Agenda and minutes

Environment & Transport Cabinet Committee - Friday, 5th December, 2014 10.00 am

Venue: Darent Room, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone. View directions

Contact: Angela Evans  01622 221876


No. Item


Apologies and Substitutes

To receive apologies for absence and notification of any substitutes present

Additional documents:


Apologies were received from Mr Bowles and Mr Harrison, the latter was substituted by Mr Pearman.


Declarations of Interest by Members in items on the Agenda

To receive any declarations of interest made by Members in relation to any matter on the agenda.  Members are reminded to specify the agenda item number to which it refers and the nature of the interest being declared.

Additional documents:


No declarations of interest were made.


Minutes of the meeting held on 17 September 2014 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To consider and approve the minutes as a correct record

Additional documents:


(1)       Mr Hill stated that in reference to bringing back a report on the community warden service the response to the consultation had been very strong.  Data was still being collated and so the report would be brought to the January meeting.


(2)       Mr Baldock stated that he was a Member of KCC’s Planning Applications Committee, not of his Borough’s Planning Committee.


(3)       RESOVED the, subject to the amendment above, the Minutes were correctly recorded and that they be signed by the Chairman.


Verbal updates

To receive verbal updates from the Cabinet Members for Community Services and Environment &Transport and the Corporate Director, Growth, Environment & Transport on the following:


·                Highway Operations

·                New HWRC and Transfer Station Contracts

·                Redevelopment of Sittingbourne HWRC and Transfer Station

·                Waste Tonnages

·                Sustainability

·                Transport Strategy

·                Old Chalk New Downs

·                Public Rights of Way

·                Trading Standards

Additional documents:


Community Services


(1)       The Cabinet Member for Community Services began his update by reporting to the Committee that the Leader has decided to move Trading Standards and the Coroners into his portfolio.  These services had a very a strong synergy with Community Safety which was already in the portfolio and the three formed a very sensible block.


Trading Standards


·                A number of highly targeted campaigns were currently running protecting consumers and supporting legitimate businesses:


1)     Stop the Scammers’ campaign.  KCC had visited over 400 chronic scam victims in Canterbury and Thanet and provided them with help and ongoing support. The campaign would soon be moving into new areas – Dover, Shepway, Sevenoaks and Tonbridge & Malling where KCC had intelligence on major scams.


2)      Second Hand Cars campaign.  Second hand cars were the most complained about consumer product in Kent.  A list of around 4,000 consumers who regularly buy second hand cars had received advice, and car dealers had been inspected and provided with information to give to customers.  One dealer had said he thought KCC’s leaflet was “…one of the best and simplest thing that had come from Trading Standards in recent years…”.


3)      Rogue Traders.  Trading Standards were now having a big impact on rogue traders in Kent. 


o      The No Rogue Trader Campaign had used intelligence to target 34,000 households in areas where rogue traders are known to operate.


o      KCC’s new Fair Trader Scheme had launched in partnership with  Following the launch on the 27 November consumers in Kent had over 1,000 ‘Trading Standards approved’ traders (builders, plumbers etc.) to choose from, protected by the fact that they had passed rigorous intelligence and criminal checks by KCC Trading Standards.   


(2)     The Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport gave Members updates on the following:


Highways & Transportation


Highway Operations


·                All Parish Seminars had taken place and had generally been well received by all who attended. The main themes of these seminars had been budget savings, the impact of the weather on highway repairs, winter service, fly-tipping on the highway and highway drainage and flooding.

·                Pothole Grant funding spend on highway repairs continued.  A number of resurfacing projects would be delivered in the early spring programme through the re-surfacing contract with all grant funding to be spent by 31 March 2015.


·                Pothole numbers remained low and at expected levels for the time of year. 


·                District teams continued to have additional pressure due to overgrowth enquiries which could be time consuming.


·                Highway safety inspections were being fully undertaken and low numbers of enquiries for insurance claim forms continued.


·                The winter service policy had been signed off for the year and all winter service preparations had been completed.  KCC were fully stocked with salt and the campaign for the year “we are prepared…are you?” was under way.


·                The Highways out of hours emergency on call team was now back up to full strength for the winter following the reduced numbers of staff who were on call throughout the summer  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.


14/00145 Policy on Gatwick Airport pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To receive a report by the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport and the Corporate Director, Growth, Environment and Transport on the decision taken by Cabinet that Kent County Council opposes a second runway at Gatwick Airport, opposes the increase in overflights across West Kent as a result of airspace changes, and supports a reduction in the number of night flights.

Additional documents:


(1)       The Cabinet Committee received a report of the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport and the Corporate Director of Growth, Environment and Transport which contained information on the Council’s policy on Gatwick Airport.  Paul Crick, Director, Environment, Planning and Enforcement, and Joe Ratcliff, Principal Transport Planner - Strategy, were in attendance to introduce the report and in particular referred to the following:


(2)       Gatwick Airport Ltd had proposed a second runway at Gatwick with proposals for changes to airspace resulting in a concentration of flight paths, a higher level of permitted night flights and an increase in overflight and noise currently experienced in West Kent.  The Airports Commission had undertaken a national public consultation until 3 February 2015 on this option for a second runway at Gatwick; alongside two options for additional runway capacity at Heathrow. The Airports Commission will then make a recommendation to Government in summer 2015 on where to add one additional runway in the South East by 2030. The option of a Thames Estuary Airport was ruled out by the Airports Commission in September 2014.


(3)       Statistics seem to show that over the past decade there has been an eastward shift of flights.  The further out that aircraft join the final approach, the more flights the airport can handle as they can be spaced more effectively and the runway can handle more movements per hour, in other words, maximise the capacity of the runway.  The question of whether this was the case had been formally asked of Gatwick Airport Ltd through the Consultative Committee (GATCOM) and KCC awaited a written response.


(4)       KCC was opposed to the consolidation of flights in the suggested proposed changes to airspace and would prefer a wider approach be maintained. 


(5)       The proposed mixed mode operation for a new runway at Gatwick, (both runways used for departures and arrivals); provides the maximum amount of additional capacity in terms of aircraft movements and passengers. However, it also has the most detrimental environmental and noise impacts with no opportunity for respite from runway alternation (one runway used for arrivals while the other runway is used for departures).  KCC was also opposed to this and, for similar reasons, to the proposed increase in night flights.


(6)       In response to questions raised and comments made the Committee received the following further information from officers:


(7)       In terms of surface access, Gatwick Airport Ltd claimed it would be “road and rail ready for a second runway by 2021” regardless of whether a second runway was delivered or not in the post 2025 period. Gatwick’s surface access strategy for a second runway was heavily reliant on already planned, committed and delivered schemes for strategic road and rail access.  These highway and rail schemes were already being implemented to help alleviate current levels of congestion and delay and to meet background growth, without taking account of the demand that would be generated by more than a doubling of Gatwick’s size, therefore to classify this as road/rail ready  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.


Christmas/New Year 2013-14 Storms & Floods - Progress Report pdf icon PDF 37 KB

To receive an update from the Cabinet Member for Community Services and the Director, Environment, Planning and Enforcement on progress on work following the severe weather and flooding over Christmas and New Year 2013-14.

Additional documents:


(1)       The Cabinet Committee received a report of the Cabinet Member for Community Services and the Corporate Director of Growth, Environment and Transport which contained information on progress made in relation to lessons learnt during the Christmas/New Year 2013-14 Storms & Floods.


(2)       Mr Hill introduced the report stating that the Christmas/New Year 2013-14 Storms and Floods had caused chaos across the county.  Emergency services had done a first class job but lessons had been learnt and this report related to the action being taken to address these issues.


(3)       After a wide range of public consultations and internal and external debriefs a comprehensive ‘lessons learnt’ report had been produced and approved by Cabinet.


(4)       Paul Crick, Director, Environment, Planning and Enforcement, and Tony Harwood, Senior Resilience Officer, were in attendance to introduce the report and in particular referred to the following:


(5)       A series of internal and partnership debriefs had been carried out and management structures established to deliver the 17 recommendations identified in the report.  Within KCC, a cross-directorate Steering Group had been established, with Director-level representation, which co-ordinated training for staff to ensure the recommendations were embedded across KCC.


(6)       Similarly, the Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) had established a multi-agency Pan-Kent Flood Group, chaired by the Environment Agency (EA).  Additionally, the multi-agency Strategic Recovery Coordination Group, chaired by the Director of Environment, Planning and Enforcement, had reconvened on 23 September, to review lessons learnt, current progress and preparations for winter 2014-15.  Existing Agency plans and our own plans had been reviewed and refreshed prior to being republished on KCC’s website and partner websites.  Training had been undertaken for staff across KCC and partner organisations.  


(7)       A series of flood fairs had been held across the county and the booklet ‘What should I do in an emergency?’ had been produced and distributed widely to parish councils and the public, particularly in areas at high risk of flooding events.  The booklet could be found on the Kent Resilience Forum website


(8)       In terms of preparedness compared to this time last year things had changed considerably.  In relation to community resilience after the experience of last Christmas and New Year community behaviour had changed.  One example of this was that sign up to the Flood Warning Direct, the EA’s flood alert system, had increased and uptake was currently at 90% among businesses and households.  This, against the EA national target of 60%, showed just how much last year’s events had heightened awareness and resilience in potentially vulnerable areas.  Surface water flooding was one area where the Pan-Kent Flood Group work would enhance resilience in the future.


(9)       A great deal of work had been done training flood wardens within these communities, people who had local knowledge and understanding of the characteristics of their area.  To date 160 wardens had been trained within these areas and were now equipped and their key role was being the eyes and ears on the ground.


(10)    An e-learning package covering the training that had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.


Meeting dates 2015

Members are asked to note the following diary dates of meetings for next year:


Wednesday 14 January

Thursday 9 April

Tuesday 21 July

Wednesday 16 September

Friday 4 December


All meetings will commence at 10:00 am

Additional documents:


(1)       Several Members expressed concern at the amount of business on recent agendas and the lengthy gaps between the meetings scheduled throughout 2015.  There were fears that Members would not have the opportunity to comment before decisions were made or not be able to give sufficient time to discussions on decisions being taken.


(2)       The Chairman stated that if the amount of business required an extra meeting then additional meetings could be arranged.


(3)       RESOLVED that the scheduled Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee meeting dates for 2015 be noted.


14/00132 Safe and Sensible Street Lighting - LED Conversion pdf icon PDF 301 KB

To receive the report from the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport and Corporate Director for Growth, Environment and Transport and to consider and endorse or make recommendations to the Cabinet Member

Additional documents:


(1)       The Cabinet Committee received a report of the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport and the Director of Highways, Transport and Waste which contained information on the conversion of the County Council’s stock of street lights to LED.  Behdad Haratbar, Head of Programmed Work, was in attendance to introduce the report and in particular referred to the following:


(2)       Kent County Council is one of the largest lighting authorities in the UK with around 118,000 street lights and some 25,000 lit signs and bollards.  The annual cost of illuminating these is around £5.8m, a cost that keeps rising.  The average increase for energy prices in 2014 had been around 11%.  


(3)       KCC’s Carbon Management Action Plan (2013) set a new carbon reduction target of at least 2.6% per annum up to 2015 across its estate (based on a 2010/11 baseline).  Nationally, the Climate Change Act (2008) had introduced a revised UK target of 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 (based on 1990 emissions levels).  Since April 2014 all street lighting is being captured by the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) which    was in effect a further tax.  This was currently £16 per tonne of carbon produced.  The carbon produced from generating the energy to illuminate KCC’s street lights, signs and bollards was around 24,000 tonnes which accounted for over half the carbon footprint across the entire KCC estate.


(4)       Progress was already being made to combat the rise energy costs and carbon tax; the County Council’s old, inefficient mercury lamps had been replaced generating a saving of £130,000 per year.  More recently sites identified as surplus had been switched off for a 12 month trial period, with around 1,200 lamps identified, generating a saving of £100,000.  Conversion of 60,000 street lights to part night switch off, where the lights switched off between midnight and 5:30 am, had generated a further £800,000 of annual saving.


(5)       The majority of KCC’s lighting stock had sodium lamps which were energy hungry.  LED lights provided much more directional lighting, would normally carry a 20 year manufacturer guarantee and could be controlled through a Central Management System (CMS) which would detect faults automatically including day burners.  The CMS would also mean that illumination level could be controlled remotely from HQ and protect the authority against future policy changes in illumination level.


(6)       The cost of converting the whole KCC estate to LED was approximately £40m and would take three to four years to complete.  The scheme would result in reduced energy consumption, carbon emission and maintenance.  The annual saving would be around £5.3m at current prices.  The scheme was now being developed in detail and conversion works could begin in late 2015 or early 2016, pending approval of funding. 


(7)       KCC had been exploring a number of funding options, through a mixture of grant funding, KCC investment and borrowing.  A number of EU funding streams had been examined; the front runner being South Eastern Local Enterprise Partnership’s (SELEP) Structural and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.


12/01923 Canterbury District Local Plan & Transportation Strategy pdf icon PDF 280 KB

To receive the report from the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport and Corporate Director for Growth, Environment and Transport and to consider and endorse or make recommendations to the Cabinet Member

Additional documents:


(1)       The Cabinet Committee received a report of the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport and the Corporate Director of Growth, Environment and Transport which contained information on the Canterbury District Local Plan & Transportation Strategy. 


(2)       Three members of the public had requested to address the Committee: Debbie Barwick, Chairman of Canterbury Independent Traders Alliance (CITA), Jeremy Baker, a resident of Canterbury and rail commuter and David Hirst, a member of Canterbury City Council (CCC).


(3)       Ms Barwick referred to the Car Parking Strategy, para 4.52 of the covering report, and proposals to sell off parking spaces in the city centre and raise parking tariffs.  The Strategy earmarked 439 parking spaces for sale, 18% of the total city’s parking spaces.  Figures showed a reduction of 1/4m cars into the city centre car parks between 2005 and 2014.  Park and Ride figures had gone down by 22% between 2006 and 2013.


(4)       Mr Baker stated that the introduction of high speed trains had meant that Canterbury West, which had historically had slow trains to London, now had half hourly peak time trains which took 56 minutes to reach London.  This had meant enormous changes to the number of commuters transferring to Canterbury West to take advantage of the improved services.  KCC’s own Kent Travel Report 2012 showed that between 2002 and 2012 patronage of Canterbury West had increased by 153%.  A study had been carried out for KCC and Southeastern Trains which had concluded that 120 car parking spaces would be needed by this year.  Currently there were only 99 spaces for rail users which were always full by 9 o’clock each morning meaning other commuters had to use other car parks meant for shoppers which therefore affected anyone trying to park in the city centre later in the day.  KCC’s Rail Action Plan for Kent recognised a need for increased parking spaces at many stations. 


(5)       CCC’s draft District Local Plan proposed to build an office block on one of the car parks adjacent to the station and housing on the station’s overflow car park.  This would result in a loss of more parking spaces, in addition to those mentioned by Ms Barwick.  Mr Baker stated that the strategy before the Committee did not address the loss of parking or provision of any additional parking.


(6)       Mr Baker then referred to a petition from the taxi drivers at Canterbury West station which he presented to the Chairman. 


(7)       Mr Hirst introduced himself as a Canterbury City Councillor representing the views of Canterbury residents and local business who had concerns about parking, bus services and traffic.  Many of the local traders had raised their concerns with him regarding the gradual closure of city centre car parks and high parking tariffs.  Mr Hirst supported the traders request to delete the closures of city centre car parks from the strategy. 


(8)       Mr Hirst was also referred to car parking issues at the local stations and the petition Mr Baker had presented from the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.


Highway Drainage pdf icon PDF 36 KB

To receive an update from the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport and the Director Highway, Transportation and Waste on the County Council’s drainage programme.

Additional documents:


(1)       The Cabinet Committee received a report of the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport and the Director, Highways, Transportation and Waste which update Members on the approach to maintaining and improving the highway drainage system.  Behdad Haratbar, Head of Programmed Work, and Katie Lewis, Drainage & Flooding Manager, were in attendance to introduce the report.


(2)       Several Members requested that their gratitude to Miss Lewis for all the hard work she had done on highway drainage was recorded.


(3)       In response to questions raised and comments made the Committee received the following further information from officers:


(4)       Miss Lewis thanked Members for their thanks and stated that she would share them with her team.


(5)       The County Council was responsible for the maintenance of the 5,400 miles of public highway roads including 250,000 roadside drains (gullies) and associated drainage systems, the primary objectives of these systems were:


a.      Removal of surface water (from the carriageway) to maintain road safety and minimise nuisance,

b.      Effective sub-surface drainage to prevent damage to the structural integrity of the highway and maximise its lifespan; and,

c.       Minimise the impact of highway surface water on the adjacent environment including properties.


(6)       Over recent years, the number of prolonged and heavy rainfall events had increased, notably during the winter of 2013/14.  As prolonged and heavy rainfall events had become more frequent, the number of customer enquiries had increased year on year.  The volume of customer enquiries now stood at twice that of 2009. 


(7)       In the past 12 months, around 10,000 enquiries related to drainage and flooding had been received.  Of these, 3,000 were related directly to highway flooding and 500 related to incidents of highway flooding that had resulted in damage to private properties.


(8)       The Highway Drainage service was split into two functions; maintenance; and repairs, renewals and improvements.


(9)       This year, the County Council had increased capital investment in drainage infrastructure to £4.3m.  This was enabling completion of an additional 120 drainage improvement schemes during 2014/15.  Investment had been prioritised on the basis of the following risks; highway safety, internal flooding of properties and network disruption.


(10)    In December 2010, a change of approach to cleaning highway drains had been approved. There had been a transition from providing a purely reactive service to delivering routine maintenance on a cyclical basis.


(11)    The departure from a predominantly reactive service combined with very wet weather throughout 2012 had resulted in an initial decline in customer satisfaction.  However this improved significantly and by April 2013 customer satisfaction had reached 87%.


(12)    The frequency of cyclical cleansing on high speed roads was reduced from six monthly to annually to be consistent with the frequency of maintenance on the county’s other main roads as part of a service wide saving that came into effect on 1 April 2014.  This applied to all routine maintenance on the high speed road network.


(13)    Miss Lewis stated that ways of advising people of the cycle of cleansing had been considered but  ...  view the full minutes text for item 56.


Work Programme 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 22 KB

To receive an update on the Committee’s proposed work programme.

Additional documents:


(1)       A report on Drainage Partnerships, which had been referred to earlier in the meeting, was requested to a future meeting.


(2)       A question was asked about how the Committee’s workload and work programme would be affected by the changing role of Cabinet Committees.  The Corporate Director stated that once the work programme of the Commissioning Advisory Board (CAB), chaired by Mr Hotson, had been set the CAB would then look at how it would work with the Cabinet Committees over the transition period of the next few years of commissioning and how the commissioning aspect would be picked up by Cabinet Committees.


(3)       Due to the amount of business on recent and upcoming agendas it might prove necessary to schedule an additional meeting between January and April 2015.


(4)          RESOLVED that the Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee Work Programme 2015 be agreed.


Performance Dashboard pdf icon PDF 20 KB

The Environment and Transport Performance Dashboard shows progress made against targets set for Key Performance Indicators.

Additional documents:


(1)       The Cabinet Committee received a report of the Cabinet Members for Environment and Transport and Commercial and Traded Services and the Corporate Director of Growth, Environment and Transport which contained information on the Environment & Transport Performance Dashboard.  Richard Fitzgerald, Performance Manager Business Intelligence, David Hall, Deputy Director, Highways and Transportation, and Roger Wilkin, Head of Waste Management, were in attendance to introduce the report and in response to questions raised and comments made the Committee received the following further information from officers:


(2)       The figures before the Committee were up until the end of September and overall the report was positive with many Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) showing green and only one red KPI.


(3)       As an overview Mr Fitzgerald stated that Highways and Transportation indicators were all green as at year to date but for the month of September there were two amber KPIs, one of these being the call back survey where one issue seemed to be to do with soft landscaping such as grass cutting and private property owners fulfilling their obligations.  The service was however well prepared for winter and indicators were expected to continue to stay on track through the winter.


(4)       Waste management KPIs were all green.  Recycling and composting figures had increased considerably with the rollout of different collection methods being implemented in borough and districts.   Waste tonnage had increased slightly, but as this had decreased over the past couple of years it was now back to a similar level to that of two years previously.


(5)       Mr Fitzgerald apologised that he had not reflected the portfolio change in relation to Trading Standards but stated that there was, as Mr Hill had referred to earlier, a great deal of good publicity around the seizure of counterfeit goods and hazardous products. 


(6)       In relation to Environment, Planning and Enforcement there was a positive result on most of the indicators with the exception of Kent Scientific Services (KSS), where income remained behind target due to lower spend from other local authorities.


(7)       In response to questions raised and comments made the Committee received the following further information:


(8)       Target setting was done by the Heads of Service with approval from the Corporate Director and directors.  These figures were then reviewed by Mr Fitzgerald and his team prior to them being seen by the Committee in the draft Strategic Priority Statement (SPS).  In relation to KSS the target had been set lower than the previous year’s income but actual income had been lower than anticipated.  Volunteer hours at country parks remained fairly constant throughout the year but increased during the summer months due to a Lottery funded scheme.  The response to this scheme had been high in 2013 and it had not been expected that the uptake would be as high again this year, as indicated in the target which had been set.


(9)       In relation to HT03, streetlights repaired within 28 calendar days, Mr Hall stated that the figure currently not repaired within the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 58.