Highways and Planning Cabinet Member – Minutes – 27 April 2010

92 (36) HUMBER AND WOLDS RURAL COMMUNITY TRANSPORT – The Service Director Highways and Planning submitted a report seeking approval for a grant for Humber and Wolds Community Transport.

Humber and Wolds Community Transport (HWCT) provided a transport service for elderly or disabled people who needed to make essential journeys but could not use public transport and had no car of their own or anyone who could take them.

The service arranged for volunteers to provide journeys using their own cars. The user paid the driver’s expenses for the trip, usually a sum between the bus fare and a taxi fare. HWCT also had four community minibuses based in North Lincolnshire and access to others. These were available for use by local organisations.

The service was based in Barton and helped people living within the rural parts of North Lincolnshire. It provided journeys within North Lincolnshire and to outside destinations such as hospitals.

The service provided about 6,000 trips per year, 90% of these were health-related. It had a list of 1,000 users, some regular, some infrequent, and 35 volunteers.

The council had grant-aided this service for over 10 years, the payment in 2009/10 was £11,616. The money went not to the users or the volunteer drivers but contributed to the cost of the core of paid staff. These people acted as brokers between the clients who rang up to request transport and the volunteers who provided it. Experience showed that it was not possible to run the service without paid staff. As well as providing the link between clients and drivers, they also ensured that the minibus operation was legal and safe and that drivers were appropriately trained.

Resolved – (a) That a grant of £12,000 be paid to Humber and Wolds Community Transport in 2010/11, and (b) that the council’s support for the service be reviewed at the end of 2010/11.

93 (37) POLICY CONTROLLING THE FELLING OF COUNCIL OWNED TREES – The Service Director Highways and Planning submitted a report seeking consideration of an amendment to the council’s Policy Compendium for tree works through the addition of a separate policy controlling the felling of council owned trees.

On 17 October 2007 the Cabinet adopted as a corporate document a policy compendium to guide the council and its officers on matters relating to tree works (minute 697 refers). Policies within the compendium therefore, applied in all cases of works to council owned trees and had to be adhered to.

It was resolved at that time that the compendium of policy would be reviewed regularly and updated to keep abreast of changes in best practice and circumstances. It had become apparent that policy in the compendium did not clearly address circumstances in which the council may wish to fell its own trees.

An additional section ‘K’ to the policy compendium was set out in the appendix to the report, this would clarify the current position and make clear the need to follow set procedures for tree removal that would be open to public scrutiny.

Resolved – (a) That the additional section ‘K’ be adopted as part of the corporate compendium of council wide tree policy, and (b) that full copies of the amended policy compendium be sent to all those in the Council who may have to manage trees from time to time on land within their remit.