Agenda item - Member Involvement

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Agenda item

Member Involvement

To consider the following matters raised by Members:

 

(a)         Petitions: To receive any petitions;

 

(b)         Written Questions:

 

A list of questions submitted by Members has been included in the agenda papers.

 

(c)          Letters: To consider any letters;

 

(d)         Notices of Motion: to consider any Notices of Motion submitted directly to the Committee:

 

(1)      Fair Trade – Proposed by Councillor Appich.

Minutes:

(b)       Written Questions

 

(i)         Anti-Racism

 

24.1    Councillor Evans put the following question:

 

“Following the excellent report and debate at the last meeting of this committee, and the NoM passed at full council, could we please have a brief update on the progress of the work being done on Becoming an Anti-Racist Council?”

 

24.2    The Chair gave the following response:

 

Thank you for your question I believe responses to the petition and NOMs have provided a short update for today’s committee and propose that further updates are provided in the progress report coming to the next committee meeting in November.

 

(ii)        Section 106 Monies

 

24.3    Councillor Bridget Fishleigh gave the following question:

 

Do you agree that ward councillors should be involved in the allocation of Section 106 monies and, if so, would you please put a process in place to make sure we are consulted before the legal agreements are finalised by which time it’s too late?”

 

24.4    The Chair gave the following response:

 

           Thank you for your question about s106 contributions

 

I think it’s worth providing context on the rules for s106 contributions – they are required under national rules to make new development acceptable - they must be necessary and directly related to development. We generally seek them on developments of 10 or more homes.

 

Under the current system, ward councillors can provide comments to case officers on developer contributions - while the applications are being considered. Councillors are notified of new planning applications via the weekly list. At this stage you can propose what you consider are local priorities for developer contributions. However, officers need to look at these against adopted policies and national rules.

 

The sums due are mainly calculated using approved formulas in the adopted Planning Obligations Technical Guidance. In terms of where the sums are spent – this is based on priorities identified in strategies approved by councillors (such as the Open Spaces Strategy) and based on comments received from the relevant Teams consulted (such as City Parks and Transport). Any proposals would need to show clear links to the impact of the development in its locality

 

Looking to the future, the current system will be changing when the Community Infrastructure Levy starts on the 5 October.  Funds collected through this levy will be able to be spent citywide to support the council’s infrastructure needs. There will be formal governance arrangements for agreeing how the money is allocated (probably through an annual bidding process). This will be agreed by this committee next year. In terms of how this affects you and other councillors - some of the funding will be ring fenced for spending in the wards where the permission was granted. It can be spent on local priorities in consultation with ward councillors and neighbourhood groups. In Rottingdean, these sums will be passed to the parish council for them to spend on their local priorities. At the same time, S106 obligations will be scaled back and will be used to secure affordable housing and on-site specific infrastructure requirements.

 

As the current system comes to an end in a few weeks, and the changes post CIL will include greater opportunities for councillors to be involved in how the levy is spent, I do not intend to make any changes to the existing arrangements as outlined in your question.

 

However, it must be noted that we are concerned about Conservative Government’s new Planning White Paper that sets out plans to abolish the existing system of developer contributions; and could lift the threshold for Section 106 payments under the current system. We are responding to this consultation as a council as these changes could come into play relatively soon.”

 

24.5    As a supplementary question, Councillor Fishleigh requested that the chair contact the 106 officer and arrange access of the draft 106.

 

24.6    The Chair agreed to follow up on this.

 

(iv)      Anti – Social Behaviour on Hove Seafront

 

24.7    Councillor Nemeth gave the following question:

 

Will the Chair provide an individual update on each of the Recommendations 3-8 of Agenda Item 7 (Anti-social Behaviour on Hove Seafront) from the 18th June 2020 meeting of this committee as reproduced below?

 

(3) Requested that the Chief Executive of Brighton & Hove City Council writes to the Divisional Commander of Sussex Police to ask for assistance i) in dealing with the more serious breaches of by-laws and ii) in developing a joint strategy to make better use of CCTV resources on and around the seafront.

 

(4) Called on officers to draw up plans to regularise signage on Hove seafront to make existing rules clearer.

 

(5) Called on officers to prioritise the clean-up of various seafront graffiti hotspots such as the King Alfred and Hove Lagoon.

 

(6) Gave officers backing to spend from existing budgets a sum of up to £500 for packets of graffiti wipes that would be made available free of charge from the Seafront Office to anybody wishing to clean up graffiti on the seafront.

 

(7) Called on officers to discuss the ongoing overflowing bin situation with appropriate colleagues.

 

(8) Called on officers to circulate other ideas to further bolster ongoing efforts.”

 

24.8    The Chair gave the following response:

 

“Q1      Requested that the Chief Executive of Brighton & Hove City Council writes to the Divisional Commander of Sussex Police to ask for assistance i) in dealing with the more serious breaches of by-laws and ii) in developing a joint strategy to make better use of CCTV resources on and around the seafront.

 

The Chief Executive is in regular contact with the Divisional Commander of Sussex Police and I have asked officers to make sure that this is actioned as soon as possible. I have been informed that additional police resource has been allocated to open spaces, including the seafront, in the city over the summer months.

 

Q2       Called on officers to draw up plans to regularise signage on Hove seafront to make existing rules clearer.

 

Through the project to better manage waste on the seafront, signage along the seafront will be reviewed and updated to assist the public in using the area responsibly. This will include rationalising signage and making it clear the behaviour that is expected and what the implications are if this is not met. The audit will include all signage relating to byelaws and water safety.

 

Q3       Called on officers to prioritise the clean-up of various seafront graffiti hotspots such as the King Alfred and Hove Lagoon.

 

Cityclean is responsible for removing graffiti from council property. It is not the council’s responsibility to clear graffiti from private property unless it is offensive. In August, graffiti was removed from council assets on the seafront from Hove Lagoon to Black Rock. This was part of a 2-week clean-up which targeted problem areas. A report is to be presented to Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee on 29 September seeking approval for new enforcement measures to be introduced to address graffiti on private property.

 

Q4       Gave officers backing to spend from existing budgets a sum of up to £500 for packets of graffiti wipes that would be made available free of charge from the Seafront Office to anybody wishing to clean up graffiti on the seafront.

 

Graffiti removal wipes have been decommissioned due to their costly and environmentally damaging nature. Products to paint over graffiti continue to be available via the Tidy Up Team and Community Clean Up Scheme, including paint (most common colours, black, white and magnolia) and equipment to facilitate painting, such as paint brushes, rollers, trays and personal protective equipment. Cityclean has reviewed the market for an alternative to the wipes. A graffiti removal spray, to be used with reusable rags redistributed from the hospitality industry has been tested and reviewed. Product risk assessments have highlighted the need for certain personal protective equipment. The wipes, rags and personal protective equipment are available via the Community Clean Up Scheme.

The new removal spray is likely to leave smears on communal bins, a problem which was common with wipes. Cityclean’s preference is for paint to be used to cover graffiti vandalism on communal bins, which is available from the Community Clean Up Scheme.

 

Q5       Called on officers to discuss the ongoing overflowing bin situation with appropriate colleagues.

 

As lockdown restrictions eased, footfall increased significantly along the seafront, resulting in higher levels of litter being produced. On one day, 11 tonnes of waste was removed from the beach, compared to the usual three tonnes on a normal busy summer’s day. An extra 60 large 1100 lite bins have been put in place to accommodate the increased demand for bins.

 

Q6       Called on officers to circulate other ideas to further bolster ongoing efforts.

 

Officers would be happy to explore further ideas regarding bolstering efforts to reduce ASB on Hove Seafront. If Cllr Nemeth would like to contact the Head of Safer Communities she would be happy to have those discussions with him and other relevant officers going forward.

 

I want to finish by saying that our city recently participated in the Great British September Clean. Councillors, including myself, and many, many residents have picked litter, removed graffiti, peel stickers and posters off our street furniture. Councillors are role models and I encourage all members of this committee to help keep Brighton & Hove tidy. I myself regularly pick litter on Hove beach (and even Brighton beach!), either on my own or in a group. There is something everyone can do, even if you just pick up a couple of items of litter every time you visit the beach or your local park.”

 

24.9    Councillor Nemeth sought legal clarification on the reason for not providing graffiti wipes despite having been agreed at previous TECC Committee.

 

24.10  The Head of Commercial Law stated that a response had been received.

 

(v)       Fly Posting on the Seafront

 

24.11  Councillor Nemeth gave the following question:

 

“Would the Chair join community groups, amenity societies and tourist businesses by making a strong and unequivocal statement against fly-posting on the Brighton & Hove seafront, and will she pledge to call on colleagues to investigate and prosecute where possible those participating in fly-posting campaigns in tourist areas?”

           

24.12  The Chair gave the following response:

 

I would agree that illegal fly-posting is a blight on the environment whether the Seafront or other areas. I mentioned in my response to your last question that Brighton & Hove participated in the recent Great British September Clean, where many of us Councillors, Cityclean operatives and volunteer tidy up teams took time to tackle some of this ourselves.

 

The legislation is very specific in relation to fly-posting in that the Fixed Penalty Notice can only be issued to the individual committing the act, not the venue or promoter relating to the event.

 

The Seafront has recently been added to the Environmental Enforcement Team’s patrol route and resources were increased over the summer months to deter environmental crimes, including fly-posting. Officers will continue to patrol the Seafront and will issue a Fixed Penalty Notice to anyone caught fly-posting.

 

Background Information on Fly-posting

 

Fly-posting, in the main, is illegal. Anyone caught fly-posting will be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £150 under section 43 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. The Fixed Penalty Notice can only be issued to the individual committing the act, not the venue or promoter relating to the event.

 

The council actively removes fly-posting from council owned street furniture, bins, benches, signs etc. and rapidly responds to reported offensive and racist flyposting.

The council is not responsible for removing fly-posting from privately owned property.

There are exemptions for local events of a religious, educational, cultural, political, social or recreational character, or any temporary matter in connection with an event or local activity of such a character, which is not being promoted or carried out for commercial purposes.

 

There are further exemptions as specified in the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007”

 

24.13  Councillor Nemeth requested that the Chair consult Caroline Lucas MP as to the reason for her appearance as part of a poster campaign by a prolific poster campaign.

 

24.14  The Chair agreed to consult Caroline Lucas MP.

 

(vi)      Sport on Hove Seafront

 

24.15  Councillor gave the following question:

 

           Will the Chair pledge to call for consultation with the many groups which participate in various sporting activities on the Hove seafront if/when further changes to the parking arrangements are considered?”

 

24.16  The Chair gave the following response:

 

The changes to the parking arrangements adjacent to Hove Lawns were introduced as part of an experimental traffic regulation order (ETRO) that was advertised in the local press and on notices on lamp columns on 17th July. Feedback on the scheme is welcomed from everyone during the first six months of the scheme being in operation and all feedback will be presented to elected members before any decision is made regarding whether to make the experimental scheme permanent, amend it or remove it entirely. To take part in the formal experimental traffic regulation order consultation please visit www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/TRO-proposals and complete the online form for TRO-14-2020. Alternatively, you can provide general feedback on any of the Covid-19 urgent response temporary measures by completing an online survey at www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/covid-19-temporary-measures.

 

If further parking arrangements are changed within the Hove seafront, then groups who participate in the various sporting activities can be involved in any consultation. Directly affected businesses would be consulted during the Traffic Regulation order (TRO) process as it is advertised for a 21-day consultation period with notices on street and in the press and on the Council website before anything is implemented. The other visitor / groups can participate in the consultation period during the advertising of the TRO with any concerns / objections being presented to the next available Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee for final approval before any changes any made.”

 

24.17  Councillor Nemeth noted enquired how sport would be promoted by TECC Committee for people who could not access the seafront as easily now that they could not drive there.

 

24.18  The Chair stated that parks were close to many residents, bus routes and cycle lanes were also an available option. Feedback was welcomed.

 

(vii)     Covid and Sport

 

24.19  Councillor Nemeth gave the following question:

 

           What analysis has been carried out on the effects of COVID on sport and leisure in Brighton & Hove?”

 

24.20  The Chair gave the following response:

 

“Research that has been undertaken during the pandemic has been at a national level by Sport England which has indicated that the effects are changing throughout the pandemic. At a local level the focus has been to manage the impact of the closure of the sports facilities and work towards a phased re-opening to enable residents to participate in council facilities.

 

Due to the pandemic colleagues in Public Health have postponed a citywide consultation for a new Sport & Physical Activity Strategy. When it is possible for that consultation to take place it will give the opportunity for a better understanding of the impact of the pandemic on sport and physical activity participation in the city. Furthermore, Sport England provide participation data retrospectively for local authority areas and the future publication of such data will also provide a helpful insight into the effects in the city.”

 

(d)       Petitions

 

(i)           Fair Trade

 

24.21  Councillor Appich presented the Notice of Motion.

 

24.22  Councillor O’Quinn formally seconded the motion.

 

24.23  The motion passed.

 

24.24  RESOLVED – that:

 

1.    Committee note the importance of Fair Trade as part of a sustainable future;

2.    Committee note the Council’s continued commitment to Fair Trade as part of the minimum buying standards for food and catering contracts;

3.    Committee note that opportunities to increase the Council’s commitment to buying Fair Trade for food and catering contracts continue to be sought and taken wherever possible within the current budgetary constraints;

4.    A report be brought to the next meeting of this Committee setting out progress.

Supporting documents:

 


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