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Contact: Sharon Sissons, Democratic Services Officer (Committees) Telephone 01392 265115 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 8 November 2018.
The minutes of the meeting of Place Scrutiny Committee held on 8 November 2018 were taken as read, approved and signed by the Chair as correct.
Declaration of Interests
Councillors are reminded of the need to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests that relate to business on the agenda and which have not already been included in the register of interests, before any discussion takes place on the item. Unless the interest is sensitive, you must also disclose the nature of the interest. In accordance with the Council's Code of Conduct, you must then leave the room and must not participate in any further discussion of the item. Councillors requiring clarification should seek the advice of the Monitoring Officer prior to the day of the meeting.
No declarations of disclosable pecuniary interest were made.
Details of questions should be notified to the Corporate Manager Democratic and Civic Support at least three working days prior to the meeting. Further information and a copy of the procedure are available from Democratic Services (Committees) (Tel: 01392 265115) and also on the Council web site - https://exeter.gov.uk/councillorsfaq/.
In accordance with Standing Order 19, one member of the public submitted a question on maintenance issues in relation to the Built Sports and Leisure Facilities in the city (attached as an appendix to these minutes).
Members agreed, following a vote, to defer any debate on the Built Sports and Leisure Facilities in the city, until the Special Place Committee meeting on 31 January 2019.
A copy of the question had been previously circulated to Members, and these, together with the responses from Councillor Bialyk, Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing, Communities & Sport is appended to the minutes.
Jo Jo Spinks to attend to outline the work of Interwoven and Place Making, particularly using the arts, with examples of her work in Exeter including work in Heavitree, linking with the university, Councillors and the local community.
(Place making - a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. Place making capitalises on a local community asset, inspiration and potential, with the intention of creating public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness, and well-being).
An invitation had been extended to Jo Jo Spinks to outline the work of Interwoven and Place Making, using the arts, and links with the university, Councillors and the local community. Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances, the presentation was deferred to the March meeting.
To consider the report of the Chief Finance Officer.
The Interim Principal Accountant presented the report which set out the proposed revenue and capital estimates for 2019/20 in respect of Place Services. The report outlined the strategic framework, changes in accounting practices which impacted all budgets and provided detailed reasons for major changes in the Management Unit estimates. A detailed schedule of the Capital Programme and the proposed Fees and Charges for 2019/20 were included as an appendix.
There had been no changes to the budgets since the presentation to Members, given by the Chief Finance Officer in December 2018. He referred Members to Section Officer 151 comments in the report, which stated that the budget was in line with the updated medium term financial plan and noted that further savings of £2.4 million were needed, in order to balance the budget for the following year.
In response to Members’ questions, the Interim Principal Accountant and the Director (DB) responded as follows:-
· A response would be provided to Members on how much the Council received from the New Homes Bonus and its impact on the five year housing supply;
· The St James Weir was not owned by Exeter City Council, however, additional funding had been allocated to install rock armour to prevent further erosion. The work would commence within three weeks, with an estimated cost of £25-30,000 for the stone and £60-70,000 for the placement;
· The work to reduce domestic and commercial rubbish would look at areas with communal bins and streets where black bin liners were placed out. Members would be consulted on the proposed street selections. There were also discussions being held, with residents living on the Quay, about bin placement and design;
· The Business and Commercial Opportunities unit, was previously managed by a Services Manager, but the role had not been filled. The teams had been divided up between other managers;
· Street Cleaning did have resource issues, especially in relation to the number of additional houses being built. The refuse collection had operated very well in recent years, and had managed by making the service more efficient.
· Exeter City Council, as the Harbour Authority, were responsible for the supply of harbour patrollers. There were ongoing communications with neighbouring Local Authorities to provide financial support;
· There was a business case to address updating equipment, to provide a food waste collection and cover the costs for the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Marsh Barton. Food waste was not expected to be part the business strategy, but additional information was still needed;
· The Director (DB) and Chief Executive & Growth Director, had made representations about river health and fish migration to the Environment Agency, who were responsible authority for rivers. Members would be provided more information, when it was available.
Place Scrutiny Committee supported the draft Revenue Estimates for 2019/20 including the proposed Capital Programme, Fees and Charges for further consideration by Executive on 12 February 2018 and the Special Meeting of the Council on 26 February 2019.
To consider the report of the Service Manager Community Safety and Enforcement.
The Service Manager Community Safety & Enforcement presented the report which set out the increase to both car park tariffs and the number of pay and display parking sites from April 2019. There would be a maximum of a 10% tariff increase to premium zone 1 and 2 car parks and a 50p increase to zone 3 car parks. The parking increases would support the Councils’ plan to reduce congestion within the city.
In response to questions from Members, the Service Manager Community Safety & Enforcement informed that:-
· Bromhams Farm car park was added in the 2018 parking tariffs report, but was currently on hold due to negotiations with Devon Wildlife Trust;
· The increase to Council car parking charges were intended to help reduce the congestion in Exeter and were part of a recognised strategy to reduce the number of vehicles coming into the city and encourage the use of public transport;
· The 4% increase in vehicles using car parks referred to in the report, was an annual comparison. The pattern for the final quarters of both 2017 and 2018 indicated a 6% decrease.
· A line in the budget provided details of income generated from penalty tickets;
· The footfall in the city was down by 1%, but congestion and financial impacts would be regularly monitored;
· The fee for Coach Parking at Haven Road would remain at £5 a day. This would encourage the use of coaches, and help reduce the number of cars coming into the city;
· The free car parking at George V playing field would be monitored by City Council Staff.
Members noted that the rise in car parking fees was a difficult and unpopular action for the Council, but was necessary to help reduce congestion in the city to support environmental issues.
Place Scrutiny Committee supported and recommended approval by Executive of the following:-
(1) The amendment of the Car Parking Places Order 2014 as set out below:-
a) To increase tariffs at Premium, Zone 1 and Zone 2 car parks by a maximum of 10% within the existing linear pricing structure as set out in the table below.
b) To increase the tariffs at Zone 3 car parks by 50p as set out in the table below.
To consider the report of the City Surveyor.
Councillors M Vizard and N Vizard attended the meeting having given notice under Standing Order 44 to speak on this item.
The City Surveyor presented the report, which followed a request by Exeter Homes Trust Ltd, to purchase an area of Bull Meadow Park at the end of Temple Road to enable the redevelopment of the existing scheme of 12 almshouses, to provide 31 almshouses. The land to be purchased was shown in the circulated report, which also showed the location of Bull Meadow Park, detail of the proposed turning head and its location within Bull Meadow Park. There were no strategic or operational reasons for retaining the land and that the proposed use was acceptable to both Planning and Parks teams.
The City Surveyor explained that disposal of non-strategic land were normally delegated to him in consultation with the Chief Finance Officer. The intention was to build a public highway turning head, which had been considered to be the best option to support the re-development of the almshouses site. A provisional agreement had been reached with Exeter Homes Trust, subject to planning consent.
However, due to the high volume of interest from local residents, following the advertisement to sell the land, the level of objections and notably a petition received, it was his view that the decision on the principle of disposal required Member consideration at the Place Scrutiny for decision by Executive Committee.
Councillor Speaking Under Standing Order 44
Councillor N Vizard commented that there had been an unprecedented opposition to the sale of the land, but expressed her thanks to the City Surveyor for opening up the decision to Members. She requested Members of the Place Scrutiny Committee to not support the request for Exeter City Council to sell the land at Bull Meadow Park.
There had been an overwhelming public objection and she emphasised the importance for Members to acknowledge the opposition from local residents, stakeholders and community leaders to refuse the sale. She noted that the report could be misleading, as it did not show the open space and the area designated by the zip wire, which had reduced the area of green space available for multi-use sports and community activities.
Councillor N Vizard explained that the area was a vital community open space, which needed to be retained and was not a small area of land to be disposed of, which would have a cruel impact on the community, which was already concerned about other land in the area, with no indication of resolution. The area was used by local residents and visitors for various community activities such as dog walking, ball sports and picnics.
There had been an unprecedented negative community response to the notification to sell the land, with additional responses mentioned in the report, and another 400 signatures provided in a paper petition. She stated that Members must weigh up the merits of the retention of public open green spaces against the development of the almshouses. The developers ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
The minutes of the Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders meeting held on 6 November 2018 were circulated for information.
To receive the minutes of the Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders meeting held on 6 November 2018.