welcome proposed improvements to the pre-application advice service as he considered the existing offer to be inadequate.  In addition, concerns regarding lack of representation of the Highways Team at Planning Committee.

 

The Chair noted that the first point was not within the remit of this Committee but she would forward to the appropriate Cabinet Member.  Other comments would be considered further under the relevant agenda items.

 

5.

Environmental Services Contract - Procurement Process Update - Presentation pdf icon PDF 563 KB

Minutes:

The Strategic Director and the Cabinet Member for Environment gave a presentation updating Members on progress towards the new environmental services contract.  The presentation was available on the Council’s website.

 

The Cabinet Member for Environment requested the Committee’s views on the following:

·         The proposal to consider the collection of food waste;

·         The option to charge for garden waste collection (and whether such a charge could be utilised to offset the cost of collecting food waste).

 

The Strategic Director and Cabinet Member responded to Members’ questions and comments regarding the following:

 

·         The practicality of the glass collection containers (in particular, manoeuvrability when full).  Take up or kerbside glass collection was not compulsory and assisted collections could be provided to those in need;

·         If charges were introduced for garden waste, a 240 litre wheelie bin could be provided for collection purposes to replace the smaller capacity garden waste bags currently provided.  However, bins could not be provided if no charge was introduced;

·         Some concern that introducing charges for garden waste could lead to an increase in fly-tipping.  The Committee requested further information from other local authorities that had introduced charges;

·         Some concern regarding the practicalities of accommodating the number of different waste collection bins within the boundaries of a property with limited outside space.  It was noted that the Government might require further separation of recyclable goods in the future which would have a further impact;

·         A comment that anaerobic digesters produce additional methane but this could be utilised by a CHP system.  The location of digesters had proved controversial in the past.

·         Once further information on the cost of food waste collection was available, public consultation on its introduction could be considered. 

·         Further discussions would take place with the County Council regarding options for the disposal of food waste;

·         Some concern regarding the proposal to cease distribution of printed calendars.

·         The contract was for an initial 8 year period with an option for an 8 year extension.  It was anticipated electric vehicle technology could be more readily available within 8 years and the contract would not preclude their introduction earlier.

·         The new contract would include robust performance measures.  The importance of working with the contractor was also emphasised and the client team returning to the Council would assist with this.

 

In general, Members considered that more information was required on the potential cost of food waste collection before the Committee could indicate whether to support it or not.  With regard to charging for garden waste, it was recognised that the majority of other local authorities did charge, but further information was requested on the possible impact on fly-tipping before a decision was made.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the presentation be noted and the Cabinet Member for Environment have regard to the comments outlined above.

 

6.

Car Parking Strategy (HEP002) and presentation pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The meeting received a presentation from the Head of Programme and Cabinet Member for Environment on the developing Car Parking Strategy.  The presentation was available on the Council’s website.

 

At the invitation of the Chair, Councillor Achwal addressed the Committee and in summary welcomed the report and the proposals to consider the whole district.  She highlighted the particularly difficulties experienced in Whiteley by the large numbers of vehicle movements each day (estimated to be approximately 48,000) and suggested that a new park and ride facility be provided at Junction 9 of the M27.

 

The Head of Programme, Strategic Director: Services and Cabinet Member for Environment responded to Members questions and comments regarding the following:

 

·         Possible increase in central car park pricing structure and possible introduction of Sunday and/or evening car parking charges to further encourage use of

park and ride and to provide funds to invest in improvements

·         ; 

·         Regard would be had to the impact of such a proposal on all stakeholders, including businesses;

·         Requirement to have regard to the impact of city centre residents who use car parks as limited on-street residents’ parking available;

·         The requirement for movement strategies for market towns such as New Alresford, Bishops Waltham, Whiteley and Wickham.  This should include consideration of improved parking enforcement and management;

·         The importance of public transport, in particular bus travel.  It was noted that the County Council had also declared a climate emergency and Officers hoped to work further with them regarding bus services.

·         A travel plan for the new Leisure Centre would be developed;

·         It was suggested that the Strategy should be widened to include more far-reaching proposals.  Examples given included congestion charges, workplace parking  levy and improving air quality, particularly around schools.

·         An update report on an electric vehicle strategy would be provided later in the year which would include consideration of charging point installations.

·         “Park and Walk” or “Park and Cycle” routes would be encouraged and the best method of publicising was being considered.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the content of the report and presentation be noted and the Cabinet Member for Environment have regard to the comments outlined above.

 

7.

The future of the Traffic Management and Civil Parking Enforcement Agency Agreements (CAB3173) pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Minutes:

The Strategic Director: Services (Interim), Corporate Head of Regulatory and Cabinet Member for Environment provided responses to questions raised by Members in respect of:

 

·          The estimated deficit for the on-street parking account summarised in the report was based on high level assessment.  Further detailed analysis of the figures (costs and income), including apportionment between on-street and off-street parking activities, would be undertaken to inform the report to be provided to the County Council in order to ensure the figures are accurate;

·         The desire to improvement  the enforcement of parking (in both market towns and some residents’ parking areas) was understood, noting that parking enforcement should be cost neutral;

·         The intention of the County Council to introduce more uniformity of charges across the County including residents ‘permits and on-street charges;

·         The County Council will require the service to recover all its costs (cost neutral).  These are costs incurred by both the City Council and County Council.  Any shortfall would be met by the City Council and surplus shared equally between the two authorities.

·         Further analysis would be undertaken into whether the proposed rise of the cost of the first residents’ parking permit to £50 would offset the current deficit.

·         The choice available to the Council was, in essence, whether to enter into a new agency agreement with the County Council or to hand back control of this service to them.  Changes planned by the County Council would take place if the service was delivered by them.  Hampshire required a decision by the end of July 2019.

 

During debate, some Members expressed concern about the lack of clarity regarding the financial information available.  However, there was general support for the Council entering into new agency agreements with the County Council in order to retain a greater level of control over the service.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the following recommendations to Cabinet be supported:

 

1.         That the City Council enters into new agency agreements with Hampshire County Council in relation to the delivery of traffic management and on-street civil parking enforcement with effect from April 2020.

 

2.         That the Strategic Director: Services be delegated authority to finalise and enter into the agency agreement with Hampshire County Council in relation to the delivery of traffic management and on-street civil parking enforcement with effect from April 2020.

 

8.

Planning Pre-application Advice (HEP003) pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Minutes:

The Service Lead: Built Environment and Cabinet Member for Built Environment and Wellbeing provided responses to questions raised by Members in respect of:

·         Noting that it was critical to change the current perception of pre-application advice; 

·         The new Strategy had been formulated following engagement with customers and agents;

·         It would be publicised on the Council’s website and through other means, as appropriate, including an Agents’ Forum;

·         Further consideration would be given to the possibility of involving ward councillors in pre-application discussions, having regard to the issues of commercial confidentiality sometimes involved.

 

In general, Members welcomed the proposals and thanked the Officers involved in its formulation.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Strategy set out in the report be endorsed, to adopt a new customer focussed pre-application charging service based on the purpose, principle and charging structure set out within the report

9.

Health & Environment Policy Committee Work Programme for 2019/20 (HEP001) pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Built Environment and Wellbeing noted the following additional items for a future Committee:

·         Enforcement Policy;

·         Future arrangements for Planning Committee (following evening meeting experiment).

 

RESOLVED:

 

That subject to the inclusion of the above, the Work Programme for 2019/20 be approved.

 

 

Health and Environment Policy Committee on Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 6.30 pm{sidenav}{content}