Venue: A Committee Room - City Hall, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR. View directions
Contact: Samantha Mahony 0117 92 23846
Everyone was welcomed to the meeting and invited to introduce themselves.
Apologies for Absence and Substitutions
Apologies were received from Councillor Bradshaw (Cabinet Member for Transport) and from officers Peter Mann, Robert Orrett and Stephen Hilton.
Declarations of Interest
To note any declarations of interest from the Councillors. They are asked to indicate the relevant agenda item, the nature of the interest and in particular whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest.
Any declarations of interest made at the meeting which is not on the register of interests should be notified to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion.
No declarations of interest were made.
To agree the minutes of the previous meeting as a correct record.
The minutes of the 17th March 2016 were agreed as a correct record.
To note any announcements from the Chair
There was none.
Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item.
Any member of the public or Councillor may participate in Public Forum. The detailed arrangements for so doing are set out in the Public Information Sheet at the back of this agenda. Public Forum items should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and please note that the following deadlines will apply in relation to this meeting:-
Questions - Written questions must be received 3 clear working days prior to the meeting. For this meeting, this means that your question(s) must be received in this office at the latest by 5 pm on 8th July 2016.
Petitions and Statements - Petitions and statements must be received on the working day prior to the meeting. For this meeting this means that your submission must be received in this office at the latest by 12.00 noon on 13th July 2016.
The following statements were submitted as public forum and were noted:
1. Referral from Audit Committee
2. Public statements on transport Issues from David Redgewell, Rob Dixon, Christina Biggs and Gavin Smith
3. Public statement on rail Issues from David Redgewell, Martin Cinamond, Nigel Bray and Jenny Raggett
4. Public statement on implications of EU funding for transport from David Redgewell
In response to concerns about the cutbacks to the bus network and in particular the no.18 bus servicing Southmead Hospital, Councillor Pearce reported that as the previous Chair of OSM Board, he had written to the transport lead Executive Members in BCC and South Glos. about the supported bus networks around Bristol. It was agreed that the Place Scrutiny Commission would do the same. ACTION: Johanna Holmes/ Councillor English/ Councillor Pearce
It was suggested that Supported Bus Services would be added to the list of work programme items to be discussed at the scrutiny workshop on the 9th September. ACTION: Johanna Holmes
In response to the other transport concerns (including Metrobus works and coach parking) a position statement would be produced for the next meeting. ACTION: Johanna Holmes/ Barra MacRuairi
Another note would be produced for circulation to confirm the conditions regarding transport arrangements attached to the Southmead Hospital development assessing what had been achieved and what had not. ACTION: Johanna Holmes/ Barra MacRuairi
Members asked officers to ensure Cabinet Members with responsibility for elements of the scope of the Scrutiny Commission are invited to the meetings and try to attend. ACTION: Sam Mahony
With regards to rail issues, concern was raised within the statements that investment was limited and a lot of EU grants would be lost due to the result of the EU referendum. This could affect disabled access to stations, as well as the development of Temple Meads station.
Officers reassured the commission that Cabinet members and senior officers continued to meet with representatives of Network Rail and make representations to the Transport Secretary to keep investment in Temple Meads Station on the agenda.
The public forum statements were noted.
To consider the ongoing action sheet for Place Scrutiny Commission.
The action sheet was noted.
The Strategic Director for Place made a presentation introducing the Service Directors within the directorate, and the four Cabinet Members with responsibility for areas within the remit of the Scrutiny Commission.
The powerpoint presentation would be distributed to members of the commission. ACTION: Johanna Holmes
In response to questions the following points were clarified;
· Rental of major development sites such as Cabot Circus had been very well managed and subject to external review.
· Social value had been incorporated into the pre-construction and construction phases of the arena development. 65% of those working to build the arena would be from the west of England, 30% from BS1-BS16 within the city. Operationally a large majority of jobs were likely to be service based and 1700 jobs within the Enterprise Zone as a whole.
· It was important in the aftermath of ‘Brexit’ that a trade pivot towards the rest of the world was addressed and possible more relaxed rules around specifying local companies within work undertaken by the Council in future. There should be scrutiny within those changes and officers agreed to provide an update on that at an appropriate time.
The presentation was noted.
To elect a Chair of the Scrutiny Commission, outline the terms of reference for the Place Scrutiny Commission and propose meeting dates and times for occurrences of Scrutiny within the 2016/17 municipal year.
The Democratic Services Officer presented the Annual Business Report. The following was agreed:
1. Councillor Carey was elected Vice Chair of the Scrutiny Commission for the 2016-17 municipal year.
2. The terms of reference agreed at Annual Council were noted.
3. The scrutiny commission would meet at a revised time of 9.30am instead of 10am when meetings are held in the morning.
4. In principle, the Commission agreed to an increased number of evening meetings, subject to the civic and corporate diaries and senior officer availability.
To note the Place Performance Report for 2015-16 Q4. The report and appendices are a summary of the main areas of progress towards the delivery of the Corporate Plan 2014-17.
The quarter four Performance Report for the Place Directorate was presented to the Commission.
An overview was presented and the following points were raised:
- ‘Building Successful Places’ worked with developers through the planning system to encourage the adoption of affordable homes. Subsidy levels that were able to be applied had massively decreased since 2008 and the lack of funding had a major impact on the market. An option could be that the Council set up a development company to lead on to joint ventures and relationships.
- Councillor Smith, the new Cabinet Member for Homes had met with housing associations and registered providers and the Homes Board continued its work to increase affordable housing.
- Officers did what they could to ensure developers didn’t ‘play’ the system. However, unless BCC owned the land, as a planning authority BCC had to stick to the guidelines and definitions set by government.
- Members of the commission asked for clarification as to which scrutiny commission had the remit for housing. It was suggested that affordable housing remain a topic on the overall scrutiny work programme for the coming year considering the big commitment set by the Mayor and new Cabinet. If the topic was within the remit of the Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Commission, members requested a joint scrutiny item on the topic.
- Concern was raised regarding the direction of travel for performance indicators for air quality and officers were asked to provide more detail on the actions to rectify the downward trend. Officers agreed to find out if Co2 emissions were adjusted dependent on seasonal weather. ACTION: Lead officer for air quality/Barra Mac Ruairi
To review and scrutinise the Directorate Risk Register as at 31st March 2016. Directorate Risk Registers will be reviewed by Directorate Leadership Teams on a quarterly basis and provided for scrutiny at six monthly intervals.
The Risk Register was presented to the commission and the following points then raised:
- With regard to resources, the technical and managerial pay grades were set on the basis of developing and rewarding capability to ensure technical knowledge remained within the organisation. The private sector however was a constant pressure.
- There were significant risks associated with the relocation of the traffic control centre. Part of the operations would move in the Spring of 2017, the remainder in the Summer. Interim measures would ensure the existing systems are sustained as required.
- It was suggested that future risk registers should feature highlighted reporting to bring out certain elements within the overall report.
- It was confirmed that systems were in place for a corporate resistance response to disaster although not a specific plan for the Place Directorate.
To provide an update on progress of the West of England Joint Spatial Plan (WoE JSP) and Joint Transport Study and the response to the autumn 2015 consultation on Issues and Options paper and Joint Transport Study consultation
The Commission received presentations updating members on the Joint Spatial Strategy and Joint Transport Study consultations which were being developed and would run concurrently. The topic would then return to the commission in the Autumn. In response to the presentation, the following points of feedback were raised:
- It was suggested that Whitchurch should not be considered a prospect with sustainable transport links as the only road servicing Whitchurch was the A38. Officers reassured the commission that the consultation would look at all options and consider the most sustainable and viable.
- The M4/M5 interchange area was raised as an option for further development although officers reported that it was not highly recommended due to transport links for sustainable transport options.
To gain Scrutiny comment on the ‘Bristol Temple Quarter Spatial Framework’ with a view to this comment being formally added to the Cabinet Report (target date for Cabinet: 4 October 2016)
It was planned that the Temple Quarter Spatial Framework would be presented to Cabinet for decision in October 2017. Officers presented the consultation document and in response the following comments were made:
- Officers confirmed that the current core strategy specified St Philips Marsh as an employment area but that that would be revisited as part of future Local Plan reviews. It provides a valuable source of industrial land but, consideration would be given to the number of vacant buildings and capacity within the area.
- Existing routes and access would be increased throughout the zone. It was an aspiration that areas of public realm within the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone were as accessible as possible even though buildings would be private. The privatisation of space would be resisted. There was a key area of public space in front of the arena and also at the ‘Totterdown Basin’ where there would be access to the waterside.
- Officers confirmed that Network Rail did not currently intend to privatise Bristol Temple Meads. The Shaw Report had recently considered Network Rail land, however, and it was officers’ understanding that privatisation was not currently on the table. The local authority had been proactive is setting out what they considered viable options and continued to engage with Network Rail to manage risk. Network Rail continued to be part of the governance of the Enterprise Zone.
- There was general support for the range of building heights proposed, including a limited number of the ‘tall buildings’ of 9+ storeys.
- It was suggested that an impact study take place to consider the surrounding communities to the arena and understand better the impact of traffic on those communities. The Three Lamps junction/ Bath Bridge was highlighted as an area of concern and officers confirmed it was being looked at as part of the study.
- It was important to consider the effect of a new commercial centre on the city centre and existing hubs. Officers confirmed forecasts were for population growth and incoming citizens when electrification took place.
- Officers confirmed that the document planned for growth, infrastructure, investment and place shaping. BCC was the planning authority and would continue to determine planning applications in the zone in accordance with adopted planning policy.
Comments raised would be fed back into the study. ACTION: Sam Mahony/Zoe Willcox.