Highways & Neighbourhoods Cabinet Member – Minutes – 1 August 2013

The A18 Melton Ross Railway Bridge was a skewed, simply supported two span highway structure.  The spans comprised different forms of construction.  The bridge spanned the existing live railway line which ran between Brocklesby and Barnetby Stations.

Following a recent bridge inspection, at which deterioration was noted, a quantitative structural assessment of the West Span and both Parapets was undertaken in accordance with HA standard BD 21/01 – The Assessment of Highway Bridges and Structures.  The capacities of the west span and parapets had been determined to be not in accordance with current requirements.

The report gave details of the findings of the structural assessment along with the recommendations made.

Resolved – (a) The current condition of the bridge and the progress made to date on the feasibility report and ongoing design works be noted, and (b) that Option 2, as set out in paragraph 3.1 of the report be approved and adopted.

69                    (16) 2013 AIR QUALITY PROGRESS REPORT – The Director of Places submitted a report advising the Cabinet Member of the findings of the 2013 Air Quality Progress Report and seeking approval to carry out consultation.

The council was required carry out a review of pollution every year. Industrial, domestic and traffic sources must be compared against the threshold limits of major air pollutants.  Technical Guidance LAQM.TG (09) issued by Defra in April 2009 was used to write this report.

The 2013 progress report found no new issues since the last report in 2012.  It highlighted the continuing issues in Scunthorpe due to dust emission from the Steelworks.

The council would continue to put in place the actions in the Air Quality Action Plan. The plan aimed to reduce the impact of steel making on air quality in Scunthorpe and the council would work with local industries and the Environment Agency to do this.

The council would carry on measuring levels of NO2 at South Killingholme and report on levels and causes of air pollution in the area.

Resolved – That proposals to consult with the organisations shown in Appendix 1 of the report, be approved.

70                    (17) AIR QUALITY UPDATING AND SCREENING ASSESSMENT (USA) 2012 – The Director of Places submitted a report advising the Cabinet Member of the outcome of consultation, and seeking approval for the final version of the 2012 Updating and Screening Assessment (USA).

The council was required to carry out a review of pollution every year. Industrial, domestic and traffic sources must be compared with limits for several major pollutants.  Technical Guidance LAQM.TG (09) issued by DEFRA in April 2009 was used to write this report.

The USA for 2012 found no new issues since the last USA report in 2009 and showed that dust levels in Scunthorpe were still a cause for concern.

Consultation had taken place on the report with the organisations listed in Appendix 1 and no amendments or updates to the report were necessary.

The council would continue to put in place the actions stated in the Air Quality Action Plan.  This plan aimed to reduce the impact of steel making on air quality in Scunthorpe.  The council would work with local industries and the Environment Agency to achieve this.

Levels of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)at South Killingholme would continue to be measured to identify causes of NO2 emission and report on levels and causes of air pollution in the area.

Resolved – That the final version of the 2012 Updating and Screening Assessment be approved.

71                    (18) ST ALBAN’S CLOSE CHILDREN’S PLAYGROUND – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking approval to close St Alban’s Close children’s playground (CPG) at the request of the residents, ward councillors and the Brumby NAT (Neighbourhoods Action Team).

A request had been received from ward councillors, the Safer Neighbourhoods team, residents and representatives from the emergency services to consider closing St. Alban’s CPG.  This was a small CPG with limited amounts of equipment.  It had suffered from repeated vandalism and anti-social behaviour for many years. The nearest CPG’s to this facility were shown in Appendix 1 to the report.

Ward councillors with the support of the council’s Safer Neighbourhoods team had undertaken their own consultation exercise with the local residents.  In summary, from 25 replies received, 17 supported closing the CPG, four against and four had no preference.

Due to the request and in line with the council’s policy on closing CPGs, neighbourhood services carried out a consultation exercise with the immediate community. The results were set out in Appendix 2 to the report. In summary the majority of respondents did not use the CPG and there was support for the closure.

Resolved – That the closure of the CPG and the proposal to remove the play equipment and safety surfacing, and for the area to be returned to grass and maintained as per the immediate adjoining areas, be approved.

72                    (19) REVIEW OF WINTER MAINTENANCE SEASON 2012/13 – The Director of Places submitted a report providing an overview of the Winter Service during the 2012/13 winter maintenance season, and sought to promote further consultations with the local business community, and to explore further community green bins within the urban areas of Scunthorpe.

According to the Met Office, the UK mean temperature for the winter 2012/13 was 3.3°C.  This was 0.4°C below the long term average.  Throughout the season, the council carried out 110 full salting operations compared to 58 for 2011/12 and 77 for 2010/11. This increased the cost of the Winter Service from previous winters by 9%. The council used 9,285 tonnes of salt and was currently ordering sufficient tonnages to stock the new salt storage area at the new Billet Lane Depot, Scunthorpe.

A desktop review of the 2011/12 season had been carried out and the findings indicated the Winter Service Policy, developed in 2011, was still robust and would apply equally to the 2012/13 season.

The report explained that given the difficulties, the season in the main went well. There were a number of local businesses who felt that they had missed out on the previous consultation back in 2011. It was therefore suggested that further consultation be carried out with the business community during this summer.

It was also necessary to strengthening the staffing arrangements on the Winter Service rotas so that there was cover to cater for all situations and emergencies that may arise.

The community “green” bin system, introduced in 2011, worked well in the rural areas where Town and Parish Councils were able to take on the responsibility. The council had been unable to agree a similar system in Scunthorpe. It was proposed that introducing community “green” bins within the residential areas of the town was re-investigated.

Resolved – (a) That the overview of the winter service provided during 2012/13 winter maintenance season be noted; (b) that the progress of a further consultation exercise with the business community be approved, and (c) that a further report be submitted for consideration by the Cabinet Member in September 2013, making recommendations as to how the 2013/14 winter season be prepared for.

73        (20) GREEN FLEET REVIEW – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking approval for the Green Fleet Review.

The council has carried out a number of cross-cutting reviews since 2011.  This included the green fleet review which was completed in March 2013.

The review has looked into all aspects of the council’s vehicle operations, including the branded fleet and those other vehicles that are used to enable the council to carry out its responsibilities.

The review had identified a number of actions and recommendations. Some of these which would require further detailed investigation and analysis.  A number of the recommendations are seen as key to developing a council-wide fleet strategy.

The review identified seven actions which were set out in the report and its accompanying appendix.

Resolved – (a) That the seven recommendations emerging from the Green Fleet Review and the development of an action plan to take them forward be approved, and (b) that periodic reports be submitted to the Cabinet Member in the future on the progress in taking the matter forward.