Agenda, decisions and minutes

Regeneration and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 28th September, 2021 5.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - City Hall, Bradford. View directions

Contact: Su Booth - 07814 073884 

Items
No. Item

43.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

(Members Code of Conduct - Part 4A of the Constitution)

 

To receive disclosures of interests from members and co-opted members on matters to be considered at the meeting. The disclosure must include the nature of the interest.

 

An interest must also be disclosed in the meeting when it becomes apparent to the member during the meeting.

 

Notes:

 

(1)       Members may remain in the meeting and take part fully in discussion and voting unless the interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an interest which the Member feels would call into question their compliance with the wider principles set out in the Code of Conduct.  Disclosable pecuniary interests relate to the Member concerned or their spouse/partner.

 

(2)       Members in arrears of Council Tax by more than two months must not vote in decisions on, or which might affect, budget calculations, and must disclose at the meeting that this restriction applies to them.  A failure to comply with these requirements is a criminal offence under section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. 

 

(3)       Members are also welcome to disclose interests which are not disclosable pecuniary interests but which they consider should be made in the interest of clarity.

 

(4)       Officers must disclose interests in accordance with Council Standing Order 44.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Choudhry declared an interest as an employee of Horton Housing (Minute 48)

 

Action: City Solicitor

44.

MINUTES

Recommended –

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 27 July 2021 be signed as a correct record (previously circulated).

 

(Su Booth – 07814 073884)

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 27 July 2021 be signed as a correct record.

 

Action: City Solicitor

45.

REFERRALS TO THE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

Any referrals that have been made to this Committee up to and including the date of publication of this agenda will be reported at the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no referrals to the Committee.

 

46.

INSPECTION OF REPORTS AND BACKGROUND PAPERS

(Access to Information Procedure Rules – Part 3B of the Constitution)

 

Reports and background papers for agenda items may be inspected by contacting the person shown after each agenda item.  Certain reports and background papers may be restricted. 

 

Any request to remove the restriction on a report or background paper should be made to the relevant Strategic Director or Assistant Director whose name is shown on the front page of the report. 

 

If that request is refused, there is a right of appeal to this meeting. 

 

Please contact the officer shown below in advance of the meeting if you wish to appeal. 

 

(Su Booth 07814 073884)

 

Minutes:

There were no appeals submitted by the public to review decisions to restrict documents.

 

47.

BRADFORD BECK PILOT STUDY pdf icon PDF 98 KB

The report of the Strategic Director, Place (Document “C”) outlines for Members the work carried out over the last year in collaboration to the catchment plan produced by Friends of Bradford Beck (FOBB) that was supported by the Environment and Waste O&S Committee in 2013.

 

Since the Committee meeting of March 2020 there has been cooperation on a range of projects between Council officers of various services and Friends of Bradford’s Becks (FOBB).

 

Recommended -

 

1.    That the Friends of Bradford’s Becks and the Strategic Director, Place be requested to work jointly on studies and proposals for the Canal Road Area.

 

2.    That the Friends of Bradford’s Becks be invited to report back in a year’s time.

 

3.    That this report be noted and that the ongoing collaboration between officers and the Friends of Bradford’s Becks be supported.

 

 

(Edward Norfolk - 01274 433905)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Strategic Director, Place (Document “C”) was submitted to the Committee to provide an update of the work carried out as part of the collaboration between the Friends of Bradford Beck (FOBB) and Bradford Council Officers.  The update report came to the Committee each year so that Members were kept informed on the work being carried out.

 

The report gave details of the work in relation to flood prevention projects.  Funding had been secured from the Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee by working with the Environment Agency for local levy works plus additional funding was secured by the Land Drainage Department to address potential flooding.  Since the flooding events in 2015 it was necessary to strategically plan for and manage potential future flooding. 

 

Despite the impact of COVID, work streams and projects had continued throughout 2020 and into 2021.  The final outcome of these would be to reduce surface water run off which would then lead to less discharge from Yorkshire Water’s combined sewer overflows that connect to the Beck, thus improving the quality of water in the natural environment.

 

The report and appendices provided details of the work completed in phase 1 of the Bradford Beck River Restoration project which sought to re-naturalise the northern length of Bradford Beck and re-populate fish and provide a suitable habitat to encourage bats, kingfishers and other bird species.

 

The report included details of the plan to re-naturalise a section of Bradford Beck between Poplars Road and Briggate.  By carrying out work to divert water around a culvert which was in a state of serious disrepair, it was anticipated that the risk of flooding to nearby properties, highways and infrastructure could be mitigated as the culvert was likely to fail in future flooding events.  The Beck would be realigned to provide additional flood water capacity and contribute to the aims of the Water Framework Directive to improve water quality.  The project would  provide more grassland, woodland and wetland which would encourage species diversity in a naturalised, stable habitat.

 

Land drainage and the problems connected to it were explained so that Members would have an understanding of the responsibilities and with whom these lie.  The Council was responsible for drainage on land it owned but private landowners were responsible for the drainage on their land.  The Council could provide advice and guidance and in the event of an issue due to maintenance on private land, it had enforcement powers but the time taken was lengthy for action to be completed.  There were several stages involved if a landowner defaulted on any order which could take years to resolve.

 

Updates were provided on progress of two EU projects.  The BEGIN project which involved a linear park along Bradford Beck to restore a more natural environment as well as retention of natural flood plain areas, introduction of new areas and to enhance the existing greenspace with sustainable drainage incorporated into new developments.   The LIFE Critical project (Horton Park) aimed to equip older  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.

48.

HOMELESSNESS IN BRADFORD DISTRICT pdf icon PDF 223 KB

The report of the Assistant Director, Place (Document “D”) sets out the activities undertaken by Bradford Council (with partners) to prevent and relieve homelessness and highlights opportunities and challenges in carrying out these duties.

 

Recommended -

 

1.            That Members support the range of actions being taken to prevent and tackle homelessness in the District.

 

2.            That Members note the challenges set out in the report including the pressures the service will face caused by the lifting of the evictions ban and the ending of the ‘Everyone In’ Scheme.

 

 

 

(Yusuf Karolia - 07816 082868)

Minutes:

The Homelessness and Rough Sleeping strategy was agreed by Bradford Council’s Executive in January 2020 and operated in partnership with a number of organisations and agencies in delivering on the homelessness objectives.  The Council was not solely responsible for delivery of all actions contained within the strategy and relied on the co-operation of its’ partners to deliver and implement successfully.

 

There were five key themes for the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy:

 

·         Early Intervention and prevention of homelessness

·         Delivery of support in the right way at the right time to people who were homeless

·         Tackle rough sleeping

·         Improve access to housing for people who are homeless

·         Work better together

 

In addition, there were five general principles which would be incorporated across each of the themes.  Co-production, person-centred, recovery-focused, equality and diversity and safeguarding vulnerable people.

 

The identified targets for activity were:

 

·         Increase the rates of successful prevention of homelessness

·         Reduce the number of placements into temporary accommodation

·         Reduce the length of stays in bed and breakfast accommodation

·         Reduce the incidence of rough sleeping significantly

 

The report presented provided a breakdown of activity and contact made with historical statistics included for comparison. Officers explained the steady rates of contact with Housing Options and hi-lighted the increase in casework since the introduction of the Homeless Reduction Act in 2018.

 

 

The report indicated the top 5 reasons for homelessness and how it was being tackled and prevented by the Council.  The measures introduced during COVID also contributed to a reduction in rough sleeping and homelessness but success rates were negatively impacted due to the static nature of housing during this period.  The Council had also entered into a contract with Concept Housing whose obligation meant that they took every referral made and customers were due to be housed within twenty four hours.  Most people wanted social housing but some were referred to private landlords.

 

The new measures of Prevention and Relief which came in under the 2017 Homelessness Act were explained and statistics for both were included.  These were both measured over a six month period before a successful outcome could be counted in.  Comparison tables were also made available in the report to show how Bradford performed against its’ neighbours.

 

Officers confirmed that the service had worked hard to comply with the Government’s ‘Everyone In’ initiative and stated that they had an exit plan for when the scheme ended in October 2021.  There were forty seven people who still needed support and a plan was already in place to do this.  Fairmount Lodge – this had proven to be very successful with no issues arising despite the profile of some of the residents.

 

The challenges and opportunities were also presented to Members with specific attention drawn to the continued decline in mental health support over the last ten years.  A review of Housing Related Support provision would be taking place to ensure that delivery was effective with the available budgets.  The existing gaps in provision would need an estimated additional £600,000 to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.

49.

TRANSPORT DELIVERY PLAN PERFORMANCE REPORT 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 279 KB

The report of the Strategic Director, Place (Document “E”) updates the Committee on the outcome of the delivery programme for the Highways and Transportation teams’ capital work programmes during the 2019/20 financial year.

 

Recommended –

 

That progress on the transport programmes across both the programmes described in this report be noted.

 

(John Davis - 07970 596213)

Minutes:

The report of the Strategic Director, Place (Document “E”) was submitted to the Committee to provide an update on the outcome of the delivery programme for the Highways and Transportation teams’ capital work programmes during the 2019/20 financial year.

 

Whilst work continued on the Local transport Plan and the West Yorkshire + Transport Fund programmes, the service began development of the portfolio of schemes as part of the Transforming Cities Fund work for which the Council was awarded £89 million.

 

Progress was affected significantly by the COVID pandemic due to staff being redeployed, reduced personnel on construction sites and disruption to deliveries of materials.

 

The report provided details of the four inter-linked schemes at:

 

Bradford Interchange Station Access

Bradford City Centre Cycling and Walking Improvements

South Bradford Park and Ride and Bus Expressway

West Bradford Cycle Superhighway Extension

 

Updates on progress and details of locations for the West Yorkshire + Transport Fund and the other works underway were also provided in documents appended to the main report.

 

Members were then given the opportunity to ask questions and comment on the report.  The details of these and the responses given are as below:

 

·         A Member asked whether the Smart Street Lighting project was on schedule and was advised that there were three elements to the project

 

Assessment/survey of columns

Design

Implementation and delivery. 

 

There were delays in surveys and some columns needed urgent removal so it had taken a bit longer than originally planned but would still be completed on time.

 

·         Was there evidence of demand for the mass rapid transit system?

·           Officers advised that they were working with WYCA to look at demand in 3 corridors – Bradford to Leeds, Bradford to Halifax and Bradford to Dewsbury but the mode of transport was not yet decided

 

·         Did Bradford receive all £89million?  The schemes in the report did not have costings attached.

·           Officers stated that funding went to the Combined Authority who divided it up between Local Authorities – Bradford’s individual allocation was £89million.  A business case for funding would be required as there was an assurance process to go through.  There were no definitive costings at present as these were still being worked on plus investigation of additional funding streams.

 

·         A Member questioned the benefits of the Transforming Cities work asking why would there be more cycle lanes and that cars would be prevented from accessing Hall Ings and from moving around.  Where would this traffic go?  Would there be longer traffic queues?

·           Officers reiterated some of the measures to improve access into the city centre via the park and ride and express bus way.  Improvements would also be brought in to improve the outer ring road to prevent traffic traversing the city

 

·         The question of access for deliveries (goods in and out) and staff getting to work in the city centre was raised.  Would customers want to come into the centre if it wasn’t easy as there was easy access and free parking at out of town shopping facilities?  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.

50.

REGENERATION AND ENVIRONMENT OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE WORK PLAN 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 80 KB

The report of the Chair of the Regeneration and Environment Overview and Scrutiny committee (Document “F”) presents the Committee’s Work Programme 2021-22.  Each Overview and Scrutiny Committee is required by the Constitution of the Council to prepare a work programme (Part 3E – Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules, Para 1.1).

 

Recommended –

 

That the Work programme 2021-22 continues to be regularly reviewed during the year.

 

 

(Caroline Coombes - 07970 413828)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Work Programme for 2021/22 (Document “F”) was submitted to update Members on the reports that were due to come to the Committee and the amendments in the schedule for the remainder of the municipal year.

 

Resolved –

 

That the Work Programme for 2021/22 submitted with amendments, be formally adopted.

 

Action: Scrutiny Lead Officer