17 November 2021




The Transport Economy and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee has a remit that includes the following:


·         Transport and communications infrastructure of all kinds, however owned or provided, and how the transport needs of the community are met

·         Supporting business, helping people develop their skills, including lifelong learning

·         Sustainable development, climate change strategy, countryside management, waste management, environmental conservation and enhancement flooding and cultural issues.


There has been one meeting of the committee and one Mid Cycle Briefing since my last statement to Council.


The Mid Cycle Briefing held on 9 September 2021 looked at the report and recommendations of the Rural Commission and the Road Safety partnership Safer Roads Strategy 2021-26.  Comments were made on both items to inform the reports that were being taken to the Executive for consideration, at their meeting on 21 September 2021.


Regarding the report and recommendations of the Rural Commission, those members present highlighted the following:


·         The importance of the role of the Advisory Taskforce in guiding the implementation of the recommendations.  It was recognised that it is relatively simple to write a report with recommendations but its implementation across a range of organisations would be challenging

·         Technology will have a key role to play in addressing many of the issues raised in the report of the commission, particularly high speed broadband

·         There is a need to understand the long term impact of the pandemic and how this has and will shape how people live in rural areas.


Those present concluded that the following issues arising from the commission report be included in the committee work programme: social and cheap, rentable housing; electrical infrastructure and power generation, particularly hydro-electric; and digital technology.


The Transport Economy and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee is the lead committee for the scrutiny of the report and recommendations of the Rural Commission.


The meeting of the committee on 21 October 2021 had a strong environmental theme with a review of: the progress being made with the Council's Carbon Reduction Plan; efforts to reduce single plastics use; and the performance of the Allerton Waste Recovery Park.  In addition, there was a briefing on hydro-electric energy generation in rural communities.


At the meeting, there was a great deal of interest in understanding how work to mitigate climate change could be accelerated and barriers to innovation and the development of small, community-led electricity generation schemes removed.  There was also some concern that the work to reduce the use of single use plastics by the Council had not progressed significantly, albeit that the impact upon key council services of the response to the pandemic was understood.


The next meeting of the committee is on 20 January 2022 and is likely to have the following items on the agenda:


·         The annual update on the work of the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership

·         The annual update on maintenance and improvement activity on Highways England’s roads in North Yorkshire (A1 (M), M62, A65, A66, A64 and A19)

·         A review of the implementation of the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy

·         An overview of the national changes to kerbside waste collection and domestic and commercial waste processing, should the new guidance be available at that time.


The final meeting of the committee is on 13 April 2022.  This falls within the pre-election period, ahead of the 5 May 2022 County Council elections, and so it likely to be a more restricted agenda.




Chairman of the Transport Economy and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee

1 November 2021