Agenda and minutes

Environment & Transport Cabinet Committee - Wednesday, 5th July, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone

Contact: Matt Dentten  03000 418 381


No. Item



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Previous Minutes pdf icon PDF 166 KB

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RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 23 May 2023 were an accurate record and that they be signed by the Chairman.



Verbal updates by Cabinet Members and the Corporate Director

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1.    Miss Carey, Cabinet Member for Environment told the Committee that she sent a regular newsletter to Members on her work and that she had no further updates to add.


2.    Mr Brazier, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport provided an update on the following:

a)    Mr Brazier had visited Chestfield tunnel on the A299 where LED lighting units were being installed which were more efficient and would contribute towards net-zero targets. In addition, the closure required for installation provided an opportunity to carry out remedial work on the highway. He told Members all works would be completed on the 5 July and road reopened by the 9 July.

b)    He updated Members on the partial collapse of the highway at Galley Hill. Exploration of the site by engineers was still underway and legal teams had been heavily involved. A diversion had been put in place and Mr Brazier told Members that whilst it had caused some inconvenience it was working well.

c)    There was a closure at Leeds near Maidstone as South East Water had to excavate B2163 to lay a new water supply. A diversion had been put in place and KCC was working with South East Water to ensure that unsuitable Heavy Good vehicles were not entering narrow rural roads.

d)    He had been working with officers and London borough representatives on their opposition to the Mayor of London’s ULEZ scheme. He told Members that although KCC was not party to it, a judicial review into the scheme was being pursued.

e)    A Public Consultation on the forthcoming Local Transport Plan was underway and a briefing session had been provided to all Members of the Council.

f)      The second Tranche of KCC’s BSIP allocation funding had been received and plans for its use were being developed.

g)    Mr Brazier had attended the launch of Kent Electric Vehicle Charge Point Network in Folkestone. He told Members that KCC had been working with provider Connected Kerb and a number of the district and borough councils. Over 300 charge points had been installed across Kent. KCC had received £12 million from central government to fund LEVI – Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure and work was still underway on how this funding would be used. 

h)    The Kent Travel Saver application window had opened. A new app had been put in place for applications. Customers needed to apply by the 13August to ensure they received their passes by first week of term.


3.    Members asked Mr Brazier the following questions:

a)    On the road at Galley Hill, a Member asked whether the Cabinet Member could confirm whether the road would be restored in the future and raised concerns over the financial situation of Thames Water, as a party responsible for the road. Mr Brazier responded that no decision had been made as to whether to close or restore the road. Mr Jones added that his team were exploring options for the site. He said that once the scale of the problem  ...  view the full minutes text for item 161.


Performance Dashboard pdf icon PDF 116 KB

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Matt Wagner (Interim Chief Analyst) was in attendance for this item.

1.    Mr Wagner Introduced the report. He told Members that this was the first performance report of the 2023/24 financial year. Of the 19 key performance indicators (KPIs) 9 were rated green, 4 amber and 5 red.

2.    The indicators rated red were under Highways and Transport: potholes repaired in 28 calendar days, emergency incidents attended to within 2 hours, priority enquiries completed within 20 working days. Under Environment and Waste the two indicators rated red were: municipal waste recycled and composted and waste recycled and composted at Household Waste Recycling Centres. Mr Wagner then explained to Members the factors that led to underperformance in these areas.

3.    Members asked the following questions to Mr Wagner:

a)    A Member asked for clarification on appendix one, HT:12. The KPI this related to was rated green, but the appendix made clear that data had not yet been produced in the new financial year. Mr Wagner clarified that the rating had been based on data from March 2023 and told Members the next report would be more accurate as they would have received data from the current financial year.

b)    A Member asked a question about HT:13, which related to street works permits issued. The Member noted that there had been a sharp increase in the number of permits issued and asked why a percentage rather than the exact figures had been provided. Mr Jones responded that the Directorate had accurate information on this and would ensure that exact figures were provided in the future. 

c)    A Member asked why the Deputy Chief Executive’s Department had provided data and were responsible for some of the KPI’s under Highways and Transport. Mr Jones told Members the Deputy Chief Executive’s Department managed the correspondence for a number of directorates and that this provided consistency of approach, economies of scale and made recruitment easier. He told Members that they were seeing a month-on-month reduction in their backlog.

d)    A Member asked why the amount of potholes repaired fluctuated so much month by month and on greenhouse gasses they raised their concerns that there had not been a reduction despite solar panels offsetting emissions. Miss Carey responded to the question on greenhouse gas emissions, she told Members that KCC’s strategy was to become net zero and that the authority would always need to emit some greenhouse gasses. She explained that solar farms were important in offsetting these emissions. Miss Carey also told Members that the solar farm at Kings Hill was close to completion and that Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme funding had been used to improve KCC’s estate. On potholes, Mr Jones responded that the fluctuation was due to poor weather over the winter months. He informed Members that a large amount of repair work occurred in October before the winter weather and then again once the worst of the winter weather is over.

e)    A Member commented that a seasonal approach was required when comparing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 162.


Household Waste Recycling Centre Review - Consultation document pdf icon PDF 136 KB

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David Beaver (Head of Waste Management and Business Services) and Hannah Allard (Waste Business Development Manager) were in attendance for this item.


1.    Following a Point of Order made by a Member under 15.11 of KCC’s Constitution, the Clerk clarified that supplementary reports to the meeting’s agenda could be published and made available to Members and the public within 5 clear working days of the meeting in accordance with Section 100B of the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985. It was noted that where the constitution and law were in conflict, that the law took precedence.


2.    Miss Carey introduced the item. She discussed how Committee Members had helped shape the report via a working group. She told Members that Waste Management were required to reduce costs and balance the books and that this was agreed upon by Members in the budget. She assured Members that this decision was taken as a last resort and by making savings this area KCC were able to ensure that funding to Social Care services was protected. She told Members that Officers had been tasked with creating a scheme that had the least impact on residents and residents would be consulted.

3.    Mr Beaver provided further context to the Committee. He told Members that there was already more capacity than demand in the system and that waste processed by HWRC’s had been reducing year on year. He told Members that modelling assumed there would be more rather than less waste in the future and accounted for potential changes in legislation. He reiterated the need to identify savings to support the other services. 

4.    Members asked made the following comments and asked questions of Miss Carey, Mr Symth, Ms Allard and Mr Beaver.

a)    A Member raised their concerns that the proposed options would disproportionately impact East Kent and that residents should be provided with ‘none of the above’ as an option in response to the consultation. They also asked why the consultation was Kent-wide rather than targeted to areas likely to lose HWRCs and asked whether the consultation document was final. Miss Carey told Members that consultation questions were not usually reported to committees. She said that the way options were phrased was intentional and that KCC do have a preferred option. She told Members it had been a data driven exercise and reducing impact has been at the forefront of the decision. Mr Smyth added that paragraph 2.4 were the 4 options that would be consulted on and were not draft options.

b)    A Member praised Ms Carey for establishing the Member working group. They were pleased that Members had been consulted prior to the consultation beginning and that a free text output was being included in the consultation.

c)    A Member told the Committee that they were concerned about the decision to reduce waste infrastructure as housing developments were being constructed. The Member asked for the savings per HWRC site.

d)    A Member raised their concerns that the booking system was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 163.


BSIP Plus - Verbal update

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1.    Mr Brazier introduced the item. He told Members that officers were beginning to deliver the tranche 1 schemes, with work was ongoing on the delivery of capital works in Dover, Ebbsfleet and Thanet. Following these, the public transport team would be delivering a bus information portal, real time information at stops and electronic ticket machines. Mr Brazier reiterated that the Kent Travel Saver opened for applications that week and that the price had been held at 22/23 levels using BSIP funding. Additionally, he confirmed that the Minister for Local Transport had visited Kent to announce further BSIP funding, acceptance of this was subject to a proposed memorandum of understanding and Mr Brazier told Members they would be updated once appropriate. He explained that no further information had been provided om BSIP plus or its potential conditions by central government.

2.    Members made the following comments and asked the following questions of Mr Brazier and Mr Jones. 

a)    A Member commentated that they hoped the developments would make busses more reliable and cheaper to use. They told the Committee they believed this would ease congestion.

b)    A Member thanked the Cabinet Member for maintaining prices and that this would be of great benefit to parents and carers. The Member welcomed the BSIP funding and BSIP plus.

c)    A Member contributed that with any reduction in fares, data should be analysed to see if it led to more users and greater demand. They stated that the data would lead to better initiatives and support bus travel.

d)    A Member asked whether targeted advertisement or initiatives were being used to get groups who do not regularly use buses to adopt public transport. Mr Brazier responded that this would fall under the remit of the bus working group.

e)    A Member raised the need for reliability in bus services to encourage use. They raised the need to look at successful cities and regions for operational models. Mr Brazier responded that BSIP is being invested in plans to improve reliability. Mr Jones contributed that bus priority projects were aimed at improving journey time and reliability.

RESOLVED to note the update.



Environment Agency guidance on managing Polyfluoroalkyl Substances - Presentation

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Sally Harvey (Area Director for Kent, South London and East Sussex, Environment Agency) and Scott Cole (Groundwater and Contaminated Land Specialist) were in attendance for this item.

1.    Ms Harvey introduced the work of the Environment Agency and its responsibilities in Kent this included investments in flood defences, maintaining flood defence assets, the regulation of waste and water companies, the regulation of oil and chemical sites, supporting planning decisions, influencing major infrastructure proposals to ensure consideration of the environment, and acting as a harbour and navigation authority on certain waterways.

2.    Mr Cole explained what Polyfluoroalkyl Substances were, how they were monitored and actions the Environment Agency had taken on them. He told Members that there were several scientific studies raising concerns over these products’ resistance to degradation. He warned that the scientific studies were ongoing and that conclusions hadn’t been drawn but that research was indicating that these substances may be linked to low birth weights in human reproduction and may be toxic to marine life.

3.    Mr Cole told Members that the Environment Agency had been expanding their techniques for monitoring these substances and that they had been liaising with a wide range of sectors on PFAS. There had been a particular emphasis on finding where PFAS was impacting the Environment and how it entered water. They had monitored 80 groundwater sites across Kent, South London and East Sussex and had a steadily growing database on PFAS in water. Since 2021 they had been able to make use of local funds for prioritised local investigations.

4.    The Agency had been developing a cross-government chemicals strategy which will be published later this year. In the meantime, they told the committee, that the agency provides its data to district councils and water companies. 

5.    Members asked the following questions of Ms Harvey and Mr Cole.

a)    A Member asked if the military fire school at Thanet was a site of concern. Mr Cole told the Member it was on their radar as were other sites in Thanet including farmland. He told Members that Water Companies have also been instructed to look for PFAS and they have been informing the Environment Agency and the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) is producing a report on this.

b)    A Member asked if health outcomes could be assessed against sites with high levels of PFAS and which organisations remit it would fall under to assess sites and how sources could be identified. They also asked if the DWI’s legal PFAS threshold was lower than other countries. Mr Cole told Members that the DWI value was agreed with the UK Health Security Agency and that whilst the WHO doesn’t provide guidance for PFAS it does provide guidance for the two most common PFAS chemicals and the DWI’s threshold is in line with WHO and EU standards and is considered robust and conservative in terms of health. Mr Cole told Members that the Agency were looking into sources of PFAS nationally and that pilot studies were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 165.


Feasibility of temporary road closure actions - Report pdf icon PDF 136 KB

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Andrew Loosemore (Head of Highways) was in attendance for this item.

1.    Mr Loosemore introduced the item and reported on the feasibility of options considered to address concerns of disruption and road closures across the county. He told Members that a designated Road Closure Inspector had been implemented as a trial and that this had proved successful.

2.    Members asked the following questions:

a)    Members raised concerns over the lack of communication and coordination between KCC and utility companies on road closures. They were concerned about utility companies undertaking works on roads designated as diversion routes by KCC and a Member asked if closures on roads by utility companies were monitored by KCC.

b)    A Member commented that local representatives should contact utility companies and ask for site meetings. The Member said they had pursued this approach in the past and had influenced diversion routes.

c)    Members raised concerns over the process for checking roadworks on which work had been completed. They believed it was a source of frustration for residents to see a road closed or partially closed when work was already complete.

d)    Mr Loosemore responded to the Members comments and questions. On emergency closures of roads by utility companies, he told Members that utility companies did not have to inform KCC until 2 hours after urgent work had started. He praised the creation of a designated Road Closure Inspector and told the Committee that his team were in the final stages of agreeing a prosecution process to reduce the number of emergency closures. Mr Loosemore told the Committee that intense negotiations had occurred with South East Water on closures and diversions and that they were keen to make closures or diversions as smooth as possible. He told Members that planning for non-emergency closures often was sufficient and that negative impacts were mitigated. Mr Jones added that Government was concerned about the impact of road closures and a consultation would come forward later in the year.

e)    The Chairman asked if the Inspector could also look at ways of segregating Heavy Good Vehicles out of diversionary lanes and Mr Loosemore said they would look into this.  


3.    The Chairman moved an amendment to add “recommend that the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport maintain a dedicated road closure inspection measure and investigate funding to enable its continued provision” to the motion. This was agreed without a vote.


a) note the details of the report and actions being taken, regarding Temporary Road Closures across the county; and

b) recommend that the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport maintain a dedicated road closure inspection measure and investigate funding to enable its continued provision.



Road Conditions - Update pdf icon PDF 381 KB

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1.    Mr Brazier introduced the item and told the committee that the update had been brought before the committee on the condition of KCC’s highways and how they would deteriorate overtime based on existing funding. He told Members that if Highways did not receive a funding increase there would be a higher number of roads deteriorating in the future.

2.    A Member raised concerns that roads currently under construction or planned hadn’t been included in the report.


RESOLVED to note the contents of the report.



23/00066: A28 Sturry Link Road - Compulsory Purchase Order pdf icon PDF 317 KB

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Richard Shelton (Project Manager) and Lee Burchill (Major Capital Programme Manager) were in attendance for this item.

1.    Mr Jones introduced the item. He told Members that the proposed decision sought the ability to use compulsory purchase at the site in order to reduce risk.

2.    Mr Shelton explained how the scheme had been progressing and told Members they were at the point where contracts were being developed. He told the Committee that a voluntary purchase was desired following negotiations with landowners but that in order to reduce risk and uncertainty his team were seeking authorisation of the use of compulsory purchase orders if necessary.

3.    Members made the following statements and asked the following questions:

a)    A Member asked where the funding would be found should compulsory purchase need to be used. Mr Shelton responded that there a full costing is available, and that Members were not being asked to consider any increase in budgets, only the use of compulsory purchase as a tool.

b)    A Member raised their concerns over the impact on residents and commented that residents believed they had not been consulted with well.

c)    A Member raised concerns over the cost increase since Members originally agreed to the scheme. They told the committee they were particularly concerned about how long compulsory purchases could take and how much costs could increase during this period. Mr Shelton provided clarity over funding the sources and that developers were delivering on their commitments. He also told Members that the request to be able to use CPO’s was in order to reduce risk and he outlined contingency plans which had been made.

d)    A Member asked how many homes were involved and what the cost of CPO’s would be to the council. Mr Shelton responded that no homes were impacted and that the compulsory purchase impacted a single landholder.


4.    Ms Dawkins abstained from endorsing the proposed decision.

RESOLVED to endorse the Cabinet Member on, the proposed decision to give approval to:

i) all acts required to acquire the land and rights for the carrying out and completion of the A28 Sturry Link Road scheme, including by means of a compulsory purchase order;

ii) all acts required to provide new, or improved highways including the closure of private means of access for the carrying out and completion of the A28 Sturry Link Road scheme, including by means of a side roads order;

iii) give delegation to the Corporate Director of Growth, Environment & Transport in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport to take relevant actions including but not limited to entering into contracts and other legal agreements, as necessary to implement the decision; and

iv) confirm that other decisions in Record of Decision 18/00027 remain extant.



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 110 KB

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1.    The following changes were made to the Work Programme:

a.    that the Environment Agency be asked to return to provide update at a future meeting; and

b.    that the Changing Infrastructure Maintenance Report be considered by the committee at the next meeting. 

RESOLVED to agree the Work Programme.