Agenda item - Public Involvement
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- Meeting of Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee, Tuesday, 21st January, 2020 4.00pm (Item 57.)
To consider the following matters raised by members of the public:
(a) Petitions: To receive any petitions presented by members of the public;
(b) Written Questions: To receive any questions submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 15 January 2020;
(c) Deputations: To receive any deputations submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 15 January 2020.
(B) WRITTEN QUESTIONS
(i) Smoke Control Area
57.1 Adrian Hill put the following question:
“I suffer with life threateningly poor respiratory health; particulates cause poor health (lung, heart, cancer, birth defects, premature death). I recorded dangerous levels of particulates on Christmas day after fires were lit in homes. DEFRA says burning fuels in homes is the biggest contributor to particulate emissions and there are no safe levels for health. I struggled to breathe while sleeping that night and my blood oxygen levels fell. Burning smokey fuels is an unnecessary luxury because there are alternatives. Burners are gaining popularity; for my health and others, can the Smoke Control Area be widened to cover the whole city”.
57.2 The Chair provided the following reply:
“I am very sorry to hear that your health has been affected over the Christmas and hope that this recent episode has now passed and that you are feeling better.
The city does have five Smoke Control Areas in the central and eastern areas. These were established through the Clean Air Act legislation from 1968, prior to domestic central heating becoming common place, and the last one to be declared was in 1979. However, it is recognised that alternatives to gas-fired central heating such as wood and coal burning have become more popular in recent years, not just in the city but across the country too.
I realise that your condition is affected by particulates, and the Government’s 2019 Clean Air Strategy particularly highlighted the contribution that woodburning makes to fine particulate matter. It has also published a further report about progress towards meeting World Health Organisation guidelines for particulates, placing further focus on this matter.
Our 2019 Air Quality Annual Status Report has outlined the work that the council is doing to address and reduce fine particulate emissions, but we will need to review our 2013 Air Quality Management Areas and the 2015 Air Quality Action Plan very soon. Therefore, I think we should place a greater emphasis on understanding the extent and effects of emissions from woodburning in the city and I will be asking officers if we can do this as part of that work. I expect that this will provide a clearer indication about the possibility and implications of widening the area of the city’s existing Smoke Control Area coverage”.
(ii) TRO Goldstone Crescent
57.3 Gareth Hall put the following question:
“There is a TRO being proposed to extend double yellow lines along a section of Goldstone Crescent. This will only serve to move the congestion problem further down the road. Will the Chair consider removing the parking restrictions adjacent to the park enabling city park workers to park there (spaces are empty during the day around the park) or alternatively extend the double yellow lines all along the far end of Goldstone Crescent reducing congestion and protecting the grass verges which are getting badly damaged by cars driving on them?”.
57.4 The Chair provided the following reply:
“Thank you for your representation and we do understand the parking concerns of residents.
The reason for the proposed double yellow lines in this section of Goldstone Crescent is that they were requested by the bus company. Site meetings were held, and this area was highlighted by the bus company as being problematic to run a service due to the obstructive parking.
I realise that some residents feel that the lines aren’t long enough, but if we were to introduce excessive double yellow lines, we would just simply push the problem elsewhere and into the smaller roads causing further complaints from other residents.
Currently we are not considering removing the three-hour limited free parking adjacent to Hove Park as this was implemented to prevent all day parking limiting opportunities for park users.
However, we will be undertaking a review of Zone P as part of the parking scheme priority timetable. This can consider how the scheme is working for residents in the scheme and if any improvements can be made to deal with some of the displaced vehicles in the wider area”.
57.5 Gareth Hall asked the following supplementary question:
“I understand that for a number of years now, there has been a trial of stopping people parking on grass verges in certain places in Brighton. I’ve been told by my ward councillor that you won’t add anymore areas onto that trial however, as there’s clearly going to be a problem on Goldstone Crescent with parking issues that have come in due to permits, will you consider adding Goldstone Crescent to that trial?”
57.6 On behalf of the Chair, the Assistant Director, City Transport provided the following reply:
“We’ve taken forward a verge parking trial in a number of locations, but they come forward on a case by case basis. We can pick up your request and that could be an area we can look at. In addition, the government’s pavement parking review is at the third bill of reading in Parliament and that will hopefully give local authority’s more powers in this area”.
(iii) Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan
57.7 Alexander Sallons put the following question:
“I understand that the LCWIP Task and Finish group has met multiple times, although I could find no mention of that on the council website or in the public domain, in the accepted amendment by the Green Group to the scoping report the Task and Finish Group was said to offer key stakeholders earlier and stronger engagement. Can the Council provide a timetable for when those stakeholders, and the public, will be engaged with?”
57.8 The Chair provided the following reply:
“Thank you for your question.
I would like to reassure you that the Member Task & Finish Group for the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan has only met once formally so far – and this was just before Christmas. This was because we have had to make sure that all the preparatory discussions and administrative work in setting these new councillor groups up was completed first. The next planned meeting of the group will be in June, but I am also expecting a report about the plan to be brought to the next meeting of this committee, so that we can all hear and discuss the progress being made and what else is planned.
As the group is now up and running, we will be commencing engagement with stakeholders in spring this year, to assist with the initial development of the Plan. This will include a number of local area workshops across the city and will be supplemented by a city-wide stakeholder event and wider public consultation. We are still finalising the details for this engagement stage as it involves a lot of planning, but we will announce these as soon as possible. The outcome of the initial round of stakeholder engagement will feed into a background report, ahead of commencing the walking and cycling network planning stage”.
(i) Barriers to cycling
57.9 The Committee considered a deputation that detailed a number of cycling access issues caused by the recent introduction or widening of barriers in the city and requested a more strategic response to the issue.
57.10 The Chair provided the following response:
“I am sorry you feel the Council has deliberately created a barrier for cycling at Ship Street and other locations.
Let me first say that officers have been in active discussions with you on this matter and I myself have taken a very keen interest and have called for a further meeting with officers to find a way forward.
Unfortunately, the Council has been compelled to take this action due to the failure of the original solution and reliance on lockable removeable bollards, in that they have literally been removed by others. This theft or damage has occurred so frequently that the Council has endured a bill of tens of thousands of pounds and has therefore as a last resort, faced with a further bill to replace this unsustainable measure, installed gates at Ship Street.
The smallest gate that we could install still requires posts at each end to prevent vehicular access and therefore there is a reduced width for the footway and southbound cycle lane. As this Cycle lane is intended to be southbound only it is still practical and safe to pass but we do appreciate with pedestrians in Ship Street at busy times, particularly evenings and weekends, there may be times when people also wishing to use this for a northbound manoeuvre will lead to conflict.
Whilst I will be seeking to confirm myself that this measure is the most practical and safest option through the meeting that I have arranged, I would also like to say that we are commencing through the LCWIP (Local Walking Cycling Infrastructure Plan) where we will be reviewing our cycle network, planning and cycling infrastructure.
Within this process we will be engaging the views of the local cycling community, including yourselves as we would like to hear what works for you and what we can improve, including looking at shortfalls in existing cycling infrastructure.
I can assure you that I will be reviewing these recent gate installations and if there is a better more cost-effective solution that works for everyone I will be asking officers to take it forward. In the meantime, officers will be reporting on the Local Walking and Cycling Infrastructure Plan process for a future meeting of this Committee and I have asked that they consider how best to consult with our community as part of that process and I would like to thank your deputation for bringing this matter to the Committee’s attention”.
57.11 Councillor West stated that there was huge disquiet about the issue and in his view, many of the problems could have been resolved by a cycle forum. Councillor West moved a motion to request an officer report on the request made in the deputation.
57.12 Councillor Lloyd formally seconded the motion.
57.13 The Chair put the motion to the vote that passed.
57.14 RESOLVED- That the committee request an officer report on the requests made in the deputation.
(ii) Parking Schemes
57.15 The Committee considered a deputation that set out various objections and concerns relating to the consultation process for the introduction of controlled parking zones.
57.16 The Chair provided the following response:
“Thank you for your deputation and I’m sorry to hear of your concerns about the service you have received from the Council.
The parking scheme consultation process is one of the most rigorous and extensive within the Council and can take up to 18 months to ensure it meets the needs of residents and that any concerns outlined during the various stages of consultation are considered.
The parking scheme priority timetable up to 2022/23 was agreed at this Committee last November and was based on areas which had strong support from residents and Ward Councillors.
During the consultation process there are three opportunities for residents to comment on the proposals. The first two opportunities are at the initial then detailed design phases while the final stage is the Traffic Regulation Order stage. All three stages of the consultation are made public and discussed at this Committee for agreement to go forward to the next stage.
The legal Traffic Regulation Order for any parking scheme allows for enforcement and gives any member of the public the chance to make a comment. Any proposals for changes to further parking restrictions outside of parking schemes also go through a Traffic Regulation order which includes advertising the proposals in the press and on the Council website as well as the ability to view the proposals in the Customer Service Centres in Brighton & Hove as well as notices on street furniture in the nearby location.
The parking schemes are all consulted, designed and implemented by a small experienced in-house Parking Infrastructure Team who deal with all parking timetable work alongside planned and reactive lining and signing maintenance.
I can assure you that the team visit residents and deal with phone calls whenever they can. The team have identified that they have visited at least one of the residents listed in the deputation in Hazeldene Meads which is a particular issue at the moment due to displaced parking following the implementation of the Hove Park scheme.
The team have recently advertised double yellow lines within this location and it’s important to note that budget cuts are not the main reason for us to carry out obvious works as there may be road safety issues that are prioritised.
Comment within the deputation suggests that implementing the Hove Park scheme was a mistake and this should be rectified. This scheme was agreed at this Committee and was requested by a significant amount of residents in the area with support from Ward Councillors.
The Council have had very few complaints about the parking scheme itself, however, as part of the priority timetable a review of Zone P will be undertaken later in the year. This can consider how the scheme is working for residents in the scheme and if any improvements can be made to deal with some of the displaced vehicles in the wider area”.
57.17 RESOLVED- That the Committee note the deputation.