Venue: David Hicks 1 - Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN. View directions
Contact: Callum Wernham Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist
Election of a Chairman
To elect a Chairman for the 2019/20 municipal year
RESOLVED That Guy Grandison be elected Chairman for the 2019/20 municipal year.
Appointment of a Vice Chairman
To appoint a Vice Chairman for the 2019/20 municipal year
RESOLVED That Ken Miall be appointed Vice Chairman for the 2019/20 municipal year.
To receive any apologies for absence.
There were no apologies for absence.
To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 March 2019.
The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 11 March 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Declaration of Interest
To receive any declarations of interest.
Some Members raised concerns that Deputy Members of the Executive should not sit on Scrutiny Committees which discussed areas of their portfolio, in line with the Statutory Government Guidance on Scrutiny which was published in May 2019.
A declaration of interest was submitted from Malcolm Richards on the grounds that he was a Deputy Executive Member with a portfolio relating to agenda item 9.
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.
In accordance with the agreed procedure the Chairman invited Members to submit questions to the appropriate Members.
Imogen Shepherd-DuBey has asked the Chairman of the Community and Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee the following question:
There are a number of pieces of work that have not been finished as part of the Market Place project. While we have heard rumours that that Market Place has been sealed, we would like this checked, as this is not performing as it should do and we do not believe this has been done properly. We are also missing the insets to mark out the disabled parking bays. Along with these, there are other minor issues that seem to have not been tackled. Please can you advise on when these tasks will be carried out?
Ahead of the Community and Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on the 17th June 2019, a report on the Market Place has been prepared and is included as Item 8 within the available meeting agenda. The report includes a brief section entitled ‘Next Steps’ at the bottom of page 13. It states that following the completion of the final Road Safety Audit (stage 3) and a risk assessment, the design team are finalising a list of works which if found to be necessary, will be commissioned during the summer for completion. These works will also include the installation of the disabled logo markings, which are to be inserted within each of the identified disabled bays.
Regarding the Market Place surface being sealed, I can confirm that this has been undertaken. Sealing a material such as stone does not keep it clean, it only makes cleaning easier as the sealant helps prevent grim, dirt and oil for example, from penetrating into the stone. Without the sealant it would be harder and more costly to remove marks and stains.
When I saw this report at the bottom of page 1 it says that there was an overspend of only five percent on the budget, and I thought that that might mean that we might get some of our contingency money back, I am talking about Wokingham Town Council. Because all of the contingency was spent on this project I was a little surprised to see that, and when I read the numbers sure enough it does include the contingency. I’d like to know when contingency money was considered a part of the project because as far as I am concerned that is being held to deal with emergency problems and not part of the project, because the original project was £3.8 million and that is what we expected it to be.
I think this is something that requires a proper written answer and also I suspect this will come out when we are discussing this topic on Agenda item 8.
To receive and consider the final road safety audit and an update on the financing of the project
The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 11 to 48, which gave details of the final road safety audit and financial position of the Market Place Highways Improvement Scheme.
Mark Cupit (Assistant Director Delivery and Infrastructure) and Chris Easton (Service Manager - Transport, Drainage and Compliance) attended the meeting to present the report and answer any Member questions.
The report gave details of the final road safety audit (RSA) which had allowed a six month ‘settling in’ period prior to the final audit’s completion, and identified no safety concerns with the final completed project. Following the disability engagement workshop held in November 2018, a risk assessment (undertaken by WSP - Wokingham Borough Council’s (WBC’s) design consultant) had highlighted seventeen risk areas. Lessons had been learned relating to design issues and WBC now had an in-house design team which provided greater value and financial savings. The tactile studs met the appropriate standards, were identified as an issue within the RSA and different chemicals could be used to alter their colour and make them stand out from the paving surfaces and improve their usability. Officers were in the process of working through the list of issues highlighted by the risk assessment.
The report outlined that not all of the work carried out as part of the Market Place Highways Improvement Project was solely for this project. Other works such as highways maintenance and drainage upgrades were carried out in order to upgrade the existing systems, thereby saving time and money by not having to dig up the area again in the near future. WBC now had access to a more developed and precise ground radar investigation tool which would be used on all future projects.
Reports of accidents had fallen dramatically since the initial opening of the newly upgraded Market Place. Reports of accidents were now less common with the new surfacing than with the previous red brick surface, which could be slippery in wet conditions.
The report outlined that the original cost assessment for the project in September 2016 was £4.6m; this was reduced to £4.2m in October 2016 following discussions with the contractor about holding further risk and value engineering. In April 2017, discussions were had about those changes and further value engineering and transfer of greater project risk to the Council, following this the final budget was agreed at £3.8m with £400k contingency, totalling £4.2m. The report went on to add that £220k was overspent on the project, equating to an approximate 5% overspend total. This figure included costs for works undertaken for maintenance, asset renewal and repairs which were business as usual costs. A sum of up to approximately £40k could be expected to be returned to WBC following finalisation of financial transactions with utility companies.
During the ensuing discussions Members raised the following points and queries:
· How were the costs reduced from £4.6m to £4.2m in April 2017? Officer response - More risks were taken on by the Council and ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
To consider the results of consultation and the draft Borough-wide parking management plan
The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 49 to 68, which gave an update on the draft Borough-wide Parking Management Action Plan for 2019-2025 and the summary of responses received following consultation amongst Ward Members.
Clare Lawrence (Assistant Director – Place Based Services), Martin Heath (Traffic Management, Parking & Road Safety Team Manager) and Pauline Jorgensen (Executive Member for Highways and Transport) attended the meeting to present the report and answer any Member questions.
The report provided a summary of issues raised by Members following consultation, including issues related to:
- Future and Technology;
- Pricing, Tariffs and Incentives;
- Park and Ride;
- On Street Parking Management;
- Civil Parking Enforcement; Parking meters;
- Parking Meters;
- Off Street Parking Management;
- Planning of New Developments and Appropriate Parking.
The report stated that historically many issues such as antisocial parking behaviour or dissatisfaction with perceived enforcement protocols were managed independently within the Council, however there was now a clear need to address these and other issues more holistically through the introduction of a practical Borough-wide Parking Management Action Plan.
Wokingham was in the process of undergoing a significant road transport transformation, with various regeneration and infrastructure projects in addition to expansive residential community developments taking place across the Borough. This expansion had placed pressure throughout the Borough on existing parking provision and management measures. In order to support the Council’s plans for continued economic growth and sustainability, a progressive programme of parking control measures that would help in supporting the local economy was required. The plan would need to focus on keeping the Borough’s road network, particularly in core areas and close to rail, bus and major road corridors, free from congestion and the detrimental effects of traffic and pollution.
The report outlined that the Borough had seen an increased percentage of car use and ownership, which had increased the demand for on-street parking restrictions both by Members and residents. The absence of a defined and comprehensive parking service plan had contributed to the confusing parking management landscape for the Council’s customers, and this had made a clear case to develop a comprehensive and inclusive Borough-wide Parking Management Action Plan.
During the ensuing discussions Members raised the following points and suggestions:
· How would Town and Parish Councils be consulted and included in the development of the Borough-wide Parking Management Action Plan? Officer and Executive Member response – Town and Parish Councils would be written to directly in order that they may provide a formal response. In addition, the Executive Member for Highways and Transport would make contact and visit the Town and Parish Councils to engage them in the process.
· Would new (and existing) Members be given the opportunity to respond to the consultation? Executive Member response – The consultation would be reopened for Members, allowing a month for responses to be returned. The Chairman agreed to resend his invitation to the consultation to all Members.
· How would the Council ensure that yellow and double ... view the full minutes text for item 9.
To consider the work programme for the 2019/20 municipal year, and allocate items for consideration accordingly
The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 69 to 72, which outlined the Committee’s work programme for the 2019/20 municipal year.
The Committee considered the schedule of upcoming meetings, and were advised that several extraordinary meetings would be required in order to allow time to effectively scrutinise the 2020/21 budget and budget setting process.
1. items regarding Wokingham’s Bus Strategy and Civil Parking Enforcement be scheduled for the Committee’s 2nd September 2019 meeting;
2. items regarding the Borough Design Guide and the Borough’s Burial Ground Capacity be provisionally scheduled for an extraordinary meeting of the Committee on 4th December 2019, with a view to monitor the need for this extraordinary meeting in relation to capacity at other scheduled and extraordinary meetings of the Committee;
3. an item relating to budget scrutiny be scheduled for the Committee’s 25th November 2019 meeting;
4. extraordinary meetings be provisionally scheduled on 24th September 2019 and 30th October 2019 in order to hold budget scrutiny items, whilst noting that these dates were subject to change in order to align with the budget development process;
5. the date of January Committee, currently 13th January 2020, be considered to move to 6th January 2020 in order to better align with the budget setting process;
6. an informal Committee Member briefing be scheduled prior to the Council meeting on 23rd January 2020 in order to update Members of the Committee on the final budget proposals;
7. items regarding the Community Safety Partnership and Updates from the Police and Fire services be scheduled for a meeting of the Committee in January 2020.