Agenda item - Public Involvement
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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 27 September 2023;
(c) Deputations: To receive any deputations submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 27 September 2023.
(b) Public Questions
1) Road Condition
25.1 The questioner did not attend the meeting. The Chair provided the following written response:
“All roads that have had utility works carried out on them are inspected to ensure that they are reinstated back to the condition they were before.
Utility companies are liable for reinstatements for the first two years after works take place, according to government regulations, during this time a sample of works are inspected within the first six months and then again before the two year period expires, alongside any third party reports from the public.
If defects are found they are raised with the utility company at which point defect charges are made and any unresolved issues are escalated until the reinstatement is in a satisfactory condition, at which point the guarantee period starts again”.
2) Carbon Neutral 2030 Plan
25.2 Steve Peake read the following question:
“Will the new administration honour the commitments in the Carbon Neutral 2030 plan?”
25.3 The Chair provided the following reply:
“Thank you for this question. The council’s commitment in our Carbon Neutral programme is to achieve carbon neutral across the whole city by 2030, reducing greenhouse gas emissions as far as possible.
Our new Corporate Plan for 2023-27 retains this intention as a Key Performance Indicator. We have committed to reducing carbon emissions and climate risk and broadening our actions to ensure that decisions made by the council take into account the climate and biodiversity crises.
We have recently commissioned a study of Decarbonisation Pathways to assess scenarios for achieving our carbon reduction target. The study will give us a rigorous evidence base to understand what we need to do over the next few years.
We know that the city will increasingly experience the impacts of climate change, such as heatwaves, increased storms and the potential for floods. We need to understand this and particularly the impact for the most vulnerable communities as well as infrastructure. So we are working on a Climate Risk and Vulnerability Assessment to give us that evidence to help us plan for the future. We are also carrying out flood prevention and management schemes across the city”.
3) Transport Emissions
25.4 Neil Younger read the following question:
“The Council Plan 2023-2027 says ‘the Council will ensure all decisions made by the Council will take account of the climate and biodiversity crisis.’ Will you confirm that the CO2e benefits and disbenefits of Transport interventions will be properly quantified and opened to public scrutiny before decisions are taken?”
25.5 The Chair provided the following reply:
“Yes, I can confirm that transport measures which are brought forward will have their carbon impacts quantified in a proportionate way.
As an administration, we are committed to establishing a comprehensive connected strategy to reach carbon neutrality for our city, working in partnerships with businesses and interest groups. The council has commissioned its own work on developing Decarbonisation Pathways and Climate Risk and Vulnerability Assessment.
Integral to the council’s own commissioned assessments, our approach to in the design and delivery of transport schemes will primarily be informed by the Department for Transport’s guidance and tools on how local authorities should do this. This is being developed and we will follow this best-practice guidance.
Our assessment of the carbon impacts of different strategic transport interventions is expected to be published alongside a draft of the council’s next Local Transport Plan so that they can be viewed as part of the public engagement and consultation prior to the plan being finalised”.
25.6 Neil Younger asked the following supplementary question:
“Will you be publishing details of the public consultation that accompanies the new Local Transport Plan?”
25.7 The Chair provided the following reply:
“Yes, I believe we will. Where we have public consultation comments, we’ll be able to publish those as part of the associated due process”.
4) Clean Air Zone
25.8 Adrian Hill read the following question:
“The 2023 air quality report shows illegal levels of NOx pollution at least 12 locations. The 6 month preliminary report shows no improvement. All other locations violate WHO guidelines for health. Source apportionment reports show diesel cars cause 50% of all NOx on illegally polluted New England Road. Hollingbury Road, diesel cars cause 75% of all traffic related NOx. Petrol causes <1%. Labour's manifesto promised to “...bring an end to…polluting diesel vehicles”. We know Brighton’s toxic air causes illness and death. We know Clean Air Zones work. We must declare a Clean Air Zone immediately, can you agree?”
25.9 The Chair provided the following reply:
“We can certainly agree that;
· air quality in the city is an issue;
· diesel vehicles are a major cause of the problem; and
· poor air quality has a detrimental impact on people’s health.
· over the past three years, there has been some observable decline in air quality in parts of our city countering longer term improvements.
How we can address this is set out in the wide range of potential measures that are included in the council’s Air Quality Action Plan. Each of these has the opportunity to reduce tailpipe emissions, and will need to be reviewed in more detail to assess the overall priority and benefit that they will bring. Some will require careful planning and consideration of their costs and impacts, to ensure that the benefits are maximised and the project impacts are fair; in particular for the least well off in our society.
We consider it more effective to have a data informed approach to tackling air quality and believe a targeted approach for each area rather than a ‘one size fits all; approach is going to yield better improvements. We also will work with communities to establish the best way to implement change to bring about the air quality improvements that are needed.
Unlike the Green-led administration, Labour is showing leadership by having a strategy to reversing the decline in air quality seen over recent years. We are taking action on air quality. The existing Brighton & Hove Bus ULEZ will require the vast majority of buses in the city to have the cleanest Euro 6 standards by next January. More electric vehicle charging points will be installed over the course of this administration, to increase uptake and facilitate the transition away from vehicles that produce exhaust emissions. We also support investment in more and better active travel infrastructure via our ambitious Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP). Our administration is also considering what additional targeted action is required to improve air quality in the areas where the issue is most acute and how we can seek to achieve the World Health Organisation target of 30 micrograms per cubic metre across the city in the most equitable way.
The combination of these and other measures will help us move towards giving our residents cleaner air and healthier lives in the coming years. Labour is not just collecting data, we are developing and implementing a plan to reverse the recent trend and improve air quality in areas of the city where the data shows the improvements are most needed”.
25.10 Adrian Hill asked the following supplementary question:
“Your response didn’t respond to action on New England Way”
25.11 The Chair provided the following reply:
“As I said in reply to your first question, we need to come up with a targeted approach for each of the areas that works the best and I hear that point about the impacts it has upon some of the most vulnerable in our community. We do need to address this and do it in an equitable way and a targeted way, so we are not just collecting data, we’re going to use that data to get the best solution for that area. We certainly do consider it a priority for this Administration, and we’ll take your question away and look at it in detail”.
5) Parking Permits
25.12 Laura King read the following question:
“Are there any plans for Brighton and Hove City Council to review emissions-based resident parking permits?”
25.13 The Chair provided the following reply:
“There are no current plans to review the current emissions-based resident parking permits but it is something that may be considered as part of the Fees & Charges budget process for 24/25 or in future years depending on the outcome of the review of the city parking system.
We are also committed to establishing our city’s first ever strategy for reaching carbon neutrality including commissioning Decarbonisation Pathways and Climate Risk and Vulnerability Assessment. As part of this strategy, consideration of how parking contributes to our path to carbon neutrality will be considered”.
25.14 Laura King asked the following supplementary question:
“Can the Transport & Sustainability Committee state how much Brighton & Hove has averted through the introduction of emissions-based parking since it was introduced in 2018 and what scientific based, evidence-based evaluation we can look forward to following this initial five-year trial period?”
25.15 The Chair provided the following reply in writing:
“The aim of the emission-based permit charges scheme is to encourage residents to use lower emission vehicles, and the permit charges are reflective of the relative impact that the individual vehicle has on the environment. However, the council does not hold information on the emissions from vehicles which have a residents’ parking permit, as this would require data such as how often the vehicle is used, distance travelled, and average speed. It is therefore not presently practical to calculate how much this initiative contributes to emission reduction, but future tools and research may enable the council to do so. Any change in the choices that people have made as a result of this initiative in terms of vehicle ownership and their use will be reflected in more global figures for vehicle emissions in the city.
We do know that figures published by the council in its 2022 Parking Annual Report show that registered electric vehicles [EVs] and plug-in hybrid EVs in Brighton & Hove had nearly doubled since 2020/2021, from 871 to 1,553 by the end of 2021/2022.”
6) Parking Review
25.16 Reginald Woodhouse read the following question:
“When is the council planning to host the promised Autumn parking review?”
25.17 The Chair provided the following reply:
“The city parking system is being reviewed and has been subject to an initial piece of work already, with a more substantial review also underway. A report will be completed by the end of November and presented to the Transport & Sustainability Committee on 5th December 2023 with recommendations on next steps. This is the earliest opportunity to report to this Committee on the work already undertaken and the longer-term view”.
7) Emissions Charging
25.18 Michael Adams read the following question:
“Can you confirm that there are no ULEZ or CO2/ NO2 emissions charging schemes, for Residents, Visitors or Traders vehicles, driving from one place to another in the City of Brighton & Hove?”
25.19 The Chair provided the following reply:
“I can confirm that there are no emission charging schemes that apply to general traffic. You may have seen signage for a Low Emission Zone on Castle Square, North Street and Western Road but this is for Brighton & Hove’s Bus ULEZ, in place since 2015 and which only affects the vast majority of bus routes in the city but not other vehicles.
Charges for emission-based, residents’ parking permits have been referred to in an earlier response to a question about this”.
25.20 Michael Adams asked the following supplementary question:
“Why is the existing tiered Co2 emissions-based fee for residents and traders parking permits not considered misleading and potential unlawful when Councillor Davis has indicated this fee is intended to cover vehicles driving to and from parking locations?”
25.21 The Chair provided the following reply in writing:
“A stationary vehicle has the potential to produce CO2 emissions when it is used for travelling which is why it needs to be taxed and roadworthy. If this wasn’t the case then it would be classed an abandoned vehicle and dealt with accordingly. The existing system is not misleading”.
25.22 Carol Wilson read the following question:
“What action has the Council taken to guarantee that residents and visitors can easily access the PayPoint facility to pay for parking in the event that the digital/phone option does not work?”
25.23 The Chair provided the following reply:
“If anyone is experiencing issues accessing the app, SMS text message or telephone line, this could be mobile signal related and not a system issue. We would advise people check their signal, move to an alternative spot and try again.
If there is PayByPhone platform outage, payment at a PayPoint outlet will not be possible. You may not be able to pay for parking until the problem is resolved.
If there is an outage issue, the parking enforcement contractors are notified immediately and enforcement for paid parking bays will be suspended. It will resume when PayByPhone is operational again. We advise drivers to wait 15 minutes and try to pay to park again”.
25.24 Carol Wilson asked the following supplementary question:
“Councillor Muten, you were quoted in The Argus when challenged about the problems people were experiencing with digital and signal access that ‘people have the opportunity to appeal a PCN’ .Is this policy approach effectively trapping people into being at the mercy of the subjective decisions of a punitive parking department? Is this fair, equitable and most of all is it acceptable?”
25.25 The Chair provided the following reply in writing:
This policy is not trapping people into receiving a PCN and has been undertaken to make it is as fair and equitable for the minority who still wish to use cash. Alternatives are available such as the following;
· We offer cash payments via Paypoint location and provide clear and accessible signage to the nearest Paypoint location for those able to make the journey by walking or wheeling.
· We make it clear that a smartphone is not a requirement to make payment; customers can also phone or text to make payment or make cash payments at nearest Paypoint locations.
· We offer support to those with low digital skills by promoting initiatives to increase Digital Inclusion such as Good Things Foundation, Citizen’s online and Age UK’s phone based digital support.
· We gather and analyse customer satisfaction data internally and from different age groups and engage with diverse and intersectional age-related community groups to learn about their barriers and ideas for solutions/mitigations.
· During the PCN appeals process, we can further educate users on the PayByPhone and Paypoint processes and what services are available to them in the future.
· We ensure alternative parking is available in off-street car parks across the city with Pay on Foot machines.
9) Hollingdean Parking Scheme
25.26 Iain McGill read the following question:
“In the light of the response to the consultation carried out by Brighton and Hove Council with respect to a resident parking scheme for Hollingdean which reported 59.7 per cent of residents were not in favour of the proposed scheme; also in the light of the recommendation in the same report which is before the committee (namely not to proceed with the Hollingdean scheme) can the Chair now assure Hollingdean residents that this scheme will be put aside both now and into the future?”
25.27 The Chair provided the following reply:
“Thank you, Iain, for taking the time to come to this committee meeting to present your question. The report on this matter on our agenda today recommends that the Committee agrees not to proceed with the Hollingdean parking scheme.
However, as also highlighted in the report there are concerns regarding an opposing campaign, which included misrepresented data which may have influenced the result. It is understood that the Hollingdean & Fiveways Ward Councillors would, therefore, also like the option to revisit the area again following the decision on the light to full scheme which is also due to be discussed later at this Committee. This will be taken into account when the next parking scheme priority timetable is taken forward to this Committee next year”.
10) Elm Grove
25.28 Alison Guile read the following question:
“Can the Chair confirm that the planned improvements, including significant greening on Elm Grove will still go ahead? Residents have seen extensive plans and been consulted on these improvements; we are aware that there remains £600,000 in the pot from the Carbon Neutral Fund. Many councillors have admitted it is a much-neglected street and now the pavement parking has been banned we are left with a badly damaged walkway which needs repair, there is opportunity to enhance both residents and school children’s lives by reducing carbon with planting – surely an excellent use, and in the spirit of the fund’s intention?”
25.29 The Chair provided the following reply:
“As you may be aware, there is a report about the Liveable Neighbourhood proposals for the Hanover & Tarner area, later on the agenda of this meeting which recommends that the overall scheme is stopped, and only certain measures in Elm Grove progressed.
A range of potential various measures for Elm Grove and other roads were outlined in indicative designs that were used to assist with the public engagement sessions that took place in February. The report on the agenda does recognise what needs to be considered with possible greening proposals. The location and type of planting within an area would need to be sufficient to demonstrably make a difference and provide measurable benefits and would need to be able to be maintained within existing, limited budgets and staff resources, and/or through agreements with local community groups which can sometimes be difficult to sustain.
If the committee report’s recommendations are agreed, then officers involved in managing the overall Carbon Neutral Fund will need to review the remaining sum in the council’s budget and its possible uses for projects across the city that have already been put forward. Your suggestion has therefore been noted, but we do need to make sure that any investment that we make will maximise carbon reduction. Any final decision on funding would need to be made by the Strategy, Finance and City Regeneration Committee.
I am pleased to hear that the pavement parking ban has freed up space for people to walk safely. Smooth and level surfaces are very important and need to be maintained and we do this through a citywide inspection process and make repairs from existing budgets.”
25.30 Alison Guile asked the following supplementary question:
“Can you confirm if the planned work addresses the further environmental issues, for example whether the proposed junction redesigns will improve drainage and how effective they could be in comparison to greening and green growth?”
25.31 The Chair provided the following reply in writing:
“First and foremost, the engineering designs of the crossings and the traffic signal junction will ensure that they are safe and reduce danger. They will also include highway drainage considerations to help minimise the effects of surface water, in the absence of any new greening/planting on Elm Grove. I am sure that officers will explore the feasibility of using certain materials to deal with run-off and permeability, within the budget available.
These new measures will take account of Elm Grove being part of a strategic route within our Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan, and therefore should consider the opportunity to retain or create space for other infrastructure and/or greening that could come forward in the future.”
11) Elm Grove
25.32 James Taylor read the following question:
“With the cancellation of the Hanover LTN, there will be no safe cycle route for residents or for people accessing Brighton Hospital. Their route will be to cycle up Elm Grove. Due to the gradient there is a large differential in speed between cyclists and cars. This makes it hostile and dangerous for cyclists. Investigations in 2022 indicated that an uphill cycle route could be included on the area that was used for illegal pavement parking. Elm Grove is a 'Strategic Route' in the LCWIP so can you assure us that the junction design upgrades on Elm Grove will consider safe cycling provision on Elm Grove?”
25.33 The Chair provided the following reply:
“The proposed junction improvement in this area will include safety considerations for those cycling, walking and wheeling – this is the case for any improvements on the highway - in line with national design standards such as Local Transport Note 1/20.
Beyond the junction improvements, further improvements are not proposed at this stage, as has been noted in the wider report. However, Elm Grove remains a strategic route in the LCWIP as you note. Being in the LCWIP means that this route is prioritised in the strategic plans for investment in active travel infrastructure”.
25.34 James Taylor asked the following supplementary question:
“Given that the area previously used for illegal parking is now free, what is to stop the provision of safe cycling on this route being implemented sooner rather than later?”
25.35 The Chair provided the following reply in writing:
“With reference to my answer to your original question, this route is part of our LCWIP priorities which will help inform those schemes could come forward in the next 10 years or so. The Elm Grove/Warren Road route is identified as a medium to low priority; but it could be brought forward sooner if funding becomes available or there is an overlap with other schemes such as road or pavement maintenance or proposals linked to development. The potential availability of space to deliver a scheme would not be a factor in this instance, but when proposals are developed, all feasible options will be looked at to create a safe design that makes the most efficient use of the land within the budget that is available.”
12) Gardner Street
25.36 Ian Baldry read the following question:
“I would like to ask what the purpose of the consultation regarding the TRO on Gardner Street was, if it was not to gauge public opinion on the matter. Over 400 responses have been ignored, and a final decision was made before the consultation began. The repercussion of this decision will be felt by all residents of Brighton and Hove and beyond. The needs of all residents, including the disabled, and the elderly, as well as the complex needs of the businesses in the North Laine should be considered”.
25.37 The Chair provided the following reply:
“The consultation regarding this TRO was a genuine consultation undertaken by the Council to identify views regarding the proposed changes. Further changes to the proposals have been suggested in the report in direct response to the consultation responses received.
The public consultation for the proposed TRO changes in Gardner Street was carried out between 11th August 2023 and 1st September 2023 and received 147 comments via our council website, emails and advertised links. Of these comments 91 comments are in support of the proposed changes. The council also received 402 comments via a QR code that had been setup separately.
All the comments have been considered and are highlighted to the committee in the report. The information provided to the public in relation to the QR Code comments is considered to be incorrect. The email objections generated via the QR Code state that the TRO proposes to reopen the street 11am - 5pm everyday to all vehicles which was not part of the Council’s proposals.
The poster with the QR Code on it in states "Gardner Street: The council want to close the road to pedestrians, but open it to cars. Scan the Code to save your shops, cafes and communities." This advertised QR code did not provide a link to the Council’s TRO consultation page or advise on the correct content of the TRO. Those responding to the comments were therefore not given all the information required to make an informed decision as the important information about the road remaining closed to vehicles every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays was not included.
The Council’s proposed changes would support the businesses with their busiest periods (Friday to Sunday and Bank Holidays) when the road would be closed to vehicles for longer each day than at present, enhancing and extending the vibrancy of this busy street; whilst supporting access requirements for residents during the week”.
1) Withdean CPZ
25.38 The Committee considered a deputation that objected to a light touch parking scheme in the Withdean area.
25.39 The Chair provided the following response:
“As outlined in the report to be discussed later at this Committee as an area 65% of respondents preferred a Monday to Sunday scheme as opposed to 35% who wanted a Monday to Friday scheme. The scheme needs to be considered as an area as different days of restrictions in different parts of the scheme would lead to confusion and potential vehicle displacement issues.
As outlined in the light to full parking scheme report also being discussed later light touch parking schemes in the Hallyburton Road area, the South Portslade area and the Surrenden Road area would not be consulted at this time. This is because public consultation has been taken place within the areas in the past 18 months and residents have already outlined recently that they would like a light touch parking scheme. This includes schemes that have not been introduced and have been consulted on in the last 18 months including the Withdean area”.
25.40 Resolved- That the Committee note the deputation.
2) Gardner Street TRO
25.41 The Committee considered a deputation outlining concerns in relation to the Traffic Regulation Order recently advertised on Gardner Street.
25.42 The Chair provided the following response:
“The 402 comments received via a separately set up QR code will be considered by the committee in reaching a decision, and are highlighted in the report including the wording of the objection email in full. Whilst the wording on the automatically created email taken from the TRO does state “Revokes the Prohibition of Driving Monday to Sunday 11am to 5pm on Gardner Street” it did not include the following sentence “and introduces a Prohibition of Vehicles Friday to Sunday (and bank holidays) 11am to 9pm” It appears Responders were not given the proposal in full from that QR code source, although it was available to them via the information provided by the Council . The proposals in the report aim to mitigate as many of the concerns raised in the responses as possible, whilst balancing the needs to all the roads users. We understand that Gardener Street is a unique and important part of the city and welcome the opportunity to work with all stakeholders in the street to create a space that is welcoming to visitors and supportive of local businesses and residents”.
25.43 Councillor Davis moved a motion to request an officer report.
25.44 Councillor Bagaeen formally seconded the motion.
25.45 The Chair put the motion to the vote that failed.
25.46 Resolved- That the Committee note the deputation.
- Public Questions 2023.10.03, item 25. PDF 112 KB View as HTML (25./1) 23 KB
- Public Questions 2 2023.10.03, item 25. PDF 110 KB View as HTML (25./2) 20 KB
- T&S deputation, item 25. PDF 280 KB View as HTML (25./3) 22 KB