Venue: Committee Room, First Floor, BCP Civic Centre Annex, St Stephen's Rd, Bournemouth BH2 6LL. View directions
To receive any apologies for absence from Councillors.
Apologies were received from Cllr A Hadley and Cllr N Brooks. Cllr A Hadley was joining the meeting virtually.
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.
There were no substitute members.
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.
Cllr S Gabriel advised for transparency that in relation to agenda item 8, Poole Crematorium fell within his ward.
Cllr H Allen advised for transparency that in relation to agenda item 7, they worked with at team within the NHS which assisted homeless persons.
To receive any public questions, statements or petitions submitted in accordance with the Constitution. Further information on the requirements for submitting these is available to view at the following link:-
The deadline for the submission of public questions is normally 4 clear working days before the meeting. However, due to the late publication of the reports relating to items 8 and 9, the deadline for the submission of questions has been extended to Friday 16 September 2022 for questions relating to these two items only.
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.
The Committee was advised that 5 questions and 4 statements had been received. Questions and statements were read out by members of the public and the Democratic Services Officer as follows:
Question from Ms Boyce in relation to agenda item 6
1. Can the Portfolio-Holder please tell us, in detail, what is being done to improve bus services to Winkton. The Council's "enhanced partnership" with bus operators, whose draft forms Background Paper 2 to the agenda, looks to "increase the frequency of existing services" and "assess the overall bus network ... to identify any gaps in provision" (p. 48). Such gaps are glaringly evident in the Winkton to Christchurch bus service, which operates just three days of the week, twice-daily. I raise this as a Christchurch resident, as there is no Christchurch councillor on this committee who can do so on my behalf.
Response from Cllr M Greene, Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and Transport
Winkton is served by is the morebus 125 which runs two-return journeys between Ringwood and Christchurch via Winkton on each of Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
A new hourly bus service, the 23 route, was introduced in neighbouring Burton at the end of 2021. This is being funded through the DfT Better Deal for Buses programme. Passenger numbers on this service are encouraging and we are hopeful that after three years they will be sufficient to support a long-term commercial route. This service is approximately 500m from Winkton.
The indicative BSIP funding does include a revenue allocation to increase the frequency of some existing bus services. However, this is very much aimed at attracting high numbers of new passengers, and in particular those that would otherwise travel by car. As well as having a positive impact on congestion and air quality, this should also make the bus network more sustainable with a reduced need for subsidy in the future. Very importantly, the Council will also be required to demonstrate value for money with such initiatives.
In contrast to the popularity of the No. 23 Route, the number of passengers boarding the 125 service in Winkton since the start of this year has averaged just over one per week. While an increase in frequency might indeed lead to a corresponding increase in passenger numbers, it is extremely unlikely that increase would be to the extent that it would satisfy the requirements for BSIP funding So, regrettably, I do not expect any expansion of this service.
Questions received from Mr A McKinstry in relation to agenda items 8 and 9:
2. Why were the reports for Items 8 and 9 on tonight's agenda - respectively, the Bereavement Services business plan (including the future of Poole Crematorium), and an update on the BDC - still not available to the public as of 11.45 p.m. on 13 September, the day of the deadline for public questions?
Responses provided by Officers
The Chief Executive and Deputy Leader/Portfolio holder agreed to defer the BDC LLP business plan from 26 October ... view the full minutes text for item 23.
Update on the Bournemouth Development Company LLP
To consider an update on the Bournemouth Development Company.
The Committee is asked to scrutinise and comment on the report and if required to make recommendations or observations as appropriate.
Cabinet members invited to attend for this item: Councillor Phil Broadhead, Portfolio holder for Development, Growth and Regeneration
The Portfolio Holder for regeneration presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'A' to these minutes in the Minute Book. The Committee was informed that Bournemouth Development Company LLP (“BDC”) was a joint venture between BCP Council and MUSE Developments Limited a subsidiary of Morgan Sindall Group plc. As a result of the 7 September 2022 Cabinet Finance Update Muse as Development Manager to BDC are reviewing and updating the Partnership Business Plan (PBP) funding strategy and work programme. It is expected that the PBP will be brought to a future Cabinet for consideration. The purpose of the report was to provide an update on current BDC project activity and note the actions which flowed from an independent review of the BDC governance structure conducted by Local Partnership in March 2021. The Committee raised a number of points in the subsequent discussion, which were responded to by the Portfolio Holder and officers:
· The viability of plans for office schemes given the number of people now working from home. Office demand was being looked at including plans of current users for expansion or contraction. Interest was expected in a particular site as it provided good transport links. The Portfolio Holder advised that potential users want to see firm commitments on developments. There would be further detail available in the Business Plan when published.
· The impact of new developments on the demand for older office space. It was noted there was still a demand for grade A office space and there wasn’t necessarily a direct causation.
· The effects of permitted development on provision of affordable homes. It was noted that whilst provision of homes was positive there were some unintended consequences to be addressed.
· Concerns were raised about buy to rent on some sites and how this could be addressed. BDC were looking to attract local interest in the homes being built and the number of properties being let out would likely be higher through a private developer.
· The hierarchical relationship between FuturePlaces and BDC. There was not one but there were some areas of common interest. Currently FuturePlaces was doing their own piece of work on the Winter Gardens site which would be investigated in terms of the BDC agreement.
· Whether there were any interim uses being looked into for the Winter Gardens site.
· Reprovision of public parking spaces at Eden Glen development site.
· Whether taking something through the open market could have received better financial returns. It was not always necessarily the best approach to take things through market. The Portfolio Holder undertook to provide a written response to this issue.
It was noted that the Business Plan would be considered in the following month by Cabinet.
To consider a verbal update from the Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and Transport to provide the committee with information on Yellow Busses ceasing operations and the wider impact on bus services in the area along with information on the Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) Implementation report which was considered by Cabinet on 7 September.
(Please note that the original wording for this item within the published agenda referred, incorrectly to an unrelated Cabinet report and this has therefore been amended and republished for clarity)
The Portfolio Holder for Transport and Sustainability provided a verbal update to the Committee on the implications of Yellow Busses ceasing services in the area and the implications of the Bus Service Improvement Plan Implementation report which had recently considered by Cabinet a copy of which was circulated to Committee members and a copy of which appears as Appendix ‘B’ to the minutes in the Minute Book. The Portfolio Holder highlighted a number of points including:
· Notification of the final award was still awaited to push forward some of the measures within the Improvement Plan but this was expected in the following few days. It was noted that the report would go forward to Council in November.
· Initiatives highlighted within the paper included, a multi-modal and multi-operational map bringing different providers together, bus priority measures and additional bus shelters.
· Yellow Buses had been loss-making for a few years and covid had a significant impact, with increased home working and home shopping. Despite support from central and local government, passenger numbers had not recovered as quickly as anticipated.
· Go South Coast had not made any attempt to acquire Yellow Buses but had been able to move very quickly to expand their network to cover many Yellow Bus routes. However, there was an issue with sufficient numbers of drivers, and they had set up an emergency recruitment desk. Much of the former network was covered after just one day.
· Yellow Buses was also responsible for three school routes but as they ceased operation during the school holidays additional provision was able to be put in place for the schools’ return.
· Rotes 18,33 and 36 had been picked up by the Zella Group for a 6-month contract, which was currently being retendered and would be in place from February next year.
· The Council had a duty of regard to the overall bus network and were working with Go South Coast.
Members raised a number of issues which were responded to by the Portfolio Holder, including:
· Bus lane enforcement operation in the BCP area. There was no change to this provision, which needed to be done by camera enforcement. The cost of this needed to be balanced against the outcomes. However, the Council were looking at any less cost intensive options.
· The impact of the national capping of bus fares for the winter and the cost of this to the Council. The Portfolio Holder supported this and advised that it would need to be seen whether a reduction in fares would increase bus use significantly. The Portfolio Holder undertook to share the information on this once it became available.
· The price of school bus fares and impact of new contracts which may lead to people moving away from bus use. It was understood that the prices hadn’t increase on school routes. However this was a good point with further consequences beyond school routes.
· Whether it was possible to align bus service fares to BCP areas, parts of BCP were currently outside of Zone 1 ... view the full minutes text for item 25.
The committee has requested a briefing with regard to SWEP and this report seeks to provide a thorough overview regarding this very important and potentially lifesaving intervention. Starting with some background and a description of the current SWEP arrangements and triggers, the report then moves on to discuss the wider offer that is in place all year round for those verified as rough sleeping in the BCP area.
Following some detail regarding outcomes, the report then moves on to look at the protocol review process, including that taking place this year, and underway now, which includes benchmarking with several other Local Authorities.
Finally the importance of partnership working in this area is discussed as well as looking at financial considerations.
The Lead Member for Homelessness presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'C' to these minutes in the Minute Book. The Committee was provided with background and a description of the current SWEP arrangements and triggers, the report also discussed the wider offer in place all year round for those verified as rough sleeping in the BCP area. The report also outlined the review process for the protocol which was currently underway. There were a number of points raised in the subsequent discussion and responded to by the Portfolio Holder, Lead Member and Officers, including:
· The trigger for SWEP when there was a severe weather warning in hot weather. It was noted that even if SWEP was not triggered, the outreach team would still be doing a lot of work to help those sleeping rough. However, the hot whether SWEP protocol was being looked at to ensure clarity.
· It was noted that the Met Office weather report was used by the Council to identify when to trigger SWEP. There was a query as to whether there was any flexibility regarding this. It was noted that this would be picked up in the SWEP review this year, the current mandatory trigger for SWEP was 3 nights with temperatures below zero but there was a level of discretion around triggering this. The Council was also looking at other areas and their arrangements for triggering SWEP. Further work would take place with partners regarding the risk and experience of outreach.
· There was now a mandatory trigger in place for amber and red weather warnings and the review of the SWEP protocol was looking to clarify some of the elements of discretion in triggering SWEP
· The Committee was informed that a number of those accommodated remained inside following the SWEP period. These were people who had an offer of accommodation but for whatever reason had not taken up that offer. It was noted that this was not the ideal way for someone to be accommodated. However, sometimes people had not wanted to accept an offer initially but could then be brought in through SWEP if eligible.
· There was a concern raised that the Committee had not been able to see the proposed protocol for the coming year, it was noted that there was still further work to be done to this.
· Whether there was funding available or a possibility that people accommodated during SWEP could be provided with individual rooms rather than, sometimes less satisfactory, arrangements within communal halls.
The Portfolio Holder praised the partnership work that was underway on this issue. The Committee was informed that the comments from members today should help strengthen the protocol moving forward. The Officers working on SWEP were commended and it was noted had always taken the SWEP responsibility very seriously.
The meeting adjourned at 8.38pm and resumed at 8:45pm
To provide a progress update on the delivery of Bereavement Services Business Plan 2020 - 2026.
This paper sets out an options appraisal, data and evidence for the future Poole Crematorium facility which is a non statutory service provision requirement for Local Authorities
The current provision contributes towards the Council’s income supporting the Medium Term Financial Plan within the context of an increasingly competitive and changing market environment.
The Portfolio Holder for Environment and Place presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'D' to these Minutes in the Minute Book. The report sought to ensure the future need for crematoria facilities in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole was met and provide a progress update on the delivery of Bereavement Services Business Plan 2020 – 2026. The paper set out an options appraisal, data and evidence for the future Poole Crematorium facility. It was noted that the current provision contributed towards the Council’s income supporting the Medium-Term Financial Plan. In response to a comment the Committee was informed that the deceased were transferred sensitively via a private ambulance. In the following discussion a number of points were raised and responded to by the Portfolio Holder and Officers, including:
· How the current situation was arrived at and what action had been taken previously to try to address this. Prior to local government reorganisation the cremators required new parts and parts from other cremators were used for this purpose. At the point of entering the pandemic the decision was taken to close temporarily and use the cremators in Bournemouth. There was built in maintenance schedules for other cremators.
· Whether there had there been any consultation with residents regarding the lack of cremation facilities. There were strong public feelings around the issue, and it didn’t appear much weight had been given to the community impact. Whilst there had not been any public consultation, there had been consultation with funeral directors.
· How and why all three cremators became unserviceable and what options had been explored for reusing or copying parts. It was noted that the equipment was serviced and maintained whilst operational. However, it was no longer possible to bring them back into use. The last major upgrade was 17 years ago, and the normal lifespan of a cremator was 12 years.
· There was ambition to reinstate the cremators in Poole but the changing technology around this would need to be investigated. Installing an electric cremator would require demolishing part of the building and installing a gas cremator would not meet the Council’s carbon reduction aims. There was a desire to invest in a crematorium which would meet all the needs of the community. It was suggested that there should be a technical report in place to confirm that it was not feasible to bring the equipment back into service. It was noted that the technical report had already been produced and would be shared with members.
· Concerns were raised regarding the implications of delaying instillation of new cremators to investigate emerging technologies and the timescale involved. The knowledge around the new technology was not yet good enough and the Portfolio Holder advised that they wanted to wait for better data on this before deciding on the most appropriate course of action to ensure best use of capital expenditure.
· The impact that direct cremations or unattended cremations were having on ... view the full minutes text for item 27.
The Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee is asked to consider and approve the attached work plan for the Committee.
The Work Plan includes provision for a working group to support the development of the BCP Council Tree Strategy. The Committee is asked to approve the establishment of this working group which will consider a defined scope for its work at it initial meeting.
The Chair presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'E' to these Minutes in the Minute Book. The Chair advised that he had asked for an update to come forward on the changes in the budget how it may affect services within the remit of the Committee. Which would be an additional item to add to the next meeting but would be intended to provide a quick update
The Chairman advised that he appreciated the feedback from everyone in terms of the work the Committee would be looking at. The Chairman asked to include engagement with O&S for the Cabinet report on Poole Town Quay.
The Chairman advise that he would welcome the Tree Strategy Working Group and the Committee agreed to proceed with this.
A member referred to a paper coming forward in terms of Leisure Services. It was noted that this was in the remit of Corporate and Community O&S Committee and would be scrutinised by that Committee.
Future Meeting Dates
The meeting dates for the remainder of the municipal year are as follows:
Wednesday 16 November 2022
Wednesday 1 March 2023
The dates for the next meetings were noted.