Agenda and draft minutes

Strategic Planning & Environment Overview & Scrutiny - Tuesday, 27th April, 2021 6.30 pm

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Contact: Corporate and Democratic Support  01442 228209

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 484 KB

To agree the minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

Action points from the meeting dated 23rd March 2021.

The minutes from the meeting of 23rd March 2021 were agreed by the members present to be signed by the Chairman at the next available opportunity.

Action Point: FJumpto send a response to the committee re the higher costs due to Covid.-complete

Action Point:  FJump to provide the committee with timetables for maintenance costs – LF to follow up with FJump.

Action Point: J.Doe to provide the committee with details, including costs, of both judicial reviews. – to send an email to member support

Action Point: LF to chase M. Parr on A.P page 24

 

2.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr Taylor, Cllr Tindall joined as a substitute

 

3.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

4.

Public Participation

Minutes:

Brian Kazer from Tring in Transition has a question in relation to item 6.

 

5.

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

Minutes:

None

 

6.

Water & Sewerage pdf icon PDF 121 KB

Presenations from Affinity Water & Thames Water

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The chair moved this item to item 7 on the Agenda

 

J. Doe gave a brief introduction.  This is a report on Water and Sewerage provision in Dacorum which Members requested as part of the recent discussion on the Work Programme.  JD introduced Jake Rigg, Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications at Affinity Water and Mark Dickinson, Development Planning Manager at Thames Water.  There is a short covering report to introduce this item and reference to the emerging Infrastructure Delivery Plan which Members will be familiar with and produced as part of the Local Plan work.

 

Mark Dickinson, Thames Water gave his presentation – a copy has been circulated via email.

 

Following the presentation questions were asked as follows.

 

Cllr Silwal asked about the Asset Management Plan which covers five years but MD talked about this being a long term plan for 25 years, will the Asset Management Plan be extended or is it a different plan?  MD replied that their Asset Management Plan is what they are going to deliver over the next five years, but the long term plan for 25 year plan for water, resources and drainage matters will be split up into five year chunks so there will be five chunks that feed into that more strategic plan.

 

Cllr Douris asked about the incremental increases, raw sewage in peoples gardens during heavy rain, the responses to planning applications and objections and how to contact Thames Water.  MD responded that all catchments are split up into sewerage drainage area codes and each pumped section of the network has a unique code.  All codes have trigger levels and are reviewed depending on that level.  Flooding issues are a concern and customers are prioritised and trends investigated.  With regard to planning application and objections, there are two reasons why Thames Water wouldn’t object, one is due to costs but the main reason is they have a duty to provide, maintain and extend the network, as per Section 98 of the Water Industry Act.

 

Cllr McDowell asked about the report that has been circulated and Thames Water responses regarding the large scale sites and the lack of detail and seeks reassurance.  MD replied that Thames Water is the largest water company in the UK and covers 96 Local Authorities and they get consulted on all the site allocations and all sites are looked at.  A broad brush approach is taken and they will advise on whether or not it is felt that the site is going to need off-site infrastructure.  The developers will discuss the site with them once the site has been allocated within the Local Plan or provide supporting evidence for their development for inclusion within the Local Plan and support them in that.  Cllr McDowell asked if they have fears of capacity being a limiting factor to development in Dacorum in any of the areas.  MD replied no.

 

Cllr Rogers asked about the telephone number to report flooding issues provided in response to Cllr Douris’s question and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Environmental Services performance update Q3 pdf icon PDF 236 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This item was moved to item 6 on the Agenda

 

C. Thorpe presented the Q3 Performance and provided an update on the key projects.  Many of the projects have been completed but also many were put on hold.

Waste Services Operation – a number of improvements have been carried out with regard to Covid measures at Cupid Green.  There have been a number of staff off but there were still 180-190 members of staff still coming into work every day so a lot of safety measures were put in place.  Two audits were undertaken by the H&S Executive who gave a clean bill of health and were very complimentary on the measures put in place.  DBC Corporate H&S have also undertaken a couple of audits and also gave a clean bill of health.  LGV Licence training for a number of staff was put on hold but this should now be completed in May.

Some improvements works at Windmill Road Allotments have been done with the help of Cllr England which has meant that the majority of plots are now in full use.

The draft Trees and Woodlands Policy which was brought to the last OSC meeting has now been endorsed.  Tree planting continued through Q3 and has been completed for this year.  CT is happy to circulate details if required.

Food Waste Recycling roll out to flats is now complete with the exception of flats above High Streets which cause a problem with regard to the dwellers’ ability to contain their waste but this is only 2-3% of the flat dwelling population.

The Clothes Swap event had to be postponed and has been re-scheduled for Sunday, 16th May.  Also reported at the last OSC meeting was the vehicles that have been ordered and were in-build. These have now been received with just over half the new refuse vehicles being fully operational.

Performance Indicators – the only ones that may give Members some concern are the Missed Bins and Missed Assisted Collections, bearing in mind this is Q3 and there were a number of staff off shielding, isolating or who had actually contracted Covid, this meant there were staff shortages and a number of temping agency staff were used which has given a slightly over target figure. However, the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable are now back at work and CT expects this figure to reduce in line with targets.  There is now no one self-isolating but there are still three members of staff off with Covid.

Cllr Silwal asked CT which Clean Safe and Green projects have been put on hold due to staff levels CT replied that the Splash Park hasn’t opened yet and the educational awareness events around the clothes swaps and compost give away were postponed.

Cllr Ransley asked if there was a narrow vehicle for use in streets in Tring and elsewhere within the Borough being delivered.  CT replied that there isn’t one within the initial 14 ordered, but there are 2 or 3 smaller operational  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

South West Herts Joint Strategic plan pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Minutes:

J. Doe introduced Chris Outtersides.  CO reported on some key points on the work undertaken on the JSP.  The JSP is a strategy plan focusing on strategic housing, employment, infrastructure and green belt and AONB issues.  The JSP will also look further than growth at issues such as Climate Change and Negative Carbon etc.  

Cllr Birnie asked whether 1.4 bullet point 3 extends to water and sewerage CO confirmed that it does and discussions have already begun with Thames Water and Affinity Water about the long term strategic growth opportunities across SW Hertfordshire.

CO explained the benefits of the JSP which will allow us to unlock infrastructure investment now, the ability for us to look at planning across the larger canvas which does allow us to have a better conversation with government about infrastructure funding and the plan could be adopted in 2024/25 giving us 12 years to get the infrastructure in place before the growth comes along.  The other benefit is that although CO works for DBC he does represent the other four districts in the County in the JSP, and gives us the bigger canvas to make decisions in terms of future growth and the best approach for growth across SW Hertfordshire. The benefits of a JSP will be about the capacity of SW Hertfordshire to deliver good growth in the long term and looking at how to deal with growth and the infrastructure interventions that are needed to deliver the growth. The sovereignty of the JSP will rest with each of the Districts and the Boroughs in the County and there is no intention to form a joint committee. 

Cllr Birnie asked does that mean that it is not a first step towards a unitary council.  CO confirmed that it is exactly means that it is not a first step towards a unitary council and he could not emphasise the point enough that this is a SW Hertfordshire’s Boroughs and Districts plan.

In terms of the work done to date, CO summarised the success of the SW Hertfordshire “Your Future Engagement” that took place last year.  It was largely an online consultation and not about the JSP and did not mention housing and planning, but it was more an engagement exercise to reach out to the people of SW Hertfordshire.  There is now a body of about 600-700 people who volunteered to be used for workshops, testing, focus groups etc. to evolve the thinking about the evolution of the plan.  Also work has been undertaken on the Growth Locations Study which is a complicated piece of planning work that is effectively trying to knit together five Local Plans in terms of the growth that the Local Plans are producing and looking at the potential available growth options moving forward and the sustainable transport interventions that potentially will be needed.  This work is currently not ready for publication.  However, one of the key interventions and inputs into this **report is to ensure that all infrastructure stakeholders that have  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 401 KB

Minutes:

Add Climate Update to 30th June

 

Cllr Rogers would like to know a little bit more about the planning process that might be undertaken to understand what approach might be adopted relating to e-scooters and e-bikes and other innovative travel facilities. 

 

Cllr Birnie asked JD if this could be included in the Climate Change report with suggestions.  JD advised that officers are currently researching e-bikes etc. and will discuss this with M. Gaynor and when there is something meaningful to report back on agree a date for later in the year.