The Committee is asked to consider and respond to the Call-In in accordance with the procedure set out in the Council’s constitution.
Councillor Simon Hoar introduced the Call-In item, outlining the reason why the key decision to introduce emissions based parking charges and diesel surcharges had been called in. It was confirmed that the reason for the call-in related to whether the emissions based parking policy would disproportionately affect vulnerable residents and those least able to fund a new car and as such it was requested that the charging structure be reconsidered.
The Chair explained the process for considering a call-in confirming that the Committee needed to agree whether to review the decision and if it decided to proceed confirm how much time it wished to allocate for discussion of the item. The Committee agreed that it would review the decision and allocated 80 minutes for consideration of the item.
The Chair went on to explain that there were three outcomes that the Committee could reach as a result of the review. These were:-
1. That no further action was necessary and the decision could be implemented as originally intended.
2. To refer the decision back to the decision maker for reconsideration, outlining the nature of the Committee’s concerns
3. To refer the decision to Council, if the Committee considered that the decision taken was outside of the Budget and Policy Framework.
The Chair highlighted that as the reason for the call-in did not raise the possibility that the decision was taken outside of the Budget and Policy Framework, it was unlikely that option 3 would be used in this instance.
The Executive Director for Place, Shifa Mustafa, who had taken the original decision in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport & Regeneration (job share) Councillor Stuart King, addressed the reasons for the call-in highlighting that it was agreed that there was a need to deal with air quality in the borough. During the creation of the policy consideration had been given to the equalities implications of its introduction and it had been concluded that at present the poor air quality in the borough was having a disproportionate impact on residents with protected characteristics as defined in the Equalities Act. As such through introducing an emissions based charging policy that contributed towards improving air quality, there would be benefits for all residents, including those with protected characteristics.
It was also confirmed that access to permits would remain the same as under the present policy and it was likely that access to car parking spaces would improve through the new approach. The increased cost for a permit remained low in comparison to the cost of purchasing a car and the highest charges would only apply to a very small number of residents on a lower income.
The Committee was given the opportunity to question the decision maker, the Cabinet Member and other officers had been involved in the creation of the emissions based policy. From the questions asked, the following was noted:-
· It was confirmed that demographical data had not been asked for as part of the consultation.
· Demographic information on permit ... view the full minutes text for item 22