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Disclosures of Interest and Whipping Declarations
In accordance with the Council's Code of Conduct, Councillors of the Council are reminded that it is a requirement to declare interests where appropriate.
Councillors must also declare if they are subject to their party group whip in relation to any items under consideration.
The following disclosures were made:
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 3 February 2020.
The minutes of the meeting of the Commission held on 3 February 2020 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
Public Question Time
To answer any questions or hear brief statements from the public which are relevant to the items on this agenda. The period will end after 15 minutes or later at the Chair’s discretion.
No questions from the public were asked.
Councillor Lanzer left the room prior to the next item and took no part in the discussion.
To consider report PES/338 of the Head of Economy and Planning.
This report will be included in a supplementary agenda as agreed in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair.
The Commission considered report PES/338 of the Head Economy and Planning. The report presented the principles and the design for the Three Bridges Station Improvement Scheme as set out within the Three Bridges Station Improvement Scheme Brochure, except in relation to the highways aspect of the scheme, in particular the proposed “No Right Hand Turn” out of the station, which was the responsibility of West Sussex County Council as the Highway Authority to determine. The report requested that West Sussex County Council, as the Highway Authority, makes a clear public decision over ‘the right hand turn out of Three Bridges station’, by 1 July 2020.
In accordance with the above being resolved, the report further requested the approval of further Section 106 funding and delegations dependent on the outcome
The focus of the debate would be on the evidence Cabinet would be considering, which included:
· the outcome of three separate public consultation exercises undertaken on the Three Bridges Station improvement scheme,
· the Petition signed by over a 1000 individuals entitled “No Right Turn - Three Bridges Station Objection’ and presented to and debated by Full Council on 26th February 2020
· the request contained within the Notice of Motion approved by Full Council at its meeting held on 26 February 2020
· all other forecast impacts associated with the Three Bridges Station Improvement Scheme proposals, as detailed within report.
During the discussion with the Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development, Head of Economy and Planning and the Station Programme Manager, Members made the following comments:
· Recognition that the report included recommendations following the debate at Full Council on 26 February 2020.
· There was a need to ensure the traffic flow movements were not impinged by the station forecourt improvements, particularly along Hazelwick Avenue East and Hazelwick Avenue.
· Clarification was sought and provided over the Section 106 funding as these contributions had been collected specifically for Three Bridges Railway Station improvements from the Forge Wood development.
· Support for the partnership working within the project was welcomed, along with the overall benefits the scheme would provide to the station improvement. It was commented that it would be disappointing if the scheme was blemished by one aspect being the “No Right Hand Turn”. It would be important to find a compromise with regards to this aspect which would benefit all involved.
· It was noted that as part of the recommendations, the Cabinet would be requesting that WSCC take the necessary action to identify a viable alternative option for retaining the right hand turn as the Highways Authority by 1 July 2020.
· It was noted that the recommendations were detailed as it was necessary to enable delivery within a timely framework.
· It was requested that Members be kept up to date as to progress and decisions on the discussions with WSCC over the “No Right Hand Turn”.
· The Commission paid tribute to the officers, in particular the Station Programme Manager, for all their hard work, dedication and partnership work they had undertaken in relation ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
Councillor Lanzer re-entered the room.
To consider report PES/341 of the Head of Economy and Planning.
The Commission considered report PES/341 of the Head of Economy and Planning.
The ‘New Directions for Crawley’ document provided issues and options for the Crawley Transport Strategy. It set out a vision for future transport infrastructure and services in Crawley whilst also presenting an outline of proposals for the first phase of delivery towards that vision.
During the discussion the following comments were made:
· There was recognition that the document assisted in highlighting Crawley’s priorities which may assist when completing funding applications, particularly through the Crawley Growth Programme (CGP).
· Transport and access had been developed around the town at a time when car ownership was much lower. As the population and the business district grew, more road space had been provided to try to keep pace with the growth.
· Support for the increase in cycling and walking throughout the town, together with trials of pure electric buses, the shift towards full zero emissions bus fleet powered by clean hydrogen or installation of solar farms.
· Air quality was raised as a concern and it was noted that the air quality management zone (AQMA) was potentially to be extended from Hazelwick roundabout towards Three Bridges.
· Acknowledgement that it was an ambitious document and the collaborative partnership approaches with various organisations and groups was welcomed. Particularly given the size of the challenge, which included cost and behaviour change. There may be a need to incentivise the modal shift for example Metrobus trial travel and promote the advantages, making the change easily accessible, free wi-fi on buses and Superhubs.
· It was recognised that there was need to transform transport and access throughout the town, whilst reducing carbon emissions, improving safety, air quality and reducing congestion, it was apparent that in reality public transport will not be appropriate for all residents.
· WSCC had defined a transport strategy and was responding to increased use and developing infrastructure. There was been an increase in the number of electric vehicle charging points following the increase in usage. However it was acknowledged that installation was going to challenging at some locations for residents.
· Concern was expressed that the further opportunities to work with neighbourhood communities would need to involve active listening and community engagement.
The Cabinet is advised that the Commission agreed to support the report and requested the comments discussed be referred to the Cabinet.
A scrutiny suggestion has been received for the following topic:
· Council-Owned Neighbourhood Parade Policy
Details are attached for considered by the Commission.
In accordance with the Local Government and Housing Act 1989, the Commission is recommended to consider the establishment of future Scrutiny Panels, and if supported, to subsequently seek nominations (via Democratic Services) for the membership for these Panels, based in accordance with political proportionality and allow the Chair of each Panel to confirm the terms of reference for their review.
The careful selection and prioritisation of review work is essential if the scrutiny function is to be successful, achieve added value and retain credibility. The work programme should also be realistic, flexible and retain spare capacity so that additional matters raised during the year can be addressed.
A Scrutiny Suggestion had been received covering ’Council-owned neighbourhood parades’ from Councillor Lanzer.
The proposed scope was to include the important revenue stream derived from the 11 parades and also their value as community assets in terms of providing local shopping facilities for the neighbourhoods and beyond. The current neighbourhood parade policy was adopted in May 2004 when it was decided to adopt a more commercial approach. With this policy being nearly 16 years old, there was an opportunity to examine its effectiveness over a considerable period of time and the influence that it has had on meeting the range of objectives associated with the neighbourhood parades.
The desired outcome would be an appraisal of the effectiveness of current neighbourhood parade policies in meeting agreed objectives since May 2004 and consideration of possible changes for the future.
Commission Members noted that given the nature of the questions being raised with the scrutiny suggestion, there was an opportunity to hold a “one off” meeting to scrutinise the information in depth allowing OSC members to be present as all the information specified in the scrutiny suggestion was currently available.
Members discussed the options in detail. Some members commented that the issue was of great public concern and the role of scrutiny was to reflect those issues. A panel would allow a number of issues to be highlighted over a period of time. Others felt that the information was currently available and could be documented in the report.
It was suggested that a one off meeting could be via the Commission which would then focus the scrutiny panel’s scoping. All the information proposed within the scrutiny suggestion was currently available and therefore be documented within the report. The option for the scrutiny panel would then progress.
Nominations for the scrutiny panel would be sought via Group Leaders and be included in the AGM paperwork. These would be ratified via OSC in June.
It was moved by Councillor Burrett (seconded by Councillor Pendlington) that a scrutiny panel be established for the municipal year 2020-2021 with the first OSC meeting as the scoping meeting with a report outlining the detailed requirements from the scrutiny suggestion. It was agreed that Councillor Lanzer act as the liaison in the interim period. The amendment, upon being put to the Commission, was declared to be Carried.
1. That the Overview and Scrutiny Commission approves the topic for a scrutiny review to be established for the new municipal year, pending the first meeting of the municipal year (scoping meeting).
2. That the Commission receives a full report at a meeting (planned for the first in the municipal year) as the scoping session.
3. Seek nominations (via Democratic Services) for the membership for the Panel, in accordance with political proportionality.
4. That a Chair for the new scrutiny panel be established.
5. That Councillor Lanzer act as the liaison in the interim period.
Exempt Information – Exclusion of the Public
The Commission is asked to consider passing the following resolution:-
That under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act by virtue of the paragraphs specified against the item.
That in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act by virtue of the paragraph specified against the item.
Town Hall Site Redevelopment: Revised Budget for the District Heat Network
Exempt Paragraphs 3 & 5
To consider report DCE/05 of the Deputy Chief Executive.
This report will be included in a supplementary agenda as agreed in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair.
Exempt Paragraph 3 & 5
Information relating to financial and business affairs of any particular person (including the Authority holding that information)
Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings.
The Commission considered report DCE/05 of the Deputy Chief Executive. In finalising the design of the District Heat Network (DHN) and prior to appointing a contractor for the scheme it has become necessary to make budget changes for the DHN. The purpose of this report therefore provide background, to set out the variations scheme and to seek agreement on the way forward that avoids increasing the overall budget for the Town Hall Site Redevelopment project.
During the discussion with the Deputy Chief Executive, the following comments were made:
· Confirmation that the District Heat Network would provide heating and electricity to the buildings included within the wider Town Hall re-development, and other developments within Crawley Town Centre.
· Crawley Borough Local Plan 2015-2030 (Policy ENV7) highlighted the site as a priority area for the delivery of District Energy Network as identified on the Local Plan Map.
· Confirmation that the Town Hall Working Group had received updates at key stages within the project, with the last such being opened up as an all-member seminar prior to the signing of the contract with Keir to build the new Town Hall.
· Confirmation that the risk register was regularly reviewed and was included on the Audit Committee agenda. The risk register had recently been reformatted and updated to reflect the move to the next stage of the new Town Hall project.
· Confirmation sought and provided on the financial implications and future arrangements.
· Acknowledgement of the design changes, budget allocations and rationale.
· Clarification was sought over the global budget. The Commission indicated its support for option 3 within the report. There was further support for the addition of discreet progress and expenditure tracking against the DHN within that area.
The Cabinet is advised that the Commission:
1. Indicated its broad support in principle for the report.
2. Unanimously supported option 3 within section 6 of the report, with the addition of discreet progress and expenditure tracking against the DHN within that area.
Re-Admission of the Public
The Chair declared the meeting reopen for consideration of business in public session.
Forward Plan - and Provisional List of Reports for the Commission's following Meetings
To consider any requests for future items.
This was the Commission’s last meeting of the municipal year. It was anticipated the Commission would consider early next year:
· Treasury Management Outturn 2019-2020
· Budget Strategy 2021/22 – 2025/26