Agenda and minutes

Regeneration, Culture and Environment Overview And Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 16 June 2016 6.30pm

Venue: Civic Suite - Level 2, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham ME4 4TR. View directions

Contact: Ellen Wright, Democratic Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

61.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Brown-Reckless, Carr, Craven, Etheridge and Stamp.

62.

Tribute to Jo Cox MP

Minutes:

At the commencement of the meeting, the Leader of the Labour Group, Councillor Maple paid tribute to Jo Cox MP for Batley and Spen Constituency in West Yorkshire who had passed away earlier in the day as a result of a physical assault in her constituency when attending her MP surgery. The Committee held a minute’s silence in memory of Jo Cox MP.

63.

Record of Meeting and Record of Joint Meeting of Committees pdf icon PDF 120 KB

To approve the Record of the Meeting held on 29 March 2016 and the record of the Joint Meeting of Committees held on 18 May 2016.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The records of the meeting held on 29 March 2016 and the Joint Meeting of Committees held on 18 May 2016 were approved and signed by the Chairman as correct records.

64.

Urgent matters by reason of special circumstances

The Chairman will announce any late items which do not appear on the main agenda but which he has agreed should be considered by reason of special circumstances to be specified in the report.

Minutes:

There were none.

65.

Declaration of interest and whipping

(A)         Disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests

 

A member need only disclose at any meeting the existence of a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) in a matter to be considered at that meeting if that DPI has not been entered on the disclosable pecuniary interests register maintained by the Monitoring Officer.

 

A member disclosing a DPI at a meeting must thereafter notify the Monitoring Officer in writing of that interest within 28 days from the date of disclosure at the meeting.

 

A member may not participate in a discussion of or vote on any matter in which he or she has a DPI (both those already registered and those disclosed at the meeting) and must withdraw from the room during such discussion/vote.

 

Members may choose to voluntarily disclose a DPI at a meeting even if it is registered on the council’s register of disclosable pecuniary interests but there is no legal requirement to do so.

 

Members should also ensure they disclose any other interests which may give rise to a conflict under the council’s code of conduct.

 

In line with the training provided to members by the Monitoring Officer members will also need to consider bias and pre-determination in certain circumstances and whether they have a conflict of interest or should otherwise leave the room for Code reasons.

 

(B)          Whipping

 

The Council’s constitution also requires any Member of the Committee who is subject to a party whip (ie agreeing to vote in line with the majority view of a private party group meeting) to declare the existence of the whip.

 

Minutes:

Disclosable pecuniary interests

 

There were none.

 

Other interests

 

There were none.

66.

York Avenue, Gillingham six month review following implementation of parking changes pdf icon PDF 100 KB

This report provides a six month review for a parking scheme implemented in York Avenue, Gillingham to assist in reducing delays to traffic on the approach to Medway Hospital.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Committee was reminded that the former Regeneration, Community and Culture Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 5 April 2015 had considered the implementation of parking changes in York Avenue, Gillingham aimed at increasing parking provision for Medway Hospital. The item had been referred to the Committee at the request of a lead petitioner on behalf of petitioners who were opposed to the proposed parking scheme.

 

The Committee was advised that the parking changes had subsequently been implemented in York Avenue but with a reduced time period. Therefore, the Pay and Display Scheme operated Monday – Friday from 10am – 5pm. The Committee had requested that a six month review be undertaken once the scheme had been operational and had extended an invitation to the lead petitioner to attend and address the Committee on the operation of the scheme at the end of the six month review.

 

The Committee was advised that the scheme had come into operation on 21 September 2015 and that during the period from implementation to 31 March 2016, officers had made ad hoc visits whilst travelling to other site visits and had noted between 15 – 20 spaces remaining available on the Hospital side of the road during the day.

 

The report set out a number of options for the Committee to consider for the future of the scheme along with financial costs involved.

 

In line with the Committee’s decision on 5 April 2015, the lead petitioner was in attendance at the meeting and was invited to address the Committee on the operation of the parking changes.

 

Ms Terrie Baker advised the Committee that the implementation of the changes to the parking had done little to reduce congestion especially during times that the Hospital barrier failed to operate. She asked that the Pay and Display Scheme not be expanded to cover weekends as had been included in the original proposal.

 

The local Ward Councillor reported on the operation of the parking changes in York Avenue and supported the lead petitioner’s request that Option B (the expansion of the scheme to include weekends) not be pursued as it was during the evenings and weekends that there was pressure on parking in the area. However, he requested that the parking changes continue to be monitored and that a further review be undertaken.

 

In addition, the local Ward Councillor drew attention to the lack of clarity on signage in the area as they related to different sides of the road and requested that this be investigated. He also commented that the parking machines were emptied between 4am – 5am and that this created a noise disturbance to local residents but he confirmed that he had raised this separately with officers.

 

The Integrated Transport Manager advised that the controlled parking zone in the area operated from Monday to Sunday and it had originally been intended that the Pay and Display Scheme in York Avenue would run parallel with the controlled parking zone times. However, the Pay  ...  view the full minutes text for item 66.

67.

Update on Arriva Services in Medway pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Representatives from Arriva will be in attendance to undertake a brief presentation updating the Committee on their bus network in Medway since September 2015.

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Committee received a presentation from Emma Taylor, Robert Patterson and Nick Elsden from Arriva advising upon updates to Arriva’s bus services in Medway.

 

A summary of points raised as part of the presentation included:

 

·         The network has been rescheduled and more resources added

·         Punctuality has improved

·         Staffing levels

·         There has been a reduction in complaints

·         The local Union is supportive of the recent changes

·         The new commercial structure is focused on communication and is data driven

·         The 2016 wage negotiations have been successfully concluded

·         Fares have been revised with a number of fares reduced and cheaper fares for short journeys in town

·         There have been savings on many child fares

·         There have been a number of service changes

·         Arriva received positive feedback from the free travel day

·         There is a growing use of M tickets

·         Business to business sales offer discounts to employees

·         There is continued development of the real time bus app, the web and Arriva smartcard.

 

The Committee discussed a number of the points raised and Arriva answered questions as follows:

 

·         In response to a question as to whether the availability of wi-fi would be expanded to all bus services, it was confirmed that new buses would automatically have wi-fi sockets and USB ports and that these facilities will be rolled out onto older buses as and when they are refurbished. A Member drew Arriva’s attention to the fact that on some buses on which he had travelled the wi-fi and USB ports had not worked.

·         In response to a question on the level of complaints received, it was confirmed that there had been a 55% reduction in complaints relating to the reliability of bus services. In comparison with other areas, whilst the level of complaints for Medway’s bus services had been high, following changes to the services and the subsequent reduction in complaints, complaints were now at a medium level in comparison with other areas.

·         In response to a question on the level of wage settlement, it was confirmed that the wage settlement was 3% for one year. However, it was stressed that the industrial action in 2015 had been a direct response to the scheduling of bus services and had not concerned wages.

·         In response to a question relating to the possible improvement of bus shelters at Chatham Waterfront Bus Station and the provision of real time data, it was confirmed that approximately 50% of bus shelters were privately owned and the remaining 50% were owned by the Council, of which 60 had real time data screens. It was confirmed that real time data screens were added to bus shelters as and when possible.

·         In response to a query as to possible strategies to encourage school children onto buses, the Committee was advised that whilst a weekly ticket was not currently available for children, a scheme was on trial in Sheerness which, if successful, would be retained and possibly expanded across Kent.

·         A Member thanked Arriva for attending a meeting with residents in Watling  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.

68.

Council Plan End of Year Quarter 4 2015/16 Performance Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 221 KB

This report summaries how the Directorate has performed in Quarter 4 2015/16 against the two priorities for this committee: Safe, clean and green Medway and Everyone benefitting from the area’s regeneration.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Committee received a report summarising performance in Quarter 4

against the two priorities:

 

·         Safe, clean and green Medway; and

·         Everyone benefitting from the area’s regeneration,

 

The Committee discussed the following:

 

·         Codes DA6 and DA7 – Number of high risk clients referred to IDVA for support and percentage of high risk clients where risk is reduced as a result of IDVA intervention

 

In recognition that football tournaments can result in increases in incidents of domestic violence, a Member sought clarification as to whether the Council was using social media feeds to highlight these issues.

 

The Director of Regeneration, Culture, Environment and Transformation agreed to take this up with Communications.

 

·         Rochester Riverside

 

A Member referred to the provision of the new Rochester Railway Station and expressed concern on behalf of traders that they considered that their businesses had been affected during the transition of the former Corporation Car Park to the new Station Car Park and he asked what lessons had been learnt.

 

A Member also commented on the good design of the new Station Car Park in that it was not intrusive from Corporation Street.

 

Another Member expressed concern as to the location of the existing pedestrian crossing and stated that since the opening of the new Rochester Railway Station, the pedestrian crossing required relocation. He also asked whether bus companies had approached the Council about the limited access for buses at the Railway Station.

 

The Director of Regeneration, Culture, Environment and Transformation responded by confirming that the new Station Car Park had provided 321 extra car parking spaces in Rochester and whilst there were always lessons which could be learnt, he reassured the Member concerned that the Council had worked with Traders and put in place measures to support them during the transition period.

 

He also advised that the whilst the possible relocation of the pedestrian crossing could be investigated, these works would involve a significant cost.

 

He confirmed that no approaches had been made to the Council by local bus companies concerning access to the Station by buses.

 

·         Condition of the roads in Medway

 

A Member congratulated officers on the good condition of Medway’s roads in comparison with other areas.

 

·         Twydall Community Hub/Possible hub in Luton and Wayfield Ward

 

A Member referred to the Twydall Community Hub and stated that she was pleased that this was moving forward and was due to open in July. She stated that she was pleased that the footfall had not diminished at the temporary library.

 

A Member referred to the Post Office in Luton and Wayfield Ward and asked whether this would be expanded to other hubs.

 

The Director of Regeneration, Culture, Environment and Transformation advised that officers were seeking to progress the Community Hub model across a number of sites, offering a wide range of services.

 

·         Awards and Achievements

 

A Member congratulated the Council in being rated one of the top 100 employers in the Stonewall workplace equality index.

 

·         Flytipping

 

A Member sought clarification as to whether the statistics reported  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68.

69.

Petitions pdf icon PDF 98 KB

This report sets out petitions received by the Council which fall within the remit of this Committee including a summary of the responses sent to the lead petitioners by officers.

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Committee received a report setting out petitions received by the Council which fell within the remit of the Committee including a summary of the responses sent to the lead petitioners by officers.

 

Decision:

 

The Committee noted the report.

70.

Work programme pdf icon PDF 115 KB

This item advises Members of the current work programme and allows the Committee to adjust it in the light of latest priorities, issues and circumstances. It gives Members the opportunity to shape and direct the Committee’s activities over the year. 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Democratic Services Officer reported on the Committee’s current work programme, provided an update on an item added to the latest work programme published on 13 June 2016 and advised upon a suggested addition to the work programme from the agenda planning meeting.

 

The report also set out the programme of Portfolio Holder attendance for 2016/17.

 

A Member drew attention to the Cabinet item on Various Land Disposals which had been called in for review by the Business Support Overview and Scrutiny Committee. He drew attention to the recommendations of the report which affected two Community Centres in Medway.

 

Decision:

 

The Committee agreed to:

 

a)            note the current work programme

b)            add the following item to the work programme for 18 August 2016:

 

A presentation from the Kent and Essex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority on consultations concerning the closure of an area of the estuary to all fishing activities so as to protect juvenile fish that are reliant on habitats.

 

c)            note the following programme of Portfolio Holder attendance:

 

·         18 August 2016 – Portfolio Holder for Front Line Services – Councillor Filmer

 

·         25 October 2016 – Portfolio Holder for Planning, Economic Growth and Regulation – Councillor Chitty

 

·         8 December 2016 – Portfolio Holder for Corporate Services – Councillor Mackness

 

·         17 January 2017 – Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services – Councillor Doe and Portfolio Holder for Inward Investment, Strategic Regeneration and Partnerships – Councillor Rodney Chambers OBE

 

·         28 March 2017 – Portfolio Holder for Business Management – Councillor Turpin.