Agenda and minutes

Environment & Transport Cabinet Committee - Thursday, 14th September, 2023 10.00 am

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

Contact: Emily Kennedy  03000 419625


No. Item


Apologies and Substitutes

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Apologies were received from Mr Bond.


Declarations of Interest

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There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the meeting held on 5 July 2023 pdf icon PDF 349 KB

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RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 5 July 2023 were an accurate record and that they be signed by the Chairman.



Verbal Updates by Cabinet Members and Corporate Director

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Simon Jones (Corporate Director, GET) was in attendance for this item


1) Mr Baker said that the Mayor of London’s expansion of ULEZ began on 29 August 2023. Any driver of a petrol vehicle over 18 years old or a diesel vehicle over 8 years old would need to pay the £12.50 daily charge to drive within the charging zone. KCC made representations to Transport for London (TFL) throughout their consultation and planning process, setting out clearly the objections to impact to residents and businesses of Kent. Many partner authorities bordering London shared the same concerns and KCC supported the authorities that brought the unsuccessful legal challenge against the scheme. While there remained no expansion of mitigation measures, such as access to a vehicle scrappage scheme for Kent residents and businesses, KCC was to continue to appeal to both London and the government to put in place the support that was needed. Until such time as adequate mitigation measures were put in place for Kent’s residents, KCC would not permit TFL to install any signage relating to ULEZ on KCC’s local road network. Signage for the ULEZ scheme will need to be on the TFL network.


Thanet Parkway Railway Station opened to passengers on 31 July 2023, marking the culmination of almost a decade of work by KCC to improve rail interconnectivity to Thanet. The delivery of the station was a key strategic transport achievement for KCC, with ambition featured in the Local Transport Plan and the Rail Action Plan for Kent. A formal opening ceremony was held on 8 September. The station plaque was revealed by Huw Merriman, Rail Minister; KCC Leader, Roger Gough; Thanet District Council Leader, Rick Everitt; and local MP, Craig Mackinlay. There was music at the event from Thanet Big Sing Community Choir.


Thanet Parkway Railway Station was a key example of ‘infrastructure first’ where KCC had championed the delivery of the station and car park infrastructure to accommodate the present and future communities of Cliffsend and Ramsgate. The scheme along with Network Rail’s journey time improvement programme meant that passengers were able to travel to London in 70 minutes. The station was fully accessible with lifts, 16 disabled parking bays, tactile paving for wayfinding and help points throughout the site. The station was to be staffed by Southeastern between 8am and 4pm with KCC maintaining overall control of the car park, with an operator managing it on KCC’s behalf. Since opening and not including the opening day, station passengers had averaged about 200 passenger journeys per day so it was already half way to achieving the passengers expected after the first year of operation. Weekend passenger numbers had exceeded the business case forecast. It was estimated that ¾ of passenger journeys were being made to the station on foot or by bike. KCC was to continue to work with Network Rail, Southeastern and Thanet District Council to realise the potential of the station as an integrated transport hub at the heart of Thanet’s infrastructure.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Decisions taken between committee meetings pdf icon PDF 113 KB

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Simon Jones (Corporate Director for Growth, Environment and Transport) was in attendance for this item


1) Mr Jones said thank you to Members who attended the briefing on the decision. An update was to be brought to Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee in 2024.


2) RESOLVED to note the report.


Performance Dashboard pdf icon PDF 114 KB

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Matt Wagner (Interim Chief Analyst) and Simon Jones (Corporate Director, GET) were in attendance for this item


1) Mr Wagner introduced the report for quarter 2 of the 2023/24 financial year. There were 19 key performance indicators (KPIs); 10 were rated green, 6 amber and 3 red.


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.


2) Further to Member’s questions, it was noted:


·       The marking of potholes was an area of improvement being worked on with the term maintenance contractor - it related to the speed at which KCC wanted potholes filled, the level of response expected but it was recognised that there was an opportunity for optimisation.

·       Monthly Strategic Steering Groups with Amey were planned to ensure a focus on performance and performance improvement plans. Issues such as delays in line markings and signage were to be raised with Amey.

·       The management of soft landscaping had been a challenge over the summer because it had been a very wet and warm summer. Adaptations would need to be made to deal with changes in the expected seasonal weather.


3) RESOLVED to note the Performance Dashboard.



Winter Service Policy for 2023-24 pdf icon PDF 148 KB

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Richard Emmett (Senior Highways Manager) was in attendance for this item and Andrew Loosemore (Head of Highways) was in attendance virtually for this item


1) Mr Emmett outlined the report.


2) Further to questions from Members, the following points were noted:


·       Parish seminars with Highways officers were to take place and dates were to be confirmed.

·       More salt was to be put on the highways in the evening instead of doing a second run in the morning but the weather conditions needed to be considered when adopting this technique – as if there was too much water run off, the salt would not last or if more than a certain amount of salt needed to be used, they would still need to do two runs.

·       Snow routes on roads that were not A or B roads received service once the primary networks were ‘covered’ in terms of gritting. Trials were being run where local farmers were given salt which they could deploy.

·       There was contingency salt being held at Ridham Dock, however, this is supplied by Amey.  


3) RESOLVED to note the report.


Drainage Infrastructure Maintenance pdf icon PDF 280 KB

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Earl Bourner (Drainage Asset Manager) and Simon Jones (Corporate Director – GET) were in attendance for this item


1) Mr Bourner introduced the report.


2) Further to questions from Members, it was noted:


·       KCC was working with Southern Water on a ‘pathfinder’ project which was looking to take as much surface water out of the systems as possible. There were dips in the footway which collected water when there had been significant rain. Members of the public could make contact in order for flood water to be cleared, if required.

·       For a blocked gulley on the highway, members of the public should make a report to KCC. For a sewer, reports should be made to Southern Water.

·       The main strategic gulleys were cleansed on a yearly basis, the minor network was cleansed within a 3 year period. An intelligent approach had been adopted to gulley cleansing.

·       Should anyone damage KCC infrastructure, KCC will pursue those responsible.

·       There was a pro-active programme of asset management and a way to work on backlogs. Asset data was being collected so that KCC could see where KCC’s underground assets were and where Southern Water assets were. This was an ongoing project for KCC and there was a national campaign regarding collecting this information.

·       Residents in Kent were able to help with flooding with natural solutions such as having water butts, tree pits, ponds, permeable paving, having greenery in their gardens.


3) RESOLVED to note the report.


Annual Update on the Energy and Low Emissions Strategy pdf icon PDF 215 KB

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Matthew Smyth (Director for Environment and Waste); Katie Traylen (Climate Change Team Leader) and Simon Jones (Corporate Director- GET) were in attendance for this item


1) Miss Carey introduced the report.


2) Mr Smyth and Ms Traylen outlined the report regarding delivery towards the national target of 2050 to reduce emissions to Net Zero, plus the emerging air quality targets rom government.


3) Further to questions from Members, it was noted:


·       There was a commitment to new nuclear at Dungeness. It was felt the grid would not cope without the contribution of nuclear as well as schemes such as Solar Together.

·       The ambition was for demand to be met in a way that helped Kent to reduce emissions and for residents to enjoy a modern life with choice in cleaner environment.

·       Initiatives for individual homeowners varied depending on the property, meaning that the return-on-investment period would vary. Work was being undertaken to understand what would be best for individual households. KCC’s role was to think about what information to share with residents around this.

·       The government was keen to seed-fund initiatives rather than fully funding them. The challenge was to find the right investment    packages.

·       There were opportunities around the bus network and taxis using hydrogen. There was a hydrogen plant in Herne Bay.


4) RESOLVED to note the report and endorse the progression of the proposed areas for future delivery.


Processing of Dry Recyclables (Without Fibre) Contract (SC2058) pdf icon PDF 253 KB

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Matthew Smyth (Director for Environment and Waste) was in attendance for this item


1) Miss Carey introduced the report.


2) Mr Smyth outlined the report.


3) RESOLVED to endorse the proposed decision to


a) agree to award of a new contractual arrangement for the processing of dry recyclables for Dover District Council, Folkestone & Hythe District Council, Thanet District Council, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, for a period of up to 48 months and


b) to delegate authority to the Director for Environment and Circular Economy to take other relevant actions, including but not limited to finalising the terms of and entering into required contracts or other legal agreements, as necessary to implement the decision as shown at Appendix A of the agenda report.




Updating the Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan and Kent Minerals Sites Plan - Results of Public Consultation and Next Steps pdf icon PDF 312 KB

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Sharon Thompson (Head of Planning) was in attendance for this item


1) Mrs Thompson outlined the report.


2) Further to questions from Members, it was noted that:


·       Only one site had been identified for county’s supply of hard rock and no further sites had come forward.

·       An alternative to these materials being found within the county, was for the materials to be imported from Scotland or overseas, which would have environmental impacts including consequences for carbon emissions which would need careful consideration.

·       Kentish ragstone from Hermitage Quarry was important in building projects locally and for historic buildings in London.

·       Concerns were raised about the environmental impacts from the proposed site.

·       It was clarified that the promoted site at Hermitage Quarry was designated as being a Plantation on Ancient Woodland Site (PAWS) site.

·       A further update was to be brought to the committee.


3) RESOLVED to note the report.


National Bus Strategy & Kent Bus Service Improvement Plan - Update pdf icon PDF 257 KB

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Dan Bruce (Public Transport - Policy, Infrastructure & Community Team Leader) and Phil Lightowler (Interim - Director of Highways and Transportation) were in attendance for this item


1) Mr Bruce introduced the report.


2) Further to debate and questions from Members, it was noted:


·       It was disappointing that there was not more flexibility in how the government funding could be spent locally. The content of the Kent Bus Service Improvement Plan reflected the National Bus Strategy.

·       There had been problems with capacity and reliability for school buses on particular services and work was being undertaken to resolve the issues.

·       The government funded scheme where a Stagecoach single fare had been capped at £2 had increased passenger numbers but numbers had not gone back to the level of before the Covid-19 pandemic.

3) RESOLVED to note the update.



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 110 KB

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RESOLVED to note the work programme.