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;


(1)       Woodland Trust- Councillor Platts


(b)           Written Questions: To consider any written questions;


(c)           Letters: To consider any letters;


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


(1)       Victoria Fountain

(2)       Westdene Park & Ride




(b)      Written Questions


(1)         Woodland Trust


83.1      Councillor Platts read the following question:


“The Woodland Trust has worked with various local authorities on improving tree cover, including Cardiff, Wrexham, Newcastle, Plymouth and Bristol. In Bristol the goal is to double the tree canopy to 24% by 2046. Local authority help is around locating land, securing funding and engaging the public in the idea. Brighton and Hove is exactly the kind of outward-looking city where the same idea would work and be likely to have public support. Can the Council confirm whether they are in touch with the Woodland Trust and if not, will they make contact to forge a working relationship to improve our tree canopy?”


83.2      The Chair provided the following reply:


“City Parks will be meeting with The Woodland Trust to discuss how they have supported other Local Authorities on the issue of planning and preservation of green infrastructure.

City Parks have also expressed their interest to The Woodland Trust in seeking assistance to improve the council’s policy documentation with respect to trees.

Representatives from The Woodland Trust also sit on the City Park’s-led Tree Forum, linking in with other stakeholders from across the city”.


(d)      Notices of Motion


(1)         Victoria Fountain


83.3      The Committee considered a Notice of Motion referred from the meeting of Full Council held on 3 February 2022:


This Council requests the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee:


1.      To commission an urgent investigation into the appearance of a sink hole after the removal of the Christmas market and funfair, and whether existing known damage to the Victoria Fountain has been worsened by the funfair, or may be worsened by heavy equipment due to be placed there during planned work on Valley Gardens 3; and

2.      To agree to the public release of all findings so that residents can be assured that the city’s historic sites and important heritage assets will be treated with the respect they deserve.


83.4      The Chair provided the following response:


“The Council has commissioned Hemsley Orrell Partnership (HOP), specialist local civil and structural engineers, to investigate the appearance of the sink hole at the Old Steine Gardens following the removal of the Christmas Festival and funfair. We have also commissioned the Geotechnics firm already engaged by Transport colleagues on the Valley Garden Phase 3 (VG3) project to carry out a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey of the area where the sink hole has appeared and they will be carrying out an intensive study in the next 3 weeks using two types of GRP to cross reference. Once HOP have the results of the GRP survey they will analyse and report on the findings giving recommendations on remedial actions.  The council should receive HOP’s report and recommendations within the next 4 weeks.

The council and HOP have also been in contact with Southern Water regarding the sink hole who have visited the site on two occasions and confirmed that the “swallow hole” has not been caused by any deterioration of their sewer pipe directly under the hole itself. We still await Southern Water’s written confirmation of their survey which we have been promised within the next 10 days.

The Victoria Fountain, Old Steine is temporarily propped up and has been made safe following HOP’s condition report that identified structural problems in early 2020. 

There were delays to carrying out intrusive surveys due to the pandemic and HOP were commissioned for further in-depth surveys of the structure in 2021 to be able to specify the repair works for all the specialisms associated with the project. HOP have been appointed to carry out the major refurbishment and repairs required to renovate the Victoria Fountain which are programmed to start in June following the clearance of the site after the Fringe Festival.  It is part of HOP’s brief to assess the ground conditions to ensure safe working with the crane that will be needed for the Fountain refurbishment project.

Following a recent due diligence exercise HOP have confirmed that the listing of the Victoria Fountain is not related to the Christmas Festival.

The Transport Team have confirmed that Valley Gardens Phase 3 will not require any construction or heavy plant on Old Steine Gardens.             

We can certainly arrange for a public release of findings following receipt of the Structural report and GPR survey”.


83.5      Councillor Nemeth moved a motion to request an officer report on the matter.


83.6      Councillor Platts formally seconded the motion.


83.7      The Chair put the motion to the vote that passed.


83.8      Resolved- That the Committee receive an update report on the matter.


(2)         Westdene Park & Ride


83.9      The Committee considered a Notice of Motion referred from the meeting of Full Council held on 3 February 2022:


This Council:

1.       Notes that Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee voted on 21st July 2021 for an urgent report for the next meeting of that committee on     Administration proposals for a park and ride scheme on Mill Road in Westdene;

2.      Further notes that no report was forthcoming at meetings of Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee on 21st September 2021, 16th November 2021 or 18th January 2022;

3.      Notes that the Labour Group identified funds in last year’s underspend to invest in a park and ride scheme;


4.      Urgently calls on the Administration to deliver a report to the next meeting of the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee with an update on current progress.


83.10   The Chair provided the following response:


“As you know this is now the subject of a comprehensive report at this meeting which details the trial proposed by the bus company, and suggestions on how to proceed, also outlining how the park and ride scheme would work.

The bus operator has indicated that it wishes to trial a car park and ride using Mill Road.  It intends to provide the necessary staff and resources to understand the impacts of using the road for a period of 4 months.  Once completed the data that will be collated and then further discussions will take place on the future of using the road as a P&R.  Committee can consider this shortly in the rest of the agenda.

The report clarifies the situation related to the funding of the trial and the separate issue related to assessing sites for a permanent P&R and the £15,000 made available to fund the assessment so will not be used in the trial”.


(3)      Resident/Visitors ‘Bus Gate’ Fines


83.11   Councillor Nemeth moved the follow Notice of Motion:


This Council:


1.      Notes that Labour and Green Groups voted to make permanent two Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders relating to ‘Bus Gates’ in Valley Gardens after figures were released showing that the gates are not working as intended and that around 10,000 residents/visitors are being fined each month;


2.      Requests an urgent Officer Report to Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee to consider options to redesign the defective junctions.


83.12   Councillor Peltzer Dunn formally seconded the Notice of Motion.


83.13   In response to queries raised by Members, the Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture stated that the number of fines issued each month was declining and current figures could be provided after the meeting.


83.14   The Chair put the Notice of Motion to the vote that failed.


83.15   Councillors Nemeth and Peltzer Dunn requested that the official record their votes in support of the Notice of Motion.

Supporting documents:


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