Agenda and minutes

Strategic Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Thursday 24th October 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Gipping Room, Grafton House

Contact: Ainsley Gilbert  01473 432510

Items
No. Item

15.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Maguire.

16.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the minutes of the meeting held on 3 October 2019 be signed as a true record.

17.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

18.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

18.1      Councillor Harsant noted that Highways England had been unable to provide the report on the Wind Speed Survey and so Agenda Item 6 (OS/19/05 Highways England - Orwell Bridge including Wind Speed Survey Results) would not be considered.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

that, subject to agenda item 6 not being considered, the Order of Business be as printed on the agenda.

19.

Park & Ride Update

Minutes:

19.1      Steve Wickers, Managing Director of First Eastern Counties Buses Ltd explained that the Park and Ride Service continued to perform well, although passenger numbers were static. Key points made by Mr Wickers were:

-       Traffic congestion delayed buses and made them a less attractive travel option, although punctuality was only marginally lower than the previous year at 91%;

-       Increased parking provision in the Town Centre made the service less attractive;

-       The number of Suffolk County Council employees using the service had dropped but the number of Ipswich Borough Council employees using it had risen;

-       Mobile ticketing had been introduced and cheaper tickets were now available electronically;

-       Various promotions and advertising campaigns continued, with late night Christmas shopping buses operating on Thursdays and cheaper fares in the afternoon and on Saturdays;

-       The extension to Rendlesham had been discontinued to improve reliability, whilst the evening services to London Road had been withdrawn as they were poorly used.

-       First Eastern Counties Ltd were working with Suffolk One to provide off peak services to the college with good value pricing.

 

19.2      Councillor Harsant asked where the key areas of congestion were which affected the Park and Ride service. Mr Wickers explained that these were St Helens Street to Major’s Corner, the area around the Crown Court and the approaches to the Buttermarket Car Park in the run up to Christmas. Suffolk County Councillor West noted that Highways had carried out schemes to alleviate congestion on the Park and Ride route including at Beech Road, and West End Road.

 

19.3      Councillor Gage asked whether the income from the Suffolk County Council car park on Constantine Road was still used to subsidise staff park and ride fares. Suffolk County Councillor West confirmed that this money remained available. Mr Wickers noted that whilst the total number had fallen, there were still large numbers of Suffolk County Council staff using the Park and Ride Service.

 

19.4      Councillor Gage asked when timetables would be placed in bus stops by First Eastern Counties following the transfer of responsibility from Suffolk County Council to bus operators. Mr Wickers confirmed that these would be put into place in the next few weeks.

 

19.5      Councillor T Lockington asked whether consideration was being given to reducing the availability of free on-street parking in streets such as Constitution Hill. Suffolk County Councillor West explained that residents parking schemes needed to have support from residents as they caused disruption, especially to visitors and commented that he would prefer to make using bus services more attractive.

 

19.6      Councillor Allen noted that Police were used to manage congestion caused by Christmas parking at the Buttermarket and asked whether First Eastern Counties Ltd contributed to the cost of this. Mr Wickers confirmed that First Eastern Counties Ltd, Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council all contributed to traffic management efforts in relation to the Buttermarket car park.

 

19.7      Councillor Allen asked whether First Eastern Counties Ltd still intended to offer reduced fares  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

OS/19/05 Highways England - Orwell Bridge including Wind Speed Survey Results

Minutes:

This item was withdrawn as the results of the wind speed survey had not been received from Highways England.

21.

OS/19/06 Annual Portfolio Holder Update - Environment and Climate Change pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

21.1      Councillor P Smart introduced the Annual Update on the Environment and Transport portfolio. Key points made were:

-       Service 4 had been subsidised to run on Sundays with the support of Area Committee funding and County Councillors’ Locality Budgets;

-       Ipswich Borough Council had been asked to enforce Civil Parking offences in Babergh and Mid-Suffolk; accepting this proposal would enable the Council to retain income from Cromwell Square car park;

-       A report was being prepared by the Plastics Project Manager on what the Council could do to reduce its use of plastic;

-       Ipswich was one of the least polluting local authority areas, with just 3.02 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide emissions per person compared to a UK average of 5.7 tonnes. An officer was to be employed to help the Council to plan further reductions in Carbon emissions;

-       Significant investment had been made in parks, with new play equipment installed at Maple Park, Bourne Park and St Augustine’s Recreation Ground. It was hoped that the Council’s financial position would allow for further investment in 2020/21;

-       The Ed Sheeran concerts in Chantry Park had been a great success and 40% of those attending had used public transport to get to the event;

-       6 new refuse collection vehicles had been delivered, and 5 more were expected by April 2020 which would improve reliability.

 

21.2      Councillor Gage asked how the Council’s new electric Pool Cars were performing. Councillor P Smart explained that they had not been in use for long enough for an accurate picture to be given, however, a report to Executive reviewing the scheme was planned and he hoped that this would include the number of litres of fuel avoided.

 

21.3      Councillor Gage noted that there had been a reduction in the take up of allotments and asked how this was to be addressed. The Operations Manager for Parks and Bereavement explained that the Council still had good take up at most of its allotment sites but that a social media campaign was planned to increase the number of allotment holders. Community plots were also being introduced with community groups taking on plots which would enable people to try out working on an allotment without taking on the full responsibility for its maintenance.

 

21.4      Councillor Harsant asked whether the changes to the allotment rules had been significant. The Operations Manager for Parks and Bereavement confirmed that the changes had been relatively minor, although the clarification of plot sizes and the number of plots allowed had affected a small number of people.

 

21.5      Councillor Pope noted that the amount of waste per resident thrown away in black bins had exceeded the target again and asked what the reason for this was. Councillor P Smart explained that there was unfortunately a national trend for increasing amounts of black bin waste, although there were also local issues with contamination on some rounds being so bad that recycling was disposed of as if it were black bin waste. Councillor P  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

OS/19/07 Work Programme 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

22.1      Councillor Harsant explained that a Cross Authority Overview and Scrutiny Task and Finish Group had been convened by Babergh and Mid-Suffolk District Councils to consider Citizens Advice services across Suffolk following the cuts to funding made by Suffolk County Council. Councillor Harsant and Councillor Gage had attended a scoping meeting and proposed that they attend future meetings on behalf of Ipswich Borough Council’s Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

22.2      Councillor Gage commented that it was important that Highways England be invited to attend the Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee as soon as possible.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

a)    that Councillors Harsant and Gage attend future meetings of the Cross Authority Overview and Scrutiny Task and Finish Group.

b)   that Highways England be invited back to the Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee as soon as possible, preferably in January 2020.