MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND TRANSPORT SELECT COMMITTEE HELD AT COUNTY HALL, NEWPORT, ISLE OF WIGHT ON WEDNESDAY, 30 JANUARY 2002 COMMENCING AT 9.30 AM
Mrs T M Butchers (Chairman), Mr J R Adams, Mr A C Bartlett, Mrs B D Clough, Mr M J Cunningham, Mr J Effemey, Mr J H Fleming, Mr J F Howe (deputising for Mrs J L Wareham), Mrs M J Miller, Mrs E Oulton, Mr A F Tiltman
Mr E Fox
Mr C B W Chapman, Mrs J L Wareham
Also Present (non voting) :
Mr B C Buckle, Mr R G Mazillius, Mr V J Morey
THAT the minutes of the meeting held on 21 January 2002 be confirmed.
22. URGENT BUSINESS - PETITION FROM FRIENDS OF THE EARTH
Mr H Walding of the Friends of the Earth presented a petition to the Chairman containing 196 signatures. This called upon the Council to purchase fuel from oil companies who acknowledge the link between climate change and fossil fuel burning and were doing real research on alternatives. It further called upon the Council to boycott the products of Esso/Exxon-Mobil until the company recognised the connection and supported the Kyoto Protocol.
THAT the Head of Select Committee Support submit a report on this matter to the March meeting of the Select Committee.
23. BUDGET 2002/03 AND FORWARD PLAN 2003/05
The Select Committee considered the report of the Strategic Director of Finance and Information on the draft budget proposals for 2002/03 and in particular the effect on services coming within its remit.
There were three key features in the revenue budget for 2002/03. The first related to the impact of adverse weather conditions on highway maintenance and coastal management. The second concerned the increased volume of waste, which was a problem being experienced nationally, together with the additional landfill costs incurred arising from the temporary closure of the Forest Road plant for refurbishment. The third feature were the amendments proposed to the parking order. The draft budget assumed that some of these would be implemented.
The Select Committee discussed the issues connected with waste management and in particular difficulties arising from new regulations on the disposal of refrigerators. This would later be extended to include other electrical items and motor vehicles. It was noted that although incineration would reduce the amount of waste requiring landfill the existing contract for waste disposal was until 2015. The practical and financial implications of any change in disposal methods would be substantial. The Task Group on Waste Management would be looking at such matters in more detail.
The need to install landslide monitoring equipment was believed to be essential in helping to predict any problem areas and understanding the factors involved.
Whilst the Select Committee concurred with the proposed reduction in toilet attendants it did not believe that there should be any closure of public conveniences at this stage. The Public Conveniences Task Group was reviewing the Council’s arrangements on the provision of such facilities and would be reporting on this at a later date.
The Portfolio Holder explained various factors connected with the budget and the need to look at income generation further particularly with regard to the Council’s Sea Street, Newport car park. This could be undertaken in conjunction with the Resources Select Committee which was considering a report on Greening the Workforce.
In discussing the capital programme members were reminded that this excluded bids for integrated transport and highway maintenance which were linked with the Local Transport Plan settlement. A number of the schemes contained in the programme were linked with health and safety issues. Members discussed the upgrading of mooring pontoons at the Folly and thought that this should be a higher priority than other schemes because of income generation. The Strategic Director of Corporate and Environment Services agreed to report on this scheme at a future meeting.
Members noted that the Ventnor Harbour project involved SRB funding and this would be lost if the Council’s contribution was not forthcoming. It was possible for this to be budgeted for in 2003/04.
(a) THAT the Executive be advised that the draft revenue proposals be accepted subject to the deletion of any proposed closure of public conveniences at this stage.
(b) THAT officers prioritise the schemes to be included within the capital programme but the Executive be informed that the Ventnor Harbour project should be a first priority in the 2003/04 programme.
(c) THAT in future years the capital programme contain a commentary on the works proposed, revenue implications and a priority ranking.
24. COMMUNITY RENEWABLE ENERGY STRATEGY TASK GROUP - UPDATE ON PROGRESS
The Select Committee received a progress report from Mr D Sedgley, Building Manager, who was one of the lead officers involved with the Task group on Community Renewable Energy Strategy. A range of projects that could be applied to the Island were being investigated. These included Biodiesel, house design, maritime current turbines, on shore wind technology, aerobic digestion and biomas.
The Task Group would be undertaking a fact finding visit to South Lakeland District Council to view wind turbines in use.
A final report would be presented to the Select Committee in September 2002.
THAT the report be noted.
25. FORWARD PLAN
The Portfolio Holder reported on a number of issues contained within the Forward Plan of interest to the Select Committee. He indicated the latest developments with regard to Military Road and a range of options that were being discussed with the DETR.
Difficulties were being experienced with contractors being able to undertake highway work within the Council’s LTP programme. It was therefore intended to enter into partnership agreements with contractors to enable them to undertake a rolling programme of highway corridor improvements. These would involve the routes between Cowes - Newport; Ryde - Newport and Yarmouth - Newport. This would also entail special working arrangements with some works being carried out at night.
The Portfolio Holder also reported that works were proposed with regard to bus routes, pedestrian facilities in Newport and Undercliff Drive.
THAT the report be noted.