1.            Question from Councillor John Ungar to the Lead Member for Education and Inclusion, Special Educational Needs and Disability


A.   How many Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans were due to be reviewed in the last academic year?

Answer by the Lead Member for Education and Inclusion, Special Educational Needs and Disability

There were 4,110 active EHCPs at the beginning of the 2022/23 academic year. Over the course of the academic year, some of these children will have moved out of county or had their plan ceased without review (i.e. if the young person turned 25 or left education). Discounting those that moved out of county or ceased without review, 3,796 reviews were due in the 2022/23 academic year.


B.   How many of these reviews were completed within the prescribed timescales?

Answer by the Lead Member for Education and Inclusion, Special Educational Needs and Disability

1,686 (44.4%) reviews were completed before or on the due date (i.e. no more than a year after the previous review/after the initial EHCP was issued).

1,735 (45.7%) reviews were completed after the due date (i.e. more than a year after the previous review/after the initial EHCP was issued).

375 (9.9%) reviews were due but had not been completed within the 2022/23 academic year.


C.   What action was taken if the prescribed timescales were not met in each case?

Answer by the Lead Member for Education and Inclusion, Special Educational Needs and Disability

The delays in completion of reviews were for a range of reasons; this included those which were not able to be scheduled with all relevant parties before the 12 month window. As the LA cannot attend all annual reviews (due to the number of plans we maintain), we are hugely reliant on schools and colleges to undertake these on our behalf. This adds a level of challenge in ensuring that all are held within the designated 12 months. We have recently undertaken a comprehensive review of our processes around annual reviews to improve our offer. This includes setting up a designated team to oversee all annual reviews in priority year groups with a view to not only improving compliance, but also in ensuring that EHCPs contain current information in relation to children’s needs that can inform progression to the next stage of education and/or employment.


2.            Question from Councillor Carolyn Lambert to the Lead Member for Transport and Environment

Many residents are changing from petrol and diesel to electric vehicles.  Whilst investment by local authorities in placing charging points in public car parks is welcomed it is often difficult, if not impossible, for residents without a driveway to safely charge their cars.

There are now solutions on the market which enable cars to be charged at home whilst avoiding the trip hazard caused by trailing cables.  An example is given below:

Local Authority Pavement Gully | EV Charging | Charge Gully — Charge Gully

Will the County Council support and encourage residents to implement suitable systems to charge their vehicles at their own homes where they do not have access to a driveway?


Answer by the Lead Member for Transport and Environment

It is recognised that as more people are and will choose electric vehicles ahead of the end of new petrol and diesel vehicles being sold in 2035.  With that, the ability to charge at or close to home will become increasingly important.  This is reflected in our draft Local Transport Plan 2024 - 2050 (LTP4) and our emerging EV Charging Strategy, a supporting document to LTP4 which will be subject to consultation later this year.

In February 2024, the County Council secured £4.441m under tranche 1 of the Government’s Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) Fund, one of the first five authorities in the country to receive our funding.  The LEVI funding will help the county council to scale up the delivery of local on street chargepoints, enabling more residents, especially those without off-street parking, to switch to EVs. The funding will also be used to provide chargepoints on the County Hall campus.  We are working towards procuring an on-street chargepoint provider over the coming months and starting to deliver on-street chargepoints on the ground later this financial year.

As you have highlighted, the Government has also recently announced separate grant funding that is available to local residents with no off street parking to introduce EV chargepoints on their properties. Amongst the conditions of the grant funding, it is clear that a resident would need the approval of the local highway authority before any pavement cable gully, such as the example you provided, can be installed across the pavement.

Whilst these might look very attractive as a solution to enabling residents to charge their electric vehicles parked on-road from their properties, from a highway perspective, there are a number of implications that we would need to take into consideration including:

·         the licencing the installation of cable gully channels in the pavement,

·         who owns the pavement cable gully as an asset on the highway,

·         ensuring that the cable gully is safely installed and does not compromise pedestrian safety,

·         the liability and maintenance of these gullies,

·         how their introduction affects the commercial viability of potential on-street chargepoints delivered using the LEVI funding, and

·         managing expectations that residents who are approved to introduce a cable gully would not have the right to park on road directly outside their property.

The government has notified local authorities that it intends to publish guidance to local authorities in the Spring of 2024 regarding the introduction of cross-pavement parking solutions such as cable gullies.  Once we receive this guidance, we will then be able to fully evaluate whether and how cross pavement solutions can be safely installed and operated on our highway network to enable residents to charge their electric vehicles parked on-road outside their properties.