Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Virtual Webex Meeting

Contact: Stephen Wood  020 8313 4316

Items
No. Item

88.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

No apologies for absence were received.

89.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

90.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 14th JANUARY 2021 pdf icon PDF 935 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 14th January were agreed as a correct record.

91.

QUESTIONS TO THE CHAIRMAN OR THE COMMITTEE

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions that are not specific to reports on the agenda must have been received in writing 10 working days before the date of the meeting.  Therefore, any questions that are not specific to the agenda should have been received by the Democratic Services Team by 5pm on 25th February 2021.

 

Questions specifically relating to reports on the agenda should be received within two working days of the normal publication date of the agenda.  Please ensure that questions specifically on reports on the agenda are received by the Democratic Services Team by 5.00pm on 5th March 2021.

Minutes:

There were no questions received for the Chairman or the Committee.

92.

MATTERS ARISING AND WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 266 KB

Minutes:

CSD21024

 

Members noted the report regarding Matters Arising and the Work Programme.

 

A Member referred to an item on the Work Programme that had not been allocated a meeting date yet. This was the item relating to maintaining the quality of card and paper—he asked when a meeting date for this report would be forthcoming. The Director of Environment and Public Protection said that he would look into this and report back to the Committee.

 

RESOLVED that

 

1)  The Matters Arising and Work Programme report be noted

 

2)  The Director of Environment and Public Protection would investigate when the report relating to the maintenance of card and paper quality would be reported back to the Committee

  

 

93.

PORTFOLIO HOLDER UPDATE

Minutes:

There was no update from the Portfolio Holder on this occasion.

94.

QUESTIONS TO THE PORTFOLIO HOLDER

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions that are not specific to reports on the agenda must have been received in writing 10 working days before the date of the meeting.  Therefore, any questions that are not specific to the agenda should have been received by the Democratic Services Team by 5pm on 25th February 2021.

 

Questions specifically relating to reports on the agenda should be received within two working days of the normal publication date of the agenda. Please ensure that questions specifically on reports on the agenda are received by the Democratic Services Team by 5pm on 5th March 2021

 

Minutes:

Three questions were submitted to the Portfolio Holder for oral response, and 23 questions were received for written response. Questioners received a response to their written questions on the day following the meeting. All the oral and written questions and answers are published as an appendix to the minutes.

95.

PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY OF REPORTS TO THE ENVIRONMENT AND COMMUNITY SERVICES PORTFOLIO HOLDER

Portfolio Holder decisions for pre-decision scrutiny.

95a

BUDGET MONITORING 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 318 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

FSD 22021

 

Members were briefed by the Head of ECS Finance that the current projected underspend was £372k. This had reduced from the last report, as the previous underspend with respect to ‘Highways’ was now intended to be used on carriageway repairs. It was explained that the budget report did not detail the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Portfolio’s budget, as this was reported separately to the Executive.

 

A Member asked what the reasons were for the £255k disputed cost with respect to Waste Services. The Member also noted that there was a £56k underspend with respect to vacancies in the Traffic and Road Safety Service and asked if there was a plan to fill any vacancies that may exist, given the current level of interest with respect to road safety.

 

The Assistant Director for Traffic and Parking responded to the question regarding the £56k underspend for the Traffic and Road Safety Service. He explained that this was funding that was held in reserve, as it was not clear if TfL capital funding for certain LIP funded positions within the service would be available. He promised to check on this and report back to the Committee if required. 

 

(Post meeting note: with respect to the matter of the £255k disputed cost figure, a response was previously disseminated to Members on 4th January 2021)

 

RESOLVED that

 

1) The Portfolio Holder endorse the 2020/21 revenue budget monitoring for the Environment and Community Services Portfolio.

 

2) The Assistant Director for Traffic and Parking would check on the matter relating to the £56 underspend still needed to be held in reserve, and if the relevant TfL capital funding had been released.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

96.

CAPITAL PROGRAMME MONITORING REPORT pdf icon PDF 315 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

FSD21016

 

The Chairman pointed out that this report was primarily for noting. This was because the Leader had agreed a revised Capital Programme for the five year period 2020/21 to 2024/25. The report highlighted the changes that were agreed by the Leader in respect of the Capital Programme for the Environment and Community Services portfolio.

 

RESOLVED that the Portfolio Holder notes and acknowledges the changes agreed by the Leader on 10th February 2021.

 

 

 

 

96a

TRAFFIC IMPROVEMENTS AT THE JUNCTION OF BROMLEY ROAD, WITH SCOTTS LANE AND DOWNS BRIDGE ROAD pdf icon PDF 237 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

ES20080

 

The Assistant Director for Traffic and Parking explained that the report had been generated to put forward options to improve traffic and pedestrian safety at the junction where Scott’s Lane and Downs Bridge Road crossed Bromley Road. This was a location where accidents had occurred for many years; most of these accidents had been non-serious but a few were serious. This particular location had been on a list for possible safety scheme improvements for some time. Members had asked officers to look into the possibility of what could be done, because this area was on the periphery of the Shortlands Liveable Neighbourhood, and therefore funding was available from TfL for improvement works to be undertaken. The Assistant Director felt that in the main, Ward Members were supportive of the application, although he was aware that they  had their own comments and suggestions to put forward.

 

The report suggested that a mini roundabout be installed at the junction, and this would therefore mean that traffic would have to reduce speed, thus minimising the risk of accidents and avoiding injuries. Members had also asked officers to consider what could be done for the benefit of pedestrians, as many pedestrians crossed in that area. The Assistant Director informed the Committee that current pedestrian counts were not available due to the Covid 19 lockdown and so therefore the pedestrian counts had to be estimated.

 

However, pre-existing vehicle counts were available which could be taken into consideration. It was felt that a refuge was needed for the deflection of traffic on the mini roundabout. The Assistant Director explained that it may also be possible to install a zebra crossing for the benefit of pedestrians. So various options were being considered in the report, and it was hoped that the Committee could feedback to the Portfolio Holder before he made his final decision on how to proceed and which option should be implemented.

 

A Member (who was also a Ward Councillor) explained that the Ward Councillors had been campaigning for changes at this location for some time and so he was delighted that a scheme was being planned. He said that the Ward Councillors, (broadly speaking), were in favour of the recommendations of the report. However, the Ward Councillors felt strongly that the 227 bus shelter should be re-located. It was felt that if the bus shelter stayed where it was, it would hold up traffic--which was likely to tail back to the roundabout. It was suggested that the bus shelter be moved further forward and that this should be costed in to the plans.

 

The Member (and Ward Councillor) addressed the matter of whether or not a refuge should be installed—or a pedestrian crossing. He preferred the option to install a pedestrian crossing, as he felt that this would have a more calming effect on the traffic flow. He stated that he was sceptical as to the value of the cost benefit analysis undertaken. He concluded by saying that the recommendation of the Ward  ...  view the full minutes text for item 96a

96b

WESTGATE ROAD AND ALBEMARLE ROAD TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT CHANGES pdf icon PDF 410 KB

Copers Cope Ward:

 

A report detailing the results of a consultation undertaken by Ward Councillors is to follow.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

ES 20079

 

The Committee was presented with a report seeking approval for the installation of traffic signals on either side of Westgate Road Bridge and to retain and modify experimental cycle lanes on Albemarle Road, Beckenham.

 

The Assistant Director for Traffic and Parking explained that a cycle route had been installed previously in Albemarle Road, and this had been actioned as funding had been available from central government to support cycling during the pandemic lockdown. The scheme had been introduced as an experimental scheme as there had not been time for a full consultation process to be undertaken. The scheme had been operational since November 2020. It was felt that the scheme could be improved with the installation of traffic lights on the Westgate Road Bridge. The purpose of installing the traffic lights would be to allow two way traffic to flow over the bridge once more, but avoiding the issues of traffic coming over the bridge nose to nose as was currently the case.

 

Some issues had arisen in the lower west end section of Albemarle Road, where a one way system had been installed to support the cycle route. Because of this, it meant that more traffic was going past Harris Beckenham School. Officers had observed the operation of the cycle lane and felt that the situation could be improved by reverting the road back to two way traffic, while still supporting cyclists. One of the ways that this could be achieved would be to suspend parking bays to help improve the traffic flow.

 

The Assistant Director for Traffic and Parking said that it was decided that a local public consultation was needed to see whether the experimental cycling  lane should be discontinued, or whether the Council should try and develop and improve it. To this end, a local public consultation was undertaken and the views of local residents were sought. The Assistant Director said that a copy of the consultation document was provided with the agenda papers. Members noted that the report recommended that traffic lights should be installed on the bridge and the western section of Albemarle Road should be returned to two way traffic, whilst at the same time retaining a segregated route for cycling.

 

The Assistant Director for Traffic and Parking noted that a separate consultation had been undertaken by Ward Councillors, which had also been incorporated into the agenda papers and which he was aware they would be speaking in respect of in due course. The Assistant Director for Traffic and Parking stated that the results of the consultation undertaken by officers was that generally speaking the public was still supportive of the scheme.

 

A Member and Ward Councillor expressed the view that what was lacking from the officers’ survey was that members of the public had not been asked what they wanted to do with respect to the Bridge at Westgate Road. He agreed that the public seemed to want to continue with the trial of the existing scheme.

 

A Member mentioned  ...  view the full minutes text for item 96b

96c

PLANNED HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE pdf icon PDF 300 KB

Minutes:

ES20084

 

Members were presented with a report regarding the work planned for the maintenance of highways in the borough.

 

The Assistant Director for Highways explained that some LBB funding had become available for highway maintenance projects because of previous underspends, and that funding was expected to be reinstated by TfL. So what was now required was to submit a bid to TfL for the funding of planned highway maintenance; the Council was allowed to submit a bid to the value of £1.5m. In reality it was probable that  approximately half of this would be received.

 

It was clarified that this highway maintenance was not directed primarily at any holes or damage caused by utility works, but was for general structural planned maintenance.

 

Councillor Hitchins declared an interest at this point in view of the fact that he regularly travelled on two of the roads that were mentioned in the appendix to the report.

 

Members supported the recommendations as outlined in the report. 

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1)  The Portfolio Holder agreed that the schemes listed in Appendix ‘A’ should be included in a programme of planned highway maintenance for 2020/21, to be undertaken by the Council’s existing highway term maintenance contractor, up to a maximum cost of £0.6m, subject to available funding from underspending on other Highways revenue budgets.

 

2) The Portfolio Holder agreed that a bid for funding of £1.5m should be submitted to TfL for the schemes listed in Appendix ‘B’ to form a future principal roads maintenance programme and, if successful, the Executive is requested to amend the Capital Programme accordingly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

97.

PRE SCRUTINY OF REPORTS GOING TO THE EXECUTIVE

97a

PROCUREMENT OF MOVING TRAFFIC CONTRAVENTION CAMERAS pdf icon PDF 612 KB

Minutes:

ES 20078

 

Members were asked to undertake pre decision scrutiny of the report regarding the procurement of moving traffic contravention cameras. The final decision concerning the recommendations of the report would be taken by the Executive. There were 13 cameras to procure, and it was hoped to begin enforcement later in 2021.

 

The recommendation was that the cameras would be procured via APCOA (the existing contractor). APCOA would sub-contract the procurement to TES Limited. 

 

A Member asked for assurances that the quality of the images would enable prosecutions to take place, and also asked if LBB would be able to add to the number of cameras being used going forward. The Head of Shared Parking Services stated that additional cameras could be added to the network in the future if required. Evidence of image quality would be provided by the contractor before LBB entered into a contractual arrangement.

 

The Vice Chairman asked if consideration had been applied to undertaking a joint procurement initiative with Bexley, with the possibility of making  efficiencies/savings. The Head of Shared Parking Services replied that no direct conversation to that end had taken place. However, if in the future the camera network was going to be extended, then this was something that could be considered.

 

The Chairman asked about the vendor (TES), reminding the Committee that they were a small business with approximately 8-10 staff. He inquired us to what protection LBB would have if TES went bust. This was because the Council had experienced previous issues when a company had gone bust and the Council had been unable to access the affected systems. He would not wish the situation to arise whereby TES went bust and then LBB was left with non-functioning cameras. The Head of Shared Parking Services responded that TES was a company that was known to the Council as they had provided services with respect to mobile CCTV cars in Bexley. She expressed confidence in their ability to fulfill their contractual obligations. However, she agreed with the Chairman that it would be prudent to include assurances in the Council’s agreement with APCOA which would make it clear that APCOA would take responsibility for any risk associated with using TES as a sub-contractor. 

 

A Member pointed out that in his view it should be the Council’s policy to support small and medium sized enterprises, and as TES was known to the Council then they should be given the opportunity to undertake the work.

 

RESOLVED that it be recommended to the Executive that they accept the recommendations of the report.

 

 

 

97b

BROMLEY BIODIVERSITY PLAN 2021-2026 pdf icon PDF 204 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

DRR000000

 

Members were presented with a report outlining the Bromley Biodiversity Plan (BBP) for consideration and pre-decision scrutiny before the plan went to the Executive for ratification.

 

Members noted that the report recommended that the new Bromley Biodiversity Plan (BBP) should be adopted by the Council. The BBP aimed to prevent the decline of species and habitats and to promote their conservation through active management of land, and the promotion of biodiversity gains through the planning system. The BBP provided guidance to developers, planners and land managers on how biodiversity should be protected and enhanced in the borough.

 

Dr Judith John attended the meeting to answer any questions with respect to the Plan. The purpose of the report was outlined by Ben Johnson. The onus on the Council to produce the report was in response to the requirements of the National Environmental Rural Communities Act. This placed a duty on Councils to protect Bio-Diversity. The Chairman commented that recently there had been much focus nationally on bio-diversity.

 

The Committee noted the importance of gardens in this regard, especially when taken cumulatively, and that it may be prudent to reflect this in the Local Plan when it was reviewed.

 

Members were impressed with the detail and quality of the report and agreed with the recommendations.

 

RESOLVED that the Bromley Biodiversity plan be noted, and that the Committee recommends the adoption of the Plan by the Executive.

 

 

 

 

98.

POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND OTHER ITEMS

98a

SHORTLANDS FRIENDLY VILLAGE LIVEABLE UPDATE pdf icon PDF 266 KB

Minutes:

ES20081

 

Members were presented with a report that was primarily for information purposes. The report was drafted to provide the Committee with an update with respect to the design developments for the Shortlands Friendly Liveable Neighbourhood Village.

 

The Assistant Director for Traffic and Parking explained that the project had been delayed because of Covid19, but nevertheless design modelling was continuing. More work was required to be done before anything more concrete could be brought to the Committee for scrutiny.

 

The Chairman was very keen for the scheme to be pursued, and for modelling to continue and for a local public consultation to be implemented. He commented that there was no data in the report with respect to funding for improving ‘street scene’ and for enhancing the general look and feel of the area to encourage local businesses. The Chairman stated that the project was very challenging as the Council was restricted by obstacles that were not movable.

 

A Member stated that it was important that the scheme facilitate cycling from Bromley, to Beckenham and then to Greenwich. A discussion took place concerning the note in the report of differing views amongst the Ward Member Project Board. The Assistant Director for Traffic and Parking explained that this was largely because the answers to the correct solution were not clear and that was why more modelling was required. Once the results of further modelling were known, then the results would be reported back to the Committee. 

 

A Member said that he had attended previous public meetings concerning this development, but they had been unproductive as there had not been enough detail available to comment upon. He was not keen on more traffic lights. He was in favour of streamlining and the use of mini-roundabouts as required.

 

RESOLVED that the update report be noted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

98b

ECS PERFORMANCE OVERVIEW UPDATE pdf icon PDF 465 KB

Minutes:

Members were briefed with the performance overview update for ‘ECS4’ which was in respect of the recycling of household waste. This was rated as ‘amber’. This was below target due to the impacts of the Covid Pandemic. ‘ECS6’ was similar to this and was also amber, figures similarly being affected by the pandemic.

 

Changes to residents’ lifestyles during the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting restrictions meant that more people were at home during the daytime. This had resulted in an increase in the amount of residual waste produced per household. It was likely that home clearances and improvement activities also increased during this time which also impacted on the figures.

 

Members heard that with respect to the arboricultural contract, the required target levels had not been hit. This was due to the seasonal volatility of the work and the need to deal with a backlog. Performance had now improved.

 

The Chairman said that the borough had experienced disruptive waste collections with the snow and ice that occurred during February. Services had been suspended for several days. He wondered if with hindsight, this was the correct course of action, and if the decisions made had been communicated effectively, and what could the Council do better next time.

 

Members were informed that the snow and ice caused chaos and serious health and safety issues. The safety of the work force was of first importance and so services were suspended for three days. A discussion took place as to how matters were communicated during this period. The Portfolio Holder pointed out that going forward, the Council would benefit from an enhanced  website which would improve the way the Council communicated with residents. It was also the case that LBB now benefited from an advanced weather forecasting system which was very reliable and perhaps more trust could be placed in their accuracy, rather than waiting for early morning inspections before determining whether collections could occur safely, thus allowing residents to be alerted the day before. 

 

Part of the discussion relating to communication, concerned whether or not a message concerning collections should have been put on the front page of the Council website, where it would be easy to see. The Communications Executive stated that the waste news website address was well known, and lots of people had looked at this. He said that in terms of the lessons learnt, the Council would be looking to improve the website, and was also looking into text messaging  residents directly.

 

A Member inquired if refuse teams could have been redirected to the North of the borough which seemed to get less adverse weather conditions. It was noted that an issue making this difficult was that this would have necessitated a comprehensive communications exercise to explain what was happening, so that residents could get their bins out for collection on time.

 

A Member suggested that emails be sent directly to residents explaining what the default position was, sending out a holding email if necessary. In her ward, as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 98b

99.

ECS DRAFT PORTFOLIO PLAN pdf icon PDF 326 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

ES20070

 

A discussion took place about the development of electronic vehicle charging points in the borough. It was noted that some charging points had been installed by TfL and others by Blue Point/ChargePoint London. The Portfolio Holder explained that this was a developing strategy, and the Council had to be careful to make the correct investment in technology, one that would be an investment for the future and also upgradeable.

 

Mention was made of the facilities for the Cray Wanderers football team and the fact that they were in desperate need of funding, as their current conditions were very bad, and they were looking to have 26 junior football teams up and running the next season.

 

The Chairman commented on ambitions for the Portfolio Plan and referred to the contract targets with respect to public satisfaction for cleanliness. His observation was that the report seemed to indicate less ambitious targets going forward, despite the fact that the previous targets had been hit. He wondered why this was the case. The Senior Business Support Officer explained that the Council was definitely not seeking a reduced performance from the contractor. There was some confusion in that the targets mentioned in the report that the Chairman was looking at, were contractual targets as per the contract--whereas the previous targets that Members had been looking at were targets that were for internal reporting purposes rather than contractual.

 

 

RESOLVED that the Draft Portfolio Plan be noted.  

 

100.

RISK REGISTER pdf icon PDF 348 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

ES20067

 

Members noted that the Covid Pandemic had now been removed from the Risk Register.

 

RESOLVED that the Risk Register report be noted.

 

101.

CONTRACTS REGISTER pdf icon PDF 707 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

ES20068

 

The Chairman noted that there was one item on the Risk Register that was flagged as ‘Red’, but that this looked manageable.

 

RESOLVED that the Risk Register report be noted.

 

 

102.

ORPINGTON: CROFTON ROAD TRANSPORT CORRIDOR pdf icon PDF 452 KB

Minutes:

ES 20082

 

Members were presented with a report concerning the Crofton Road Transport Corridor Improvement Scheme in Orpington.

 

The report had been presented because a Member had given notice to the Proper Officer that he wished to raise questions regarding the scheme at the meeting.

 

The Assistant Director for Traffic and Parking stated that this was a scheme to develop cycle routes along Crofton Road. The scheme had turned out to be a controversial one, with many questions being raised with respect to value for money and the scheme’s efficacy. In developing the scheme, the public, along with Ward Councillors had been consulted. He said that the answers to the questions raised by the Guest Member were outlined in the report.

 

The Chairman commented that he had attended on site and noted that this was a work in progress.

 

The Guest Member stated that his purpose in bringing the matter to the attention of the Committee was so that the work would stop, and that the Committee sanction or commission an immediate road safety audit of the scheme, particularly in the area between Newstead Ave and Orpington Station.

 

He referred to the previous use of three lane highways, and the fact that these had been scrapped because of dangers in relation to ‘head on conflict’. In his view, the cycle scheme being proposed for Crofton Road had  ‘head on conflict designed in to the scheme’. The Guest Member referred to an accident that had taken place on the 19th of February at 10:00am, which involved a head on collision. To support this, he read out a statement given by a bus driver that had witnessed the accident.

 

He stated that post lockdown there could be a danger with standstill traffic in Crofton Road which would have a major impact on bus routes. Again, the Guest Member reiterated his request to the Committee to undertake a proper and thorough road safety audit. The Chairman asked the Guest Member who he thought should undertake the safety audit--should it be the Committee or should it be the professionals. The Guest Member responded that he was asking the Committee to commission the safety audit.

 

The Guest Member stated that he was in contact with a constituent who was a chartered civil engineer and a road safety auditor who had pointed out what he considered to be flaws in the design of the scheme, again particularly in the area between Newstead Avenue and York Rise. He outlined several suggestions that had been made by the constituent who was a retired charted civil engineer and these were as follows:

 

1.  The relocation of the BT pole

2.  The relocation of the bus stop and cage

3.  The revision of the kerb-line of the north of the road between York Rise and the taxi rank, to increase the width of the carriageway by 2 metres

4.  Narrow the footway on the southern side of the road 

 

The Assistant Director for Traffic and Parking responded that the scheme  ...  view the full minutes text for item 102.

ORAL QUESTIONS WITH ANSWERS pdf icon PDF 261 KB

WRITTEN QUESTIONS WITH ANSWERS pdf icon PDF 310 KB

Additional documents:

 

Original Text: