Agenda item - Public Involvement

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Agenda item

Public Involvement

To consider the following matters raised by members of the public:

 

(a)           Petitions: To receive any petitions presented by members of the public;

 

(i)             Traffic Calming Measures on Dyke Road

(ii)            Wish Park, Hove, Disabled Toilet - Equality of Access

 

(b)           Written Questions: To receive any questions submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 13 January 2021;

 

(i)             Saltdean skatepark bins

(ii)            New England Road

 

(c)           Deputations: To receive any deputations submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 13 January 2021.

Minutes:

(A)          PETITIONS

 

(1)           Traffic Calming Measures on Dyke Road

 

62.1      The Committee considered a petition signed by 60 people requesting the installation of traffic calming measures to reduce vehicle speed on Dyke Road and the surronding roads.

 

62.2      The Chair provided the following response:

 

“Thank you for raising your concerns about the speed of vehicles on Dyke Road. I am aware that you have received a number of responses from Council officers and Councillors on this matter. During this correspondence you have been advised that the limited funding available for responding to speed concerns is primarily prioritised based on casualty data. This is a tool used by many local authorities and whilst I understand that this is frustrating, there is only a limited amount of funding and resource available to respond to requests from the public and the volume of requests relating to the speed of vehicles far outweighs the funding available.

In correspondence you have been advised that the Council is part of the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership and works with other bodies and Authorities to help improve road safety in the Sussex region. The Police are important partners and work with the Council and the community to help address concerns about speeding via its SpeedWatch initiative. I believe you have been provided with the details about how to access the Speedwatch Programme which is actively working in Brighton and Hove and something that we would encourage you and your neighbours to pursue.

The Council also has a number of Mobile Vehicle Activated Signs that are used around the City to influence driver behaviour. As you are aware, Dyke Road is already on the waiting list for one of these signs but again the demand far exceeds supply and therefore I am afraid this is not an instant solution.

In light of the additional concerns you have raised today we will ask officers to conduct a review of the existing 20mph signage on Dyke Road to see if additional or larger signs may be appropriate.

Later this year we will be having a report about this unfair approach to how we allocate traffic calming measures, but I also want to emphasise that the agenda items today on the climate assembly and liveable city centre aim to tackle road safety in a much more forward thinking approach. Reducing the amount of cars on the road and allowing people to choose sustainable, active and public transport will help make our roads safer for all users, and that is a major priority for us as an Administration”.

 

62.3      RESOLVED- That the Committee note the petition.

 

(2)           Wish Park Hove, Disabled Toilet

 

62.4      The Committee considered a petition signed by 428 people requesting that the disabled toilet in Wish Park, Hove be opened and cleaned more frequently and accessed through a radar key system.

 

62.5      The Chair provided the following response:

 

“Thank you for your petition. Equality of access to toilet facilities is very important so thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Saxon Pavilion is a council owned building where the toilet facility was historically managed by City Clean.

When the previous lease on Saxon Pavilion expired, it provided the council with an opportunity to re-let the pavilion to a new tenant which included the new tenant taking over the maintenance of the toilet.

The opening hours of the toilet when the council were maintaining was from Good Friday to the end of September 8.30am to 8pm.

Under the new lease terms with the nursery at Saxon Pavilion, the tenant maintains the toilets on the same basis as the council (Good Friday to the end of September), from 8.30am – 6.30pm, in line with their own opening hours, which is slightly reduced.

In contrast, the lease with Wish Park Café includes the same provisions for them to be responsible for the running and maintenance of the toilets and to allow access to the public during their opening times.

The council is currently exploring the options available to align the opening hours of the two sites, along with the possibility of installing a radar key. 

Officers are currently reviewing options for funding refurbishment of the 12 highest footfall toilets in the city which will be present to Policy and Resources Committee for a decision in the coming months. As part of the programme we will be looking to ensure disabled access to toilets and where feasible to introduce more changing places facilities. Officers will also be looking at longer term options for refurbishment and improving access at the other 23 public toilets in the city that are managed by the council as funding allows. Whenever a toilet is refurbished, we will look to increase accessibility for all”.

 

62.6      Councillor Appich noted that parks were increasingly being used as an alternative open space during the pandemic and toilet provision was essential.

 

62.7      Councillor Appich moved a motion to request an officer report formally responding to the petition.

 

62.8      Councillor Wilkinson formally seconded the motion.

 

62.9      The Chair suggested that a report with broader scope than toilet provision in one park be brought to the committee. That report would consider the request made in the petition.

 

62.10   The Committee were supportive of the suggestion made by the Chair.

 

62.11   RESOLVED- That the Committee receive an officer report on toilet provision in the city to a future meeting.

 

(B)          PUBLIC QUESTIONS

 

(1)           Saltdean Skatepark bins

 

62.12   Rose Miller read the following question:

 

“Please can we have new bins in the skateboard park (currently none in the near vicinity and the rubbish is terrible on a daily basis), in the centre of the park where the path crosses and a new bit to replace the recently removed dog bin to the South East?”

 

62.13   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“Bins are generally placed at the edges of parks to allow for efficient and quick emptying, in the case of Saltdean all of the bins are emptied by a vehicle using the public highway and not entering the park. I have asked for parks bins to reviewed across the city as I have had requests for more in certain areas and I am keen to try to get some of the waste that the public leave in parks recycled.

The bins in Saltdean Oval will be included in this but until the review is completed later this year, we will avoid putting bins in as it is anticipated that some of the bin sites and on some locations the type of bin, will change”.

 

62.14   Rose Miller asked the following supplementary question:

 

“There’s no possibility of them being put inside the skate park as they are inside the park?”

 

62.15   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“Not immediately as we’re going to encompass Saltdean Oval in our overall review of park bins and hopefully get some more recycling in there”.

 

(2)           New England Road

 

62.16   Adrian Hart read the following question:

 

“If I cycle underneath the bridge on New England Road my breathing often worsens. The covered area is long, traffic congested involving hill starts and queuing which causes emissions build up and pollution to linger. I’ve been told it won’t be monitored despite it harming the health of those walking and cycling.

Can we solve this problem by either bringing in a ZEZ like London’s Beech Street, close the road when pollution is high, make it eastbound only with a yellow box, add advisory signs for pedestrians or cyclists as in Stoke on Trent or close it to motor vehicles?”

 

62.17   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“Thank you for your question Adrian.  I am sorry to hear that you have experienced breathing problems when cycling in this area of the city.  We are aware that New England Road has poor air quality and I would agree that the Preston Circus and New England Road traffic signals where the two main A roads cross are very busy, with traffic queuing and an uphill gradient.  

There have been some recent improvement works to the junctions to safely optimise the movement of people and vehicles at these busy junctions.  However, that area remains within the city’s central and largest Air Quality Management Area and we will continue to assess road transport emissions and roadside air quality along the road.  

This and five other areas in the city are designated on the basis of primarily prioritising air quality improvements in and around homes, in line with Government guidance to address people’s exposure to pollution over prolonged periods.  The main pollutant is Nitrogen Dioxide and the main source of it is vehicles, and therefore one of our main priorities must be to reduce overall traffic levels.  At the same time, we want to increase the uptake of zero emission vehicles and provide people with convenient and sustainable alternatives, wherever possible.

However, this is clearly not good enough. That is why we are considering new ideas for reducing traffic in central and residential areas to make them more liveable and improving air quality through the introduction of a wider Ultra Low Emission Zone. In the papers today you can see we are recommending a city wide ultra low emission zone, which is necessary if we really want to tackle air pollution for all residents in the city. As well as this. Later in the year, a more comprehensive Air Quality Action Plan will be published for public consultation, so I hope you will participate in that and use the opportunity to put forward your particular suggestions for improving conditions under the bridge and elsewhere in the city”.

 

62.18   Adrian Hart asked the following supplementary question:

 

“Does the council accept how inaccessible parts of Brighton are especially the alternative to this route that takes 20-25 minutes longer?”

 

62.19   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“Yes, I think we obviously accept that is a very difficult thing”.

 

(3)           Stanmer Building consultation

 

62.20   Jamie Hooper read the following question:

 

“Can ETS ask Property & Design to urgently revisit those proposals submitted in the 2010 Public Consultation on the Home Farm, Stanmer buildings, and contact those who took part, as well as open up the invitation for additional proposals to new individuals, to see if there are any submissions that can be discussed in more detail and brought back to the next ETS?”

 

62.21   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“The question needs to be put into context and can best be answered through the huge consultation and engagement exercise that the council, led by Property & Design is currently undertaking on the City Downland Estate Plan (CDEP), our Whole Estate Plan that is requirement of the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA). It is an extremely important policy document and a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to set out our proposed vision for the future of our downland estate and associated achievements focusing on the council’s main strategic objectives around climate change and biodiversity. As a council, we are re committed to protecting what makes our downland so special and valuable, but also looking for ways in which we can improve our estate and make this equally, if not more valuable over the next 100 years, with particular focus on the next 10 years.

Stanmer Park and its facilities fall within this large consultation and we will await the outcome of the engagement process facilitated by independent community specialists Planning for Real. Information about this consultation can be found on the council’s website which also sets out an indicative timetable. Participation has been good, and we have had a great response to the online discussion groups with over 400 people contributing their ideas and opinions. In addition to this, over 8000 people have visited our webpages to learn about the Plan. We are aiming to have the consultation findings and a draft Plan for further consultation in the Summer and a final report for approval by the Council and SDNPA at the end of 2021. 

In terms of the scope of the Stanmer Traditional Agricultural Buildings (STAB) project, this has changed considerably over time following a number of specialist survey findings that have been undertaken. The surveys undertaken -  Condition  & Defects Survey , Conservation Structural Assessment , Structural Report, Asbestos Survey, Measured Building Survey, Timber Decay Survey, BAT Survey, Utility Survey helped us build up a picture of the condition of the Long Barn which has been found to be poor, compromised structurally and would require significant rebuilding to enable it to be used for the proposed uses that came out of the large public consultation that took place in November 2012. It was this consultation and the marketing exercise carried out in 2011 that helped us to develop our proposed project scheme, business case and associated funding that were given final Committee approval in 2016.  To add to this it is clear that the kind of commercial use changes we were proposing for the STAB project are also not now feasible due to major changes in the economy and consequentially the approved business case is not viable.

The STAB project has been reviewed and the scope is now concentrating on the council’s repair liability of the Long Barn which is on the English Heritage “at risk” register. We will await the findings of the CDEP which should inform us of the future possible uses for the Long Barn, the perimeter buildings surrounding the yard and associated buildings opposite.  Once we have these, we can then consider the future opportunities and options on how to take the STAB project forward”.

 

62.22   Jamie Hooper asked the following supplementary question:

 

“The Stanmer Stakeholders Group have not been consulted in this Downland Consultation, so if, as is anticipated, that the Council’s Policy & Resources Committee decides this Thursday that the work of the Stanmer Park Task & Finish Group will continue, can this Committee request that the Home Farm agricultural buildings be put permanently on the agenda of the Group until such time as a future outcome for them has been determined?”

 

62.23   The Chair stated that a written response to the question would be provided after the meeting.

 

(4)           City centre traffic

 

62.24   Nigel Smith read the following question:

 

“How can Brighton & Hove be at the centre of a Greater Brighton & Hove which is all about commercial corridors enhancing trade if all traffic has to bye-pass the self-appointed capital, and will the benefits of VGP3 not be compromised by restricting access to the centre? Indeed, will this be factored in?”

 

62.25   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“Thank you for your question Nigel.  The role of the city within the wider Greater Brighton City Region is recognised by all of its partners and stakeholders.  Its Board focuses on many aspects of the region’s economy, not just transport and trade, and I particularly welcome its recently announced ten pledges to help tackle the climate change crisis which include plans for energy, water, rewilding and a kelp forest. 

Plans to create a more liveable city centre, which I believe you are indirectly referring to in your question, are just beginning and these will be considered later on during this meeting.  They recognise the need for exemptions to any restrictions that may be introduced, especially for disabled drivers and public transport for example, and therefore do not involve restricting all traffic as you suggest.  If progressed, more detailed analysis of possible options and consultation and engagement on proposals will be an essential and important part of the process and will inform the future decisions of this committee.

 

Creating more attractive and safe environments for people, whether in the city centre or local neighbourhoods, which are not dominated by vehicles will help enhance our economy, the environment and people’s health and wellbeing.  By reducing traffic levels generally and providing people with alternatives, we will also tackle congestion and air quality - something that I know you and others have raised in previous questions to this committee. You consistently raise questions about how we can reduce carbon emissions, and we can’t do that without providing sustainable alternatives, so I can therefore assume you will be supporting our liveable city centre initiative.

The principle of reducing traffic in the central area, alongside other measures, is identified as a top priority for the city’s first ever Climate Assembly.  We also have a report on that process today and I’m sure you will therefore find the committee’s discussion of both of these items of great interest, given your question.

I am pleased that you have also highlighted that Phase 3 of the Valley Gardens scheme will bring benefits to the city.  The committee will be receiving a further report about the last consultation and the detailed design later this year.  Decisions about the scheme will certainly take into account any other decisions that the council or other service providers have made regarding transport or other activities that may affect the city centre”.

 

(5)           Parking surplus

 

62.26   Derek Wright read the following question:

 

“I would to propose that the on street parking income should be presented to show the amount each ward has contributed and also that any surplus after the surplus has been spent be allocated back to those wards respectively and spent on small environmental improvements project decided by the councillors of the ward after consulting their constituents?”

 

62.27   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“The surplus from parking income for 19/20 was identified at a recent committee meeting and a significant amount of this is allocated on Citywide programmes such as Concessionary Travel and supported bus services. Currently any remaining surplus is being used on citywide transport improvements which benefit residents in the whole city

It would be very resource intensive to split the parking income received by ward as this would require very detailed work. It would mean breaking income down to individual machine payments, enforcement beats within certain wards along with the amount Penalty Charge Notices issued per officer and also pay by phone payments which is by code which can be split across wards. Parking Scheme boundaries are not all ward based either so would take additional work to split between wards.

 

I would also worry that this approach wouldn’t result in enhancing equality across the city nor would it encourage sustainable travel. For example, your approach may result in a situation where a ward where more people have cars and therefore generate more programme would get more investment from the council, which is counteractive to what we want to achieve which is sustainable and accessible travel as well as environmental improvements for the whole city. But thank you for your question and this interesting idea”.

 

(C)          DEPUTATIONS

 

(1)           An electric car-sharing co-operative for Brighton and Hove

 

62.28   The Committee considered a deputation that set out a case for a local co-operative, non-profit, electric car club and requested engagement from the committee.

 

62.29   The Chair provided the following response:

 

“Thank you very much for this deputation. This is welcome and in line with the city’s ambitions to improve air quality and become carbon neutral by 2030. 

I have asked for officers to engage with you on this community led project to establish what would be required from the council to take it forward, such as charge points and parking spaces. I have asked that officers then produce a written briefing to members of this Committee following those discussions as an update, with the aim to produce a report on the topic at a later committee”.

 

62.30   Several members of the Committee expressed their endorsement for the proposals and hoped a detailed plan could be developed.

 

62.31   RESOLVED- That the Committee request an officer report on the matters detailed in the deputation.

 

(2)           Communal bins- Roundhill

 

62.32   The Committee considered a deputation that requested the removal of named streets within the Roundhill from the roll-out of communal bins as these streets were unsuitable for such a scheme.

 

62.33   The Chair provided the following response:

 

“Thank you for your deputation. Firstly, I want to assure you that no decisions have been made about where communal bins will be introduced. As set out in the report to this committee in September 2020 the committee has only approved a consultation to commence with residents, staff and unions. The results of the consultation will be presented back to committee for a decision when completed.

 

A significant review of the communal system in Brighton & Hove is being completed through the service’s Modernisation Programme. The feedback in this deputation are some of the things we are seeking to address as part of this.

Through this work, we have identified some future principles to adopt for the communal bin system. These were presented to this Committee in June 2019 and include:

   Placing all three bin types together, where operationally and practically possible.

   Enclosing each set of bins in a bin bay to ensure bins do not move and infringe other highway spaces

   Changing the capacity to 1100 litres for all bin types to improve the resilience of the service. Collection frequencies will also increase

   Installing sound deadening glass bins to reduce the noise impact of these

   Installing CCTV in appropriate locations to deter moving of bins and fly-tipping. These will be monitored by Environmental Enforcement Officers and where sufficient evidence is available, Fixed Penalty Notices will be issued

   Introducing a cleaning and maintenance regime to improve and sustain the new communal bin system.

 

Further work is underway to refine this.

Once determined, the proposed locations, the size of communal bins and the frequencies of collections (as requested in the deputation) will be included in the consultation document. This is what has happened for previous communal bin consultation and I assure you will take place for the next round of consultations.

There will be a consultation with the residents of the roads identified in the report to this Committee in September 2020, which may or may not results in communal bins, but we must seek the views of all residents”.

 

62.34   RESOLVED- That the Committee note the deputation.

Supporting documents:

 


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