Venue: Council Chamber, Catmose, Oakham
Contact: Kit Silcock 01572 720976
Apologies were received from Mr Della Rocca, Strategic Director for Resources who had asked Mr Horsfield to attend in his absence.
RECORD OF MEETING
To confirm the record of the meeting of the Growth, Infrastructure and Resources Scrutiny Panel held on 13 June 2019 (previously circulated).
The minutes of the Growth, Infrastructure and Resources Scrutiny Committee held on 13 June 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
In accordance with the Regulations, Members are invited to declare any personal or prejudicial interests they may have and the nature of those interests in respect of items on this Agenda and/or indicate if Section 106 of the Local Government Act 1992 applies to them.
No declarations of interest had been received.
PETITIONS, DEPUTATIONS AND QUESTIONS
To receive any petitions, deputations and questions received from Members of the Public in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 217.
The total time allowed for this item shall be 30 minutes. Petitions, declarations and questions shall be dealt with in the order in which they are received. Questions may also be submitted at short notice by giving a written copy to the Committee Administrator 15 minutes before the start of the meeting.
The total time allowed for questions at short notice is 15 minutes of the total time for 30 minutes. Any petitions, deputations and questions that have been submitted with prior formal notice will take precedence over questions submitted at short notice. Any questions that are not considered within the time limit shall receive a written response after the meeting and be the subject of a report to the next meeting.
The following question had been received from Mr Cliff Bacon:
It has been suggested that Cabinet may be considering changes to the Spatial Strategy for Development in Rutland ahead of the other revisions in the Local Plan Review. I refer in particular to Core Strategy Policy CS2 in the Adopted Local Plan and also to policies CS1 and CS3 and CS6.
I think it would be correct to say that these four policies are probably the most important strategic polices within the Rutland Local Plan.
If the Cabinet approve for consultation any changes to any of these policies, will the “approved” changes be submitted to full Council for their consideration at the next Full Council meeting following the Cabinet approval?
Following this Full Council Meeting, will the changes “approved” by Cabinet be published for public consultation very shortly after Full Council consideration and before the next full consultation version of the Local Plan Review is published for consultation?
In her response the Chairman gave the following information:
· Prior to consideration by Cabinet, all the various elements of the Local Plan would come before the Committee for scrutiny. This would enable Members to pass on their feedback and comments to Cabinet.
· After consideration by Cabinet, the Local Plan would be sent to Council for final approval before going out for public consultation. The Council were required to undertake this second stage of the consultation process under regulation 19 of the Planning Act 2012.
· The agendas and reports for any Council committees were published and put in the public domain at least a week in advance of any meeting date.
· The Deputy Director for Places would follow up on Mr Bacon’s question and provide him with a written response. This would also be circulated to all Committee members.
QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE FROM MEMBERS
To consider any questions with notice from Members received in accordance with the provisions of Procedure rule No. 219 and No. 219A.
No questions with notice had been received from Members.
NOTICES OF MOTION FROM MEMBERS
To consider any Notices of Motion from Members submitted in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule No. 220.
No notices of motion had been received from Members.
CONSIDERATION OF ANY MATTER REFERRED TO THE PANEL FOR A DECISION IN RELATION TO CALL IN OF A DECISION
To consider any matter referred to the Panel for a decision in relation to call in of a decision in accordance with Procedure Rule 206.
No matter had been referred to the Committee for a decision in relation to a call-in of a decision in accordance with Procedure Rule 206.
APPOINTMENT OF VICE-CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEE
(Pending approval by Council to change the constitution to allow the appointment of Scrutiny Vice-Chairman on Monday 9 September 2019)
Cllr Fox and Cllr Oxley were both nominated for the position of Vice Chairman. A vote was then taken by Committee members which saw Cllr Fox receive four votes and Cllr Oxley two votes.
That Councillor Fox be appointed Vice-Chairman of the Growth, Infrastructure and Resources Scrutiny Committee.
LOCAL PLAN UPDATE
To receive a verbal update from the Deputy Director for Places.
A verbal update was received from Cllr G Brown, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Planning, Property and Finance.
The verbal update mirrored the one given at Council on Monday night and a written copy had previously been provided to Members. The key points of the update included the following:
· Work continued on the sustainability appraisals for the different sites put forward, with the two larger sites, St George’s Barracks (SGB) and Woolfox undergoing a more detailed assessment to assess their viability and the developer’s ability to deliver the homes promised during the Plan period.
· The Council was still awaiting a decision from Government on the Housing Infrastructure (HIF) bid for SGB. The evolving masterplan had assessed that without the £30 million HIF funding the project in its current form would not be viable.
· The Council was continuing to lobby Government so that it could decide whether SGB could be considered as part of the Local Plan or not.
· It was still the Council’s intention to commence the Pre-submission consultation on all elements of the Plan, including the Spatial Strategy, proposed policies and allocated sites, in early 2020. This would be subject to input from the Scrutiny Committee and the approval of the Pre-submission by Cabinet and Council, all of which would probably necessitate additional specific meetings.
During discussions the following points were made:
· At the time the Council would have to make the decision about the Local Plan, all the information held relating to the Woolfox site would be reviewed
· In the event that the HIF bid was unsuccessful it would be up to the Ministry of Defence to consider the viability of the St Georges site and whether to increase the proposed number of houses.
· The statement of common ground document for the Stamford North project had been reviewed and rejected and very detailed comments had been sent back to South Kesteven District Council (SKDC). A revised document was expected back within the next 10 days.
· The Council also had concerns about the Stamford North memorandum of understanding (MOI) between Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) South Kesteven District Council (SKDC), the landowners and itself. One of the particular concerns the Council had was about the rate of development and avoiding a situation where one half of the site was developed but the rest was not completed for another 10 years. RCC was holding meetings with the landowners Burghley, their agent Savills, and the developers Larkfleet, in order to ensure that the housing and the associated development (eg. schooling) ran in tandem.
· LCC only wanted to be included in the document from a highways perspective as they were not a housing authority and could not be seen to be involved with any development.
· The design statement document could not be completed until a traffic modelling piece of work had been done.
· The current design brief for Stamford North stated that although it was not a requirement, the site could facilitate a GP surgery if this was decided by the CCG.
· In the ... view the full minutes text for item 221.
To receive a verbal introduction from the Deputy Director for Places and review the proposal for an Environment Task and Finish Group which is due to be considered at the 14 October Full Council meeting.
The Chair introduced the proposed Environment Task and Finish Group agenda item.
During discussion the following points were made:
· Councillors needed to commit to the task and undertake the majority of the work, otherwise the project would not meet its objectives.
· The Task and Finish group had generated a lot of interest across the whole of the Council, not just from within the Scrutiny committee members, and therefore although it should report back to the Committee, the group could include Members from the larger Council.
· It would be preferential to have the Chairman drawn from the scrutiny committee members.
· The environment was too large a topic to undertake unless the project was focused and the Committee had given a very clear steer on expected outcomes.
· To have three groups running simultaneously looking at the three proposed strategies of environmental enforcement, biodiversity and corporate sustainability, was not feasible as there was not enough officer capacity to support them.
· Members felt that biodiversity was the most pressing issue, especially in light of the new developments coming through.
· Councillor Brown, Portfolio Holder for Environment, felt that there had been a lack of communication with Cabinet Members by some of the previous task and finish groups and that any new group should ensure that conversations took place with the Executive. The Government’s new scrutiny guidance suggested that “conversations would help scrutiny members better understand how their work could be designed to align with the best opportunities to influence the authority’s wider work”.
· Members suggested that ‘environmental impact’ could be a sub heading of all future Council reports.
· Councillor Powell had sent an email to the Chair stressing the need for the terms of reference to be significantly tightened up in order for the task and finish group to be effective and focused.
· There was unanimous agreement that given the interest expressed in joining the group, that 9 Members should be nominated; 6 members of the Committee and the 3 external Members that had contacted the Chair before the meeting.
· Members of the Committee unanimously agreed that Councillor J Fox be appointed as Chair of the Task and Finish group.
1. RECOMMENDED the Environment Task and Finish Group to Council for approval with the following specific proposals:
To consider the current Forward Plan and identify any relevant items for inclusion in the Growth, Infrastructure and Resources Scrutiny Panel Annual Work Plan (attached), or to request further information.
The Forward Plan can be found on the website using the following link:
During discussion of the Annual Work Plan and review of the current Forward Plan the following comments were noted:
· In response to a request from the Monitoring officer that a more specific focus be given for some of the suggested agenda topic, Members gave further explanation on what they sought from reports.
· The housing association agenda item would need to include a review of housing associations customer service policies and how they dealt with complaints. In addition it would be useful for Members to understand the process of rent setting and the housing associations’ charging policies.
· A report on road work works would need to give an explanation of the process involved for the scheduling and co-ordination of road works.
· Included in the report on the Return on investment on Council properties should be an assessment of RCC properties and which of those were profitable so that it could better inform new investments going forward.
To note Report No. 114/2019 from the Strategic Director for Resources.
Report No.114/2019 was received from the Director for Resources, for information only.
The Committee NOTED the report.
ANY OTHER URGENT BUSINESS
To receive any other items of urgent business which have been previously notified to the person presiding.
No other urgent business was received.
DATE AND PREVIEW OF NEXT MEETING
Thursday 14 November 2019 at 7pm
Items to include:
· Q2 Finance Management Report
· Class Q Developments
· Provision of Conservation Advice
· Road Safety/Speeding in Rutland
Thursday, 14 November at 7pm