Agenda and minutes

Local Councils' Liaison Committee
Tuesday, 29th March, 2016 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices. View directions

Contact: A. Hendry, (Governance Directorate)  Tel: (01992) 564243 Email:  democraticservices@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

19.

Chairman of the Meeting

Minutes:

In the absence of the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman assumed the chair for this meeting.

20.

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:

 

“I would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the internet (or filmed) and will be capable of repeated viewing (or another use by such third parties).

 

If you are seated in the lower public seating area it is likely that the recording cameras will capture your image and this will result in the possibility that your image will become part of the broadcast.

 

This may infringe your human and data protection rights and if you wish to avoid this you should move to the upper public gallery.

 

Please could I also remind members to put on their microphones before speaking.”

 

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.

21.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 119 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 16 November 2015 and any matters arising.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 16 November 2015 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

22.

Public Events - Road Closures

(District Council) To receive a presentation outlining the approach to be taken to secure the necessary permissions to close roads traditionally associated with Remembrance Day (and other similar) parades, following the withdrawal of Essex Police support for such events in 2015.

 

Minutes:

The Director of Neighbourhoods, Mr Macnab, informed the committee of the approach to be taken to secure the necessary permissions to close roads traditionally associated with Remembrance Day.

 

It was noted that late last September, Essex Police informed the authority that they could no longer facilitate the Remembrance Day Parades, whilst the authority appreciated the difficulties Essex Police were encountering at that time; it was not possible for the authority to issue road closures throughout the district at such short notice. 

 

Also, in order to issue a road closure notice the local authority must be satisfied that the applicant had received the appropriate consents from:

 

• Essex County Council;

• Fire Service;

• Police;

• The Bus Company (if necessary); and

• The owners of neighbouring properties.

 

Where the road closure required a main through road to be closed or is one with a Bus Service, it would be necessary to advertise the closure to give prior warning to other road users.

 

The applicant must also ensure that adequate public liability insurance (for a minimum of £5million) was in place and that a risk assessment had been provided. The authority asks for at least 3 months’ notice to deal with applications. Consultations on road closures require at least 21 days. This would allow the authority time to receive any comments from the consultees and if there were any objections to an event this would have to go before a Licensing Sub-committee for consideration.

 

He encouraged the Local Councils to make their applications in good time, noting that EFDC would then issue consents for the parades and that no fee would be required. During May 2016 the Licensing section would canvass comments from various organisations on this approach. It was stressed that EFDC was here to facilitate the road closures but could not offer more than advice; the events would have to be self marshalling  and the setting out and subsequent removal of such barriers and signs would be the responsibility of the local councils. All applications had to be in place by November.

 

Councillor Knapman asked why it was it not possible to have a 5 or 10 year licence period as it would be exactly the same for each year. Mr Macnab replied that he was not quite sure if this was legally possible to do this. It may well be that a consultation would have to take place each time in case there were other, temporary factors that would affect the roads.

 

Councillor Patel wondered if the District Council or the Police would provide some training for the marshals. Mr Macnab could not speak for the Police but said that the District Council could issue some practical advice.

 

Councillor Waller noted that Essex Police had their first cohort of Police cadets in training and it was their intention that they would be made available for Remembrance Day parades.

23.

Issues Raised by Local Councils

To discuss the following matters raised by the local councils:

 

(a)         Town and Parish Charter Review

 

The review of the current charter between the District Council and the local town and parish councils is to be lead by the Essex Association of Local Councils (Epping Forest Branch).

 

In agreeing this way forward, the District Council has reserved the right to consider any recommendations arising from the review of the Charter that might necessitate the provision of additional resources. Any revisions to the Charter might therefore need to be considered by the Cabinet, once these have been developed and considered by the Liaison Committee.

Minutes:

(a)          Town and Parish Charter Review

 

It was noted that the Town and Parish Charter had originally been drawn up some years ago and had not been looked at since 2009. They noted that it should be reviewed every two years. It was out of date with a number of items in it that needed updating. Sue De Luca in conjunction with Councillor Jackman had glanced at the document and found a number of anomalies. Ms De Luca was happy to review the charter with Councillor Jackman and bring their finding to the next meeting. At the same time officers at EFDC could look at the Charter from the District Council’s perspective for anything that would need to be updated.

 

Councillor Knapman would like to know what use the Charter was and what could be done with it.

 

Ms De Luca said that they could look at everything done at this Local Liaison Committee and how things were done as a whole.

 

Councillor Sartin agreed that the charter was very out of date and that a lot of work would be involved in updating it. 

 

Councillor Mohindra  asked if it could be recirculated to all the Parish and Town Clerks for their input and then put to the Constitution Working Group for their consideration. Mr Macnab replied that it was part of the constitution review taking place at present and any helpful comments from the Town and Parish Councils would be welcome. There needed to be a wider debate on how the Charter was to be used.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That:

1)    Ms. S De Luca and Councillor Jackman review the current charter from the Local Council’s perspective and report back to the next meeting of this Committee;

 

2)    EFDC officers also review the Charter from their perspective and report back to the next meeting of this Committee; and

 

3)    The Charter also be circulated to all Parish and Town Council Clerks for any comments that they may have.

24.

Epping Forest District Local Plan - Progress pdf icon PDF 113 KB

(District Council) To receive a report setting out the current position with regard to progress on the development of the new Local Plan for the Epping Forest District.

 

Minutes:

The meeting received a report updating them on the latest position on the Council’s Local Plan. The Council was working towards the next key consultation for the draft local plan that was scheduled for July to September 2016, for which the timescale was now not going to be possible for a variety of reasons explained in the report.

 

The Government had made it clear they would intervene where no local plan had been produced by early 2017, by arranging for a plan to be written in consultation with local people. The government were currently consulting (until 15 April 2016) on the criteria to inform their decision on whether to intervene to deliver this commitment. One of the penalties proposed for not having produced a plan, (it is not clear yet how this will be interpreted), was the loss of the New Homes Bonus. It was clear that the Council needed to make good progress this year and to have consulted on our Draft Plan Preferred Approach as soon as possible.  For this reason the focus of the Planning Policy Team was on the outstanding work needed in order to go out to consultation on the Draft Plan as soon as possible and for the moment they would not be able to give much resource to Neighbourhood Planning. 

 

Officers and Members continue to meet regularly with appropriate authorities, principally through the Cooperation for Sustainable Development Officer group and Member Board, to consider a wide range of cross boundary issues.  

 

Officers were also involved in transport work being undertaken by the London Borough of Enfield, having opposed reference to construction of a new access road in the North East Enfield Area Action Plan and were now keeping a watching brief on the wider transport work being undertaken as part of Enfield’s Northern Gateway Access Package (NGAP). 

 

Further Local Plan Member workshops would be held covering climate change, energy and flood risk and development management policies. A programme was being worked up for these sessions and once finalised Members would be advised of dates and arrangements accordingly.

 

Work continued on finalising the evidence base reports which will be used to inform the policies included in the Draft Plan (Preferred Approach) that the Council consults on later this year. 

 

An updated Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) had been produced in conjunction with the other authorities within our Housing Market Area: East Herts, Harlow and Uttlesford.  What the SHMA provided us with was figures for Objectively Assessed Housing Need (OAHN) for Epping Forest District and the other three Districts named above. The OAHN figure in Epping Forest District was 11,300 dwellings up to 2033 but it was important to understand that this was not the housing target for the District.  Work was underway with the other SHMA authorities to consider the options for the most appropriate spatial distribution of growth across the area.

 

An Economic Evidence report for West Essex and East Herts was commissioned jointly by EFDC and East Herts, Harlow and Uttlesford Councils.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.

25.

Green Infrastructure Framework for Epping Forest District

Town and Parish Councils are asked to express an interest in participating in locally based forthcoming Green Infrastructure Framework for the district.  The intention is that this work will be used to help inform policies in the emerging Local Plan as well as potentially being used to support neighbourhood planning initiatives. Chris Neilan will attend to present a short report for the Director of Governance. 

 

Minutes:

The Principal Landscape Officer informed the meeting of an offer to engage with Town and Parishes in a series of workshop events to acquire an evidence base to provide a framework for various useful documents and projects. A green infrastructure, meaning trees and other kinds of habitat where they provided benefits such as water meadows, stream sides, green roofs or urban drainage systems done in a green manor and not using formal hard engineering. Green Infrastructure was the latest word for all these things. Why framework? It would provide evidence for the Local Plan and help the council with a green infrastructure strategy and how it interacted with Country Care. Our tree strategy was now out of date and the evidence base we could get from this would prove extremely useful. And it would also help local councils produce their Neighbourhood Plans. He also hoped there could be a web based consultation and not just workshops. They would like to start this by mid summer and a letter will be going out to the Chairmen of the Town and Parish Councils inviting expressions of interest. He has funding for up to 10 events that should cover the district quite well and still be locally based.

 

Councillor Knapman asked how confident was he that there would be something in place to go into our local plan due to the tight timetable we have. He was told that it could be done in the timescale. They would be using this consultation and also the existing evidence base. So they were not without an evidence base, but the longer they did this the stronger it would get.

26.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Minutes:

Councillor Knapman asked that the Chairman attend the Local Highways Panel (LHP) as an observer and contributor. He would send her dates of the Panels with an open invitation to attend. He also noted that the LHP have had their budgets cut in half and that would affect what they could do. The District Council have added £50,000 which was matched by Essex County Council, so they now have £100,000. But, the LHP was still about £200,000 short of what they had this time last year. He noted that they had spent all their money for 2016/17 by now but he would let parishes know what had been agreed.

27.

Dates of Future Meetings

To note the future meeting dates of the Committee for the new municipal year:

 

04 July 2016;

07 November; and

06 March 2017.

Minutes:

The dates of the future meetings were noted and there may well be extra meetings added just to consider the Local Plan.