Agenda and minutes
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Strategic Director, Peter Hibberd, and from Group Manager for Legal and Democratic, Marie Rosenthal. Leader of the Council, Patrick Molyneux, welcomed Assistant Solicitor, Lisa Weaver, to the meeting.
To confirm the non-exempt minutes of the meeting held on 8 March 2012 (attached).
The non-exempt minutes of the meeting on 8 March 2012 were agreed and signed as an accurate record of that meeting.
The chairman to identify any items of urgent business.
No items of urgent business were considered at this meeting.
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of interest in any matter to be discussed at the meeting. Members and officers are requested to identify the nature of the interest and indicate whether the matter is personal or prejudicial.
The following declarations of interest were made at the meeting: -
Councillor Terry Hale, Cabinet Member for the Community, Councillor Martin Quaile, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Councillor Brian Robinson, Cabinet Member for an Efficient Council and Planning Policy, each declared a personal interest in the matters for consideration under items 8, 9 and 10 of the agenda, due to their respective role as County Councillors for Gloucestershire County Council.
To consider the attached copy of the cabinet forward plan (May 2012) and to agree any changes.
Leader of the Council, Patrick Molyneux, confirmed that copies of the cabinet forward plan, (May 2012), had been circulated with the agenda, and published on the council website on 17 April 2012. The cabinet forward plan was noted and agreed without further comment.
To consider questions from members of the public in accordance with the ‘Protocol for Public Questions at Cabinet Meetings’. For guidance on how to submit questions, please refer to the council’s website www.fdean.gov.uk. Alternatively, please contact Democratic Services on 01594 812625 or email email@example.com. All questions must be submitted in writing at least two working days prior to the meeting.
The following questions were submitted by Parish Councillor, Andrew Maliphant, from Mitcheldean Parish Council, relating to item 8 of the agenda, Management of Council Owned Car Parks – Consultation Update.
Councillor Brian Robinson, Cabinet Member for an Efficient Council and Planning Policy responded to the questions.
a) In view of the fact that Mitcheldean car park is in use at about three quarters capacity at present, how long will it take for the District Council to cover the outlay on introducing charges and maintaining the car park in Mitcheldean?”
Income per annum net of VAT 9,140
Annual collection costs 273
Enforcement costs 728
Banking costs 64
Net ‘new income stream’ 8,075
Payback period = 4.5 months
These figures were based on an observed occupancy rate of 80 per cent
b) The proposed car parking strategy makes comparisons with market towns outside the Forest - how can the District Council justify treating Mitcheldean village as a market town, when there are only a few much-valued shops under threat from a planned new supermarket at Steam Mills on the one hand, and the recent successful steps to control parking congestion and provide other free parking in the village have removed the major reason for introducing charges on the other hand?"
The Council feels that a managed parking regime across the district can help both on and off-street parking control. Managed off-street parking will ensure turnover of available parking in the town and provide additional on-street enforcement to maintain the control over parking congestion. All of our town centre shops have to compete against supermarkets, however, our consultants and the County Council have identified no evidence to show that the impact of nominal charges to cover the cost of car park provision will diminish local footfall.
c) A recent Freedom of Information request did not provide the estimated income from Mitcheldean car park - is it true that this figure is £9,000 per annum, and why was this figure not provided as part of the response, let alone not provided within the 20 working days time frame?"
The figure is £9,140, as shown in answer 1 above. The officer apologises for this omission from the Mitcheldean Town Council FOI request and has offered to help the Parish Council with any specific work that will support them in making their decisions.
d) If the District Council is concerned about defraying the costs of providing car parking in Mitcheldean, will it consider passing the car park to the parish council for control and management?"
The car parks are managed on a district wide basis, with hourly and season tickets purchased in one, valid in all car parks. The Council may consider leasing the car parks to town and parish councils at some point in the future where this would provide benefits to the community. However, it would like to consider this offer after the implementation of charges to ensure the actual value of parking provision can be ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Patrick Molyneux, to invite non-executive members of the council to refer questions to cabinet. (A maximum of 15 minutes will be allocated to each meeting for consideration of member questions). Each question must relate to an item on the agenda and avoid confidential, personal or any other information where the law requires the council to consider the matter in private.
To assist in providing a complete answer, members are requested to submit questions to Democratic Services at least two working days before the meeting, either by email or in writing. Questions will be considered in the order of the agenda and at the discretion of the Leader of the Council.
Councillor Marion Winship submitted the following questions, prior to the meeting.
Councillor Brian Robinson, Cabinet Member for an Efficient Council and Planning Policy gave the following responses to the questions: -
Question 1 - Item 8 (Management of Council Owned Car Parks – Consultation Update)
a) Has the County Council been contacted with regards maximising on-street parking in the towns?
Yes, the County Council was asked on 5 March 2012, (following the setting of the budget), to review the short-term on-road parking in the Forest in order to increase turnover, thereby maximising the opportunity to park for short periods.
b) Has the County Council agreed to provide additional spaces on-street?
No, the County Council has made no offer to provide additional spaces - our aspiration is to see increased turnover of on-street parking. Additional on street parking would be something the Town Councils could discuss directly with County Council.
c) What changes to existing time limits for on-street parking are being considered?
We have asked for a review of short-term provision (i.e. 30 minutes unrestricted) within all towns.
d) When is Cabinet going to make a decision about the Council Office car parks?
Parking requirements around the Council Offices form part of our ongoing negotiations with Gloucestershire Police and our plans for Lawnstone House. This will impact on how parking is provided at this building.
e) Will Dial-a-ride be obliged to pay car parking charges where it uses the car parks?
A Dial-a-Ride type vehicle that is dropping off or picking up will not be expected to pay a parking fee. We have already highlighted with Gloucester City Council the sensitivities around both Dial-a-Ride and voluntary car schemes.
f) What provision is being made for drop-off facilities for people to attend doctors’ surgeries?
Any parking enforcement will allow drop-off/pick-up at doctors’ surgeries, this point has also been raised with Gloucester City Council.
Having considered the responses, Councillor Winship was allowed to ask one supplementary question on each of the questions relating to this item: -
Details of the supplementary questions are recorded below: -
a) In response to question a), has the review of short-term on-road parking arrangements for the district been completed?
Councillor Robinson said that it had not and that he would inform members when the review was complete.
b) In response to question d), Councillor Winship asked if staff at the council offices would be required to pay for parking when off-duty or on official council business?
Councillor Robinson said that staff would not be exempt from paying for parking under the new arrangements. As with all council business, any expenses incurred when on council business would be reimbursed.
c) In response to question e), Councillor Winship asked if cabinet had considered offering special passes or dispensations to Dial-a-Ride providers?
Councillor Robinson said it was not the council’s intention to take money from charitable organisations and that it might be useful for charity providers to set out any concerns for cabinet to consider. He said that ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
Councillor Brian Robinson, Cabinet Member for an Efficient Council and Planning Policy, to present report LD.408 as feedback on the statutory consultation period for the proposal to introduce car-parking charges in ten council-owned car parks.
Having considered the matter in some depth earlier in the meeting, Councillor Brian Robinson, Cabinet Member for an Efficient Council and Planning Policy, outlined the proposals in report LD.408 and gave a brief overview of the feedback received following the statutory consultation on the proposal to introduce car-parking charges in council-owned car parks.
Responding to further questioning on the outcomes of the consultation, Councillor Robinson elaborated on the proposal to introduce season tickets and annual permits and informed members that permits would not be restricted to one vehicle or to one permit holder. Councillor Robinson said that purchasing an annual permit could provide shared users, especially part-time employees, with significant benefits. He also pointed out that season tickets and annual permits were not confined to just one car park but could be used in all council owned car parks within the district.
Responding to comments on whether the council was able to justify the proposal to introduce charging, Leader of the Council, Patrick Molyneux, said that it was no longer feasible for the council to make provision for every community requirement without also making some difficult decisions. He said that it had been necessary to balance out all the arguments relating to the proposal, and had been agreed by full council that, to maintain and regulate parking in the district, it would be necessary to create some form of financial assistance by introducing charging. He said that this, and the decision not to increase council tax or to cut other services, had left very little alternative. Based on the modest charge proposed and the need to create additional parking for the district, Councillor Molyneux said that, in his opinion, the council had made the right decision.
Reflecting on some of the disparaging remarks that had been reported in the local press recently, in response to the work of parking enforcement officers in Cinderford, Councillor Robinson said that he had found the comments both distasteful and inappropriate and requested that this unacceptable behaviour stop immediately.
Councillor Robinson read out the proposals and cabinet,
RESOLVED to: -
a) Note the consultation and thank respondents
b) Agree the responses set out in Section E – Summary of Responses of the Traffic Regulation Order Consultation Report
c) Authorise the Group Manager – Legal and Democratic in consultation with the Group Manager – Finance and Property to make the proposed Traffic Regulation Order, with the following modifications:
i. Reduce the parking charges for short stays, outlined in Schedule 3, as follows:
Up to 1 Hour - £0.20
Up to 2 Hours - £0.50
ii. Resident permits to be made available to any person, and therefore renamed ‘Overnight Permits’. (Article 28.1)
iii. Season tickets to be made available for periods of less than a year as follows:
£40 per month
£100 per 3 months
£180 per 6 months
£312 annual permit (Table 1)
iv. Annual permits, Overnight Permits and Season Tickets to relate to a specific user, rather than a specific vehicle (Articles 28.1 & 28.2)
Councillor Brian Robinson, Cabinet Member for an Efficient Council and Planning Policy, to present report EDP.52, detailing proposals to impose a community infrastructure levy on new development within the district.
Councillor Brian Robinson, Cabinet Member for an Efficient Council and Planning Policy, presented report EDP.52, detailing proposals to impose a community infrastructure levy on new development within the district. Councillor Robinson said that this was a government based initiative to introduce a levy on new development, (calculated by floorspace), which would assist in funding infrastructure requirements at strategic level, whilst continuing to work side by side with section 106 contributions to fund site-specific requirements.
Councillor Robinson referred to the additional burden that had been placed on local communities from the need to create more development for the district. He said that, whatever thoughts existed in relation to this issue, it was necessary for the council to consider new ideas and to work with other councils in introducing a common approach to the situation. He also said that it was imperative for the council to investigate fully the infrastructure requirements and associated costs that might be required in the future and to adopt a balanced approach when making such investigations.
Further to the questions that had been considered earlier in the meeting, Forward Plan Manager, Nigel Gibbons, confirmed that the proposal to introduce a levy would be subject to public consultation before returning to cabinet for further consideration. He said that it would be the responsibility of full council to make the final decision. Leader of the Council, Patrick Molyneux, said that this was a very important piece of work and that it was critical for the council to make the right decision.
Cabinet noted the report and,
a) Adopt the principle of using a Community Infrastructure Levy and to,
b) Authorise officers to proceed with the tendering for consultants to assist with the production of an Infrastructure Delivery Plan, and associated viability study with other district councils in the County, as part of the process in line with the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules.
Councillor Brian Robinson, Cabinet Member for an Efficient Council and Planning Policy, to seek cabinet approval for the publishing of information detailing the council’s Allocations Development Plan Document. Please refer to report EDP.53.
Councillor Brian Robinson, Cabinet Member for an Efficient Council and Planning Policy, presented report EDP.53, seeking to publish information on the council’s Allocations Development Plan Document and to commence formal consultation. Councillor Robinson said that the document fell under the remit of the Core Strategy and formed part of the council’s planning policy process.
Leader of the Council, Patrick Molyneux, spoke in support of the proposals and said that cabinet had considered the document in great detail. Reflecting on the significance of the document in identifying land for future development, Councillor Molyneux supported Councillor Robinson in highlighting the importance of town and parish councils becoming actively engaged in the consultation process. Both cabinet members urged district councillors to promote the value of the document at town and parish council meetings and within their local communities.
Cabinet noted the report and,
RESOLVED that consultation be carried out as outlined in report EDP.53 and that the brief be published as the commencement of the preparation of the Allocations Development Plan Document.
To consider, and if so agree, to resolvethat under section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in schedule 12A of the said act.
Resolvedthat under section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, the public were excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the ground that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in schedule 12A of the said act.
To confirm the exempt minutes of the meeting held on 8 March 2012 (attached).
The exempt minutes of the meeting on 8 March 2012 were agreed and signed as an accurate record of that meeting.
Should the items of business not be completed at this meeting, cabinet will reconvene at 5.30pm on Wednesday 25 April 2012.
Date of next scheduled meeting – 10 May 2012
10 May 2012