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: To consider any written questions;

 

(1)       Councillor Childs- Freshfield Road safety

(2)       Councillor Childs- Verge and Pavement Parking

(3)       Councillor Childs- Cycle Lane on Marine Parade

(4)       Councillor Childs- Tarner Park

(5)       Councillor Childs- Queens Park

(6)       Councillor Fishleigh- Road Safety

(7)       Councillor Fishleigh- Damage to an allotment

(8)       Councillor Fishleigh- Pavement Weeds

(9)       Councillor Fowler- Car Club

(10)    Councillor Williams- City wide access

(11)    Councillor Williams- St Georges Road

(12)    Councillor Williams- Madeira Drive

(13)    Councillor Williams- Parking Bay, Broadway Whitehawk

(14)    Councillor Fowler- Parking in Hollingdean

(15)    Councillor Fowler- Park and Ride

(16)    Councillor Fowler- Cycle Signage A259

(17)    Councillor Fowler- Weeds, Hollingdean Terrace

(18)    Councillor Fowler- Parking at Fiveways

(19)    Councillor Nemeth- Renewal Delays

(20)    Councillor Nemeth- Speed Trials

(21)    Councillor Nemeth- Green Wall

(22)    Councillor Nemeth- Boundary Road revamp

(23)    Councillor Nemeth- Seafront Toilets

(24)    Councillor Nemeth- Allotments

 

(c)           Letters: To consider any letters;

 

(1)       Councillor McNair- Patcham Bikeshare Hub

 

(d)           Notices of Motion: to consider any Notices of Motion referred from Full Council or submitted directly to the Committee.

 

(1)       Tree Planting- Conservative Group

 

(2)       Fly-posting on the Seafront- Conservative Group

Decision:

1)             This Committee agrees:-

 

To receive a report setting out the financial and other resource implications for removing (i) posters and other items which have been stuck onto Council-controlled bins and other structures across the city  

Minutes:

(B)      WRITTEN QUESTIONS

 

(1)           Freshfield Road Safety

 

7.1          Councillor Childs put the following question:

 

“Following the petition for a crossing and traffic calming on Freshfield Rd in January, when will action be taking to address ongoing speeding and provide a crossing to keep children travelling to school safe?”

 

7.2          The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“Following the petition received in January, a mobile vehicle speed activated sign was installed on Freshfield Road. The sign was in place for approximately six weeks in March and April. During this time, speed data was collected from this equipment which showed an average speed of just under 22mph and a calculated upper range speed of 27mph.

We recognise that residents have concerns about school safety and want to promote a safer walk to school. As you’ll be aware this is one of the key principles behind, for example, our school streets programme and our ongoing work on active travel, so we share the aspirations of residents about the walk to school.

However, as you’ll also be aware, resources are limited. Interventions take place within this context and there is a need to prioritise areas where there is a collision history.

Based on this information that is the National Standard methodology for assessing local design speed and the collision history at this location which I’m pleased to say is good, this area would therefore be low priority when compared to other locations across the city where there are both higher speeds and higher accident figures. However, I will ask Officers to continue to monitor the situation and report back if there are any significant changes at this location. The original request for an upgrade to the existing informal crossing remains on the pedestrian crossing priority list for consideration as part of the next round of assessments.

A School Street road closure is currently being trialled at St Luke’s Primary school. Officers are working on developing a School Streets programme and are in the process of assessing the eligibility of every infant, junior and primary school in the city for a closure. Queen’s Park Primary School is included in this assessment. A report will be presented to the next meeting of the ETS Committee in September for consideration by members”

 

7.3          Councillor Childs asked the following supplementary question:

 

“In January you responded to my question saying that the current procedure for assessing whether to install road safety measures would be reviewed as it is currently based on accidents and incidents and I think it was agreed that wasn’t fit for purpose. I wonder if you could provide an update on whether this policy has been changed and if not, a timescale for that?”

 

7.4          The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“I’ll have to get back to you on that. We don’t have one, but we need one”

 

(2)           Verge and pavement parking

 

7.5          Councillor Childs put the following question:

 

“Will the Committee implement an ETO to prevent verge and pavement parking in Valley Gardens?”

 

7.6          The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“An Experimental Traffic Regulation order would not work in this situation as currently the council do not have powers to enforce verge and pavement parking for particular circumstances.

The Government’s Department for Transport consultation on various possible options to tackle pavement parking closed in November last year and it generated more than 15,000 responses. The council inputted to this highlighting our current concerns.

One option suggested by the consultation to address unnecessary obstruction of pavements would not need any additional signage and officers could therefore enforce straight away.  The alternative of a London-style complete pavement parking ban would require us to survey the city’s streets, consult with residents and sign streets only where pavement parking is to be permitted.  However, this could take another two years to complete. 

I am pleased to say that the council is represented on the national Joint Committee for parking by our colleague, Cllr Steve Davis, and it receives regular updates on the progress with pavement parking enforcement.  Our expectation is that whatever choice is made by the Government the council will finally be in far stronger position to tackle this issue and make our streets safer and more accessible for people and less dominated and damaged by vehicles.

In the meantime, we can make minor changes to roads to mitigate the risk of pavement parking and these options are being currently considered by officers. One such example is to install dropped kerbs to allow access to driveways or frontages where this is safe and feasible.  Officers could then enforce if drivers park adjacent to a dropped kerb, as this is a contravention of the Highways Act.

The overall solution to this problem in Valley Gardens and elsewhere in the city is therefore Government legislation rather than a local, Experimental Traffic Regulation Order.  I will ensure that councillors are kept updated on this important issue”.

 

7.7          Councillor Childs asked the following supplementary question:

 

“My understanding is that it is possible to introduce an ETRO’s indeed, one has been introduced in Pool Valley and one on Portland Road after concerns raised by Councillors Peltzer Dunn and Nemeth. So could you just clarify whether that is the case?”

 

7.8          On behalf of the Chair, the Assistant Director, City Transport provided the following reply:

 

“In Valley Gardens, there a number of TRO’s carrying out certain functions so to apply an ETRO would actually be overlaying one type of order over a separate permit order which would make it invalid and possible to challenge legally. Officers have looked at the powers we have and felt that it was not suited to that particular location and we are looking at other options to deal with this problem of pavement parking”.

 

(3)           Queens Park

 

7.9          Councillor Childs put the following question:

 

“Given the parlous and disgusting state of the toilets in Queens Park, when will the toilets in Queens Park be renovated and or rebuilt?”

 

7.10      The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“Sadly, our public toilet sites have not been invested in for years and so it is a struggle to maintain old and uncared for buildings.

An update on the refurbishment programme will be shared at Policy & Resources Committee on 1 July”.

 

(4)           Speed Trials

 

7.11      Councillor Nemeth put the following question:

 

“What discussions are taking place with organisers of the Speed Trials - the country's oldest motor race - to ensure that changes to the layout of Madeira Drive do not prejudice the relevant licences being issued”

 

7.12      The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“The Council’s Transport and Events Officers have met throughout the development of the Madeira Drive proposals to ensure the introduction of the final scheme could accommodate a range of events, including the speed trials, and events such as the Classic Car Run have recently gone ahead on the Drive once again. More recently, in liaison with speed trial organisers, we have agreed to install additional infrastructure to accommodate speed trial barriers required as a safety measure to enable the event to take place The track has already had a preliminary inspection by the Motor Sports Association, the sports’ governing body, with no major concerns being raised”.

 

7.13      Councillor Nemeth asked the following supplementary question:

 

“Given that Full Council has voted for the Speed Trials to continue, what would the Council’s position be if it turns out that we’ve inadvertently breached the events licensing requirements?”

 

7.14      The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“We’re not anticipating that will be an issue. If it were an issue we would need to consider that at the time and consider what solutions we can come up with”.

 

(5)           Green Wall

 

7.15      Councillor Nemeth put the following question:

 

“Where did accountability lie for the damage that was done to the Green Wall on Madeira Drive, the country's oldest living wall, during recent works to cycling infrastructure on the street?”

 

7.16      The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“As you know, the council has committed to a full review of how this situation arose, although we have also been clear in saying that the road safety audit for the works in this area had clearly stated the need for bushes here to be made safe, but obviously not to the extent that happened which we all agree was awful.

The extent to which the greenery was cut will be addressed in the current review which is being undertaken by the audit team.   We are expecting answers to these questions by the middle of July when the review will be fully completed”.  

 

7.17      Councillor Nemeth asked the following supplementary question:

 

“Is it through Audit & Standards that this will take place or is it the Audit team that reports back generally or publicly?”

 

7.18      The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“It’s the council’s Audit team that is undertaking the investigation and there is a cross-party working group that oversees the Black Rock project so the findings will go to that working group”

 

(6)           Allotments

 

7.19      Councillor Nemeth put the following question:

 

“How many allotments are currently not let and to what degree has the waiting list grown since the first lockdown?”

 

7.20      The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“On 16 June 2021, there were 184 unlet plots. On 20 January 2020, there were 196 unlet plots. On 16 June 2021, there were 2485 residents on the waiting list. On 5 February 2020, there were 1338 residents on the waiting list.

Some new tenancies were let during the pandemic, but not at many as normal and not as many as we would like. 135 allotments were let in 2020. To date, 89 have been let in 2021.

 

7.21      Councillor Nemeth asked the following supplementary question:

 

“Do you happen to know why we do so badly normally? Why are plots not let generally? In ten phone calls you can let ten plots”.

 

7.22      The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“I’m not sure it’s the case we were doing so badly previously Councillor Nemeth and we would probably need to look more closely at it to draw that conclusion. There has been a slight slowdown in terms of letting and that has been because we stopped the use of volunteers and because we’ve had to introduce more complex processes ourselves due to the various covid safety requirements and risk assessments we’ve had to undertake”.

 

7.23      The following questions were published in the agenda and a written response provided. The respective response are as follows:

 

(7)           Cycle lane on Marine Parade- Councillor Childs

 

Response:

“In the medium to longer term the council are developing plans to improve the cycle network as cycling on the pavement is a clear indication that adequate cycle links are not available for this particular area.  Marine Parade has been identified as a route that does need to be improved for both cyclists and pedestrians in the early discussions on the Local Walking & Cycling Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP), which will be out to public consultation later this year”.

 

(8)           Tarner Park- Councillor Childs

 

Response:

“It is disappointing to hear of the drug use and anti-social behaviour taking place in Tarner Park.

Officers have been discussing this issue with local residents to identify how to tackle this.

Where people are climbing the wall to access the park, work will be carried out to make it harder to climb.

Volunteers will also start locking the park. However, it is important to note that these volunteers will not be removing those involved in anti-social behaviour from the park or locking anyone into the park.

It is not clear what impact this will have but officers are keen to support local residents who wish to try this.

The council is not in a position to employ security staff to clear and secure parks at night.

Officers do not consider raising the railings along the Sussex Street boundary as solution either.  if there is not a reliable waste of clearing and locking the park at night.

Sussex Police are arranging for temporary closed circuit television to be installed.

 

(9)           Road Safety- Councillor Fishleigh

 

Response:

“Thank you for your question Cllr Fishleigh. There are a number of other locations in the city where this has also been raised.

The council is currently developing its Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan, and I can confirm that your comments and request about pedestrian and cycling issues in this location have been noted by officers and will be taken into account as part of this ongoing work.

No further update can be provided on this issue until the plan has been completed and a programme of works has been prioritised and approved at this committee”.

 

(10)        Damage to an allotment- Councillor Fishleigh

 

Response:

“I am sorry for the damage caused to the allotment holder in Rottingdean.

The suppliers advise that delivery will be in approximately 12 to 15 weeks’ time.  and City Parks have apologised for the time it is taking to resolve”.

 

(11)        Pavement weeds- Councillor Fishleigh

 

Response:

“Additional staff are recruited each spring and summer to complete seasonal tasks, such as weed removal, and help keep the city clean and tidy as a result of the additional footfall, particularly along the seafront.

Unfortunately, Cityclean has had difficulties with its seasonal staff recruitment this year.

The additional resources that Cityclean has managed to obtain are being used in a flexible way and deployed to where there is most need.

This means that the weeding crew, on occasion, has been deployed to the seafront, and interrupting the planned weed removal programme.

I have asked Cityclean’s Head of Operations to speak to the operatives covering the east of the city to see if your request is possible and will make sure they get back to you. I’d be grateful if you could send us a list of the worst affected areas for us to focus on.

 

(12)        Car Club- Councillor Fowler

 

Response:

“The terms and conditions on which the Enterprise Car Club is operated are part of the agreement between the company and its members when they join.  The council is not involved in the day to day use of vehicles in any way.

I do agree with you that a car club provides an excellent way of providing access to a car without needing to own one.  They are part of the city’s sharing economy – just like the BikeShare – and can help to reduce the number of vehicles on our streets. 

The operation of car clubs in the city began with a single car in the Hanover area, and because it has become so successful there have been up to 3 companies operating in the city at the same time, based on those companies commercial decisions.  However, the council does not control or manage how car club companies operate in the city, so there is no contractual arrangement.  The demand for, and use of, vehicles will determine their success and growth.  If companies do approach officers, a business model would usually be requested to enable further discussions to take place.  

Requests from the current car club operator for dedicated spaces are considered individually by council officers and then advertised through a relevant Traffic Regulation Order.  This allows a consultation period for people to comment and a report would be to committee if a certain number of objections were received.

I am pleased to see that car clubs are also evolving in ways that will help us meet our carbon neutral target and community wealth building aims, as the committee will be receiving a report later in the year about a local electric vehicle co-operative car club, following a deputation earlier this year”.

 

(13)        Citywide access- Councillor Williams

 

Response:

“As you recall the 24th November Report to this committee sought to outline the Council’s approach to meet the specific needs of Blue Badge Holders and Disabled People as well as the interests of the community as a whole and other road users. The Report also set out the Council’s actions to deliver the important Emergency Active Travel Programme whilst purposefully seeking to balance the demands of Blue Badge, Disabled Groups, wider community and road users as set out tin the report. Achieving this balance is a means of meeting the Council’s wider duty of care to all transport users in relation to the pandemic and road safety, as well as the Public Sector Equality Duty. By adding a recommendation in relation to actions already identified within this report the Labour Amendment sought to further ‘’appraise’’ the impacts and seek to improve access within the schemes and projects as part of the Council’s agreed Urgent Response Transport Action Plan.

I can confirm that each and every scheme being taken forward has included meaningful engagement with these stakeholder groups and has looked for every opportunity to ensure that Blue Badge Parking and Disabled Access is improved.

The issue of disabled access to the city is vitally important to get right and there are a number of other areas where this can be appraised. 

Blue Badge Parking spaces are reviewed regularly and adapted as necessary engaging with stakeholders as schemes are developed and they are subject to Equality Impact Assessments. The Highway Enforcement policy is also under review and will be reported to a future ETS Committee.

There is also a Council’s Accessibility Strategy’ proposal to develop an accessible city strategy to provide a strategic framework for the council’s work to better serve disabled residents. This will be informed by the lived experience of disabled residents in the city”.

 

(14)        St George’s Road- Councillor Williams

 

Response:

“The area of St Georges Road, Kemptown, was considered and assessed for possible funding through the governments Emergency Active Travel funding.  However, due to the criteria applied to the funding it was removed during the sifting of possible schemes as it would not have met the criteria.  St Georges couldn’t be taken forward in EATF was that it wouldn’t completely have met the EATF criteria which wanted us to largely focus on strategic corridors, other routes were therefore deemed more pertinent to this funding in the short term (schemes must be delivered by March 2022 and this scheme would likely be more complex and require longer). 

Currently it does not fit any of the other funding sources and unfortunately due to resource needs has to be assessed against other areas of the city that have a poor safety record, when determining priority.   The Department for Transport have recently announced that more funding is now available for Active Travel and the scheme will be assessed again to see if the criteria around the funding has changed”.

 

(15)        Madeira Drive- Councillor Williams

 

Response:

“The new layout for Madeira Drive which was approved by ETS committee in September is now substantially complete. The new cycle lane on the road was officially opened on the 29th May and since this time cyclists have been utilising the new cycle lanes providing pedestrians with the whole width of the southern footway in excess of 8 metres in places.

Informal crossing points are being finalised at 8 locations along Madeira Drive as part of the works and the general traffic running lane has been restricted to one-way eastbound with a 3.2m restriction which acts to reduce speeds and assist with pedestrian crossing points. Further buildouts have been created along the northside of the pavement at key locations where space allows including at the Colonnade and near Concorde 2.  Parking is now restricted to one side of the road further improving pedestrian’s visibility of the oncoming traffic when crossing between the south footway and the north footway.  Furthermore, a Traffic Regulation Order has been successfully advertised to reduce the speed limit from 30mph to 20mph, signage and liming will be implemented to allow this 20mph speed limited to become enforceable again contributing to pedestrian safety along the entire route.

Officers are also looking at the longer-term future of Madeira Drive as part of the Eastern Seafront Masterplan.  This work will focus on how the area can be regenerated and how the overall space can be better connected and used by everybody.  It will be starting shortly and is expected to be reported to members early next year.

Since the opening of the new cycle lane, improvements to pedestrian access, crossings and the new 20mph speed limit, pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles accessing the new echelon parking for visiting the seafront and businesses along its frontage has provided a safer and much enhanced public space”.

 

(16)        Parking bay, Broadway Whitehawk- Councillor Williams

 

Response:

“No I don’t agree. This change was reported and agreed by the members of the ETS Committee in January this year and ultimately approved at Full Budget Council in February.

This was all part of the Council’s budget strategy proposals for the financial year 21/22

Following this approval, the changes came into force on Monday 10th May. The fees & charges Traffic Regulation Order which included any new changes including these particular ones were advertised in the local newspaper and on the Council’s website for consultation on 12th March until 2nd April. The Fees & Charges TRO was sent to all the Ward Councillors throughout Brighton & Hove in advance on 10th March 2021. The Sealed TRO was then advertised in the local newspaper and the Council’s Webpages on 7th May 2021. Parking staff have also worked with the Communications department to outline updates.

It is appreciated that any increase in parking charges can be challenging for all concerned and none of us enjoy having to increase parking charges across the city. As a Council and particularly within the Environment, Economy & Culture directorate we have had to make significant savings for the 21/22 financial year with tough decisions to make. Within Parking Services alone this includes £2m of savings which has helped support other Council services.  We have specifically addressed concerns about affordability by bringing forward proposals, agreed as part of the fees & charges proposals for 21/22, that a discount for low income households would be introduced - which is planned to be brought in within a few months”.

 

(17)        Parking in Hollingdean- Councillor Fowler

 

Response:

“Officers who were previously developing potential safer routes to school locations are currently working on developing a School Streets programme and are in the process of assessing the eligibility of every infant, junior and primary school in the city for a closure.

A report will be presented to the next meeting of the ETS Committee in September for consideration by members, as we agree that safety of children walking to school should be a priority. Parking patrols in Hollingdean are being stepped up to tackle problem parking in the area, and I hope I can also refer you to my previous answer on national legislation we are also hoping will be introduced to help tackle pavement parking, for example”.

 

(18)        Park & Ride- Councillor Fowler

 

Response:

“Thank you for your question. The climate assembly asked the council to look again at a park and ride in Brighton and Hove so all I will say for now is we are working on it”.

 

(19)        Cycle Signage A259- Councillor Fowler

 

Response:

“As you might be aware the current scheme is temporary, and we are therefore continually monitoring and reviewing the scheme.

An audit is currently being conducted of the existing signage along the A259 as officers are aware that some people are unclear about where they should be positioned or in some cases choosing to ignore existing cycle signs.  In regard to the poles (wands), they are designed to come out safely if they are hit by vehicles or in the event that emergency vehicles need to access the cycle lane should the need arise. However, a repair schedule is being worked up to replace those wands which are knocked out”.

 

(20)        Weeds, Hollingdean Terrace- Councillor Fowler

 

Response:

“Thank you for your question regarding Hollingdean Terrace and recognising the value of wildflowers and not using pesticides. 

Removing weeds by hand takes much longer and Cityclean is addressing hot spots across the city and responding to complaints. 

Hollingdean Terrace was cleared week commencing 14th June”.

 

(21)        Parking at Fiveways

 

Response:

“This change was reported and agreed by the members of the ETS Committee in January this year and ultimately approved at Full Budget Council in February.

This was all part of the Council’s budget strategy proposals for the financial year 21/22

Following this approval, the changes came into force on Monday 10th May. The fees & charges Traffic Regulation Order which included any new changes including these particular ones were advertised in the local newspaper and on the Council’s website for consultation on 12th March until 2nd April. The Fees & Charges TRO was sent to all the Ward Councillors throughout Brighton & Hove in advance on 10th March 2021. The Sealed TRO was then advertised in the local newspaper and the Council’s Webpages on 7th May 2021. Parking staff have also worked with the Communications department to outline updates.

It is appreciated that any increase in parking charges can be challenging for all concerned and none of us enjoy having to increase parking charges across the city. As a Council and particularly within the Environment, Economy & Culture directorate we have had to make significant savings for the 21/22 financial year with tough decisions to make. Within Parking Services alone this includes £2m of savings which has helped support other Council services.

We have specifically addressed concerns about affordability by bringing forward proposals, agreed as part of the fees & charges proposals for 21/22, that a discount for low income households would be introduced - which is planned to be brought in within a few months”.

 

(22)        Renewal Delays- Councillor Nemeth

 

Response:

“The current change is moving towards My Account with intended benefits so that customers will be able to access an increasing range of services through the My account portal including council tax, schools, recycling etc. as well as being able to self- serve for common tasks such as changing their vehicle.

The new system was trialled in parking schemes with waiting lists then 'light touch' permit scheme areas first with relatively few problems identified. When the new system was rolled out more widely two IT issues were identified, and a successful IT fix was applied to both by the IT department with the support of parking staff. Parking staff are currently working hard to help customers resolve these issues and the grace period for permits was extended when it was clear that not all permit applications had been resolved and the small number of Penalty Charge Notices issued before this have been cancelled.

Staff focus is dealing with these issues so unfortunately at this stage we can’t give accurate figures on the number of residents affected but we can provide a written update soon if required. In terms of bus passes the oldest application is 4 weeks and we are still within service guidelines of 8 to 10 week for applications.

The council is sorry for the inconvenience this has caused residents, but the parking team are currently working through the backlog of permit enquiries and will be in touch with all residents who have contacted us as soon as possible.

We ask for patience and support during this period.  Problems will inevitably arise during a major transition such as this, however carefully we plan.  Moving to the new system is essential if we are to support the council’s wider digital strategy”.

 

(23)        Boundary Road revamp- Councillor Nemeth

 

Response:

“The decision to allocate funding from within the council’s Local Transport Plan capital programme to begin some initial work focused on the Boundary Road/Station Road shopping area was initially made in 2018.  However, work has been unable to be progressed during subsequent financial years for a number of reasons.  This was initially due to the availability of staff resources and other priority work that was already underway, and the subsequent, significant disruption that has occurred due to the pandemic.  This has delayed projects further and also necessitated the reallocation of staff onto urgent, emergency programmes of work to aid the city’s recovery.

However, there is currently a sum of £75,000 within the capital programme to continue work on developing ideas and proposals for the corridor.  Now that there is a greater degree of stability, and as we hopefully move out of lockdown more fully, officers are reviewing the programme and considering the available resources within their teams and the data that is available to enable work to continue on existing and new projects.  Once this is complete, within the next month or so, it will be possible to update members further”.

 

(24)        Seafront Toilets- Councillor Nemeth

 

Response:

“At the beginning of lockdown in 2020, and particularly as the weather warmed up, we were acutely aware of the numbers of people gathering outdoors, due to the restrictions on indoor gatherings. The restrictions meant that toilets in bars, restaurants and cafes were unavailable for use, placing a significant strain on the public toilet sites.

Since we’ve reopened our city, we’ve seen thousands of people flock to our seafront. It’s therefore not surprising that there continues to be high demand for public toilets, even with the additional toilets now available in bars, restaurants and cafes.

We’ve now installed 24 additional temporary toilets along the seafront to ensure residents and visitors have the facilities they need.

These “festival style toilets” are the only viable option for a temporary hire for areas that do not have existing drainage and water connections. They are emptied daily and cleaned and restocked regularly throughout the day. Whilst we acknowledge that they are not the most attractive looking facilities they are only temporary, serve a very real need and have been generally well received by users of the seafront.

It’s also important to remember that the public toilet sites have not been invested in for years and so it is a struggle to maintain old and uncared for buildings.

Therefore, and as I have already said, it’s so pleasing to be able to announce that at Policy & Resources Committee on 1 July, there will be an update on the toilet refurbishment programme”.

 

(C)      MEMBERS LETTERS

 

(1)           Bikeshare Scheme Patcham

 

7.24      The Committee considered a letter from Councillor McNair regarding reservations from the ward councillors on the location chosen for a new Bikeshare scheme hub.

 

7.25      The Chair provided the following response:

 

“The process of dialogue with ward councillors on a bikeshare hub for Patcham began in July 2020. There were 6 alternative sites in the ward to consider, each with its own issues.  After detailed consideration of the practicalities and councillor views on each site, officers concluded the chosen location was the only practical one for a Bikeshare hub. Ward councillors were duly informed and made their opposition clear. 

On the 4th March 2021, Officers agreed to withdraw an offer to treat an email from a Patcham councillor as a formal objection. Our Legal advice agreed with the then Conservative ETS Spokesperson’s position that Ward Members should be able to take a view when the TRO was published, which may or may not then lead to a formal submission on the TRO.

Ward councillors were informed via email on 30 March 2021 that the TRO consultation would be published and run from the 1st April, closing on the 29th April 2021. During the consultation period, four objections and three comments of support were submitted by residents.

It was agreed by full Council on 14 May 2020 that 6 or more objections by residents or one objection by a ward councillor to a Traffic Regulation order would trigger a referral of the matter to this committee.

Our advice is that as the letter from Ward Councillors to the committee was not received until 10 June 2021 in the form of this letter, it cannot be considered as a formal objection as it was not sent during the consultation period.

Having noted Ward Councillor concerns during preliminary discussions, Officers approached the stakeholders they identified.

The chair of Patcham Community Association (which runs the community centre) has stated that the association has no concern about the proposed siting of a bikeshare hub at Ladies Mile Road. The Methodist Church was contacted by both letter and email. An objection was received from the Vicar in a private capacity only. Both schools were also informed but raised no objections. Big Lemon buses which serves the adjacent bus stop had no concerns with the scheme. Sussex Police had no objections.

There are no shops immediately adjacent to the site, which is next to a school playing field. Parking outside business and residential frontages has not been removed, and the diagonal positioning of bikes and stands will make access to the driveway opposite for delivery and refuse collection easier than parked cars currently do”.

 

7.26      RESOLVED- That the Committee note the Letter.

 

(D)      NOTICES OF MOTION

 

(1)           Tree Planting

 

7.27      Councillor Nemeth moved the following Motion:

 

This Committee agrees:-

 

1)             to receive a report to its next regular meeting appraising the options for keeping the Council's charge to residents for a new street tree at, or close to, the old lower rate of under £500 per tree in cases where fundraising for a residents' scheme commenced prior to the announcement of the huge rise in costs.

 

7.28      The Chair and Councillor Wilkinson formally seconded the Motion.

 

7.29      The Chair issued the following response:

 

“Historically, there has been a lot less interest in residents donating street trees and the previous methods used were low quality and low cost.

This meant the £15,000 annual tree planting budget could be used, when required, to cover the costs of occasional donation street tree planting.

It’s great to now see an increase in demand for street trees and greenery, however, with higher demand and improved planting methods, it is not possible to use this small budget.

It is not as simple at planting a tree into the ground when it comes to street trees. Planting in hard surfaces on highways to avoid future root disruption to the highway requires construction of a tree planting pit and placement of root barriers. Often, this involves planting on the site of an established tree which will involve repairing the damage caused by the previous tree, which was often to lower standards.

The Administration has put in an extra £200,000 pounds has now been allocated by the green administration to street trees. Which will hopefully attract external funding too.

We are increasing the amount of staff in the arboricultural department, we have a new tree planting officer and we have a good relationship with ‘Plant your Postcode’ to help plant more street trees. I believe that in certain cases like the one you’ve raised, there might be situation where we can use what was donated and top it up from the new budget. So happy to consider that a getting a report will be helpful to layout all those different costs because it is such a difference. I’m happy to support this.”

 

7.30      RESOLVED- This Committee agrees:-

 

1)    to receive a report to its next regular meeting appraising the options for keeping the Council's charge to residents for a new street tree at, or close to, the old lower rate of under £500 per tree in cases where fundraising for a residents' scheme commenced prior to the announcement of the huge rise in costs.

 

(2)           Flyposting on the seafront

 

7.31      Councillor Nemeth moved the following Motion:

 

This Committee agrees:-

 

1)         that (i) posters and other items which have been stuck onto Council-controlled bins and other structures on the seafront will be removed forthwith and (ii) an update on progress will be presented at the next meeting of this Committee.

 

7.32      The Chair and Councillor Wilkinson formally seconded the Motion.

 

7.33      Councillor Wilkinson moved a amendment to the Motion as shown in bold italics and where struckthrough as follows:

 

This Committee agrees:-

 

1)      that (i) posters and other items which have been stuck onto Council-controlled bins and other structures across the city on the seafront will be removed forthwith and (ii) an update on progress will be presented at the next meeting of this Committee.

 

7.34      The Chair stated:

 

“Thank you for your Notice of Motion. The action requested would raise very significant resource implications and so, in accordance with the Council’s Procedure Rules, it would require an officer report before any action could be taken at this scale. The report would consider the feasibility of taking the requested action, including its financial implications, and would recommend, for Committee decision, whether or not the action should be taken.  So the next report to committee would be to outline how this might be achieved and until the committee has agreed the report and financial implications the matter wouldn’t be progressed other than the work that we have already been doing such as through the tidy up week that had last September.

I therefore propose requesting an officer report considering the requests made to the Notice of Motion, do Members agree?

 

7.35      The proposal was unanimously agreed.

 

7.36      RESOLVED- This Committee agrees:-

 

To receive a report setting out the financial and other resource implications for removing (i) posters and other items which have been stuck onto Council-controlled bins and other structures across the city 

Supporting documents:

 


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