Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Streets & Environment Sub-Committee - Tuesday, 31st January, 2023 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX. View directions

Contact: Tom Downs  Email:

No. Item


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 147 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 8th November 2022 as an accurate record.



The Part A and Part B minutes of the meeting held on 8 November 2022 were agreed as an accurate record.


Disclosure of Interests

Members are invited to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests (DPIs) and other registrable and non-registrable interests they may have in relation to any item(s) of business on today’s agenda.


Councillor Foster explained to the Sub-Committee that they worked for a charity that campaigned for ‘everyday walking’, and that this was already included in their register entry.


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.



There were no items of urgent business.



Budget Scrutiny Challenge pdf icon PDF 162 KB

As part of its assurance process on the 2023-24 Council Budget, the Scrutiny & Overview Committee has asked the Streets & Environment Sub-Committee to identify and scrutinise specific budget proposals. This report provides the Streets & Environment Sub-Committee with information to reach a view on the following 2023/24 budget areas :-


1.       Parking Services (including information on the Parking Policy review)

2.       Planning Service (including information on the Planning Transformation programme)

3.       Building Control (including a short update on the Building Control transformation programme)


Scrutiny Chairs have agreed that budget scrutiny will look to satisfy the following questions:


·         Are the proposals financially resilient & sustainable?

Ø  Are the underlying assumptions robust?

Ø  Are the proposals deliverable?

Ø  What risks are there and how can they be managed/mitigated?


·         Have the proposals been fairly prioritised?

Ø  Are the proposals linked to existing priorities/strategies?

Ø  Do they take account of the possible impact on/views of residents?

Ø  Have Equality & Diversity Implications been properly accounted for?

Ø  Are there viable/best practice alternatives to recommend?



The Sub-Committee considered a report set out on pages 17 to 26 of the agenda, which provided specific proposals on the following 2023/24 budget areas: Parking Services; Planning Services; and Building Control. The Sub-Committee went on to review these proposals to determine whether they were resilient and sustainable, and whether they had been fairly prioritised. The Corporate Director of Sustainable Communities, Regeneration and Economic Recovery (SCRER) introduced the item and summarised the report.


Parking Services


Members noted the revised 23/24 budget figures for parking and asked how these had been calculated. The Director for Sustainable Communities informed Members that analysis had been carried out, alongside benchmarking activities on income streams with neighbouring boroughs, to ascertain the correct figures to right size the budget. The Sub-Committee asked specifically about Automatic Number Plate Recognitions (ANPR) cameras and Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), and the possibility that residents were better complying with regulations in the current economic environment. Members heard that resident behaviour had changed significantly over COVID and this had been studied to identify trends, which had been fed into the budget setting process. The Director of Sustainable Communities explained that there was a detailed model to track the issuing of PCNs across the borough; this had identified a downturn in numbers, which had informed the revised budget figures. The Vice-Chair asked about the numbers of residents visiting the Town Centre, and whether this had reduced or if travel habits had changed. The Director of Sustainable Communities explained that this was difficult to track but what had been seen was a downturn in income from Pay and Display with a similar amount of transactions, but for shorter parking periods. The Corporate Director of SCRER explained that differences in working trends, with an increased prevalence of hybrid working, had also contributed to a downturn in commuter traffic and related parking income.


The Sub-Committee asked if there were currently an appropriate number of Civil Enforcement Officers to maximise parking income and enforce traffic regulations. The Director of Sustainable Communities explained that it was currently difficult to recruit to Civil Enforcement Officer posts, and agency workers were being used to fill gaps in the service; other London boroughs were being engaged to see if this was a wider trend and to ascertain if there were different options to tackle the recruitment shortfall. Members asked if this was a wider issue than just Croydon, and heard from the Head of Highways & Parking Services that some other boroughs were using different delivery models, such as outsourced enforcement companies, but these were also often resorting to the use of agency staff to fill vacancies.


Members asked if ANPR schemes were working as predicted and if they were making predicted income targets. The Corporate Director of SCRER explained that there had been delays to the implementation of these schemes over the last 18 months that had affected income collections; there had been two elections over this period that had caused delays to decision making, in addition there has been some  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4/22


Period 7 Financial Performance Report pdf icon PDF 76 KB

The Sub-Committee is asked to scrutinise the information provided with a view to considering whether it is reassured about the delivery of the 2022-23 Sustainable Communities, Regeneration & Economic Recovery Budget.

Additional documents:


The Sub-Committee considered a report set out on pages 27 to 72 of the agenda that provided an upcoming Cabinet Report on Period 7 Financial Performance for Members to ascertain whether they are reassured about the delivery of the 2022-23 Sustainable Communities, Regeneration & Economic Recovery Budget. The Corporate Director for SCRER introduced the item.


Members asked about any new risks to delivering the 2022/23 budget since the Sub-Committee looked at the Period 5 report. The Director for Sustainable Communities explained that pressures in the budget and potential risks were reviewed. Members heard that where risks where highlighted, these were monitored and adjusted as appropriate.


The Chair asked about the ‘other risks’ identified, and what these were. The Corporate Director of SCRER explained that these were contained in Appendices 4 and 5.


The Vice-Chair asked about the underspend projected for the Cycle Parking Capital programme; the Corporate Director of SCRER explained that they did not have this detail but would be able to provide it outside of the meeting.


The Chair asked about ‘CIL substitution for General Fund expenditure’ listed on page 35, and asked how this worked and what it covered. The Corporate Director of SCRER explained that this looked at using the Meaningful Local Proportion element of CIL; as part of this process, the infrastructure funding governance structure would be used to find services that were eligible.


The Chair comments on TfL stating that they were keen to fund capital projects that had a record of successful delivery; it was asked whether the Council pausing new project delivery created a risk that future bids would not be successful or that skilled staff would not be retained. The Corporate Director of SCRER stated that the DfT, Mayor of London and TfL had all been clear that when they funded travel schemes, that these must follow the guidance that they set out on engagement, scheme delivery and the circumstances on whether schemes could be delivered differently. Members heard that there was a risk that funding could be withheld if guidance was not followed or if schemes did not support the relevant transport strategy; as a result, there needed to be a balance between meeting local need and supporting these strategies.


Cabinet Response to Scrutiny Recommendations pdf icon PDF 88 KB

The Streets & Environment Sub-Committee is presented with an up to date list of responses from Cabinet to recommendations made by the Sub-Committee to note.

Additional documents:


On Recommendation 4, Page 76, the Vice-Chair asked why this had been partially accepted. The Director of Sustainable Communities explained that they were currently looking at the specifications for the new Waste Contract, which was using significant resource, and it was difficult to confirm whether budget would be available to fund a pilot scheme at this time.


Scrutiny Work Programme 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 80 KB

The Streets, Environment & Homes Sub-Committee is asked to: -


1.     Note the most recent version of its Work Programme, as presented in the report.


2.     Consider whether there are any other items that should be provisionally added to the work programme as a result of the discussions held during the meeting.

Additional documents:


The Sub-Committee noted the report.