Agenda and minutes

Streetscene and Engineering Scrutiny Committee
Friday, 17th January, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Committee Rooms A/B - Neath Civic Centre. View directions

Items
No. Item

1.

Forward Work Programme 2019/2020 pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Minutes:

The forward work programme was noted.

 

2.

Consultation on Environment Directorate's Budget and Draft Savings For 2020/2021 pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Minutes:

A discussion took place in relation to the mobile enforcement vehicle.  It was explained that the vehicle was currently in operation until 6.30pm, with staff operating on two split shifts and contracted to 37 hours, this included some Saturday evenings for identified areas such as taxi ranks.  Officers explained they would be looking to deploy evening work at areas that had out of hour’s problems, such as taxi ranks.  Officers went onto explain that at some locations traffic orders end at 6.00pm.

 

Members questioned the use of the vehicle, it was highlighted that the council had one van and this was used to enforce certain orders such as taxi ranks, loading bans, public service bus bays and zig-zags outside schools, they were unable to enforce all orders at the moment.  If members required a mobile officer they would need to contact Parking Services Section to organise.

 

Members felt that the mobile enforcement vehicle visited schools at the wrong time, it was explained that at present they would be avoiding schools until replacement traffic orders were in place, then these orders would be enforced by the camera van. 

 

It was noted that currently few penalty charge notices were issued to parents, this was because when they saw the civil enforcement officer or the police they move on, if a mobile enforcement vehicle drove past a school and parents were parked in contravention of the traffic orders there would be no leeway on time. 

 

It was noted that reinvestment of income into the service had taken place, although the importance of the mobile enforcement vehicle was safety, not income.

 

Officers explained that there were ways in which the council could promote the mobile enforcement vehicle, through raising awareness around the use of the vehicle.

 

It was noted that this year the number of parking tickets issued had increased and there had been less appeals, approximately 2,300 tickets had been issued so far by the mobile vehicle, this was having a positive impact.

 

Officers explained there was a generic telephone number for Parking Services where members could ring the section and Parking Officers could arrange for the mobile vehicle to visit an area.

 

Members were reminded that their comments from this meeting would form part of the formal consultation response for the Budget 2020/21. They were asked that if they had any other proposals for budget savings not included within the attached report that they approach officers for their consideration.

 

Following scrutiny, it was agreed that the report be noted.

 

3.

Fly Tipping Update and Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Minutes:

Officers explained there had been a slight increase in fly-tipping, which was probably due to the introduction of the new side waste policy, this information was being analysed.  It was highlighted that enforcement action continued to increase and the council was leading the way in enforcement in Wales.

 

A discussion took place on fly tipping in ‘patches’ across the county borough.  Members questioned whether that was due to the opening times of the re-cycling centre at Lower Cwmtwrch.  It was explained that the centre operated for five days a week, and joint arrangements with Powys had been put in place, therefore any changes would mean a change in the partnership with Powys, and an expansion of times would require more staff and incur additional cost.

 

Officers explained that the cost of fly-tipping was worked out on a formula provided by Welsh Government, all councils applied the formula which provided a comparison of fly-tipping costs across councils in Wales.  Members commented that they would like to see actual costs, not just the formula data. Officers agreed to liaise with the Service Manager to discuss but as a lot of fly tips were reported alongside other work, it was unlikely actual costs could be made available.

 

In relation to litter picking by voluntary groups officers explained that where volunteer’s carry out litter picking they were co-ordinated through the Keep Wales Tidy Co-ordinator.  Litter that had been collected was put into orange sacks and left at allocated pick-up points for the council to collect. 

 

Members thanked the Enforcement Team for all their good work.

 

Following scrutiny, it was agreed that the report be noted.

 

4.

Pest Control Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Minutes:

Officers gave an overview and explained that this service area was not statutory, and had been subject to a saving strategy including cost increase, although prices remained competitive to the private sector.  It was noted that, further to the previous cost increase, the council only expected to break even, and there would not be a price increase next year.  Officers explained that when the council charges a fee, the demand for the service would be reduced.  It was highlighted that the council had reduced resources in line with service demand and this was now believed to be a sustainable service going forward.

 

Officers explained there was a Business Plan in place with quarterly Performance Indicators, this would enabled annual figures to be compared.

 

Following scrutiny, it was agreed that the report be noted.

 

5.

Pre-Decision Scrutiny

Minutes:

Highways Asset Management Plan

 

Members received an update with regard to the ongoing development of the Highway Asset Management Plan (HAMP). 

 

Members questioned the number of culverts in the county borough, it was explained that the 90 culverts identified in the circulated report were listed in the Flood Strategy and were high priority.  It was highlighted that we did not have the number of culverts on private land.  Officers went on to explain that the total number of culverts was over 1200 under the ownership of the authority.

 

A discussion took place around bus stops and shelters, it was explained that there was no statutory requirement to provide bus shelters, although the council had a budget to maintain and replace them, also there was a budget available for new and replacement bus stops.

 

Following scrutiny, the committee was supportive of the proposal to be considered by cabinet board.

 

 

Proposed Traffic Orders:  Various Streets Neath Port Talbot – Schools

 

Members enquired whether signage needed to be displayed on site for the duration of the advertising period. 

 

Officers explained that the requirements under the Local Authorities Traffic Orders [Procedure] [England & Wales] Regulations 1996 was that the traffic authorities must, before making an Order, publish at least once a Notice of Intention in a newspaper circulating within the area where the road is situated, setting out its proposal and must also consult with certain statutory consultees (i.e. emergency services).

 

The traffic authorities must also place on deposit for public inspection at their Civic Centre the above Notice together with a plan, copy of the draft Order and copies of any existing Traffic Orders being repealed.

 

Regulation 7 of the Regulations states that the traffic authority:

 

“shall, before making an order, ….[c] take such other steps as it may consider appropriate for considering that adequate publicity about the order is given to persons likely to be affected by its provisions and, without prejudice to the generality of this sub-paragraph, such other steps may include-

 

     i.        ……publication of a notice in the London Gazette,

    ii.        the display of notices in roads or other places affected by the order,

  iii.        the delivery of notices or letters to premises, or premises occupied by persons, appearing to the authority to be likely to be affected by any provision in the order.”

 

It was noted that there was no actual requirement to put up notices on the road or to ensure that such notices put up on the road were maintained throughout the statutory objection period.

 

Following scrutiny, the committee was supportive of the proposal to be considered by cabinet board.