Agenda and minutes

Local Councils' Liaison Committee
Thursday, 4th July, 2013 7.30 pm

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

Contact: Adrian Hendry (The Office of the Chief Executive)  Tel: 01992 564246 Email:  democraticservices@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Appointment of Chairman and Vice Chairman

Decision Required:

 

(1)               To confirm the appointment of District Councillor M Sartin as the Chairman of the Committee for the Civic Year.

 

(2)               To appoint a Vice Chairman of the Committee for the Civic Year.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The new District Council Chairman was confirmed as the Chairman of the Committee for the municipal year. The appointment of a Vice-Chairman from amongst the Local Council representatives was requested; Councillor S Jackman was nominated and seconded.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)        That Councillor M Sartin be confirmed as the Chairman of the Local Councils Liaison Committee for 2013/14; and

 

(2)        That Councillor S Jackman be appointed as the Vice-Chairman of the Local Councils Liaison Committee for 2013/14.

 

2.

Webcasting Introduction

1.         This meeting is to be webcast. Members are reminded of the need to activate their microphones before speaking.

 

2.         The Chairman will read the following announcement:

 

“This meeting will be webcast live to the Internet and will be archived for later viewing. Copies of recordings may be made available on request.

 

By entering the chamber’s lower seating area you consenting to becoming part of the webcast.

 

If you wish to avoid being filmed you should move to the public gallery or speak to the webcasting officer”

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman reminded everyone present that the meeting would be broadcast live to the Internet, and that the Council had adopted a protocol for the webcasting of its meetings.

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 45 KB

To confirm the minutes of the last meeting of the Committee held on 7th March 2013 and matters arising.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the  minutes for the meeting held on 7 March 2013 be agreed subject to noting that County Councillor Janet Whitehouse was present and that minute item 19(c), second line from the bottom, should read ‘approval’ and not approved.

4.

Issues Raised by Local Councils pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To discuss the following matters raised by Local Council’s:

 

1)         Local Plan

Cllr Richard Bassett and Ian White be asked to attend this meeting to update Members on communication, and how Town/Parish councils can assist.

 

2)         Road Closures

Local Councils formally request that EFDC begin exercising its powers under this act to provide local means of road closures for temporary events as per other councils in the County.

 

3)         Potholes (to note)

That Cllr Rodney Bass, ECC, update Members on the growing issue of potholes and how ECC will address this over the coming months / year including any targets and allocated budget.

[Note: Cllr Bass has been contacted but was unavailable to attend, however we are awaiting confirmation he will be available for the November 7th meeting ]

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(1)       Local Plan

 

The Director of Planning and Economic Development, John Preston took the meeting through the latest update on the Local Plan. They noted that the Community Choices consultation, which had taken place between 30 July and 15 October 2012, had been fully reviewed and a report had been submitted to the Cabinet Committee in June. Member workshop summaries were being circulated and a revised timetable was being agreed. Work was continuing to ensure that the next stage of the consultation, the Preferred Options was met.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Planning, Councillor Bassett informed the meeting that he had just been to the Rural Town Planning Institute where they had been discussing issues around Local Plans. All of the Councillors there agreed that it had proved very difficult to complete the Local Plans process because of a range of issues. These range from difficulties setting population numbers to ‘duty to cooperate’ as quite often it means duty to “agree”.

 

Councillor Bassett noted that in a recent report only 15 out of 55 Local Plans had made it through the inspection and several of those were subject to early review. EFDC was looking at why so many were failing and where things had gone wrong. EFDC wanted to get it right first time, because if they fail they would have to start again with all the costs involved. The area of most importance and concern was population; the Office for National Statistics (ONS) had published statistics that suggested that our district would get a lot of internal migration from London. EFDC had got Edge Analytics to look at the demographics figures for them and the work should be completed by the end of July.

 

He also thanked all the Town and Parish Councillors who had attended the workshops and gave their views and comments. EFDC would continue to work with and involve Parish and Town Councils wherever possible in the process. Local Authorities needed to work on transport and sustainability and help provide evidence for the Local Plan. He also highlighted the duty to co-operate with neighbouring authorities to enable them to handle decisions that cut across borders. There were ten other authorities that we border and as an example we are presently talking to Enfield/Broxbourne on Productive Landscapes, Harlow about developments around joint borders, Waltham Forest and Redbridge on Crossrail 2 consultations. 

 

Members asked about sustainability, how was it defined by the government and how did it differ from the way developers used it. Mr Preston said it was based on what they thought was sustainable, involving the use of resources carefully and travelling long distances for basic facilities etc. Councillor Bassett added that the planning inspectors had one definition of sustainability and the developers had another.

 

Members from Matching asked when they would see some results from the workshops and with the ambiguity of the word ‘sustainability’ could we put pressure on the government to explain what they mean. Mr Preston said that they wanted a genuine  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Crossrail 2 Consultation

To receive a verbal report on the consultation exercise being conducted on the proposed Crossrail 2 development.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Planning and Economic Development, John Preston informed the meeting of the new Crossrail2 consultation. This concept came from the former Chelsea – Hackney line and was intended to do the same on a south-west, north-east axis.

 

The route had been safeguarded since 1991, and has now been resurrected and reviewed by Transport for London (TfL). They are now carrying on a consultation on the different routes proposed, one being a smaller, metro route and the other being a larger, regional route. Information on these routes could be found on the consultation website at www.crossrail2.co.uk

 

A report went to the Planning Scrutiny Standing Panel seeking their views on the consultation and their views would go on to the next Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting.

 

Issues for EFDC would be a possible terminus station at Epping which may bring a significant opportunity for economic development. There would be some benefits if Crossrail2 went to the west of the District. What would happen to the Central Line without Crossrail2? The Central Line had reached its capacity and that could not be increased. The concerns were not only for this authority but also for other councils that the Central Line ran through. If investment was diverted to the Crossrail2 development how would this affect Central Line investment in infrastructure. Should the new line go to Stansted or Cheshunt? If the line went to Cheshunt, then any Marshalling Yard or Maintenance Depot would go near to that station which would mean some employment benefits may come to our area as it would be relatively close to our District boundaries. If however, it went to Stansted then we may lose this benefit. It may be that they would have a Marshalling Yard or Maintenance Depot at both end of the line as that would make more sense.

 

RESOLVED:

 

The meeting noted the report on the Crossrail2 consultation exercise.

6.

Parish and Town Councils - HR Training / Advice for Members

(EFDC) Over recent months a number of Parish and Town Councils have sought advice from the District Council with regard to staffing issues. The District Council has been happy to assist where possible but these requests are now being received with some regularity and bearing this in mind, it has been suggested that all local councils might benefit from:

 

a)                  General training on staffing issues affecting Councillors; and

b)                  A local resource for giving advice and/or support in particular cases.

 

The Committee is invited to discuss the possibilities.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The meeting noted that EFDC was approached from time to time regarding Human Resource problems that were being experienced by Parish and Town Councils.

 

The District Council had always tried to assist with advice and guidance but the resources of the EFDC were not limitless and in fact the Council had no jurisdiction over the affairs of independent Parish and Town Councils and there were often circumstances where Councils should obtain their own advice.

 

The Essex Association of Local Councils (EALC) and the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) are known to offer advice and support to Local Councils in a number of ways and it may be that this is one source. However, sometimes in formal proceedings something more may be required and it may be worth Local Councils making arrangements for a local resource to be provided on a jointly funded basis.

 

Local Councils may continue to come to the district council if they wished and they would always endeavour to help but it may be that this would not be enough in some circumstances and a local source of HR and Legal advice may be desirable.

 

Local Councillors expressed their gratitude for the support given by EFDC; it was a good example of good practice.

 

They noted that EALC had negotiated discount rates from some companies that would act as advisors for local councils and this could be a satisfactorily way forward.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Local Councils would take this forward and contact EALC about the possibility of getting outside advisors.

7.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No other business was raised.

8.

Dates of Future Meetings

Meetings of the Committee are scheduled for the following dates:

 

07 November 2013

06 March 2014

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following meeting dates of the Committee were noted:

 

7 November 2013; and

6 March 2014