Agenda item - Member Involvement
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- Meeting of Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee, Tuesday, 23rd June, 2020 4.00pm (Item 7.)
To consider the following matters raised by Members:
(a) Petitions: To receive any petitions;
(b) Written Questions: To consider any written questions;
(i) Councillor Davis- 20mph speed limits
(ii) Councillor Wares- Cityclean Modernisation reports
(iii) Councillor Wares- Graffiti Strategy
(iv) Councillor Wares- Old Shoreham Road temporary cycle lane
(v) Councillor Wares- Refuse collections
(vi) Councillor Wares- Carbon Neutral 2030
(vii) Councillor Wares- Licensing Fees & Charges
(viii) Councillor Wares- Potholes on Carden Hill
(ix) Councillor Heley- Temple Street
(x) Councillor Heley- Committee meetings
(xi) Councillor Heley- ULEZ
(xii) Councillor Heley- Shelter Hall
(xiii) Councillor Heley- Electric Vehicle Charging Points
(xiv) Councillor Heley- Disabled cycling provision
(xv) Councillor Lloyd- Madeira Drive
(xvi) Councillor West- Active Travel
(xvii) Councillor West- Litter
(xviii) Councillor Shanks- Francis Street
(c) Letters: To consider any letters;
(i) Councillors Nemeth & Peltzer Dunn- Glebe Villas trees
(ii) Councillor Wares- Patcham Roundabout
(iii) Councillor Heley- Springfield Road trees
(iv) Councillors McNair & Theobald- Carden Woods
(v) Councillors West & Davis- School Streets
(vi) Councillors Clare & Mac Cafferty- Single Use Plastic and Litter
(vii) Councillor Osborne- Air Quality
(d) Notices of Motion: to consider any Notices of Motion referred from Full Council or submitted directly to the Committee.
(i) Carden Woods- Proposed by Councillor Wares
(ii) Environmental Impact Assessment and Traffic Modelling- Proposed by Councillor Wares
(iii) Active Travel Infrastructure- Proposed by Councillor Heley
(B) WRITTEN QUESTIONS
(i) 20mph Limits
7.1 Councillor Davis put the following question:
“The 20mph speed limit has been an emotive subject but nobody can deny that slower moving vehicles lead to less serious injuries and a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists.
This month TFL have introduced a blanket 20mph speed limit to their central streets alongside and an enforcement team to further enhance city centres and so my question is, would this administration consider following suit and rolling out a city wide 20mph speed limit?”
7.2 The Chair provided the following reply:
“As you are aware there is already a comprehensive city-wide network of 20 mph speed limits of streets across the City and concentrated more so in the centre. And as you point out 20mph speed limits enhance the public safety for all pedestrians, those with mobility and sensory impairments, cyclists and other users of the streets.
Our current focus is on delivering the agreed COVID 19 action plan. The action plan will be under constant review and your suggestion to introduce a blanket 20mph speed limit has been noted for consideration as part of this process”.
7.3 Councillor Davis asked the following supplementary question:
“I feel more than ever we need to encourage our residents to choose active travel over vehicles and we need to protect them as well. And hopefully as we have seen some recovery from this pandemic, we need to harness this moment and use as an opportunity to further cement our commitment to protect the health and the well-being of our city. This committee gave is overwhelming support to a report into a car free city centre and a carbon neutral environment and that will only be positive to this endeavour. If you are unfortunate to fall from the first floor of a building you would hit the ground at roughly 19mph. If you bear in mind most vehicles tend to travel close to or slight over the speed limit to achieve 30mph you would have to fall from the fourth floor. The next time you are in a building high enough I would like you to examine the differences to give you a real idea of what I am saying. Pedestrians hit at 20 mph have a 90 per cent chance of living and at 30mph a 90 per cent chance of dying. Boroughs across London, and I know TfL is different, but they have speed detection. The limit is legally enforceable”.
7.4 The following reply was provided on behalf of the Chair:
“I think with a very small exception, the majority of streets not only in the city centre but quite few residential areas are 20 miles per hour. In response to one of the earlier questions I did also point out all the streets where 20 miles per hour operates or other speed limits are all legally enforceable. We do rely upon the police to enforce speed limits in the city.
The chair has already acknowledged that I would be writing to the local police the local Brighton police force as well as the Sussex safer road partnerships to see if we can do a bit more to jointly enforce speed limits. It isn’t about just layouts it is about the legislative powers around speed limits and the traffic regulation orders that also cover that.
So, the speedily limits are enforceable. There is a small exception that does not actually apply so some of the busy bus routes might be 30 miles per hour but the majority are already 20 miles per hour and in the you make the point that this will be again looked at as part of the car free city centre and the ultra-low Emission Zone reports that we will look at what other measures can be brought forward”.
(ii) Cityclean Modernisation Programme
7.5 Councillor Wares put the following question:
“As it has not been included on today’s agenda, come September it will be 8 months since this Committee has been updated on Cityclean’s modernisation programme. The Administration recently entered into a secret deal with the unions and next month will the end of the two years we were told it would take to fix Cityclean. Clearly, the Administration are nowhere near fixing the problems and it seems are now reluctant to report to this Committee. Please would the Chair confirm that a comprehensive update report will be bought to 29th September 2020 ETS Committee for Members to scrutinise and question in a format as described in the Chair’s letter dated 1st June 2020 to me”.
7.6 The Chair provided the following reply:
“I can confirm that a report on the City Environment Modernisation Programme will be presented to Committee on 29 September in the format described in the letter. This will include:
• Being clear on which projects form part of the Modernisation Programme as opposed to those activities that are business-as-usual
• Reviewing the project timescales for each relevant project in order to provide a percentage completion rate
• Providing a RAG status to the projects
• Highlighting key risks and dependencies
As has been reported to previous Committees, at the start of the Modernisation Programme, the scale of the challenge was unknown – we didn’t know what we didn’t know. As the work has progressed, further issues and improvements have been added to the Programme, and it is therefore fair to say we are not near the completion of what was initially described as a two-year programme. The improvements to reporting I described earlier will provide Members with a better indication of where modernisation is going.
It should be noted that over the last couple of months, progress has been significantly affected by the service’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Project Officers were deployed to support the frontline delivery of services. As a result, much project work had to be deprioritised. Now colleagues have returned to work, Project Officers, in the main, have returned to their substantive duties”.
7.7 Councillor Wares asked the following supplementary question:
“Thank you very much Chair, I am very grateful for that commitment and I am sure that colleagues look forward to that report.
In your answer you said you didn't know what you didn't know. Do you not agree with me that the administration should know what is going on in all its departments?”
7.8 The following reply was provided on behalf of the Chair:
“Certainly, as officers we will always endeavour ensure both the administration and other parties are kept briefed and as the chair has said we will be bringing an update to the future committee on the modernisation programme.
I would also add if any Members want briefings on particular items, they are always able to request those, and we would be happy to support them with that”.
(iii) Graffiti Strategy
7.9 Councillor Wares put the following question:
“The graffiti strategy much lauded by the Administration was on the postponed 17th March 2020 agenda for Committee to consider. Since then it appears to have fallen off the radar, yet our city remains graffiti hell for our residents and visitors. Please could the Chair advise if the Administration’s graffiti strategy has now been shelved”.
7.10 The Chair provided the following reply:
The Graffiti Reduction Strategy itself was agreed by Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee in November 2018. Since then, an action plan has been developed and activities within it, delivered. This continues and the Strategy has not been shelved.
At March 2020 ETS Committee, officers were due to present the outcomes of a consultation regarding a new enforcement process requiring property owners to remove graffiti within an agreed timeframe. This will be presented to ETS Committee in 29 September 2020.
Although delivery has been affected by the services’ Covid-19 response, progress in recent months includes:
• Refreshing the action plan, including adding in new activities and providing progress updates
• Increasing the resources to deal with graffiti including a new jet washer, a new van and another graffiti removal operative
• Increasing the number of Environmental Enforcement Officers to patrol the city; four Fixed Penalty Notices have been issued; two are proceeding to prosecution for non-payment
• Identifying further options for anti-graffiti coating
• Trialling a graffiti removal spray for volunteers to use
We are also working on a media campaign and planning a community clean-up day. This will be targeted to a specific area of the city, involving council staff, businesses and residents. If this model is successful, we will extend this model to other areas”.
(iv) Old Shoreham Road temporary cycle lanes
7.11 Councillor Wares put the following question:
“The temporary cycle lanes in Old Shoreham Road have been in place since around the 11th May and have been much publicised. As of today, the cycle lanes would have been in use for six weeks. Please could the Chair provide daily usage data for each of the east and west bound lanes between Sackville Road and Hangleton Lane”.
7.12 The Chair provided the following reply:
“The temporary cycle lane on Old Shoreham Road has been introduced as part of the range of measures to provide Active Travel choices during the Covid19 pandemic.
I can assure you that Officers will be introducing cycle counters on the new temporary section of the cycle lane in the coming weeks. I can also inform you that there are existing cycle counters that currently monitor the eastern end of the Old Shoreham Cycle route which will also help provide an overall picture of cycle levels and improved connectivity between the new temporary lane to the west and the old existing lane to the east. Officers will also be undertaking work to monitor all new temporary measures as part of the requirements to the funding the Council has received from central Government for introducing temporary active travel measures in light of the Covid crisis”.
7.13 Councillor Wares asked the following supplementary question:
“Off of the back of what you have said, am I right in saying since this was introduced and it was very welcome and needed and all the rest of it, the reality is as a council we have absolutely no idea how much it is being used? How traffic has changed or is there an idea how many cyclists are taken to using the space? Is that the bottom line to the answer you just gave me?”
7.14 The following reply was provided on behalf of the Chair:
“As the Chair responded to the question Councillor Wares, we do have existing counters on the east end of the cycle lane at the Bhasvic to The Drive So at the moment we are currently looking at figures and we will be looking to supplement that with new counters on the west end. Currently officers have been dealing with the other Covid 19 measures and putting together bids for the emergency fund so we are quite busy, and we are reviewing the current data and will be able to report that back to next committee to you”.
(v) Refuse collections
7.15 Councillor Wares put the following question:
“We have two refuse rounds in Patcham and Hollingbury that constantly give rise to complaints. They include parts of Cuckmere Way and surrounding streets, Ladies Mile Road, Windmill View and all of the Mackie Park estate. These routes have been a problem for many years and have not improved during the last two years of Cityclean’s modernisation. Please could the Chair confirm precisely what the problems are, what is being done to fix them and when those solutions will be delivered. Please could the Chair confirm to residents when a missed collection will be a rare exception as opposed to a weekly norm”.
7.16 The Chair provided the following reply:
“The issues in Patcham and Hollingbury are caused by multiple factors, including vehicle issues, staff shortages and service disruption in other parts of the city.
In recent weeks, the service has been impacted by
• A large number of temporary staff (due to Covid 19); each time there is a change the crew has to learn new rounds which can cause delays
• The need to social distance as fewer people can be in the truck, which can cause delays
• Large volumes of domestic waste arising from lockdown meaning the crews must tip more frequently causing further delays
In the short term, as our staff start to return to work, we will be keeping on some of the temporary staff to help with catch up where needed
For the longer term the Modernisation Programme has been established to address these issues. In particular:
• investing in several new trucks to reduce the instance of vehicle breakdowns and all the associated issues. The number of vehicles off the road is already decreasing and this is having a positive impact on collections.
• reviewing current round structures and reconfiguring them to ensure operational health and safety, ensure the fair distribution of work, improve service delivery, increase recycling rates and become flexible to adapt to potential forthcoming legislative changes.
• improving the real-time information flow, including reports of missed work, through investing in technology across all parts of the service”.
7.17 Councillor Wares asked the following supplementary question:
“The reason why these areas are badly effected is because of the two rounds that they are actually on. Those rounds need restructuring urgently. We are not going to get back to somewhere we can have a regular and safe collection service, one that we know when we put the bins out, they will be taken away until those rounds are restructured. We all know that is the case we would really like to see something move forward on that and I hope you will be able to advise that somebody will make it a priority to look at these rounds, particularly in those two areas”.
7.18 The following reply was provided on behalf of the Chair:
“Yes, absolutely we are actually looking at Hollingbury and Patcham and a couple of other pockets in the city right at the moment there are areas where at the end of the week because of the delays things fall off the end and it is the same roads that unfortunately get missed over and over again. I can only apologise to the residents. The key to it is the extra temporary crew and we are building new rounds now. Although I do appreciate it is not just to do with Covid 19. It is long standing problems and what we really need to do is a fundamental restructure across the totality and a very big piece of work the first step of which to get to that is new technology. We are moving ahead with that and we will be able to keep updating you and we realise we need to put the people in place for those residents who keep having their collections missed”.
(vi) Carbon Neutral 2020
7.19 Councillor Wares put the following question:
“The Administration at ETS frequently refers to initiatives that are helping towards the council being carbon neutral by 2030. However, we have no idea what the starting position is, what level of reduction an initiative provides (and how sustainable it is) and thus there is no means by which to track progress. Would the Chair agree to bringing a six-monthly report to ETS that details how carbon neutrality is being delivered through initiatives and allows Members and the public to see progress. Otherwise we just have meaningless noise and rhetoric that has no way of being substantiated”.
7.20 The Chair provided the following reply:
“I am happy to confirm that a new carbon neutral KPI has been developed for 2020/21 onwards, which P&R committee on 8th October will be asked to agree. This will monitor not only carbon dioxide emissions but also other greenhouse gases and will set the city a challenging science-based target of cutting emissions by 12.7% every year (from a 2017 baseline) to meet our 2030 carbon neutral target.
This will replace our current KPI which measures carbon dioxide emissions and is aligned to previous targets to 2050.
I agree that regular monitoring reports to Committee should be an important feature of the Carbon Neutral Plan to ensure that members and the public can see progress. And I am pleased that we are making some progress, we have the Interim Covid-19 Response Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan on the agenda today. I am also happy to feedback that last week Housing Committee approved a programme of up to 1,000 domestic solar PV array installations by 2023, with plans to increase this to 2,500 by 2026.
However, this is just a start, and we need to continue to challenge ourselves to do more. We will need to focus on scale, transformation and acceleration – ‘business as usual’ will not be enough. We also need to use the window of opportunity when we move into the Covid recovery phase to try and accelerate action to address the climate and nature crises.
The Carbon Neutral 2030 programme is overseen by a cross-party Member Working Group, which receives updates on projects in delivery and new initiatives in the pipeline. This group, along with other member working groups, has not been meeting since March due to the prioritisation of covid-19 response work pandemic, but I am pleased to report that we will start meeting again later this week”.
7.21 Councillor Wares asked the following supplementary question:
“Thank you very much Chair for that answer. My question was directed towards ETS agreed initiatives and it was whether or not you would agree to bring in a report on a six monthly basis to this committee so we can see what initiatives we are talking about and agreeing and how we think they should be implemented and working. That was the basis of the question”.
7.22 The following reply was provided on behalf of the Chair:
“As the Chair said, the regular monitoring report to this committee should be a feature of how we deliver the carbon neutral programme particularly where decisions are required. So, where they are the function of ETS we absolutely will be bringing reports. The working group starting up again next week and that is something we can take back to the cross-party working group too”.
(vii) Licensing Fees & Charges
7.23 Councillor Wares put the following question:
“By reference to the reported decision of West Sussex County Council to waive licensing fees this year for cafes and restaurants and the like, perhaps such as pubs, to have tables and chairs on the pavement, would the Chair advise if she would support Brighton and Hove doing the same. Premises still have to apply for licences and officers need to agree but it would help many of our businesses as they recover from the pandemic”.
7.24 The Chair provided the following reply:
“As I’m sure you can appreciate the Council has acted swiftly to respond to the Government’s call to implement Emergency Active Travel Measures including Cycling and Walking Infrastructure that will also serve a dual purpose of supporting business opening through the gains in social distancing on pavements by temporarily reallocating road space to footways.
We will also be exploring further potential measures through the Safer High Streets programme to consider other measures to support businesses and the wider local economy. Whilst there is a significant income generation for management of outside seating and A-boards that supports wider Council services, we will be considering the potential and impacts associated with waiving licensing fees this year”.
7.25 Councillor Wares asked the following supplementary question:
“Can you advise me when the decision to waive those fees will be announced?”
7.26 The following reply was provided on behalf of the Chair:
“In terms of supporting businesses with the need to be able to spread out on pavements we have been discussing that with the sector, particularly in anticipation of the hospitality sector opening up at the beginning of July. We have provided the sector with opportunities to approach us with their proposals.
So, we will consider the fees issue as part of those proposals as they come forward. I think for each business they will have different requirements”.
(viii) Potholes on Carden Hill
7.27 Councillor Wares put the following question:
“Potholes on Carden Hill have been reported for months by councillors and residents. There are literally dozens of holes, some big and deep. The council is aware because most now have a white square sprayed around them. However, this is a main bus route and is becoming even more dangerous with vehicles swerving to miss the craters. At least the white paint helps highlight where they are, but please could the Chair ask highways officers to increase the priority for repairs before there is a nasty accident”.
7.28 The Chair provided the following reply:
“There has been a scheme in place since early April to repair the Potholes on Carden Hill, hence the paint marks, however it has proved to be a difficult location to work on due to it being on a busy bus route and the amount of parked cars that during lockdown we have been unable to move.
This requires that we will need to temporarily remove a considerable length of parking in this the road. We are hoping that within a few weeks’ lockdown restrictions will be further lifted enabling our contractors to safely access and complete our works, however we are continuing to monitor the situation and the state of the defects”.
7.29 Councillor Wares asked the following supplementary question:
“Please can you got on and get it fixed rather than it would appearing to be sort of a kick it down the road can answer which with respect I felt I got then”.
7.30 The following reply was provided on behalf of the Chair:
“To give assurances to Councillor Wares I will be speaking to the contract manager tomorrow to make sure that work is expedited, and I hope to have rough type timescales when that work will be carried out. You should hear from me by the end of the week.”
(ix) Temple Street
7.31 Councillor Heley put the following question:
“In January, this committee voted in support of the closure of Temple Street. Whilst we understand the impacts that Covid-19 has had on officer workload, campaigners and councillors are frustrated by the lack of progress on this road. The pandemic has exacerbated the need for closure, with very narrow pavements making it difficult for social distancing and increased use of the road as a rat run. Is it possible to use an emergency TRO in order to quickly close Temple Street?”
7.32 The Chair provided the following reply:
“Emergency traffic orders can only be used in specific scenarios where there is an immediate risk to public safety such as a gas leak or a burst water main. They are not designed to be used to hurry in restrictions to avoid following due process and doing so could leave us open to legal challenge. We are aware that the residents in Temple Street are frustrated by the delay that has been caused to this scheme by the current COVID 19 situation. There will be an opportunity to review priorities within the Local Transport Plan (LTP) once the COVID 19 action plan has been delivered but until this time, many schemes on the current interim LTP programme have been put on temporary hold to release resources to address the emergency situation.
As an interim measure to address residents concerns about the speed of traffic in Temple Street, we have installed a mobile vehicle activated sign. It is hoped that this will help to modify driver behaviour but will also allow us the opportunity to collect data on the speed and volume of vehicles that will help once this scheme comes back online”.
7.33 Councillor Heley asked the following supplementary question:
“Campaigners have been told that the road will be included in the council’s streets for people as part of the Covid 19 recovery. Could you provide us with detail on this because we are struggling to get it and just a point that it would be good if the campaigners could have a bit more communication from officers. I think it's very fronts trading note knowing the real hold up and it is difficult to understand why things take so long to happen for council and residents”.
7.34 The following reply was provided on behalf of the Chair:
“I haven't heard about the streets for people campaign so I can't really answer that question unfortunately, Councillor Heley but I can give you assurance that we will be a bit more communicative and we will provide more updates about what is happening and when. We have been incredibly busy with the Covid-19 response. We have been as you know turning around bids and trying to deliver things as quickly as possible. We are really sorry about the delays to Temple Street and we really understand that residents are frustrated but we will be a better at communication and try and give you update as soon as we can”.
(x) Committee meetings
7.35 Councillor Heley put the following question:
“We have not had a full meeting of this committee since January, which means we have had 6 months with no opportunity to scrutinize the administration or to contribute in taking this city forward with progressive new polices in the policy areas of Environment, Transport and Sustainability. Why was the March meeting ‘postponed’ but never rearranged, and the May meeting ‘cancelled’?”
7.36 The Chair provided the following reply:
“The 17th March ETS committee was postponed due to the escalating Covd-19 public health crisis which meant it was not possible to hold the committee at that time but was then was rearranged very quickly for the following week and did go ahead on 24th March as an Urgency Sub-Committee. Significant reports on the Local Transport Plan, Traffic Regulation Orders, the Bulky Waste Contract, and Brighton Bikeshare were considered at this committee.
The 5th May ETS committee was cancelled as officers were focussing efforts on responding to the Covid-19 outbreak, and there were no reports for decision due to be considered at this committee and therefore, a lack of business to convene a meeting”.
7.37 Councillor Heley asked the following supplementary question:
“I totally appreciate officers are very busy but for example why did Housing Committee meet but ET&S couldn't. I know housing officers are also very busy and further the next committee meeting is not scheduled until September. So will the Chair arrange for an extra ET&S meeting to take place before them then as we have so much to get through”.
7.38 The following reply was provided on behalf of the Chair:
“As the chair said Councillor Heley, the reason committee was cancelled because there wasn't any business at that time. There is a period when we have to make a decision as to whether committee needs to be cancelled or not in terms of any additional items these the same principle applies. If there is business that is required where we need to make a decision and that business can't wait until a future committee, then the Chair can call either a special committee or an urgency sub-committee and that's a provision facility is available. So that's always the case and it continues to be the case. It will depend upon whether there is business and decisions that are required”.
7.39 Councillor Heley put the following question:
“The covid-19 pandemic has made the need to tackle air pollution more urgent. In October last year, myself and my Green Colleagues submitted a letter to this committee on the topic of implementing an Ultra-Low Emission Zone in the city, to which the Chair confirmed the council will explore. Please could we have an update on the progress of this?”
7.40 The Chair provided the following reply:
“As you know, the committee has since made a decision to also explore the feasibility of a car-free city centre by 2023, including how an Ultra-Low Emission Zone for private vehicles in the city centre can be part of the transition to this.
Officers are therefore progressing both these workstreams in a joined up and strategic way and are commissioning consultants to help with this as it will inform a major policy decision. A combined report on possible options for expanding the current Ultra-Low Emission Zone and the feasibility of introducing a car-free city centre is therefore planned to be presented to the November meeting of this committee”.
(xii) Shelter Hall
7.41 Councillor Heley put the following question:
“Like many of my colleagues, my inbox is full of concerns about the narrow path next to Shelter Hall on the A259, a popular passage for people cycling, walking and running along the seafront. Why is the council prioritising the building works of Shelter Hall over the provision of safe, socially distanced space for residents?”
7.42 The Chair provided the following reply:
“I can inform you that the project team have investigated options for opening up the shared space around the Shelter Hall to ease the pinch point and provide social distancing opportunities for walking and cycling. Unfortunately, as the shared space is also adjacent to the road works there is very little room to provide further space at this location as it’s important to ensure that members of the public are kept a safe distance from the works going on behind the hoarding and the roadworks progressing on the busy A259 junction with West Street.
Therefore, hoarding around Shelter Hall must remain in place until the contractor has completed the surfacing works on the upper promenade around the new structure. The project team is working hard to ensure that the upper promenade will be opened at the end of July/early August for both pedestrians and pedal cycles. The new road junction that provides better linkage for walking and cycling provision will also be completed by early August. Additional signage has been installed on both ends of the shared space asking people to slow down and maintain their distances. We are continually monitoring the situation and will keep you updated as things progress”.
(xiii) Electric Vehicle Charging Points
7.43 Councillor Heley put the following question:
“It has been great to see the rollout of Electric Vehicle charging points across the city in recent months, but I am frequently contacted by residents frustrated by the lack of dedicated parking bays next to the charging points. Will more dedicated bays be marked in the upcoming weeks and months?”
7.44 The Chair provided the following reply:
“The installation of 200 lamp post electric vehicle charge points together with dedicated electric vehicle recharging bays has been delayed by Covid 19, with just over 100 installed to date.
Work has now resumed, and 18 lamp post charger bays will be signed and lined as for dedicated electric vehicle charging only by the end of August.
Additionally, 44 fast charging bays will be advertised as dedicated electric vehicle recharging bays.
Any objections to these proposals for dedicated bays will be considered at September’s ETS Committee. We will continue to monitor charge point usage closely and any complaints from members of the public about them being blocked, advertising a change to dedicated recharging bays where required”.
(xiv) Disabled Cycling Provision
7.45 Councillor Heley put the following question:
“Organisations like Pedal People are doing great work in the city to make cycling more accessible. What specific examples can the council give of how they are actively including disabled cyclists (too often wrongly assumed to not be cycling themselves) in both the temporary and permanent plans to expand cycling provision in the city?”
7.46 The Chair provided the following reply:
“In terms of the temporary plans to expand the cycle network, we are allowing as much width in our designs as the existing streets will allow. For example, in Old Shoreham Road, much of the new cycle lanes are 3m wide and we have extended this for the remainder of the route as far as possible. There will also be further opportunities to review pinch points and junction layouts for all schemes if a decision is made to make them permanent at a later stage. Pedal People are also engaged in the Consultation process for the Interim and Full Local Walking & Cycling Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) that both include and Equalities Impact Assessment to ensure the needs of all users, including disabled cyclists, are incorporated into our plans.
In terms of other permanent schemes, the Parks Projects team is interested in working with Pedal People whom they understand are looking to develop longer-range bike-led experiences for those with dementia and their carers, as well as drop-in and try-out opportunities.
Stanmer Park has great potential to host visitors who are being supported by Pedal People and will welcome disabled and able-bodied cyclists. The city’s largest park offers an attractive and safe environment. The restoration project when completed will include:
o Additional accessible toilet provision in a new welcome kiosk at the main park entrance, and in the historic Walled Garden, which is being developed into a public attraction including expertly designed gardens and a café, all with accessibility at the core;
o It will also include an extension to the existing permissive bridleway as part of a wider Estate development of public trails designed for maximum access and enjoyment;
o The project’s Activity Plan is providing staff and volunteer disability awareness training.
o The project’s Activity Plan will also be funding a mobility scooter for visitor use”.
(xv) Madeira Drive
7.47 Councillor Lloyd put the following question:
“One of the few benefits of the Covid-19 crisis has been the welcome drop in unnecessary traffic across the city. We have all enjoyed the clean air, the peace, the clear night skies and roads that were safe for our children to cycle on. Sadly, the traffic has now returned, and the roads are once again polluted and unsafe. The closure of Madeira Drive was a welcome initiative and I know how many of our residents have enjoyed the traffic free space. Can we assume that Madeira Drive will remain a traffic free space from now on?”
7.48 The Chair provided the following reply:
“Madeira Drive has been temporarily closed in response to the current pandemic to provide a safe public space for residents to walk, cycle and exercise safely, it has also been identified in the Councils Urgent Transport Action Plan as a measure to prepare the city as it comes out of lockdown. The Madeira Drive temporary closure will continue to be assessed and any decision about its potential re-opening or future state will be made considering all its potential users, including residents, local businesses and visitors”.
7.49 Councillor Lloyd asked the following supplementary question:
“I am aware that Madeira Drive is creates a very high degree of parking revenue. So, what is administration’s approach to replacing that revenue bearing in mind it looks like it is going to remain close and what will happen to the numerous car and motor bike rallies that park there in summer months?”
7.50 The following reply was provided on behalf of the Chair:
“It is pretty fair to say the financial implications of the closure of Madeira Drive are detailed in the report that Councillor Pissaridou referred to as coming later. It is something that is quite apparent. Parking income does fund a lot of other transport measures so that is an issue we as a Council need to address and try and find a solution for. Given the current pandemic that is having an impact on all parking fees not just Madeira Drive. In terms of the events programme with government current restrictions and emerging restrictions on lockdown and social distancing I think some of these events are unlikely to take place at the foreseeable future, so we have not given great consideration to that. Currently Madeira Drive remains closed for the foreseeable future so events will not be the main focus for consideration of the Madeira Drive”.
(xvi) Active Travel
7.51 Councillor West put the following question:
“Two of the many important insights that lockdown has shown us are how many people could save a trip to the office through meeting virtually, and when traffic is tamed how encouraged people are to cycle.
To realise our ambition of the city becoming carbon neutral by 2030 we have to crack the stubborn carbon footprint of transport. And, I feel we will only achieve this if we prioritise reducing the need to travel, along with developing active travel and sustainable shared travel systems, over that of private vehicle use.
Will the administration support this sustainable transport hierarchy, and commit to developing Brighton & Hove as an exemplar Active Travel City?”
7.52 The Chair provided the following reply:
“I think we are already recognised for being at the forefront of delivering sustainable and active travel solutions for our residents. Our successful BikeShare scheme and our extended Access for Sustainable Growth are good examples of this. The pandemic has focused minds even more now and we are responding quickly to the opportunities that these challenging times are creating.
The development of our first Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan and our next Local Transport Plan will enable us to further ensure that we can provide people with sufficient choices and manage traffic and parking demands. I will ensure that we will take every opportunity to deliver a step-change and make cycling and walking the first choice for people’s local journeys, wherever possible”.
7.53 Councillor West asked the following supplementary question:
“While that sounds very encouraging Chair, and Covid does indeed actually give us an opportunity to stretch the opportunity of active travel, the LTP is a capital investment in infrastructure plan. The LCWIP is where we need to capture the idea of reducing the need to travel and then promoting active travel and shared travel over the car. That is the bit that I actually wish to see the Administration commit to. And when will you commit to making the LCWIP the guiding philosophy of LTP5?”
7.54 The following reply was provided on behalf of the Chair:
““As you know we have started the process for taking forward LTP5 with a number of officer member working groups to steer through the process for delivering our LTP5, and one of the fundamental principles would be to look at the hierarchy of travel, travel needs and certainly looking at the needs to travel into the office and looking at alternative forms of work, whether they be at home or other places in remote locations would be part of the thinking on that”.
7.55 Councillor West put the following question:
“With Boris prematurely easing lock down, Brighton & Hove has seen visitors flock to our beaches and into our parks. With Covid far from under control, and infections rising once again, residents are rightly worried about the safety of so many visitors failing to maintain social distancing. Seafront bars opening for takeaway food and drink, have been ill equipped to properly serve all their customer’s needs, with public urination and littering rife. We appreciate the Council have requested visitors to stay away and endeavoured to control numbers accessing the beach, while also reopening public loos and most recently raised the fine for littering. However, with uncertainty surrounding holidays abroad and in the UK this summer, this season may be remembered as the summer of day-trippers.
While the city won’t be able to stop people visiting, it can plan to cope better than it has so far with meeting the challenge. What concerted action is the administration taking to work with the hospitality businesses to help them take responsibility in providing more staff training, bins, loos and customer signage to reinforce good behaviour? And similarly, what extra resources are being put into council services to provide more bins, cleansing, pop up loos, and communications. Together we can better protect our beaches and parks from being spoiled and the image of the city tarnished. Is the administration leading a city-wide and cross departmental strategic response?”
7.56 The Chair provided the following reply:
“We have a dedicated team of Street Cleansing operatives who focus on keeping the beach and seafront areas clean and free of litter. In the summer, we supplement this with an additional 20 staff.
Current provision to keep the beach and seafront clean includes:
• 46 large, 1100 litre litter bins which we put out temporarily each summer
• 300 triple bins, with recycling facilities; these are very closely spaced so beach goers will always have a bin in easy reach. If one of the bins is full, there is another nearby.
• regular social media messages reminding people to take litter home and to keep the beach clean.
The impact of Covid-19 on maintaining the beach, as well as other areas of the city, has been significant.
During lockdown, only 40-50% of Street Cleansing operatives have been at work. In the early stages of lockdown, this was manageable as footfall within the city was significantly lower. However, as the good weather has retuned, bringing with it an upsurge in beach use, pre-pandemic anti-social and anti-environmental behaviour also returned.
Normally, we have more than 100 volunteer litter picks a year which makes a very big difference. These went on hold when lockdown started but I am pleased to say that a few Clean- ups have been done by community groups in recent weeks. We have now developed appropriate guidance for these to be extended further.
The Environmental Enforcement Service was suspended during the initial stage of lockdown, meaning the deterrent of a littering fine disappeared. The service has now been fully re-introduced and we are taking on 3 extra enforcement staff and extending the service hours into the early evening. The staff already work 7 days a week.
Moving forward, we have a cross-departmental approach in place:
The Seafront Team has placed seven pop-up toilets and a urinal in central seafront locations.
Communications will be increasing the number of media stories and social media posts relating to looking after the beach and disposing of waste responsibly.
Cityclean, Communications and the Seafront Team are installing new signage along the seafront to remind people to bin their waste or risk receiving at £150 fine for littering. This is being installed along the seafront today and similar signs are being developed for parks, the city centre and other littering and fly-tipping hotspots. A new fly tipping hotline has been introduced this week and will be publicised later in the week.
The Licensing Team has written to traders to remind them of their responsibilities in relation to doing extra litter picking, in the vicinity of their businesses and not leaving out serviettes, straws etc.
Cityclean will be facilitating volunteering and Tidy Up Team requests.
Cityclean, Sustainability, Economic Development, the Seafront Team and Licensing will be working with Surfers Against Sewerage and businesses on the seafront to ensure waste is managed responsibly. This work started last year.
This will include getting businesses involved to reduce litter on the seafront, reducing single use plastics, exploring opportunities to use licencing terms for changes to single use plastics. Exploring the option of a pledge and/or recognition scheme for businesses that manage waste generated by them and their customers. This will be complemented with an improved communications approach, including how businesses can help with messages to the public”.
7.57 Councillor West asked the following supplementary question:
“What I am hearing are all good initiatives and I am very glad in particular to hear that the beach cleans will be starting again because I am one of the members of the tidy up team and I have been a regular off and on at the Deans beach cleans around Rottingdean and Ovingdean which are very good events.
What I am not really hearing there is a proper joined up strategic approach. Where is this all owned?”
7.58 The following reply was provided on behalf of the Chair:
“Yes, we can produce written strategies although I would like to reassure Councillor West that we are taking a strategic approach in relation to the current situation. We have an events and economy working group working very closely with hospitality sector, very closely with the seafront team and the refuse teams and the whole community to ensure that we are thinking about a strategic approach to what is happening in terms of the seafront trading on the sea front and reopening of businesses as we ease the lockdown restrictions.
So, for me I think the importance is the joined-up approach right now. I'm not sure that producing more documents is necessarily going to achieve that the in the short-term. But we always take your feedback on board Councillor, thank you”.
(i) Tree Planting on Glebe Villas
7.59 The Committee considered a letter from Cllrs Nemeth and Peltzer Dunn that requested the usual tree-planting fee to be honoured in lieu of any revised figure and that a survey to be undertaken as a matter of urgency so that tree planting could take place on Glebe Villas in the autumn.
7.60 The Chair provided the following response:
“Thank you for your letter, it is good to read about the public’s enthusiasm for street tree planting in Glebe Villas. I understand that you have spoken with the arboricultural manager who has agreed to come and survey the Glebe Villas in mid-July. Until the survey has been done, we will not know if the road is suitable for planting, but we will advise when the survey is complete. As you may already be aware, we have to locate the underground services that will run under the pavement before deciding if a road is suitable, this is in addition to the more obvious things that can be seen on the surface. For this reason, tree planting surveys are time consuming.
We will be getting additional staff to speed up this process going forward as there is a great deal of interest in street tree planting at the moment.
We cannot use the standard tree donation figure for street tree planting although occasionally it is appropriate for example when planting in a grass verge, however planting into hard surfaces is far more expensive. Due to the level of concern about disruption to the pavement surfaces, which is a very real problem in the city, street trees will only be planted in properly formed tree planting pits which costs a lot more than the standard donation fee and could not be covered from existing budgets. Street tree planting costs are also very variable so need to be dealt with on a tree by tree basis.
We are experiencing a very high loss of street trees this year due to elm disease so need to make the most of any offers to replace them. For this reason, I have asked the arboricultural manager to ensure that this particular street survey goes ahead as planned although I have asked the arboricultural manager to concentrate on the current efforts to contain elm disease as the consequences of losing control will be devastating to our street trees”.
7.61 RESOLVED- That the Committee note the Letter.
(ii) Patcham Roundabout
7.62 The Committee considered a Letter from Councillor Wares that expressed disappointment in the delays to the re-design of Patcham Roundabout and lack of briefings to Patcham ward councillors on the plans. The Letter formally requested these briefings be provided and all correspondence between the Council and Highways England be shared. Councillor Wares noted that the offer of a briefing had been provided the previous day so a response from the Chair was not necessary. However, given the delays previously experienced, he hoped that a date for the briefing would be confirmed as soon as possible so he did not have to bring the matter to committee for the sixth time.
7.63 RESOLVED- That the Committee note the Letter.
(iii) Springfield Road Trees
7.64 The Committee considered a Letter from Councillor Heley requesting the planting of replacement street trees on Springfield Road.
7.65 The Chair provided the following response:
“Thank you for your letter and great to see both the public and ward members enthusiasm for street trees. I understand that on the site visit the arboriculturist made it clear that the trees could not be replanted in the way that the existing trees are planted, jutting out into the highway with no form of vehicle protection to protect the trees and avoid damage to residents cars. Subsequently to this the arboricultural manager has advised that in his opinion the only safe way to plant the trees would be to construct build outs into the road which could impact on traffic flow or on available parking.
I have asked officers to explore the feasibility and potential costs of creating build outs. This is not always straight forward as underground infrastructure, how the road has been constructed and repaired over time can impact on the ability and costs of building on the road.
If it leads to a reduction in parking spaces, we will also need to consult more widely with residents who will have fewer parking spaces available to them.
I am sorry that it has taken officers some time to get back to residents and ward members on this matter. We will progress this as soon as we can with a view to trying to have the information for residents prior to this autumns planting season so that they have time to fund raise as necessary to meet the costs. However please be aware that the arboricultural team are having to give absolute priority to tackling Dutch Elm Disease to try to prevent the spread and loose more trees and their ability to take this forward may be impacted by this”.
7.66 RESOLVED- That the Committee note the Letter.
(iv) Carden Woods and Tree Planting & Biodiversity Notice of Motion
7.67 The Chair stated that due to the similarity in topics, the Letter submitted on Carden Woods and the Notice of Motion received on Tree Planting & Biodiversity would be taken together and a joint response issued.
7.68 The Committee considered a Letter received from Councillors McNair and Theobald requesting the committee to re-affirm its commitment to tree planting in Carden Woods.
7.69 The Committee considered a Notice of Motion submitted by the Conservative Group that asked the Committee to delegate authority to the Executive Director to produce plans and details to enable and subsequently engage in local public consultation on proposals for the planting of 8,000 trees, the extension of controlled grazing of chalk grassland and the creation of bee banks and biodiversity on the slopes above Carden Park. Furthermore, that subject to the outcome of that public consultation and agreement of Patcham Ward councillors, procure and implement the necessary works and planting to deliver the scheme.
7.70 The Committee expressed their full support for the proposals outlined in the Letter and Notice of Motion.
7.71 The Chair provided the following response:
“Thank you, Councillors for your contributions, this scheme has my whole-hearted support, I had hoped that we would be looking at a range of schemes but as this one is far more advanced than others, I have asked officers to prioritise this one. I am determined to start to see large quantities of trees planted in the City this winter.
Although the current pressures of elm disease on top of all the issues of Covid 19 are stretching resources, we need to get some new trees in if we are going to avoid declining tree cover in the city and make real progress towards a carbon neutral city”.
7.72 RESOLVED- That the Committee note the Letter and agree to undertake the actions requested in the Notice of Motion.
(v) School Streets
7.73 The Committee considered a Letter submitted by Councillors Davis and West requesting the roll-out of a School Streets programme ahead of the Autumn term restart to assist with safety, space and social distancing requirements outside schools.
7.74 Several committee members expressed support for the proposal and hoped it could begin as soon as possible.
7.75 The Chair provided the following response:
“I agree that the idea of School Streets is a very useful policy that I fully support. School Streets programmes improve safety and air quality around school gates and deliver additional benefits for residents who live near school sites by reducing noise and congestion in their street. Concerns about road safety are a barrier to choosing active and sustainable modes and we know from the experience of other authorities that more pupils are likely to be allowed to walk or cycle where School Streets Schemes are in place.
However, I am also aware that before we get there, we need to follow the right process to make this work and also consider the capacity of officer and financial resources to deliver another huge work programme during the Covid 19 Pandemic.
So, in response to the key points in your letter there are three strands to School Streets that the council needs to consider. These are taster days, permanent road closures and emergency road closures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 21 January 2020 ETS Committee agreed a set of School Streets site selection criteria based on the Hackney Toolkit and approved the principle of revenue funding for one 0.6 full time equivalent officer post to project manage one pilot permanent closure in 2020-21. Members agreed that ‘gateway’ criteria for either a taster or permanent closure should be the support of a school’s head and board of governors.
An officer led one day taster closure as part of the Access Grant funded programme was also approved by the 21 January ETS to coincide with Car Free Day on 22 September 2020.
In May 2020 the Sussex Air Quality Partnership’s successful bid for a grant from Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has secured funding for two further one day taster closures. These will be delivered by Sustrans with the support of council officers, meaning there is now funding for three one day taster closures in total.
In response to the Covid-19 crisis, the schools which were interested in one day closures have asked to postpone these until the spring or summer terms of 2021. Heads are more focused on organising premises and feel preparation for worthwhile events to mark a one-day closure will require more time that the two weeks between opening on 7 September and Car Free day on 22 September will allow.
The Covid-19 crisis and the debate about schools reopening have increased calls for further emergency road closures to assist with social distancing outside the school gate. At the moment it is not clear what the government’s guidance will be by September, but we recognise that concerns will remain for staff, students, parents and carers regardless of government advice.
Lead in times for emergency road closures can be lengthy due to the need for local consultation with affected residents and often it may not be possible to implement a scheme depending on the complexity of the road layout next to the school.
Officers are therefore investigating alternatives to full closures to create wider pavement spaces such as traffic order and parking suspensions which would provide additional pavement space for social distancing without a full road closure. This would require a full audit of all sites before the end of term, plus buy in from schools and site staff for suspensions from September and may need to use volunteer marshals to be run successfully.
Camera enforcement is currently not a legal option for local authorities outside London, so physical barriers and signage are the only options available to authorities in the rest of the UK. In May 2020 the SCRIF capital funding agreed for this scheme was suspended. A decision on its future will be made in July by the Policy and Resources committee.
However, to remind you what we are already doing, The Safer Routes to School Scheme has run in Brighton and Hove for the last 20 years, delivering engineering solutions and addressing perceptions of safety risks in school communities and amongst residents. This has included and continues to do so by introducing;
• safer crossing points
• build outs,
• parking controls,
• Lighting and other measures in response to casualty data on walking and cycling.
So, until we have full support from head teachers and clarity on social distancing arrangements for schools as well as available officer resources we cannot embark on a city wide programme of delivering School Streets but will be constantly looking for opportunities to take forward specific schemes, be they temporary or permanent”.
7.76 Councillor West expressed his disappointment with the response provided that he felt made excuses for not taking action that was necessary and urgent.
7.77 The Chair noted that the issue was covered in an amendment proposed for later in the agenda and could be discussed by the committee at that point.
7.78 RESOLVED- That the Committee note the Letter.
(vi) SUP Litter
7.79 The Committee considered a Letter from Councillors Clare and Mac Cafferty that noted the increase in single-use plastic litter on the seafront and the damage it caused and requested that several actions be undertaken to combat the rise.
7.80 The Chair provided the following response:
“I too share your concerns about the exceptionally high amounts of seafront litter in recent weeks. This is an unprecedented situation linked to the pandemic and other popular visitor destinations across the country are suffering in the same way. It is very sad that some people are not more responsible with their rubbish
In addition to the challenges that you highlight in your letter during lockdown, only 40-50% of Street Cleansing operatives were at work due to Covid 19. In the early stages of lockdown, this was manageable as footfall within the city was significantly lower. However, as the good weather has retuned, bringing with it an upsurge in beach use, pre-pandemic anti-social and anti-environmental behaviour also returned
Every year, we employ an additional 20 seasonal staff who focus on keeping the beach and seafront areas clean and free of litter. These staff have been recruited and some started work last week. We also increase bin provision in the busier months and this year have added 46 large, 1100 litre bins along the seafront, to supplement the 300 new triple-recycling bins we rolled out during the winter months. There is now greater bin capacity along the seafront than there has ever been before and facilities to allow recycling.
The Environmental Enforcement Service was suspended at the start of lockdown, but they are now fully operational, and we are recruiting 3 additional staff who will work into the early evening. 2 of these staff have already started. New signage to deter littering and to warn people of the £150 fine is being placed along the seafront today. We are intending to roll out similar signage elsewhere in the city and in our parks.
Normally, we have more than 100 volunteer litter picks a year which makes a very big difference. These were on hold at the beginning of lockdown, but I am pleased to say that some community groups have recently recommenced beach clean ups and we have put in place appropriate arrangements for these to start again more widely.
The Communications Team has published several media stories and social media posts relating to looking after the beach and disposing of waste responsibly and explaining what the implications are if this is not followed. We are developing a broader media campaign about keeping our city clean.
We really appreciate the approach from Surfers Against Sewerage who were already working with the seafront team, city clean and businesses last year to try to encourage traders to end the use of single use plastics on the seafront.
Moving forward, I am pleased to let you know that a new working group has been established with several council services represented including:
• The Sustainability Team
• Economic Development
• The Seafront Team
They will be working with Surfers Against Sewerage on the suggestions within your letter with Surfers Against Sewerage, including:
• Working with seafront businesses to develop a pledge/charter for businesses to sign up to, committing them and their customers to manage their waste responsibly. This could be rolled out more widely once developed.
• Identifying ways for businesses to reduce the use of single use plastics such as exploring use of alternatives and/or a deposit return scheme. We are investigating the introduction of a workable Vegeware utensils collection for seafront businesses so that all seafront businesses can invest in using this as an alternative to the throw-away food and drink packaging they currently use.
• Exploring opportunities to use licencing terms for changes to single use plastics.
• This officer group will review how other local authorities have reduced the use of single use plastic.
The first meeting with Surfers Against Sewerage with officers is tomorrow when we will be suggesting that we develop a joint action and will find out if SAS have any additional ideas. The way to tackle these issues is certainly through collaboration.
In terms of the council’s work on reducing the use of single use plastic more generally this has become strategically embedded through the development of a Circular Economy Framework for the City to help inform changes in council procurement policy. We require service providers to evidence the minimum use of single-use plastics and use of reusable alternatives where possible through service delivery and purchasing decisions. The Circular Economy working group is particularly focussing on working with the construction industry and food to try to encourage reuse of all materials wherever feasible.
The elimination of single-use plastics across council buildings is on-going. The use of disposable plastic cups has ended, and many services have audited their purchasing and eliminated the use of Single Use Plastic wherever possible, Reusable options to replace the previous disposable anti-bacterial wipes was rolled out across council building towards the end of 2019. As staff return to council buildings the use of reusables will be further promoted to encourage staff to keep using sustainable alternatives and to ensure single-use plastics are kept out of the workplace.
The outdoor events team have been working over the past year to support event organisers in adopting sustainable practice across city events and eliminating their use of single-use plastics. Key policy documents have been updated to reflect the on-going work of the team in supporting these measures. These include updates to the Events Charter, Sustainable Commitment Form and new Environmental Impact Assessment”.
7.81 RESOLVED- That the Committee note the Letter.
(vii) Domestic Air Quality
7.82 The Committee considered a Letter from Councillor Osborne that set out various issues that contributed to poor air quality and requested that the committee commission a report covering a number of issues that could address this.
7.83 The Chair provided the following response:
I am sure that you and the committee will be reassured to know that I have requested officers undertake a comprehensive review of air quality which will result in a report coming to this committee towards the end of this year. We will also make sure that the outcomes of that work are reported to other relevant boards and committees.
The work will review our Air Quality Management Areas and make recommendations for any changes, and a new Air Quality Action Plan with appropriate and deliverable measures will be developed for consultation and approval. I am sure that this work will have the right emphasis on particulates, and that it will consider the issues that you have raised in your letter where it can.
The Government is also taking steps to deal with this national problem in its 2019 Clean Air Strategy and is updating the Clean Air Act to modernise smoke control legislation for local authorities. It also recognises the need to meet World Health Organisation guidelines for particulates. Issues related to the wider aspects of air quality in terms of environmental protection in the UK is likely to change with the new Environment Bill that is being developed. Central government does recognise that councils have an essential role to play by leading specific and locally appropriate responses and driving innovation. The Bill provides additional powers and flexibilities for councils to deliver action, and we look forward to being able to use these in the future.”
7.84 Councillor West and Councillor Wares expressed their support for the proposals made by Councillor Osborne in his Letter and the very concise way complex information had been presented.
7.85 RESOLVED- That the Committee note the Letter.
(D) NOTICES OF MOTION
(i) Environmental Impact Assessment and Traffic Modelling
7.86 Councillor Wares moved the following motion on behalf of the Conservative Group:
This Committee agrees to request the Executive Director Economy, Environment & Culture: -
1. To commission and undertake a full environmental impact assessment (including air quality assessment) and full comprehensive traffic modelling assessment (including traffic displacement and bus congestion impact analysis for North Street and Old Steine) over the project areas known as Valley Gardens 3 and Duke’s Mound including the A259 and Madeira Drive. The assessments to consider the areas as if they were one; and
2. Report back the results of those assessments for further consideration by this Committee at the earliest opportunity.
7.87 Introducing the motion, Councillor Wares noted that the committee had previously been informed that funding deadlines for the Valley Gardens scheme could not be extended however, the recent announcement on the extension of the deadline had disproven that. Councillor Wares stated that he believed there was little understanding of the impact the changes relating to Valley Gardens Phase would have on the surrounding areas. The extension to funding for the scheme now provided opportunity to the assessments that should have been carried out at the scheme inception.
7.88 Councillor Brown formally seconded the motion and stated that it was imperative to have a greater understanding of traffic movement and air pollution relating to the changes at Valley Gardens so the council could meet its carbon neutrality ambitions.
7.89 The Chair provided the following response:
“Following your detailed and very similar question at Full Council in January, I did provide you with a written response that addressed these matters.
This Notice of Motion also seems remarkably similar to the one Councillor Miller presented at Full Council on the 24 October 2019, which was not supported.
I will therefore repeat what I have previously explained or written in response to Member’s representations, and those from other people, about these issues.
The Valley Gardens Phase 3 project was properly screened for environmental assessment and there is a technical note available on the council’s website about it. This will provide reassurance that that potential impacts are not expected to be significant and cause harm. We will continue to review these matters throughout the next design stage and will monitor them during and after construction. If that review or monitoring identifies anything that changes from what we already know or expect, then we will take appropriate action immediately as we would with any other project.
Sufficient traffic modelling has also been done to enable us to begin the detailed design stage for Valley Gardens Phase 3.
The planning application for the Black Rock site works, which included the Duke’s Mound junctions, has now been considered and agreed by the Planning Committee. Information about transport and many other important issues such as the environmental ones were part of that process, and the committee will have taken this into account when making its decision”.
7.90 Councillor Davis noted that the matter had been raised at committee a number of times and it was clear that the scheme had been properly screened for an environmental impact assessment and this matte would be continually reviewed. Two air quality monitors would be placed in the area that would be a further measure to monitor air quality. Councillor Davis stated that it was clear that to meet carbon neutrality targets, traffic would have to decrease, and more sustainable methods of transport promoted and supported.
7.91 Councillor Fowler stated that it was highly unusual for alteration to an existing city centre traffic centre to justify a full environmental impact assessment and the council were not building a new road on a green belt site. Councillor Fowler added that comprehensive measures were in place to monitor the scheme and changes could be made to the detailed design if negative impacts were discovered. Councillor Fowler explained that personally, she was looking forward to the development of a new green space to enjoy in the heart of the city.
7.92 Councillor Wares stated that he believed the Phase 3 scheme to represent an enormous risk to the economy of the city and he would not support that. Councillor Wares stated his view that no comprehensive analysis had been undertaken aside a few sentences in a consultant report. Councillor Wares noted that similar measure undertaken in North Street had caused a huge increase in pollution and he found it likely this scheme would do exactly the same.
7.93 RESOLVED- That the Committee note the Motion.
(ii) Active Travel Infrastructure
7.94 Councillor Heley moved an amended motion on behalf of the Green Group. The changes to the originally published version are shown in bold italics below:
“This committee notes that the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of active travel and has emphasised the need to quickly improve infrastructure to allow for safe walking and cycling.
Walking and cycling have become popular and safe ways to travel during this period of social distancing. The other benefits of improving air quality, promoting health and wellbeing, and helping our city become carbon-neutral by 2030 highlight the urgency of building adequate infrastructure and re-allocating road space for the benefit of active travel users and for the climate.
Therefore, this committee;
1) Notes the importance of Brighton and Hove City council providing the infrastructure for active travel, in order to encourage walking and cycling
Requests that this committee begins the necessary
processes to review
ensure all temporary measures
taken as part of the Covid-19 emergency travel plan
Urgent Response Transport Action Plan and with emergency
funding from the Government, will work to ensure work begins
to take these forward as bring these
proposals forward as permanent measures, subject to work
undertaken to identify the funding required and an Equality
3) That in considering proposals, the council takes into consideration all necessary statutory consultation, particularly in order to ensure any changes to road layouts meet high accessibility standards, so that changes to the road layout are clearly identifiable to all users
7.95 Introducing the motion, Councillor Heley stated that it should not have taken a global pandemic to provide opportunity to residents to walk and cycle on roads. Councillor Heley stated that the Council needed to expand existing infrastructure to allow more people to travel rather than focus on behaviour change without providing safe ways of doing so.
Councillor Heley added that the evidence was clear that where there are cycle lanes there are more cyclists where there is more space for pedestrians there are more people on foot and the motion proposed a sensible way to make permanent the temporary measures brought in.
7.96 Councillor Davis formally seconded the motion and stated that with the reduction in traffic during the pandemic, there was a window of opportunity to make real changes in the residents navigate the city. Councillor Davis stated that if the council’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2030 was critical and investment in permanent active travel infrastructure would go a long way in reaching that ambition.
7.97 The Chair provided the following response:
“Each member of this committee, and all of our colleagues, will fully recognise the importance and benefits of active travel in addressing a number of city-wide issues, including improving air quality, promoting health and wellbeing and helping our city become carbon neutral by 2030. These challenges, and the opportunities to address them by delivering active travel infrastructure, are recognised within many of our plans and strategies – our Corporate Plan, our City Plan, our Local Transport Plan and our joint Health & Wellbeing Strategy.
That recognition has now been heightened because of the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, and we have moved quickly with positive decisions at a number of committees in recent weeks, to ensure that transport is a key part of our recovery programme. The report that we will be considering later on this agenda about an Interim Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan clearly sets out how we can respond further to the Covid-19 pandemic. It explains that any temporary measures put in place in the city are evidence-based and strategically planned. The measures themselves are detailed in the Urgent Response Transport Action Plan within that report with recommendations that we will be considering today. They are ambitious because we need to make a difference to people’s lives and the city by locking in the benefits that the lockdown period has presented to us.
The suitability of retaining temporary measures in the longer term will need more work and evidence to assess them such as the public feedback we receive about them, the monitoring of their effectiveness, consultation with the local community, and their deliverability and cost.
Any measures taken forward will be subject to an Equalities Impact Assessment, which will consider the needs of those with protected characteristics including those with disabilities. The council has already, as part of the Interim LCWIP work, engaged with groups representing walking, cycling, equalities and accessibility, including Possibility People. Any measures taken forward will also follow guidance and best practice and be subject to necessary statutory consultation and other legal processes.
We do welcome the additional funding that the government has made available to us to introduce these measures; the indicative allocation was one of the highest in the country. I am confident that our first application to the government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund will be successful, and that we will be able to demonstrate that we can do more in the second application round when we know more about it”.
7.98 Councillor West welcomed the motion and stated that proper investment was required to encourage people to walk and to cycle to meet the council’s carbon neutral 2030 target. Councillor West stated that residents who had benefitted from the temporary measures put in place during the pandemic needed assurance that the council would consult on the matter and make those measures permanent where supported.
7.99 Councillor Wilkinson stated his support for the motion and that interim Covid-19 response local cycling walking infrastructure plan report later in the agenda was a significant and exciting first step towards transforming active travel in the city.
7.100 Councillor Wares stated that his Group would not be supporting the motion and the reasons for that would be raised in the later discussion of the interim Covid-19 LCWIP report.
7.101 RESOLVED- That the Committee agree to undertake the request of the Notice of Motion.
- Item 7(b) MemberQuestions, item 7. PDF 128 KB
- 7 (c) (1) Glebe Villas, item 7. PDF 259 KB
- 7 (c) (2) Patcham Rabout, item 7. PDF 122 KB
- 7 (c) (3) Springfield Trees, item 7. PDF 105 KB
- 7 (c) (4) Carden Woods, item 7. PDF 176 KB
- 7 (c) (5) School Streets, item 7. PDF 263 KB
- 7 (c) (6) SUP Litter, item 7. PDF 152 KB
- 7 (c) (7) Domestic Air Quality, item 7. PDF 373 KB
- 7d (1) ConGrp NoM Carden Woods, item 7. PDF 196 KB
- 7d (2) ConGrp NoM EIA, item 7. PDF 193 KB
- 7d (3) GrnGrp active travel infrastructure NoM, item 7. PDF 101 KB
- 7d (3) GrnGrp active travel infrastructure NoM revised, item 7. PDF 100 KB