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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Bourges/Viersen Room - Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Paulina Ford, 01733452508  Email: paulina.ford@peterborough.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Maqbool. Cllr Stokes attended as substitute.

 

The Chair announced that he had received a request to move item 8, Amey Annual Partnership Report to item 5 on the agenda.  Members of the Committee agreed to this request.

 

2.

Declarations of Interest and Whipping Declarations

At this point Members must declare whether they have a disclosable pecuniary interest, or other interest, in any of the items on the agenda, unless it is already entered in the register of members’ interests or is a “pending notification “ that has been disclosed to the Solicitor to the Council.

Members must also declare if they are subject to their party group whip in relation to any items under consideration.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest or whipping declarations.

 

3.

Minutes of Meeting held on 17 July 2014 pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 17 July 2014 were approved as an accurate record.

 

4.

Call In of any Cabinet, Cabinet Member or Key Officer Decisions

The decision notice for each decision will bear the date on which it is published and will specify that the decision may then be implemented on the expiry of 3 working days after the publication of the decision (not including the date of publication), unless a request for call-in of the decision is received from any two Members of a Scrutiny Committee or Scrutiny Commissions.  If a request for call-in of a decision is received, implementation of the decision remains suspended for consideration by the relevant Scrutiny Committee or Commission.

 

Minutes:

There were no requests for call-in to consider.

 

5.

Amey Annual Partnership Report pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report was introduced by the Cabinet Member for Street Scene, Waste Management and Communications and provided the Committee with an update on the performance of the Amey Partnership for 2013/2014.  The Cabinet Member highlighted that there were new Key Performance Indicators in place and thanked Councillor Thulbourn and Councillor Judy Fox for their contribution in helping to set the new KPI’s which were better suited and much more fit for purpose and entirely driven around customer satisfaction.  Members were advised that PCC and Amey had a very good working relationship and Amey has saved the council money continuously since the beginning of the Partnership.

 

Questions and observations were made around the following areas:

 

·         Members stated that Amey had an exceptional receptionist who dealt with Members enquiries which reflected extremely well on the organisation.

·         Members stated that some areas of grass which had not been cut due to biodiversity presented a road safety risk as sometimes oncoming traffic could not be seen properly. The Amey Partnership Director stated that staff were instructed specifically what areas to cut and what areas to leave around the biodiversity sites.  Members were advised that these areas would need to be revisited if they were hazardous and requested that Members advise him of which areas they were.

·         Members stated that the communication on biodiversity and grass cutting to members of the public had not been good. The Head of Strategic Commissioning/Transformation agreed that the communication could have been handled better and that this would be looked at in future.

·         Members asked if there were other councillors on the review working group for the green open spaces implementation plan. The Amey Partnership Director stated that Councillor North was the only councillor on the working group.

·         Members referred to page 161, paragraph 5.7, Green Open Space Implementation Plan.  Who are on the review group mentioned?  Members were informed that the group comprised of Councillor North, officers from across the authority and officers from Amey.

·         Member’s referred to page 159 and the removal of flower beds. Why were the flower beds being removed? It used to be possible for local businesses to sponsor them. The Head of Strategic Commissioning/Transformation stated that sponsorship paid for visibility of organisations on the roundabout but they were also expected to provide maintenance costs for flowerbeds but this needed to be looked at again. The Amey Partnership Director added that there would be wildflowers planted in the area where flowerbeds had previously been. 

·         Members stated that there had been many complaints regarding grass cutting and overgrown bushes. There had been a complaint from a resident which was quite damning of Amey’s performance as there had been an attempted abduction committed by someone hiding in some overgrown bushes and that Amey had not responded to complaints about the bush.   The Head of Strategic Commissioning/Transformation stated he was unaware of the attempted abduction and would look into the issue of the bushes and get back to members personally.

·         Members asked what the difference was in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Peterborough Flood Risk Management Strategy (FMS) pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Minutes:

The report was introduced by the Flood and Water Management Officer and was submitted to inform and consult the Sustainable Growth and Environment Capital Scrutiny Committee about the draft Peterborough Flood Risk Management Strategy before it was to be presented to Cabinet on 22 September 2014.  Members were informed of the key areas of focus within the strategy:

 

·         Understanding the City Council’s responsibilities (Chapter 1)

·         Understanding the most significant flood risks in Peterborough (Chapter 7)

·         The need for all flood and water management organisations to financially contribute to schemes in order to unlock any Government funding (Chapter 9)

·         The range and type of actions to be delivered and the costs of these (Chapter 10 and appendix F)

 

The Strategy was a ten year partnership strategy with a review after six years.  The action plan also covered ten years but would be reviewed annually to monitor progress.  The Flood and Water Management Officer informed Members that she had received an email from the Environment Agency stating their commitment in supporting the FMS.

 

The Chair congratulated the Flood and Water Management Officer on the presentation and the development of a comprehensive strategy.

 

 

Questions and observations were made around the following areas:

 

·         Members referred to page 38, “Who to Contact Quick Reference Guide” and stated that during the last major flood event there had been difficulty in getting through to anyone at the council between 4:30pm on a Friday and 8:00am on a Monday. The Flood and Water Management Officer stated that the council did have an out-of-hours service and depending on the query it would go through to a duty emergency planning manager.  The officer advised that she would look into the issue.

·         Members referred to page 48, paragraph 7.2.3 of the document which stated “In the past flooding has been described using yearly return periods leading people to believe that a 1 in 100 flood will only happen once every 100 years. Unfortunately this is incorrect as the risk is a 1 in 100 chance of the event happening every year. It could happen twice in a year, in the same way that you could potentially have two wins on the lottery in a year.”  Members felt that this statement did not add anything to the report.   The Flood and Water Management Officer advised that she would reword the paragraph to help understanding.

·         Members referred to page 77 and sought further clarification regarding the table detailing wards that were expected to be most susceptible to the flood risk implications of climate change. The Flood and Water Management Officer stated that this was an overall result based on the potential future impacts of flooding on receptors and was designed to measure change in wards where climate change could play a significant factor.

·         Members commented that Werrington had been designed to reduce flood risk but the table rated Werrington as High. The Flood and Water Management Officer responded that the information was based on the surface water flood risk map and came  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Green Leases - Discussion Paper pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report was introduced by the Flood and Water Management Officer and provided the committee with an update following a recommendation made by the Sustainable Growth and Environment Capital Scrutiny Committee to investigate green leasing with a view to the council adopting it as a policy.  Members were informed that the intention of a Green Lease was to improve the sustainability of a building.  The report proposed the next steps for introducing Green Leases.  The first stage would be to develop and issue a memorandum of understanding to all existing and new tenants.  The second stage would be to identify which of the council’s assets had a low energy efficiency rating and were likely to be rented out now or in the future.

 

Questions and observations were made around the following areas:

 

·         Members asked how much the scheme would cost.  The Flood and Water Management Officer responded that cost would be a major factor and therefore this would be looked at on a case-by-case basis. It was hoped to not impose an obligation on a tenant which would make the building unrentable by discouraging tenants Members asked if the scheme would include all commercial buildings. The Flood and Water Management Officer responded that the council owned a broad stock of buildings including commercial buildings but it would be decided on a case-by-case basis. Warehouses which may only be used for storage would be dealt with in a different way to offices.

·         Members commented that there should be leases which permit and support efforts made by tenants to implement green measures. The Flood and Water Management Officer responded that the memorandum of understanding did this and could be issued quickly whereas formal legal changes would take much longer.

·         Members suggested that all new leases as they are granted should be green leases.

·         Green leases support the Environment Capital aspiration and there needed to be more stringent requirements.

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

The Committee recommend that the Cabinet Member for Resources adopt a policy on Green Leases and give a commitment to only enter into leases on commercial properties as either landlord or tenant if they are Green Leases except in exceptional circumstances.  This is in support of the Environment Capital agenda.

 

8.

Initial Draft Peterborough Economic Action Plan pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Acting Chief Executive, Opportunity Peterborough (OPP) introduced the report which provided the Committee with an outline of the proposed direction of travel for the development of the Peterborough Economic Action Plan, to be co-ordinated by Opportunity Peterborough but adopting a multi-agency approach.  The plan was intended as a statement around which the city could focus its economic activity. 

 

 Questions and observations were made around the following areas:

 

·         Members stated that the city would benefit from having a university.

·         Members noted that the action plan had stated under its objectives “Increase the number of apprenticeships being undertaken in the city” and asked if the big companies were still taking on many apprentices. The Acting Chief Executive, OPP responded that there had been an increase since the economy had improved but there was more work which could be done. Work was being undertaken to look at how to make it easier for companies to employ apprentices.

·         Members commented that a few years ago the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership was formed and there had been an expectation that jobs would trickle through to Peterborough by being associated with Cambridge.  This did not appear to have happened and the highly skilled intellectual jobs had remained in Cambridge.  There had been economic growth in Peterborough but it appeared to be of the low skilled low wage kind.  Had this situation changed? The Acting Chief Executive, OPP responded that there had been an ambition through being part of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership that some skilled work would move from Cambridge to Peterborough.  Over the last few years in terms of technology and innovation Peterborough has now gained a very good reputation for doing things in a different way and being innovative.   There had been an increase in skilled work in technology sectors coming to Peterborough.

·         Members asked what the reason was for the improvement over the last four years during times of austerity. The Acting Chief Executive, OPP responded that there had been a change in the ambition for the city.  The development of Cathedral Square had changed the perception of the city and attracted new investment.   OPP had conducted some major marketing campaigns for the city, OPP had also been more aggressive in attracting inward investment and more had been done to support local businesses.

·         Members congratulated the Acting Chief Executive on the report and action plan but requested more clarification in the action plan on areas where growth was to be expected and to include targets. The Acting Chief Executive, OPP responded that the plan set out a direction of travel but targets would be looked at going forward.

 

ACTION AGREED

 

The Committed noted the report and endorsed the Economic Action Plan.

9.

Scrutiny Task and Finish Group for Peterborough Farms Estate Strategy - Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Minutes:

The Assistant Director Education Resources and Corporate Property introduced the report which provided the Committee with an opportunity to consider and agree the Terms of Reference and membership of the Task and Finish Group for the Peterborough Farms Estate Strategy. 

 

 Questions and observations were made around the following areas:

 

·         Members confirmed that they were happy with the terms of reference and membership of the Task and Finish Group.

 

ACTION AGREED

 

The Committee noted the report and agreed to the Terms of Reference for the Task and Finish Group.

 

10.

Forward Plan of Key Decisions pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the latest version of the Forward Plan of Key Decisions, containing key decisions that the Leader of the Council anticipated the Cabinet or individual Cabinet Members would make during the course of the following month.  Members were invited to comment on the Forward Plan and, where appropriate identify any relevant areas for inclusion in the Committee’s work programme.

 

 

ACTIONS AGREED

 

The Committee noted the Forward Plan of Key Decisions.

 

11.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Minutes:

Members considered the Committee’s Work Programme for 2014/15 and discussed possible

items for inclusion.

 

ACTION AGREED

To confirm the work programme for 2014/15 and the Senior Governance Officer to include any

additional items as requested during the meeting.

 

The Chair referred to the minutes of the meeting held on 17 July included in the document

pack and the recommendation made under the item:  Solar Panel Energy Working Group

Report and asked Councillor Thulbourn to update the Committee on the outcome of his

meeting with the Solar Working Group.

 

Councillor Thulbourn advised Members that he had met with some members of the working

group to review the financial aspects of the proposals.  Having met with the working group he

concluded that the financial workings provided to the Group provided no evidence of the

disparity between the estimates submitted by the Council’s Resources department and the

conclusion of the Working Group. The Working Group did not back up intangible elements

with any supported scenarios or possible outcomes. Councillor Thulbourn would report this to

Cabinet on 22 September 2014. Councillor Thulbourn would also be recommending that

additional impact scenarios based on real threats which would have a significant impact on

the profitability of the projects, be produced.

 

12.

Date of Next Meeting

16 October 2014