Agenda and minutes

Growth and Regeneration Scrutiny Commission
Thursday, 29th November, 2018 5.00 pm

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

Contact: Johanna Holmes 

Items
No. Item

12.

Welcome, Introductions and Safety Information pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed all attendees to the meeting, and made a safety announcement in relation to the fire/emergency evacuation procedure.

13.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

Minutes:

None

14.

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.

 

Minutes:

None

15.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 223 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.

16.

Action Tracker pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Minutes:

Members agreed the actions from the previous meeting were complete except for the first action where it hadn’t been possible to receive a response. It was suggested the Mayor could be asked as it is he who now holds the transport portfolio.  It was also suggested that this could be directed to a cabinet member briefing if a response is required. 

17.

Chair's Business

To note any announcements from the Chair

Minutes:

None

18.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 428 KB

To note the work programme.

Minutes:

Members noted the Scrutiny Work Programme.

The Chair said there was possibility of having a scrutiny inquiry day in 2019.

Cllr Wright said that he would like the Commission to look at what changes were or are being made to the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) as soon as it was possible.

19.

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 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 5pm on Friday 23rd November.

 

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 Wednesday 28th November.

 

Minutes:

The following public forum statements and questions were received:

Statements:

1.         PFS 1- Alan Aburrow (Ex-Chairman, NP3 Transport Working Group)

2.         PFS 2 – David Redgewell South West Transport Network with support from John Hassall/Nigel Bray (Railfuture Severnside)

3.         PFS 3 – Councillor Steve Pearce (St George Central) and Councillor Don Alexander (Avonmouth & Lawrence Weston)

 

Questions:

1.         PFQ 1 – Roger Gimson (Chair) BCR Community Partnership

2.         PFQ 2 – Roger Gimson (Chair) BCR Community Partnership

 

The following comments were made:

          PFS1 - Mr Aburrow reiterated that he was not content with the 2020 dates in the Highways Report for completing highways projects.

          PFQ 1/2 –Highways Officers were asked to confirm that the web-based processes would be ready for January.  Officers said that was the intention yes and that was the timeframe they were working to.  But they were also working on other larger projects and they were to a degree reliant on other teams in the council having the capacity to up-load the information on the internet so it is available.  

o   It was asked if it was possible to use part of the stated 9.5M income from parking on the minor traffic schemes.  The Director for Transport said that was a question for the wider budget process and would need to be consulted on.  A Member then commented that as the surplus in question can only be used for works such as this it could be done if there was a will to do it.  But it was then suggested that there aren’t enough staff to deliver the projects even if the funding existed. 

          PFS 2 – (taken later in the meeting between agenda item 10 and 11) David Redgewell underlined how BCC are transferring the function of public transport over to the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) from the beginning of December.  This he said means that work on the transport network including buses and trains and all strategic roles will now be under WECA.   Mr Redgewell commented that he didn’t think this was generally understood by the public. 

20.

Local Highways Scheme Delivery pdf icon PDF 455 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ed Plowden, Service Manager for Sustainable Transport presented Members with a set of slides along with the published report and appendices.  It was reiterated that the team had a wider capacity now it wasn’t focussed on RPZ and that the staffing issues were being addressed.  The following questions and comments were made during the discussion that ensued:

 

  • Although there was recognition of the previous limited capacity, Members were critical of what they described as a lack of communication in the past.  They said that it reflected badly on them and the Council when responses to queries didn’t come.  It was asked if in future they could be notified when milestones had not been met or were going to be missed. 
  • There was some disappointment expressed that the Traffic Choices webpages had now gone.  Members said that amongst other things it had provided the costings which had helped keep the discussions realistic. 
  • Member expressed frustration that that the delays in the Cribbs Patchway New Neighbourhood (CPNN) housing development had in reality put a halt on all highways projects in the north of the city.
  • Members did express some cynicism about the timescales laid out in the report i.e. January 2019. 

They also questioned the likelihood of a successful recruitment process in such a short time period given how long the team have been carrying four vacancies. 

  • However, Members were generally very pleased with the processes that were being proposed by officers and said they particularly wished to see the new web-based process up and running as soon as possible.
  • A Member suggested that bringing Sustrans into the frame now could help. 
  • Officers reiterated that what was being presented was still a draft and work in progress.  It wasn’t the answer to everything but by bringing the internal processes together it did provide a way forward.
  • It was asked if it was possible to look into whether Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) money could be used to pay for the drawing up of schemes in future ACTION: Officers to look in to this and report back.
  • Officers said it would help if schemes could be bundled up in future.  A Member suggested having an annual event /workshop to identify schemes.
  • The Chair said that things appeared to be improving and thanked the officers for their time and commitment.  Officers were asked to provide a progress update in January or February 2019, particularly  on:
    • How the recruitment was progressing
    • How web design process was progressing
    • How the process for Area Committees are progressing and whether they are on schedule

 

ACTION: Officers to provide an up-date in January 2019 on the above points

 

At this point it was highlighted that this meeting was Peter Mann’s (Director for Transport’s) last public meeting at the City Council before he moved on to a new job at West of England Combined Authority (WECA) into the position of Head of Strategic Transport Integration.  Members expressed their thanks to Peter for his hard work and commitment and wished him all  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Bristol City Harbour Review pdf icon PDF 159 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Gemma Dando, Service Manager - Neighbourhood Management took the meeting through the published Bristol City Docks Review Project information.  Gemma explained that a review is to be undertaken on how the docks operate; she was seeking Members views on where the focus should be and where they thought any ‘red lines’ should be drawn.  The following points were raised during the discussions:

 

  • It currently costs the council approx. 1M to run the docks and the aim is to reduce that figure
  • It was a Member’s view that the harbour should be cost neutral but the process for getting there could be very controversial. It was thought to be good they were bench marking with other areas.  It was requested that both the scrutiny commission and the public were continually kept on board throughout the process.
  • It was stated that there are a number of commercial organisations currently making a lot of money from the harbour.  Conversely a Member said that BCC needed to take care that it didn’t price other smaller organisations out of the picture.
  • It was confirmed that the project would soon be moved under Penny Fell - Director of Commercialisation (Resources Directorate).
  • Another Member asked what sort of percentage difference having improved licenses might achieve.  It was thought to be possible that at least 50% of the harbour costs could be recouped this way.  It was agreed that more information on the figures would be provided to Members ACTION: Officers to provide Members with further information about how costs savings could be achieved via increased licence fees.
  • It was said that Bristol City Council have received a number of requests from the Department for Transport for an update on the progress towards being moved to a “Trust Port” status.  Some Members suggested that there were a number other options to look into other than a harbour ‘trust’.  Reservations were expressed about the Council potentially losing control of the harbour. 
  • A Member commented that the harbour is part of the Cities transport network and that this should be seen as an opportunity to enhance this aspect of it.
  • It was said there are a number of harbour related projects such as the harbour walls. Some of which are infrastructure and sit in the Growth and Regeneration directorate and some are now in Resources directorate.
  • The Chair said she thought the Council needed to exercise caution; heavy regulation of the harbour must not take its charm away.  It was also said that the Harbourside is a diverse community that shouldn’t be damaged for the sake of a few pounds and that BCC should resist doing only what the Government wanted it to do. 
  • Forthcoming Harbour Consultation: The Council is in contact with some groups and those who have moorings and so will engage with them to find out how they want to be involved.  It was agreed that Members would be kept informed with the consultation process.  ACTION: Officers said they would send the draft consultation to Members. 
  • Gemma  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Quarterly Performance Progress Report (Quarter 2) pdf icon PDF 303 KB

Minutes:

Kate Cole, Strategic Intelligence & Performance Advisor introduced the report to Members. It was explained that, of the 15 measures reported this quarter:

  • 7 (46%) are above target
  • 4 are below target
  • 7 are performing better than at the same time last year
  • 4 are new measures so only have an annual target for 2018-19, but no trend to report
  • There are a further 13 measures which are only reported annually, and these will be brought to a future meeting when Q4/year-end performance data is presented.

 

The following points were raised and discussed:

  • Increasing the number of affordable homes delivered in Bristol: – A Member asked if the figure for this year was likely to be lower than last year instead of more.  It was said that BCC are still projecting to exceed the affordable homes target of 240 units.  It is expected that many of them will be complete towards the end of the year.  A lot of work is currently being done to turn things around.  The Chair asked that Members were provided with further information on this.  ACTION: Officers to provide further narrative on this indicator.
  • Members were pleased to see that figures show an increase in the number of passenger journeys on buses.  However, one Member said it would be useful to compare bus usage figures with the available ‘capacity’ figures and asked if the data was available on this?  ACTION: Officers to look into this and see if the data is available and report back.
  • (DGR120) A Member asked why the number of people ‘seriously injured’ and the number of people ‘killed’ were both grouped under the same indicator when they were very different outcomes.  He said the figures were a ‘good news story’ (as less people had actually been killed) but doesn’t really appear so when just looking at the figures as they are and asked if it was possible to separate the data so it very clear.  Officers said the data was provided by the police but they would look into separating the data.  Another Member asked if it was possible to look at this data going back about 10 years or so, so that comparisons could be made.  ACTION: Officers to look into separating the two indicators and also to see if comparable data is available.

 

23.

Growth and Regeneration Directorate Risk Register pdf icon PDF 334 KB

Minutes:

Members considered the report.  It was conformed that work is currently being undertaken by the Risk Manager on a Risk Management Assurance Strategy that will coordinate providing risk information to Cabinet, Audit Committee, and Scrutiny Committees.  Meetings will be set up to/ discuss in due course.

 

24.

City Leap Project pdf icon PDF 200 KB

Minutes:

·       Councillor Alexander read out public forum statement No. 3 at this point.

 

David White, lead officer for Energy Services introduced the item and briefly took Members though the published report and exempt information. He explained that the project was to help the council deliver its corporate objectives and to ‘up the pace’ in Bristol reaching its carbon neutrality targets.

 

It was explained that there were 180 expressions of interest in response to the prospectus last May. Officers have now met with representatives from nearly all of them.  

 

Exclusion of the Press and Public  

The Committee were asked to pass the following resolution:

That under s.100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as define d in paragraph 3, information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information), of Part 1 of schedule 12A of the Act.  This is listed as APR10.4 within the Bristol City Council Constitution.

 

Notes

  • Bristol Energy is key to the City Leap Project and processes.
  • BCC are the facilitators and are not monopolising the projects
  • All sorts of issues such as leverage of assets, legal implications and procurement issues still need to be worked through. 
  • Some examples of the potential projects and joint ventures were provided
  • Options appraisals are yet to be carried out but when completed they will take social value as well as financial value into account.
  • Some Members said they thought more of the work should be being done with the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and as a ‘city region’.
  • A Member said that he could understand why the energy company was pivotal to the project but he thought there should also be a ‘Plan B’. 
  • The Chair asked if it was possible for Members to have the slides they were being shown.  Officers said they would need to double check before they committed to passing them on: ACTION: Officers to check with Legal which of the slides they could give to Members.
  • A Member said the word ‘economy’ was missing from the information on the slides.  Officers said that it was in the text but agreed that it was not said explicitly enough and this would be addressed.
  • Officers said they would be shortlisting the expressions of interest the following day.
  • Officers agreed to bring this item back to scrutiny before it goes to Cabinet in March 2019. ACTION: for it to be confirmed when to schedule this coming back to scrutiny (Feb 2019 is likely).

 

25.

City Leap Project - confidential session

That under s.100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph three of Part 1 of schedule 12A of the Act.

 

Officers will provide a presentation to the Commission Members at the meeting.  The content of this presentation is commercially sensitive and is therefore not publically available.