Agenda and minutes

Community Safety and Environment Policy and Accountability Committee
Tuesday, 3rd February, 2015 7.00 pm

Venue: Courtyard Room - Hammersmith Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Craig Bowdery  (020 8753 2278)

Items
No. Item

41.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 249 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 13th January 2015

 

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED –

That the minutes of the meeting held on 13th January 2015 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

42.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

 

43.

Declarations of interest

If a Committee member has any prejudicial or personal interest in a particular item they should declare the existence and nature of the interest at the commencement of the consideration of that item or as soon as it becomes apparent.

 

At meetings where members of the public are allowed to be in attendance and speak, any Councillor with a prejudicial interest may also make representations, give evidence or answer questions about the matter. The Councillor must then withdraw immediately from the meeting before the matter is discussed and any vote taken unless a dispensation has been obtained from the Standards Committee.

 

Where Members of the public are not allowed to be in attendance, then

the Councillor with a prejudicial interest should withdraw from the meeting whilst the matter is under consideration unless the disability has been removed by the Standards Committee.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

44.

Public Participation pdf icon PDF 130 KB

To invite questions from members of the public present.

 

Members of the public with more complex issues are invited to submit their questions in advance in order to allow a more substantive answer to be given. Questions can be sent to the contact officer shown on the front page of the agenda.

 

A submission from hfcyclists and the London Cycling Campaign regarding ‘Cycling in the Borough’ and the ‘Draft Local Plan’ agenda items is attached

 

 

Minutes:

The Chair invited members of the public present to make any comments in relation to issues on the agenda as part of that item.

 

45.

Cycling in the borough pdf icon PDF 105 KB

To receive a report from the Executive Director for Transport & Technical Services updating the Committee on work to support cycling in the borough and the development of the draft Cycling Strategy

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from the Head of Transport Policy & Network Management outlining the developments in cycling in the borough since the Committee last considered the issue at its meeting in July 2014. Officers explained that the Council’s draft Cycling Strategy had been consulted upon and gave a verbal report on the initial results. The Council had received approximately 80 responses, around 70 of which supported the aims of the Strategy. Roughly 70% of respondents described themselves as regular cyclists and they gave broad support for the challenges and opportunities identified in the Strategy. Some of the comments received had been more critical, ranging from anti-cycling sentiment to a desire for the Strategy to go further and do more to promote cycling. There was also a general feeling that there should be increased segregation between cyclists and other forms of transport.

 

The Chair welcomed John Griffiths, chair of hfcyclists and part of the London Cycling Campaign, to the meeting. Mr Griffiths explained that he would have liked to have seen more progress made improving the Hammersmith Broadway gyratory and Hammersmith Bridge for cyclists, arguing that until measures were taken to improve safety people would be too scared to cycle across them. It was the view of hfcyclists that there should be signage across the bridge to either give cyclists priority or to prevent overtaking at the pinch points. Mr Griffiths invited Council officers and members to attend a site visit at the bridge with their families so that the risks to cyclists could be experienced first-hand. It was also highlighted that no overtaking signs were used effectively when there were roadworks which restricted the width of the road and that the draft Strategy advocated similar signs and a 20mph speed limit when carriageways were less than 3.2m wide, which the bridge was in places.

 

A member of the public also expressed concern at the poor road surface on the bridge, which added another hazard that cyclists needed to be aware of. It also made it difficult for a cyclist to safely look behind them when they approached the pinch points. It was also argued that the accident statistics did not include the many ‘near misses’ which occurred daily or take into account the ‘fear factor’ which dissuaded potential cyclists from using the route.

 

Officers explained that the Council was not necessarily opposed to signage on the bridge, but that it needed to be wary of over-cluttering with too many signs which would reduce their effectiveness and confuse drivers. In order to establish a 20mph zone across the bridge, the Council was required to consult and make legal orders, which it was currently prioritising over signage. Officers also acknowledged the concerns regarding the road surface on the bridge and reported that there were plans to reconstruct the surface. The timescale of this work was dependent upon TfL funds and would require the bridge to be closed for several weeks. It was confirmed that the Council owned the bridge and would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.

46.

Draft Local Plan pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To receive a report from the Head of Policy & Spatial Planning presenting the Council’s draft Local Plan, which outlines the planning and development policies for the borough

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from the Head of Policy & Spatial Planning on the Council’s draft Local Plan, which combined the existing Core Strategy and Development Management Local Plan.

 

Noting the proposed policy regarding betting and pay day loan shops, it was asked what weight this would have. Officers explained that the current rules meant that under permitted development rights, shops could convert to betting or pay day loan shops without seeking planning permission. The proposed Local Plan would allow the Council to consider the wider impact on an area, particularly in terms of the concentration of such shops. The Committee was also informed that the Government had announced its intention to revise the change of use rules and remove the permitted development rights to control the increase in betting and pay day loan shops. Without a change in national policy, the Council could explore the use of an Article 4 direction to remove the permitted development rights, and the inclusion of the policy in the draft Local Plan would give more weight to such a direction.

 

A member of the public asked if the draft Plan included a policy on double-storey basements. Officers explained that the policies monitoring subterranean basements had been included in the Plan as despite there being very few in the borough so far, the Council was keen to prevent them becoming an issue. RBKC had a similar policy which was only just coming into effect and had set a precedent by the Planning Inspectorate so officers were confident that LBHF’s policy would be judged sound. This was key because the only evidence supporting the policy was the potential disruption caused by construction traffic, as structural stability was not a relevant consideration in planning policy.

 

Some members questioned the length of the draft Local Plan, arguing that at 296 pages it could be off-putting for residents and highlighting that the National Planning Policy Framework was just 50 pages long. Officers explained that the draft Local Plan was an amalgamation of two documents and that the total page number had been decreased. It was also a reflection of the nature of the document that it needed to be sufficiently robust to be a useful tool in development management, and so the detail was necessary. Pages such as the local context and descriptions of the area were important as they framed the policies contained in the Plan and were necessary if the document was to be considered sound. The Committee also asked about public consultation and officers explained that a wide range of activity had been undertaken, including press releases, the Council news site, direct mailings to 1,200 interested people and organisations and workshops for Housing Associations and the Youth Council.

 

Members asked about the draft Local Plan’s definition of affordable housing as being for households earning up to £60,000 and how this figure had been arrived at. Officers explained that this figure complied with Government guidance and the income limit was in line with that set by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.

47.

Street Cleansing pdf icon PDF 143 KB

To receive a report from the Bi-Borough Head of Waste and Street Enforcement outlining how the Council addresses littering and rubbish dumping/flytipping

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from the Head of Waste Management & Street Enforcement presenting the Council’s current and proposed street cleansing initiatives. Officers highlighted that generally there was a disparity between the perception of street cleanliness and the measured performance of the service.

 

Members sought confirmation from the Cabinet Member whether he still conducted regular walkabouts with Serco, the service provider. Cllr Harcourt confirmed that these still took place regularly, the most recent being less than two weeks ago. He also followed up complaints received by visiting affected himself.

 

Some members of the Committee expressed concern that the Council appeared to consider littering a lower priority than previously, with the issuing of Fixed Penalty Notices dropping from around 100 a month to almost zero. It was also noted that the income from these fines was important in so much as it funded further enforcement activity. Cllr Harcourt explained that generally the amount of littering taking place was decreasing, and so it was natural that the number of fines being issued would also drop. He also emphasised that officers had been diverted from other roles to focus on enforcement to help ensure the borough’s streets were clean. Officers added that initiatives such as the focus on cigarette butts had been so effective that it had become known that the Council fined all offences, so people had learned not to drop their butts. The focus was now on tackling domestic littering rather than on the issuing of fines. Officers confirmed that the Council did not have targets for the number of fines issued, but were instructed to address specific issues identified by residents.

 

A member of the public highlighted an ongoing problem he was experiencing on the Lakeside estate with rubbish persistently being dumped illegally. CCTV cameras had now been installed, but these had taken nine months to arrive. Cllr Harcourt reported that he had recently visited the estate and had seen it as its worst and he acknowledged the problem. He felt there were a number of contributory issues, such as where the bins were stored, which made it difficult for residents to access them. He undertook to instruct officers to make contact with the landlords to explore resolving the issues. The Committee was informed that the public bins in the road acted as a magnet for illegal dumping and that the designation of the area as hotspot had not appeared to help. Officers stated that the cycle of dumping needed to be broken with publicised prosecutions. The area had now been put onto Serco’s daily rounds to monitor and the information gathered by the member of the public would help the Council prosecute offenders. It was also noted that the communication with landlords needed to improve and that officers were working with colleagues in the Housing department to address this. This was particularly important given the high turnover of tenants in the area.

 

Members of the public argued that the Council should explore a different approach to domestic rubbish storage,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.

48.

Recycling update pdf icon PDF 277 KB

To receive a report from the Bi-Borough Waste Action Development Manager updating the Committee on a number of issues raised at the November 2014 meeting

 

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from the Head of Waste & Street Enforcement updating the Committee on a number of issues following the Committee’s consideration of recycling at its November 2014 meeting. Members welcomed the progress made, especially the Council’s application to be a pilot for a recycling incentivisation scheme.

 

RESOLVED –

That the report be noted.

 

49.

Work Programming pdf icon PDF 90 KB

The Committee is asked to consider the Work Programme of future items

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED –

That the proposed work programme for the remainder of the municipal year be agreed.

 

50.

Dates of future meetings

The following date is proposed:

·         Tuesday 21st April 2015

 

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was agreed as Tuesday 21st April 2015.