Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices. View directions
Contact: Laura Kirman 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 announcement:
“The Chairman 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.”
The Chairman made a short address to remind everyone present that the meeting
would be broadcast live to the internet, and would be capable of repeated viewing,
which could infringe their human and data protection rights.
To report the appointment of any substitute members for the meeting.
The following substitution was reported:
Cllr Janet Whitehouse for Cllr McCredie.
Declarations of Interest
To declare interests in any item on the agenda.
There were no declarations of interest pursuant to the Council’s Members’ Code of Conduct.
To agree the notes of the meeting of the Select Committee held on 23 September 2021.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 23 September 2021 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
(Chairman/Lead Officer) The Overview and Scrutiny Committee, 12 Oct 2021, agreed:
(a) the revised Terms of Reference, pending the transfer of the key objective of leisure to Stronger Communities, and (b) the work programme excepting item (7), ‘scrutiny of the district wide leisure service development’ which was to be discussed at the next Joint meeting in January 2022.
Members are invited at each Select Committee meeting to review both documents.
The Select Committee noted their terms of reference and work programme.
Essex Highways Update
(Essex County Council) To provide a verbal update on the activities of Essex Highways. (Cllr Lee Scott).
Cllr Lee Scott ,Portfolio Holder for Highways and Transport at Essex County Council attended the meeting and gave a brief overview of his remit which covered potholes, buses, transport, costal erosion, cycling, walking and footpaths. He outlined his desire to meet with District and Parish Councils to gain an understanding of the issues across the County, suggested that the key issue for the County was flooding and advised the Committee that he could be emailed directly, or through the Chairman, to address any issues. He reminded Members that there was a limited budget, if something was dangerous it would be fixed, but this could not be guaranteed for other issues. He offered to answer questions from the Committee.
The Committee sought further information on:
· The delay on road repairs - Cllr Scott Advised that there was a dependency upon budget, there had been an impact from covid affecting work, but roadworks would be completed until up to date.
· The state that utility companies leave the roads/pathways - Cllr Scott advised that meetings would take place to ensure contractors and utility companies ensured the state of the highways would be properly reinstated.
· If inspections of pavements would recommence, as these were dangerous and discouraged walking- Cllr Scott asked that details of the specific areas be sent to him.
· Road work signs being left at the side of the road after works completed- Cllr Scott advised that he recognised this scenario and would take this back to the relevant officers.
· What was being done to encourage Public Transport - Cllr Scott advised that there was a new scheme ‘bus back better’, usage needed to be at pre pandemic levels, but through liaison with the bus companies there would be more environmentally friendly buses and services that go where and when people want them, with an aspiration to be able to track the service through an app.
· Charging points for electric vehicles – Cllr Scott acknowledged these were essential and suggested there could be potential for funding for points from companies that sell electric vehicles, it was important to have the correct charging points for the vehicle.
· The potential to include sustainability as part of the tender process – Cllr Scott advised that there would be economic, efficiency and environmental factors in all new contracts, this would not happen overnight but would include home to school transport.
· If planned works could be diverted to dangerous works -Cllr Scott advised that budgets could be vired, and there was an expectation that teams were flexible,
· If it possible to introduce regulations to prevent pavement parking - Cllr Scott suggested that there were some roads where this would not be viable but he was lobbying government for the introduction of legislation.
· If there was an intention for Safer Streets for Schools - Cllr Scott confirmed that this was the intention and suggested it was important to have lower speed limits and ensure that people felt it was safe for children to walk to school.
(James Warwick, Acting Service Director Contracts) To consider the attached report on the review off street parking tariffs.
J Warwick (Acting Service Director) introduced the off-street car parks tariffs report and advised the Select Committee that tariffs had not increased since 2015. The review aimed to ensure tariffs were set at a sustainable level to support the operation of car parks and to assist with budget pressures. Cost benefit analysis and consultation with officers and members had been carried out to inform the proposed changes to off street parking charges, permits and seasons tickets. These were detailed as:
• The existing tariffs of £0.20 for 30 minutes, £0.80/£0.90 for up to 1 hour and £1.60/£1.80 for up to 2 hours to be increased by £0.20 across the District. The principle of differential tariff between car parks to be retained.
• To retain the tariffs for stays above 2 hours.
• To extend full tariff on Saturday to apply to all car parks across the District.
• To extend 1 hour free parking on Sunday to 2 hours across the District and increase all day £1.00 charge to £2.00.
• To remove daily 1 hour free charging in Civic Offices Car Park (Sunday free allowance will remain) in consistency with other District car parks.
• To agree full tariffs to be introduced in Beaumont Park Drive Car Park, with a view to exploring satisfactory resolutions for demand.
• To retain free weekend and Bank Holiday parking during the month of December.
• To continue free parking for Blue Badge holders and motorbikes.
Permits & Season Tickets;
• To increase first residents permit charge from £50.00 to £55.00 per annum, in line with on-street charges.
• Introduction of business and residents permits in Cornmill Car Park (Waltham Abbey) and business permits in Oakwood Hill East Car Park (Loughton).
• Season Tickets 5% discount to be retained and prices to be adjusted in line with proposed parking charges.
Operational hours of 08:00-18:00 in all car parks, and
Implementation of changes in tariff would commence in Q1 2022
The review of the off-street car park tariffs also took into consideration the climate change action plan and the need to reduce our carbon footprint and improve air quality in Epping Forest. Car parks were operating at 80% of pre-pandemic income.
The Committee considered and discussed the proposed changes tariffs and raised queries in relation to:
(Deborah Fenton, Director Housing and Property) To consider the improving payment options for leaseholders paper.
D Fenton, The Housing and Property Director presented a report on improving the payment options for Leaseholders. She advised the Select Committee that properties have a finite life cycle and the Council’s residential assets were nearing the point where major investment was required This could cause a financial strain for leaseholders who have to contribute to the cost of the works. The proposals would assist leaseholders with options for payment and had been benchmarked with similar organisations, these were detailed as:
The Council should review the current Corporate Debt Policy to allow increased payment terms for leaseholders, and
(a) offer a menu of payment options for resident leaseholders and for non-residential leaseholders who do not sublet more than one EFDC leasehold property where the property is owned by individuals.
(b) approve that any repayment plan for a sum of £12,500 or above to be secured as a voluntary charge on the property. The administration cost associated with this should be borne by the applicant and would be in the region of £150.
(c) agree to an interest rate for leasehold payment options based on 0.25% above the average Council lending rate for the previous year for the above.
(d) delegate authority to Director for Housing & Property to consider any applications from leaseholders on the grounds of extreme hardship to vary the length of repayment periods.
(e) delegate authority to the Director for Housing & Property in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing and Community the ability to agree payment plans on a project by project basis where leaseholders estimated bills are likely to be in excess of £12,500
The Select Committee:
The Select Committee recommended the improved payment options for Leaseholders, with the inclusion of additional options for increased interest rates as part of the major works proposed repayment plan, for the consideration and approval by Cabinet.
Dates of Future Meetings
To note that future meetings of the Select Committee will be held at 7:00 pm on:
13 January 2022, and
15 March 2022.
The date of the next meeting was noted as 13 January 2022 at 7:00pm
Exclusion of Public and Press
To consider whether, under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press should be excluded from the meeting for the items of business set out below on grounds that they will involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the following paragraph(s) of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended) or are confidential under Section 100(A)(2):
The Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006, which came into effect on 1 March 2006, requires the Council to consider whether maintaining the exemption listed above outweighs the potential public interest in disclosing the information. Any member who considers that this test should be applied to any currently exempted matter on this agenda should contact the proper officer at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.
Article 17 of the Constitution (Access to Information) define background papers as being documents relating to the subject matter of the report which in the Proper Officer's opinion:
(a) disclose any facts or matters on which the report or an important part of the report is based; and
(b) have been relied on to a material extent in preparing the report and does not include published works or those which disclose exempt or confidential information and in respect of executive reports, the advice of any political advisor.
The Council will make available for public inspection one copy of each of the documents on the list of background papers for four years after the date of the meeting. Inspection of background papers can be arranged by contacting either the Responsible Officer or the Democratic Services Officer for the particular item.
That the public and press should be excluded from the meeting for the items of business set out below on grounds that they would involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the following paragraph(s) of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended) or are confidential under Section 100(A)(2) of the Local Government Act 1972,
Waste Management Contract/Service Options
(James Warwick, Acting Service Director Contracts) To consider the attached waste management/street cleansing contract paper.
J Warwick ( Acting Service Director ) presented a paper on waste and cleansing contract. The Select Committee considered the report.
To recommend to Cabinet an in-principle extension, of up to ten years from November 2021, on the current Waste/Cleansing Contract for approval by Cabinet