Agenda item - Public Involvement
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- Meeting of City Environment, South Downs & The Sea Committee, Tuesday, 20th June, 2023 4.00pm (Item 4.)
To consider the following matters raised by members of the public:
(a) Petitions: To receive any petitions presented by members of the public;
(b) Written Questions: To receive any questions submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 14 June 2023;
(c) Deputations: To receive any deputations submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 14 June 2023.
(B) Written Questions
1) Air pollution
4.1 Adrian Hart read the following question:
“Two years ago, at council, it was agreed that a real time, publicly accessible air pollution network was to be created. Increasing the number of air quality sensors and increasing public awareness was one of the coroner's recommendations in preventing future deaths from air pollution in Ella Kissi Debrah's inquest. Please, when this will be available?”
4.2 The Chair provided the following reply:
“Thank you for your question, Adrian.
Funding has been made available for this type of air quality sensor equipment to be purchased. This will provide an enhanced monitoring and reporting capability for the city’s residents.
Part of this new approach also requires new automatic monitoring stations that are needed to ensure that the real-time data is accurate. Officers are therefore currently considering the procurement options for this project and expect that the data will be available on the council’s website by the end of 2023.
I am happy to update you in writing with a more concise timeline as further progress is made”.
4.3 Adrian Hart asked the following supplementary question:
“What are your priorities in reducing air pollution?
4.4 The Chair provided the following reply:
“I completely agree it needs to be treated as a priority. There is actually a deputation coming on the subject of air quality which illustrates the extent to which residents and external groups see this as a priority. One of my first briefings I asked for was what monitoring of air quality we currently have and I’m just in the process of getting that information”.
(1) Fairlight improvements
4.5 The Committee considered a deputation requesting environment improvements in the Fairlight area.
4.6 The Chair provided the following response:
“Thank you for your detailed deputation and for everything you are doing to try and improve your local area.
Your deputation covers a lot of areas for improvement so I will take these one at a time.
On communal bins for recycling and glass, Cityclean has identified St Leonard’s Road, Hastings Road, Fairlight Place and Pevensey Road (plus other roads in the area) as being suitable for communal bins for recycling and glass, as well as refuse. However, due to complex operational and capacity issues, Cityclean is not currently able to extend the communal bins provision in the area. I hope this can be looked at again in the near future, and I will ask officers to keep a record of suitable locations where there is a known desire from residents for these changes. As you may already know, one of our top priorities is to significantly improve our refuse collection service, and those improvements include greater flexibility in order to respond to requests such as these.
In the meantime, Cityclean could roll out black recycling wheelie bins to streets in this area. There is a need to move away from black boxes for recycling across the city. As you rightly say, these boxes cause litter and the recycling in these boxes often gets wet or contaminated, making it much harder to recycle. Recycling wheelie bins are also much easier for Cityclean operatives to empty, reducing manual handling issues.
A recycling bin can contain the recycling of many recycling boxes, which can also help reduce street clutter. If this is something you are interested in, I can request Cityclean undertakes a consultation with residents on relevant streets to get their feedback.
The cycle hangar programme is now under review following a request from Councillors. This review will be reported to the Transport & Sustainability Committee in July to allow Councillors to consider the programme and make appropriate recommendations for its progress.
Following this review, cycle hangars can be proposed in the areas around Fairlight Primary School, and I am happy to provide details on how to go about that. In the meantime, the nearest currently installed hangars are on Franklin Street, Hartington Road and Shanklin Road.
Residents can view a map of the currently installed hangars, and add themselves to the waiting lists for spaces by searching Brighton & Hove on the Falco website at www.rentals.falco.co.uk
With regard to dog waste, dog owners are breaking the law if they do not pick up after their dog, and it is of course a public health risk. Dog owners really must take responsibility for their pets, and the fact that some do not is completely unacceptable.
Cityclean does issue the maximum allowable fine to people who do not clear up after their dog, but it is difficult to be in the right place at the right time to catch an irresponsible dog owner.
The Environmental Enforcement Team can stencil areas where there is a problem with dog waste, with messages to clear it up and warning them that they may be fined. I have asked them to visit St Leonard’s Road, Hastings Road, Fairlight Place and Pevensey Road to do this and I have also asked the team to increase patrols in the area.
Ideally, we would like to catch more people in the act. If residents are able to identify a pattern in terms of when dog waste appears, I would ask them to report that information using the Report a Problem link on the council’s website so we can try and have an officer on location at the right time.
I also want to add that this issue came up on the doorstep regularly during our campaign, and the feeling is that the problem has got worse in recent years. As such, we will be reviewing current policy to see what further measures we can take. In the meantime, I have asked officers to develop plans for an advertising campaign aimed at reducing the amount of dog waste left on the streets.
Regarding the street lighting at the end of Hastings Road, it is extremely worrying to hear that this has become a safety concern. It is no secret that the council’s finances are in a very poor state and so, sadly at this stage the council is only able to maintain the existing stock, and not invest in improvements.
I love the idea of a green wall – they were identified in our manifesto as something we’d like to see more of, at least on council-owned buildings. When it comes to privately owned buildings, it would of course need to be done with the full support and involvement of the relevant property owners and, at this stage, it would need to be maintained by the community. I am happy to ask officers from Highways and or City Parks to follow this up with you.
Finally, I am very happy to attend future community meetings to explore these ideas. All three of your ward councillors sit on this committee and we will do whatever we can to support your community in their efforts to improve the area”.
4.7 Resolved- That the committee note the deputation.
(2) Air Quality
4.8 The Committee considered a deputation that request local action on high levels of air pollution in the city.
4.9 The Chair provided the following response:
“Thank you for presenting your deputation to this committee today on behalf of your colleagues and for further emphasising the impact of poor air quality and emissions on people’s lives.
Our manifesto made clear pledges to create a sustainable, healthy environment and ensure there are more sustainable ways to get around the city. You are absolutely right to highlight health inequality, and I completely agree that air quality should be a fundamental aspect of how we create a fairer and more equal society.
I strongly support the principle of preventative healthcare, and the evidence around the impacts of poor air quality on human health is both compelling and ever-growing. One of the first briefings I requested coming into this role was the extent of, and data from, our air quality monitoring stations. The Air Quality Action Plan agreed by the former Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee contained some commendable aspirations, but we now need to review what progress has been made towards their attainment.
As you have heard in the earlier public question, there are also plans underway to install further air quality monitoring in the city and to make the live data available to the public.
The transport aspect of this issue will of course not fall within the remit of this committee. However, there is inescapable overlap between us and the new Transport & Sustainability committee and Cllr Trevor Muten and I will be working closely on future policy.
Information and awareness are critical to reducing pollution and your deputation at the first meeting of this committee today is a helpful reminder that we want public health to inform every council decision. We will be working on our policies in this area over the coming weeks and months and will be very pleased to have your input”.
4.10 Resolved- That the committee note the deputation.
- deputations, item 4. PDF 572 KB View as HTML (4./1) 46 KB
- Public Questions 20.06.23, item 4. PDF 6 KB View as HTML (4./2) 15 KB