Venue: Committee Room, County Hall, Lewes. View directions
Contact: Martin Jenks Senior Democratic Services Advisor
5.1 The Committee RESOLVED to agree the minutes of the meeting held on 14 June 2018 as a correct record.
Apologies for absence
6.1 Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Rodohan and Councillor Grover. Apologies for absence were also received from Karl Taylor, Assistant Director Operations.
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.
7.1 Councillor Godfrey Daniel declared a personal interest in item 11, Dropped Kerbs Update Report as he has mobility problems. He did not consider the interest prejudicial.
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.
8.1 There were none.
Report by the Chief Executive.
9.1 The Chief Executive introduced the report and outlined that East Sussex County Council (ESCC) has a robust business planning process. There has been a change in approach to finding the savings required this year by setting out a Core Offer of services that the Council will provide, as outlined in the State of the County report. Work is taking place to look at what those services are, together with costings of the minimum service. More detailed information on the Core Offer will be presented to the Committee later in the year.
9.2 The Chief Executive emphasised that ESCC is in a very different position from Northamptonshire County Council, whose financial position has been linked to that of ESCC in recent media reports. This occurred because Northamptonshire County Council thought ESCC’s budget setting approach was coherent and adopted ESCC’s approach. The situation has had the effect of raising ESCC’s profile with central Government, and the Council has taken the opportunity to make the case to Government that more funding is needed for East Sussex.
9.3 The Committee discussed the content of the report and the appendices. The Committee made the following comments on the report and RPPR process.
9.4 The Committee noted the information provided in the Portfolio Plans, the Council Monitoring reports and the State of the County report. However, the Committee considered that it was difficult to know what is going to be different without further detail on what services are to be included in the Core Offer and what was not going to be included. The Committee asked if it would be possible to have this further detail by the next meeting in November.
9.5 The Chief Executive responded that the work on the Core Offer had already looked at all the statutory services that the Council provides and is currently considering the preventative work the Council should continue to provide, which is more difficult to define. This is a bigger and more challenging task than the Council has undertaken previously, and therefore it is taking longer to detail the savings proposals. This work needs to be completed before it will be possible to provide further information to answer the Committee’s questions. The Chief Executive outlined that the Committee will have the opportunity to have a proper discussion of the savings proposals and comment on them.
Information required by Scrutiny
9.6 The Committee commented that the focus of the RPPR discussion should be on the sort of cuts that the Council might have to make in the future. Where the Committee can add value is by looking at the impacts and analysing the implications of the services it is proposed to provide as part of the Core Offer. It is difficult to start this process without more detailed information. Also, it would have been helpful to have the current year savings figures as a starting point, to enable the Committee to develop lines of questioning.
9.7 The Chief Executive responded that the information ... view the full minutes text for item 9.
Report by the Director of Communities, Economy and Transport.
10.1 The Head of Communities introduced the report. She outlined the background to the report and that the position regarding the number of people Killed and Seriously Injured (KSI) in road collisions in East Sussex remains above the national average. Detailed statistical analysis has confirmed that 90-95% of KSI’s are caused by human error. This is based on the latest available KSI figures from the last two 2 quarters of 2017 and the first two quarters of 2018 (KSI figures for East Sussex: Quarter 3 of 2017, 109 KSI’s; Quarter 4 of 2017, 92 KSI’s; Quarter 1 of 2018, 65 KSI’s and; Quarter 2 of 2018, 102 KSI’s).
10.2 There are two strands of work in the East Sussex Road Safety Programme – Behavioural Change projects to tackle driving behaviour and Speed Management to introduce engineering measures at locations which have a higher than County average for KSI collisions.
10.3 The Programme continues to work with the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) on a number of projects. The BIT has taken an empirical approach and tested all data in order to produce a more realistic model of behaviour that has the ability to make changes in behaviour. Analysis work undertaken with the BIT has identified the vulnerable groups to target for behaviour change projects. This was endorsed by the Project Board which is a multi-agency group that includes the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP). It is anticipated that the projects will bring about the necessary behaviour change over the longer term, which will lead to a reduction of the number of KSI’s. The Projects include:
· Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) – The amendment of the NIP warning letter to reduce reoffending rates for speeding. Immediately after an offence has been shown to be a good time to try and change people’s driving behaviour.
· Operation Crackdown – The warning letter is to be amended to reduce re-offending from current rates.
· Anniversary Project - After a speeding offence people resolve to change their driving behaviour. The Anniversary Project aims to re-contact people on the 6 month anniversary of the offence to remind people of their resolve to change their driving behaviour.
· Social Media Project – This is a project targeted at 17-24 year old male drivers who are disproportionally represented in the KSI figures, but who are a hard to reach group in terms of contact and engagement to change behaviour. An online campaign will be delivered to engage with this hard to reach group. The ESCC Communications Team is working with private sector agency that has experience of working with this group to develop the project. The work has involved running focus groups to see how to get this group to engage with the project. The project is designed to get as many 17-24 year olds to sign up and engage with them to measure and implement behaviour change projects.
· Biker Groups – Work has started to work with this group which will be tested and evaluated at forthcoming biker ... view the full minutes text for item 10.
Report by the Director of Communities, Economy and Transport.
11.1 The Team Manager, Strategic Economic Infrastructure introduced the report. He outlined that dropped kerbs are important for people with a range of disabilities and those who use mobility aids. Scrutiny had identified two outstanding issues from the previous report which were:
· a lack of a prioritisation process and policy for the provision of dropped kerbs; and
· that there is no dedicated budget to pay for dropped kerbs.
11.2 In developing a dropped kerb policy, the Team has worked with the Eastbourne Access Group. Section 2.3 on page 2 of report summarises the key issues that were identified. The report looks at these issues and the wider funding opportunities for dropped kerbs, as well as what is happening nationally in the provision of dropped kerbs.
11.3 The Principal Transport Policy Officer explained that stakeholder feedback had been used to develop and refine the draft policy in appendix 2 of the report. The mechanisms for requesting dropped kerbs have also been improved with a streamlined application process. There are opportunities where ESCC can incorporate the provision of dropped kerbs in existing transport schemes, and they will be taken into account as standard when considering new schemes.
11.4 It is proposed to earmark £50,000 of capital funding for the provision of dropped kerbs and a draft prioritisation framework has been developed with input from the Council’s Equalities Officer. The draft prioritisation framework (appendix 3 of the report) will focus on the person’s needs and the site conditions where it is proposed to site a dropped kerb. It will also take into account the pedestrian flow and whether it supports access to services.
11.5 The design of dropped kerbs will reflect National Guidance, but will also take into consideration local site conditions (e.g. steep slopes, adverse cambers etc.). The draft policy does not advocate the provision white lining of all dropped kerbs to protect them from inconsiderate parking, but white lines will be considered on a site by site basis. It is expected that new guidance on the provision of dropped kerbs will be published later in the year. So it may be necessary to make changes to the draft policy once the new guidance is available. The Assistant Director, Economy added that the development of the draft policy had deliberately been paused to allow for input from the Scrutiny Committee.
11.6 The Committee welcomed the report and the proposed dropped kerb policy. The Committee asked for clarification on the duration of the dedicated funding; what the demand across the County is likely to be for the provision of dropped kerbs and; would Community Match funding also be available for providing dropped kerbs.
11.7 The Team Manager, Strategic Economic Infrastructure outlined that the dedicated funding is £50,000 per annum for the next three years up until 2021. This is timed to coincide with the duration of the Local Transport Plan, and will be reviewed as part of the development of the new plan. It will be possible to spend the £50,000 on ... view the full minutes text for item 11.
12.1 Chair introduced report and the Committee reviewed the items in the current work programme in appendix 1.
12.2 The Committee has received regular reports on Road Safety and Dutch Elm Disease (DED) Strategy topics. The Committee agreed to have a briefing note on the progress of the DED Strategy rather than have a report at the March meeting. It was agreed under item 10.13 (above) to have a report on the progress of the East Sussex Road Safety Programme in September 2019.
15 November 2018 Place Scrutiny Committee Meeting
12.3 The Committee agreed the following items for the next meeting on 15 November 2018:
· An update report on the changes to the Highways Grass Cutting Service.
· A report on the Emergency Planning Team and in particular their involvement in two recent incidents:
o Birling Gap gas cloud; and
o The water main burst incident - what the issues were and the actions taken.
The Director of Communities outlined that Ofwat (the economic regulator of the water sector in England and Wales) has asked for assurance from the water companies involved in order to prevent a re-occurrence. Representatives from Southern Water and South East Water could be asked to attend the meeting to talk about their response.
· A briefing note on the formation of Transport for the South East (TfSE) and its potential benefits.
· A presentation on the work of the Economic Development Team.
12.4 The Committee noted that the agenda for the March 2019 meeting may need space for corporate services items, and will review this at the next meeting.
12.5 The Committee agreed the draft terms of reference for the Scrutiny Review of the Effectiveness of School Travel Plans, and to proceed with this scrutiny review. It was agreed that the Review Board will be comprised of Councillors Godfrey Daniel, Claire Dowling and Nigel Enever.
12.6 The Committee asked if Karl Taylor, Assistant Director Operations could email them with an outline of the background to the Highway Policy Review report that is going to the Lead Member for Transport and Environment meeting on the 15 October 2018.