Agenda and minutes
Cabinet Member - Technical Services (meeting)
Wednesday 26th January, 2011 10.00 am
Venue: **Town Hall, Bootle (video conferenced Town Hall, Southport)
Contact: Paul Fraser.
Apologies for Absence
No apologies for absence were received.
Declarations of Interest
Members and Officers are requested to give notice of any personal or prejudicial interest and the nature of that interest, relating to any item on the agenda in accordance with the relevant Code of Conduct.
No declarations of interest were received.
Minutes of the Meeting held on 15 December 2010
That the Minutes of the meeting held on 15 December 2010 be confirmed as a correct record.
Report of the Planning and Economic Development Director
Further to Minute No. 58 of the meeting of the Council held on 16 December 2010, the Cabinet Member considered:-
(I) the report of the Planning and Economic Development Director seeking approval of the proposal to increase the parking charges on the Crosby Town Centre car parks and to set the charges on the Waterloo and Crosby seafront car parks; and indicating that a decision on this matter was required in order to achieve the fee income target approved by the Council.
The report indicated that the proposed charges were as follows:
Crosby Town Centre Car Parks
Waterloo and Seafront Car Parks
On the Waterloo Car Parks (Hougoumont Avenue and Civic Hall) the charges would operate 08.00 - 18.00 Monday to Saturday, whilst on the Seafront Car Parks they would operate 10.00 - 17.00 Monday to Sunday.
A residents permit would be available at a charge of £35 per annum for use on the Seafront car parks; and
(II) a petition, signed by 81 Sefton residents, in accordance with Rule 27 of the Council and Committee Procedure Rules. The terms of the petition were as follows:
"We the undersigned, object to the Traffic Services Order and the consequential instigation of car parking charges in the following areas of Sefton M.B.C. - Blucher Street Car Park, Burbo Bank Car Park, Crosby Civic Hall/Library Car Park, Crosby Coastal Car Park, Crosby Leisure Centre Car Park, Hougoumont Avenue Car Park and Mariners Road Car Park.
We object on the grounds of depriving members of the community to access health and active lifestyles activities, the effect of removal of free car parking on our local shopping centres and the effect on disadvantaged members of the community who will not have the available resources to pay for car parking facilities."
The Committee Administrator advised that Ms. J. Edgar, a representative of the petitioners, had indicated that she would not address the Cabinet Member in support of the terms of the petition but instead would be addressing the meeting of the Cabinet to be held on 27 January 2011.
That the matter be referred to Cabinet with a request that it reconsiders its previous decision to approve the increase in the charges on the Crosby Town Centre car parks and the setting of the charges on the Waterloo/Seafront car parks as detailed in the report.
Joint report of the Planning and Economic Development Director and Neighbourhood and Investment Programmes Director
The Cabinet Member considered the joint report of the Planning and Economic Development Director and Neighbourhoods and Investment Programmes Director advising that the REECH (Renewable Energy Efficiency in Community Housing) Project had now been approved by the North West Development Agency (NWDA); and seeking, subject to the agreement of arrangements for the delivery of economic development activity, approval to accept the Offer Letter and to approve the revenue and capital financial implications of the Project.
The report indicated that the REECH Project was to be funded via the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF); that in line with the NWDA's request, the Council had worked with Registered Social Landlords (RSL) delivery partners to identify all those projects that would be eligible for ERDF grant, could be delivered within the bid timetable and initially would lead to robust outputs required as part of the funding condition; that the total revenue cost of managing the project over the three calendar years was estimated to be £1,227,724 and that ERDF grant amounting to £613,862 would be received based on a 50% intervention rate; whilst as regard to the capital element of the project, there were no financial implications to the Council as Sefton's role would be to release £7,170,624 ERDF grant on receipt of detailed evidence of spend by RSL delivery partners.
This was a Key Decision and was included on the Council's Forward Plan of Key Decisions.
(1) it be noted that the REECH Project was approved by the North West Development Agency on 16 December 2010;
(2) the report advising of progress on the REECH Project be noted and further progress reports be submitted as appropriate; and
(3) Cabinet be requested, subject to the agreement of arrangements for the future delivery of Economic Development, to:
(a) accept the Offer Letter when received from the North West Development Agency in relation to the REECH Project, and approve a start date of 1 January 2011;
(b) request the Council to give approval to the inclusion of the REECH Project in the Capital Programme as set out in Annex A in the sum of £7,170,624 to be fully funded from ERDF grant; and
(c) agree the Revenue budget for the project as set out in Annex A which requires that the Council provides revenue match funding from existing resources amounting to £413,862 over three calendar years.
Report of the Environmental and Technical Services Director
The Cabinet Member considered the report of the Environmental and Technical Services Director that provided information on the recent extreme weather event and identifying initial opportunities for consideration; and indicating that a decision on this matter was required because the Cabinet Member - Technical Services had requested a report on the response to the recent extreme weather event and a re-evaluation of the effectiveness of the existing Winter Service Policy in light of that event; and that many of the options for changing or increasing service provision had cost implications that would require Member approval.
The report indicated that the Environmental and Technical Services Department provided a Winter Service to the borough in accordance with the Council's Winter Service Policy and Operational Plan; that Officers monitored the weather conditions 24 hours a day throughout the winter season and enacted the plan when weather conditions dictated; that a local contractor, who had secured the contract twice consecutively in open competitive tendering, provided the actual gritting operation; and detailed that there were eight specific gritting routes identified for the borough's roads that treated 209 miles (35%) of Sefton's total highway network, which exceeded the Audit Commission guidelines that suggested that between 12% and 25% of the carriageway network should be treated.
The report also detailed the extreme weather event that commenced on 17 December 2010 and the implemented response to the event relating to:
· Winter Service Policy/Highways
· Health and Social Care
· Communication and Co-ordination
The report concluded that, despite the efforts of Council staff and the Council's contractor, the unprecedented conditions experienced over the ten days from 17 December 2010 resulted in an outcome that was below the expectations of elected Members, residents and highway users; and highlighted possible improvement actions for consideration and recommendation to Cabinet relating to the following:
· snow ploughing
· grit bins
· additional gritting
· gritter GPS - tracking
· additional resources
· Winter Service Policy
· co-ordination and escalation of the Council's response
· engagement with the community
· voluntary, community and faith organisations
(1) the report updating on the recent extreme weather event be noted;
(2) the initial findings identified in paragraphs 29 to 36 of the report be acknowledged;
(3) the approach outlined in paragraphs 37 to 40 be approved subject to the submission of further reports of the Environmental and Technical Services Director and the Cabinet be advised accordingly; and
(4) Cabinet be requested to approve the procurement of 6 additional snow ploughs at an approximate cost of £35,000 (option (a) in paragraph 41) and consider and determine the possible immediate/short term and longer term options as detailed in (b) to (h) of paragraph 41 of the report
Report of the Environmental and Technical Services Director
The Cabinet Member considered the report of the Environmental and Technical Services Director seeking approval to start implementing new duties in relation to local flood risk management; and indicating that a decision on this matter was required as recent legislation had placed such new duties on the Council.
The report indicated that the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 (the Act) was passed by Government this spring and that it would have a phased commencement; that it would place a number of new duties on local authorities along with a general duty to provide a leadership role in relation to flooding from all sources; that it should be noted that other relevant authorities such as Water Companies would have a duty to co-operate with the Council as the Council discharged this leadership role; and that DEFRA (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) wrote to all Councils on 16 September 2010 to advise them that various elements were commencing on 1 September and 1 October and that the Government was working towards commencing most other parts of the Act by April 2011.
The report also indicated that it had not been possible at this time to determine the financial implications arising from the new burdens under the Act in relation to staff resources; that the Government had made it clear that local authorities would need to think now about what was necessary to make sure the skills and capacity were in place for the strategy preparation processes to take advantage of funding and guidance when it was made available in 2011; and concluded that, given the uncertainty relating to resource need and future structures for Council Services, it was not appropriate at this time to request formal inclusion in the Council's budget process but that it was appropriate to ask the Cabinet Member to:
· note the Government's intention to place additional duties on the Council as a Lead Local Flood Authority
· note that Government's grant allocation within the Local Government Settlement of £121,000;
· note the need for resources to be included in future budgets to deliver these new burdens and for the provision of a client function.
(1) the Government's intention to place additional duties on the Council as a Lead Local Flood Authority be noted;
(2) the Government's grant allocation within the Local Government Settlement of £121,000 be noted; and
(3) the need for resources to be included in future budgets to deliver these new burdens and for the provision of a client function be noted.
Report of the Planning and Economic Development Director
The Cabinet Member considered the report of the Planning and Economic Development Director seeking approval to extend the length of the existing Parking Enforcement Contract (the Contract) by a further twelve months; and indicating that a decision on this matter was required to allow continued parking enforcement within the Borough.
The report indicated that the Contract granted on 1 April 2006 to Legion Parking Services, was for a period of five years until 31 March 2011, with an option to extend the Contract for a further year; that during the length of the Contract, Officers had been satisfied with the conduct of the contractor who had carried out the duties involved with due diligence and in line with instructions issued by Parking Services; and that the budget proposals for 2012/13 included the provision of a saving of £100,000 on the Contract and this proposal was made based on the Contact being extended until 31 March 2012.
That the Cabinet be requested to approve the extension of the current Parking Enforcement Contract with Legion Parking Services by a further twelve months until 31 March 2012.