Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Board - Monday, 31st January, 2022 2.00 pm

Venue: Committee Suite, Civic Centre, Poole BH15 2RU. View directions

Contact: Claire Johnston - 01202 123663  Email:


No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence from Members.


Apologies were received from Cllr S Gabriel.


Substitute Members

To receive information on any changes in the membership of the Committee.


Note – When a member of a Committee is unable to attend a meeting of a Committee or Sub-Committee, the relevant Political Group Leader (or their nominated representative) may, by notice to the Monitoring Officer (or their nominated representative) prior to the meeting, appoint a substitute member from within the same Political Group. The contact details on the front of this agenda should be used for notifications. 



Cllr D Borthwick substituted for Cllr S Gabriel for this meeting of the Board.


Declarations of Interests

Councillors are requested to declare any interests on items included in this agenda. Please refer to the workflow on the preceding page for guidance.

Declarations received will be reported at the meeting.


There were none.


Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 325 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 5 January 2022.


The minutes of the meeting held on 5 January 2022 were agreed as a correct record.


Public Speaking

To receive any public questions, statements or petitions submitted in accordance with the Constitution, which is available to view at the following link:

The deadline for the submission of a public question is 4 clear working days before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a statement is midday the working day before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a petition is 10 working days before the meeting.


There were no public questions, statements or petitions for this meeting.


BCP Surface Water Runoff and Sewage Overflows pdf icon PDF 7 MB

The Overview and Scrutiny Board are asked to consider information presented from both the Environment Agency and Wessex Water regarding issues around water pollution in the BCP area – including Poole Harbour, Christchurch Harbour, the Rivers Stour, Avon and Piddle and Poole Bay coastal outflows. The purpose of this item is to gain a greater understanding of the issues involved and consider the action being taken to address this.


Presentations from Wessex Water and the Environment Agency will be considered, and these will be circulated prior to the meeting.


Relevant officers and the Portfolio Holder for Environment and Place have also been invited to attend the meeting for consideration of this item.




Additional documents:


The Chairman explained that the purpose of this item, originally requested by Board member Cllr C Rigby, was to gain a greater understanding of the issues involved around water pollution in the BCP area and consider the action being taken to address this.


The Board received presentations from Ruth Barden, Director of Environmental Solutions, Wessex Water (WW), and Ian Withers, Area Environment Manager Wessex, Environment Agency (EA). WW had been asked to explain the current situation regarding water pollution: where it comes from, its severity and impact, what was being done to reduce pollution and how long would this take. The EA had been asked to explain its role and responsibilities as regulator, what standards were required and achieved, and what were its future expectations. The presentations were circulated to Board members in advance of the meeting, copies of which appear as Appendix A to these minutes in the Minute Book.


Following their presentations WW and EA responded to a number of points raised by the Board, including:


·       What is being done to monitor water quality all year round?


Board members referred to the rising number of incidents reported by local residents, the growing popularity of cold water swimming and other activities outside of the traditional ‘bathing season’ (May to September). WW reported that it was working with local community volunteers in some locations to take regular and responsive samples out of season and it was working with the surfing community to monitor illness. Board members challenged the statement that swimming with your mouth open may result in illness. WW clarified that even bathing waters graded ‘excellent’ were not free from bacteria, for example from bird and dog fouling, and therefore could potentially cause illness.


The EA acknowledged the need to respond to society’s increasing use of coastal and inland waters all year round and to consider where the costs of making environmental improvements lay. The EA representative undertook to report back to colleagues on the points raised.


·       What is considered to be a storm event, in terms of design and frequency and taking into account climate change?


WW explained that the requirements for sewage infrastructure depended upon the overiding legislation and location. Discharges were permitted up to 10 times per year in the bathing season over a 10 year period average (to allow that some years were wetter than others) and up to three times all year round per year for shellfish areas. These figures were based on rainfall levels and some modelling for climate change. The sewage network was designed for a one in 50 rainfall event but in developing the drainage and waste management plan a higher return period of one on 100 was being considered.


With regard to discharges permitted over the 10 year timescale WW clarified that this did not mean that problems were not investigated and prioritised as they arose.


·       Are WW and EA lobbying Government if the current regulations are considered insufficient to achieve the changes required?


WW was represented on Defra’s storm  ...  view the full minutes text for item 153.


Scrutiny of Transport Related Cabinet Reports pdf icon PDF 223 KB

To consider the following Transport related reports scheduled for Cabinet consideration on 9 February 2022:


   Bus Operator Enhanced Partnership Plan


The O&S Board is asked to scrutinise the reports and make recommendations to Cabinet as appropriate.


Cabinet member invited to attend for this item: Councillor Mike Greene, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Sustainability


The Cabinet report for this item is included with the agenda for consideration by the Overview and Scrutiny Board.


The Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and Transport presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each member of the Board and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'B' to these minutes in the Minute Book. The Portfolio Holder and officers addressed a number of points raised by the Board including:


·       Franchising – The Portfolio Holder confirmed that this had been discussed as an alternative option at an earlier stage but had been disregarded by BCP and the vast majority of other Councils due to the huge resource and commitment required, not least in preparing for it.

·       Governance arrangements – At this stage it was not yet clear whether meetings and minutes would be made public. If so, it was noted that some redaction may be required where issues of commercial sensitivity were disclosed.

·       Bus speed – The Portfolio Holder was asked whether the targeted increase in bus speed would have the desired transformational impact and encourage new bus users. The Portfolio Holder explained that going from 12 to 13.2 miles per hour constituted a 10% increase in speed, which he felt was significant particularly at a time of increasing congestion. Studies showed that even a 1% increase in speed resulted in a 1% improvement in patronage. There were elements in the Plan which targeted both new users and a greater take up by existing users

·       Tackling the school run in order to transform peak journey times – The Portfolio Holder reported that there were aims in the Plan to reduce fares for young people and increase the number of school children using the bus to deal with this key issue.

·       Pricing and Fares – Board members commented on the current cost of bus travel, especially for families, and asked how much influence the Plan could have on the bus companies in reviewing fares and ticketing. The Portfolio Holder explained that although commercial confidentiality did have an impact on the extent of joint discussions with the Council, the partnership aimed for greater cooperation and was a legally binding agreement. He agreed there was a need for proper, simplified cross ticketing. There was also a need to review those high frequency routes with too much cross over of services This could free up drivers and vehicles to enable increased frequency on other routes.

·       ‘Getting About’ Ticket – The Portfolio Holder agreed that this needed to be looked at. It was currently operating with a 20% premium rate, so the 0.05% take up was understandable.

·       A Board member felt that the proposed schemes requiring funding as set out in Annex A were underwhelming - The Portfolio Holder cited one of these schemes, the review of on street parking, as an example which the bus companies had identified as the biggest barrier to reliability and speed. He explained that the Plan needed to be realistic and fully funded to succeed.

·       Lack of direct routes – A Board member commented on how the lack of a direct bus route was a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 154.


Climate Change Enquiry Round Up

To consider any actions, opportunities, next steps or recommendation following the Climate Change Enquiry Session held at the January meeting of the O&S Board.


Board members are asked to consider any actions or recommendations which they would like to propose and to submit these by email to the democratic services officer in advance of the meeting. Only those issues submitted will be discussed at the meeting.


Please refer to the minutes attached to this agenda for the details of the previous meeting. The recording of the enquiry session can be accessed at the following link:






The Chairman explained that the purpose of this item was to consider any actions, opportunities, next steps or recommendations following the Climate Change Enquiry Session held at the Board’s last meeting on 5 January 2022.


As he had not received any recommendations from Board members in advance of the meeting, the Chairman had circulated a draft set of recommendations by email and had amended these to incorporate suggested amendments and additions.


The Board proceeded to debate the draft recommendations and clarified those it wished to consider as part of this item. The following draft recommendations were set aside to be discussed at a later date:


·       That energy management, sustainable energy generation and ecology/biodiversity become a serious inclusion in the development of the Local Plan.

·        That in the absence of safe, reliable, cost-effective alternatives to the car, and acknowledging that many residents will continue to have personal transport, that the Council reconsiders the Parking Supplementary Planning Document and its current detrimental effects on local streets and the potential effect it may have on a decline in the value of housing stocks and the local economy.


Resolved to recommend that the Cabinet notes the Overview and Scrutiny Board’s:


a.     appreciation and acknowledgement of the work carried out by officers for the period of the Annual Report particularly with regard to the reduction in Co2.

b.     recognition that the Climate Team is not yet fully staffed, and that the resources available to date have limited the development of some aspects of the Climate Emergency Strategy, Plans and tasks.

c.     welcome of the additional investment to expand the Climate Emergency Team, and in particular, the appointment of a Head of Climate.

d.     recognition and understanding that it will take some time for the new Climate Team to be recruited and for it to become fully effective.

e.     expectation that a BCP Climate Emergency Strategic Policy and Risk Assessment will be developed, from which an Implementation Plan is produced, that clearly details how the strategic policy is to be achieved. The plan should provide SMART objectives, and  describe the organisation and organisational responsibilities for achieving these. The Strategy, Risk Assessment and the Implementation Plan should cover both the 2030 Council Targets and the 2050 National Targets, and should apply to aspects that are directly under the Control of the Council, and those within the greater BCP area where the Council can lead,  facilitate, and promote the Climate Emergency, through its relationships with organisations, businesses, industry, other partnerships and local residents. It is also requested that the Head of  Climate start a programme of member seminars and climate literacy training for all staff.

f.       expectation that Climate actions are supported with local data where possible to ensure actions are not skewed by the use of misleading national data. Data should include an assessment of emissions of Council employees working from home and this should be included within the Council’s emissions footprint.

g.     expectation that the existing Climate Action Plan i.e. the task list, is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 155.