Agenda and minutes

Environment and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 20th January, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Committee Suite 1,2 & 3, Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach CW11 1HZ. View directions

Contact: Sarah Baxter  Tel: 01270 686462 Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


There were no apologies for absence.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To give consideration to the minutes of the meeting held on 11 November 2019.




That the minutes of the meeting held on 11 November 2019 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


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.



There were no declarations of interest.


Whipping Declarations

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



No declarations of a party whip were received.


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. 



There were no members of the public present wishing to speak.


Well Managed Highways Infrastructure pdf icon PDF 146 KB

To receive a presentation on the draft well managed highways infrastructure paper before being presented to Cabinet.

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to a report going to Cabinet on the Well Managed Highway Infrastructure.  In addition Members received a presentation on the Winter Service update.  Included within the presentation was information on the following:-


           Assessment criteria

           Area Highways Groups-Engagement Process

           List of roads proposed by the AHGs

           AHG roads to be added to the network post re-assessment

           Roads added/removed as a result of the route validation process

           Next steps


Members made comments as follows:-


      i.        Clarification was sought regarding the response to the consultation from the Knutsford Areas Highway Group in respect of the removal of some of the gritting routes.  It was confirmed no comment’s had been made in respect of Knutsford, however there had been a few relatively minor concerns regarding Mobberley.  Officers responded to this in the meeting, confirming that there had not been any concerns raised by the group formally, however at the AHG meeting comment was passed regarding the access to Mobberley Railway Station, which had been addressed.


    ii.        Members queried what the justification was for removing routes from the gritting programme and requested that if previously removed routes were identified as an issue then the possibility of including them in a future programme of works be looked at in the future.  It was clarified that the criteria used for the risk assessment process was available.


   iii.        Whilst the list of gritting routes was comprehensive, there were concerns that smaller routes/short cuts some of which were located near to primary schools had been omitted from the gritting schedule.  In response it was outlined that the risk assessment process used applied criteria uniformly across the network to ensure it was consistent.  It was reiterated that short cuts were not automatically included in order to encourage vehicles to use the treated network on more major routes.  It was confirmed that the routes would be reviewed annually, however the process was about best allocation of resource and that drivers should consider routing according to the weather conditions.


   iv.        Clarification was sought as to how many routes close to primary schools were currently gritted and how many (if any) had been removed from the programme of works.  In response to both the above points and officers clarified that primary schools were not automatically included in the treated network and a number of factors were included such as was the school rural or urban and if there were any other amenities in the area.  It was noted that at the moment primary schools were not automatically treated, however secondary schools were.


    v.        It was suggested that any money being saved through the cuts to routes should be used to provide additional gritting bins.  It was agreed that this would be considered where appropriate on the network and that a new grit bin assessment form had been developed to consider the placement of grit bins.


   vi.        It was felt important that officers looked at gritting footpaths in order to encourage more people to walk  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.


Economic Strategy pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To consider the results of the consultation relating to the Economic Strategy.

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the Economic Strategy.  In addition Members received a presentation which provided information on the development of the strategy, the consultation process, the consultees, the consultation results and what was meant by inclusive growth, community development, sustainable travel and growth.


Members welcomed the report stating that it was very thorough and well written and thanked officers for their time and efforts in producing a cohesive and informed strategy.


Further comments were made in respect of the following:-


(i)            Parking-Spaces should be sufficient in size and tariffs should be affordable;

(ii)          Further representations to central Government regarding business rates was necessary;

(iii)         Transport-There needed to be a proper integrated public transport system which was accessible, affordable and efficient;

(iv)         Government funding was essential in order for the Council to fulfil its priorities;

(v)          It was queried as to how housing tenure linked in with the Local Plan and that it was important to focus on housing numbers rather than types of housing;

(vi)         Reference within the strategy to the differences in deprivation depending on the area concerned was welcomed;

(vii)        It was important to expand on the variety of housing and tenure and to capitalise on HS2 and that the strategy should be modified on accordance with those comments;

(viii)      It was important to seek out new opportunities in respect of developing visitor assets;

(ix)         It was encouraging to see that attempts had been made to engage younger people in the consultation process;

(x)          Sustainable travel options needed to be driven down through the organisation;

(xi)         It was necessary to ensure that the performance of Northern Rail was and not just HS2 was analysed;

(xii)        There needed to be a more robust approach to meeting 30% affordable housing targets and that any growth should not come at the expense of the loss of green belt land;

(xiii)      In order to attract graduates back to the Borough there needed to be a better choice of housing and better employment opportunities;

(xiv)      There appeared to be a lack of making any changes to reducing the carbon footprint and that there needed to be a more robust approach to achieving active travel;




(1)That the comments above be reported to the Portfolio Holder for information.


(2)That the draft documents for the Economic Strategy contained within appendices I, II and III be recommended to the Portfolio Holder for final sign off.


Performance Scorecard pdf icon PDF 259 KB

To give consideration to the performance scorecard for quarter 2.

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the performance data for services within the Council’s Place directorate for quarter 2 of 2019/20.  Particular focus was given to any areas of poor or worsened performance.


The Executive Director-Place explained that performance indicators PEN011 and PEN012 were showing as red because there was a resourcing issue.  Currently the Council had four full time vacancies.  One of the factors in failing to recruit individuals related to the rate of pay and the need for the Council to offer a more competitive salary compared to other organisations.  Whilst there was the possibility of using agency staff this was not a long term solution.


In respect of performance indicator PEN014 it was requested that further details be provided as to how the Air quality Action Plans were going to reduce air quality.  It was suggested that this could possibly be included as a future item for discussion on the work programme.


In respect of performance indicator PH007 it was welcomed that the % of repudiation of highways insurance claims had increased.




That the performance scorecard be noted.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 198 KB

To give consideration to the areas of the forward plan which fall within the remit of the Committee.


Consideration was given to the areas of the Forward Plan which fell within the remit of the Committee.




That the Forward Plan be noted.


Work programme pdf icon PDF 105 KB

To give consideration to the work programme.

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the work programme.


It was agreed that reports on the Cheshire East Carbon Action Plan and highways drainage be included for discussion at the March meeting.


In addition it was agreed that an item on the Waste Strategy be brought back to a future meeting of the Committee.




That the work programme be approved subject to the amendments as outlined above.