Venue: Council Chamber, The Cube, George Street, Corby NN17 1QG
Contact: Paul Goult
Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Councillor Mark Rowley.
Members' Declarations of Interests
No Declarations of Interest were made on this occasion.
The minutes of the meeting held on 2nd March 2023 had been circulated.
RESOLVED that: - The minutes of the meeting held on 2nd March 2023 be agreed as a correct record.
The Panel received a presentation outlining the likely content, procedure for development and timeline for completion of an updated Local Transport Plan.
The Plan was being developed as required under the Transport Act 2020. The Plan would need to reflect the needs of the community, priorities and investment plans for a 5-year period. It would be developed in line with other strategic policies such as the Corporate Plan and Local Development Framework, whilst being co-ordinated with emerging policies e.g. the Greenway Strategy, Local Walking and Cycling Investment Plans and Leisure Strategy.
New Government guidance was expected to be subject to consultation shortly, to include a requirement for updated Plans to be produced by Spring 2024.
The presentation to Members highlighted the six key stages to development of the Plan, including: -
· Establishing the context
· Building Consensus
· Setting a policy direction
· Developing our policies
· Forming the LTP
· Agreeing the plan
The presentation, included in the agenda pack, provided further background to these 6 stages.
With reference to the proposed preparation timeline, it was expected that the updated Government guidance would be issued in the Summer of 2023. The presentation highlighted the level of external consultation to be conducted, with the formal consultation being undertaken during Spring 2024 and formal adoption of the Plan in Autumn 2024.
Councillor Lawman stressed that there was a need for proposals in the Plan to be sustainable, realistic and deliverable.
Councillor Mercer stated that it would be helpful for an early indication of what options were available for inclusion and that stakeholders were fully consulted. It was important that the potential impact of any proposals was understood and costed and that there was realism in what finances were available.
Councillor Allebone noted that the previous plan was outdated and appreciated there was an urgency to produce a more up to date and relevant set of proposals.
Councillor North stressed the importance of ensuring that “rural issues” were fully taken into account in the development of the Plan and it was not urban-centric.
Councillor Buckingham stressed the importance of having a viable Plan to support employment and tourism in the NNC area.
Councillor Mercer felt that previous plans had been dominated by the needs of Northampton and wondered whether there was a duty to co-operate with neighbouring authorities. Officers confirmed there was no duty as such, but there would be discussions and hopefully collaborative working where appropriate.
Councillor Lawman pointed out that all authorities would be contributing to the sub-regional transport plan.
Councillor Mercer queried whether there was potential for inclusion of “road pricing” in the Plan. Given the volume and type of HGV driving through NNC it may be an option that the Council may wish to explore in the future. This was noted.
Councillor North queried whether the Plan would include reference to s.106 investment. Officers confirmed it would form part of the evidence base.
The Panel thanked officers for their presentation and looked forward to hearing the progress on the development of the Plan. ... view the full minutes text for item 10.
Car Parking Strategy
The Panel received a presentation with regard to the proposed development of a Car Park Strategy for NNC.
The presentation summarised the scope of the Strategy and highlighted its position within the hierarchy of strategies that would support the new Local Transport Plan. It was noted that it was proposed to commence engagement with stakeholders later in the month and the presentation detailed the various key milestones to be met prior to it going forward to Members for approval in the Autumn 2023.
The presentation outlined the approach to be undertaken with regard to stakeholder engagement during the process and also provided detailed analysis of a car parking survey conducted in March 2023. The survey covered car parks in Corby, Desborough, Thrapston, Burton Latimer, Kettering, Rushden and Wellingborough. Officers provided the Panel with a summary of the key findings.
In conclusion, officers provided the Panel with a forecast based on current evidence of future demand and the likely growth required with respect to car parks within NNC.
Councillor Mercer sought clarification as to which “stakeholders” would be consulted as part of this exercise. Officers confirmed that NNC Members, town and parish councils and other agencies/bodies would be included. The Stage 1 consultation would include a questionnaire and formation of a target focus group.
Councillor Mercer queried whether there would be any interaction with private car park operators, Officers confirmed that where there were opportunities for joint collaboration between NNC and private car park operators this could be explored.
Councillor Mercer also raised the potential impact on residential parking in NNC car parks should restrictions be introduced or charges raised. Councillor Mercer suggested that there were instances where previous residential development (flats) had been approved, with such developments reliant on residents using NNC car park provision. Councillor Mercer was concerned about the potential for an increase in on-street parking or unlawful parking. Officers would liaise and consult with colleagues from across relevant service areas as part of the development of the strategy.
Councillor Buckingham sought assurance that the needs of those requiring disabled car park spaces would be taken into account. It was confirmed their requirements would be included.
In response to a point raised, Councillor Lawman confirmed that the Strategy would not be addressing the issue of harmonisation of charges. An assessment of charges would continue to be made on a case-by-case basis dependent upon location and demand.
The Panel thanked officers for their presentation and looked forward to hearing the progress on the development of the Strategy.
Leasehold Management Policy
Members received a presentation regarding the development of a Leasehold Management Policy. NNC was required to have adequate checks and balances for the grant of leasehold interests in land. The presentation outlined the current situation and included some ideas for improvement in the policy and process for regulating the grant of leases.
The Panel thanked officers for their presentation.
Highways & Infrastructure
Graeme Kane (Assistant Director) provided a brief overview of the Highways & Infrastructure team that operated within the Policy & Economy directorate and the services it provided for NNC.
The report before the Panel outlined the proposed North Northamptonshire Public Spaces Protection Order 2023 – Dog Control.
Members noted that there were currently Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) relating to Dog Control in three of the four legacy authority areas. Corby was the only area that was not currently covered by any PSPO relating to dog control.
The existing three orders would end in November 2023. The Kettering order was due to end in August 2023. Following legal advice, this order was being extended to end in line with the remaining orders and was subject to a short 2-week consultation. There were no concerns raised during the consultation in relation to extending the order until November 2023.
In order to ensure consistency across North Northamptonshire, a new PSPO for dog control was proposed for the authority. The draft proposed order was attached as Appendix A to the report. This order included all areas previously covered by dog control PSPOs. Additional areas within Corby would need to be added once these have been agreed.
Appendix B showed a table of proposed areas for inclusion within the legacy area of Corby. This table had been compiled in conjunction with internal colleagues with local knowledge and with functions surrounding parks, open spaces, public amenities, cemeteries etc. and in line with the proposed measures within the draft order. The table provided information on enclosed play/amenity areas, access points and existing dog control signage.
In producing the proposed PSPO, officers had also sought initial views from town and parish councils in relation to key locations.
The creation of a PSPO was a lengthy process and required suitable public and wider statutory consultees to be involved in the consultations. The order would have a two-stage consultation period to ensure ample time to consider the views of the public on the areas to be included. To commence consultation and to implement the order, approval from the Executive would be required.
Councillor Mercer noted the proposals and the potential extension of enforcement activity, but queried whether existing staffing resource would allow for the increase in workload. It was confirmed that current officers had responsibility already within their job role and workloads would be managed appropriately.
Councillor Allebone raised concern regarding the behaviour of some dog walkers in rural areas, and the consequential littering e.g. plastic bags. Councillor Binley stressed that it was about changing behaviour and better education to respect their local environment.
There was a query raised whether the Schedule accompanying the report made provision for Rights of Way; officers would check on this. Councillor Binley sought assurance that there would be liaison with the Police and co-operation as required; this was confirmed.
The Panel welcomed the report and proposals.
A copy of the current Forward Plan for the EAP had been circulated. Members noted that some of the items indicated for the meeting of 12th July 2023 may need to be rescheduled for later meetings.
Councillor Mercer suggested that the revision of the Mineral & Waste Plan be included as a future item for discussion.
It was further noted that a joint meeting with the Future Communities EAP was being considered to discuss Home to School Transport. George Candler would liaise with Democratic Services on this matter.
A revised Forward Plan would be circulated to members at the next meeting.
Close of Meeting
Meeting closed at 3:59 pm.