Agenda and minutes

Environment and Urban Renewal Policy and Performance Board
Wednesday, 23rd March, 2016 6.30 p.m.

Venue: Council Chamber, Runcorn Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Gill Ferguson on 0151 511 8059 or e-mail 

No. Item





            The Minutes of the meeting held on 13th January 2016 having been circulated were signed as a correct record.


Public Question Time pdf icon PDF 215 KB


            It was confirmed that no public questions had been received.


Executive Board Minutes pdf icon PDF 98 KB

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            The Board considered the Minutes of the meetings of the Executive Board relevant to the Environment and Urban Renewal Policy and Performance Board.


            RESOLVED: That the Minutes be received.



Performance Management Reports for Quarter 3 of 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 219 KB

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            The Board received a report of the Strategic Director, Community and Resources, which detailed the third quarter performance management report for 2015/16 on progress against service objectives/milestones and performance targets and provided information relating to key developments and emerging issues that had arisen in relation to:-


·         Development and Investment Services;

·         Highways and Transportation, Logistics and Development Services;

·         Waste and Environmental Improvement and Open Space Services; and

·         Housing Strategy.


RESOLVED: That the third quarter management report be noted.


Business Planning 2016 - 17 pdf icon PDF 199 KB

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Members were provided with an update on Business Planning for the period 2016-17 and were asked to consider the Directorate priorities, objectives and targets for services for this period that fell within the remit of this Policy and Performance Board (PPB).


It was reported that following organisational restructuring the Council would develop a single Business Plan for 2016/17 financial year and in parallel with the budget that was subject to annual review and refresh. Key priorities for development or improvement for the various functional areas reporting to this PPB were presented to and considered by the Board in Autumn 2014, from which the Draft Business Plan had been developed. Given the remit of this Board, extracts from the Draft Plan were presented for consideration.


Members were informed that plans could only be finalised once budget decisions had been confirmed in March and that some target information may need to be reviewed as a result of final outturn data becoming available post March 2016.


Arising from the discussion, it was agreed that Councillor Loftus would be sent a written response to his concerns regarding odours at various locations in the Borough.


RESOLVED: That the Draft Business Plan extract be received and forwarded to the Executive Board for approval.

Councillor MacManus declared a Disclosable Other Interest in the following item as in his role as Ward Councillor he was involved in residents request for a 30mph speed limit.


Objection to Proposed 30 mph Speed Limit, Lunts Heath Road, Widnes pdf icon PDF 1 MB


          The Board considered a report which advised that an objection had been received, following public consultation, on a proposed Traffic Regulation Order to introduce a 30 mph speed limit on part of Lunts Heath Road, Widnes.  Due to continued housing development adjacent to Lunts Heath Road, requests had been received from residents and a Ward Councillor to reduce the speed limit over the full length of the route on the grounds that retention of the 40 mph speed limit was felt to be inappropriate. Accordingly in December 2015 the Council advertised its intention to introduce a 30 mph speed limit. 


          During the advertised consultation period one objection was received from a Lunts Heath resident. The objection related to interpretation of the DfT’s Transport Circular 01/2013 (Setting Local Speed Limits) and whilst quoting extensively from the document, the focus of the objection was that application of a 30 mph speed limit to Lunts Heath Road was not realistic or justified and that this Council had not complied with DfT guidance. Members were advised that the latter was not the case as Lunts Heath Road was a single lit carriageway road which had become residential in nature through development and on which the existing mean traffic speed had been independently recorded at 32mph. Therefore the introduction of a 30 mph limit was in line with current DfT guidance.


          RESOLVED: That the Board supports the proposal to make an Order to implement a 30 mph speed limit on Lunts Heath Road, Widnes as set out in Appendix B and to the matter being referred to the Executive Board for resolution.


Objectively Assessed Need for Housing pdf icon PDF 2 MB


          The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director, Community and Resources, which provided a summary of conclusions on the Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) for Housing, as contained in the recently completed Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA).


          In 2015, Halton together with St Helens and Warrington Borough Councils jointly commissioned specialist consultants GL Hearn and JG Consulting to undertake a Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) to re-examine the appropriateness of the Mid-Mersey geography (covering the three authorities) as a Housing Market Area (HMA) and identify the OAN for the Mid-Mersey HMA and for each of the partner authorities. A copy of the Topic Briefing Paper that had been prepared for the website, setting out the various stages in the SHMA study leading to the suggested figure for OAN for housing had been previously circulated to Members.


          The conclusion from the study was that the Full Objectively Assessed Need for housing in Halton (assuming jobs growth of 4,952) in the period 2014-37 was 466 dwellings per annum.  In addition, the SHMA identified an annual shortfall of 119 affordable units per annum across Halton.


          Members were advised that the Liverpool City Region had commissioned a similar report.


          Arising from the discussion, it was noted that a report on the number of housing units per acre being achieved at current housing development sites in the Borough would be circulated to Board Members.


          RESOLVED: That the report be noted.


Findings and Recommendations of the 2015 Tree Working Group pdf icon PDF 322 KB


            The Board received a report of the Strategic Director, Community and Resources, which outlined the work of the Tree Working Group. In 2015 Internal Audit issued a report on their audit of the tree inspection and management. They identified a number of the recommendations made by the previous Tree Working Group which had not been fully implemented. It was reported that the Tree Working Group had subsequently held six meetings and revisited four of the seven recommendations previously made to the Board in 2013. The detailed findings and recommendations of the Tree Working Group were set out in the report.


            The Board agreed that recommendations a, b, d and e of the Tree Working Group, as set out on page 78 of the report, be forwarded to Executive Board for approval. In respect of recommendation c, it was agreed that the Chair of the Board would seek clarification regarding the publics’ right of appealing to the Board in respect of the decision of the Divisional Manager.


            RESOLVED: That recommendations a, b, d and e as set out on page 78 of the report of the Tree Working Group be forwarded to Executive Board for approval.