Agenda and minutes

Venue: Guildhall

Contact: Committee Administration 01905 722027, 722006, 722085 

Items
No. Item

35.

Appointment of Substitutes

To receive details of any Members appointed to attend the meeting instead of a Member of the Committee.

Minutes:

There were no substitutes.

36.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

None.

37.

Public Participation

Up to a total of fifteen minutes can be allowed, each speaker being allocated a maximum of five minutes, for members of the public to present a petition, ask a question or comment on any matter on the Agenda or within the remit of the Committee.

Minutes:

Margaret Layland representing the Friends of Laugherne Brook Local Nature Reserve in addressing the Committee expressed her concern over the condition of the brook.  The brook had at one time had an abundance of wildlife and lots of fish, but following a pollution incident in 2017 there have been no fish in the brook.

 

The Chairman informed the Committee that Councillor Udall was to raise this issue under any other business, but had agreed that he could also address the Committee at this point of the agenda.

 

Councillor Udall stated that the brook is owned by the City Council and is used daily by many people.  The pollution incident which took place in 2017 caused damage to the eco-systems and the wildlife has been reducing since that time.  Residents have also noticed a change in the area since the incident.

 

Councillor Udall requested that the Committee visit the nature reserve, contact the Environment Agency with a view to restocking the brook and request Officers report back to Committee on how to protect and enhance the Local Nature Reserve.

 

The Chairman thanked them both and stated that it may be worth looking at nature reserves generally.

38.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Of the meeting held on 29th October 2019 to be approved and signed.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 29th October 2019 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

39.

Quarter 3 Performance Report 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 81 KB

That the Environment Committee notes the Council’s Quarter 3 performance for 2019/20.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on performance against relevant Key Performance Indicators for Quarter presented by the Corporate Director – Finance and Resources.

 

The performance scorecard for the Committee, which provided more detailed information, was attached as Appendix 1 to the report.

 

Officers responded to questions from Members specifically around Ash Dieback and the composting of household waste.

 

Members considered Ash Dieback to be an important project and did question why it was not on the list.  Concerns were raised around Ash Dieback and the impact this would have on the local environment.  Following a number of questions raised Offices agreed to bring a report to a future Committee answering the points raised and providing more information on the issue.

 

With regard to household waste composting, Members asked questions around ways of reducing food waste.  Officers clarified that the figures shown were for composting garden waste only and not food.  Members were informed that the new waste strategy was going to require Council’s to introduce food waste collections.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee note the Quarter 3 performance for 2019/20.

40.

Draft Environmental Sustainability Strategy for the City of Worcester 2020-2030 pdf icon PDF 130 KB

1.      That the Committee endorse the draft Environmental Sustainability Strategy as the basis for public consultation and engagement with stakeholders and other interested groups;

 

2.      That the Committee notes the proposed timetable and approach to consultation with the presentation of the finalised Strategy being referred to the Committee in May 2020 for approval;

3.      That the Committee agrees the terms of reference for the member steering group as set out in this report; and

 

4.      That the Committee recommends to Policy and Resources Committee that an enabling budget is allocated in the 2020/21 budget as detailed within this report.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on a draft Environmental Sustainability Strategy for the City of Worcester 2020-2030 presented by the Environmental Sustainability Officer.  The draft strategy document was attached as Appendix 1 to the report.

 

A Notice of Motion to Full Council on 16th July 2019 was agreed to ‘Declare a Climate Emergency for the City’, full details of the agreed Notice of Motion as outlined in paragraph 2.1 of the report.

 

On 29th October 2019 the Environment Committee agreed to support the proposals for establishing a steering group to work with Officers to develop the draft strategy document for consideration by the Environment Committee in January 2020 and to review the terms of reference of the steering group at its January 2020 meeting.

 

The steering group, comprised of the Chair and Vice Chair of the Environment Committee and a Member from the Green Party, who had met twice over the course of November and December to assist with the development of the strategy and to give advice on direction.

 

The Committee’s attention was drawn to the draft strategy document, at Appendix 1 attached to the report, which identified the six key themes which the strategy is structured around.

 

The next stage of the development of the strategy will be a public consultation exercise between February and April.  The results of the consultation will be considered by the steering group and recommendations for a final version of the strategy will be submitted to Environment Committee in May 2020.

 

It is recommended that an enabling budget of 100,000, in order to initiate work on delivering the agreed strategy during 2020/21, would need to be provided.

 

The proposed terms of reference for the steering group were set out in paragraph 3.13 of the report.

 

Members commended the Environmental Sustainability Officer on the document and fully supported the proposals.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee:

 

1.      endorse the draft Environmental Sustainability Strategy as the basis for public consultation and engagement with stakeholders and other interested groups;

 

2.      notes the proposed timetable and approach to consultation with the presentation of the finalised Strategy being referred to the Committee in May 2020 for approval;

3.      agrees the terms of reference for the member steering group as set out in this report; and

 

4.      recommends to Policy and Resources Committee that an enabling budget is allocated in the 2020/21 budget as detailed within this report.

 

41.

Setting the Budget for 2020/21 and MTFP to 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 93 KB

1.      That the Committee note the proposed Budgets for the various services identified for 2020/21;

2.      That the Committee consider the priorities within each service and recommends any change for the services’ Budgets including the Income and Efficiency plans;

3.      That the Committee consider the services’ Capital programme and future projects and recommends anychanges or additions; and

 

4.      That the Committee reviews the City Plan allocations and makes recommendations to Policy and Resources Committee for amounts that can be made available for new proposals.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the setting of the budget for 2020-21 and the Medium Term Financial Plan to 2024-2025.

 

The Head of Finance presented the report and explained that the proposed summary budgets for 2020-21 were contained in Appendix 1.  These provided detailed budgets for each of the Council’s services covering both income and expenditure.  Members were asked to review the budget for each service and the initiatives proposed in the Income and Efficiency plan at Appendix 2, this included some items that have been carried forward from the current year.

 

In a separate report to this committee meeting, Members had received a progress report on the various projects aligned to this committee.  In addition the Council’s draft Capital Programme to 2024-25 was shown in Appendix 3.

 

Following a review of the City Plan Funding, budget themes have been identified against which little or no expenditure has either been made nor is currently planned.  The amount within the remit of this committee is £80,000, being Gateways to the City, as shown in Appendix 4.  The Committee was therefore asked to review the City Plan allocations shown in Appendix 4 and make recommendations to the Policy and Resources Committee for amounts that can be made available for new proposals.

 

One such proposal had already been submitted for £85k to fund additional temporary resources to support the roll-out of Place working by the Neighbourhood Team in Environmental Operations Services.  Further details were provided at Appendix 5.

 

During the debate Members agreed the proposal as set out in Appendix 5 for the delivery of placed based working and to make a bid to the Policy and Resources Committee for £85,000 City plan funding to enable Place Working for 18 months.

 

A further proposal was put forward to allocate £15,000 for renewing some of the street name signs which had now faded.  Following a discussion on the proposal the Committee took a vote and on the casting vote of the Chairman the proposal was lost.

 

RESOLVED:  That the Committee:

 

1.      note the proposed Budgets for the various services identified for 2020-21; and

 

2.      having reviewed the City Plan allocations in Appendix 4, recommend to Policy and Resources Committee to allocate the £80,000 from the Gateway Project to the City Plan Fund for alternative uses; and

 

3.      recommend to Policy and Resources Committee that £85,000 is released from the City Plan Fund to fund the proposal for Place Working, as set out in Appendix 5.

42.

3 Year Play Area Investment Programme 2020-2023 pdf icon PDF 6 MB

1.      That the 3 year programme of works summarised at paragraph 3.13 is approved; and

 

2.      That officers continue to work on the Strategic Play Area Development Plan, including consultation with key partners and report back to the Committee.

 

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the 3 year play area investment programme 2020-2023 presented by the Head of Environmental Operations.

 

The report outlined proposals for a repairs, maintenance and improvement programme for the next 3 years to 2023.  A percentage of repairs and maintenance of some Multi Use Games Areas (MUGA) is recovered through Worcester Community Trust as part of lease arrangements.  A report to the Communities Committee in January 2020 outlines a draft Worcester City Local Football Facility Plan that sets out priorities for investment.  Repairs and improvements to sports pitches are not included in the three year investment programme and are part of separate budgets.

 

In May 2019 the Committee noted that there would be a three year investment programme, developed through consultation with Members, a Member drop-in session was held on 17th December and feedback was incorporated into this report.  The Committee had also requested that a Strategic Play Area Development Plan is developed to identify areas with limited access to play facilities and to propose locations for new play areas including estimated costs.

 

As part of the work consideration will be given to funding which has been allocated through existing or future Section 106 agreements.  Paragraph 3.11 of the report provided a list of existing agreements and funding allocated that have mentioned play specifically.  As part of this consideration will  be given to Member suggestions for future Developer Contributions as listed in paragraph 3.12 of the report.

 

A summary of the 3 year investment programme was included in a table at paragraph 3.13 and further details of the proposed works at each site were included in Appendix A.

 

A concern was raised that a play area by the Lyppard Hub was not listed and did not appear to be maintained.  Officers agreed to look into this matter.

 

The surface of the MUGA at Dines Green was also of concern, due to its hard surface it was not being used because of safety concerns.  Although a report was being presented at the Communities Committee, Members asked if a report could come to this Committee with a view to looking at funding options.

 

As details of the splash pad fencing were not available yet it was agreed that Ward Members would be involved/consulted when appropriate.

 

With regard to paragraph 3.12 of the report it was noted that additional play equipment had been requested for Bevere Drive play area.  It was highlighted that residents had consulted with Members opposing any changes to this particular play area.

 

It was asked if the Tunnel Hill site could be looked at as part of the strategic plan, the site was currently not used as there is no equipment.

 

A suggestion was made for 1.2 of the recommendation to be changed to identify when a report back on the Strategic Play Area Development Plan would be made.  October was suggested and the Corporate Director – Place agreed he would do all that he could to get a report back to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.

43.

Improvements to Perdiswell Park pdf icon PDF 2 MB

1.      That the Committee notes the content of this report and progress made on Phase One;

 

2.      That the Committee notes the results of the public consultation and approves the ‘Vision’ for the park as: “To offer a welcoming and accessible park which is tidy, colourful and safe with natural open space and woodland for visitors to enjoy the biodiversity and wildlife”; and

 

3.      That the Committee grants delegated authority to the Corporate Director Place in consultation with the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Committee to approve the final design and layout and agree the timetable to deliver the improvements.

 

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the improvements to Perdiswell Park.

 

In June 2018 the Council allocated funding of £100,000 towards improvements at Perdiswell Park.  The first phase is on leased land occupied by Ravenmeadow Golf Centre for various works and the second phase will look at the wider Perdiswell Park area and decide how to improve the public experience of using this area.

 

The Environmental Operations Project Manager provided a PowerPoint presentation to Members and a summary of phase one.  The work was now complete except for planting one hedge.  Details of the improvements were shown in  Appendix A attached to the report.

 

Phase two involved a public consultation which was carried out between 29th July and 27 September 2019, the survey was available online via the ‘SurveyMonkey’ website and paper copies at Perdiswell Leisure Centre. Appendix B attached to the report identified the results of the public consultation.  The headline results were shown in paragraph 4.2 of the report.

 

Drop-in sessions were held on 17th December 2019 for Members to examine and discuss the survey results with Officers. A draft Vision was prepared to inform the Member drop-in sessions.  This reflects the theme of the survey feeback around maintaining and enhancing the park’s natural environment.  The proposed Vision was highlighted at paragraph 4.5 of the report.  Comments from the drop-in sessions were also noted at paragraph 4.6 and proposed improvements listed at paragraph 4.7.  The timeline for the project was detailed in paragraph 4.8.

 

There was support from Members for planting more trees and support for an ecology survey to be carried out.  Members were also keen to see the café idea explored.  It was noted that cyclists were not represented in the survey feedback and it was asked if cycle towpaths could be improved as they were in a poor condition. The creation of a buffer zone between the new play park and Bilford Road to reduce noise and pollution was also requested.

 

Members thanked the Environmental Operations Project Manager for a thorough report and for the visual presentation on phase one, and the proposals for phase two.  It was asked that Member engagement continued for phase two of the project.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee:

 

1.      notes the content of this report and progress made on Phase One;

 

2.      notes the results of the public consultation and approves the ‘Vision’ for the park as: “To offer a welcoming and accessible park which is tidy, colourful and safe with natural open space and woodland for visitors to enjoy the biodiversity and wildlife”.

 

3.      grants delegated authority to the Corporate Director - Place in consultation with the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Committee to approve the final design and layout and agree the timetable to deliver the improvements.

 

44.

Any Other Business

Which in the opinion of the Chairman is of sufficient urgency as to warrant consideration.

Minutes:

Urban Trees Challenge Fund

 

Members asked for an update on whether other areas of the City and not just Perdiswell would benefit from planting schemes. The Head of Environmental Operations confirmed that she is waiting for an update on funding and that we are keen to maximise opportunities to plant trees wherever possible.

 

Following a debate generally on trees the Head of Environmental Operations agreed to hold a trees seminar for Members covering all aspects of tree management.