A Member asked if the budget would still be balanced in view of the anticipated increases in energy costs. The Director for Environment and Public Protection responded that it was not possible to guarantee the costs of energy contracts going forward. Councillor Fawthrop declared an interest and said that in his ward the residents were keen to have the street lights turned off to reduce light pollution. He asked if any trials of this were being considered as it may result in savings to the Council. The Portfolio Holder responded and said this was something that the Germans were looking at, but it was difficult politically and socially. It was noted that the Assistant Director for Highways had previously commented that dimming the LED street lights did not actually result in any significant savings.
Councillor Fawthrop stated that he was not referring to the dimming of lights but to actually having lights switched off, saying that a report had previously been published indicating that crime fell when lights were turned off. A Member responded that as the mother of a young daughter she would not be keen on lights being switched off.
A Member asked if there were still any problems with the electrical supply to market stalls and she referred to a section of the report concerning traffic and road safety where there was a reference to TfL funding and a mention of ‘full service redesign’. She enquired as to what ‘full service redesign’ actually meant.
The Director for Environment and Public Protection informed the Committee that up until the day before the meeting the issue of TfL funding was problematic and that some posts that were normally funded by TfL had been covered by the Council's budget. However, news had subsequently been received which seemed to shed a more promising light on the provision of future TfL funding. The situation was now looking more promising and indeed the Council would likely be in a position to recoup money that it had already spent to cover the funding of staff that was normally paid for by TfL.
With respect to market stalls, it had previously been the case that the Council generated a reasonable amount of income from the sale of market stall licences. However, in an effort to stimulate the economy post Covid, the Government had introduced new legislation which meant that the Council could now only levy a flat charge of £100 per licence, which had reduced the level of income that the Council could generate from the sale of market stall licences.
The power boxes that supplied electrical power to the market stalls had to be maintained and fixed on a regular basis. Sometimes this was because they were not used correctly by the market stall holders; sometimes there was general wear and tear on the units and sometimes they were vandalised. However the Director was not aware of any particular problems outside of the ordinary.
Members noted that there had been less contravention ... view the full minutes text for item 213