Agenda and minutes

Growth and Regeneration Scrutiny Commission
Thursday, 26th September, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: City Hall Meeting Spaces - First Floor - 1P 09 - City Hall, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR. View directions

Contact: Johanna Holmes 

Items
No. Item

51.

Welcome, Introductions and Safety Information pdf icon PDF 126 KB

52.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from:

Cllrs Tom Brook, Carol Johnson, Jon Wellington, Mark Bradshaw and Fabian Breckels

 

Cllr Harriet Bradley was a substitute Cllr Fabian Breckels

 

53.

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.

 

54.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 219 KB

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

Minutes:

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

55.

Action Tracker pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Minutes:

There were some ongoing questions about the Affordable Housing figures in the Quarterly Performance Report.  Members asked the Strategic Intelligence & Performance Advisor for further information but were told that the figures were not yet available.  ACTION: Further information about the Affordable Housing figures will be provided to Members as soon as they are available

 

56.

Chair's Business

To note any announcements from the Chair

57.

Public Forum pdf icon PDF 39 KB

Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item *Democratic Services Officer check time limit for your particular Committee*

 

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 democratic.services@bristol.gov.uk 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 *name deadline date*

 

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 *name deadline date*.

 

Minutes:

The Chair highlighted that the deadline for Public Forum submissions had been extended due to some of the meeting papers being published late.

A Member enquired if it was possible to put Public Forum on Mod.Gov. in future ACTION: Scrutiny Advisor to make enquiries about whether this is possible.

 

Public Forum Questions Received:

  1. Question - Agenda Item 12: Update on the Mayors Climate Emergency Action Plan
  2. Question/s - Agenda Item 9: Bristol Harbour Review
  3. Question/s - Agenda Item 10: Performance Report
  4. Question/s - Agenda Item 12: Update on the Mayors Climate Emergency Action Plan

 

Public Forum Statements Received:

  1. Statement - Agenda Item 12: Update on the Mayors Climate Emergency Action Plan
  2. Statement - Agenda Item 9: Bristol Harbour Review

 

58.

Scrutiny Work Programme pdf icon PDF 64 KB

To note the work programme.

Minutes:

The Chair said that when the next meeting took place in January 2020 there would be a new Executive Director for the Growth and Regeneration Directorate.  The Chair said she welcomed Members suggestions for agenda items for that meeting. 

 

59.

Bristol Harbour Review pdf icon PDF 190 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director for Commercialisation and Citizens and Shareholder Liaison introduced the item to Members. 

 

The Director said that the Communication/ Consultation project that included Task and Finish Groups were to be put in place to ensure that they could ‘drill down’ into people’s views.   She also stated that the previous timeline provided for this work had been optimistic, and the plans originally proposed for taking this Review forward lacked the necessary scope that needed to be broader.  An officer workshop had been held in July to identify the aims and objectives of a comprehensive Harbour Review and amongst other things it had been concluded that the Harbour is a ‘key historic asset’ for Bristol.

 

Members were taken through the timeline of next steps and the outline of the individual projects.  A strategic plan and a business plan will be produced that takes the work up until 2022.  A Cabinet paper will be presented on 3 December 2019 seeking approval for both the Feasibility/ Case Study and Communication/ Consultation projects, with the Communication/ Consultation project beginning in January 2020. The Harbour Review will report to Cabinet in September 2020 on the Harbour Strategy, with the formal launch of the Strategy to dovetail with the 50th Anniversary of the Harbour Festival in 2020.

 

The Director said she was fortunate to have the support of the cross party Commercialisation and Innovation Working Group (CIWG). There are a number of challenges that face BCC in creating income growth and achieving efficiency savings whilst maintaining agreed service standards.  She said she is working closely with the Director Economy of Place to ensure there is a coordinated approach. 

 

The following points were discussed with further with Members:

 

Members said that it had previously been stated that that the Government owns the harbour and Bristol rents it. The Director said that BCC owned and has oversight and strategic responsibility for the Harbour but she would double check this point and report back to Members.  ACTION: Director for Commercialisation and Citizens and Shareholder Liaison to clarify ownership of Harbour.

 

Members commented on the varied nature of the Review and asked if that could make it difficult to manage and also expensive.  The Director responded that a clear process for effective management of the Review had been established: a full Review had been discussed for many years, and it was important, in order to ensure that the Harbour was sustainable and an asset for future generations, it was necessary to undertake this now.

 

Members asked how confident Officers were about the timescales being met. The Director said she was very confident that the draft Harbour Strategy that is one of the deliverables from the Review would be ready to take to Cabinet for approval next September 2020, after having completed the consultation exercise and received the Report on this during the summer.   It was reiterated that the Members were given a rather optimistic timeline for completion of the Review when it was originally brought to Growth and Regeneration  ...  view the full minutes text for item 59.

60.

Performance Report (Quarter 1) pdf icon PDF 328 KB

Minutes:

The Strategic Intelligence & Performance Advisor introduced the report to Members and explained that there was a new smaller suit of measures.  In summary: 12 reported indicators this quarter; 7 were on or above target; 4 were below target; 10 were performing better than the previous year. 

 

·        BCP475: Increase the number of passenger journeys on buses (Passenger numbers down 5.3% when compared to the same period last year): the Members commented that the figures appeared to contradict what had previously been said i.e. that Bristol was ‘bucking the national trend’ with increased numbers of passengers.  Members asked again about receiving the MetroBus passenger figures.  Officers said that some of the information was commercial and therefore it was problematic to split the passenger data out for MetroBus only.  A Member responded by saying that over £200 million of public money had been spent on MetroBus and the public therefore had a right to know if the money had been well spent.  He said he doubted he was the only person asking about the figures and couldn’t understand why the information wasn’t being made available.  ACTION: Officers to continue to pursue this information. 

 

·        BCP474: Increase the number of single journeys on Park & Ride into Bristol: A Member commented on this indicator and said that in her view more people would use the Brislington Park and Ride Service if stopped a bit more frequently.  She said she was concerned that stops were being decreased which would likely reduce its use further.  Officers said they would look into this. ACTION: Officers to see if it’s possible to look into the frequency of Brislington Park and Ride service bus stops

 

61.

Local Plan Consultation March - May 2019 Summary pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

11.  Local Plan Consultation

The item was introduced by the Director: Development of Place and the Strategic City Planning Manager who provided a summary of responses received to the local plan review consultation March – May 2019.  It was highlighted that the web-link in the published paper would take Members to all of the comments that had been submitted during the consultation. This was a 260 page document and which was why it had not been included in the meeting papers. 

 

A discussion was had about the report the Council had received from the Independent Planning Inspectors after the review of the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) had taken place.  It was said that the report detailed that there were some suggested inadequacies in the Plan.  Officers said that the four Local Authorities (LAs) were giving due consideration to this report.  Members had asked if this would have some bearing on the Local Plan’s completion.  Officers said yes it was likely this would have an impact on the Local Plan and until they have clarity the process would be delayed.  It was said that the Council had received lots of responses to the consultation process and will progress this process but it would not be at the pace that had previously been envisaged.  It was stated that there were certain strategic figures that need to be known before the Local Plan can be implemented. 

 

The following points were discussed with further with Members:

 

It was said that the previous report the Commission had received from officers hadn’t indicated there was likely to be any problems however it was now clear that the Inspectors were not happy with what had been submitted.  Officers said they had understood when the Inquiry took place that they would have the opportunity to clearly explain the Plan to the Inspector.   However, it became clear when the Inquiry took place that the Inspector had issues with the Plan.  Officers had thought that the issues could be addressed but that wasn’t the case. 

 

A Member said that he had two main concerns about this: 1) the knock-on effects of a delay to completing the JSP.  2) delays in putting policies in to place.  These he said were policies that are desperately needed, for example, the climate emergency, tall buildings and advertising.  This was in his view a threat to the future of city. 

 

Members wanted to know when the plan would now be up-dated. Officers said this had yet to be decided but how to progress this needed to be decided formally by the four LAs because this was a plan that all four had signed up to.  Officers highlighted that the same challenges were still there i.e. transport and the numbers of homes yet to be built. They said the delay to the Local Plan was likely be about 12-18 months.  However, in the meantime they could still continue to progress sustainability plans.  Also the consultation process had raised a variety of issues that they were looking  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.

62.

Update on the Mayors Climate Emergency Action Plan pdf icon PDF 185 KB

Minutes:

A Public Forum Statement from Cllr Denyer was read aloud by Cllr Comley and a short discussion ensued about the scale and pace of the Mayors Climate Emergency Action Plan.  Examples were given on how and where investment is being targeted, for example, the Council is investing in programmes to leverage in further external funding to deliver on the actions.

 

The Sustainable City and Climate Change Service Manager then went on to present the published slide deck on the Mayor’s Climate Emergency Action Plan Update which focussed upon:

  • Governance Arrangements – to ensure the Council has the right advice and expertise guiding it e.g. One City Environmental Sustainability Board and Bristol Advisory Climate Change Committee
  • Development of the One City Climate Strategy
  • Communication and Engagement
  • Integration into Council Systems
  • Climate Change Training

 

The following are some of the key points that were highlighted:

  • It was said that consultants are currently working on potential heat networks for the future.
  • The Council is working with businesses and also community groups by helping to point them in the right direction and develop a common strategy to work together on.
  • The Lottery - Climate Action Fund is coming soon and officers are working with a consortium to prepare bids for this. 
  • The Plan is being integrated in to the Councils service planning process.  Officers said that it was not just about environmental assessments on cabinet reports, but rather it needed to be embedded in the processes much earlier than that.
  • There is an identified need to ensure officers are trained in this field so they can ask the right questions of others including consultants etc.  This is about equipping people with the right information to make more and more changes.  It was said that Bristol is one the first councils to be doing this at this level, which makes it quite difficult.

 

Questions and comments from Members:

  • The Chair said she wasn’t sure why the Advisory Board was only meeting quarterly and not more often.  She therefore hoped there was a lot of work going on outside of the meetings. 
  • Several Members said they thought the pace of action appeared slow and it also frustrated many other people outside of the Council.  It was suggested that the Council needed to encourage more behaviour change rather than waiting for it to happen.  One Member suggested that the Council should ‘exemplify, explain, and enable it by removing barriers where they currently exist’.
  • It was asked if the Council is asking the Government to remove some of the barriers.  Yes it was said this was part of the process that was currently happening as part of the Strategy.  Officers did however highlight there was a slight conflict between ‘doing things quickly and doing things well’.
  • Is the Council working with Core Cities on this?  Officers said yes they are working on ‘common asks’ and there would be a joint declaration the following week.  Yes there were barriers and a need for more funding and skills to be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62.

63.

Property Assets Strategy pdf icon PDF 153 KB

This paper is to follow

Additional documents:

Minutes:

13. Property Assets Strategy

The Chair of the Scrutiny Commission began the item by asking officers why the draft Property Strategy wasn’t being presented to Members at this meeting as she had been led to believe it would be and asked what the situation was.  The Director: Economy of Place said in response that a recruitment process had been undertaken to fill the post of Head of Property.  But she said the process had not been successful because an offer of employment had not been taken up by the individual it had been offered to.  This meant the recruitment process would now need to be repeated.  This had already and would cause further delays. 

 

The Chair pointed out that it had been quite some time ago that the former Scrutiny Assets Task and Finish Group had highlighted the number of  issues being caused by the temporary nature of senior property staff.  She also pointed to the “huge amount of money’ this had cost and was still costing the Council. 

 

The Chair enquired about the whereabouts of the Draft Property Strategy again.  The Director said that it was still being refined and it was currently being socialised across the council by officers who work in other areas as well as property because of the wider implications across the Council. She said the work hadn’t stood still and had kept progressing though the correct channels.  It had been taken to the Strategic Property Group and the Corporate Leadership Board (CLB) and that substantial work had already began, including work on the Corporate Landlord Model.  

 

The Director said she would send the draft version to the Strategy to the Commission Members as soon as she was in a position to do so.  The Property Strategy would be presented to Cabinet in February 2020 and a new Director of Property would be in post in December. ACTION: for the draft Property Strategy to be sent to the Commission as soon as is possible

 

The Director: Commercialisation and Citizens and Shareholder Liaison said that it was clear that they were addressing some systematic errors that had been there for a long time. They had been addressing a range of issues over the past 12 months including preparations for the Corporate Landlord Model.  The Chair stated that she was had still expected the Draft Property Strategy to be brought to the meeting as had been agreed and she still didn’t understand why it hadn’t been, especially when she had just been informed that it was now being socialised throughout the council.

 

The discussion then moved on to the Baseline Assessment that had previously been undertaken using the Property Asset Management Capability Assessment Model (PAMCAM) approach. PAMCAM is a self-assessment tool that was first developed by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) and is designed for use by public sector organisations to measure their corporate property asset management capability and highlight areas for improvement.   The Director: Economy of Place took Members through some slides about the PAMCAM  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.