Highways and Planning Cabinet Member – Minutes – 29 March 2010

82 (26) MINUTES OF THE CLIMATE CHANGE STEERING GROUP – 19 FEBRUARY 2010 – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting held on 19 February 2010 setting out recommendations of the Climate Change Steering Group be approved.

83 (27) PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE CHALLENGE GUIDELINES – The Service Director Highways and Planning submitted a report seeking approval for the council’s Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) Challenge Guidelines.

In July 2006, approval was given for proposals for the Decriminalisation of Parking Enforcement (CPE) in North Lincolnshire to be progressed. The effect of CPE was to make the council responsible for the enforcement of parking both on and off street, whereas previously the council only enforced its off street pay and display and pay on foot car parks.

CPE powers came into effect on 1 March 2010 and the council had therefore now taken over enforcement of non-endorsable on street parking contraventions from the police.

One of the final processes to be completed was formal approval of the council’s PCN Challenge Guidelines for dealing with appeals. This would provide guidance for parking officers and information to the public about how appeals against the issue of PCNs could be dealt with. A copy of the draft guidelines was appended to the report.

Resolved – That Penalty Charge Notice Challenge Guidelines be approved.

84 (28) TRAFFIC REGULATION ORDER, OSWALD ROAD, SCUNTHORPE – The Service Director Highways and Planning submitted a report seeking approval for the implementation of a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) to restrict parking on Oswald Road, Scunthorpe.

During 2009, the Highways and Planning Service implemented a bus priority lane along Oswald Road and Station Road. The bus lane was operational between the hours of 3:30pm and 6:30pm. Despite adequate signing of the bus lane facility, there was still some vehicle parking within the lane that was causing the bus lane to become inoperative on occasions.

The implementation of the TRO intended to clarify to drivers the situation by reinforcing those times of day when vehicles could be legitimately parked and those when parking was restricted. The statutory process of consultation and advertising for the TRO had been undertaken and three individual objections and a letter containing four signatures also objecting to the proposals had been received.

Resolved – (a) That the introduction of the Traffic Regulation Order, as detailed in the report, be approved, but that it be introduced on an experimental basis, (b) that the effectiveness of the Order be monitored for a period of at least six months prior to making the Order permanent, subject to there being no significant problems during the experimental period, and (c) that the objectors be written to with the results of the decision in accordance with the statutory procedure.

85 (29) HIGHWAYS AND PLANNING FEES AND CHARGES 2010/11 – The Service Director Highways and Planning submitted a report seeking approval to fix the levels of fees and charges for the financial year 2010/2011 in relation to the Highways and Planning Service.

Services were required to consider fees and charges on an annual basis.The fees were last considered in March 2009.

Fees and charges should be considered in line with the corporate charging policy. The charging policy indicated that fees and charges, where possible, should be inflated by a minimum of 2.5 per cent per annum.

Appendix 1 of the report showed in more detail the current and proposed fees and charges for the Highways and Planning service.

Resolved – That the fees and charges for the Highways and Planning service for 2010/2011, as set out in the report and its appendix, be approved.

86 (30) HIGHWAYS PROGRAMME OF WORKS 2010/11 – The Service Director Highways and Planning submitted a report seeking approval for the programme of works for 2010-2011, and to inform the Cabinet Member of proposed allocations of transport funding between the various themes in order to meet the objectives of the Local Transport Plan.

Transport capital expenditure was secured through the Local Transport Plan (LTP) process. The council submitted a LTP every five years and this set out transport priorities for the council.

The council had allocated budgets to the service following its formal budget setting meeting in February, details of which were set out in the report.

With the council approved LTP budget plus the additional uplift and the Connect 2 slippage, plus £116,000 that the council had financed as a result in the changes to capital management, the total amounts available for Highways and Planning LTP related projects for 2010-11 was £5.601m. Appendix one of the report provided a breakdown of the LTP headings that these budgets had been allocated against.

All funding received through the LTP process was assessed by officers of the Highways and Planning service, considering transport priorities and performance targets. The breakdown into programmes of work was assessed using agreed policies and criteria.

Resolved – (a) That the programme of works for 2010-2011 be approved, and (b) that the Cabinet Member be kept informed of progress on the delivery of the programme and on the achievement of targets and indicators linked to the LTP process.

87 (31) NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE ROAD SAFETY PARTNERSHIP – SPEED MANAGEMENT STRATEGY SITES – The Service Director Highways and Planning submitted a report seeking approval of the proposed speed management strategy treatment sites for 2010/11.

The Road Safety Partnership’s speed management strategy was introduced in 2003. Each year it enabled the Partnership to identify the roads in North Lincolnshire, which had the highest priority when ranked by incidence of speed offending and accidents.

There were over three hundred sites in the strategy, which had been assessed over previous years and which was periodically updated. The priority list changed each year, due to new sites being introduced and speed offending and accident rates changing on established sites.

The report described changes proposed to the strategy and the list of sites was set out in the appendix.

Resolved – That the proposed speed management treatment sites, as appended to the report, be approved.

88 (32) PUBLIC TRANSPORT – CHANGE IN THE AGE OF ELIGIBILITY FOR CONCESSIONARY TRAVEL – The Service Director Highways and Planning submitted a report for consideration of the implications of the change to the age of eligibility for concessionary travel made by the Government.

Currently, both men and women qualified for free local bus travel throughout England on their 60th birthday. On 1 March 2010, the Government made an order which would raise the qualifying age gradually over the next ten years until people would become eligible only on their 65th birthday. This was in line with the planned rise in the retirement pension age for women.

This change would start to take effect on 6 April 2010. Under the new arrangements, the qualifying date for free travel was defined as:

  • For women: pensionable age
  • For men: the pensionable age of a woman born on the same day.

The Government said that this change would “assist in securing the long term financial sustainability of the scheme”. It also targeted the benefit towards people who were retired and could have less money, and difficulties getting about.

When the order took effect on 6 April 2010, under transport legislation it would no longer be possible for the council to issue passes to people below the qualifying age.

The changes did not affect anyone who would qualify for a pass on the grounds of disability.

Resolved – That the council publicise the changes in the qualifying age for travel passes now set out by the Government with effect from 6 April 2010.

89 (33) RENEWABLE HEAT INCENTIVE CONSULTATION DOCUMENT – The Service Director Highways and Planning submitted a report seeking approval to authorise the consultation responses to the Renewable Heat Incentive.

The UK Low Carbon Transition plan set out the government’s overall strategy for reducing carbon dioxide emissions while at the same time exploiting the opportunities that the green economy presented.

The Renewable Energy Strategy was the government’s action plan for delivering on renewable energy. A key challenge within this was to increase significantly the amount of renewable heat generation. Heating accounted for approximately half of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions and more than half of the average domestic energy bills. Currently only one per cent of the country’s heating came from renewable sources.

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) would provide the necessary financial support to increase significantly the level of renewable heat generation.

The consultation document had 30 detailed questions. These and the council’s responses were set out in Appendix 4 of the report.

Resolved – (a) That Cabinet Member authorise the responses to the consultation document on the Renewable Heat Incentive, (b) that the report be forwarded to the Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Marketing and Strategic Finance and to the Internal Programme board for information, and (c) that the Carbon Programme Board take on the role of co-ordinating schemes to capitalise on the RHI, Feed In Tariffs, and other external grants to maximise the roll out of renewable heat and energy initiatives across the council’s portfolio of buildings.

90 (34) DECC CONSULTATION ON ALLOWING LOCAL AUTHORITIES TO SELL ELECTRICITY – The Service Director Highways and Planning submitted a report seeking approval to authorise North Lincolnshire Council’s formal response to the above consultation.

The government expected local authorities to play a major role in meeting the national targets for expanding the use of renewable energy/heat and reducing the emissions of CO2. In order to help local authorities meet these targets the government had introduced the Renewable Heat Initiative (RHI) and significantly expanded the payments made under the Feed In Tariff (FIT) regime.

During the recent pre budget report the government had also proposed to allow local authorities to borrow against income streams from the RHI and FIT. However, under The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 (Section 11 (3)), local authorities were prevented from selling electricity that they produced, except where it was in association with heat production e.g. through a district heating schemes.

The government believed that local authorities had an important role to play in efforts to tackle Climate Change. Allowing them to sell electricity generated by them from renewable sources would encourage the development of local renewable electricity projects.

Resolved – (a) That the consultation response set out in the appendix to the report be approved for submission, and (b) that the report be referred to the Leader of the Council – Regeneration, Marketing and Strategic Finance Cabinet Member for information.

91 (35) TRAFFIC REGULATION ORDER, BRITANNIA CORNER, SCUNTHORPE – The Service Director Highways and Planning submitted a report seeking approval for the introduction of a Traffic Regulation Order with various restrictions on Britannia Corner, Scunthorpe.

The night time closure of Britannia Corner was to be made permanent and works had already commenced to implement the barriers. To allow the closure to be a continued success it was proposed to implement a number of measures within the area including revising the layouts of taxi ranks which would improve the service taxi operators were able to offer and the experience encountered by members of the public visiting the town centre.

Extensive consultation had been carried out during the trial closure periods and during the statutory consultation period for this order to provide suitable facilities to serve both taxi operators and members of the public. The local taxi association along with colleagues within taxi licensing supported the measures, as did Humberside Police and other emergency services.

Statutory consultation procedures had been followed and letters delivered to every property within the area of the order. During the consultation period one objection was received from a local business proprietor.

The proposed Traffic Regulation Order was to introduce “No waiting at any time” and “No waiting at any time except taxis” within various times at the above-mentioned location. Further details and a map were appended to the report.

Resolved (a) That the Traffic Regulation Order for the proposed restrictions as described in the report and shown on the plan in the appendix be approved, and (b) that the objector be written to with the results of the decision in accordance with the statutory procedure.