Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL. View directions
Contact: Jenny Shade, Senior Democratic Services Officer Email: Direct.Democracy@thurrock.gov.uk
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Planning, Transport, Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committeemeeting held on 8 November 2016.
The minutes of the meeting held on the 8 November 2016 were approved as a correct record.
Items of Urgent Business
To receive additional items that the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency, in accordance with Section 100B (4) (b) of the Local Government Act 1972.
There were no items of urgent business.
Declaration of Interests
There were no declarations of interest.
Charles Hammond, Chief Executive of Forth Ports, wished members a Good New Year and stated how delighted he was to present the Vision of Port of Tilbury report to Members.
Charles Hammond’s introduction stated that the Port of Tilbury was a leading multi-purpose port which was 130 years old and had been part of the Forth Ports Groups since 1996. In the last 20 years the tonnage going through the port had doubled and was confident that his would continue to grow based on the increased cargo throughput and the proposed increase in space on the Port. This major regeneration project had the investment of several millions of pounds to expand the Port and contribute to the future economy growth to Thurrock. The Port would continue to engage with the Council, Partnerships and residents to ensure the expansion related to the community and that all would benefit.
John Speakman, Senior Asset Property Manager at Port of Tilbury London Ltd, stated the importance of meeting the objectives set for the Port of Tilbury Vision and that issues emerged from the Local Plan would be considered. Improvements would be made to a sustainable rail access and improvements would be made to the town of Tilbury, the Tilbury Fort and the open space that lie between the Port and the Fort. Links to the town and the riverside would also form part of the expansion proposals.
Martin Friend, Director of Vincent and Gorbing Planning Associates, took Members through the site maps and explained the current, proposed and under construction locations of the Port. The longer term proposals would include the eastward expansion and how this would depend on the result of the Lower Thames Crossing. The following four key themes of the framework summary were highlighted:
• Economic Development
• Access to green space for recreation
• Maximise social and community benefits
• Environmental protection and enhancement
Martin Friend concluded that consultation would be undertaken with stakeholders over the next 6 months with consultation events being held in the next 6 to 8 weeks. The Port would continue to engage with stakeholders and alongside the Local Plan going forward.
The Chair thanked the Port of Tilbury representatives for their presentation and stated that regeneration and consultation was a vital part of this overview and scrutiny committee. The Chair stated that it was not a guarantee that all planning applications would be approved.
The Chair stated concerns that the air quality in Tilbury was one of the worst in the country and that the health of Thurrock residents should be a vital part of this redevelopment. Currently the ASDA roundabout could not handle the existing amount of traffic. Regeneration was welcomed but asked the Port of Tilbury for reassurance that employment and meaningful training would be available for Thurrock residents. That improvement to the cruise terminal frontage and the river frontage also be part of the redevelopment. The Chair stated that she looked forward to the consultation process and to be invited to comment ... view the full minutes text for item 27.
The Officer presented the report that set out the charges in relation to the services within the remit of the Transport Planning and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee. These charges would take affect from the 1 April 2017.
The Officer referred Members to the appendices to the report which highlighted the proposed charges and the proposed deletion of current fees and charges.
The Chair thanked the Officer for the report and requested that members contact officers directly or through democratic services on any specific area related questions that they may have.
The Chair requested that the item on Concessionary Bus Passes was updated to delete the word “REMOVE”. The Chair stated that this service would continue as this was a statutory obligation of the Council for vulnerable residents. The Officer clarified by stating that this service would continue and that the existing £10 administration fee would still stand.
The Chair asked for clarification on the NHS Car Parking Permits. The Officer stated there was a demand for spaces currently available and to make people think about how and where they park. Monitoring would continue to ensure spaces are there for those that need them the most and not a disadvantage to residents.
Councillor Smith asked how car park tickets in the borough compared to other boroughs. The Officer stated that these were in line with other councils.
Councillor Redsell asked for clarification on Replacement Bus Passes and how these could be joined up with other operators. The Officer stated that the borough had the best independent bus operator in the country which proved challenging when trying to join up with other outside operators.
Councillor G Rice stated that the council was charging too little for transport development and travel plans and these fees should be increased. The Chair asked how these fees compared to other boroughs. The Officer stated that the fees were comparative to Essex and Southend Councils and that consideration should be given to the diverse range of organisations applying for these services.
Councillor Redsell asked Officer whether paths and cycle ways were being maintained by developments on new estates and what was the council doing to monitor this. The Officer stated that an area the Council were aware and will address in the future was to ensure that developers continued to pay for the continuing maintenance and upkeep of these paths.
1. That Planning Transport Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted the revised fees and charges proposed including those no longer applicable.
2. That Planning Transport Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee comment on the proposals currently being considered within the remit of this committee.
Laura Last left the committee room at 8.15 pm.
The Officer presented the report and provided members with an overview of the task force work programme which provided explicit detail on a proposal to migrate from a highways noticing regime to a highways permitting scheme.
The Officer stated that the initial focus of the Congestion Task Force Group had been the improvement of the measures to mitigate the impact of incidents on the M25 and Dartford Crossing on local traffic in Thurrock. As a cross party agenda for Thurrock and with active support from all Members an overview of the work programme was to improve the free flow of traffic across local and strategic networks and to work to ensure the future proofing of the network to accommodate future growth.
The Officer explained the Permit Scheme to members which highlighted the following:
• Provide an alternative method to the Noticing System of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991.
• Permit Schemes are enacted under the Traffic Management Act 2004.
• Highways Authorities must assign permission to, rather than being told where and when statutory undertakers are going to work.
• Permit Schemes are intended to enable more effective co-ordination.
• The objectives of the Permit Schemes are to ensure safety, minimise inconvenience to residents and to protect the structure of the street and the integrity of the apparatus in it.
The following benefits of a Permit Scheme would be:
• Better control of timings of work
• Enhanced planning and visibility of works on the network
• Increased collaboration with those affected by traffic management
• Improved information and awareness about works on the highway
The Chair stated that it was common sense that the Permit Scheme be implemented. The Chair’s only concern was there sufficient resource to monitor and police the scheme and would sanctions or punishments be put in place. The Officer confirmed that Traffic Management Act 2004 still had certain activities to fulfil and would be sponsored by the annual budget. Any increase in costs would be paid by the permit scheme although it was not the intention to generate income.
Councillor Allen asked Officers if the scheme would be managed by road traffic management teams. The Officer confirmed that inspectors who are credited and suitably qualified will undertake the inspections.
Councillor Smith asked Officers whether it would be insisted that works would be carried out overnight. The Officer stated that yes to an extent but environment issues would have an impact and consideration would need to be given on the activities to be undertaken.
A lengthy discussion between Members and Officers took place on the introduction of yellow box junction markings at Junction 31 to deter motorists contributing to gridlocks in that area. The Officer concluded that these markings were essential to help motorists and to encourage them to behave more responsibly.
Considers the contents of this report and provide comments on the Congestion Task Form work programme, and specifically on the proposal to introduce a Highways Permit Scheme in Thurrock as ... view the full minutes text for item 29.
The Officer presented the report that outlined the background, purpose and consultation process involved in the production of the Thurrock Design Strategy (TDS). The Thurrock Design Strategy was produced as a quality led policy tool alongside the Local Plan policies which would be used to inform and assess development proposals. The draft Thurrock Design Strategy was published for public consultation from 26 February until 11 April 2015 alongside the Thurrock Local Plan Issues and Options (Stage 2) document. The Officer stated that the Council was committed to substantially raising design standards across the borough and referred Members to the six objectives to be delivered.
Councillor Redsell stated that only 53 comments received from both the public and industry experts appeared to be very low. The Officer assured Members that sufficient publicity had been undertaken and that he saw the low number of responses as a positive sign. The Chair agreed and stated that the lack of responses should be seen as a positive sign.
Councillor Redsell stated that all residents should have the opportunity to comment on any consultation including the elderly who may not have access to electronic devices.
Councillor Piccolo stated that the questionnaire was quite lengthy and could have been made more simplified for residents to complete.
Members note the current status and progress on the production and adoption of the Design Strategy and provide comments on the consultation process that will inform the production of the final document.
The Officer presented the report that set out the proposed programme of work which would utilise the capital funding allocations available to the Highways and Transportation Service within the 2017-18 financial year.
The Officer referred Members to the appendix to the report which highlighted the Highways and Transport Capital Works Programme for 2017-18. Members were also directed to the summary of how the Capital Settlement and Council Capital Allocation funding was allocated across the work programme.
The Chair thanked the Officer for the report and requested Members contact officers directly or through democratic services on any specific area related questions that they may have with regard to the appendix.
Councillor Redsell sought clarification on Woodview and King Edward Drive and would email Officers.
Councillor Redsell asked Officers why the cycling infrastructure delivery programme had received so much money when she did not see many residents on bikes and that cycle paths were not being used. The Officer stated the money came from the Local Growth Fund as part of a government innovation and it was either receive the money and use on cycle infrastructure or not receive any money at all.
Councillor Redsell asked if this money was for maintenance only. The Officer stated that a Cycle Audit had to be undertaken so that a business case could be prepared to identify what works was required and that the money was not for maintenance.
Councillor Allen asked when the Controlled Parking Zone would be implemented in Tilbury. The Officer stated that an investigation would be undertaken starting with Dock and Calcutta Roads to ensure the right mix of parking would be available and then concentrate on the residential parking. This work would hopefully start in the first quarter, April to June 2017 and be completed by quarter 3.
Councillor G Rice asked Officers to look into the maintenance of the small pathway in Chadwell Road and requested that road bollards be maintained and washed regularly. The Chair agreed that it had become very dangerous in certain areas where these bollards could not been seen as they were so dirty.
Councillor Smith agreed with the horrendous state of some of the bollards in the borough. Councillor Smith asked Officers would the congestion around the “Spiral” of Lakeside be on the 2017/18 work programme. The Officer stated that as part of the Congestion Task Force Group they would be looking at the capacity improvement on this road with Highways England and that surveys were being undertaken on site to understand what was required and what the design for redevelopment would be.
Councillor Piccolo stated that discussions had taken place with the Corringham and Stanford Forums and would this be included onto the work programme. The Officer stated that portfolio holder approval was required on the allocation of the Section 102 money contributions.
Considered the proposed Highways and Transportation Capital Programme 2017-18 (as detailed in Appendix 1) and commented with a view to informing the final programme.
The Head of Planning and Growth requested that the Thurrock Local Plan Issues and Options (Stage 2) be allocated to the March 2017 Committee.