Agenda, decisions and minutes

Extraordinary, Executive
Monday, 17th September, 2018 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN

Contact: Anne Hunter  Democratic and Electoral Services Lead Specialist

Link: Watch the video of this meeting

Items
No. Item

41.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted from Councillors Richard Dolinski, Pauline Helliar-Symons, Philip Mirfin and Simon Weeks.

 

Councillor Laura Blumenthal attended the meeting on behalf of Councillor Richard Dolinski. In accordance with legislation Councillor Blumenthal could take part in any discussions but was not entitled to vote.

 

42.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received

43.

Public Question Time

To answer any public questions

 

A period of 30 minutes will be allowed for members of the public to ask questions submitted under notice.

 

The Council welcomes questions from members of the public relating to the item on the agenda only.

 

For full details of the procedure for submitting questions please contact the Democratic Services Section on the numbers given below or go to www.wokingham.gov.uk/publicquestions

Minutes:

In accordance with the agreed procedure the Chairman invited members of the public to submit questions to the appropriate Members.

 

 

43.1

Annette Medhurst asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

Minutes:

 

Question

As part of the consultation exercise for the removal of school crossing patrollers’ local schools were contacted, presumably in order to reach a wide distribution of people who regularly use these services. Meadow Nursery School on Murray Road, who provide a statutory service in early years’ education was not contacted nor was there a tick box on the consultation for parents to state that their child attended Meadow Nursery. Why were early years’ settings not considered important voices for the local authority to seek out their opinion during the consultation process?

 

Answer

The purpose of the school crossing patrol service is to assist the safe journey of school aged children through providing a safe crossing facility to enable them to access schools. Early years’ children should be accompanied by appropriate adults who will have the benefit of new 24/7 crossing facilities. I also understand that many pre-school children attend nurseries for half day sessions and the new proposals will assist them and their appropriate adults to cross the road safely at the end of morning sessions and the beginning of afternoon sessions. 

 

I have been unable to find why you were not contacted but my understanding is that all of the LEA schools were contacted.

 

Supplementary Question

So on that basis if you are saying that local authority settings were contacted but early years’ settings were not for the reasons that you outlined.  You talk about the safety of lots of people but why were those individuals not considered? I don’t really see why that group of individuals are not considered to have an important voice in this type of exercise.

 

Supplementary Answer

I did not say that early years’ settings were not contacted.  The only one I am aware of that was not contacted is yours and I believe that in the assessment of the requirements that early years’ settings have been taken into account in the design and considerations undertaken by the Council.

43.2

Alexandra Fraser asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

Minutes:

 

Question

Please can you advise under what conditions in the consultation that was carried out what parents and residents could have said for a school to keep their School Crossing Patroller even alongside a new crossing? 

 

Answer

If the consultation responses had demonstrated that there had been factors of which the Council was unaware that would undermine the ability to enable safe crossing of the roads close to school crossing patrol locations, this would have resulted in the Council considering alternative proposals. However this did not happen through the consultation process.

 

Supplementary Question

We want to encourage people to walk to school.  If this was a consultation just about installing a crossing why was there not the option of keeping the lollipop ladies?

 

Supplementary Answer

Last year we had a number of schools where they already had a crossing, and they had crossing patrollers on them, and we consulted with their removal and they were removed last year and there is no evidence of anything getting worse; in fact the accident statistics got better.  I do not see anything from our experience that the removal of crossing patrollers last year, who were on fixed sites, that would imply that we could not do it again.

 

43.3

Sally Cairns asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

Minutes:

 

Question

My particular concern about replacing the school crossing patroller at the Murray Road site with a fixed crossing is that, whilst the school crossing patroller can keep everyone moving, if the site is changed to a fixed crossing, I think there will be times either when there is a big build-up of people on the (relatively narrow) pavement, or times when the traffic ends up queuing back a long way – in both cases, leading to safety issues. At the Scrutiny Committee meeting, it appeared that the key point of the consultation process was seen as being to identify such safety concerns. However, the actual question asked was much more general “Do you have any comments on the proposed changes to safe school crossings?” I think that is just one of the reasons why the consultation was not meaningful – and if the Council seriously wants to get people’s views on the proposed changes, we need to see exactly what the proposed crossing looks like, including whether there are going to be any changes to the pavements or parking arrangements. In the light of the concerns raised, how are the plans for the Murray Road site going to be taken forward?

 

Answer

Having undertaken detailed feasibility studies, the Council is satisfied that a permanent formal crossing can be provided in the vicinity of the school site that would not compromise the safety of school children. However, I understand the concerns raised and will work with our Highways Department and Transport Officers to consider any additional measures that could be put in place to improve the access arrangements at Murray Road.  This issue will be dealt with in addition to the issues raised by the removal of the school crossing service and responses to the consultation.

 

I would add that I have particularly taken care on this site including visiting it.  I have consulted with some of my local Members and I have listened to the debate that we had and all of the questions and comments that have been made.  I have taken those on board in considering this decision and I have taken them on board in consideration of other matters that may be required to make this a better and safer access to the school so I think I have done that and I will continue to do that.  I will continue to be committed to providing safe access to this school and I am aware of the issues that have been raised.

 

Supplementary Question

I very much appreciate that you are taking the issues at this site seriously however I think the overwhelming message of the consultation was that the majority of people did not agree with the Department’s decision that it was a safe thing to do.  So my question now as in going forward you are saying that it is going to be something a bit different to what we said anyway and if you have a requirement to consult on significant changes to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43.3

43.4

Alexa Stott asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

Minutes:

 

Question

At the Extraordinary call-in meeting on September 3rd Cllr Pollock stated that when he visited Murray Road on Monday 23rd July he was impressed by the courtesy of drivers and that he did not see behaviours that would challenge the Council decision to replace the school crossing patrollers with permanent crossings. Given that this date was the end of term and the Nursery School had already closed for the summer the footfall of pedestrians and number of drivers along Murray Road was lower than usual. Does Cllr Pollock have plans to visit the site again, both morning and afternoon to obtain a more realistic picture of the challenges faced by the school community on this site?

 

Answer

While I attended the site on 23rd July, the site had already been fully considered by professionally qualified Highways and Transportation Officers at this point. This had informed the feasibility study of the crossing facility at Murray Road to enable the Council to be satisfied that a safe crossing could be provided in the vicinity of the school crossing patroller site. I have also been in close contact with the relevant Ward Member, who knows the area very well, about this proposal and he has informed the decision.

 

While the Council has already identified a safe crossing design for the Murray Road site, I am aware of the concerns that have been raised and will work with Ward Members, the school itself and our highways experts to consider any additional measures that may be put in place to improve the access arrangements at Murray Road.I will also consider revisiting the school at an appropriate time.

43.5

Diane Burch asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

Minutes:

 

Question

2 c       “The original 2015 decision was taken without an underpinning Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) and the subsequent April 2018 EIA did not contain detailed information about consultation with specific groups and did not reflect the individual circumstances relating to each of the proposed crossing sites”

 

An EIA usually refers to discrimination on the basis of race, gender or disability.  As we are concerned with School Crossing Patrollers who deal with children – assuming a more detailed  EIA needs to be undertaken may I suggest that these younger residents are considered; on the grounds of age discrimination?

 

Answer

Under equalities legislation the Council has a duty to integrate considerations of equality impact and to supply this in the decision to remove the discretionary school crossing patroller service. A single Equalities Impact Assessment to inform this decision to remove a school crossing patroller service was appropriate in line with this duty. 

 

The design standards of each crossing incorporate the needs of all users including all of these groups protected under the equalities legislation which are:  race; age; gender; disability; ethnicity; sexual orientation; religion and beliefs; gender reassignment; pregnancy; and maternity.  This is further tested through the safety audit process.  Each of the crossings has been assessed on the basis of their individual circumstances to ensure that they are safe and fit for purpose for all residents who may use the crossing.  The purpose of the school crossing patroller service is to assist the safety of school aged children by providing a safety crossing facility to enable them to access schools.  Early years’ children should be accompanied by appropriate adults who will have the benefit of the new 24/7 crossing facilities.

 

Supplementary Question

Although we have heard many Councillors, including yourself, say that they wish to implement safe crossings can you please say why you believe that static crossings that are unmanned can possibly be safer at school times than those with lollipop men and ladies currently on them and tell us where your statistics come from for such a sweeping generalised statement?

 

Supplementary Answer

About 15 years ago we implemented a Government programme called ‘Safer Routes to School’ where we implemented putting crossings at most of our schools at that time.  Those crossings have been in for at least the last 10 years and so we have extensive experience of school fixed crossings at schools as well as all the fixed crossings that exist around the country.  These are designed nationally and the evidence in Wokingham is that they are safe and that is why I am satisfied with that.

 

43.6

Helen Shah asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

Minutes:

 

Question

Are there any budget implications from the correct procedure not being followed initially, and if there are, where will any shortfall come from?

 

Answer

The Council has undertaken due diligence in assessing the financial implications of the proposal to remove the school crossing patrol service and has correctly assessed the impact on the Council’s budget. The maintenance of the crossings will not have a significant impact on revenue budgets as the additional crossings only represent less than 5% of the increase in the number of crossings in the Borough.

 

The financial implications of the call-in process has had budgetary implications as school crossing patrollers will potentially have to operate for a longer period at school crossing patroller points. This will be met through the revenue budget which will be diverted from other service areas. The process has also impacted on Council staffing resources but the cost of this has not been quantified.  I believe that the correct procedures have been followed however as a result of the call-in there will be additional costs in the 2018/19 budget.

 

Supplementary Question

So is that the impact on the Council being able to provide other things in the area?

 

Supplementary Answer

In theory possibly.  In practice probably not.

 

43.7

Keith Malvern asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

Minutes:

 

Question

In the light of the wide ranging discussion held at the Overview and Scrutiny call in meeting, can I ask whether consideration has been given to a 'horses for courses' approach that would allow, for example, the school crossing patroller to be retained at Murray Road?

 

Answer

I would consider retaining the school crossing patroller if the design and safety issues arising from the crossing design indicated that a safe crossing could not be provided. 

 

Supplementary Question

I am disappointed that previous Leaders have considered ‘horses for courses’ as being an appropriate thing to use.  What I would like to ask is that it seems to me that the Council is in a hole at the moment and if you are in a hole there are two things that you can do.  You are doing the wrong thing you keep digging.  Overview and Scrutiny have done you favour as they have provided you with a ladder to get out of this hole by saying that there are other options. 

 

I would like to ask that in the light of this coming document, the proposed ‘Borough Plan 2025’a gripping read and I have only reached page 7 so far and the vision is wrong I can tell you that.  What I want to know is page 7 refers to the key areas of focus for Wokingham Borough.  What I want to understand from you that includes support at vulnerable times.  Do you feel that a school crossing patroller provides support at vulnerable times?

 

Supplementary Answer

When there isn’t a fixed crossing yes.

43.8

Paul Fishwick asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

Minutes:

 

Question

What site assessments have the Council undertaken at each individual location such as pedestrian counts between 7am and 7pm; corresponding traffic flows between 7am and 7pm during the average day and month as recommended by the Department of Transport’s Local Transport Notes because I am unable to find any evidence whatsoever in your reports.

 

Answer

My understanding from what I have seen is that we have done exactly that.

As Mr Fishwick had evidence that his question had been submitted within the relevant timescales but had not been received by Democratic Services it was agreed that a written response would be provided.

44.

Member Question Time

To answer any member questions

 

A period of 20 minutes will be allowed for Members to ask questions submitted under Notice relating to the item on the agenda only.

 

Any questions not dealt with within the allotted time will be dealt with in a written reply.

Minutes:

In accordance with the agreed procedure the Chairman invited Members to submit questions to the appropriate Members

44.1

Gary Cowan asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

 

Question

Cllr. Ferris in Member questions (26 July Executive minutes para 24.3 refers) challenged the quoted random £600.00 per site for upkeep. He also challenged why there was no replacement costs.  My question is including school crossings how many pedestrian crossings in total has WBC got and are they all budgeted at £600.00 per annum for maintenance?

 

Minutes:

Question

Cllr. Ferris in Member questions (26 July Executive minutes para 24.3 refers) challenged the quoted random £600.00 per site for upkeep. He also challenged why there was no replacement costs.  My question is including school crossings how many pedestrian crossings in total has WBC got and are they all budgeted at £600.00 per annum for maintenance?

 

Answer

As of September 2018, there are 61 controlled pedestrian crossings in the Borough that are managed by the Council.

 

Each crossing has the following budget for the purpose of ongoing maintenance.

 

  • Tele-communications charges: £57
  • Electrical Power: £100
  • Routine maintenance and cleaning: £419
  • Total Cost: £576

 

Supplementary Question

I would say that with over 20 years as a Borough Councillor I have seen many call-ins and I must say that when I look at this one with 3½-4 pages with what looks like 28 initial elements raised I have never seen so many for a call-in in my whole period at the Council.  Just randomly picking on one; no consultation with the Ward Members.

 

Should we not be worried by this Executive’s views on consultation when 3½ pages worth of comment and observations and rejections from the Overview and Scrutiny referring it back to here has taken place.  I think all the public here should listen to this very, very carefully as I see it there is no note of consultation taken by this Borough Council.

 

Supplementary Answer

If you actually read the recommendations from Overview and Scrutiny they don’t actually challenge or say that we should not replace school crossing patrollers with fixed crossings.  There are three items that I will talk about later.  We have consulted in 2017 on phase one and we have consulted in 2018 on phase two.

 

 As I have repeatedly said the key piece here is to put in safe crossings at these school sites.  I have actually asked for improvements to the crossings that were originally proposed at a number of sites which is why they haven’t currently been built and I will continue to look at and take cognisance of the need for safe crossings at all off these school sites.  So I dispute your statements Gary.

44.2

Lindsay Ferris asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

Minutes:

 

Question

At the call-in meeting on Sept 3rd, Cllr Anthony Pollock clearly indicated that he had given authority for the works on the Pedestrian Crossings to continue after the call-in was submitted on 31st July.  At the meeting it was established that Cllr Pollock as a single Executive Member did not have that authority and no IEMD was issued. Later in the meeting Josie Wragg confirmed that she gave the authority. I have since discovered that this authority was given retrospectively on 17th August, on her return from holiday. I therefore wish to know who authorised the works to continue in the absence of Josie Wragg to cover the period 31 July through to 16 August as the call-in submission put the decision taken at the 26th July Executive on hold until the issue was resolved?

 

Answer

The Director of Customer and Localities has the delegated responsibility to authorise works through the Council’s capital programme. In the absence of the Director, the Assistant Director has this delegated authority passed to her.

 

As the current Director was on annual leave when the call-in submission was received by the Council, the Assistant Director authorised the continuation of the works on the pedestrian crossings having discussed this with the Executive Member and I suspect that was what I was referring to when I was asked by the relevant Officer to agree with their view that we should carry on with the work.

 

Supplementary Question

Sorry but I am going to have to query that.  The answer I had from Josie Wragg was that she retrospectively authorised the decision not that her Assistant Director had authorised it in her absence.  She specifically said retrospectively so there is a mistake or an error here because the Director would not say retrospectively.   Retrospectively means to me either nobody made a decision or somebody made a decision who did not have the authority to do it so why would she use those words?  So I question that answer.

 

Supplementary Answer

I have spoken to Josie myself and I have raised this issue with her.  I have asked her if she is comfortable with the answer I have given you and she has told me that she is and therefore as far as she is concerned what she has said to me is that the process has been properly followed.  I cannot answer for your conversations with her I can only answer from my conversations with her.

44.3

Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

Minutes:

 

Question

When precisely and by whom was the decision made to make the School Crossing Patrollers redundant, the only place I can find is a note about finding an alternative source of funding in the 2015 Medium term financial plan?

 

Answer

The formal notification was made on Monday 11th June 2018 after which statutory staff consultation took place.

 

Supplementary Question

I was told that the original decision was actually made in a Tory party meeting, rather than by an Executive Member that this was going to happen, and this was the original decision as well.

 

Supplementary Answer

I am simply saying to you and I will repeat what I said.  The formal letters of notifying the staff of redundancy were made on Monday 11th June; any other discussions are not valid.

44.4

Imogen Shepherd-DuBey asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

Minutes:

 

Question

As part of the call-in meeting we received all of the comments that were sent in as a response to the WBC consultation. The people who responded to this consultation thought that they were being consulted on whether the Lollipop Ladies should be replaced with automated crossings or not. Our Highways Engineer made it clear that the only thing that they were looking for on the responses were legitimate safety considerations regarding the physical installation of the crossings.

 

In the subsequent report provided to the Executive, this consultation shows the concerns about bad parking, bad driving, children’s safety etc were disregarded. Very clearly, the rare visit from a CPE Officer is not enough to replace the daily presence of a SCP. Two of the schools who had their SCP removed last year have now had to install special holding pens at their gates because of the safety concerns for their children.

 

We certainly do not feel that the public is being listened to. Please can you advise what will be done to satisfy all of the concerns in the consultation, before the School Crossing Patrollers are actually removed?

 

Answer

In line with the Council’s Consultation Protocol, consultation was undertaken about the removal of the school crossing patroller service. The responses were reported to and fully considered by the Council’s Executive.  Prior to this in consultation with Officers I visited and reviewed each of the crossing sites in detail which resulted in two crossings being changed from zebra to puffin and one site provided with a zebra crossing where previously no facility was proposed.  In line with the protocol other relevant information was also considered by the Council’s Executive including highway safety issues, the financial implications and the wider benefits of the proposed new crossing facilities for all residents. The Executive considered that the safety benefits of the new crossings, to serve all residents throughout the day and year, outweighed the concerns raised by the respondents; many of which related to poor parking and driving which are not factors that the school crossing patrol service is designed to address.

 

In line with the adopted Consultation Protocol the Council is committed to listening to its residents but in line with this document it also acknowledges that “a consultation should not be the sole means by which information should be gathered when making a decision.   ….. this information is considered alongside other relevant evidence or information about an issue …”

 

Supplementary Question

According to our WBC consultation approach we are legally supposed to consult at the formative stages of a change of service.  It is actually a legal requirement which provides sufficient reason to allow us to give ntelligent consideration in the response.  I would like to know when we are actually going to get a consultation on the removal of the lollipop lady service because this seems to be a consultation just about whether we should install a crossing or not?

 

Supplementary Answer

No this was a consultation in connection with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44.4

44.5

Helen Power asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

Minutes:

 

Question

At the call-in on the 3rd of September we heard that there had been only one Equality Impact Assessment for all of the crossings. There appears to have been no consultation with disability groups or the schools about the needs of their children. Input from parents of children with additional needs has not been considered even when they responded to the consultation. Hopefully you are aware that there are different types of disabilities that could be affected by this, including hearing, sight, mobility, learning disabilities, cognitive processing disabilities especially when dealing with children who will have not learned to compensate for these issues yet. As no location is the same, why have these assessments not been done on a location, by location, basis?

 

Answer

Under equalities legislation the Council has a duty to integrate considerations of equality impact and supplied this in the decision to remove the discretionary school crossing patroller service.  A single Equalities Impact Assessment to inform this decision to remove the school crossing patroller service was appropriate in line with this duty. 

 

The design standards of each crossing incorporates the needs of all users, including all of those groups protected under the equalities legislation: race; age; gender; disability; ethnicity; sexual orientation; religion and belief; gender reassignment; pregnancy and maternity.  This is further tested through the safety audit process.  Each crossing has been assessed on the basis of their individual circumstances to ensure that they are safe and fit for purpose for all residents who may use the crossing.

 

Supplementary Question

In which case why were the Equalities Impact Assessments not done earlier on in the process than April 2018?

 

Supplementary Answer

The individual Equalities Impact Assessments were done during the design process and that would have been done earlier than April 2018 or they were commenced earlier than 2018 so they are a big part of the design process and that would have been included in the design process.

 

45.

Call-In of Executive Decision - School Crossing Patrol Service - Consultation Report 2018 pdf icon PDF 121 KB

 

At its meeting of 26 July 2018 the Executive considered a report relating to the School Crossing Patrol Service – Consultation Report 2018 and resolved that:

 

1)     WBC continue with its proposal to provide safe, permanent crossings at the seven locations that currently have a school crossing patroller, and, following their installation, remove the school crossing patrol service once the permanent crossings are complete as set out in Option 2, Appendix 1 of the report;

 

2)    all affected schools are reminded that they have access to the Council’s road safety and My Journey teams who can facilitate further road safety training for pupils if requested.

 

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, five non-Executive Members of the Council submitted a formal notice “calling in” the Executive decision to remove the School Crossing Patrol service from seven sites across the Borough once permanent crossing facilities were installed.

 

The decision was called in on the following grounds:

 

1)     The decision has contravened Section 1.4.2 a) of the Council’s Constitution, in that the action being proposed is not proportionate to the desired outcome.

 

a)     A blanket decision has been made to replace all remaining School Crossing Patrols (SCP) with pedestrian crossings, despite the different characteristics and requirements of the locations.

b)     The desired outcome appears to be to save money yet the costs both of the crossings and the school crossing patrol have not been fully or correctly stated. None of the other options quoted had any costs provided.

c)      The decision was made on the basis of costs for crossings which have not yet been designed – as a redesign is taking place at four sites due to the first design not being suitable; it is therefore unclear whether a crossing is actually the right answer for those locations, as well as the costs being unknown.

 

2)     The decision has contravened Section 1.4.2 b) of the Council’s Constitution, in that due consultation and the taking of professional advice from Officers has not occurred.

 

a)     The consultation was not complete at the point at which the decisions to withdraw the service were made.

b)     The consultation was not carried out at an early stage, and was not meaningful, and contravened the Council’s own rules on consultation.

c)      There was no consultation with ward Members on the withdrawal of the service.

d)     The replacement crossings were designed without reference to ward Members and before the consultation was carried out – and ward Members were not even informed until mid-July that the crossings had been designed.

e)     Wokingham Town Council’s consultation response has not been taken into consideration.

f)       Letters putting the staff at risk of redundancy were issued before the consultation was concluded.

g)     The Council’s responses to the points made by respondents are inadequate.

h)     At least one crossing was scheduled to be installed before the decision on the outcome of the consultation took place.

i)       At least one safety audit was done during the school holidays.

j)       No Equality Impact Assessments accompanied the  ...  view the full agenda text for item 45.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive considered recommendations from the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee who met on 3 September 2018 to consider the ‘call-in’ of the Executive decision relating to the item entitled School Crossing Patrol Service – Consultation Report 2018 which was approved at the Executive meeting held on 26 July 2018 with the following recommendations:

 

“RESOLVED that:

1)        WBC continue with its proposal to provide safe, permanent crossings at the seven locations that currently have a school crossing patroller, and, following their installation, remove the school crossing patrol service once the permanent crossings are complete as set out in Option 2, Appendix 1 of the report;

 

2)        all affected schools be reminded that they have access to the Council’s road safety and My Journey teams who can facilitate further road safety training for pupils if requested.”

 

The Leader of Council thanked all the questioners, representatives from schools and the school crossing patrollers who had taken the time and effort to be part of the process and the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee for their consideration of the decision.  Councillor Haitham Taylor also thanked Councillor Pollock for the time he had spent on the matter, including visiting the different sites.

 

The Leader of Council invited the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee, Parry Batth, to present the findings and recommendations of the Committee.  The reasons for the ‘call-in’, as set out in the Agenda, were considered at the Management Committee meeting held on 3 September 2018.  A number of witnesses attended the meeting and gave evidence following which the Management Committee considered its findings and agreed the following resolution:

 

“RESOLVED That:

1)        the Executive be requested to review their 26 July 2018 decision on the School Crossing Patrol Service in light of the evidence presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee;

 

2)        the request to the Executive for a review is based on the following reasons:

 

a)      the original 2015 decision to remove the School Crossing Patrol Service was taken prior to the consultation, and, with the substantive decision having been taken, subsequent consultation exercises were not seen as meaningful;

 

b)      the original 2015 decision was taken without an underpinning business case and the 26 July 2018 Executive report did not contain detailed information showing the current costs of the service and the full financial implications relating to the proposed implementation, maintenance and future replacement of the new permanent crossing facilities;

 

c)      the original 2015 decision was taken without an underpinning Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) and the subsequent April 2018 EIA did not contain detailed information about consultation with specific groups and did not reflect the individual circumstances relating to each of the proposed crossing sites.”

 

In presenting the recommendations, Councillor Batth clarified that the purpose of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee was not to challenge the decision made by the Executive but was to scrutinise the procedures and processes used by the Executive to make the decision. 

 

Councillor Batth highlighted that the Committee had felt that the Executive  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.