Agenda and minutes

Local Councils' Liaison Committee
Wednesday, 18th November, 2009 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping

Contact: Mark Jenkins (tel: 01992 564607)  Email:  mjenkins@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

9.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 25 KB

To confirm the minutes of the last meeting of the Committee held on 15 July 2009 (attached) and matters arising.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the last meeting of the Committee held on 15 July 2009 be agreed subject to the following amendment:

 

“That the Deputy Chief Executive would urge Cabinet and Full Council to review the constitution of the Local Highways Panel at its first opportunity so that there will be four representatives from the Local Councils all with voting rights.”

10.

"ONE EPPING FOREST" PRESENTATION

To receive a presentation by John Houston, Local Strategic Partnership Manager,  on the work of the Local Strategic Partnership.

Minutes:

The Local Strategic Partnership Manager, Mr J Houston, delivered a presentation to the Committee regarding the Local Strategic Partnership (LSP). The LSP was a partnership of partnerships in which the District Council played a key role. There were representatives on the partnership from the District Council, local colleges and businesses. The LSP consisted of J Houston and one admin post. It was funded by grants of £68,000 of which £45,000 came from the County Council and £10,000 from Epping Forest District Council, the rest came from Essex Police and the Primary Care Trust.

 

The following points were made:

 

  • The LSP had a key role to play in being an advocate for the District

 

  • The LSP had secured £455,000 performance reward grant from the Essex Local Area Agreement which is being used for local projects

 

  • The LSP had produced a District Profile and was creating ward profiles where the public could see every ward, obtaining a picture of various aspects of where they lived

 

  • All of the LSP’s Board meetings were webcast and information published on its website www.oneepping.org.uk

 

  • The work of the LSP was guided by local community priorities

 

  • The LSP had recently undertaken a review of how to best deal with the Credit Crunch.

 

J Houston confirmed that ward profiles were being piloted in Epping Hemnall first but other wards would receive them on request.

 

The Committee agreed that there was great value in achieving better co-ordination between organisations in the District. The Chairman referred to the recent Waltham Abbey Safer Communities Event as a good example.

11.

CORRECT TELEPHONE NUMBER FOR WASTE RELATED CALLS

To advise that the Epping Forest District Council telephone number for enquiries regarding waste collection etc is 01992 56 4608. Some residents had been advised of incorrect numbers which had directed them to the IT department of the District Council.

Minutes:

It was noted that the correct telephone number for District Council waste related calls was 01992 56 4608.

12.

ISSUES RAISED BY LOCAL COUNCILS pdf icon PDF 10 KB

To discuss the following matters raised by Local Councils:

 

  • Planning Enforcement Cases – Local Councils have requested statistics on the number of planning enforcement cases dealt with and resulting compliance levels.

 

A schedule of statistics is attached.

 

  • Complaints against Parish Councillors – At the last meeting of the Liaison Committee it was suggested in relation to complaints made by town/parish councillors about other members that joint working between the Standards Committee and the Epping Forest Association of Local Councils might lead to resolution of these problems as an alternative to the formal complaints procedure. This matter was raised at the meeting of the Epping Forest Association of Local Councils and it was generally felt that it was unnecessary to add another tier to the complaints procedure.

 

  • Functionality of the Iplan system – Director of Planning and Economic Development to report on a meeting held on 12 November between officers and local councils representative, with further request that hard copies of prospective planning applications and associated plans are dispatched by the District Council.

 

  • Recycling – Local councils request that confirmation is given that every single household has a recyclable bin, an update on the current position regarding waste collection services for village halls and a review of free collection from village halls.

 

A response from District Council officers is attached.

 

  • Local Highways Panel – Local councils request that the Local Highways Panel examine liaison between the District Council and the Highways Department of Essex County Council regarding highways damage.

 

A response from District Council officers is attached.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)        Planning Enforcement Cases

 

Mr C Neilan, Landscape Officer and Arboriculturist, presented planning enforcement statistics.

 

As of 9 November 2009, over the past year, there had been 711 investigations of planning enforcement started, 630 investigations were completed in that period with 437 investigations on hand at the current time. As of 9 November 2009 there were 130 investigations completed on resolution of a breach of planning control.

 

C Neilan advised that local councils sometimes made duplicate complaints about the same breach. C Neilan could not confirm how many had been successful or how many cases there had been as they overlapped year on year. Members felt that some enforcement cases seemed prolonged. They also indicated that they would like an interim report on the situation of any particular action at any one time. C Neilan said that these were normally produced if requested.

 

(b)       Complaints against Parish Councillors

 

At the last meeting of the Committee it was suggested that in relation to complaints made by town and parish councillors against other members, joint working between the Standards Committee and the Epping Forest Association of Local Councils could lead to resolution of these problems as an alternative to the formal complaints procedure. This was raised at the Epping Forest Association of local councils and was generally felt that it was unnecessary adding another tier to the complaints procedure.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That D Macnab advise the District Council’s Monitoring Officer and Deputy Monitoring Officer of this conclusion.

 

(c)        Functionality of the Iplan System

 

At the last meeting of the committee the members had resolved that dialogue was required between the Director of Planning and Economic Development, key ICT officers and local council representatives. To this end, a meeting had been arranged for 12 November 2009. The members had requested that paper copies of plans should still be used for local councils, as well as the electronic scanned version. There was also concern that paper files were going to be destroyed, the Cabinet at its meeting on 16 November had discussed this particular issue. They had concluded that file destruction was considered a proportionate response once they had been electronically scanned. Councillor C Pond advised that it would be good practice to liaise with Essex County Record Office regarding best practice on archiving.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Planning and Economic Development officers liaise with Essex County Record Office regarding advice on archiving of planning files.

 

(d)       Recycling

 

(i)         Waste from Village Halls

 

The Cabinet at its meeting in April 2009 considered a report from the Environment Portfolio Holder on the arrangements for the collection of household waste from schools, religious establishments and charitable institutions. Village halls were not expressly mentioned, although they were within the same collection regime. The matter was discussed at the Local Council’s Liaison Committee in July 2009.

 

As the Council developed its budgetary framework for 2010/11 it was intended that a report should be submitted as part of the normal fees and charges consideration and the views of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Minutes:

Councillor C Pond advised the Committee that under the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 roads could be closed for certain public events, it was cost effective for District Councils to undertake this as opposed to the County Council as they used different legislative processes. Members were advised the issue would be referred to the Local Highways Panel.

 

RESOLVED:

 

            That the issue of road closures be referred to the Local Highways Panel.

 

Councillor Mrs A Cooper advised the Committee of a “national policy statement” she had been made aware of which had indicated that planning decisions would be made without consulting the residents effected. It was believed that in these instances the public could refer to “Planning Aid,” a private concern, for assistance. D Macnab said that liaison with Planning Services was required to advise on this.

14.

DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS

The next meeting of the Committee scheduled is Wednesday 17 March 2010.

Minutes:

It was noted that the next programmed meeting of the Local Council’s Liaison Committee was Wednesday 17 March 2010 at 7.30p.m.