Agenda and minutes

Economy, Transport and Environment Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 14th September, 2016 10.30 am

Venue: Committee Room, County Hall, Lewes

Contact: Martin Jenks  Senior Democratic Services Advisor

No. Item


Minutes of the meeting held on 15 June 2016 pdf icon PDF 112 KB


10.1     The Committee RESOLVED to agree as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 15 June 2016.


Apologies for absence


11.1     Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Rosalyn St. Pierre and Rupert Clubb, Director of Communities, Economy and Transport (CET).


Disclosures of interests

Disclosures by all members present of personal interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the member regards the interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct.



12.1           None.


Urgent items

Notification of items which the Chair considers to be urgent and proposes to take at the appropriate part of the agenda. Any members who wish to raise urgent items are asked, wherever possible, to notify the Chair before the start of the meeting. In so doing, they must state the special circumstances which they consider justify the matter being considered urgent.



13.1     Communication with Highway Stewards for Councillors and members of the public (see minute 17 below).




14.1     Reports referred to in the minutes below are contained in the minute book.


Update on the East Sussex Road Safety Programme pdf icon PDF 247 KB

Report by the Director of Communities, Economy and Transport


Additional documents:


15.1     The Head of Communities introduced the report on the East Sussex Road Safety Programme. Charlotte Marples, the Project Manager of the East Sussex Road Safety Programme, was introduced to the Committee.


15.2     In East Sussex 90-95% of Killed or Seriously Injured (KSI) road accidents are caused by human error, which can be attributed to a number of different factors. It is important to have strong evidential data in order to target interventions that will have the most impact on reducing KSI’s. The feedback from the consultation with partners on the Programme has been very positive. The Behavioural Insight Team (BIT) is keen to work with the project, particularly because reducing KSI’s is a new area to apply behaviour change techniques.


15.3     The Programme Board for the project met on 22 August 2016, and is comprised of representatives from East Sussex County Council (ESCC), Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) and Highways England. The chair of the East Sussex Road Safety Coordination Group (ESRSCG) has also joined the Programme Board.


15.4     The Action Plan for the Programme is in appendix 3 of the report and will be reviewed in the light of further evidence and data analysis. Some strands of work have begun, such as work with the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) to review the 40% KSI reduction target; measures targeting occupational drivers and; the implementation of speed reduction schemes. An update report will be brought back to the Committee in June 2017, once further analysis and progress has been made on the project.


15.5     The Committee made a number of comments on the East Sussex Road Safety Programme, which are summarised below.


People Driving for Business / Occupational Drivers

15.6     The Committee commented that there are increasing numbers of delivery drivers as a result of internet shopping. It is important for businesses to appreciate their responsibilities for safer driving. Many delivery drivers are self-employed whose earnings are related to the number of packages they deliver. The Committee asked if companies such as Amazon and others would be held accountable for their drivers.


15.7     The Head of Communities responded that the project will tackle this issue through the delivery of the Company Operator Safer Transport Scheme (COSTS) programme. This is a Department for Transport (DfT) programme that advises companies on their liabilities, obligations and the law when employing drivers for work. The COSTS programme will target small and medium sized businesses that may not have the same resources as larger companies for driver training.


15.8     The Lead Member for Community Services outlined that the SSRP COSTS project is delivering presentations to the business community as Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) may be unaware of the current legislation. There is also a need to contact businesses and raise awareness through the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Chambers of Commerce and other business organisations.


Older Drivers

15.9     The Committee is aware of a number of serious accidents in East Sussex that have involved older  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.


Reconciling Policy, Performance and Resources (RPPR) 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 149 KB

Report by the Chief Executive

Additional documents:


16.1     The Assistant Director, Operations introduced the report setting out the background to the Reconciling Policy, Performance and Resources (RPPR) budget setting process for the financial year 2017/18. This is the start of the annual RPPR process which is looking at the budget for 201718. The Council is currently in the first year of the three year Savings Plan (Medium Term Financial Plan – MTFP) agreed by the Council in February 2016. The report asks the Committee to look at areas of interest and establish an RPPR Board that will meet in December.


16.2     The Chair proposed that the Committee to start by looking at the existing savings plan which a particular focus on the savings for the current financial year and those proposed for 2017/18.


Transport and Operational Service

16.3     The Assistant Director, Operations explained that this saving referred to the net cost of the subsidised bus transport scheme. The proposal is to fill the gap in funding between the money received from central government and the actual cost of operating the subsidised bus transport scheme with money from the parking surplus.


16.4     The Committee asked if there will be any adjustment to these savings figures.  The Assistant Director, Operations responded that there are no proposals to adjust the savings figures. However, the department is undertaking a piece of work to look at the operation of the parking enforcement service and how much surplus ESCC can generate. The department is confident that it is going to achieve the surplus required, and is not proposing to increase the contribution from the parking surplus.


Waste Operation - Leachate Disposal

16.5     The closed landfill sites that ESCC is responsible for are open to the elements. There is a requirement to collect the rain run-off and leachate which is taken off-site by tanker and treated. There is an existing scheme, funded from the capital budget, to build a retention tank at Pebsham and then feed the leachate into the Southern Water waste water treatment plant at Pebsham. The department is on target to deliver the project and achieve the £85,000 savings outlined in the plan. A planning application will be submitted to Rother District Council shortly. There are no opportunities to increase savings in this area.


Waste Disposal

16.6     The Assistant Director, Operations explained that this item is a reduction in the amount of revenue money transferred to the waste reserve. The department has reduced the contribution to the waste reserve in line with an assessment of the risk to the Council. There is a saving of £1,780,000 in 2016/17, which the department is on target to deliver. The £25,000 in 2017/18 will come from savings made as a result of a review of the waste contract. A report will be presented to the Committee in November to outline the areas of potential savings and efficiencies that have been identified by a review of the contract.


Transport Hub

16.7     The restructure of the transport hub has been completed with the merger of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.


Scrutiny committee future work programme pdf icon PDF 180 KB


17.1     The Committee considered the future work programme.


17.2     The Committee discussed the progress of the Countryside Access Strategy and requested that the Senior Democratic Services Officer establish a date for the Committee to look at the outcome of the public consultation on the draft strategy. This is likely to be sometime in October or November.


17.3     The Committee discussed the potential future scrutiny work topics. The Committee agreed that it would like to have a briefing paper on the A27 road improvements at the November Scrutiny Committee meeting. With regard to the Climate Change Adaptation work, the Committee agreed to keep this on the work programme with a view to look at this after the County Council elections in May 2017.


Highways Contract

17.4     The Committee noted that it is due to have an update report in March 2017 on the implementation of the new Highways Maintenance contract. However, members of the Committee have experienced difficulties with, or have received complaints about, communication with Highway Stewards and the contact centre. What the Committee is detecting is that there are issues with poor communication from Highways Stewards. The complaints are not about the quality of work but more concerned with a lack of feedback and updates on issues from Stewards to Members.


17.5     The Highway Stewards were previously very responsive before the start of the new contract in May, but the dialogue with them has deteriorated and the feedback from residents is similar. There appears to be a problem in getting feedback from Stewards and from reports made via the website.


17.6     The Assistant Director, Operations responded that he is grateful that the Committee has raised this issue with him, but is disappointed to hear things are not as they should be. The Contractor has retained the 12 Highway Stewards, and there are plans to increase the number to 18 to make the areas they cover smaller. These changes have been deferred until the boundary review is completed, so that the Stewards’ areas can be aligned with the Council division and ward boundaries. Hopefully everyone knows who their Steward is and the six strong Highway Liaison team. There has been a shift in work so the Highway Liaison team are more responsible for updating Councillors and residents in response to emails and calls. The Highway Stewards are focussing more on highway inspections.


17.7     The Assistant Director, Operations suggested that Councillors use the Members’ hotline if things have gone wrong, which is 0345 0712 715. Councillors are also encouraged to use the Members’ area on the East Sussex Highways web site. The Highways team have offered training for the web site to all Councillors and will do this at Ringmer or at County Hall. Residents are also being encouraged to make use more of the website to find information about their requests, problems and work being carried out in their area.


17.8     The Assistant Director, Operations explained that the contact centre do manage call lengths and anticipate peaks in call volumes  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 217 KB

The Forward Plan for the period to 31 December 2016. The Committee is asked to make comments or request further information.


18.1     The Committee considered the Forward Plan of key decisions.


18.2     The Committee RESOLVED to note the Forward Plan.


Any other items previously notified under agenda item 4


19.1     The discussion of the item raised under agenda item 4 (minute 13.1 above) is minuted under the Scrutiny Committee Future Work Programme (minute 17 above), as it relates to the new Highways contract report due in March 2017.