Agenda and minutes

Local Councils' Liaison Committee
Monday, 27th September, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting on Zoom. View directions

Contact: R. Perrin  Tel: (01992) 564243 Email:  democraticservices@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

6.

Webcasting Introduction

1. This virtual meeting is to be webcast. Members are reminded of the need to unmute 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).

 

Therefore, by participating in this virtual meeting, you are consenting to being filmed and to the possible use of those images and sound recordings for webcasting and/or training purposes. If members of the public do not wish to have their image captured, they should ensure that their video setting throughout the virtual meeting is turned off and set to audio only.

 

In the event that technical difficulties interrupt the virtual meeting that cannot be overcome, the Chairman may need to adjourn the meeting”.

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.

7.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 3 MB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 15 March 2021 and 8 July 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 8 July 2021 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

8.

West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group

To receive a presentation from Ian Tompkins from the West Essex Commissioning Group regarding West Essex NHS: Who we are, where we are, what we do and our future plans. How you can help us, help you.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Corporate Services for the NHS West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Ian Tompkins gave an update on the following;

 

·         Vaccination programme;

·         Booster Phase;

·         Vaccinations with Schools; and

·         Publicity for the programme.

 

He advised that the vaccination programme had now been offered to all eligible age’s groups for both first and second vaccinations. The take up for the vaccination in District  for the older age groups had been good, although for various reasons the younger age groups were still trailing. In a bid to increase uptake, walk-in and mobile clinics were being provided at Loughton Leisure Centre, Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre and Chigwell. 

 

The booster phase of the covid vaccinations would begin shortly and would coincide with the flu vaccination programme. It was noted that everyone over the age of 50 would start to be contacted by either their GP’s or they would be able to register through the national NHS website to book their booster vaccination.

 

In additional, the School immunisation programme was being run through the Essex Partnership Universities Trust and the local schools, which was delivering the vaccination programme to pupils aged between 12-15.

 

He stated that further encouragement was needed, in particular for residents aged between 30-39 and the Council had continued to assist by publicising the programme to the community through a variety of media outlets.

 

The Committee asked the following questions:

 

·         How would be the flu and covid booster vaccinations be administrated at the same time? Mr Tompkins advised that they could be given at the same time with a vaccination in each arm and this could be arranged through resident’s GP Practices.

·         Why were residents within Waltham Abbey having to travel to other areas to receive their vaccinations? Mr Tompkins advised that practices within the local area may not have the capacity to provide vaccinations as well as all the normal services. Therefore to ensure that residents were vaccinated they were sent to the nearest alternative venue.  

·         Would residents be contacted accordingly, to ensure that a 6-month period had occurred before their booster vaccination? Mr Tompkins advised that this was correct.

·         Would residents need to go to the same location as before? No. Mr Tompkins advised that if their GP’s contact them they would be able to visit their practice but if booked through the NHS website, a number of locations were provided, to ensure they were convenient.

·         Would the younger age groups receive the Pfizer vaccine? Yes, anyone under 40 age bracket would be given either Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. 

·         Were there any figures available for the different age groups vaccinated for Epping Forest?  Mr Tompkins gave the following information;

 

Age Group

Percentage received Vaccination

75-79

96.3%

55-59

90%

50-54

87.5%

40-49

79%

Below 40

60%*

* although certain age groups were still coming forward to receive their vaccination.

 

·         When would be flu vaccination be available? Mr Tompkins advised that the all the organisational elements were in place and supplies were imminent.

·         Would St Margert’s GP Practice be used as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Climate Change Action Plan Consultation pdf icon PDF 350 KB

(F Edmonds) To receive a presentation on the Climate Change Action Plan Consultation.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Climate Change Emergency Officer gave the Committee a presentation regarding the Climate Change Action Plan Consultation (attached). The consultation aimed to;

 

·         gather views from a wider audience;

·         promote the understanding of Climate Change;

·         understand what resources were available; and

·         spread awareness of the issues related to Climate Change, such as air quality.

 

Following the presentation, the Committee asked the following questions;

 

·         Would Parish and Town Councils receive further information on the Consultation? The Climate Change Emergency Officer advised that this was the first stage and the presentation would be shared with Parish and Town Council’s and attached to the minutes. It was noted that when the consultation was launched there would be publicity and communication with the relevant stakeholders.

·         Would more publicity be given to benefits of recycling and what was manufactured from recycling products? The Climate Change Emergency Officer advised that the Plan contained information regarding waste but mainly focused on residents reducing the amount of waste they produced. The Chairman advised that previously the Council had produced some recycled items such as rulers, pencil cases, pencils and pencil sharpers, which were distributed to school pupils when they attended school visit at the Civic Offices.

·         How were the consultations taking place? The Climate Change Emergency Officer advised that there would be a mixture of an online survey’s including a general one and targeted youth survey; a community question and answer session and general publicity through the Council media.

·         Were there target for the reduction CO2 emissions? The Climate Change Emergency Officer advised that the Council was looking to finalise a figure following the consultation. Although to be inline with science based targets, the Council would need 50% less by 2030, although the Council aimed to get to net zero.

·         What would be the financial implications? The Climate Change Emergency Officer advised there would probably be costs associated with reducing CO2 emissions but also future savings such as energy efficiency for the long term. Funding would also derive from grant funding and 106 Section contributions.

·         Would the housing developments set out in the Local Plan, aim to be net zero?  The Climate Change Emergency Officer advised the Council had released their sustainability guidance which gave developer’s targets to consider. The Planning Services Director advised that further information regarding the Local Plan was available via this online link. https://www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/planning-and-building/planning-policy/

·         Do Biffa sort through the waste arsing from street sweeping for recyclable items? The Climate Change Emergency Officer advised that she was not aware but would contact the waste department for a response.

 

* The following response was received from the Waste department after the meeting:

 

“Yes, glass and plastic bottles, food and drink cans, were separated where it was clearly available from the street cleansing operations from actual sweepings.  Biffa had built separate compartments for recycling on their vehicles.”

 

10.

Epping Forest District Local Plan

(Epping Forest District Council) To report to the Committee on the current position of the new Local Plan for the Epping Forest District.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Planning Services Director gave an update on the Local Plan. He advised that  the consultation on the Main Modifications to the emerging Local Plan had closed Thursday 23 September 2021.

 

All of the consultation documentation had been available on the Council’s website and in hard copy if required. Both, the District Members and Local Town and Parish had received online presentations and developer briefing sessions had been hosted on the Main Modifications. The next steps were for Council officers to produce a summary report, as requested by the Planning Inspector with full representations to be published the Council’s website. Following this, the Planning Inspector would then determine whether the Local Plan was sound and produce a report to outline her recommendations. Finally, if the Planning Inspector found the Local Plan sound, the Council would put forward a recommendation to Council to adopt the Local Plan. 

 

It was noted that the summary would be completed within the next couple of weeks.

 

The Committee asked the following questions;

 

·         When was it expected that the Local Plan would be adopted? The Planning Services Director advised that the summary representation would be completed in the next couple of weeks, with representations uploaded to the website and submitted to the Planning Inspector for determination. It was anticipated that a report would be submitted to Council in December 2021 or early January 2022.

·         Is the Planning Inspector being replaced? The Planning Services Director advised that the Planning Inspector was due to go on maternity leave in November, although a more Senior Inspector who was familiar with EFDC Local Plan would be taking over.

·         What happens if the Planning Inspector finds the Local Plan unsound? The Planning Services Director that it would delay the Local Plan, although officers were confident that the Local Plan would be sound.

·         Would the Planning Inspector receive a copy of all the representations or just a summary? The Planning Services Director advised that any representation over 300 words had to be summarised by officers and all other representations under would be submitted as written. All copies of the full representations would be uploaded to the Council website and available for viewing by the public and Planning Inspector.

 

The Committee members commented on the amount of work they had put into making representations on behalf of their Parish and Town Council and had concerns about EFDC officers summarising their representations. The Planning Services Director clarified that the representations over 300 words would be summarised although there would not a restriction on the number of words for the summary.

 

·         Would it be possible for the Town and Parish Councils to view the summary before it was submitted to the Planning Inspector? The Planning Services Director advised that the Planning Inspector had request the summaries and it would not be wise to delay the process any longer than necessary. He would speak to the relevant team, to see whether there was anyway in which the summaries could be viewed before they were submitted. County  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Additional documents:

Minutes:

a)            Breakdown in Communications

 

Raised by the Clerk for Stanford Parish Council

 

For some time now, EFDC has been seemingly moving toward a more ‘corporate’ structure which has, over time, diminished the individual personal contacts and direct routes that Parish and Town Council’s had into officers at EFDC, with the majority of queries now having to go through the same route and process as members of the public.  The only other alternative is to raise the issue with directly with District Councillors for action.  Whilst these new processes may be good from an ‘organisational’ standpoint for the District Council, it is proving to be both damaging and frustrating for members of the public and local councils, who in some cases have to wait months for a response – if they get one at all.  This is contributing to a breakdown in the relationships that Parish and Town Councils have (had) with EFDC.  Given as Parish and Town Council now seem to be taking on assisting members of the public who are exacerbated with trying to contact, or get action from, EFDC, I believe either a specific Local Council Liaison Officer is employed at EFDC to deal directly with Parish enquires and queries, or alternatively Parish and Town Councils are provided with Officers names, their responsibilities, direct line phone numbers and email address for EFDC Officers to whom they can make direct contact to raise a query.”

 

Several Committee members concurred with the comments and commented that the Council seemed to be operating a more remote service, where responses were not being received. It was felt that a hotline should be provided to Town and Parish Councils as they were a different organisation that also communicated with many residents. 

 

The Customer Services Manager advised that a new model of customer service had been introduced to take nontechnical queries away from technical officers, allowing them more time to deal with their specialist area. In addition to this, the Customer Contact Centre officers had created several online forms for residents to complete. These aimed to collate the correct information required for their query and reduce the time taken to provide a response.

 

She advised that there had been some resourcing issues with the Customer Contact Centre, and she had also reached out to EFDC Members for feedback. Once the information had been collated, she would be able to assess what the issues were and how to address them. She requested that any Parish and Town Clerks and Councillors with problems should email her with the details so they could be investigated. (slewis@eppingforestdc.gov.uk)

 

She advised that although there wasn’t a budget for a Parish and Town Liaison Officer, she would be setting up future workgroups which Parish and Town Clerks were welcome to attend.

 

The Committee commented that sometimes, they just needed to speak to an officer quickly, to resolve a query rather than calling the contact centre to then be forwarded to the relevant officer. The Customer Services Manager advised  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Dates of Future Meetings

To note that the next meeting of the Committee will be held virtually on Monday 14 March 2022 at 7.00pm.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting of the Committee would be held virtually on 14 March 2022.