Agenda and draft minutes

Strategic Planning & Environment Overview & Scrutiny - Wednesday, 12th October, 2022 7.30 pm

Venue: Conference Room 1 - The Forum. View directions

Contact: Corporate and Democratic Support  01442 228209

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 67 KB

To agree the minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

The minutes from the last meeting were approved and signed by the Chair. 

2.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor England.

3.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest

4.

Public Participation

Minutes:

There was no public participation

5.

Consideration of any matter referred to the Committee in relation to Call-In

Minutes:

None

 

The order of the agenda was changed

6.

Q1 Financial Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 310 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report was presented by James Doe and Claire Dempsey and it was noted that NHowcutt could not be present. Apologies were noted for the lateness of the report, caused by the timing of the summer break, and it was confirmed that the report had already been noted by Cabinet. It was noted that there was a Q1 pressure of £870,000, £760,000 of which relates to the strategic environment division of the budget, and 96% of this relates to the refuse service. A review is being undertaken on the impact of the current economic uncertainty on the medium-term capital programme and this will be reported back with the Q2 report.

 

A comment was raised by Cllr Stevens regarding line 1 of Appendix A and it was asked how £12.8m was listed on year to date with nothing listed for the forecast outturn. It was confirmed that there are a number of grants to be received that are yet to be.

 

7.

EV Strategy Approval pdf icon PDF 382 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

HPeacock began by introducing herself as the Head of Transformation, advising that her role includes oversight of project management across the organisation, including the delivery of the Climate and Ecological Emergency Programme. HPeacock confirmed that she would be presenting the draft of the Electrical Vehicle Strategy, noting that the report requests that the Committee notes the comment of the draft strategy.

 

Cllr Beauchamp commented that one option was to use lampposts as electrical charging points and asked who would pay for this to be set up given that street lights are low powered. Cllr Beauchamp also asked if there should be some data on centralised charging zones. Cllr Beauchamp stated that charging zones would likely become areas of contention between residents. MParr confirmed that lampposts are not listed as the way forward as the majority of lampposts in the area are owned by HCC, and therefore DBC are moving forward with their own strategy. On charging on petrol forecourts, MParr confirmed that the first rapid EV forecourt opened in November last year and the Committee were referred to the charging hierarchy in the report, noting that the focus is encouraging first driveways followed by on-street, destination regular and then occasional. MParr stated that the industry still needs to provide forecourt areas, though this would need to be on the understanding that these areas be on motorways or A roads and are charged more. Regarding areas of contention, MParr acknowledged that this will be a challenge and will be addressed when they look at more on-street charging. MParr noted that they expect to have 30,000 EVs in Dacorum by 2030 and they are therefore looking at charging points in council-owned car parks and are awaiting HCC to put forward their EV strategy, and it is hoped that focusing on areas where there is additional need will help relieve any pressure.

 

Cllr Stevens thanked officers for the report, noting that there are concerns regarding the lack of an implementation plan. HPeacock agreed, stating that they are in the process of developing an implementation plan as part of the Climate and Ecological Emergency Programme. HPeacock confirmed there are a number of sub-groups of officers who will lead on the implementation of the programme and that it is recognised within the strategy what they can directly influence, such as an EV charging point project. On the EVCP project, HPeacock acknowledged the false start and confirmed that they are working with suppliers, adding that they were limited on what information they could provide to the Committee due to commercial sensitivity. HPeacock confirmed that they hope to provide timescales to members as soon as possible, though they are broadly working towards the timescales provided in the document.

 

Cllr Stevens noted that they have identified operators in the past and asked if they are still talking to them. MParr confirmed that they could not comment on this. MParr advised that they were previously let down by a supplier and that they are happy with the 2 new  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Infrastructure Funding Statement - Developer Contributions Update pdf icon PDF 619 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

ARobinson presented the report, noting the amount of money collected in the financial year as just under £7.5m with £18.8m overall, and in the same year they collected around £3m in Section 106 funding. ARobinson noted that the report also contains a summary of projects invested in.

 

Cllr Banks commented that the report contains no reference to outstanding money. It was confirmed that this was not within the report and that the report closely follows the CIL regulations, though there is little outstanding debt. ARobinson confirmed there are a number of developers that are seeking deferred or late payments and that this figure could be provided for the Committee.

 

ACTION: To circulate the outstanding debt figure.

 

9.

Chilterns Beechwoods Mitigation Strategy (Update) pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Harden noted that the item was to specifically look at the two sites within their ownership.

 

ARobinson presented the report, noting that they would be looking at the production of two management plans for Bunkers Park and Chipperfield Common. ARobinson advised that, in order to release the moratorium, developers need to identify alternative land and that management plans need to be prepared for these. ARobinson also highlighted that the management plans have been developed closely with colleagues, particularly Clean, Safe and Green, and that they are in close consultation with Natural England. Once the management plans are adopted, there should be around a 4,000-unit capacity for new homes. ARobinson added that the lifting of the moratorium will only be partial.

 

Cllr Sutton commended the report, particularly the plan for Bunkers Park. Cllr Sutton noted that travellers have accessed the site on a number of occasions and asked if they would be ensuring they would not be able to access the site again. ARobinson advised that the management plans have been set up with the input of a number of departments and they will ensure that they do not open up the sites to adverse impacts, including those accessing the sites who shouldn't be. ARobinson stated that they need to focus on a balance between improving accessibility of the site whilst also not weakening its protection.

 

Cllr Sutton noted that the main issue regarding dog fouling are those bringing multiple dogs to the site and that she was unsure how they would prevent this. ARobinson advised that there is a wider educational piece around this and that they are looking to improve signage and bins. ARobinson agreed that there is a discussion to be had around the use of enforcement officers in the future. Cllr Banks commented on the consultation around the PSPO regarding dogs and control of dogs, noting that they have been alerted to the issues around professional dog walkers as a concern and that officers are looking at how to restrict the number of dogs per walker. Cllr Banks asked for any specific issues regarding dog fouling to be reported.

 

Cllr Timmis referred to the development of 4,000 units following the identification of the 2 SANGs and noted that they are existing commons. ARobinson clarified that there are currently 2,500 homes with planning permission or going through the planning system and are on hold due to the moratorium. An upgraded network of sites to SANG standard has to be provided to allow the backlog to be improved, and there will be additional capacity for further development. ARobinson confirmed that the SANGs will allow them to theoretically provide new homes for the borough, though it will not mean they will grant 4,000 units.

 

Cllr Timmis commented that her understanding was that they would have SANGs so people will not just be using Chiltern Beechwoods, and therefore if a development is brought in, a green space would need to be provided that residents are more likely to use. Cllr  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 384 KB

Minutes:

It was noted that a meeting would soon take place to review the work programme and that this would be brought back to the next meeting for comment.

 

There being no further business, the meeting was formally closed at 10:50pm.

 

11.

PSPO Annual Review

Report to Follow

Minutes:

EWalker presented the report and summary of work carried out by district enforcement in relation to PSPO and littering enforcement during the 12-month pilot contract, noting that the purpose of the report was to give recommendations in relation to extending or entering into a longer-term contract. During 2021-22, the council's enforcement team dealt with over 3,000 reported environmental crime issues including 1,587 fly-tipping reports, 1,500 abandoned vehicle reports, and other investigations such as commercial waste issues and illegal disposal through burning. The team is currently made up of 1.83 full-time environmental enforcement officers and 1 temporary member of staff, which does not allow for patrols for low-level crime such as littering and dog fouling.

 

Looking at the 12-month pilot, EWalker advised that they were only looking at 10 months of data, and confirmed that 3,159 fixed penalty notices ("FPNs") have been issued, of which 3,149 were issued successfully and the remaining 10 were cancelled at source by District. 2,325 FPNs have been paid and 643 have been cancelled or written off by district enforcement, and 195 remain unpaid. Of the unpaid FPNs, 153 have been progressed through court and the remaining 42 cases are currently progressing through court. All cases have been concluded and all found in favour of the council.

 

EWalker noted that there have been challenges on representations made on the FPNs served by the company with 414 for representations. 106 have been accepted, with reasons for acceptance including medical representations, such as mental health reasons for behaviour, were under age or there was an officer conduct issue. 308 were declined with the general reason for decline being that they were unaware it was an offence, there were no signs, or there was an invalid complaint regarding conduct. 1 case was referred to DBC and this was declined due to unsubstantiated allegation of harassment with no evidence to prove the case.

 

District have carried out a number of educational campaigns and have produced an educational package for primary schools, and are now working on a package for lower secondary school age. District have been active in all wards and have engaged with members of the public, they have also worked with the Environmental Awareness Team and took part in the Great British Spring Clean. Some sports fields and pitches have also been targeted. District enforcement have also worked closely with Box Moor Trust who approached the Council for assistance to deal with littering, dog fouling and dog control on their land, resulting in positive feedback from the Trust. Over the coming months, district enforcement plan to hold an educational stall at Berkhamsted Market.

 

Looking at income share, EWalker confirmed that the Council has received 22% for FPNs, totaling £37,272 over the first 9 months of the contract, and the FPN payment rate is currently 73%. Some partners have been asked for testimonials, and Neighborhood Inspector Jeff Scott has given generally positive feedback, and whilst there have been some concerns raised by some officers regarding a lack  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Supplement - PSPO Annual Review pdf icon PDF 976 KB