Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices. View directions
Contact: V. Messenger Tel: (01992) 564243 Email: email@example.com
This meeting is to be webcast. Members are reminded of the need to activate their microphones before speaking. The Chairman will read the following webcasting announcement:
"I would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the Internet and will be capable of repeated viewing and copies of the recording could be made available for those that request it.
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 any member of the public wishes to avoid this they should move to the upper public gallery".
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.
Parish Councillor C Hawkins
The Chairman announced the sad passing of Councillor Cyril Hawkins, the long standing Chairman of North Weald Bassett Parish Council last week, who he said was always very supportive of this Committee.
The Chairman then asked members to stand for a minute’s silence in memory of Councillor Cyril Hawkins.
The Chairman said he had known Councillor Cyril Hawkins from his role as a parish councillor and he was very supportive of parish council involvement, very interested in the future of North Weald Bassett Parish, and that one of his main enjoyments was for Thornwood Common. The Chairman on behalf of Members passed his sincerest condolences to his family.
The North Weald Bassett Parish Clerk addressed the Committee and stated that Councillor Hawkins had been a parish councillor since 1998. He had been a stalwart member of the community and was known as ‘Mr Thornwood’. He had been the Parish Council’s Chairman for eleven years and was always jovial and enthusiastic in his role as a councillor. He was also a keen footballer who ‘went out at the top of his game’.
To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 13 March 2017 and any matters arising therefrom.
That the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 13 March 2017 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record, subject to the addition of the word ‘Forest’, made by County Councillors C C Pond and V Metcalfe, to Min no 21, North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) – On-Street Parking Enforcement, paragraph 4, last sentence, to read: ‘The joint committees would consider the types of schemes that could benefit these areas and he advised that Epping Forest had been suggested as a trial area.’
Local Air Quality
(Epping Forest District Council) To receive reports on the impact of local air quality on Epping Forest from Dr Jeremy Dagley (Head of Conservation, Open Spaces Department - Epping Forest, Corporation of London) and EFDC Air Quality Officer, Claire Jaggard.
Members received two presentations on the impact of local air quality – the first an overview of the District from the Council’s Air Quality Officer, Ms C Jaggard; while Dr J Dagley, City of London Corporation (CofL) (Epping Forest Head of Conservation), focussed on Epping Forest.
C Jaggard explained how the Council had taken up the challenge to reduce air pollution, which attributed to 40,000 deaths in the UK. The Council’s environmental health duties encompassed the protection of human health by reviewing and assessing air quality in the District for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter. The Council was required to declare an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and produce an actual plan to reduce air pollution levels by 2020. There were various monitoring locations throughout the District. The latest results indicated that no new management areas were required. However, Bell Common, Epping, an AQMA site set up in 2010, was being monitored as NO2 levels were still elevated. The Council’s reports were available on the EssexAir website http://www.essexair.org.uk/ Next steps for the Council included further work until any additional measures were identified to be included in the final plan. These measures might include: the introduction of enforcement for idling vehicles, especially by schools; to encourage bus operators to switch to cleaner vehicles / retrofitting existing vehicles to improve engine emissions; the installation of more charge points to increase uptake of electric cars; and, an environmental review of working methods with a focus on transportation. There would also be partnership involvement and consultation on the new Action Plan.
Dr J Dagley then addressed the meeting and outlined the impact of local air quality on Epping Forest, which was around 20 kilometres in length and comprised some 2,500 hectares of ancient wood-pasture. Two thirds of the Forest was a special area of conservation (SAC). A special feature of the Forest was the Atlantic Beech Forest that contained more ancient trees than any other UK site and flourished on acid soils. The Forest also supported various species that relied on old wood and was in the top five of important sites in the UK. Beech fungi also thrived and the Forest was notably one of the top sites in Europe for fungi. He explained the Forest contained wet and dry heaths, which reacted differently to pollution. There were 55,000 ancient trees and currently just over 24,500 had been mapped and listed in the Epping Forest Veteran Tree Register. Individual trees did matter, it was not just a wood, as the Beeches were the oldest living things in Britain and went back to Anglo Saxon times. Ecosystems were vulnerable to threat from habitat change, climate change, invasive species, over-exploitation and pollution (nitrogen / phosphorus). Regarding air pollution, nitrogen oxides were a key pollutant, were a shared health problem for humans and plants, and in an Imperial College study (2003-06) measurements recorded that up to 20 per cent of the Forest exceeded ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
(Epping Forest District Council) To receive a report from Environment and Neighbourhood Manager, Richard Gardiner, on the following matters:
1. Brief introduction on fly-tipping issues and enforcement.
2. Update on Cleaner Essex Group “Crime not to care” campaign.
3. Question and Answer – please see the updated Frequently Asked Questions page on the Council’s website at the link below:
The Council’s Environment and Neighbourhoods Manager, R Gardiner, addressed the meeting and gave a brief introduction on fly-tipping issues and enforcement.
He reported that the trend for fly-tipping was up. In 2015/16 the Council had 1944 fly-tipping incidents, which increased to 2384 in 2016/17 and since April 2017 his team had already dealt with 1056, compared to 943 for the same period last year. This was despite more prosecutions, more fines and better publicity that included wider reporting in the local press. There were three groups of people that fly-tipped, which included:
1) residents who tipped close to where they lived, particularly on housing land, where the Council had its own bin stores;
2) those individuals that drove waste to another part of the district; and tipped it more remotely; and
3) roguish waste professionals, who took waste for profit.
Neighbourhoods recorded every fly-tipping incidence, investigated and evaluated what was required, and if there was any evidence of who had left the waste – to seek to prosecute. One problem was people who said they gave their waste to a ‘man in a van’ when asked to come in by the Council under caution. However, householders had a ‘duty of care’ to check the credentials of the waste carrier they used and that they were licensed by the Department of Environment. Waste carriers had to keep a record of each transaction and keep a ‘waste transfer note’, which had to be retained for two years. This ‘duty of care’ legislation was an important bit of law as it was very easy to fly-tip in the District, which had many quiet and rural roads and areas.
The Council had joined a campaign, the Cleaner Essex Group, a group of authorities across Essex that included Essex County Council, and had joined up with Keep Britain Tidy to produce two publicity leaflets on, ‘Crime not to Care’. It gave details of what people and businesses should be doing to keep their waste out of the hands of rogue traders, was designed to educate residents / businesses and the fines that were imposed. Residents and businesses must have kept records of the waste carrier used – this was the duty of ‘care’.
Neighbourhoods was producing a series of short films on social media, which was currently being finalised. This was not just a campaign, but a long term view and it was people’s responsibility to check – their duty of ‘care’. Therefore he hoped it would become socially unacceptable if the credentials of a waste carrier had not been checked.
R Gardiner also said that the ‘Frequently asked questions’ section on the fly-tipping page of the Councils’ website, had been updated and more information was available at the link below:
Councillor R Gadsby asked if it was residents or businesses that fly-tipped most and that in the Upshire area fly-tipping was a constant problem. R Gardiner replied that he thought it was mostly residents mismanaging the correct disposal of their waste although probably ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
(Epping Forest District Council) To receive a report on the draft Corporate Plan 2018 – 2023 from Assistant Director, Governance, Simon Hill, on behalf of the Head of Transformation, David Bailey.
S Hill presented the Draft Corporate Plan on behalf of D Bailey, Head of Transformation, who he said was currently in a meeting of the Transformation Board and had given his apologies.
He reported that the Corporate Plan was the Council’s highest level strategic document. The Council was in the process of reviewing and updating the document which was for a five-year period, from 2018-2023. The Draft Corporate Plan was out for consultation with the Council, its customers, partners, local businesses, local councils, residents and staff. This was your chance to influence the wording and to comment so it could easily be read by the customers of the Council.
A summary of the draft was shown in Appendix 1, which gave the draft vision, purpose, corporate aims and objectives grouped under three themes: People, Place and Council – that gave the high aims of the Council. Appendix 2 was a mapping exercise that read from right to left. The ‘drivers’ on the right fed into a number of ‘corporate aims and objectives’, followed by ‘performance measures’ arising from the ‘benefits’ and ‘corporate aims and objectives. This then led into, on the far left, the proposals for the ‘operational objectives’ for 2018/19. The intention was to base the Council’s performance reporting on the benefits mapped in Appendix 2, with the flow of work from left to right.
The reason this was on this agenda was for local councils to offer any commentary on the proposal. D Bailey had asked if the Draft Corporate Plan could be improved, removed or added to, and this was an opportunity to comment at the meeting or via email afterwards.
Councillor M Sartin commented that the documents could be found in colour on the Council’s website.
Councillor C C Pond asked when the formal consultation would be held with parishes and that secondly, in light of the earlier agenda item, environmental / green issues should feature more strongly in the Draft Corporate Plan. S Hill replied that in terms of the strength of the environmental aspects he could take that back to D Bailey after the meeting and would also approach him on the issue of formally sending the Draft Corporate Plan out to the parish councils.
(1) That if any local councils had any comments to make on the Draft Corporate Plan to email D Bailey at firstname.lastname@example.org
(2) S Hill to advise D Bailey that environmental / green issues should feature more strongly in the Draft Corporate Plan;
(3) Approach D Bailey on the issue of formally sending the Draft Corporate Plan out to the parish councils;
(Epping Forest District Council) To receive verbal reports from the Assistant Directors of Governance, Simon Hill, and Development Management, Nigel Richardson, as detailed below:
· Review of Planning Protocol;
· Criteria for the extent of neighbour consultation on applications; and
· Update on the review of the Local List.
The Assistant Directors of Governance, S Hill, and Development Management, N Richardson, were in attendance to present this planning item.
Review of Planning Protocol
S Hill addressed the meeting and said that some parish councils would know that the Council had carried out some further work on its Constitution last year. In fact it had been completely overhauled over the last eighteen months to make it more understandable, which was completed last March, except for a review of the Planning Protocol, and Guidance on Gifts and Hospitability. The Planning Protocol had last been reviewed in 2007 so it was now timely to review so members did not transgress the Code of Conduct, particularly around planning, and this should be completed during 2017/18. The Council would be seeking local councils’ views on this Protocol and a members training session had been held in June. As the Council’s Deputy Monitoring Officer, he said that most of the complaints he received were around planning. Once this draft had been reviewed by the Constitution Working Group on 28 September 2018 then he would circulate it for those worried by the protocol if they were dual hatted members or if members were unsure of any aspect. The new planning protocol would help the understand and further training would be available, which would be open to parish councils. He also added that there was an extra training session on the Code of Conduct on 2 October 2017, which would be the last chance to attend this municipal year (MY). The Chairman of the Standards Committee has recently written to all parish councils urging them to attend the training course. Officers had been meeting to discuss, particularly in relation to the emerging Local Plan, the increased pressure on planning officers from the applications likely with the release of land. A wider review of the planning process was required to deal with these implications and this would be reviewed at the Constitution Working Group meeting on 28 October 2017 and was circulated with the agenda.. This would hopefully be completed by the end of the MY. S Hill remarked that the parish councils could always contact him with any issues they had on code of conduct and protocol.
V Evans, Epping Upland Clerk, asked about the monitoring of enforcement on planning issues, to which N Richardson replied that at the Cabinet meeting on 7 September 2017, Councillor J Philip (Planning & Governance Portfolio Holder) had reported the establishment of a new post for a Compliance Officer within Development Management. The officer would be checking that works granted planning permission were correct for the Building Control application submitted, but these could be approved by independent inspectors.
Criteria for the extent of neighbour consultation on applications
N Richardson said the Council had carried out an internal audit on this and the result given in the Executive Report was that it was operating satisfactorily, so he was pleased with this outcome. The Council did consult adjoining neighbours, but under current legislation was ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
Epping Forest District Local Plan - Progress
(Epping Forest District Council) To receive a verbal report from the Director of Neighbourhoods and Deputy Chief Executive, Derek Macnab, setting out the current position with regard to progress on the development of the new Local Plan for the Epping Forest District.
D Macnab said that the Council’s Local Plan was a standing item and a full written report was given in the Neighbourhoods Select Committee agenda for the meeting on 19 September 2017. A report to Cabinet on 11 July 2017 gave detailed findings of the Regulation 18 Draft Local Plan Consultation that took place between October and December 2016. The Council received about 3,400 responses.
Main updates on the progress of the Local Plan were that work was being progressed to inform and support the Regulation 19 Pre-Submission Publication Plan. The key work streams were:
· Site selection process to assess some 168 additional sites which comprised a mix of new or amended residential/traveller sites and employment sites. The methodology for the process and the additional sites list were published on the Council’s website.
· Transport modelling work had been undertaken by Jacobs on behalf of ECC and the Council to model the transportation impacts of the growth planned, to consider improvements to sustainable transportation and other key infrastructure that could help to facilitate appropriate levels of growth.
· The Council commissioned three key studies on open space, outdoor playing pitches and indoor sports facilities/clubs/providers and these studies were progressing well, and would help to identify future requirements.
· On the Infrastructure Delivery Plan there had been much work to progress the infrastructure required to support future growth, together with how this would be funded and delivered.
· Employment Studies were being undertaken with the Council’s SHMAA partners to assess employment needs across the wider district;
· The Council was leading the work to develop a joint strategy and an action plan, with other relevant local authorities, which would address potential adverse impacts on the integrity of Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation (SAC), as required under the Habitat Regulations Act.
· The Council was preparing a Pre-submission plan for publication and to publish it under Regulation 19 to take account of the comments on the Draft Local Plan and the further evidence based work being undertaken. This would be the document that the Council considered was ready for examination. The Publication Plan was required to be published together with other “proposed submission documents”, for a six-week period to seek stakeholder representations as to the soundness and legal compliance of the Plan before it can be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for examination.
Further details in relation to progress with the Local Plan and future timescales would be reported to Cabinet on 12 October 2017.
Finally regarding the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town, the Council along with East Herts District Council and Harlow Council received funding of £675,000 from Central Government and was currently applying for further funding to progress the project. The area of the Garden Town did include the Epping Forest District Council strategic sites that bordered on to the Harlow area.
Essex County Council gave a private briefing to Epping Forest District Councillors on 18 July 2017, which included details of its Highways Rangers Service and how parishes may access this service (see the attached presentation).
The full ECC Highways presentation given to EFDC councillors (comprising 76 pages) is available on request from the Local Councils’ Liaison Committee Secretary, Vivienne Messenger, Democratic Services.
ECC has advised its website is also very informative and is a good source of information should there be any other questions particularly in regard to the maintenance aspects – please see the link below:
Essex County Council had given a private briefing to Epping Forest District Councillors on 18 July 2017, which included details of its Highways Rangers Service and how parishes could access this service.
That members noted the presentation had been circulated with the agenda.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
The Council’s Public Relations Manager, T Carne, addressed the meeting on councils preparing for significant national events, which was not confidential but needed to be handled with some sensitivity. This was in relation to the codenames ‘London Bridge’ and ‘Forth Bridge’, specifically on the death of The Queen or the Duke of Edinburgh. The Queen was 91 years old while the Duke of Edinburgh was 96 years old. Most of us had only known the serving monarch and that the Council and ECC needed to plan carefully. In responding to the death of a senior national figure the Council must raise awareness with local parish / town councils as the last state funeral was in 1953 for Queen Mary. Business as usual was suspended so it was necessary to think how to manage that process. The Queen was the head of 52 countries – some 2.3 billion people. A degree of protocol was required and local councils needed to start planning for this so that they could co-ordinate with the Council. It was noted that P Seager was a senior figure in the National Association of Civil Officers, who had written a guide on this, and her advice was being incorporated into the Council’s and ECC’s preparations.
T Carne asked local councils to email him if they were interested in attending a workshop. Councillor G Mohindra asked if a memo could be circulated to all local councils. T Carne said this item would remain within the webcast which would be circulated to local councils after the meeting.
Councillor S Jackman suggested if this did occur before the next scheduled meeting to call an extraordinary meeting of this Committee.
(1) Webcast to be circulated to local councils after the meeting for information; and.
(2) Local councils to email T Carne if interested in attending a workshop on this matter.
Dates of Future Meetings
To note that the next meeting of the Committee will be held at on 12 March 2018 at 7.30pm.
To receive a private address from Epping Forest District Council’s Public Relation’s Manager, Tom Carne, on the state of preparedness for local councils following significant national events.
It was noted that the next meeting would be held on 12 March 2018 at 7.30pm.