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Agenda and minutes

Venue: First Floor Committee Room 1P09 - City Hall, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR. View directions

Contact: Johanna Holmes 

No. Item


Welcome, Introductions and Safety Information pdf icon PDF 126 KB


The Scrutiny Advisor opened the meeting.  A safety announcement in relation to the fire/emergency evacuation procedure was made.


Annual Business Report pdf icon PDF 186 KB


The Scrutiny Advisor opened the Annual General Meeting and explained that the Commission Members were required to elect a Chair and Vice Chair of the Commission for the municipal year.


Chair of the Commission – Cllr O’Rourke

  • Nominated by – Cllr Brook
  • Seconded by – Cllr Fodor


Vice Chair of the Commission – Cllr Breckels 

  • Nominated by – Cllr Wellington
  • Seconded – Cllr Brook


At this point the newly elected Chair thanked the other Members and asked everyone in the room to introduce themselves. 



Apologies for Absence and Substitutions


Apologies were received from the following Councillors:

·       Councillor Weston. Councillor Claire Hiscott was in attendance as a substitute.

·       Councillor Quarterly

·       Councillor Wright. Councillor Negus was in attendance as a substitute


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.



There were none.


Minutes of Previous Meeting and Action Tracker pdf icon PDF 213 KB

To agree the minutes of the previous meeting as a correct record.


And to note the information provided within the Commission’s Action Tracker

Additional documents:


Minutes of the 21st February 2019 Commission Meeting.

Members made the following comment:

Performance Report - Quarter 3

Members requested more information about the numbers and progress of affordable homes in the pipeline.  The Strategic Intelligence & Performance Advisor said that she would look into this after the meeting.  It was agreed that any further information would be emailed to the Members.


The minutes of the last meeting were agreed as true record.


Members noted the information in the Action Tracker.


Chair's Business

To note any announcements from the Chair


The Chair said that during the scrutiny work programme setting workshop in June those present had tried to theme the Commission’s meetings where possible.  The Chair hoped that the introductions to items from officers would be short, interactive and not feel like briefings.  The Chair added that she was confident that the work of the Commission would be good this year.



Public Forum

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 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 5pm on Wednesday 17th July 2019.


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 Monday 22nd July 2019.



Public Forum Statement 1:

It was highlighted that many of the bus stops at Temple Meads had been moved during the previous weekend which was much earlier than had previously been planned.  However, it was reported that pedestrians were still having to use temporary paths with very little signage being provided to help people understand where they should be going.  This it was said needed to be corrected as soon as possible, ideally within the next 48 hours because there are thousands of passengers coming into Bristol every day that need to know where to catch buses from when they exit the train station.  It was said that the current information from network rail informing people where to go was inaccurate showing bus stops that didn’t exist anymore.  Transport Officers said that they were already looking into this situation.



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 130 KB

To note the work programme.

Additional documents:


Members were given the opportunity to comment on the commissions annual work programme which had been set at a workshop in June of this year. 


A Member asked if there was any scope to add items if necessary.  The Chair replied the work programme had been left intentionally light in places to allow items to be added items if necessary.  It was agreed that the Members would contact the Chair and Scrutiny Advisor if they were of the view that something should be added to the work programme. 


A Member asked about why the Local Plan hadn’t been included on the work programme.  It was explained that it had been discussed with officers at the scrutiny work programme setting work shop and explained that there was a specific ‘Local Plan - Members Working Group’.  Officers were surprised that Members had requested it was also brought to scrutiny.  A Member explained that as the public consultation was now complete that he thought it would be a useful exercise for scrutiny to understand and consider the results from it.  The Chair agreed. ACTION: The Local Plan to be added to the scrutiny work programme for September.



Performance Report (2018/19 Quarter 4) pdf icon PDF 343 KB


The Strategic Intelligence & Performance Advisor introduced the report to Members and briefly elaborated on the significant issues in the report.   It was confirmed that the report was the 2018/19 year-end summary.


Some of the measures presented in the report were annual measures (14) and others are taken from the  Quality of Life survey (QoL) (13).


Members made the following comments;

  • There were in their view a ‘worrying number’ of downward trends.  However it was acknowledged there were difficulties involved in fixing them as some were due to wider impacts highlighted in the report itself, such as the impact of welfare benefits reform on housing figures.  


  • It was suggested that some of the commentary in the report ‘wasn’t particularly helpful’ because it explained why there were problems but Members didn’t think it give enough information about what was being done about them. 


  • The Chair suggested that the reduction in ‘Increase the percentage of people who feel they can influence local decisions’ (BCP315 & from QoL) was very likely to be a consequence of the Neighbourhood Partnerships (NPs) not existing anymore.  Other members agreed with this point.  The Director – Management of Place said that indicator was still being monitored by the Communities Scrutiny Commission and yes it was likely a result of the NPs stopping but there are now new teams and a redesigned service.


The Performance Officer said that she had recently worked on a Citizen’s Panel which had proven to be very popular with those involved.   She said that it was being looked at how they can be better publicised in future and recruit to as they are a positive way for people to engage in local matters.


  • Members also noted the that performance indicator (BCP540): Reduce percentage of people who feel that street litter is a problem in their neighbourhood (QoL) was displaying as worse compared to same period in the previous year and much higher than the 2018/2019 target.  One Member said that about a quarter to a fifth of his local case work was residents complaining about litter and mess on the streets.  He said it hadn’t previously ever been such a problem and he wasn’t really sure what was going on.  It was said that the Mayor had said the situation would improve by means of the Clean Streets Campaign.  It was thought that the officers running the programme were very effective and so he was not sure why it appeared to be failing especially given the large amount of funding that had been placed into it.  In his view it was fair to say that the project had been a failure so far. 


Officers responded that regardless of all the resources that had been channelled into this issue, the figures for litter and graffiti were still very high and that the council were “losing the fight against tagging and graffiti.”  It was said that four teams of targeted officers with a neighbourhood approach would start in September working across all  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.


Public Transport pdf icon PDF 131 KB

Additional documents:


The Service Manager - Sustainable Transport and Group Manager for Highways and Traffic introduced themselves and explained that they would present and then and take questions one section at a time if that was acceptable to members, which it was. 


Bus Strategy

Transport Officers introduced the Bus Strategy section via some presentation slides.  Some of the key points were as follows

  • West of England (WoE) bus use has continued to increase.  Figures show that Bristol is bucking the national trend on patronage and doing quite well compared to other local authorities.  Student use of buses has risen too.
  • Officers said that it’s difficult to find funding for public transport compared to funding for motoring.
  • First Bus currently severs services in the city centre to help improve reliability i.e. so that congestion doesn’t continually affect the outer areas as much.
  • A review of the network is currently taking place and being carried out by ARUP. They have already reported that the way things are currently done in Bristol isn’t as efficient as it could be and patronage can be increased further.
  • It wouldn’t be until next year when the strategy was ready to be consulted upon. 


Questions and comments from Members: 

  • It was said that there are still far too many old and polluting buses being used in some parts of the city. 
  • Members thought that Old Market Bus Interchange worked well as an interchange.  But it was suggested that they are future proofed to enable the use of future technology.
  • Members agreed that there were still gaps in the current route map; for example East Bristol still has no direct route to Temple Meads Station.
  • Members considered it positive that residents will be consulted about bus routes but asked whether they shouldn’t also be asked about additional plans or ideas for the future?  Officers said they need to be careful what they ask for views on because it needs to be considered whether we have the physical space to do some things i.e. are people willing to walk further or change buses or give up road space for other things etc.  Members suggested that was why people ought to be asked those questions.
  • Members expressed their continued frustration that First Bus still has a ‘monopoly’ on buses in Bristol and were of the view that the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) needed to do more about this.
  • It was said that although WECA isn’t officially the Transport Authority yet, it is correct in doing this work because apart from the recent introduction of Metrobus Bristol’s Bus Network had not changed since the 1990s. It was agreed that building the orbital routes outward would provide room for more interchanges.  And that interchanges would not work effectively until all the bus operators are working under one single ticket system.  This in his view really needed to be pushed though as quick as possible.
  • Other Members agreed that more interchanges and cross-boundary tickets were the way forward as well as the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.


Multi-Modal Transport pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Additional documents:


The Head of Strategic City Transport said that the agenda item had been separated into two sections and confirmed what was meant by the terms ‘multi-modal transport’ and ‘mobility stations’.

Mobility stations are about identifying ‘first/last mile solutions to connect communities to frequent public transport services and provide integrated transport options’. Officers said they had learned a lot about these on a recent study trip to Cologne - a city region with a similar population to the West of England. 


Officers are looking at the current issues, what facilities and benefits could be on offer, whereabouts they could be based and how they can be developed. It was said they were very keen for Bristol to make much better use of what it already has. 


Officers said there are frequent public transport services on Bristol’s corridors but that people are not always aware of them or cannot easily access them.  There is a lot of work needed to improve communication and connections between things.  It was said that mobility stations can help addresses the lack of orbital connections in the city.


Members were keen to understand more about what the ‘last mile delivery’ and what that could involve.  Officers said there were a range of different facilities that could be provided depending on the location and identified needs which could include lockers that provided a place for people to collect from.


It was asked if electric bicycle hire could potentially be included.  Officers said that they are asked about this point quite often and so it will be looked into but that electric bikes can already be hired from a few different places in the city. 


Members asked when they would start to see some of this happening.   Officers said that WECA had applied to the Government’s ‘Future Mobility Zones Fund’ and had a reasonably good opportunity to be successful.  Offices highlighted Avonmouth as a potentially good opportunity, adding that there are all sorts of things there that people don’t know about e.g. cycle paths that could be beneficial to people. 


One Member recommended having bike racks on buses as they do in some other European Cities. 


Members were positive about the prospect of local mobility stations. They asked about what publicity there might be because it was thought that unfortunately it could take some time for some people to catch-up with what’s new and available as with local car clubs for example.  Officers agreed with the points being made and said that communication about this would be key to its success and that it would be important to get the local communities involved from the outset.


Mass Transit and Rail Up-date

The Head of Strategic City Transport delivered a short presentation on ‘Mass Transit and Rail’ to Members which explained what is currently being worked on and the plans for moving things forward.  The following points below were highlighted to members:

A study has now been undertaken.  The study brief defined four mass transit routes for investigation which were:  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.


School Streets and Anti-Idling Report pdf icon PDF 131 KB

Additional documents:


No Idling

This section was discussed in the context of Full Council previously asking the Mayor to: By spring 2020 investigate, and implement if financially feasible, the introduction of an enforceable “anti-vehicle idling” zone outside every school and in every park in the city.


Officers said this requires specific enforcement powers.  As noted above it was said that banners and/or messages could be confusing especially if used outside schools.


It was that it is a criminal offence to idle unless queuing in traffic but it’s difficult to enforce.  The law isn’t generally used for enforcement because people tend to switch off their engines when asked.  This means it is not self-financing.


Officers said they would like to see a mix of both approaches (enforcement and voluntary behaviour change) for example they would like people to turn their engines off when queuing in traffic and that they would prefer to invite people to be part of the solution rather than penalising them. 


Officers said that the backs of buses have shown to be an effective part of campaigns in the past.  But ideally it would be best if people didn’t actually use their cars so often rather than just switch their engines off when stationary.


Officers had as previously asked by the Commission had a discussion with Director of Public Health about this. It was said they are keen to do some work on this especially around behaviour change initiatives.


One Member he was generally keen on the school streets project rather than just the no idling.

Officers said there was still room to try affecting behaviour changes on no idling such a posters and banners.  Members were shown some of these were generally impressed by them.  Officers said these could be deployed in areas where pollution was high, such outside the Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI).  It was said that there is a 15 minute drop-off / waiting time outside the hospital and most drivers leave their engines running unnecessarily for the full 15 minutes.


Members asked about whether it was thought some measures would just push the problem elsewhere.  Officers said that displacement was a concern and would be considered when any trials were held.


The Commission thanked the transport officers for their time and general candour throughout the meeting.