Venue: Delyn Committee Room, County Hall, Mold CH7 6NA
Contact: Maureen Potter / Sharon Thomas / 01352 702322 / 702324
Declarations of Interest (Including Whipping Declarations)
To receive any Declarations and advise Members accordingly.
(a) That the Committee recommends the adoption of Option 3 (support subsidised routes on the core bus network and implement alternative, sustainable local travel arrangements in communities not on the core network) within four geographical areas of the County;
(b) That the Committee recommends to Cabinet the approval of the proposed service levels on the strategic core bus network;
(c) That the provision of an in-house minibus service to support the local travel arrangements, where it was cost effective to do so, be supported;
(d) That the Committee recommends to Cabinet approval of the proposed approach for dealing with historical non-statutory school transport arrangements that had been identified during the service review;
(e) That the Committee recommend to Cabinet that the school transport provision for siblings be given further consideration; and
(e) That the Committee recommend the adoption of Option 2 as its preferred pricing structure for a concessionary bus pass, with a review to be carried out on the impact of the increased cost after one year.
The Chief Officer (Streetscene and Transportation) introduced the Outcome of Public Consultation on Public Transport and School Transport Anomalies report which provided details of existing subsidised bus routes and the outcome of the bus network review consultation exercise that had been undertaken to consider those services and deliver an affordable and sustainable public transport service in the future.
Bus Network Review
The Transport Programme Manager reported on the bus network review. To facilitate the review, an eight week public consultation process had been carried out with the public, elected Members and town and community councils who were invited to provide feedback on the proposals. The four options which had been presented for consideration were:-
· Option1 – stop subsidising bus services completely;
· Option 2 – do nothing and continue to support the existing subsidised routes in place as they were currently;
· Option 3 – Support subsidised routes on the core bus network and implement alternative, sustainable local travel arrangements in communities not on the core network; and
· Option 4 – Support subsidised routes on the core bus network and introduce a demand responsive service for communities not on the core network.
Elected Members and town and community councils predominantly supported Option 3 but it was recognised that there was no ‘one size fits all’ and transport salutation would need to vary from one area to another depending on local need and demand. Under the preferred option, local travel arrangements on the non-core network were intended to be provided by smaller minibus vehicles, which were better suited to the nature of the routes in rural areas. Proposed routes had been identified for the local travel arrangements which were attached as an appendix to the report.
The Transport Programme Manager concluded that it was proposed that the intended change in service provision would be introduced from 1 October, 2018 on a phased approach and a proposed implementation plan and timetable was attached as an appendix to the report.
The Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Countryside explained that there had been a number of changes to the commercial bus network by bus operators which had impacted on communities and left potential gaps in service provision; this was not within the control of the Council. However the Council had a statutory duty to keep the bus network under review and intervene when appropriate.
Councillor Paul Shotton thanked officers for the report and for the extensive consultation sessions carried out. He said that following the consultation exercise, as shown within the report, there seemed to be a consensus for Option 3 and that this option tied in well with the new transport arrangement for Deeside Industrial Estate. He asked if a contractor had been identified to deliver the Deeside Shuttle Service. The Chief Officer responded that the Council had received Welsh Government (WG) and EU funding to purchase four 16-seat minibuses and five Low Carbon Emission Buses (LCEB) with the LCEB intended to be deployed on the existing Deeside Shuttle Service. Deeside Shuttle Service would be ... view the full minutes text for item 11.
That the Committee endorse the current and emerging approaches to visitor promotion and destination management.
The Service Manager (Enterprise and Regeneration) introduced the Tourism Promotion and Destination Management report which set out the approaches taken in Flintshire and regionally to support the visitor economy through promotional activity and managing and improving the customer experience.
The report detailed the work of both the Access and Natural Environment and Tourism services as both played a significant and co-ordinated role with opportunities for greater collaborative working in the future following the recent restructure.
Councillor Shotton thanked officers for the report and commented on the tourism offer in Flintshire which had been seen first-hand by the Committee at its recent meeting held at Greenfield Heritage Centre. He commented on the recent introduction of talks and boat trips by the Quay Watermen and praised the work of the County Rangers along the coastal path.
Councillor Vicky Perfect thanked the Service Manager (Access and Environment) and his team for installing new benches along the coastal path near Flint Castle. She commented on the successful Rock the Castle event in Flint which had been attended by 2,000 people and thanked the Coastal Rangers for their contribution and for judging the sandcastle competition.
Councillor Dolphin thanked the Service Manager (Access and Environment) and his team for their hard work. He asked when a visitor sign could be installed on the A55 to promote St. Winifred’s Well and surrounding areas. The Service Manager (Enterprise and Regeneration) advised that the Council provided brown and white signs and a review was currently being undertaken to identify where there were gaps across the County. There was a need to be mindful of available funding but when money became available from the Welsh Government (WG) the Council would be in a position to submit requests for funding by having appropriate plans in place.
The Cabinet Member for Economic Development said that there was a need to change attitudes about Flintshire. He said that 80% of Flintshire was rural but this had not been recognised through the availability of European funding. It was hoped that this would be addressed through the North Wales Growth Bid and although the visitor economy in Flintshire was a relatively small component of the Flintshire economy, it remained an important contributor which generated an estimated £252m each year.
On the North Wales Growth Bid, the Leader of the Council said that Flintshire would be able to take advantage of the capital investment opportunities at Holyhead in terms of Cruise Ships and excursions within a 1 hour radius. He reported that across North Wales the number of Japanese visitors had increased 84% and whilst Flintshire had many attractions, accommodation in the areas was not at the same level as was found in Cornwall or the Lake District.
Councillor Legg commented on Halkyn Mountain and thanked officers for their hard work in maintaining the mountain. He said that signage was important, especially for toilet facilities as this could be problematic for some visitors. He commented on the need to protect common land due to its geology, ... view the full minutes text for item 12.
Members of the Press and Public in Attendance
There were two members of the public and three members of the press in attendance.