Healthier Communities and Older People Scrutiny Panel (Special Meeting) – 27 April 2009

PRESENT:  Councillor Barker in the chair.

Councillors Sidell (vice-chairman), Armitage, Collinson, Eckhardt, Simpson and Wells.

Councillor Regan (Cabinet Member Highways and Planning) attended the meeting as decision maker.

Councillors Ali, Briggs, Bunyan, England, Grant, Poole, Redfern, C Sherwood, N Sherwood, Smith, Swift, Waltham and Wilson attended the meeting in accordance with Procedure Rule 37 (b).

The panel met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.

148  DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS AND DECLARATIONS OF WHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS (IF ANY) – There were no declarations of personal or personal and prejudicial interests.

No whip was declared.

149  (22) ITEM REQUESTED FOR CALL-IN IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 22 OF PART D RULE 5 (OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY PROCEDURE RULES) OF THE COUNCIL’S CONSTITUTION – Minute 53 of the Highways and Planning Cabinet Member meeting held on 20 April 2009 – The chair invited a nominee of the members who had requested the call-in to speak on the above decision and question the Highways and Planning Cabinet Member.  The nominated member outlined areas of concern as reasons for seeking a review of the above decision.  These included:-

(i)  ‘In light of the Council’s much vaunted desire to take tangible action to assist the people and businesses of North Lincolnshire, the council impose no car parking charge increases until such time as there is clear evidence that the economic crisis has passes.

(ii)  It is clear from reductions in revenue from these charges that resistance is growing to existing prices amongst hard pressed residents.  Any increase in charges at this point in time will undoubtedly compound existing hardship and lead to an incremental increase in resistance to using council car parks.

(iii)  In light of the fact that credible commentators recognise that inflation, as measured by both the Retail Price Index and also the Consumer Price Index will be a negative figure for much of the municipal year ahead, the imposition of the increase would not reflect inflation levels as intended by the budget policy framework, whilst also being at odds with the intentions of the councils limited actions to assist people and businesses through these hard times.’

Following discussions on the above issue, the Highways and Planning Cabinet Member was invited to respond to the concerns and reasons for the decision being called in, and be held to account for the decision taken.  The Head of Safer Roads was also invited to comment.

It was then –

Moved by Councillor Wells and seconded by Councillor Eckhardt –

That the decision be referred back to full Council for further consideration.

Motion Lost

Resolved – That no further action be taken, and the above decision of the Highways and Planning Cabinet Member (minute 53 refers) be implemented with immediate effect.