Meeting documents

Venue: Mezzanine Room 2, County Hall, Aylesbury. View directions

Contact: Kelly Sutherland 

Note: Please note that this meeting will be webcast - please use the "Webcasts" menu link 


Webcast: View the webcast

Note No. Item



Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:


Apologies were received from Mrs Lesley Clarke OBE and Mrs Patricia Birchley.


Declarations of Interest

To disclose any personal or disclosable pecuniary interests.

Additional documents:


There were none.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 204 KB

Of the meeting held on 1st march 2016 to be confirmed as a correct record.

Additional documents:


The minutes of the meeting held on 1st March 2016 were confirmed as a correct record.


Public Questions

This is an opportunity for members of the public to put a question or raise an issue of concern, related to Environment, Transport and Locality Services.   Where possible, the relevant organisation to which the question/issue is directed will be present to give a verbal response.  The member of public will be invited to speak for up to four minutes on their issue.  A maximum of 30 minutes is set aside for the Public Questions slot in total (including responses and any Committee discussion). This may be extended with the Chairman’s discretion. 


For full guidance on Public Questions, including how to register a request to speak during this slot, please follow this link:

Additional documents:


There were none.


Chairman's Report

For the Chairman of the Committee to provide an update to the Committee on recent scrutiny related activity.


Members are asked to note the attached written update from the Archaeology team.

Additional documents:


The Chairman thanked all members for their work to date on the Economic Development Inquiry.


TEE review of the first year pdf icon PDF 687 KB

A presentation reviewing the first year of operation for the Transport, Economy and Environment (TEE) Business Unit, highlighting challenges and opportunities.



Mr Mark Shaw, Cabinet Member for Transportation


Additional documents:


The Chairman welcomed Mr Mark Shaw, Cabinet Member for Transportation, Mr Mike Freestone, Interim Managing Director, TEE and Mrs Gill Harding, Commercial Development Director, TEE to the meeting.  The Cabinet Member advised that TEE had declared an underspend of £51,000 at year end, which was impressive as Transportation had carried forward an overspend of £102,000 from the previous 12 months.


Mr Freestone reminded Members that Mr Gibson would return to his post as Managing Director, TEE in late summer. Interviews were taking place for the Director of Transport post and Mr Freestone was hopeful that a permanent appointment would be made, securing stability for the senior management team within TEE.


Members received a presentation (Slides attached as an appendix). During the presentation and in response to Members’ questions, the following main points were noted:

·         The TEE Business Unit (BU) launched in 2015 with a new staffing structure, which was being slightly revised this year. Recruitment had been difficult in the past year, but TEE’s vacancy rate had now significantly reduced to around 10%.

·         Although a relatively small BU with only 250 staff, through working in partnership with external organisations, TEE had a large ‘footprint’ in the County.  Mr Freestone believed that BCC’s own expenditure produced ten times its value externally.

·         The Energy From Waste (EfW) plant would soon be fully operational.  FCC, the contractors operating the plant, negotiated with a number of neighbouring authorities to bring in waste to the EfW plant. The EfW plant would also produce significant ongoing savings for BCC on landfill costs.

·         Devolution of selected services to Parish and Town Councils had been successful and officers were now considering other areas which could potentially be devolved in future.

·         The Commercial Development team was responsible for introducing new ideas to TEE and encouraging a more commercial approach. Examples included the Hackathon used to generate ideas for increasing revenue at the Country Parks and the Customer Journey working group which led to the introduction of the Confirm system in Transportation.  Mrs Harding advised Members of a review of the Insurance process across the Council which had resulted in an online application form and a more streamlined process , which was an improvement for customers and more efficient.

·         Looking to the future, the diminishing budget would continue to be a challenge and TEE would continue to work to maximise the benefits of the Growth agenda.


The Chairman thanked the Cabinet Member, Mike Freestone and Gill Harding for attending the meeting.



Transport for Buckinghamshire Update pdf icon PDF 335 KB

A regular update with Transport for Buckinghamshire, following Committee items in 2015 which focussed on service improvements, changes to the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) used in contract management and concerns around customer service standards.



Mr Mark Shaw, Cabinet Member for Transportation

Mr Basil Jackson, Interim Director of Transport

Additional documents:


The Chairman welcomed Mr Basil Jackson, Interim Director of Transport and Mr Simon Dando, Contract Manager, who joined Mr Mark Shaw, Cabinet Member for Transportation for this agenda item.


The Chairman reported on correspondence received from a member of the public regarding the condition of the County’s roads and the quality of road repairs. The following main points were noted:

·         With regard to the possibility of volunteers filling potholes, a practice which had been reported in Devon, Mr Shaw explained that it was something that was worth investigating, particularly as some Parish and Town Councils locally had expressed an interest in pothole filling.

·         The potential for local residents to pay to have potholes repaired or their road resurfacing would be looked into.

·         Members echoed Mr Hurst’s comments about potholes being filled and refilled on a regular basis.  The Cabinet Member explained that recent rainfall had exacerbated issues with potholes and that Category 1 potholes, were filled within 24 hours, often with a temporary filling which would then be replaced properly at a later date. Overall, the Cabinet Member felt the quality of work had improved over the past year, with 15-17,000 potholes being filled in Bucks.


The Cabinet Member agreed to investigate the suggestions discussed and to respond directly to Mr Hurst’s points in writing.

ACTION: Cabinet Member for Transportation


The Committee considered the TfB Update report and the Cabinet Member noted the following:

·         The Client structure had been changed last year to ensure improved contract management and this has strengthened BCC’s relationship with Ringway Jacobs.(RJ) Regular meetings were held with RJ to check and challenge their work.

·         A Capital Maintenance Programme of £31million pounds, including £26.5million on roads had been delivered last year and residents had reported noticing a difference.

·         The new Confirm IT system had been introduced last summer which helped the Local Area Technicians to be more agile. A dashboard was being developed which would allow local Members to view live service information for their own division.

·         Over 42 Local Area Forum (LAF) schemes and 20 parking schemes had been delivered in the last year and costings of LAF schemes were being reviewed to ensure greater clarity.


Members voiced concerns about the following:

·         Whether real improvements to roads had been made.

·         Quality of road repairs and delays with Patch and Plane schemes nominated by local Members in December 2015.

·         Removal of broken streetlight stumps.

·         Inflated costs or inaccurate estimates being provided for LAF schemes –Members gave a number of examples where costs had increased significantly between the initial estimates and quotes obtained from the contractors.


It was agreed that Mr Dando would revisit the estimate/quote system and investigate Members’ specific concerns

ACTION: Mr Dando


The Cabinet Member also advised Members that the Patch and Plane programme was due to rollout in May, June and July. 


The Chairman thanked the Cabinet Member, Mr Jackson and Mr Dando for attending the meeting and requested a further review within 6 months.

ACTION: Committee and Governance Adviser



S278 Update - Developer Works on the Highway pdf icon PDF 814 KB

Members will receive an update on S278 Developer Works on the Highway and the progress and impact of improvements to the processes associated with this, which were discussed previously at Committee in June 2015.



Mr Mark Shaw, Cabinet Member for Transportation

Miss Christine Urry, Head of Highways Development Management, TEE

Additional documents:


The Chairman welcomed Mr Mark Shaw, Cabinet Member for Transportation and Miss Christine Urry, Head of Highways Development Management to the meeting.  Miss Urry provided an update on the implementation of recommendations from an independent review into Highways Development Management(HDM).  During the presentation and in response to subsequent questions from Members, the following main points were noted:

·         Of the 32 recommendations, 11 had been completed and a further 5 were being progressed.  An Action Log had been developed to tackle the remaining 16 recommendations.

·         Miss Urry explained that she hoped to have implemented more recommendations but her team had been significantly under-resourced. However funding had now been secured for a further 5.5 additional staff.

·         Efficiencies in processes have been identified and implemented including standard wording for conditions and reasons for refusal. In addition the HDM team was working with colleagues to digitise application forms through Firm Step and the TEE Business Improvement team was working on a Developer Portal page which would offer Developers easier access to TEE’s services including HDM.

·         Positive outcomes of the changes already implemented by the HDM team were evidenced by an increase in the number of planning applications responded to within the required 21 day timeframe – this had risen from 21% in 2015 to 63% in March 2016.

·         A Member commented that whilst progress had been made the department had started from a very low base, and pressure of the Growth agenda in Bucks would further impact the HDM team’s performance.

·         In response to a concern raised about unadopted roads on new developments, Miss Urry acknowledged that there was a long list of unadopted roads and whilst some delays were caused by developers, the HDM team needed to pursue this issue.  Miss Urry advised that once additional staff were appointed, the team would have the resources to challenge developers.

·         In response to a question relating to whether developers could be liable for damage to paths or roads in the vicinity of a small development, Miss Urry explained that it was difficult to obtain developer contributions for this purpose, as it would have to meet Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) requirements and that maintenance funding could not be requested. However BCC did have powers under the Highways Act to ensure any damage to the highway was rectified, subject to resources.

·         Miss Urry was asked if there was a difference in the response rates to major development applications and minor ones.  Miss Urry explained that major developments tended to require more information and consideration due to the implications for traffic flows, therefore they would often take longer than 21 days.

The Chairman thanked the Cabinet Member and Miss Urry and requested a further update on the progress of improvements at a future meeting.

ACTION: Committee and Governance Adviser




England's Economic Heartland pdf icon PDF 537 KB

The Committee will receive an update on the progress of England’s Economic Heartland, a strategic alliance with neighbouring local authorities.



Mr Martin Tett, Leader of the County Council

Mr Martin Tugwell, Director Growth and Strategy and Strategic Alliance

Additional documents:


The Chairman welcomed Mr Martin Tett, Leader of the Council and Mr Martin Tugwell, Programme Director, TEE to the meeting.  The Committee was given an overview of the development of ‘England’s Economic Heartland’, a Strategic Alliance with neighbouring local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships and the following main points were noted:

·         The Council had been at the forefront of the development of the Strategic Alliance, which was initially with Oxfordshire County Council and Northamptonshire County Council.  The Alliance developed in response to Eric Pickles MP call for local authorities to submit devolution bids or other joint working arrangements to Government, with no set governance arrangements being prescribed. However following the May 2015 election, devolution was positioned differently – combined authorities with an elected mayor being the preferred route, which held little appeal locally.

·         This form of devolution had therefore not been pursued by the Strategic Alliance.  Other local authorities had subsequently joined the Alliance including Milton Keynes Council, Bedford Borough Council, Central Bedfordshire Council, Luton Borough Council and Cambridgeshire County Council.  Peterborough City Council had expressed an interest.

·         The first deliverable of the Strategic Alliance was the establishment of the Strategic Transport Forum which held its first meeting in February 2016 and its membership included 8 Local Transport Authorities, 4 Local Enterprise Partnerships and officials from the Department for Transport (DfT), Highways England, Network Rail, public transport operators, the Transport Systems Catapult and representatives from the civil engineering contractors association.  

·         Although only recently established, the Forum had gained credibility within Government and had been referred to alongside other initiatives such as Transport for the North and Midlands Connect, as an example of sub-national transport initiatives.

·         Two clear principles underlay the Strategic Alliance – every local authority did not necessarily have to be involved in everything; and any member was free to collaborate with other authorities or bodies outside of the Strategic Alliance.

·         The corridor between Oxford and Cambridge had immense economic potential and it was vital that the strategic infrastructure received adequate investment in order to realise this.  In addition the strategic transport corridors which cross the Heartland area also support economic growth in the Midlands, the North and beyond.

·         In addition to support for the development of East-West rail and a possible East-West Expressway, the Strategic Alliance was considering wider infrastructure issues and was actively engaged with the National Infrastructure Commission.

·         The issue was raised of future-proofing the good work underway.  In response, the Leader explained that governance was his key concern, and that as it was impossible to predict the future, the Strategic Alliance would continue its work and manage any changes that might occur as they arose.


The Chairman thanked the Leader and Mr Tugwell for attending the meeting.  The Committee requested a further update at a future meeting.



Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 14 KB

Members are asked to note forthcoming items on the Work Programme.

Additional documents:


The Committee noted the future Work Programme.



Date of the Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 31st May 2016 at 10am in Mezzanine Room 2, County Hall, Aylesbury. There will be a pre-meeting for Committee Members only at 9.30am.

Additional documents:


The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 31st May 2016 at 10am in Mezzanine Room 2, County Hall, Aylesbury. There will be a pre-meeting for Committee Members only at 9.30am.