Agenda and draft minutes

Growth and Regeneration Scrutiny Commission - Thursday, 11th March, 2021 5.30 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting - Zoom Committee Meeting with Public Access via YouTube. View directions

Contact: Johanna Holmes 

Link: Watch Live Webcast

Items
No. Item

119.

Welcome, Introductions and Safety Information pdf icon PDF 100 KB

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and asked them to introduce themselves.

 

Officers in attendance:

·       Stephen Peacock, Executive Director - Growth & Regeneration (BCC)

·       Nuala Gallagher, Director: Economy of Place (BCC)

·       Colin Molton, Interim Project Director, Temple Quarter (WECA)

·       David Carter, Director of Infrastructure (WECA)

·       James Graven, Real Estate – Planning & Development at Deloitte

·       Kate Cole - Strategic Intelligence & Performance Advisor (BCC)

·       Adam Crowther, Head of City Transport (BCC)

·       Patrick Goodey, Flood Risk and Data Manager (BCC)

 

120.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

Minutes:

  • Councillor Tim Rippington sent his apologies. Cllr Gill Kirk substituted for him at the meeting.

 

121.

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:

  • Councillor Mark Bradshaw stated that he was a Director of Bristol Holding Ltd and Bristol Heat Network Ltd.

 

122.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 202 KB

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

 

The minutes of the meeting held on the 28th January are to follow.

Minutes:

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

123.

Action Tracker pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were two outstanding actions:

  • Housing Delivery; this information had now been sent to Members and would be published on the meeting webpage in due course.
  • Western Harbour engagement target audiences; this information was not yet available but would be sent to Members and published as soon as it was.

 

124.

Chair's Business

To note any announcements from the Chair

Minutes:

The Chair said there were two items i.e. Temple Quarter and Strategic Transport Plans on the agenda that were policy development scrutiny and proposed organising Members comments and any recommendations made into a short report that would follow the projects through to policy formation so that there was some real purpose and outcomes from the discussion.

 

125.

Public Forum pdf icon PDF 253 KB

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 5 pm on Friday 5th March.

 

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 10th March.

 

Register to Speak - If you would like to virtually attend the meeting to speak to your statement or ask your questions, your intention to attend must be received no later than 2 clear working days in advance. For this meeting this means that your intention to attend must be received in this office at the latest by 5pm on Monday 8th March.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Three Public Forum Statements were received.

David Redgewell attended the meeting and spoke to his statement highlighting the following points to Members:

  • Unresolved issues regarding potential public transport access at the East side of Temple Meads Station due to the Cattle Market Road bridge.
  • Concerns at what was perceived as a lack of alignment between Transport Plans for Local Authorities in the West of England e.g. Park and Ride plans between Bristol and South Gloucestershire. 
  • A new walking and cycling route between Bristol and Bath.
  • Support for the Transport Plans that were being presented to Members at the meeting.

Gavin Smith spoke to his statement and highlighted the following points:

  • Fully support bus priority but it should focus on more bus lanes not
  • Support for more Park and Rides M32 / M4 should be a priority.
  • Bus rapid transits using bendy buses aren’t real rapid transit and don’t work particularly well. Swansea was used as an example.
  • An integrated plan with a tram system is the best option such as that in Birmingham. This type of plan could attract large amounts of funding to implement. If Bristol only asks for funding for more buses it won’t get very much.

The Chair thanked all those that had summited statements for their helpful and insightful contributions. 

A full record of the Public Forum statements can be found here: G&R Scrutiny Public Forum March 21

 

126.

Performance Report - Quarter 3 pdf icon PDF 581 KB

Minutes:

The Strategic Intelligence & Performance Advisor provided a summary of the key points in the published report.  It was explained that a number of the key performance indicators (KPIs) were reported on annually and were not therefore reported on in the Quarter 3 Report.  Also, some individual transport performance indicators had been suspended due to Covid-19 because it was deemed that any comparisons would be meaningless at this point in time.

The Chair asked about BCPB124a ‘percentage of major residential planning applications processed within 13 weeks or as otherwise agreed’ and why it was reported that ‘the service hasn’t been able to bring in the level of additional capacity required to deliver to the performance target due to a significant drop in income in 2020-21’. She asked why was the of revenue so dependent on the size of planning team? 

The Executive Director - Growth & Regeneration said that this an interesting question that he couldn’t give a precise answer to because it was a complex situation.  But it was a function of ‘national statutory planning policy’ that it was carried out in the way it was.  Also, there was a Government White Paper coming soon that could have a big impact on the future model. 

No further questions were asked by Members. Officers said that Members were welcome to email officers any questions they had after the meeting. 

 

127.

Directorate Risk Report - Quarter 3 pdf icon PDF 235 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Director for Growth and Regeneration introduced the report to Members.  It was said that a new risk assessment system had been introduced and the Council was therefore in a transitional period about how it captures, records and talks about risk. 

The Director provided some context on the three critical risks contained within the report. 

The following points were discussed:

A Member commented on the risks related to delivering major capital projects within the internal or external governance structures the Council creates to manage them and the responsibilities and reputational risks they carry.  He asked about new major projects coming up such as the heat networks and how they would be managed and in who’s interest would they be managed in?  In his view this was part of the risk and how problems arise and effect the Council practically and reputationally.  The Executive Director agreed that governance and risk were fundamental to those types of projects.  He said there were challenges for any public body whilst manging commercial interfaces but that all local authorities now carry challenges of this nature.  In his view it was important to continue to shine daylight on these issues within duties of confidentiality and wherever possible engage with scrutiny and or Member groups.  He added that there was a lot experience at the Council between Officers and Members and they should work together because they have many shared objectives. 

 

128.

Temple Quarter Delivery Capacity pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Director for Growth and Regeneration introduced the item to Members and said this was an enormous project.  Officers had earlier referred to a Joint Delivery Team (JDT) for Temple Quarter and it was confirmed that Colin Molton was currently leading the Team on an interim capacity through the West of England Combined Authority (WECA).  The Delivery Team was made up of representatives from Bristol City Council and Network Rail.  This discussion was about what type of delivery structure model the JDT might become and this decision was essential for what would be the duration of a multi-decade regeneration project.

James Graven from Deloitte attended the meeting and took Members through the published paper that summarised some of the JDT’s early work and provided insights on various delivery vehicle models that have been adopted across the UK to promote urban regeneration.  The case studies fell into five broad areas which were summarises in the published paper.

It was said that there were pros and cons to each individual model, and it was important to get the choice right, however it could take years to set the delivery vehicle up once it had been decided. 

Officers confirmed that the work at Temple Meads Station was already underway which included the enabling works to Temple Island, roof works and a number of other extensive areas, however there were still some decisions to be made about the University Campus.  A recent Cabinet paper reported that a grant application for the Station entrances had been submitted to central Government.  

A Member asked which of the models in the paper would deliver at pace and would be the most efficient at moving things forward.  Officers said that the JDT required a model that allows them the powers to get on with the work.  But an important factor to consider was how much confidence the private sector would have in the model that’s chosen which increased the necessity to select the correct model for Temple Quarter.

The Director added that there were other fundamental issues to consider, such as planning powers but ‘red lines’ could be established on what is and isn’t desirable such as whether the Council want to continue being the landowner.

The Chair commented that this was looking at a lot of different options, levels of flexibility and weighing up the risks and it was therefore quite difficult for Members to get their heads around. 

James Graven said it was a difficult challenge providing confidence to the private sector in terms of the ability to take the programme forward with certainty through potentially different political cycles.  Planning powers were an important local matter but there would be no need to give them up. 

A Member who said they had previous experience of living within and working with these types of structures said he thought that what had been discussed so far had been useful and demonstrated why there was a process to assess what the different pros and cons were.  However, he  ...  view the full minutes text for item 128.

129.

Strategic Transport Plans pdf icon PDF 5 MB

Minutes:

The Head of City Transport introduced the item to Members and talked them through the published slides which encompassed information about the West of England (WoE) Joint Local Transport Plan 4, which included the following key points:

  • Mass transit corridors; an evolving project which is at the early stages and will be ten to fifteen years before the schemes are delivered. Four key routes which are progressing.
  • Future rail developments such as Bristol East Junction which was said to be crucial
  • The closer of Bristol Bridge being brought forward was said to have provided officers with a head start on this work and was key to protecting the bus network by freeing-up space for buses to operate more efficiently by reducing traffic congestion.  It has also meant that other proposals could now be accelerated earlier than previously expected. 

The following points were discussed, and questions asked:

  • A Member asked if and why the yellow bus routes on the proposed future bus network would only travel in one anti-clockwise direction?  Officers said yes, they would only turn left because it is always much easier and quicker than turning right and thus meant fewer delays.  But they were also looking at adding in some routes that travel in both directions.
  • How would the circular yellow route link up with the existing bus interchange Old Market? If it didn’t it would probably not provide any improvements to people travelling in from East Bristol.  Officers said that this was indeed the most challenging of the all the routes.  Some information about local mass transit had been released earlier that day and Members were encouraged to look at this.  Officers were looking at including a mass transit stop at Old Market.  In the interim there were other options available such as, diverting services via Feeder Road and Avon Street to Temple Meads where they would be given priority access.  Also, officers were looking at routes from the end of the M32 to the train station which would be routed through and connect services at Old Market.
  • The Belfast Glider buses; were they the best option or was there a better mode of transport for mass transit? Officers said the routes would be highly segregated to enable them to be reliable and very frequent.  These particular types of buses felt very different to regular buses and were more like trams.  However, there were a number of other options emerging such as the vehicles currently being used in China that are also being used for the Qatar World Cup that can hold up to 300 people at one time.  Another example given was the system used in Toulouse in France.  There were pros and cons to all the systems but the key aim was to ensure that the mass transit system was completely segregated from other traffic. 
  • A Member asked about there being no mention of a Henbury Loop in the presentation and asked if that idea now ‘shelved’ so to speak? Officers said yes that was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 129.

130.

Bristol Local Flood Risk Management Strategy pdf icon PDF 191 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The item was introduced by the Flood Risk and Data Manager who took Members through the published presentation slides which consisted of the following areas:  

  • Key achievements 2020/21
  • Sustainable drainage
  • Strategy refresh (2021)

Members were reminded that this item was focussed on the City-wide Flood Strategy and not the River Avon Flood Strategy which it had been previously agreed would be returning to scrutiny in due course.  Officers confirmed that Cabinet had that week approved a number of recommendations to endorse the preferred approach of ‘adaptive raised defences to manage the risk of flooding from the River Avon as set out in the Strategic Outline Case and approved officers to progress to the development of an Outline Business Case, and apply for grant funding to aid its development’.

  • The Harbour condition survey of all the harbour assets; this was now complete and was fundamental to understand before further action could be decided and taken forward.
  • Following advice from Scrutiny Members in the previous year the Flood Risk Officers had recruited 11 Flood Wardens across the City
  • Avonmouth Severnside Enterprise Area (ASEA) Ecology Mitigation and Flood Defences Project: This project was said to be a partnership between South Gloucestershire Council, Bristol City Council and the Environment Agency that focuses on helping to support the growth of the Avonmouth Severnside Enterprise Area and protecting the existing communities from flooding.  This it was said had been in the pipeline for many years but had now started. 
  • Strategic Flood Risk Assessment: Officers had undertaken the work themselves and helped the Council’s Strategic City Planning Team to do the necessary assessments instead of hiring consultants to do the work.  Another key output from this work has been the development of an online mapping tool that shows all the flood risk modelling results on webpages that will go live very soon and will be available as a resource to the public and developers.
  • Sustainable Drainage Schemes: use green infrastructure to reduce flooding rather than traditional pipes and officers are looking to install more of them.  The scheme is linked to wider initiatives such as the Liveable Neighbourhoods Projects.  The Southmead Regeneration SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Scheme) work had now been completed and Phase 2 was now being planned.  Officers asked Members to notify them of any new transport schemes or ideas where additional SuDs could potentially be built in. 
  • The Environment Agency had recently up-dated their Flood Risk Strategy and Officers proposed to up-date the Council’s Strategy in line with that. Details of how they will be aligned are contained within the published slide deck.

The following points were then discussed:

The Chair thanked Officers for the up-date and information and said she had been impressed that they had completed the Strategic Flood Risk Assessment in-house instead of using consultants.  The Chair also remarked how the Team always reported solid progress whenever they come to scrutiny. 

Another Member commented that the work was excellent and that he would bare SuDS in mind for future transport works.  He  ...  view the full minutes text for item 130.

131.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 229 KB

To note the work programme.

Minutes:

The work programme was noted with the Chair adding that that it had been successfully delivered thought the year.