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Venue: Committee Room 'B' - The Diamond Jubilee Room, County Hall, Preston
Contact: Gary Halsall
County Councillor Jennifer Mein replaced County Councillor Sean Serridge for this meeting only.
Apologies were received from County Councillor Alan Hosker.
Disclosure of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests
Members are asked to consider any pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests they may have to disclose to the meeting in relation to matters under consideration on the agenda.
None were disclosed.
Resolved: That the minutes of the meeting held on the 5 December 2023 be approved as an accurate record.
The Chair welcomed to the meeting County Councillor Rupert Swarbrick, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, John Davies, Head of Service Highways Management Service, Tony Crook, Road Safety Manager, Michael White, Highway Regulation Manager and Eddie Mills, Traffic and Safety Manager.
The committee was presented a report which provided key information on the number of killed or seriously injured collisions that have occurred on Lancashire roads. The report also explained some of the road safety teams work within education and engagement, speed awareness, safety engineering and what these teams delivered for the council to make Lancashire roads safer.
Members were provided an overview of the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership (LRSP) established in 2001. The Partnership was developed to ensure that fixed speed cameras would be installed in areas that would reduce the impact of road casualties across Lancashire.
Over time, the partnership evolved to develop the delivery of road safety across Lancashire, this enabled various organisations to share best practices to address regional and national initiatives and to coordinate efforts and reduce duplication.
Members of the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership included Lancashire County Council, Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool Councils, Lancashire Constabulary, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, National Highways, North-West Ambulance Service, the Police and Crime Commissioner, and more recently representatives from the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency and the Lancashire Association of Local Councils.
It was reported that a review of the partnership's terms of reference had commenced in early 2023 and a revised remit would be presented to the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership Executive Board at its meeting on 30 January 2024.
It was noted that three former fulltime posts within the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership had been disbanded in November 2023, which were a manager, coordinator and analyst post (vacant post for a number of years). These posts were paid for by Lancashire Constabulary from income sourced from speed awareness courses. However, due to a reduction in attendees and increased costs, the posts were subsequently disbanded as they were no longer financially sustainable, as costs for the positions were approaching up to £200,000 a year. It was clarified that this course of action did not mean the disestablishment of the partnership.
It was reported that the statutory duty for road safety was with Lancashire County Council, and that the partnership had no statutory responsibilities or powers. The delivery of initiatives were carried out by officers working in the road safety and road safety engineering teams.
Comments and questions raised by the committee were as follows:
· Within the included Stats19 data on page 8 of the agenda, the number of people Killed or Seriously Injured (KSI's) in Lancashire, people who had suffered a medical episode or had committed suicide were sometimes included and the data was reviewed and amended by the police when this occurred.
· It was reported the focus of the partnership's website would be a speed portal. When a speeding concern was reported using the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership's speed concern portal, there were now three Officers ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
The Chair welcomed to the meeting County Councillor Shaun Turner, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, John Davies, Head of Service Highways Management Service, Ray Bennett, Principal Development Support Officer, Laura Bigley, Principal Flood Risk Officer and Kirstie Williams, Highways Group Manager – Countywide Projects.
The committee was presented a report which provided an introduction into what a Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) is. The report highlighted the roles of various teams within the Highways Service in relation to water management and gave examples of SuDS schemes within Lancashire.
The report also addressed three key questions which were set out in the In-year request form submitted to the Scrutiny Management Board at its meeting on the 8 November 2022.
Comments and questions raised by the committee were as follows:
· On the flooding of highways from land under riparian ownership, it was confirmed that Highway Operations, who were responsible for maintaining the highways drainage systems, would investigate incidents of flooding from private land. Work was undertaken in conjunction with the Flood Risk Team whereby statutory notices could be issued to private landowners who did not comply. However, it was highlighted that enforcement could be difficult as sufficient evidence and legal clarification was needed.
· It was stressed that when United Utilities' assets were broken and causing water damage to highways, communication took place to address these various cases and whilst most cases had been resolved, it was acknowledged some issues were still outstanding. Serious legal enforcement could be taken; however effective communication and collaboration was viewed as a more favourable option as legal enforcement could become lengthy and complex in nature.
· The internal drainage systems of private properties were not examined by Highways as they did not come under the responsibility of the Traffic Management Act 2004, which detailed that highways were to be kept clear of as much traffic congestion as possible and that safety was prioritised. The Local Planning Authority was responsible for ensuring that private property developments and their internal drainage systems were suitable for specific locations. The duty on the Highway Authority was to review traffic and transport, not water.
· It was noted that United Utilities was not a statutory consultee. However, Flood Risk Management were a statutory consultee team for major developments, this meant that they could examine how water was being dealt with upon large estates. As construction work began, it was common for developers to want streets to be adopted as highway, which enabled the Highways Authority through the Development Control Team to investigate how street drainage operated, using section 38 of the Highways Act.
· It was highlighted that for new urban developments, any development constructed that was impermeable would create additional surface water runoff. This was expected to be managed through the design and implementation of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems, which would be specific for each site and had to meet strict criteria for water storage.
· It was noted that additional training on how Sustainable Drainage Systems were designed and implemented could be provided ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
A copy of the committee's work programme for 2023/24 which contained an update on progress with responses to the committee's recommendations on enabling net zero infrastructure was presented.
It was noted that the Scrutiny Management Board at its meeting held on 16 January 2024 had agreed the committee's request to add the Transport Asset Management Plan item to the Work Programme.
(i) The Environment, Economic Growth and Transport Scrutiny Committee work programme for 2023/24 be noted.
(ii) The formal response from the Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate to the committee's recommendations on enabling net zero infrastructure be noted.
An item of urgent business may only be considered under this heading where, by reason of special circumstances to be recorded in the minutes, the chair of the meeting is of the opinion that the item should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency. Wherever possible, the chief executive should be given advance warning of any member's intention to raise a matter under this heading.
There was no urgent business.
Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Environment, Economic Growth and Transport Scrutiny Committee will be held on Monday 11 March 2024 at 10:30am in Committee Room B – The Diamond Jubilee Room, County Hall, Preston.
The next meeting of the Environment, Economic Growth and Transport Scrutiny Committee would be held on Monday 11 March 2024 at 10:30am in Committee Room B – The Diamond Jubilee Room, County Hall, Preston.