Agenda and draft minutes
Commissioned Scrutiny Slot, Economy and Place Policy and Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 30 January 2023 5.30 pm
Venue: The George Hudson Board Room - 1st Floor West Offices (F045). View directions
Contact: Angela Bielby Democracy Officer
Note: Commissioned Scrutiny Slot
Declarations of Interest [17.35]
At this point in the meeting, Members are asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary interest or other registerable interest they might have in respect of business on this agenda, if they have not already done so in advance on the Register of Interests.
The Chair welcomed all to the meeting, including Members of the Climate Emergency Policy and Scrutiny who had been invited to attend the meeting.
Public Participation [17.36]
At this point in the meeting members of the public who have registered to speak can do so. Members of the public may speak on agenda items or on matters within the remit of the committee.
Please note that our registration deadlines have changed to 2 working days before the meeting, in order to facilitate the management of public participation at meetings. The deadline for registering at this meeting is 5:00pm on Thursday 26 January 2023.
To register to speak please visit www.york.gov.uk/AttendCouncilMeetings to fill in an online registration form. If you have any questions about the registration form or the meeting, please contact Democratic Services. Contact details can be found at the foot of this agenda.
Webcasting of Public Meetings
Please note that, subject to available resources, this meeting will be webcast, including any registered public speakers who have given their permission. The meeting can be viewed live and on demand at www.york.gov.uk/webcasts.
The Chair reported he had received a late registration to speak from the Pesticides Action Network and as Chair he could accept late registrations. The registration had been withdrawn and he had spoken with the network regarding the points they wished to raise. The Executive Member for Transport suggested that the network should have been invited to the meeting and the Chair noted that it was an opportunity missed. There were no further registrations to speak under the Councils Public Participation Scheme.
Weed Management Update [17.38] PDF 177 KB
This report provides an overview on how the council manages weeds on the highway and open spaces.
The Chair advised that only Members of the Economy and Place Policy and Scrutiny Committee were eligible to vote at the meeting. Members considered a report that provided an overview on how the council manages weeds on the highway and open spaces. Head of Environmental Services, Director of Environment, Transport and Planning and Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change were in attendance to present the report. The Head of Environmental Services gave an overview of the report. The Chair highlighted the councils cross party commitment to remove glyphosate and the commitment made at Full Council in respect of this.
In response to Member questions, the Head of Environmental Services, Director of Environment, Transport and Planning and Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change explained that:
· Regarding the eradication of glyphosate from the streets, this was about appraising the different types of weed treatment along with the management of highways. There were manual methods for the treatment of weeds such as burning and the hot foam method (noting the hot foam method had an environmental impact). The Head of Environmental Services undertook to look into The Guardian article on the links between glyphosate and cancer. The Director of Environment, Transport and Planning noted that as the Highways Authority, the council had 4,000 miles of highways to maintain.
· Asked why the Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward did not enter the pilot, the Executive Member (Ward Member for that Ward) explained that Ward residents did not want their Ward spraying and she added that the concentration of the weed killer was being phased down. She noted that she had been contacted by residents whose Wards had been entered into the pilot without being asked.
· There had been an error on the second spray at Hazel Court and the trial had started again.
· A number of councils were trialling hot foam and with mixed results.
· A weed wipe was a wipe put on thistle heads to stop seeds developing and spreading.
· There was no breakdown for the percentage of weeding done manually. Crews undertook manual weeding in parks and open spaces.
· Regarding how much glyphosate needed to be applied, the contractor provided the breakdown for this. The amount used would not be stronger as it was a treatment.
· It was clarified that Wheldrake Ward was included in the pilot.
· It was confirmed that Cllr Vassie’s Wheldrake Ward report was included at Annex 6 of the report.
· Glyphosate was sprayed from quadbikes and was used as a spot treatment for the outbreak of plants such as giant spotweed.
· Concerning the mechanical prevention of weeks growing on curbs, six sweepers of different size were used in the city and it was explained how roads were swept on different frequencies. In the department there had been a restructure and the new operations manager would be looking at this.
· Concerning whether a suction approach for weed control would be an option, mechanical sweepers were used across the city and the challenge was maintaining this across the highway ... view the full minutes text for item 14.
Public Electric Vehicle Charging Network [19.13] PDF 745 KB
This report provides an update on the Public Electric Vehicle Charging Network.
Members considered a report that provided an update on the Public Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Network. The EV Strategy Transport Systems Team Officer, Director of Transport Environment and Planning, Head of Highways and Transport and Executive Member for Transport were in attendance to present the report. The EV Strategy Transport Systems Team Officer outlined the report which detailed the delivery to date.
During discussion, a number of Members suggested that EV charging on terraced street should be part of public provision. In response to Member questions, the EV Strategy Transport Systems Team Officer, Director of Transport Environment and Planning, Head of Highways and Transport and Executive Member for Transport explained that:
· The report referred to public charging within the council’s own network. The council had engaged with the Energy Saving Trust on the public EV charging strategy, along with the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV). The work with the Energy Saving Trust was and OZEV detailed.
· The council was working on a hyperhub in the city centre and as technology emerged, changing technology would provide different solutions.
· The challenges faced in introducing on street EV charging.
· The Chair of the Climate Emergency and Policy Scrutiny detailed an Oxford gulley EV charging trial. Officers explained the complexities of type of EV charging noting that it was not clear how it met electricity regulations. They added that information in the public domain reinforced a number of concerns regarding the product.
· Regarding cables running across highways, this had occurred in York and within the OZEV group of authorities there was concerns with a number of authorities not looking at taking that technology forward at present. The council was taking a watching brief on trials taking place.
[The EV Strategy Transport Systems Team Officer left the meeting at 19.49]
· Officers offered Members reassurance that the council was looking at different EV options.
· At the moment the EV strategy was through the public network and the council was investigating options for on street EV charging.
· With reference to a suggestion from a Member that it was felt that terraced areas were being left behind by the current strategy, officers explained that the strategy at present said that EV charging should take place in public car parks.
· A Member referred to a pilot in Hampshire where cables were run across the pavement. Officers advised that energy companies did not allow this. They noted the purpose of pilot studies and the Chair suggested that there were inconsistencies in the approach to trials.
· The Chir of the Climate Change Policy and Svrutiny Committee suggested two recommendations in respect of EV charging. This was to consult with residents on terraced streets and to organise a trial of gulley EV charging on terraced streets.
· There was a regulatory environment (framework)? being developed for EV charging and officers from the council sat on he steering groups for this.
· Officers asked Members if there were any terraced streets in particular they could undertake consultation on EV charging with. Members suggested streets ... view the full minutes text for item 15.