Agenda and minutes

Environment and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 19th October, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Virtual

Contact: Helen Davies  Tel: 01270 685750 Email:  helen.davies@cheshireeast.gov.uk

Link: Meeting Recording

Items
No. Item

22.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies of absence were received from Councillor Tony Dean. 

 

The Committee noted the Portfolio Holder for Highways and Waste was unable to attend the meeting and so the Deputy Portfolio Holder for Transport and Waste, Councillor James Nicholas attended the meeting to update the Committee on her behalf.

23.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To give consideration to the minutes of the meeting held on 21 September 2020.

Minutes:

RESOLVED-

 

That the minutes of the meeting 21 September 2020 be approved as a correct and accurate record.

24.

Declarations of Interest

To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any disclosable pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests in any item on the agenda.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

25.

Whipping Declarations

To provide an opportunity for Members to declare the existence of a party whip in relation to any item on the agenda.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of the existence of a party whip.

26.

Public Speaking/Open Session

A total period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to make a statement(s) on any matter that falls within the remit of the Committee.

 

Individual members of the public may speak for up to 5 minutes, but the Chairman will decide how the period of time allocated for public speaking will be apportioned, where there are a number of speakers.

 

Note: In order for officers to undertake any background research, it would be helpful if members of the public contacted the Scrutiny officer listed at the foot of the agenda, at least one working day before the meeting to provide brief details of the matter to be covered. 

 

Minutes:

Local Resident Richard Hamilton attended the meeting and made a statement relating to Air Quality Monitoring.

 

Richard noted that Cheshire East had introduced a horizontal distance adjustment to the air quality monitoring results for Nitrogen Dioxide to allow for the distance between the receptors and the face of buildings. 

 

Richard requested assurance that the current air quality monitoring results and the reports to the Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (Defra), including the one to be approved today, include adjustments for both vertical displacements and density as well as horizontal displacements in order to provide a more accurate presentation of nitrogen dioxide pollution in the borough.

 

Paul Bayley, Director of Environment and Neighbourhood Services addressed the immediate concerns within the statement and advised that any further Air Quality matters would be addressed during the Air Quality item on the agenda.

 

RESOLVED-

 

That Richard be thanked for his attendance and statement at the meeting.

 

27.

Crewe Centre Regeneration pdf icon PDF 165 KB

To receive a report and presentation on the regeneration plans for Crewe including the Crewe Hub Station and Town Centre regeneration.

Minutes:

Frank Jordan, the Executive Director of Place introduced this item to the Committee. 

 

The Committee heard that this paper outlined both the importance of Crewe at a national level, and what could be done to tackle longstanding issues related to health and economic outcomes for local population.   The key measure of success for residents was to get the benefit of that.

 

Whilst the focus was on Crewe, there was emphasis on supporting the regeneration of the town centre to provide a package of intervention, ensuring strategic links, and support of other towns both for now and for the next 4-5 years.

 

Peter Skates, Director of Growth and Enterprise gave a presentation to the Committee.

Since the last update to this committee in February, a full business case had been submitted to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) an announcement was expected in November and if successful, a paper would be submitted to Cabinet to recommend accepting the grant.

The aspiration was to bring back in town living, to use car park sites for potential developments for living.

 

£75k accelerated funding was available provided it is invested by March 2021.  That had been taken forward at Lyceum Square with the Ly2 Development and included physical enhancements to the square.

 

Peter explained the purpose of the report to this Committee was to note the Council was the accountable body to the Crewe Town Board and had delegated authority to the Portfolio Holder.  Crewe Town Board was not a legal entity but informally constituted.  The Portfolio Holder, in consultation with the Executive Director of Place and approval of the Board would submit a Town Investment Plan to Government and submit a bid to the Towns Fund to Government.

Andrew Ross, Director of Infrastructure & Highways brought a presentation to update the Committee on connectivity into Crewe via HS2 and station regeneration.

The Committee was advised that Network Rail led a project to make Crewe station sufficient capacity to serve seven high speed trains per hour, increasing both size and scale of the station.

Government have commenced design refinement consultation. 

In order to accommodate the size of the high speed trains coming to Crewe, there would need to be expanded platforms and a new access point on Weston Road.  The Council had worked closely with Government and Network Rail on this aspect of the project.

There were plans to make enhancements to Nantwich Road that would provide a stronger link to Crewe Town Centre and access for all modes of transport- bus, taxi, pick up and drop off.

The Committee was advised of three imminent road junction improvements:

1)    To the west of station (mill street, Gresty road area) to improve area for pedestrians and cyclist;

2)    The Weston road roundabout, to upgrade and make improvements to widen Weston road to 4 lanes; and

3)    The Station access, Crewe arms roundabout and station access.  A new road bridge link to south of station, would improve links for all modes.

 

A business case  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.

28.

Town Delivery Plans and Recovery Plan / Car Parking Proposals

To receive a presentation on the proposed consultation and process for Town Delivery Plans and Recovery Plan and scrutinise the consultation/engagement plan for the proposed changes to car parking.

 

Minutes:

Richard Hibbert, Team Manager for Strategic Infrastructure introduced this item to the Committee.

 

The Committee heard some background to the proposed consultations that had arisen from the adoption of the Local Transport Plan Strategy (in October 2019) which included a High Level Parking Strategy.  The aim of the consultations was to engage with town, communities, Members and stakeholders to inform future direction.  The aim of the consultations was to inform 11 delivery plans that flow from that strategy so local stakeholders can then shape that plan.

Richard acknowledged that the consultations were in progress during at a time when there is a challenge to individuals however the mechanisms that would be used would take full account of the challenges of the pandemic.

There was a need to renew the parking strategy across the borough.  The 11 delivery plans would have a broad geography with a focus on town centres and access to them with key connections to wider economic areas. 

The consultation was being viewed as a chance to get right blend of transport in the right places with integrated transport programmes.  Not all would be funded but there was an opportunity to inform future funding bids and bidding opportunities. 

Peter Skates, Director of Growth and Enterprise addressed the Committee and advised that given the effects of the pandemic this year, the intention was to approach 9 of the 11 towns at the same time in Phase 1.  Focus would be on infrastructure, pedestrian links and if more people are now working from home, this would mean less commuting traffic to conurbations such as Stoke and Manchester.

Wellbeing, lifestyle and mental health would be considered, plus how the public sector could bring in additional funding and encourage private sector funding. 

Richard advised the Committee that Car Parking was a fundamental part of any transport plan for any borough.

At Cheshire East, the borough still operated public pay and display car parks that were a legacy from the 3 former councils with little change over last 10 years.  This consultation looked to establish an appropriate Cheshire East approach. 

Key themes would include:

·         The role of car parking and access in town centres;

·         The Level of charges across borough and harmonisation;

·         Street parking; and

·         How the Council Parking service might be further developed.

 

The Committee saw a range of car parking charges for the first hour of parking from neighbouring authorities, generally it was cheaper in the west, more expensive to the south.

The Committee were then shown a series of key questions that would be integrated as part of the consultation. 

 

The Committee were advised that parking in residential areas as this was a nuisance problem in many areas and this would be something the consultation would address along with the opportunity to comment on provision of electric charging point and cycle parking, and contactless payments.

In terms of communication, this would include:

·         hard copy plans in local libraries, and be geographically relevant to the area;

·         A series of Microsoft  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.

29.

Air Quality Annual Status Report pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To scrutinise the Air Quality Annual Status Report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Paul Bayley, Director for Environment and Neighbourhoods introduced this item to the Committee and Nick Kelly, Environmental Protection Team Leader, attended the meeting to provide the Committee with any further detail as required. 

 

The Annual Status Report reported trends and potential strategies for improvement.

 

The Committee was advised that monitoring data showed that the air quality for Cheshire East continued to improve and that there were no recommendations for any new Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA) but does propose revocation of 7 of the current AQMAs.

The Committee was invited to ask questions and there was some conversation that covered:

·         Major causes of air pollution are caused by a number of contributing factors one of which was engine idling and slow moving hot engines;

·         The Council were looking to reduce the environmental impact of its vehicle fleet;

·         The impact of the global pandemic did not feature in the report, as it covered the 2019 calendar year, but data recorded during the pandemic showed a drop in air pollution;

·         Diffusion tubes that measured the air quality needed to be out of reach of people;

·         There was a query about why the Wilmslow/Altrincham road monitoring tube had been removed in February 2020;

·         There had been a national trend that had shown air quality to drop.

RESOLVED- That:

a)    Paul be thanked for his attendance and presentation to the Committee;

b)    The contents of the report and presentation be received and noted;

c)    Nick Kelly provide feedback directly in respect of the Wilmslow/Altrincham scheme.

 

30.

United Utilities Update

To receive a presentation with questions and answers to address issues raised between Cheshire East Council and United Utilities that have previously not been resolved using usual routes.

Minutes:

The Chairman advised the Committee that due to a late submission of their presentation, this had left no time for review or to establish factual accuracy, on this basis the item had been deferred.

 

RESOLVED-

 

That the item for United Utilities be brought as part of the evidence before the Task and Finish Group appointed to look at flooding, where this matter can be discussed in more detail.

31.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 194 KB

To review the Council’s Forward Plan.

Minutes:

The Committee considered the Forward Plan.

 

RESOLVED-


That the Forward Plan be received and noted.

32.

Work programme pdf icon PDF 106 KB

To review the Committee’s Work Programme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered it’s Work Programme.

 

The Chairman advised of two points of business:

 

1)    On the basis that there had been a close succession of meetings recently where a number of Work Programme items had been covered, the Chairman proposed that the meeting for the 14th December should be cancelled; and

2)    During the last Committee meeting of the 21 September, it was agreed that a Task and Finish Group would be formed from Members of this Committee to undertake an in-depth review of flooding and flood-risk management in Cheshire East.  The following Members had volunteered to be part of the membership of this group:

 

Councillor Quentin Abel;

Councillor June Buckley;

Councillor Tony Dean;

Councillor Paul Findlow;

Councillor Peter Groves; and

Councillor Kate Parkinson.

 

 

RESOLVED-


That the meeting on the 14th December be cancelled; and that the Membership for the newly formed Task and Finish Group be endorsed by this Committee.