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Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Delyn Committee Room, County Hall, Mold CH7 6NA

Contact: Sharon Thomas / 01352 702324  Email: sharon.b.thomas@flintshire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

59.

Declarations of Interest (Including Whipping Declarations)

Purpose: To receive any Declarations and advise Members accordingly.

Decision:

There were no declarations of interest.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

60.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Purpose: To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meetings held on 7 December 2015 and 13 January 2016.

Additional documents:

Decision:

That both sets of minutes be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 7 December 2015 and 13 January 2016 were submitted.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That both sets of minutes be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

61.

Policy for Display of ‘A’ Board Advertisements – Pilot Scheme for Mold Town Centre pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

(a)       That the policy of a general advertisement consent covering specified areas within identified town centres be agreed, to be explored further through consultation with interested services within the Council, relevant Town/Community Councils and other interested parties and focus groups;

 

(b)       That the criteria for such a consent (conditions on the draft Advertisement Consent and Highways permit) be piloted in Mold town centre where a formal planning application (Consent to Display Advertisements) be submitted (by the appropriate officer) for the eventual consideration of the Planning & Development Control Committee;

 

(c)       That feedback from the consultation process be reported back to the Committee before moving forward; and

 

(d)       That, following the consultation, the policy document be reviewed by the Committee to ensure clarity on the wording.

Minutes:

Councillor Kevin Jones introduced a report to seek agreement on consultation for the grant of a general advertisement consent covering specified areas within town centres to address the problem of unauthorised advertisements on the public highway under the various legislation.  It was proposed that the approach be trialled in Mold town centre due to potential issues arising from an increase in the display of ‘A’ boards.  Councillor Jones referred to previous work done on this and explained that the intent was to work closely with Mold Town Council, the Mold town centre Manager and local businesses to regulate ‘A’ boards whilst avoiding any negative impact on trading.

 

The Development Manager provided explanation on the current practice for dealing with unauthorised advertisements and spoke about the value of ‘A’ boards in contributing to the vitality of town centres.  He said that planning legislation could be used to introduce a policy, similar to that operated by other councils, to allow the continued display of such advertisements with set criteria and joint controls in place to address safety concerns.  A shared plan for the initial scheme in Mold town centre showed that the Consent would seek to protect core retail areas, although it was acknowledged that some commercial premises operated outside this.  The introduction of a permit scheme from Streetscene would require further discussion and benchmarking on the practice of other councils.  Attention was drawn to section 1.08 of the report detailing criteria for the permitted display of ‘A’ boards.

 

Councillor Brian Lloyd questioned the reason behind the proposals and asked about the availability of figures on injuries caused by ‘A’ boards.  He stressed the importance of consultation and said that most display boards in Mold were placed up against the shops which did not create a safety hazard, suggesting that the safety issues in Daniel Owen Square could be addressed by utilising nearby advertising space.  He went on to refer to display boards located outside the proposed area of Consent, such as New Street and Chester Street, which could present a risk.

 

Councillor Jones pointed out that the consultation, which formed part of the report’s recommendations, had not yet taken place.

 

The Development Manager explained that this was the first stage of the process to seek Members’ views and that if agreed, would progress to wider consultation on developing the policy with the Town Centre manager and various retail groups, rather than on an individual basis.  He did not have statistics on injuries but explained that the proposal was to introduce a policy which offered greater controls for the Council whilst recognising the advertising needs of local businesses.  In terms of the placing of ‘A’ boards outside shops, the plan needed to be read in conjunction with the criteria set out in the report.  Having previously been explored, the suggestion for Daniel Owen Square was not recommended due to concerns about the potential accumulation of signage.  Commercial premises located outside the proposed area of Consent would still need to apply for permission  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.

62.

Business Case for Solar Farms at Brookhill and Standard Landfill Sites pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the development of the two solar farms, and the high voltage connection of Brookhill landfill site with Alltami Depot be recommended to Cabinet for approval.

Minutes:

Councillor Kevin Jones presented an update report on the opportunity to develop solar farms at Brookhill and Standard landfill sites in Buckley, following the report to Cabinet in June 2015.  This would enable the ongoing reduction in value of the two landfill sites to be supplemented by significant levels of revenue generated from investment in the solar farms whilst reducing the Council’s carbon footprint.  The plans also included the potential to use the energy to power the Council’s fleet of vehicles.

 

The Chief Officer (Streetscene & Transportation) referred to a significant amount of work carried out following the Cabinet report when there had been some uncertainty about the feed-in tariffs.  Since that time, it was shown that the new rate for larger scale Photo Voltaic systems had reduced from the previous year.  The business case indicated that the scheme required significant investment but that use of the existing connection to the electricity grid would provide an opportunity to produce income for the Council beyond a 20 year period.  Development of the solar farms under the Council’s control was considered to be more beneficial than renting.  The Chief Officer stated that many local authorities were moving towards similar schemes and described the tendering exercise under the APSE framework, the impact assessments which had been undertaken and support received through the consultation process.  He added that the scheme allowed some flexibility to move the solar panels and confirmed that the public rights of way on both sites remained unaffected.  He thanked the Cabinet Member and Energy Manager for their efforts in taking forward the initiative and explained that options for the Council to power its own vehicle fleet would be considered at a later date.

 

The Energy Manager provided an overview of the business cases based on increases in the annual inflation rate of 2½% and 5%, and explained the potential benefits in increased savings from the climate change levy.  It was intended for the entire system to be operated and maintained by the installers with the inclusion of a performance guarantee in the contract to safeguard the Council in the event that targets were not achieved.

 

Councillor Nancy Matthews asked whether consideration had been given to the percentage of daylight hours needed to provide the energy, taking account of different seasons.  The Energy Manager said that the duration of daylight hours was more important than maximum output.  The power generated for use at Alltami would be a combination of landfill gas with solar power, providing more than enough to satisfy the demands at Alltami.

 

In supporting the proposals, Councillor Ian Dunbar welcomed the financial benefits in view of increasing energy costs.

 

Councillor Colin Legg also spoke in support but stressed the importance of using scientific recording equipment to ascertain the average sunshine hours, range and tendency to increase/decrease over a period of years to give assurance on more precise figures.  The Energy Manager explained that Lark Energy, the successful company from the tendering process, had given a guarantee on output achieved from  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62.

63.

Quarter 3 Improvement Plan Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the report be noted and comments fed back to the Corporate Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee which is responsible for the overview and monitoring of performance.

Minutes:

The Facilitator introduced the regular update report to consider progress towards the delivery of the impacts set out in the 2015/16 Improvement Plan, focussing on the areas of under-performance relevant to the Committee during the third quarter.

 

The Chair raised concerns at the amount of litter in the county, which she felt had increased since the introduction of the zero tolerance policy.  The Chief Officer (Streetscene & Transportation) advised that annual statistics on this were to be published later in the week but that Flintshire’s ranking had previously been low compared with other Welsh authorities.  He assured the Committee that enforcement activities were continuing, despite the reduction in resources, with reported incidents acted upon and improvements sought.  Councillor Kevin Jones acknowledged that litter was an issue and referred to a meeting due to take place to discuss progress.

 

Councillor Paul Shotton expressed his gratitude to Streetscene officers for their prompt response to a resident’s complaint on litter.  He also referred to the Deeside task group which was continuing to meet.

 

Following comments from Councillor Cindy Hinds on an increase in dog fouling incidents in her ward, the Chief Officer (Streetscene & Transportation) said that this topic would also be discussed at the forthcoming meeting.  He stressed the importance of sharing intelligence with Streetscene on regular occurrences of dog fouling.  In response to a question from the Chair, he confirmed that small quantities of dog waste bags were carried by Streetscene officers, however there was no budget for these to be more widely available.

 

In referring to the discussions of the Dog DNA Task Group, the Chair spoke about the need for officers to liaise with the Police to access information on hotspot areas and times.  The Chief Officer explained that he was working with the Police to highlight the problem of dog fouling in certain areas.

 

Following a question from Councillor Haydn Bateman, the Chief Officer (Planning & Environment) confirmed that the report on the Local Development Plan’s vision and objections had been emailed to all Council Members on 14 March 2016.

 

On Transport infrastructure and services, the Chair asked about funding to support the Council’s priorities for accessing employment, health, leisure and education.  The Chief Officer (Streetscene & Transportation) advised that funding would be available in May for schemes to be completed within the year.  He confirmed that plans were on track to complete all the transport schemes by the end of the year.

 

The Chair said that she would speak separately with the Chief Officer regarding a road resurfacing issue in her ward.

 

Councillor Colin Legg expressed his concerns about the enforcement of decisions made by the Planning & Development Control Committee.  The Chief Officer (Planning & Environment) explained that whilst live issues could not be discussed, there would be an opportunity to raise generic issues of non-compliance as part of the item on planning enforcement to be scheduled for a future meeting.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the report be noted and comments fed back to the Corporate Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee which is responsible  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.

64.

Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

(a)       That the Forward Work Programme be amended as necessary; and

 

(b)       That the Facilitator, in consultation with the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Committee, be authorised to vary the Forward Work Programme between meetings, as the need arises.

Minutes:

The Facilitator presented the current Forward Work Programme for consideration by the Committee.  The following changes were agreed:

 

·         13 April - A representative from Welsh Water to be invited for the item on the design of drainage for new development sites.

·         18 May - Rights of Way Policy to be included.

·         19 July - Possible Rights of Way service review and Planning annual performance report to be added.

·         The Facilitator to liaise with officers to establish whether the May and July meeting dates needed to be rescheduled to enable pre-scrutiny of policy decisions before Cabinet.  Members to be notified of any changes to the dates.

·         An update on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to be scheduled for a future meeting.

 

Councillor Chris Dolphin remarked on recent changes made to other committee meeting dates.  The Facilitator advised that Overview & Scrutiny meeting dates had been scheduled in advance of Cabinet dates in the committee diary for 2016/17 to enable pre-scrutiny.  She explained that changes to meetings in the current diary were due to a number of reasons and would look into this if Members wished.  Following further discussion, she agreed to feedback the concerns to officers.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the Forward Work Programme be amended as necessary; and

 

(b)       That the Facilitator, in consultation with the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Committee, be authorised to vary the Forward Work Programme between meetings, as the need arises.

65.

Members of the Press and Public in Attendance

Minutes:

There were no members of the press or public in attendance.

 

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