Agenda and minutes

Strategic Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Thursday 26th October 2017 6.00 pm

Venue: Gipping Room, Grafton House

Contact: Trisha Sutton  01473 432512

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


No apologies for absence were received. 


Unconfirmed Minutes of the Meeting held on 28 September 2017 pdf icon PDF 96 KB


21.1   The Chair thanked Councillor Gage (Vice-Chair) for chairing the previous meeting in her absence.




that the minutes of the meeting held on 28 September 2017, with the additional declaration of interest, be signed as a true record.


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business




that the Order of Business be as printed on the agenda.


OS/17/09 Ipswich Park & Ride Review pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Additional documents:


31.1   Following the meeting on 2 March 2017 when Proposal Form No: 20 submitted by Councillor Gage had been discussed by the Committee it had been agreed that the Ipswich Park & Ride Service would be reviewed by the Committee when First Buses had taken over the service, prior to the Christmas period.  Councillor P Smart, Portfolio Holder for Environment & Transport and Michael Newsham, the Integrated Transport Officer at IBC were in attendance. Also in attendance were Aiden Dunn, (Assistant Director for Procurement, Contract Management and Passenger Transport at Suffolk County Council), Steve Wickers Managing Director and Dave Jordan, Marketing Manager at First Buses Group and Suffolk County Councillor West, (Cabinet Member for Ipswich).  Sandy Martin MP also joined the meeting and all were welcomed.


31.2   Councillor West said that First Buses were now 4 months into supplying the new service which had seen 3,600 users a week, logging 8,500 journeys across the 2 sites at London Road and Martlesham Heath.  59% of users were paying the full fare and in the last 2 weeks a 25% increase had been logged due to 289 users from the initiative offered to staff working at Endeavour House.  The service had an identifiable brand on the long established routes offering a 15 minute frequency with a range of ticket options.  Work continued with First Buses to improve the service and ensure that the new service offered a good deal for the town and for tax payers.  Suffolk County Council was pleased with its investment with First Buses and asked all to promote the service.


31.3   Mr Wickers explained how different the Park & Ride Service was compared to the traditional commercial network and it was a challenge to integrate it within the existing network in terms of the schedule, ticketing and the resource required against the demand.  Various customer pricing options had been introduced as well as mobile phone ticketing. There had been no price increases to concessionary fares, fares for 5 – 19 year olds and monthly customer discounts remained. Also loyalty discounts for 3 monthly and yearly users had been introduced. 


31.4   An ‘every 15 minute’ service was offered with extra weekday peak journeys to match demand and new blue branding had been used to promote the identity.  This branding had been repeated across the Park & Ride sites and the website in both digital and printed formats.  Improvements for customers included detailed voice announcements given at different locations, added leg room and wi-fi capability.  Over £1m had been invested in the service for high level engagement and both passenger targets and revenue projections had been met.


31.5   Councillor Pope agreed that the long term investment showed that First Buses were fully committed and Councillor Macartney asked how long the free tickets for Suffolk County Council employees would last.  Mr Wickers said that this was a pilot which started in August and would be trialled until November 2017.  He explained that the tickets were also for employees of Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.


OS/17/10 Orwell Bridge Closures Update pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Additional documents:


32.1   Councillor Debman presented this item and explained that a meeting of the Task & Finish Group – Orwell Bridge Closures had been held on 30 August 2017, when a letter received from Highways England had been discussed and questions had been raised which had been forwarded to Highways England.  The Portfolio Holder for Environment & Transport and the Integrated Traffic Officer at IBC were in attendance.  Also in attendance were James Jackson, Emergency Planning Manager at Highways England, Inspector Tim Lusher of Norfolk & Suffolk Roads Policing Unit and Suffolk County Councillor West the Cabinet Member for Ipswich.


32.2   Mr Jackson explained that following a summit meeting hosted by IBC in January 2017 with partner organisations, recommendations were made and future commitments were agreed.  Measures, mainly regarding communications which had been put in place were; a notification cascade had been implemented, a revised bridge closure protocol had been launched, an e-mail subscription service was available for notification of closure and the website capability had been updated to inform of unexpected closures.


32.3   Future commitments were to improve signage, permanent engineering solutions e.g. suicide prevention and wind barriers, the closure of laybys, upgrading of the Samaritan phones and an automated closure system.


32.4   The notification cascade had been used three times so far this year, alerting Police and local authorities of any likely bridge closures and positive comments about better communications had been received.  The revised protocol included more proactive working, warning in advance of high winds and practices from other bridge protocols had been incorporated into the new plan.  In line with these practices the bridge would now be reopened when wind speeds subsided to 45mph, rather than the previous 30mph limit.  


32.5   The dedicated website at included CCTV camera links to assess traffic flow, MET office weather forecasts, a sign up to the subscription service and ‘Breaking News’.  The Highways England Communications Team were engaging with partners to advertise that the website was now active, that pre-emptive press bulletins were operational, and variable message communications through Twitter and the Website were now available.


32.6   The bridge was currently being inspected under a thorough 6 yearly ‘principal inspection’ and apart from fresh white lining, gulley cleaning, vegetation removal and guard rail replacement on pier 6 taking place, the bridge was considered to be in a good state of repair.  The upgrading the Samaritan phones and making the laybys for the use of emergency vehicles only should be completed this month and future CCTV monitoring for traffic both on the bridge and of maritime traffic under the bridge was being considered.  There would be a security related inspection next year which would inform the design of the CCTV and security system and Kier were currently conducting a feasibility study on wind protection which should be concluded by the end of the month and this would consider any permanent engineering solutions.


32.7   An automated closure system was currently being designed by Kier for automatic barriers to be installed on the A14 and the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.


OS/17/11 Annual Portfolio Holder Update - Environment & Transport pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Additional documents:


33.1   Councillor P Smart presented a Portfolio Holder update for Environment & Transport which included Waste and Fleet, Parks and Transport (public transport and parking policy).  Lisa Stannard, Operations Manager, Parks and Bereavement at IBC was also in attendance.


33.2   Councillor P Smart pointed out that there were discrepancies between what constituted an amber or green risk grading at the Target Risk (after mitigation) grading on the Performance Dashboard attached at Appendix 1 to the report.


33.3   Councillor Whittall asked whether the targets relating to recycling (although green at the moment) were stable or would they increase as the rates of material for recycling increased?  Councillor P Smart said that this would be reliant on the reduction of the amount of recycling to the incinerator.  This was a continuing problem due to the urban nature of Ipswich, and the education of the Suffolk wide initiatives about recycling would result in reducing the amount of residual waste.


33.4   The Chief Executive said that indicators were predominantly County wide and landfill had reduced overall and Councillor P Smart said that it was not in retailers interest to reduce their packaging.  Councillor Pope said that 40% was not an ambitious target but it was a National target.


 33.5  Councillor Pope raised two points and asked what more could be done to promote the recycling of TetraPaks and whether commercially organised events which rented out public land resulted in the Parks Service getting any remuneration back which could be put into the service? Councillor P Smart said that people were encouraged to commercial hire out the parks to result in any earnings being ploughed back into the parks service.  It was about looking how better to employ staff to guarantee a resilient service.


33.6   Ms Stannard agreed that events brought pressures on the service and a staff workshop would be held in December to consider the events programme as a whole and how the income gained could be best used in the future.  Friends Groups would also be asked for their input at a later date.


33.7   The Chair expressed concern about the lack of recycling in shared bin areas and Councillor P Smart said that education in schools was key to forming good habits about recycling from an early age.  Unfortunately, fly tipping often occurred around areas where short term tenancies or buy to let properties were.  


33.8   The Chair said that when there were events in Holywells Park there were often problems on exit if restrictions at certain gates occurred especially if cars had been parked near one entrance which was blocked for exit and Ms Stannard said that updates about which exits were to be used could be put on Facebook.


33.9   Councillor Chisholm reported that the bio-diverse areas in the public parks were encroaching on park user areas and bushes at open space areas were masking crime incidents.  Councillor P Smart said that further discussion would take place about the expanse of bio diverse areas and the boundaries would change next  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.


OS/17/12 Work Programme 2017/18 - No Proposal Forms Received pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Additional documents:


34.1   Councillor Darwin had recently submitted a proposal form about Universal Credit which would now be considered by the Overview & Scrutiny Steering Group.  It was agreed that a Task & Finish Group would be arranged to scope the subject and Councillors Harsant and Grant asked to be added to the Group which included Councillors Pope, Darwin, Goonan and Chisholm.


34.2   It was noted that an Ipswich Park and Ride Review would be added to the items to be scheduled, when the dates of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee for 2018/19 had been confirmed by Council.     




          that the Strategic Overview & Scrutiny Committee Work Programme, attached at report Ref No: OS/17/12, with the amendment noted above, be agreed.