Venue: Council Chamber, Runcorn Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Gill Ferguson on 0151 511 8059 or e-mail email@example.com
The Minutes of the meeting held on 22 September 2021 having been circulated were signed as a correct record.
It was confirmed that no public questions had been received.
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.
The Board received a report from the Strategic Director, Enterprise, Community and Resources, which presented the Performance Monitoring Reports for Quarter 2 of 2021/22.
The reports related to the following functional areas which reported to the Board and detailed progress against service objectives and milestones, and performance targets and provided information relating to key developments and emerging issues that had arisen during the period:
· 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 second quarter performance monitoring reports be received and noted.
The Board received a presentation from Martin Land, Liverpool City Region (LCR), on the Mersey Tidal Project. The project complemented the environmental aspects of the Council’s projects and was expected to provide the LCR with a clean source of energy generation.
The presentation outlined the project parameters which included details on how much power (electricity) could be generated and the benefits of the project to the Merseyside region. In addition Members were advised on how LCR Officers would engage and listen with stakeholders and also the next steps to secure Government funding for the project.
The Board discussed with Mr Land:
· The need to raise the profile of the scheme and to obtain the support of the river community. Also the support of North West local authorities such as those in Manchester;
· In response to a request for the more information on the environmental slide; the Board was advised on the work with the Wildlife Trust conducting bird surveys around the coast line and sharing data;
· The potential for the scheme to bring employment opportunities to the region;
· The lessons learned from the Swansea scheme and the alternative energy proposals in Cumbria and North Wales; and
· The next stages in the process to obtain Government funding for the scheme.
RESOLVED: That the Board note the presentation.
The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director – Enterprise, Community and Resources, which provided information in respect of Halton’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) and requested that the Board endorsed the proposed changes to the current HWRC Vehicle Access Policy and associated Vehicle Permit Scheme.
It was noted that since 13 July 2020, the Vehicle Permit Scheme had been suspended and a HWRC booking system had been developed and put in place to control visits to the sites for a certain vehicle type. An outline of the booking system, which could be made over the phone or by completing an online form via the Council’s website, was presented to Members.
Under the current Policy residents could make unlimited visits in a large van or with a trailer to deposit general waste and recyclable materials. However, since May 2020, visits had been restricted to a maximum of one per week. It was considered that this was sufficient to meet a householders requirements and along with the HWRC booking system, should be formally adopted as part of a replacement for the Vehicle Permit Scheme.
1. the proposals set out within the report be endorsed; and
2. a report be presented to the Executive Board recommending that:
i. the HWRC booking system, as currently operating and as detailed within the report, be formally adopted as a replacement for the Vehicle Permit Scheme;
ii. the number of visits that can be made to the Council’s HWRCs in a commercial type vehicle, van or a large trailer be limited to one per week; and
iii. the Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centre Access Policy be amended accordingly to reflect the proposals set out in (i) and (ii).
The Board received a presentation from the Operational Director – Economy, Enterprise and Property, on the Runcorn Town Deal award. Members were advised on the proposed projects contained within the Runcorn Town Investment Plan and the next steps in delivering the Plan, The presentation included the timeline for the next stages required to develop business cases for each of the following individual projects as well as emerging work on programme management and communications:
· Runcorn Station Quarter;
· Residential development;
· High street connectivity;
· Digital and creative;
· Brindley development;
· Unlock the locks; and
· Health and education hub.
Arising from the discussion, Members enquired about the deadline for each project to be delivered. The Board were advised that, subject to development cases being signed off with the Government, it was expected that each project would be completed by 2025, although it was anticipated some could be delivered before that.
In addition, a Member commented on the impact of the pandemic on Local Centres and the support could give to assist these areas.
RESOLVED: That the Board notes the presentation and proposed next steps.
The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director – Enterprise, Community and Resources, that provided an update on the following two projects relating to electric vehicles and the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging points:
i. Project 1 – Residential Electric Vehicle Charging Points; and
ii. Project 2 – Electric Taxi Support Project.
With regard to Project 1, following an extensive consultation with a number of communities. It was proposed that a further bid to The Office of Zero Emissions (OZEV) would be made for a further six electric charging points in each of the following locations:
· Mersey Road, Runcorn;
· Brindley Street Car Park, Runcorn;
· Catalyst Museum Car Park, Widnes;
· Sharp Street, Widnes;
· Crow Wood Place Car Park, Widnes;
· Bechers Hough Green, Widnes; and
· Wharford Lane, Sandymoor.
Members were advised that following feedback from phase one, which was delivered during 2020, it was proposed that a limited number of the bays (1-2) would be marked for EV use only and this would be followed up with a supporting Traffic Order to allow enforcement.
In respect of Project 2, an EV Taxi awareness day was held at the Halton Stadium in September 2021. A dozen vehicles were on display and approximately 70 drivers attended the event. It was noted that feedback showed that most found the event very useful and informative. It was proposed that subject to funding being identified, an incentive scheme would be developed to encourage taxi drivers to convert to electric vehicles. The scheme would be presented to a future Board meeting.
Arising from the discussion on the locations chosen for Project 1, the Board was advised that the areas chosen had provided the biggest response to the consultation exercise and met the criteria. Some areas considered for the scheme that met the criteria however residents had highlighted concerns regarding the existing demand for parking spaces and the impact removing spaces for electrical vehicles would bring.
In addition, the Board noted that in areas where car parks were owned by social landlords, Officers could look to work with them to apply for grant funding.
RESOLVED: That the Board supports the initiatives outlined in the report.