Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, The Shire Hall, St Peter's Square, Hereford, HR1 2HX
Contact: Sarah Smith
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
To receive any apologies for absence.
There were no apologies from members of the cabinet.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
To receive any declarations of interest by Members in respect of items on the Agenda.
To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 12 January 2018.
As the minutes of the meeting of 12 January 2018 had not yet been published it was noted that these would be approved at the next available meeting.
To receive questions from members of the public.
Deadline for receipt of questions is 5:00pm on Monday 15 January 2018
Accepted questions will be published as a supplement prior to the meeting.
Please see https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/getinvolved for information on how to submit a question.
Questions received and responses given are attached as appendix 1 to the minutes.
To receive questions from councillors.
Deadline for receipt of questions is 5:00pm on Monday 15 January 2018.
Accepted questions will be published as a supplement prior to the meeting.
Questions received and responses given are attached as appendix 2 to the minutes.
To consider feedback to HTP Phase 1 consultation and confirm scope of Phase 2 consultation and progress to consultation.
The cabinet member for infrastructure introduced the report. The key drivers for the Hereford Transport Package (HTP) were the appetite locally and nationally to improve connectivity, facilitate housing growth and create better walking and cycling routes. The single crossing of the River Wye in the city impacted on journey times and restricted business growth. The proposed improvements would benefit major projects such as the university and the enterprise zone. Moving traffic out of the city centre would create space for green infrastructure and active travel measures. The HTP was a priority for the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Midlands Connect regional strategy. The council was working closely with Highways England and other national bodies. Extensive work had taken place to refine the route of the proposed bypass to the west of Hereford. All options had been scored, compared and subjected to national planning policies. Routes which would not be technically viable had been removed. A shortlist of seven routes was now proposed for further consultation.
In response to a questions from cabinet members it was confirmed that there was an appetite to see what complementary transport measures could be delivered alongside the construction of the bypass. Proposals in respect of active travel measures would be presented during the phase 2 consultation.
In response to questions from the leader of the Its Our County group it was stated that:
· data and mapping from the adopted neighbourhood development plan would be incorporated into the forthcoming consultation, along with other sources;
· detailed ecological surveys had been carried out, would continue through the seasons and would inform the planning application environment statement;
· all responses to the consultation had been considered, regardless of whether they were defined as individual responses or petitions;
· further detailed responses would be provided following the meeting.
In response to questions from the leader of the Green group it was stated that:
· current and projected journey times would be included in future consultation information;
· the decision whether to designate the bypass as a trunk road and de-trunk the current A49 through the city would be made by the secretary of state, discussions were taking place regarding this process and Highways England were positive about the likelihood of the bypass becoming the new trunk road.
The leader of the independent group gave the views of his group, stating that:
· council officers had frequently said that the bulk of traffic would still go through the city centre;
· the bypass would be exposed to high westerly winds;
· local growth had stagnated and the council had failed to listen to feedback;
· the independent group had always supported a bypass to the east of Hereford and did not believe that an eastern route was undeliverable;
· there was a strong possibility of the Three Elms housing site not getting permission due to the impact on boreholes in the area and the subsequent difficulties this would cause on certain large employers in the city.
The cabinet member infrastructure responded that the eastern route for a bypass ... view the full minutes text for item 86.
To approve the Sustainable Mode of Travel to School (SMOTS) strategy for adoption by the council and approve the contents of the general scrutiny committee recommendations.
The cabinet member transport and regulatory services introduced the item.
The key points noted were:
· the proposed strategy replaced the one adopted in 2009 and comprised the strategy document and action plan;
· the comments of the general scrutiny committee had been reflected in the documents and responses to the recommendations of the committee were set out in appendix 3;
· the strategy reflected other council policies such as the health and wellbeing strategy;
· there was no longer specific funding for SMOTS projects;
· the action plan set out current activities and those planned for the future, the action plan would be monitored and reviewed during the life of the strategy.
In response to queries from the cabinet member infrastructure it was confirmed that officers would work with various colleagues and bodies to seek grants and expert advice. It was noted that better working with schools was a key aim of the strategy.
In response to a question from the leader of the Independent group it was stated that there were a number of reasons why existing sustainable travel options were not being fully utilised including the impact of weather, safety concerns and a need to join up routes. It was expected that the Hereford Transport Package would offer opportunities to improve connections.
The leader of the It’s Our County group welcomed the update and commented on the notable difference in congestion between term time and school holiday periods. In response to queries it was confirmed that the South Wye Transport Package would provide funding for active travel measures and that a school travel plan would be considered up to date if it had been completed within the past three years. The target was to get 80% of school travel plans to this standard.
The chairman of the general scrutiny committee was pleased that the recommendations from the committee had been taken up. He asked that a report go back to the scrutiny committee in due course to report on progress.
The cabinet member finance, housing and corporate services noted that only 16 schools had 20mph limits in their immediate vicinity. He queried if this should be encouraged for all schools and whether this should be a specific action in the action plan? It was agreed that the recommendations in the report be altered to include delegated authority for the director for economy, communities and corporate to make amendments to the action plan to include specific reference to 20mph zones outside schools.
The cabinet member transport and regulatory services commented that ward members were an important part of the strategy due to their local knowledge and contacts. It was hoped they could help and encourage schools to have up to date travel plans.
(a) The Sustainable Modes of Travel to School Strategy at appendix 1 be adopted;
(b) the response to the recommendations of general scrutiny committee at appendix 3 be approved; and
(c) the director for economy, communities and corporate, following consultation with the director for children’s wellbeing, the cabinet member ... view the full minutes text for item 87.
Cabinet has previously agreed in principle to provide part of the former site of Broadlands Primary School to enable the creation of a new post 16 special school, to be created and funded through the government’s free school programme. This report confirms that the council will provide the site to enable the new school building to be constructed.
The cabinet member young people and children’s wellbeing introduced the report. It was noted that it was a priority for the council to develop education and learning opportunities for young people aged 16 plus with learning difficulties.
In response to a question from the leader of the Green group it was confirmed that officers were engaged in discussions with the ESFA about the specification of the new building and had been pleasantly surprised at the standard of accommodation proposed. The council would have its usual powers as the local planning authority to impose conditions on the design and construction of the building.
The leader of the Its Our County group read out comments from the ward member, who was unable to attend the meeting. The ward member had not received any comments from parents objecting to the proposal and supported the objectives. She was aware of the good provision at the nursery currently on the site and had had several discussions with the director regarding the proposals.
The cabinet member young people and children’s wellbeing reminded councillors that corporate parenting responsibilities related to children in care, some of whom may benefit from this new provision and not all children who may attend this new school.
(a) the director for children’s wellbeing be authorised to agree heads of terms between the council and the Education and Skills Agency (ESFA) (on behalf of the Secretary of State) for the construction of a building to accommodate the new 16-19 Local Authority Commissioned SEN School
(b) subject to the approval of the Secretary of State for Education to the appointment of a provider to:
a. agree that part of the land identified at appendix 1 be approved for use by the appointed provider for a period of up to 125 years,
b. the director for children’s wellbeing, following consultation with the solicitor to the council and chief finance officer, be authorised to take all operational decisions necessary to make the site available, including the agreement of a lease of up to 125 years for part of the former Broadlands site (as shown on the plan at appendix 1) of an area sufficient for a special school of 50 pupils to the successful promoter, the area being no less than 1 hectare as recommended in DfE Building Bulletin 104 – “Area Guidelines for SEND and Alternative Provision”, the remaining land to remain in the ownership of the council
(c) the ESFA be requested to deliver the building project at its own risk with funding provided by the Secretary of State.
To authorise the undertaking of interim works to provide additional classroom space for use by Marlbrook Primary School in Hereford from September 2018 and as a consequence end the use of the site as a multi agency office (MAO).
The cabinet member young people and children’s wellbeing introduced the report. It was noted that the schools capital investment strategy sought to invest in high performing, well supported schools and that Marlbrook Primary met this definition.
The cabinet member health and wellbeing, who was also the ward member for the school, stated that the school offered exceptional quality. It was confirmed that a separate report would be brought forward to address the accommodation needs of the school in the longer term to take the school fully to three forms of entry. This would also seek to address associated highways and traffic issues.
The cabinet member infrastructure asked that all future reports reference and integrate with the south wye transport package and active travel measures.
(a) funding of up to £300k be approved from the capital budget allocated to Marlbrook school to fund the works necessary to create an additional classroom for use by the school in September 2018;
(b) Greencroftceases to be used as a Multi-Agency Office (MAO) area from 1 March 2018, and
(c) thedirector for children’s wellbeing be authorised to take all operational decisions necessary to implement the above works, including the appointment of a contractor.
To agree the procurement of a financial pre-paid card service to support both the council’s adults and wellbeing and children’s wellbeing directorates, and the Clinical Commissioning Group, if required, and authorise the director for adults and wellbeing to award a new five year contract implemented from 1 July 2018.
The cabinet member health and wellbeing introduced the report. The key points noted were the advantages of using new technology, the opportunities for wider use of pre-paid cards across directorates and the benefits of a live and auditable system to track usage and control spending.
a) a financial pre-paid card service available to adults’ and children’s social careclients, and certain Clinical Commissioning Group clients if required, is awarded through an open procurement and a contract to be issued for a period of up to five years effective from 1 July 2018;
b) the Director for Adults and Wellbeing is authorised, following consultation with the Director for Children’s Wellbeing, to take all operational decisions necessary to implement the above recommendation, including award of contract at a total cost of not more than £132k.
To approve the revised single overarching enforcement and prosecution policy for all regulatory activities undertaken by or on behalf of Herefordshire Council, together with specific supplementary policies.
The cabinet member transport and regulatory services introduced the report. It was noted that:
· the overarching policy would cover all regulatory activities;
· the policy replaced the one adopted in 2012, taking account of changes in regulations and good practice;
· partner organisations such as Balfour Beatty Living Places would also use this policy;
· the appendices to the policy set out the detailed guidance for each subject area, the policies on parking and environmental enforcement were new and the others were updated versions of existing policies.
In response to a query from the cabinet member infrastructure it was confirmed that all conditions applied needed to be enforceable and that there was a dispensations policy which allowed for exemptions, for example where a tradesman needed to park close to a property to work on it. Enforcement officers had to issue penalty notices if they observed a contravention but there was an appeal process which would consider individual circumstances.
The leader of the Independents asked how many blue badges had been issued. It was clarified that these badges were not issued by the parking team but that the figure would be sought and supplied after the meeting.
The leader of the Its Our County group welcomed the update. He asked that the adopted policies be clearly visible and accessible on the council website. In response to a query it was confirmed that the neighbour noise evening hotline which had run in the summer had been well received. The hotline had been financed by the police and crime commissioner and the council was looking to put in a bid for funding again this year. The bid included a request for additional funds so that the service could be expanded. It was also confirmed that officers were confident the statutory requirements could be delivered, with staff redeployed as necessary to enforce policies.
In response to a query from the cabinet member finance, housing and corporate services it was confirmed that the policy was written in such a way that external changes could be incorporated and that the main focus was on overarching principles, with detail in the appended documents.
The cabinet member contracts and assets left the meeting at 4:18.
(a) the single overarching enforcement and prosecution policy (attached at appendix 1) and the following policies forming appendices to that policy (attached at appendices A to F) be approved and implemented with immediate effect:
i. Parking Supplementary Enforcement & Appeals Policy,
ii. Building Control Supplementary Enforcement Policy,
iii. Planning Supplementary Enforcement Policy,
iv. Environmental Health (Housing) Supplementary Enforcement Policy,
v. Code of Conduct for Issuing Penalty Notices for Child Absenteeism, and
vi. Environmental Enforcement– Fixed Penalty Notice Operational Policy.