Meeting documents

Place Scrutiny

Committee Minutes

Fri Sep 11 2015

Related Documents:
agenda for these minutes


Councillors Moulding (Chairman), Ball, Bowden, Clarance, Eastman, Hawkins, Hill, Hook, B Hughes, Owen, Radford, Vint and Way.


Councillors Edgell and Dempster

Members attending in accordance with Standing Order 25:-

Councillors Croad and Dewhirst

*87 Minutes

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings held on 17 June and 3 September 2015 be signed as a correct records subject to the amendment of the third bullet point at Minute 86(a), by the addition of the words in italics, to read:

Match Funding of 0.5m average for each of the District Councils, which had been committed by Somerset District Councils, had not been similarly done by Devon District Councils as it was unclear what these Councils would receive in exchange for this funding in terms of premises that would be connected.

*88 Cranbrook Task Group Report

The Committee considered the Report of this Task Group (CS/15/19 - text only | pdf CS/15/19) established in conjunction with People s, Health Wellbeing and Corporate Services Scrutiny Committees, with membership drawn from those Committees, which had completed its review of the past, current and future development of the new town, having examined issues such as the current physical and social infrastructure, the impact of the development on public services, and Cranbrook s longer term opportunities. The Report s recommendations included, inter alia:

the establishment of a multi-disciplinary team across Devon County Council to plan and implement the provision of future services in Cranbrook, Sherford, and large extensions to existing settlements; this team would cover everything from waste management to public health;

an enhancement in the provision of services for older children and young people until permanent services were established;

the establishment of a strategic health and wellbeing group to oversee the development of a health and wellbeing strategy for the town.

In discussing the issues raised in the Report Members considered:

the first phase of construction was built to the highest level of energy efficiency and sustainability available at the time, which included a District Heating System for the whole of Cranbrook;

the second phase of construction would be built to East Devon District Council s current levels of sustainability;

the success of St Martin s Primary School which was at capacity in Reception, Year 1 and 2, with the second Primary and first Secondary School which had opened in September 2015.

The Chairman thanked all Members and Officers who had been involved in the Joint Scrutiny Task Group and to the Scrutiny Officer for compiling the report.

It was MOVED by Councillor Moulding, SECONDED by Councillor Hook and

RESOLVED that the Task Group s Report and recommendations therein be endorsed and commended to Cabinet.

*89 Energy Policy Task Group Report

The Committee considered the Report of this Task Group (CS/15/20 - text only | pdf CS/15/20) and welcomed the progress which had been achieved on the Council s energy policy, following a report received by the Committee on 17 June 2015 where Members had expressed concerns at the lack of progress made toward the Energy Policy Task Group s recommendations published in November 2014, and had agreed to reconvene the Task Group and meet with the Cabinet Member for Community and Environmental Services to identify and address any barriers preventing the progression of the recommendations and to construct a timetable for implementation.

The Task Group found that significant progress had been achieved, partly due to the Council s disposal of assets, which had led to a fall in its energy consumption. It also suggested that the Council should consider investing in renewable energy to generate income in order to safeguard public services in the future. The Report s recommendations included, inter alia:

In discussing the issues raised in the report Members considered:

the appointment of an Energy Manager in the Autumn of 2015 who would advance the recommendation within the report;

that 18 Schools had responded to the Councils proposal of energy efficiencies;

the Environmental Performance Management Group would hold its first meeting in October where it would discuss concerns over a reduction in feed-in tariffs from January 2016;

that the gross energy consumption for Schools was published annually and was available on the Council website.

*90 Speed Limit Policy

(Councillor Dewhirst attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item.)

(Councillor Vint declared a personal interest in this matter by virtue of being a Member of Totnes on the Move, Totnes Traffic Transport Forum and Totnes Town Council, all of which support 20mph zones).

In accordance with Standing Order 25, Councillors Hook and Dewhirst had requested that the Committee consider reviewing the County Council s Speed Limit Policy in light of issues raised about potential discrepancies in recent proposals to implement speed limits for the South Devon Highway (South Devon Link Road) and associated roads.

The Scrutiny Officer and Head of Highways, Capital Development Waste explained and confirmed that following concerns expressed by the local County Councillors (Councillors Dewhirst and Hook) on perceived inconsistencies in the implementation of the existing Speed Limit Policy in relation to the South Devon Highway, a proposed Cabinet Member Decision had subsequently been withdrawn. A Temporary Traffic Order had nonetheless, and as had previously been explained to the local councillors, been put in place prior to the opening of the South Devon Link Road pending a review of the original proposals.

Members, including the local councillor(s), confirmed they were content with the current Policy but highlighted a number of concerns they had over its implementation/interpretation which it was felt would benefit from some clarification: hence this item having been placed on the Committee s agenda. In particular, Councillor Dewhirst outlined his concerns over the implementation of the policy where some roads - which currently had a 30mph limit - had been given an unrestricted national speed limit.

The Head of Highways, Capital Development Waste also confirmed that the policy and treatment of incident statistics followed national guidelines. Additionally, the Department for Transport was currently conducting a review into the use of 20mph speed limit zones which would be published early next year and he would report further then, as was already indicated in the Committee s Forward Pan, for March 2016.

The Committee acknowledged a number of issues raised during discussion relating to:

the recording of accident data: all accidents reported to the police were recorded by the Council and used as part of the Cluster figures produced to create a true reflection of incidents on the roads in Devon;

the role and process of County Councillors in authorising and influencing changes in local speed limits;

the enforcement by Devon Cornwall Constabulary of 20mph zones/limits;

but concluded, in light of advice, that it would be premature to make any formal recommendations to Cabinet on any of these issues, pending the further review and discussions referred to above.

It was MOVED by Councillor Moulding, SECONDED by Councillor Hook and

RESOLVED that consideration of the issues identified above be deferred until the Committee meeting in March 2016, to be considered alongside the report on the Department of Transport s national review of 20mph speed limits, and that the Devon Cornwall Constabulary be also invited to attend that meeting to respond to concerns about accident data and provide a statement on their enforcement policy.

*91 Future Library Service

(Councillor Croad, Cabinet Member for Community Environmental Services, attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(1) and spoke to this item at the invitation of the Committee).

The Cabinet Member for Community and Environmental Services and the Head of Libraries, Culture and Heritage Services reported on developments for the future Library Service in Devon including inter alia:

the appointment of a new Chair of Trustees, Julie Dent, with the remainder of the Board still to be recruited;

the ongoing development of a business plan for the staff mutual delivery model which would be commended to the Cabinet in November;

the Library Service had now been given a Charity status;

the Community Pilot schemes were progressing extremely well and continued to provide a tailored service to suit the needs of individual communities;

Wi-Fi had been installed into 49 libraries.

*92 Place Scrutiny Committee Work Programme

That the Work Programme be agreed subject to the following additions:

a standing item on Broadband

Peninsula Rail Task Force briefing

a suggestion to People s Scrutiny regarding Devon County Council s coordination/response to the European Refugee Crisis


The meeting started at 2.00pm and finished at 4.23pm

The Minutes of this Committee are published on the County Council s website at:-

Date Published: Tue Sep 15 2015