Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Place Select Committee Minutes

Date:
Monday, 15th July, 2019
Time:
14.00
Place:
Jim Cooke Suite, Stockton Central Library, Stockton on Tees TS18 1TU
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Chris Barlow(Chairman), Cllr Louise Baldock(Vice-Chair), Cllr Pauline Beall, Cllr Julia Cherrett, Cllr Luke Frost, Cllr Mohammed Javed, Cllr Bill Woodhead (MBE), Cllr Hilary Vickers, Cllr Alan Watson
Officers:
Jane Edmends, Tony Wrigglesworth, Andrew Corcoran, Johnathan Kibble, Gary Woods, Marianne Sleeman (DCE)
In Attendance:
Cllr Chris Clough
Item Description Decision
Public
PLA
1/19
EVACUATION PROCEDURE
 
PLA
2/19
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
PLA
3/19
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 11TH MARCH 2019 - FOR APPROVAL/SIGNATURE
AGREED:

That the minutes of the meeting held on 4th March 2019 be confirmed and signed as a correct record.
PLA
4/19
MONITORING THE IMPACT OF PREVIOUSLY AGREED RECOMMENDATIONS
AGREED that the progress updates be noted and the assessments for progress be confirmed. A further update to this Committee would be scheduled before the end of 2019.
PLA
5/19
SCRUTINY REVIEW OF AREA TRANSPORT STRATEGY
AGREED that the draft scope and project plan of the review be approved.
PLA
6/19
ACTION PLAN FOR AGREED RECOMMENDATIONS - REVIEW OF CONSOLIDATION OF THIRTEEN HOUSING GROUP
AGREED that the Action Plan be approved.

PLA
7/19
WORK PROGRAMME 2019-2020
AGREED:

Meeting dates would be agreed for the Task and Finish Group.
PLA
8/19
CHAIR'S UPDATE
 
2pm - 3.45pm

Preamble

ItemPreamble
PLA
1/19
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and the evacuation procedure was noted.
PLA
2/19
There were no interests declared.
PLA
3/19
Consideration was given to the minutes from the meetings held on 4th March 2019.
PLA
4/19
Consideration was given to progress of the implementation of previously agreed recommendations in relation to the Disabled Parking (Task & Finish) review.

The main issues discussed were:

• The Local Authority would proceed with the prosecution of people who fraudulently displayed ‘Blue Badges' once the relevant training of Officers is complete (within the next two months).

• An audit of Town Centre Car Parks should be carried out throughout the Borough, not just in Stockton Town Centre. As stated in the recommendation, this should include assessments on the appropriateness (size) of disabled bays to ensure they are fit-for-purpose for wheelchair users (i.e. allowing enough room to open doors/boot).

• Members acknowledged that not all disabilities are visual, therefore location of disabled car parking spaces should be taken into consideration for those with hidden disabilities (e.g. autism).

• The views of the people most affected by issues with disabled parking should be gained before any works were carried out.

• Members asked if the audit of the location and suitability of disabled bays (recommendation 2) could be completed earlier than the end of 2019 as currently stated (with a reminder that this audit needs to be wider than just Stockton Town Centre).

Councillor Clough who was in attendance, reminded the meeting and the officers that his wife, a disabled passenger, offered to accompany officers when they carry out parking space assessments. Officers were urged to take this offer up.
PLA
5/19
Prior to consideration of the draft scope and project plan for the review of Area Transport Strategy, Members received a background briefing from the Council's Highways, Transport and Design Manager, accompanied by the Council's Principal Transport Officer, which included:


• ATS process forms part of the Council's Local Transport Plan, a statutory, forward-looking strategy document detailing current transport issues in a local area which encompasses a delivery plan to overcome identified issues.

• Initiated in 2005 in response to a government initiative to increase community involvement, ATS involves four Area Partnerships across the Borough.

• From its inception, Steering Groups for each area agreed their top 5 priorities and were allocated 25,000 per annum to tackle these. Since 2008-2009, Officers scored subsequent schemes based on area, national and Tees Valley priorities, deliverability and value-for-money (scoring matrix to be forwarded to Members following this meeting) - stakeholders then agreed schemes to be delivered (carried out by vote if agreement not possible), with the final approval being determined by the Director of Economic Growth and Development Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport.

• Over the years, the amount of money available to each area has increased to 45,000 per annum, of which 15,000 was to be allocated specifically to sustainable (walking/cycling) travel schemes.


• To address concerns around the amount of unproductive work spent on unfunded schemes, the process was reviewed in 2017. Stakeholders are now asked for the top issues to be investigated by Officers which then leads to schemes being developed depending on need.


Consideration was then given to the draft scope and project plan for the review, which aims to examine the current ATS scheme and, through an assessment of this and previous year's ATS rounds, establish if it is fit for purpose, inclusive, and allows the public to have the appropriate level of influence, while being an efficient and effective process.

In addition to the gathering of evidence at future Committee meetings, it was also proposed that a survey be produced for both ATS Stakeholders and Members to highlight any possible potential inconsistencies.
PLA
6/19
Members were presented with the Action Plan setting out how the agreed recommendations from the Scrutiny Review of Consolidation of Thirteen Housing Group will be implemented and target dates for completion.

The main issues discussed were as follows:

• The current social housing bidding system is being reviewed and the new policy would go to Cabinet in September 2019. New IT system being implemented - earliest go-live date will be October 2019. Thirteen have given a commitment not to launch their own new system until this date.

• Members highlighted that some individuals cannot complete the bidding process themselves and need help from family members. It was noted that the new system to be implemented by SBC (and our wider partners) would be much more customer focused with the aim of addressing this issue.


• Reference was made to the ‘Bi-monthly update for Ward Members re. High-Rise scheme' (recommendation 2) and that Thirteen needed to ensure such updates are provided for all Members in a timely and consistent manner.

• An update from Thirteen Housing Group would be requested (as part of next year's progress update) regarding how many Anson and Hudson tenants had been relocated within Thornaby (recommendation 4).

• Members queried how information will be collected in order to demonstrate that residents/customers and wider stakeholders fully understand changes to the new lettings system (including the ability to access/use). The Committee were informed that such information would be gathered through a range of measures including for example customer feedback, via residents' groups and questions to individuals throughout the bidding process.

Included with the Action Plan were updates in relation to Thirteen's neighbourhood co-ordinator model (recommendation 1) and their commitment to looking at options to convert their future development programme from ‘affordable rent' to ‘social rent' (recommendation 3). Regarding the latter, Members expressed disappointment that Thirteen had decided that they were unable to provide any properties at social rent levels, and requested a more in-depth response to this decision as part of next year's progress update.
PLA
7/19
Consideration was given to the Place Select Committee Work Programme 2019 - 2020.
PLA
8/19
The chair had nothing further to update.

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