Agenda and minutes

Environment Committee - Thursday 10th March 2022 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Arun Civic Centre, Maltravers Road, Littlehampton, BN17 5LF. View directions

Contact: Helen Burt 

Media

Items
No. Item

730.

Apologies

Minutes:

            Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Huntley and Staniforth.

 

            As Councillor Staniforth had sent apologies, Councillor English was nominated to stand in as Vice-Chair for the evening, which was agreed by the Committee.

 

731.

Declarations of Interest

Members and Officers are invited to make any declaration of pecuniary, personal and/or prejudicial interests that they may have in relation to items on this agenda, and are reminded that they should re-declare their interest before consideration of the items or as soon as the interest becomes apparent.

 

Members and Officers should make their declaration by stating:

 

a)             the item they have the interest in

b)             whether it is a pecuniary/personal interest and/or prejudicial interest

c)             the nature of the interest

 

Minutes:

Councillor Chace declared a Personal Interest in Agenda Item 8 as Chairman of Friends of Brookfield Park, and also that he was a Member of Littlehampton Town Council.

 

Councillor English declared a Personal Interest in Agenda Item 8 as he was a Member of Felpham Parish Council, and was also a resident of Felpham.

 

Councillor Worne declared a Personal Interest in Agenda Item 9, as she was a Member of Yapton Parish Council and was on the Committee responsible for the Playground.

 

Councillor Haywood declared a Personal Interest in Agenda Item 8 as she was a Member of Middleton-On-Sea Parish Council.

 

732.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 171 KB

The Committee will be asked to approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Environment Committee held on 20 January 2022.

 

Minutes:

            The Minutes of the meeting held on 20 January 2022 were approved by the Committee. These would be signed at the end of the meeting.

 

733.

Public Question Time pdf icon PDF 364 KB

To receive questions from the public (for a period of up to 15 minutes)

 

Minutes:

The Chair confirmed one question had been submitted, which is briefly summarised below:

 

1.       From Councillor Glen Hewlett to the Chair of the Environment Committee, Councillor Edwards, regarding proposals to charge for car parking in Felpham.

 

A supplementary question was also asked.

 

            (A schedule of the full question asked and the response provided can be found on the Environment Committee Public Question Web page)

 

The Chair then drew Public Question Time to a close.

 

734.

Outside Bodies

Minutes:

There were no updates from Members regarding Outside Bodies.

 

735.

Solar Together Sussex Scheme pdf icon PDF 170 KB

Authority is sought to support a collective solar scheme with other District and Boroughs in Sussex. This is run by West Sussex County Council and called ‘Solar Together Sussex’.  The aim is to help residents access this renewable technology and drive down the cost through collective purchasing.  

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            Upon the invitation of the Chair, the Principal Environmental Health Officer presented the report to the Committee, who explained that for the past 2 years the council had taken part in a Solar Together Sussex Project, which enabled residents to access a group buying scheme in relation to solar panels. There was a proposal  for a further auction to take place and in addition to solar panels this would include battery storage and electric vehicle charge points. The scheme was run by West Sussex County Council (WSCC) and covered the whole of Sussex. Each participating district and borough paid WSCC for the mailout costs, for Arun this was £2521. The council would receive a commission for each installation. The aim was that it would be cost neutral to the council, and any surplus money would be put into the Your Energy Sussex Fuel Poverty Fund, which was explained further at paragraph 1.9 in the report. Paragraph 1.12 contained information from the auction that took place in 2020, which had been successful, and included 52 installations, which meant costs were recovered and there was a surplus which went into to the West Sussex Fuel Poverty fund. Data was not yet available for the 2021 auction.

 

            Members then took part in a question-and-answer session and the following points were made:

·         Was the word auction misleading for the public or could alternative wording be used? It was suggested that the word ‘tender’ may be more appropriate. The Principal Environmental Health Officer would look into this.

·         Clarification was sought around the figures in paragraph 1.9. This was provided.

 

            The recommendations were Proposed by Councillor Thurston and Seconded by Councillor Worne.

 

            The Committee

 

RESOLVED that

 

1.    Arun District Council’s participation in the third Solar Together Sussex scheme auction be approved

 

2.    The contribution that the council was due to receive for its initial investment to the Solar Together scheme of £2,521 continue to be waived, to further support the Solar Together Sussex scheme for the mailout costs for the upcoming third auction.

 

3.    Authority be delegated to the Group Head of Technical Services to approve Arun District Council’s participation in future auctions, and to approve reinvestment of fees from the third and any future Solar Together auctions.

 

736.

Amendment to Off Street Parking Order to Include Restrictions Covering Electric Vehicle Charging Points pdf icon PDF 143 KB

To ensure that the bays designated for the use of Electric Vehicle Charging points are enforceable, the rules covering the use of these bays must be included within the Council’s Off Street Parking Order.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            Upon the invitation of the Chair, the Customer & Parking Services Manager presented the report to the Committee. He explained that the wording of the recommendation had changed slightly, which was now ‘To approve that the amendments to the Councils Off Street Parking Order, as identified within the proposals, be put out for consultation, and to give delegated authority to the Group Head of Neighbourhood Services to make a final decision on these amendments once the consultation is complete’.

 

            Members then took part in a question-and-answer session and the following points were made:

·         The wording on page 20, paragraph 2.5 did not flow well. The Customer & Parking Services Manager explained that the wording needed to be very detailed in this way, and other councils had used very similar wording.

·         Whether someone on a slow charge could remain in the parking bay all day.

·         Whether bays would be allocated specifically for disabled users.

·         It was imperative that Arun had multi-functional charging stations. The quantities and timeframes of the electronic charging bays were discussed. There was no fixed number, however this would be demand-led.

 

 

            The recommendation was Proposed by Councillor Bicknell and Seconded by Councillor Needs.

 

            The Committee

 

RESOLVED

 

That the amendments to the councils Off Street Parking Order, as identified within the proposals, be put out for consultation, and delegated authority be given to the Group Head of Neighbourhood Services to make a final decision on these amendments once the consultation is complete.

 

737.

Variation to Parking Charges pdf icon PDF 275 KB

It was agreed at the Environment Committee of 17 November 2021 that the proposed charges as set out in Appendix A of this report be subject of consultation after which a report would be returned to Committee for final approval. This report provides the responses received from the consultation and these are set out in Appendix B.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            Upon the invitation of the Chair, the Customer & Parking Services Manager presented the report to the Committee. He explained that it had been agreed by the Committee in November that the proposed parking charges, shown in Appendix A, be put out for consultation. This had now taken place and the reports showed the results of the consultation. He highlighted that most of the comments received referred to the proposals to introduce charges to free car parks, in particular Grassmere, Links Avenue and Shrubbs Field. All of those responses were opposed to the introduction of charges. Felpham Parish Council and Middleton-On-Sea Parish Council were also opposed to this. With regards to increasing existing charges, most of the responses were opposed to the increases as was usually the case, however on this occasion 22% of the respondents were in favour of the increases. There were fewer objections to the seasonal car park charge increases, however those that did respond were opposed to the increases.

 

            The Chair confirmed that questions and discussion would be taken on each recommendation separately.

 

            A discussion then took place on Recommendation 1, and the following points were made by Members and non-Committee Members given permission to speak by the Committee:

·         There was concern as a large amount of the car parking had been lost in Littlehampton town centre. Residents were unhappy with the current loss of parking, and charges should not be increased at this point in time.

·         The Appendix D compared Arun with Worthing and Chichester, which were charging more and it was felt Arun should not be compared to the larger towns. People should be encouraged to come to Bognor and Littlehampton town centres and not deterred by higher parking charges.

·         Other Members felt the compassions in Appendix D highlighted that the costs should be increased, and that the rises were not large for the benefits this would bring to the Council.

·         We were in a climate emergency and visitors should be encouraged to use public transport.

·         Town centre footfall was not yet back to pre-pandemic levels, and it was felt that increasing car parking charges would not benefit the council or the town centres.

·         Car parks needed to be maintained, and the money received from car park charges was required, which could also assist with investing in better solutions for the environment.

·         It was a difficult choice as there was a very good disc scheme which provided 2 hours free parking to those that had the disc. Therefore regular town users may not be effected by a rise in charges, however visitors to the town did need to be encouraged.

 

            A discussion then took place on Recommendation 2, and the following points were made:

·         The council needed the income, the prices were fairly reasonable, if this was voted against the money would then need to be found somewhere else.

·         It was hoped that the money could be used to make the car parks more attractive, and the residents would benefit from this.

·         Would improvements be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 737.

738.

Transfer of Section 106 Funding pdf icon PDF 138 KB

This report presents a summary of Section 106 funds that are on hold under Planning Permissions Y/30/13 (land south of Fellows Gardens) and Y/22/14 (Land at Kings Close), and which are earmarked to be transferred to Yapton Parish Council, to be spent on improving local open spaces. This report requests authorisation to enter into Deeds of Agreement with the Parish Council and formally allocate the spend.

Minutes:

            At the beginning of this Item, Councillor Worne re-declared her Personal Interest in the Item, as she was a Member of Yapton Parish Council and was part of the Committee responsible for the Playground.

 

 

            Upon the invitation of the Chair, the Group Head of Neighbourhood Services presented the report and explained the recommendation to the Committee.

 

            There were no Member questions, however it was highlighted how important this was for Yapton.

 

 

            The recommendation was Proposed by Councillor English and Seconded by Councillor Chace.

 

            The Committee

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Committee authorised the transfer of the Funds detailed below to Yapton Parish Council by way of a Deed of Agreement for the purposes set out below:

 

Planning Ref

Location

Amount

S106 Agreed Spend

Parish Council Proposed Spend

Y/30/13

Land South of Fellows Gardens

£45,009.39

 

For child play area contribution and public open space contribution, to make good a deficiency in public open space provision arising from this development

 

Yapton Parish Council intend to spend on the replacement of the play equipment and associated landscaping works on King George V Playing Field, Yapton

Y/22/14

Land at Kings Close

£39,183.42

 

For children’s play area and open space contribution, to make good a deficiency in public open space provision arising from this development

Yapton Parish Council intend to spend on the replacement of the play equipment and associated landscaping works on King George V Playing Field, Yapton

 

 

 

739.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 208 KB

The Committee is required to note the Work Programme for 2021/22.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

At the beginning of the Item, the Chair asked the Vice-Chair to take over as Chair for the duration of the Item.

 

The Vice-Chair in the Chair asked if Members had anything they wished to add to the 2022/23 Work Programme.

 

It was noted that the Environment Agency would be invited to provide a Member Seminar open to all Arun District Councillors.

 

Councillor Edwards requested the permission of the Vice-Chair in the Chair and the Committee, to make a statement regarding Bersted Brooks, which was an item on the Work Programme. Upon the invitation of the Vice-Chair in the Chair, Councillor Edwards went on to give his statement which was in response to a question that he had answered at Full Council the previous evening. He explained that by withholding the draft figures from his response given at Full Council, he had not intended to mislead anyone, however wanted to give an answer based on confirmed costs and not draft ones. With hindsight, he felt he should have supplied these draft figures as part of his response, and it had not been his intention to mislead Councillor Stanley or anyone else. If that was Cllr Stanley’s perception, Cllr Edwards was happy to apologise unreservedly. He wanted to reassure Councillor Stanley and other Members that he had not been trying to hide anything and as soon as the actual costed figures and project timelines were available, they would be shared with Members.

 

Further detail regarding the Houses of Multiple Occupation Item was requested, which was provided by the Group Head of Technical Services.

 

It was requested that the Bognor Regis Beach Access Working Party be added to the Work Programme for information updates. It was confirmed the first meeting of this Working Party would take place at 9.30am on 9 May 2022 at Bognor Regis Town Hall.

 

The Work Programme was noted.