Venue: the Council Chamber - Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN
Contact: Neil Carr Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist
To receive any apologies for absence.
There were no apologies for absence.
To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 23 March 2021.
The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 23 March 2021 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Declaration of Interest
To receive any declarations of interest.
There were no declarations of interest.
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 about the work of this Committee.
Subject to meeting certain timescales, questions can relate to general issues concerned with the work of the Committee or an item which is on the Agenda for this meeting. 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
There were no public questions.
Member Question Time
To answer any Member questions.
There were no Member questions.
To consider the Performance Report for Q4 of 2020/21 (January to March).
The Committee considered a report, set out at Agenda pages 11 to 52, which gave details of Council performance during Quarter 4 of 2020/21 (January to March 2021).
Will Roper, Customer Insight Analyst and Performance Manager, attended the meeting to present the report and answer Member questions.
The report stated that each quarter of 2020/21 had been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the significant impacts of Covid-19 and the Council’s focus on response and recovery, performance at the end of Quarter 4 remained positive across the majority of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). 80% of KPIs reported achieved the target (Green) or were near target (Amber). Only six KPIs were reported Red at the end of the quarter.
In order to focus the report on key issues a summary page was included for each department setting out the top three wins over the quarter, the top three opportunities and the key challenges.
The report stated that, over the 2020/21 Municipal Year:
· 37 KPIs had improved performance;
· 8 KPIs had maintained performance;
· 11 KPIs performed worse at the end of the year;
· 5 KPIs had no direction of travel (not available);
· 3 KPIs were awaiting data (pending).
Appended to the report was a detailed breakdown of the KPIs for each department, including service narrative and direction of travel.
During the ensuing discussion, Members raised the following points:
CIC 16 – Stage 1 complaints per 100k population - provides data on Stage 1 complaints. Can Members see data on Stage 2 and Ombudsman complaints?
CIC 8 – number of fly tipping incidents – fly tipping has increased substantially in recent years – the target does not indicate a route to previous levels. Can the target plot a path back to fly tipping levels from three years ago? Should this be a Green RAG status?
CIC9 – Number of resident subscribers to Wokingham Borough Connect – needs a SMART target.
CIC10 – WBC social media impressions engagement and followers – needs a SMART target.
CS2 - % of child protection visits completed within 10 days – 10 day target is non-statutory – does this KPI focus on speed, impact or quality?
CS5 – % of former care leavers (up to age 21) in Education, Employment or Training - should the KPI refer to care leavers up to the age of 25? What is the basis for this KPI?
PG15 – Proportion of adults who do any walking or cycling, for any purpose, at least once per week - what is the relevance of this data? Are we reporting on people who walk for leisure rather than people who walk instead of travelling by car? This is a national indicator – can we provide data for the Borough?
PG16 – enabling sustainable travel: length of greenways and cycleways delivered - again this records leisure travel. Can we find a measure that records modal shift from car journeys to cycling?
PG22 – Carbon Footprint of Wokingham Borough. Could we see the carbon reduction target broken ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
To discuss progress relating to the Council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan. This item to be considered in conjunction with item 8.
The Committee considered a report, set out at Agenda pages 11 to 52, which gave details of progress relating to the Council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP) for the period January to March 2021.
Gregor Murray, Executive Member for Resident Services, Communications and Emissions attended the meeting to answer Member questions. Rhian Hayes, Interim Assistant Director Housing and Place and Diana Tovar, Climate Emergency Manager also attended the meeting.
Gregor Murray addressed the Committee and gave details of progress against key targets in the CEAP, as follows:
· Over £1.5m in additional funding, e.g. Active Travel, Defra, Salix (Energy Efficiency), Woodland Trust (tree planting).
· Commencement of work on two Park and Ride sites.
· EV Charging Strategy Survey informing work on a new strategy.
· Defra funding from Air Quality Action Fund (WBC officer).
· Joined air quality project run by Reading University.
· Planning application submitted for solar farm in Barkham.
· Established the Climate Emergency Fund (first meeting to be held shortly).
· Eco funding had led to improvements at 428 homes (cavity wall/loft insulation).
· Retrofitted schools across the Borough, e.g. added solar PV to Addington school.
· Full retrofit for home in Riseley as a pilot.
· Work started on new Waste Strategy.
· Climate Emergency drop in session for Town and Parish Councils.
· Climate conversations with local businesses.
In the ensuing discussion Members raised the following points.
Park and Ride Projects – were the Park and Ride projects leading to the redistribution of existing traffic rather than traffic reduction?
If vehicles used the new Park and Ride in Norreys, what would be the impact on car parking in the town centre? Would there be a town centre parking review as a result?
Gregor Murray stated that Highways questions would be submitted to the WBC Highways team for a detailed response. In relation to behaviour change the Council needed to understand the reasons for local journeys across the Borough and develop alternative solutions. Park and Ride was one of these options.
There was a lot of engagement going on with local communities and schools. How were businesses being engaged? Gregor gave details of the Climate Conversations with local businesses. It was clear that many businesses were working on sustainability initiatives. WBC could play a role in supporting these initiatives, thereby helping businesses to reduce their carbon footprint. The aim was to speak to all businesses in the Borough during 2021/22.
The Council had delivered a significant increase in recycling over the past year. What work was taking place to deliver further improvements? Gregor commented that more work was needed to reach the 70% recycling target. It was also important to focus on reducing the amount of waste generated through a focus on reduce, reuse, recycle. Re3 would be a key partner in this process.
When would work start on the Winnersh Triangle Park and Ride? The impact of the pandemic over the past year (reduced traffic) should have provided a good opportunity to progress the park and ride. Gregor confirmed that this point would be referred to ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
To consider the 2021 report of the Climate Emergency Task and Finish Group.
The Committee considered the 2021 report of the Climate Emergency Task and Finish Group, as set out at Agenda pages 125 to 166.
The Task and Finish Group had focussed on transport, homes, renewable energy and behaviour change. The Group’s proposed 2021 recommendations to the Council’s Executive were:
i) Ensure that the transport hierarchy set out in the Group’s report is embedded into all highways and development planning and decisions. This includes ensuring that the Local Transport Plan (LTP4) and all subsequent iterations of the LTP are consistent with the CEAP and reflect the proposed transport hierarchy. Different highways teams must work collaboratively on this basis.
ii) Review the road building proposals and measures for tackling congestion in the Medium Term Financial Plan (2021-24) to ensure that they are consistent with the CEAP and the transport hierarchy set out in the report and do not generate induced demand.
iii) Undertake a Borough-wide Journey Needs Assessment, including consultation with key stakeholders, and use it to assess the viability of “green” transport options. In addition to walking, cycling and public transport, options should include electric bikes and scooters, autonomous guided pods (similar to the Heathrow Pod system), electric taxis and electric “last mile” delivery fulfilment.
iv) Review and adjust the CEAP targets to reflect the Government’s announcement that the sale of new petrol/diesel cars and vans will end in 2030. Alongside this, develop a communication campaign and series of events to normalise the use of electric vehicles (EVs), linking with the strategy to provide the necessary EV charging infrastructure (this will include working with vendors).
v) Ensure that the Bus Service Improvement Plan reflects the Group’s recommended transport hierarchy, identifies barriers to increased bus usage (including affordability) and addresses the following issues:
· Improving access to bus services through additional/enhanced routes;
· Increasing public awareness through improved advertising, enhanced bus shelters with digital displays and greater connectivity with train services;
· Pilot schemes for subsidised fares on specific routes to generate data on impact, cost and customer satisfaction.
vi) Review the approved plans for the South Wokingham Distributor Road and ensure that this and future road schemes (including schemes currently in the design phase) provide safe cycle routes, segregated from both road traffic and pedestrians, in line with the recommendations in LTN1/20.
vii) Use planning powers and funding opportunities to encourage the maximum roll-out of home, workplace, community-based (e.g. supermarkets) and on-street EV charging points across the Borough.
viii) Explore the potential for introducing clean air zones at Twyford crossroads and Wokingham town centre in order to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions.
i) Following the scrapping of the Government’s Green Home Grant scheme and the Council’s Green Bank scheme, urgently consider any new measures to address the additional carbon and funding gap that this creates for the CEAP.
ii) Introduce a Supplementary Planning Document linked to the current Local Plan to ensure that, whilst we wait for the new Local Plan Update to be completed, any new homes are built ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
To consider and prioritise the Committee’s Work Programme for 2021/22.
The Committee considered a report, set out at Agenda pages 167 to 171, which set out the items for inclusion in the Committee’s work programme for 2021/22, as agreed at the meeting on 23 March 2021.
Members considered the list of items and made an initial allocation to the forthcoming meetings in 2021/22, as follows:
7 July 2021:
· Discussions with the Council Leader and Chief Executive on Council priorities for 2021/22;
· Evaluation of potential Climate Emergency Deliberative Processes;
· Quarterly Performance Management reports – options for improvement;
· WBC Waste Strategy;
· Establishment of the Tree and Biodiversity Protection Task and Finish Group (report by November 2021).
20 September 2021:
· WBC Response to the Covid-19 pandemic – Recovery Plan, Green Recovery and co-produced Anti-Poverty Strategy;
· Q1 2021/22 Performance Management report;
· WBC Website improvement plan and improvement plans for service delivery channels and customer service.
18 October 2021:
· Climate Emergency Action Plan Update;
· Local Plan Update and Five Year Land Supply;
· Delivery of Affordable Housing across the Borough.
17 November 2021:
· Unauthorised Traveller Encampments and delivery of transit sites;
· Emerging WBC Tree Strategy;
· WBC Continuous Improvement Programme;
· Q2 2021/22 Performance Management Report.
11 January 2022:
· WBC compliance with the Equality Act – WBC Equality Plan;
· Consultation on O&S Work Programmes for 2022/23.
23 February 2022:
· Air Quality management (joint item with HOSC);
· Local Nature Recovery Strategy.
17 March 2022:
· Confirmation of O&S Work Programmes for 2022/23;
· Progress against actions agreed in Council Motions;
· Approval of the annual O&S reports to Council;
· O&S Member training programme for 2022/23.
1) the initial allocation of items to the Committee’s 2021/22 meetings be approved;
2) further items be added to the work programme, as necessary, during the 2021/22 Municipal Year.
To consider the current published version of the Executive Forward Programme and the Executive Member Decision Forward Programme.
The Committee considered a copy of the Executive Forward Programme and Individual Executive Member Decision Forward Programme, as set out on Agenda pages 173 to 180.
1) the Executive and Individual Executive Member Decision Forward Programmes be noted;
2) clarification be sought on the emerging WBC Procurement Strategy.
To consider the Committee’s Action Tracker Report.
The Committee considered the Action Tracker report, set out at Agenda pages 181 to 182.
RESOLVED: That the Action Tracker report be noted.