Agenda and draft minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Regeneration and Skills) - Tuesday 8th March, 2022 6.30 pm

Venue: Ballroom, Town Hall, Bootle

Contact: Paul Fraser  Senior Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

33.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor Myers.

 

 

34.

Declarations of Interest

Members are requested at a meeting where a disclosable pecuniary interest or personal interest arises, which is not already included in their Register of Members' Interests, todeclare any interests that relate to an item on the agenda.

 

Where a Member discloses a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, he/she must withdraw from the meeting room, including from the public gallery, during the whole consideration of any item of business in which he/she has an interest, except where he/she is permitted to remain as a result of a grant of a dispensation.

 

Where a Member discloses a personal interest he/she must seek advice from the Monitoring Officer or staff member representing the Monitoring Officer to determine whether the Member should withdraw from the meeting room, including from the public gallery, during the whole consideration of any item of business in which he/she has an interest or whether the Member can remain in the meeting or remain in the meeting and vote on the relevant decision.

 

Minutes:

In accordance with Paragraph 9 of the Council’s Code of Conduct, the following declaration of personal interest was made and the Member concerned remained in the room during the consideration of the item, took part in the consideration of the item but did not vote:

 

 

Member

Minute No.

Nature of Interest

Councillor D’Albuquerque

Minute No. 36 – Knob Hall Lane, Southport

Personal – has held discussions with residents of Knob Hall Lane, Southport over the issues contained in the report

 

 

 

35.

Minutes of the Previous Meetings pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Minutes of the meetings held 9 November 2021 and 14 December 2021

 

Minutes of the remote informal meeting of the Committee held on 18 January 2022 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That

 

(1)

the Minutes of the meetings held on 9 November and 14 December 2021 be confirmed as a correct record; and

 

(2)

the Minutes of the informal, remote meeting held on 18 January 2022 be noted.

 

 

 

 

36.

Knob Hall Lane, Southport pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered (a) the report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer, which set out the decision of the Cabinet Member – Locality Services in relation to Knob Hall Lane, Southport, and the reasons why the decision had been called-in; and (b) the report of the Head of Highways and Public Protection which was considered by the Cabinet Member – Locality Services in relation to this matter.

 

The decision taken by the Cabinet Member – Locality Services on 9 December 2021 in relation to this matter was as follows:

 

Decision Made:

 

That:

 

(1)

the position as set out in paragraph 7 of the report be approved; and

 

(2)

the Head of Highways and Public Protection be requested to write to Cambridge Ward Councillors and residents, affirming the Council's position on this matter.

 

Reason for Decision:

 

The issue of maintenance responsibility for Knob Hall Lane has been the source of dispute for many years. In November 2019, Cambridge Ward Councillors, on behalf of the residents of Knob Hall Lane, collectively raised the issue with the Head of Highways and Public Protection. Investigations were therefore commenced which involved a thorough search of the Council’s documentary records, and legal advice was sought. Endorsement of the suggested position will enable officers to communicate that position to interested parties.

 

Alternative Options Considered:

 

The Council could adopt a different position to that set out. This option has been rejected, as the position suggested is considered correct on the basis of analysis of the circumstances, legislation, case law, and historic documentary evidence.

 

The decision was subsequently called-in by Councillors Evans, Dodd and Pugh.

 

Paul Fraser, Senior Democratic Services Officer reported on the validity of the call-in and highlighted that the call-in requisition:

 

·       had been received within the specified call-in period;

·       had been signed by three Members of the Council who were not Members of the Cabinet, in accordance with the provisions in Chapter 6, Paragraph 38(a) of the Council’s Constitution; and

·       referred to a specific decision made by the Cabinet Member – Locality Services and provided reasons for call in, in accordance with Chapter 6, paragraph 40 of the Constitution.

 

Councillor Evans, on behalf of Councillors Dodd and Pugh, addressed the Committee and outlined and amplified the reasons for the call-in as follows:

 

“(1)

to seek more understanding of the decision and its implications - as whilst legal advice has been given, it is believed there are other solutions which would be fairer to the residents, such as:

 

·      Continuing to maintain the previous policy to maintain Knob Hall Lane to a 'keep safe' standard in recognition of its unique position and the role it plays in accessing three adopted cul-de-sacs.

·       Considered any alternative route to adoption, including assisting funding, reconvening contact with the Hesketh estate or any alternative options.

 

(2)

to question the soundness of the decision based on facts taken or not taken into account - to seek alternative solutions which the council has not examined. Effectively, it is believed that the council have  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.

38.

Potential to Establish a Working Group to Review the Topic of Dog Fouling in Public Places and Methods to Combat it pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Report of the Head of Highways and Public Protection

Minutes:

Further to Minute No 6 (2) of the informal meeting of the Committee held on 18 January 2022 the Committee considered the report of the Head of Highways and Public Protection on the potential to establish a Working Group to review the topic of dog fouling in public places and methods to combat such an anti-social practice.

 

The report stated that failure to pick up dog fouling and the inappropriate disposal of dog ‘fouling bags’ (littering) by irresponsible dog walkers were  legitimate concerns for Members, residents and visitors to the Borough as such unpleasant and anti-social acts could significantly impact upon the use, appearance, and enjoyment of public spaces; that the recent consultation regarding implementation of a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for dog Control, including dog fouling, saw a 95.95% positive response to the proposal to allow Fixed Penalty Notices to be issued across the Borough for dog walkers who failed to pick up dog fouling; and detailed the several ways how the Council currently tackled this issue.

 

The report also detailed the tools available to ensure compliance and change to this anti-social behaviour and that they were often categorised as Education, Engineering and Enforcement (the three E’s); that there was a potential to review the topic of dog fouling centred on these 3 E’s; that a working group could consider:

 

·       Current Council policies and practices in dealing with dog fouling and disposal of dog ‘fouling bags’

·       Areas of good practise within the Council

·       Good practise within other local authorities or similar organisations

·       Areas for improvement within the Council’s policies and practice

 

However, there was a danger that any new working group to review the impact of dog fouling in public places and the methods to combat this may see significant duplication in the matters already considered by the previous, recently completed Effectiveness of the Council’s Enforcement Activity Working Group.

 

The report concluded by suggesting two options for consideration, namely:

 

(1)

that the Committee recognises the negative impact of dog fouling in public places but agrees not to establish a Working Group to consider this issue at this time, in recognition of the potential duplication of work and themes only recently covered by the Effectiveness of the Council’s Enforcement Activity Working Group; or

 

(2)

that the Committee notes the work and recommendations already made by the Committee’s Effectiveness of the Council’s Enforcement Activity Working Group, and agrees to establish a Working Group to review the topic of dog fouling in public places and methods to combat such anti-social practice that seeks to explore relevant issues not already fully explored by the earlier Working Group.

 

Members of the Committee asked questions/commented on the following issues:

 

·       The establishment of a Working Group to review the topic of dog fouling may duplicate work recently completed by this Committee’s recently concluded Effectiveness of the Council’s Enforcement Activity Working Group

·       bearing in mind this was the last meeting of the Committee in the Municipal Year; that a new Committee would be established  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.

39.

Work Programme 2021/22, Scrutiny Review Topics and Key Decision Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer on the Work Programme for 2021/22; the identification of potential topics for scrutiny reviews to be undertaken by a Working Group(s) appointed by the Committee; the identification of any items for pre-scrutiny from the Key Decision Forward Plan; and that updated on the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

RESOLVED: That

 

(1)

 

the Work Programme for 2021/22, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report, be approved; and

 

(2)

the update on the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee be noted.

 

 

 

40.

Cabinet Member Reports - December 2021/February 2022 pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer that included the most recent reports from the Cabinet Members for Communities and Housing; Health and Wellbeing; Locality Services; Planning and Building Control; and Regeneration and Skills.

 

RESOLVED: That

 

(1)

the update reports from the Cabinet Members for Communities and Housing; Health and Wellbeing; Locality Services; Planning and Building Control; and Regeneration and Skills be noted; and

 

(2)

Councillors Atkinson and Hardy be thanked for their attendance at the meeting.