Agenda and minutes
Venue: Town Hall, Accrington
Contact: Ben Caulfield - Policy and Scrutiny Officer
Apologies for absence, Substitutions, Declarations of Interest and Dispensations
There were apologies from Councillors Noordad Aziz, Paddy Short and Carole Haythornwaite. Councillor June Harrison substituted for Councillor Short. In addition, Doug Hayes, Co-optee sent apologies.
Minutes of Last Meeting PDF 144 KB
To submit the minutes of the Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 4th November 2021 for approval as a correct record.
Recommended - That the minutes be received and approved as a correct record.
To receive the minutes of this meeting of the Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on Thursday, 4th November, 2021 for approval as a correct record.
Recommended: That the minutes be received and approved as a correct record.
Green Review Update PDF 890 KB
To provide the Committee with a progress update on the recommendations made in the 2019 Green Review and the Council’s Climate Declaration (Green Review Action Plan).
This report is to provide the Committee with a progress update on the recommendations made in the 2019 Green Review and the Council’s Climate Declaration (Green Review Action Plan).
The Policy Manager provided a summary of the report.
On the 11th September 2018 Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee agreed to set up a Task and Finish Scrutiny Panel to complete a review of the Green Agenda. This review helped the Council declare a Climate Emergency on the 19th September 2019 with a headline target to achieve:
· Net-zero carbon in Council activities by 2030;
· To produce a measured baseline;
· To work with others towards making Hyndburn Net Zero Carbon
The report covered the following:
· Progress against action plan
· Council’s carbon footprint
· Energy saving projects at Hyndburn Leisure Centre and Scaitcliffe House
· Hyndburn’s carbon baseline
· Lancashire County Council Carbon Reduction Pathway
· Council’s next steps
The Policy Manager responded to questions from the Committee on the following topics:
· Alternatives to electric vehicles including hydro treated vegetable oil
· Clean air zones
· Reducing the emissions of the borough’s housing stock
· Engagement with Onward Homes
· Electrification of the railway
· Idling cars near schools
That the Committee note the work going on at the Council over the past two years.
The Committee recommends the Green Agenda Members Working Group led by the Council’s Green Champion help direct the Council in becoming Net Zero Carbon activities by 2030 and create a Climate Change Action Plan.
The Council rapidly develops new delivery arrangements to progress the radical changes that are needed, and to develop an overall ‘climate first’ approach in all matters.
Exclusion of the Public
Recommended - That, in accordance with Section 100A(4) Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting during the following items, when it is likely, in view of the nature of the proceedings that there will otherwise be disclosure of exempt information within the Paragraphs of Schedule 12A of the Act specified at the items.
Resolved - That, in accordance with Section 100A(4) Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting during the following item, when it was likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted, or the nature of the proceedings, that there would otherwise be disclosure of exempt information within the Paragraph at Schedule 12A of the Act specified at the item.
Procurement of Software Services for Planning Applications Online
The report will
contain exempt information under the Local Government Act
To advise Scrutiny on the Issues facing the Planning Application Search Software.
(Exempt information under the Local Government Act 1972, Schedule 12A, Paragraph 3 - Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information))
The Chief Planning & Transportation Officer reported to the committee.
The report had been requested due to concerns raised by members of the public regarding issues accessing planning documents on the Council’s website. The department are fully aware of the issues and are already taking measures to resolve this.
Since the contract was entered into with the current provider the software has been upgraded on a number of occasions by the provider. As new versions of the software are developed it is necessary to move onto upgraded software and over time the older versions are de-supported by the software provider. The practical effect of this is that if the software is not upgraded, it will not be supported by the provider. If a problem is experienced with un-supported software it is potentially more difficult, and more expensive, to resolve.
After the latest update, it was immediately apparent that the functionality of the online planning application search software had been significantly reduced to the state where it can only search against the planning application reference number.
Whilst the planning application search system allows members of the public to search the planning application reference and therefore see the details of planning applications they have been notified of, it does not allow anyone to search addresses to see what the planning history of an address or site is. This, understandably, is giving rise to complaints from a number of users.
Cabinet have given approval to move ahead with the procurement of new software which will resolve this issue. Implementation will take up to 3 to 4 months. A number of options were considered, but the agreed proposals was seen as the most beneficial to the Council.
The Chief Planning and Transportation Officer wished to have noted his thanks to the Planning Technical Support Officer, Nigel Gastall, who has lead the work on resolving this issue.
Resolved: That Scrutiny support the procurement of the recommended software that would allow planning applications to be searched and viewed online subject to assurances that this can be done without harming the integrity of the documents stored within the Document Management System.