Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Streets, Environment & Homes Sub-Committee - Tuesday, 29th September, 2020 6.30 pm

Venue: This meeting is being held remotely; to view the meeting, please click here

Contact: Stephanie Davis
020 8726 6000 x84384  Email: stephanie.davis@croydon.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

10/20

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 381 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 4 February 2020 as an accurate record.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 4 February 2020 were agreed as an accurate record.

11/20

Disclosure of Interests

In accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct and the statutory provisions of the Localism Act, Members and co-opted Members of the Council are reminded that it is a requirement to register disclosable pecuniary interests (DPIs) and gifts and hospitality to the value of which exceeds £50 or multiple gifts and/or instances of hospitality with a cumulative value of £50 or more when received from a single donor within a rolling twelve month period. In addition, Members and co-opted Members are reminded that unless their disclosable pecuniary interest is registered on the register of interests or is the subject of a pending notification to the Monitoring Officer, they are required to disclose those disclosable pecuniary interests at the meeting. This should be done by completing the Disclosure of Interest form and handing it to the Democratic Services representative at the start of the meeting. The Chair will then invite Members to make their disclosure orally at the commencement of Agenda item 3. Completed disclosure forms will be provided to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion on the Register of Members’ Interests.

Minutes:

There were none.

12/20

Urgent Business (if any)

To receive notice of any business not on the agenda which in the opinion of the Chair, by reason of special circumstances, be considered as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

13/20

Croydon Climate Crisis Commission pdf icon PDF 305 KB

To receive an update on the Croydon Climate Crisis Commission.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The leader of the Council, Tony Newman introduced and outlined the report in a Presentation

 

A Guest representative from the Citizens Assembly added that there was a good diverse mix of people on the Assembly. All involved contributed, engaged and voiced their different views and opinions. There was some commonality of ideas and trends such as communication, awareness and engagement with the public.

 

Following the presentation, Members has the opportunity to raise questions.

 

A Member expressed that this issue cut across the portfolio of many Cabinet Members and asked what was being done to assign political leadership. The Leader responded that this issue was an important issue and as a Cabinet was everyone’s responsibility and not specifically one person. As a result, leadership responsibilities had been assigned to all Cabinet Members.

 

An invited guest commented that it was difficult to interpret what the ambition of the Commission was through the presentation given and would question if aspirations were ambitious enough. The leader said that the task at hand was a mammoth one and would want to see ambitious recommendations come out of the Commission.

 

A Member challenged the lack of pace since the Climate emergency was declared in 2019 and that the Corporate Action Plan would not be available till 2021. The Leader acknowledged this point and advised that events of Covid had impacted pace. A draft report or early recommendations which may prompt early intervention or action would be welcomed but it would be down to the Commission to decide the feasibility of this. The Executive Director of Place agreed that there was a need for increased pace and whilst the impact of Covid had slowed down the work of the Commission, there were also positives that had been experienced such as the implementation of Low Traffic neighbourhoods (LTN).

 

In response to a Member question on what the key opportunities and challenges in light of financial and resource constraints were, officers said that the benefit of Covid had been the environmental impact whilst there had been challenges due to economic impact. Further details would emerge as wok progressed and it was important to find a balance in order to achieve the aspiration of a truly sustainable Borough. The Leader added that whilst there has been impact on finance and resources, the true impact would be on attitudes and responses to change. There were proposed changes to the transport network which was underway with improvements to road networks to support pedestrians and cyclists. The challenge to the Mayor and Central Government was for investment in green economy and jobs and it was important for a case to be made collectively on these matters.

 

A Member commented that more should be done to identify and utilise skills within the community as opposed to paying for consultant expertise where unnecessary. The use of expertise of partnerships such as Croydon College was suggested as a means to counteract financial pressure.

 

An invited Guest commented that following attendance at the Commission meetings a small  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13/20

14/20

Planning for the future: White Paper pdf icon PDF 482 KB

To discuss the key elements of the governments ‘Planning for the Future’ White Paper and the planning implications for Croydon.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Regeneration ( job share), Councillor Paul Scott introduced and outlined the report in a Presentation

 

Following the presentation, Members had the opportunity to ask questions.

 

A Member commented that the proposal presented opportunities, with some possibly controversy as the paper was designed to be England wide with ideas that may not work as well in London as they may in other parts of the country. This may present an opportunity for challenge and rethink and it was asked how prepared Croydon was to challenge and be radical and bold in its response. The Cabinet Member responded that they were keen to hear people views and there would always be differences in planning arrangements. It was right that radical change was needed and the difference on cases of London for consideration was welcomed. Whilst there was currently a huge housing crisis, systems needed to be in place to address that crisis. Balance was needed on listening and involving communities against understanding of the task at hand. It was also vital that consideration be given to the production of a national strategy on housing distribution. The pandemic had made people rethink how and where they live. Officers added that the absence of detail of how the proposals would work in London was at the fore front of many Boroughs who would undoubtedly make representation about the absence of London specific detail in the proposals.

 

A Member asked what was being done by way of an assessment of strengths and weaknesses of the white paper in terms of design of schemes. The Cabinet Member responded that there was serious challenges to deliver on quality of design. Permitted developments have not delivered on design quality to date It was difficult to enforce on high quality design due to the limited control the Local Authority (LA) had and implementing a design code to cover the whole borough or specific areas would be challenging. There was significant risk of eroding character with the current proposals. Officers added that there was in place national set development policies which was similar in many local plans across the country, with fall-back position on permitted developments. There was opportunity to breach the gap presented by the White Paper but the complexities of doing so could not be underestimated, in particular, how a borough was defined in order to produce the codes.

 

 

An invited guest commented that whilst there were difficulties in streamlining the finer details of design codes, it would prove to be beneficial in the end as it would mean that there were detailed guideline in place to be adhered to with more examples of good practice. The Cabinet Member said that one of the challenges is that it may be restrictive on innovative design as the nature of innovative design is that it was undefinable due to fluidity in that what was innovative now may not be in a year or two. General keeping in character of an area whilst allowing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14/20

15/20

Exclusion of the Press and Public

The following motion is to be moved and seconded where it is proposed to exclude the press and public from the remainder of a meeting:

 

“That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information falling within those paragraphs indicated in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.”

Minutes:

This was not required.