MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND TRANSPORT SELECT COMMITTEE HELD AT COUNTY HALL, NEWPORT, ISLE OF WIGHT ON MONDAY, 29 JULY 2002 COMMENCING AT 9.30 AM
Mrs T M Butchers (Chairman), Mr J R Adams, Mrs B D Clough, Mr M J Cunningham, Mr J F Howe (deputising for Mr V J Morey), Mrs M J Miller, Mrs E Oulton, Mr A A Taylor (deputising for Mr J Effemey)
Mr A C Bartlett, Mr J Effemey, Mr J Fleming, Mr V J Morey, Mr A F Tiltman
Portfolio Holders :
Mr E Fox, Mrs B Lawson
THAT the minutes of the meeting held on 26 June 2002 be confirmed.
20. URGENT BUSINESS - RENEWABLE ENERGY STRATEGY
The Chairman indicated that the Select Committee should be made aware of the latest developments regarding the draft strategy on Renewable Energy. This matter would be taken later in the meeting when the relevant officer was available.
THAT an update concerning the Renewable Energy Strategy be considered later in the meeting.
21. BUDGET MONITORING REPORT AS AT END JUNE 2002
The Select Committee considered the report of the Strategic Director for Finance and Information and County Treasurer detailing the revenue and capital spending position as at the end of June 2002.
With regard to revenue expenditure members were made aware of the different spending and income generation characteristics covering the thirteen services coming within the Select Committee’s remit. It was also noted that the Executive had agreed that the overspend of £373,500 in 2001/2002, resulting principally from the effect of adverse weather conditions on the highway network, should be written off thereby enabling the budget for 2002/03 to be fully utilised. The emergency works to the bridge structure at Coppins Bridge, Newport would cost in the region of £125,000 and this had not been planned for in the budget.
The schemes contained within the capital programme for 2002/03 were outlined. The Strategic Director reminded members of the settlement received for the two year period up to 31 March 2003. The Head of Engineering Services gave an updated position on the Military Road scheme. Further site investigations had now been completed and it was hoped that the information gained from these would assist contractors in submitting revised tenders.
Members raised concerns over the standard of work at some sites. The Head of Engineering Services indicated that the management and supervision of contracts and contractors had now been revised and it was anticipated that there would be an improvement in performance.
THAT the budget monitoring report as at end of June 2002 be noted.
22. REPORT OF THE STRATEGIC DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE AND ENVIRONMENT SERVICES
(a) Highways and Transportation Best Value Improvement Plan
At the meeting of the Select Committee held on 26 June 2002, consideration had been given to the strategic framework being used for the Highways and Transportation Improvement Plan. The Head of Engineering Services submitted a monitoring report highlighting progress made to address comments and recommendations arising from the Best Value inspection. Members were also told of the outcomes from workshops held involving stakeholders, elected members and staff.
All the action points that had been identified as due for completion by the end of June 2002 had been achieved on target. The Select Committee congratulated The Head of Engineering Services and his staff on this.
THAT the progress made in respect of the Best Value Improvement Plan be noted.
(b) Local Transport Plan Annual Progress Report 2001/02
The Head of Engineering Services circulated a copy of the Annual Progress Report, required under the Local Transport Plan (LTP), and which had to be submitted to the Government Office for the South East by 31 July 2002. The Progress Report reviewed the policies and objectives contained within the LTP and would form the basis of a bid for Government funding.
In addition to this it was intended to make a separate bid for improvements to the interchange at Ryde Esplanade. It was anticipated that the scheme would cost in the region of £5m and would therefore be the subject of a Major Scheme Bid. Discussion took place on the cost benefits of such a scheme and the implications for Ryde, and the Island, beyond the transport objectives. The need for improvements to the transport infrastructure by the operators involved, particularly buses, were highlighted by members. The Select Committee was aware that the scheme had been the subject of discussion over a number of years and requested that an outline of the latest proposals should be made to a future meeting.
The Select Committee debated road safety and noted that although the number of children killed or seriously injured in road traffic accidents fell in line with predictions there had been an increase overall in the number of people killed or injured. The Head of Engineering Services believed that inappropriate speed was the main factor involved. Whilst speed limits could be implemented these relied on police enforcement and it was more appropriate to look at ways of educating drivers.
(i) THAT the Local Transport Plan Annual Progress Report be noted.
(ii) THAT a report be considered at a future meeting on the proposed Major Scheme Bid for Ryde Interchange.
23. URGENT BUSINESS - RENEWABLE ENERGY STRATEGY
The Chairman referred to the work being undertaken by the Renewable Energy Task Group and the public meeting that was being held that afternoon to discuss the development of a Community Renewable Energy Strategy for the Island.
The Council’s Agenda 21 Officer, Mrs A Mawle outlined the work undertaken by consultants on a cost benefit analysis that was required in the compilation of a strategy. Mrs Mawle briefly explained the types of initiatives being investigated. The Council were fortunate in having the Island of Gotland, Sweden as its mentor. Additionally discussions were being held with SEEDA as to the possibility of the Isle of Wight being designated, and funded, as the location for a sustainable energy project within the South East.
A full report on all the issues would be submitted to the next meeting.
THAT the position be noted.
24. REPORT OF THE HEAD OF PAID SERVICE
(a) Establishment of a Task Group on Car Parking
The Head of Paid Service referred to discussions by the Select Committee in February 2002 on the Parking Places Order when a number of issues requiring further consideration had been highlighted. Car parking had also been an issue raised at the Select Committee’s Awayday on 31 May 2002.
In order to progress a number of key issues relating to the Council’s policies on car parking it was suggested that a Task Group be established. To enable any proposed changes to be advertised for implementation in 2003 it was proposed that the Task Group should report back on its findings to the Select Committee on 30 October 2002.
The Chairman indicated that Mr Peter Tuck, Chairman of the Quality Transport Partnership (QTP), should be involved together with other relevant interested groups and users.
THAT a Task Group on Car Parking be established to :
(i) Review the Council’s policies in relation to the provision and operation of its own on street/off street car parks together with that for residents parking schemes.
(ii) To highlight possible areas where changes to policies could be brought into operation by the Executive.
(b) Waste Management Task Group
The Select Committee was reminded that it had established a Task Group on Waste Management in September 2001. The Task Group had met on a number of occasions and its Chairman, Mr John Howe, advised members on the matters that it had considered. The Task Group had been beneficial in gaining a better understanding of a range of issues involved and the latest initiatives proposed by Island Waste.
One major area of concern to the Task Group was the amount of packaging and it was believed that pressure should be placed on manufacturers to reduce this.
The Select Committee noted that the Task Group had achieved the objectives and was therefore no longer required.
(i) THAT the Executive be requested to make representations to the Government for further pressure to be placed upon manufacturers to reduce the amount of packaging with goods.
(ii) THAT the work of the Task Group be noted and, having completed its terms of reference it be wound up.
25. MEMBERS QUESTION TIME
Mrs M Miller submitted a question in relation to the Council placing a limit on the size of coaches coming to the Island. (MQ57/02).
Mr A C Bartlett submitted a question in relation to Newport Pedestrianisation. (MQ58/02).
A copy of the questions and replies is contained in the Members Question Time Register.