Agenda and draft minutes

Economy Committee - Tuesday 22nd November 2022 6.00 pm

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

Contact: Carley Lavender 

Media

Items
No. Item

436.

Apologies

Minutes:

          Apologies were received from Councillors Roberts and Stanley.

437.

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:

          There were no declarations of interest made.

438.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Minutes:

          The minutes of the meeting held on 27 September 2022 were approved and signed by the Chair.

439.

ITEMS NOT ON THE AGENDA THAT THE CHAIRMAN OF THE MEETING IS OF THE OPINION SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS A MATTER OF URGENCY BY REASON OF SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

Minutes:

          There were no urgent items.

440.

Public Question Time

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

 

Minutes:

          There were no public questions submitted before the deadline.

441.

Beach Hut Progress Report pdf icon PDF 95 KB

This report sets out the current progress of the provision of additional beach hut facilities within the Arun District.

 

Minutes:

The Interim Property, Estates & Facilities Manager provided members with an overview of his update report that explained the progress made by officers to date. He confirmed that it also detailed the budget had been brought forward from the previous financial year. He confirmed that the design of the 3 accessible huts that had been requested by members had now been agreed with the manufacturer. Following this a draft layout of all 13 huts had been drawn up and the next stage of the process was for Officers to prepare and submit a planning application.  He also confirmed that new locations for Beach Huts across the District was under review however, advice from legal was still outstanding to confirm if the new locations would be viable or not. He also provided a further update regarding the Littlehampton scheme whereby it was confirmed that updated cost estimates had been received and these could still be delivered within the original budget agreed. In summing up he provided members with his draft timeline, where he expected that the planning application would be submitted to the Planning Department by end of December 2022, there was a 8-month lead in time to be accounted for with the manufacturer, along with a 3-month manufacture time. It was therefore anticipated that the installation of the Beach Huts would be expected by Summer 2024.

 

          The Chair thanked the Interim Property, Estates and Facilities Manager for his comprehensive update and then invited questions from members. A summary of questions and points raised is below;

 

          A query was raised regarding possible severe constraints with one of the new locations under review, given that the huts would be located on shingle, detailed at 3.5.3 in the report. Discussion was had regarding the stability of the shingle in the area, and it was confirmed that due diligence work was still required to be undertaken. 

 

          In reference to the Littlehampton Beach Huts, it was raised that whilst it was a good start, more accessible huts should be built into future plans, given that only 3 of the Beach Huts would be accessible huts out of the 13 Beach Huts being planned for.

 

          Further clarification was sought in relation to the additional cost of the accessible Beach Huts and did these costs still come within the original budget agreed. It was confirmed that the original budget did meet the additional costs for the 3 accessible Beach Huts. 

 

          An in-depth discussion took place regarding the draft timeline and the estimated installation date of Summer 2024, where it was reconfirmed that Planning permission was still required, along with a procurement exercise on top of 8-month lead in time from the point of order with the manufacturer. Members were also reminded by the Chair that it had to be acknowledged and accepted that Officers had been asked to make changes to the original plans that were put in front of members and that these changes were not quick to scope and implement. A suggestion regarding ordering Beach  ...  view the full minutes text for item 441.

442.

Pier Road Consultation - Survey Results and Next Steps pdf icon PDF 102 KB

In March 2022 the Committee agreed the undertaking of a consultation and survey regarding the future of Pier Road in Littlehampton following the positive response to the two Covid19 emergency/temporary road closures.

 

The consultation survey gave respondents the option to indicate their preference and comment on how they would like to see Pier Road developed in the future. This report asks the Committee to review the consultation results and to agree the next steps now that we are in receipt of the consultation and survey outcomes.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

          (Councillor Walsh declared a Personal interest in this item as a West Sussex County Councillor.)

 

          The Group Head of Business and Economy advised members that the report before them was to advise them of the results from the survey that had been conducted over August and September 2022.  She confirmed that the consultation was undertaken due to the closure of Pier Road had been done using emergency measures (now no longer available to be used) implemented during the pandemic to help with social distancing. Officers felt it was a good opportunity to undertake a survey to gage feedback from the community of their feelings on the previous road closures and future options to be considered. She confirmed that 864 people had completed the survey which was a really good response rate. She advised members that the recommendations are asking them to consider their support for a permanent closure as this had been the preferred outcome from the survey. She explained that the next steps should members support the recommendation would be that Officers would make contact with West Sussex County Council who are the responsible authority, she explained that it would be a complex process which was likely to take time. 

 

          The Chair thanked the Group Head of Business and Economy for her detailed report and invited the Vice-Chair to speak. The Vice-Chair also expressed his thanks to the Group Head of Business and Economy and her team for the work they had undertaken. He stated the permanent closure had been the most popular choice and that should the route be taken then there was an opportunity for a complete redesign of the road, from lighting through to seating. It was an opportunity to bring a transformative change for the community. He confirmed he was “enthusiastically” in favour of the permanent closure.

 

          The Leader of the Liberal Democrats was then invited to make comment, where he stated that he was in favour for a seasonal closure, he explained his reasons for this in detail covering his review of the road closure during the pandemic and some of the issues he felt would require improvement (signage and lighting) should a seasonal closure be pursued. He also stated that transformation of the space could still be achieved with a seasonal closure from changing the road colour, seating and lighting as well as accommodating car users.      

 

          Other comments and questions asked have been summarised below;

 

          It was asked why West Sussex County Council (WSCC) did not support a permanent closure and what were the expected costings for this project. It was explained that WSCC did not support permanent closures as it was not something that they normally consider. It was also confirmed that should a permanent closure be pursued the majority of the costs for this would be covered by WSCC, however once the council reaches the stage of financial costings these would be brought back to Committee for their review.

 

          It was commented that it was important to consider storage solutions for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 442.

443.

Quarter 2 Key Performance Indicators Report pdf icon PDF 97 KB

This report sets out the performance of the Key Performance indicators at Quarter 2 for the period 1 April 2022 to 30 September 2022.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

          The Director of Growth advised members that the report before them detailed the Quarter 2 performance indicators and that the report was to be taken as read.

 

          The Chair then invited members to ask any questions on the performance detailed. It was commented that neighbouring authorities were not seeing the same level of business occupation that the council had and it was refreshing to see and very positive for the District. There was also discussion concerning the arcade in Littlehampton where it was confirmed that conversations were on going with 3 businesses along with new tenants moving in. It was stated that there were no intentions of the arcade being knocked down, and detailed discussions with WSCC who are responsible for the highway through the arcade were also taking place.

 

The Chair thanked and congratulated the officer team with the work they continue to undertake stating that their work was vitally important and was keeping our district alive and a float.  

 

          The Committee then noted the report.

 

444.

Outside Bodies Update

Minutes:

          There were no updates for this meeting.

445.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 68 KB

The Committee is requested to note the Committees Work Programme for the remainder of the municipal year.

Minutes:

          Members noted the work programme for the remaining meeting of the Committee for this municipal year.