Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, RM17 6SL
Contact: Lucy Tricker, Senior Democratic Services Officer Email: email@example.com
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Laura Blake, Thames Crossing Action Group Representative; from Peter Ward, Business Representative; and from Westley Mercer, Thurrock Business Board Representative.
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Lower Thames Crossing Task Force meeting held on 14 June 2021.
The minutes from the Lower Thames Crossing Task Force meeting held on 14 June 2021 were approved as a true and 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 interests declared.
The Highways England (HE) Executive Director
introduced the presentation and then the Head of Consents began the
presentation by explaining the timeline of the Lower Thames
Crossing (LTC) project so far. He stated that the first public
consultation had begun in 2016, before the preferred route
announcement in April 2017. He added that a statutory consultation
had been completed in December 2018; a supplementary consultation
had been completed in April 2020; and the design refinement
consultation had been completed in August 2020. He explained that
the next steps in the project would be the community impact
consultation, which would begin this month, before Development
Consent Order (DCO) re-submission in winter 2021, followed by the
DCO decision in 2023.
The Senior Consultant introduced the report
and stated that officers had been reviewing the DCOv1 (version one)
submission, and had been discussing this with the HE team for some
time, including the impact of the proposed route and potential
mitigation measures. He explained that the paper presented to the
Task Force considered the methodology of the Health and Equalities
Impact Assessment (HEqIA)v1. He added that the paper had been
developed by Stantec, but all nine local authorities impacted by
the scheme, either directly or indirectly, had been involved in
agreeing the independent review. He stated that the paper sought to
decide if the methodology of the HEqIA was adequate compared to
best practice standards, which in this case was the Wales Health
Impact Assessment Support Unit (WHIASU) guidance. The Senior
Consultant then mentioned that this paper provided a short summary
of the findings of this exercise and had been paid for via the
Planning Performance Agreement. He highlighted section 4 of the
report and stated that Stantec had developed a number of
recommendations for HE to consider and respond too, but these
recommendations centred around the methodology of the HEqIA, rather
than impacts or direct mitigation measures. He stated that the team
had summarised their findings and had outlined in the report that
they did not have much confidence in the adequacy of the
methodology used by HE. He described how the team hoped HE would
use officer’s findings to improve version two of the HEqIA.
He summarised and stated that HE were still developing the second
version of the HEqIA and this would not be ready for some months
yet, and would be completed in stages after discussion with the
CIPHAG group (with Public Health England in attendance).
The Chair confirmed that the Transport Action Network would be invited to the August meeting of the Task Force. He thanked officers and Members for their attendance, and urged residents to take part in the consultation.