Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

Contact: Mike Jones, Principal Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 0151 691 8363 email:  michaeljones1@wirral.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

68.

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION

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Minutes:

The Chair welcomed attendees and viewers to the meeting and reminded everyone that the meeting was webcast and retained on the Council’s website for two years.

 

The Chair led a Minute’s silence to reflect on the situation in Ukraine and the impact on all sides of conflict across the world.

69.

APOLOGIES

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Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

70.

MEMBERS' CODE OF CONDUCT - DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Members are asked to consider whether they have any disclosable pecuniary interests and/or any other relevant interest in connection with any item(s) on this agenda and, if so, to declare them and state the nature of the interest.

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Minutes:

Members were asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests and any other relevant interest and to state the nature of the interest. There were no declarations of interests.

71.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 115 KB

To approve the accuracy of the minutes of the meeting held on 20 January 2022.

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Minutes:

The Chair highlighted three items which she believed needed to be clarified or which had been omitted in the minutes which were:

Minute 63 - officers promised to start an allotment strategy advisory board on the lines of the road safety strategy board

Minute 66 – amend the bullet point concerning school crossings to say - Members expressed concern at the proposal to reduce school crossing patrols;

Minute 67 – note that the parking strategy was to be added.

 

Resolved:

Subject to the three amendments, detailed above, that the minutes of the meeting of the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee held on 20 January 2022 be approved and adopted as a correct record.

 

The Chair indicated that she was inclined to amend the order of the items so that the petition could be heard before the questions so that the children presenting the petition could leave the meeting after their presentation. This was agreed by assent.

72.

Statements and petitions

Notice of representations to be given in writing or by email by 12 noon, Thursday 24 February 2022 to the Council’s Monitoring Officer (committeeservices@wirral.gov.uk) and to be dealt with in accordance with Standing Order 11.1.

 

Petitions may be presented to the Committee. The person presenting the petition will be allowed to address the meeting briefly (not exceeding one minute) to outline the aims of the petition. The Chair will refer the matter to another appropriate body of the Council within whose terms of reference it falls without discussion, unless a relevant item appears elsewhere on the Agenda. Please give notice of petitions to committeeservices@wirral.gov.uk in advance of the meeting.

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Minutes:

Petition Presented by Pupils of Woodlands Primary School

Good evening everyone. My name is Yasin.

Do you want to help us be healthy and help the environment? Children are taught how to be safe in the world from when we are little. Our families, our teachers, the Council, campaigners and the police all have a hand in educating us. What do we do when some grown-ups who are meant to know better don’t always follow the rules or consider their own safety for us children? At our amazing school at Woodlands Primary, we are having great trouble with road safety and our lives are at risk.

We are here to ask you to help us, but not only to feel better but physically be safer. Some of our parents are parking all over the place. They are ignoring yellow lines and zigzags. They are not mindful of our residents. They are ignoring our safety. We have had two children involved in accidents on our road, and countless terrifying near misses. There are residential parking spaces on one side which narrows the road even more. The lack of space makes people behave strangely and everyday cars are facing each other trying to bully their way through, then arguing in front of young children about who is right and wrong. We have a photo of an example of dangerous parking on pavement by drivers, meaning we children have to walk on the road with traffic to get past.

Where our original school was built, we had a one-way system and speed bumps to take care of our past pupils. What about our present pupils and our future selves? Just imagine a child getting knocked down and seriously hurt. This happens. Children die on dangerous roads. What if that’s someone we know? Or it could be me or you. There are two schools close to each other, that is hundreds of families. We need your help. Will you protect us? Will you give us our rights to safety? Prevention is better than cure. Don’t let me be afraid every day from a real threat. Please help us. One world. One home. One chance. Thank you for listening.

Response: Thank you very much for taking the time to attend. It is very much appreciated. As a mum and as a teacher, safety around schools is something I feel very strongly about indeed. Everybody in the room has sympathy with what you are saying as well.

We really do want to provide all children in Wirral with the opportunity to walk, cycle and scoot to schools safely, without fear of traffic. We have actually got some excellent projects. The road safety team are doing some really good work with a variety of schools. We’re trialling different things across the borough. The school has actually been invited to join us already in working on some of these projects and we’d like to extend again that invitation to join us and work with us, alongside a dedicated  ...  view the full minutes text for item 72.

73.

Public Questions

Notice of question to be given in writing or by email by 12 noon, Thursday 24 February 2022 to the Council’s Monitoring Officer (committeeservices@wirral.gov.uk) and to be dealt with in accordance with Standing Order 10.

 

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Minutes:

March Question from Steven Taylor

Good evening Councillors, thank you for allowing me to speak to you today. My name is Steve Taylor, I am a New Brighton resident and an active member of both The New Brighteners and Wirral Wombles.

I have come here today to ask a question of Cllr Grey as chairman of this committee concerning the dilapidated state of the litter bins on the streets of New Brighton. Firstly, I would like to provide some background to the issue in order to provide a little context. I have also provided a number of photos and a spreadsheet (circulated with members prior to the meeting) to give members an insight into the extent of the problem.

As a volunteer litter picker I get to see quite a lot of the bins in and around the area and of late I have become increasingly concerned specifically at the loss and damage to bins on Ian Fraser Walk which is frequented by hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Over the last 2 years 5 of the 18 bins there have been torn from the sea wall through storm damage, with a further 2 damaged beyond repair. There are several others displaying serious damage and looking extremely susceptible to further storms.

Having witnessed the awful state of the bins on Ian Fraser Walk I decided I would expand my attention to all of the bins throughout the New Brighton Coastal Community Area to see if the problem was more extensive, and so, over the last two weeks I have conducted a survey of ALL of the bins in New Brighton. The results were sobering. Of the 149 bins on our streets, 74 (50%) are in need of replacement. When confining the sample to just the promenade the figures are even more alarming. Of the 79 bins on the prom, 53 (67%) are in need of replacement.

This issue will clearly require a significant investment in order to rectify, however, I am informed that the council have no current plans to replace any of the bins on Ian Fraser Walk this financial year, and, due to proposed Council budget cuts, the litter bin budget for 2022/23 may be suspended, in which case there is no realistic prospect of replacing any of these damaged bins in the foreseeable future.

 So, in light of this situation I would like to ask the following question of Cllr Grey: Do the Council have any plans in place to replace damaged bins in New Brighton, and if not, can special provision be made to commence a programme for renewal before the forthcoming summer season?

Answer: Thank you for your question. You have highlighted a real problem with the bins along the front in New Brighton and I have urged officers to ensure that they are replaced and repaired as appropriate as soon as possible. We are all genuinely very grateful for the work that you do. We’re aware of the huge amount of community work  ...  view the full minutes text for item 73.

74.

Questions by Members

Questions by Members to be dealt with in accordance with Standing Orders 12.3 to 12.8.

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Minutes:

There were no questions by Members.

 

75.

HIGHWAY STRUCTURAL MAINTENANCE PROGRAMME 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 108 KB

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Minutes:

The Assistant Director for Neighbourhood Safety and Transport introduced this report of the Director of Neighbourhood Services which sought approval to accept funding from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority for the delivery of the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) Highway Structural Maintenance programme for 2022/23 so that supplier engagement and detailed design could commence, enabling the works to be completed in 2022/23. The highways were a £2.48bn asset so needed to be maintained. The new policy moved from two-year to five-year funding, and there was an intention to provide information publicly on when roads would be repaired in the program.

 

Members queried the details in the report which clarified:

·  The ratings of road quality had transferred from an older system and were being reviewed

·  There continued to be innovation and research into improved methods and products

 

Resolved: That

 

(1)   the Director for Neighbourhood Services be authorised to accept the grant funding allocated to Wirral Council by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority for the 2022/23 City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement Combined Authority Transport Plan programme (Highways Structural Maintenance);

(2)    the proposed programme of works for Carriageway and Footway Improvements for 2022/23 as set out in Appendix A to this report be approved;

(3)   the Director of Neighbourhood Services, in consultation with the Chair and Party Spokespersons of the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport be authorised to amend the delivery of the programmes having regard for available resources and risk-based prioritisation of locations selected for treatment.

76.

COMBINED AUTHORITY TRANSPORT PLAN (INTEGRATED TRANSPORT BLOCK) PROGRAMME 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Assistant Director for Neighbourhood Safety and Transport introduced this report of the Director of Neighbourhood Services which sought approval for the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) Combined Authority Transport Plan (CATP) programme for 2022/23 and suggested an indicative programme, primarily on road safety work, for future years (subject to the finalisation of discussions with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority) and to allocate it to priorities and projects as outlined in the report. The programme had been annual in the past but was changed to a five-year funding settlement. A list of works over the five years would be provided addressing the recommendations of the Road Safety Working Group.

 

Members were supportive of the programme and the intentions.

 

Resolved: That

 

(1)  the Director for Neighbourhood Services be authorised to accept the grant funding allocated to Wirral Council by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority for the 2022/23 City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement Combined Authority Transport Plan programme;

(2)  the proposed City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement Combined Authority Transport Plan programme for 2022/23 as set out in Appendix A to this report be approved, and

(3)  the Director for Neighbourhood Services, in consultation with the Chair and Spokespersons of the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee be authorised to amend the programme having regard for available resources and risk-based prioritisation of schemes.

77.

POLLINATORS PILOT WORKSHOP - UPDATE pdf icon PDF 84 KB

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Minutes:

The Assistant Director for Parks and Environment presented the report of the Director of Neighbourhood Services and a verbal update following a workshop which had taken place on 24 February, after the agenda was published. In January 2022 officers from Neighbourhood Services brought a report entitled ‘Operation Evaluation – Pollinator Pilot’ which focused on providing an operational evaluation of the Pollinator Plan. One of the recommendations agreed by the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee was that a workshop be convened as a part of the development of the Council’s Pollinator Plan, to agree future pollinator and cessation sites. The workshop had included two presentations and following it officers would make operational plans for pollinator sites for this year including maintenance reduction and will have Ward meetings with Councillors. The final plan would be subject to public consultation and will be presented in the new Municipal Year.

 

Members asked for details concerning the widening of the Wirral Way and were reassured that in 18 month the new areas would be much improved for biodiversity.

 

Resolved

That the update be noted.

78.

COVID-19 MEMORIAL WOODLAND pdf icon PDF 792 KB

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Minutes:

The Assistant Chief Executive presented the report of the Director of Neighbourhood Services which set out a proposal for a COVID-19 memorial woodland in Arrowe Country Park to mark the loss of 1100 residents to Covid on the Wirral. There is an existing woodland which could be expanded to include this area of quiet reflection with a monument. It should take around five years to become established, during which time appropriate wildflower planting would provide interest. There was also a scheme for other groups to have their own woodland too based on guidance on design and tree species.

 

Members were keen that NHS staff also be commemorated for their work, and discussed the possibility of allowing sponsoring, although the high failure rate in saplings may make this difficult.  

 

Resolved

That the proposal for a COVID-19 memorial woodland in Arrowe Country Park be approved.

79.

BUDGET MONITORING QUARTER 3 pdf icon PDF 141 KB

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Minutes:

The Senior Finance Business Partner presented this report of the Director of Neighbourhood Services which set out the financial monitoring information for the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee as at quarter 3 (Apr – Dec) of 2021-22. The position improved but was limited by unachieved savings and lack of parking income.

 

Members were concerned at the delay in presenting information at a time of pressures and change.

 

Resolved: That

(1)   the projected year-end revenue forecast position of £0.460m adverse, as reported at quarter 3 (Apr – Dec) of 2021-22 be noted

(2)   progress on the achievement of approved savings and the projected year end forecast position at quarter 3 (Apr – Sep) of 2021-22 be noted

(3)   the reserves allocated to the Committee for future one-off commitments be noted

(4)   the projected year-end capital forecast position of £7.499m favourable, as reported at quarter 3 (Apr – Dec) of 2021-22 be noted.

80.

Work Programme Update pdf icon PDF 86 KB

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Minutes:

The Chair introduced the proposed work programme for the remainder of the Municipal Year and proposed an additional recommendation concerning the that proposed revision to the terms of reference.

 

Resolved – That

(1)  the proposed Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee work programme for the remainder of the 2021/22 municipal year be noted;

(2)  this Committee endorses the recommendations made by Constitution and Standards Committee that officers take into account the views of the Chairs of each Committee in recommending revised Terms of Reference. This is to enable the experience of those most directly involved to inform decision making early on in the process and avoid potential disruption later in the process.