Venue: The Chamber - City Hall, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR
Contact: Lucy Fleming
Link: Watch Live Webcast
Cllr Tony Dyer welcomed the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board. Health and safety information was provided.
Apologies for absence.
Cllr Pearce and Cllr Massey sent apologies.
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 were made.
Minutes of the previous meeting.
The Minutes from the OSMB meeting held on 4th December 2023 were not available.
RESOLVED; That the Minutes from the OSMB meeting held on 4th December 2023 be published and approved at the next OSMB meeting.
To note any announcements from the Chair
No business was declared.
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) for all items other than item 7 must be received in this office at the latest by 5 pm on 12th January 2024.
As the papers for item 7 (Clean Air Zone) are expected to be published on the 15th January 2024 as part of the Cabinet Agenda, Public Forum questions related to this item may be submitted up to noon on 17th January. While a written response will be sought it may not be possible to provide this prior to the meeting due to the shorter timescale. You may also wish to consider whether your questions would be most appropriately directed to the Cabinet meeting held on 23rd January 2024.
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 17th January 2024.
The Public Forum was published and can be found here.
Suzanne Audrey submitted four questions and received written responses.
As a supplementary question to the response to question 3 regarding ‘rat-running’ in Totterdown Suzanne Audrey asked whether there was a plan for further monitoring. The Head of City Transport stated that these issues were known prior to the introduction of the CAZ. It was noted that there had been an increase in the allocation of funds to transport schemes, and options around how to address issues such as those identified in Totterdown were for consideration as part of the allocation of those funds.
Dan Ackroyd submitted a question regarding the obligations in the publication of the Mayor’s Forward Plan. As a supplemental question he stated that he did not feel the question had been satisfactorily answered as the Mayor’s Forward Plan was not currently covering the expected four-month period. The Chair confirmed that the statutory minimum number of 28 days’ notice was being provided, and further notice was not always possible. However, concerns were shared and noted, and as Bristol City Council moved into a Committee System model of governance it was hoped that improvements to the Forward Plan would be made. Dan Akroyd also submitted a Public Forum statement.
David Redgewell presented a statement regarding CAZ and funding to highway schemes, and also presented a statement on behalf of Bristol Older People’s Forum regarding how elderly and disabled people had been left with limited travel options due to the withdrawal of some public transport services.
RESOLVED; That the Public Forum be noted.
The Clean Air Zone report can now be found as part of the papers published for the Cabinet Meeting to be held on 23rd January 2024 here: Cabinet – Clean Air Zone Report. It has also been attached as a supplement here.
Clean Air Zone (CAZ) Evaluation Report
The Executive Director for Growth and Regeneration and the Head of City Transport presented the Clean Air Zone Evaluation Report. Members were directed to Item 12 of the Cabinet 23rd January 2024 agenda, and the Head of City Transport summarised the paper. Key points included;
- A summary of the CAZ was provided
- A report from the Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) on whether air quality levels had met legal compliance was expected in June 2024.
- Monitoring had found that the nitrogen dioxide levels had decreased by about 10% across the city. The data quality was flagged noting that the impact of Covid on traffic levels in 2020-21 had made a direct comparison with this period difficult, so the use of 2022-23 data had been preferred.
- It was noted that there had been no significant change in footfall in the city centre which had previously been raised as a potential concern.
- Increases in traffic in surrounding areas had not led to increased nitrogen dioxide concentrations.
- A table showing the breakdown of journeys through the CAZ area demonstrated an increase in the amount of compliant journeys since the implementation of the CAZ. It also reflected the expected decrease in the number of locally exempt journeys.
- The difficulty in drawing conclusions around the use of public transport was noted due to the impact of Covid, and subsequent reductions in bus journeys due to driver shortages.
- An overall financial summary was provided for the first year of income (noting that this did not constitute a financial report) demonstrating income of £31million; or £26million after costs.
Members were invited to ask questions.
The Chair asked what measures would have been taken had the CAZ not been implemented. The Head of City Transport stated that prior to the CAZ the Active Travel Fund had been used to support a number of measures to reduce traffic. Modelling had showed that this would have achieved some but not all the aims in improving air quality. The implementation of those measures had had sufficient impact that a smaller CAZ scheme was implemented than would otherwise have been necessary. The longer term focus was to continue with measures that would support sustainable travel approaches.
Members expressed disappointment that the reports had been published at a late date, reducing the amount of time available for consideration.
The difficulties in benchmarking data due to other factors (impact of pandemic, impact of other measures, etc) was noted, but it was understood that air quality had been improving prior to the implementation of the CAZ. A Member queried whether the 12 months of available data had been sufficient for assessment. Officers were confident that the modelling that had taken place demonstrated the efficacy of the CAZ. It was estimated that while other measures would also have led to compliance, this would have occurred around 2027-28, while the CAZ was estimated to bring about compliance at an earlier date.
The Strategic Intelligence and Performance Manager presented the Q2 2023-24 Performance Report for OSMB.
A summary of performance of the Business Plan themes showed a slight fall in Quarter 2, notably that the Economy & Skills and Homes & Communities themes had been marked as Behind Schedule / Amber.
A Member stated that it was encouraging to see no themes marked as Red / Significantly Behind Schedule. This was agreed, but noted that as summaries the table referenced did not contain the granular detail of individual performance metrics, some of which were now marked as Red.
The Chair noted that Lead Officers for the different themes had been identified, and suggested that Members with directorate specific questions direct them to the appropriate Officer.
It was noted that a workshop for the development of the 2024-25 business plan and performance framework had been scheduled for February 2024.
The guidance available on how to use the Performance Dashboard was highlighted, and the Strategic Intelligence and Performance Manager welcomed further questions.
It was suggested that training on the use and understanding of the Performance Dashboard and supporting reports form part of the planned Member Induction for 2024-25. It was confirmed that this was in hand.
RESOLVED; That the Scrutiny Work Programme be noted.
To note the work programme.
RESOLVED; That the Scrutiny Work Programme be noted.
A Member requested that concerns be raised regarding the Mayor’s Forward Plan. It was agreed that a statement on this would be included in the submitted referral to Cabinet.
RESOLVED; That the Mayors Forward Plan be noted, and; that concerns regarding the Mayor’s Forward Plan be submitted as part of a referral to Cabinet.
Minutes from the WECA Overview and Scrutiny Committee - for information (standing item)
The Minutes from the West of England Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 8 September 2023 were noted at a previous OSMB meeting.
The most recent minutes of the West of England Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee were published on 2nd October 2023 and had been noted at a previous OSMB meeting.