Venue: Council Chamber, Harrogate Civic Centre, St Luke's Avenue, Harrogate HG1 2AE
Contact: Ruth Gladstone Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To decide whether these Minutes can be confirmed and signed by the Chairman as correct records.
(a) That the Minutes of the meeting held on 9 June 2022, having been printed and circulated, be taken as read and be confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
(b) That the Minutes of the special meeting held on 28 July 2022, having been printed and circulated, be taken as read and be confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
Declarations of Interest
County Councillor Philip Broadbank declared that he was a member of Harrogate Civic Society.
Anyone who would like to ask a question or make a statement at the meeting should email notice of their wish to do so, including the full text of what they intend to say, to Ruth.Gladstone@northyorks.gov.uk as soon as possible, and by midday on Friday 8 October 2022 at the latest. Speakers are each asked not to exceed 3 minutes’ speaking time and to read out only the statement/question of which they have submitted notice, without adding to or altering it. No person may submit more than one question or statement. No more than one question may be asked, or statement made, on behalf of one organisation. The overall time available for public questions or statements is 30 minutes.
If you are asking a question or making a statement at this meeting but do not wish to be recorded, please inform the Chairman who will instruct those taking a recording to cease whilst you speak.
The Chairman advised that five notices had been received from members of the public who wished to make statements or ask questions at this meeting. Four were taken at this stage of the meeting and one was taken under item “20mph Speed Limit and Zone Policy”.
Harlow and Pannal Ash Residents’ Association – Otley Road Cycleway
Mr Rene Dziabas, on behalf of Harlow and Pannal Ask Residents’ Association, advised of the results of a survey which the Association had conducted of residents and businesses along Otley Road regarding the Otley Road Cycleway, and requested full, meaningful and proper consultation during option development stage for the remainder of the scheme. Louise Neale (Team Leader Transport Planning, Highways and Transportation) responded. The full statement, together with the response provided by Louise Neale, are set out at Appendix A to these minutes.
Harrogate and District Cycle Action – Cycling Related Issues
Mr Kevin Douglas, on behalf of Harrogate and District Cycle Action, made a statement to explain the background of the organisation, highlight some key issues, and outline some proposals that they felt would address lack of progress. Louise Neale (Team Leader Transport Planning, Highways and Transportation) responded. The full statement, together with the response provided by Louise Neale, are set out at Appendix B to these minutes.
Harrogate Civic Society
Mr Stuart Holland, on behalf of Harrogate Civic Society, made a statement to bring the Society’s work to the committee’s attention and expressing the wish to play an active and constructive role with the new North Yorkshire Council. Ruth Gladstone (Principal Democratic Services Officer) read out a response of County Councillor Simon Myers (Executive Member for Planning and Growth). The full statement, together with the response of County Councillor Simon Myers, are set out at Appendix C to these minutes.
Pannal and Burn Bridge Parish Council
Parish Councillor Howard West, on behalf of Pannal and Burn Bridge Parish Council, made a statement asking what had happened to the costed and detailed plan for traffic on the west of Harrogate to cope with the housing developments and projected employment sites in the west of Harrogate. The Parish Council also asked for the Maltkin survey to be shelved until the matters regarding the lanes and former cart tracks to the west of Harrogate had been solved. Louise Neale (Team Leader Transport Planning, Highways and Transportation) responded. Parish Councillor Howard West asked a supplementary question, to which Allan McVeigh (Head of Network Strategy, Highways and Transportation) responded. The full statement, supplementary question, and the responses provided by officers, are set out at Appendix D to these minutes.
A Committee Member proposed referring, to the County Council’s Executive, the statement of Pannal and Burn Bridge Parish Council, together with the response provided by officers, in order to obtain a clear policy from the Executive about its view concerning the urban expansion to the west of Harrogate. The motion was seconded.
A Member who supported the motion commented that he was intrigued about the Parish Council’s ... view the full minutes text for item 17.
Joint report of the Corporate Director – Business and Environmental Services and the Principal Democratic Services Officer
Purpose: To provide information to inform a discussion by the Committee.
Considered: A statement from 20’s Plenty for North Yorkshire Harrogate, and a joint report of the Corporate Director – Business and Environmental Services and the Principal Democratic Services Officer concerning 20mph speed limits.
Note: During discussion, County Councillor Pat Marsh declared an interest on the grounds that she and her late husband, 15 years previously, had asked the County Council to implement 20mph speed limits.
Malcolm Margolis BEM, on behalf of 20’s Plenty for North Yorkshire Harrogate, made the following statement:-
“20s Plenty is asking your committee to support making 20mph the default speed limit in towns and villages in this constituency as the first step to implementing default 20mph throughout North Yorkshire. This is in order to: (1) achieve a 20mph speed limit on roads which are currently 30mph, with exceptions where a higher speed limit is demonstrably safe, particularly for vulnerable road users, and (2) demonstrate to the Highways Authority the demand for 20mph county-wide, making it both cheaper and easier to implement across the county and achieving better driver compliance.
Speed limits are set by the County Council as the Highway Authority. Demonstrating widespread community support is critical to securing the County’s agreement to implement 20mph widely.
28 million people in the UK live in areas where the highway authority supports 20mph. Counties such as Oxfordshire and Lancashire in England, have agreed 20mph for every settlement, as has Wales. Scotland has decided to offer 20mph widely and places like Warrington have 20mph in all their satellite villages. Well over 100 North Yorkshire parish councils have voted for default 20mph.
20mph is popular. Government and other surveys consistently find 70% support in residential streets which rises after 20mph limits are introduced. 20mph saves lives, reduces severity of injuries, CO2 and NOX emissions, improves quality of life, is quieter, very cost effective, costing £3-£5 person with payback in a few months thanks to fewer casualties. It means fewer potholes, a major cost saving, and is sustainable, encouraging more people to walk and cycle. It has little impact on journey times. It is enforceable like any speed limit. Valuable speed reductions occur, even without regular police enforcement. The DfT says for every 1% reduction in average speed there are 6% fewer accidents. Making 20mph the norm does not require humps and chicanes. Signed schemes and public engagement offer seven times better value for money than heavily-engineered schemes.
20mph zones around schools only, achieve little or nothing. 80% of road accidents involving children are not on school journeys. People need to be able to walk and cycle safely from home to school, friends, relatives, play areas and other destinations.
The 30mph limit was introduced in 1935 to tackle a spate of road casualties. I hope you agree it is no longer fit for purpose. For the many social, environmental and economic benefits described above, please support default 20mph to make our communities safer and better places to live. Thank you.”
Allan McVeigh (Head of Network Strategy) responded, as follows, to the ... view the full minutes text for item 18.
Report of County Councillor Arnold Warneken (Sub-Group Chair)
Purpose: To report the proceedings of the recent meeting of the Climate Change Sub-Group to the Area Constituency Committee.
Considered: A report of the proceedings of the recent meeting of the Committee’s Climate Change Sub-Group.
County Councillor Arnold Warneken, Chair of the Sub-Group, introduced the report, commenting that this had been a very interesting and informative meeting. He expressed his thanks the officers who had contributed to the Sub-Group’s meeting. He suggested the following:-
· The Sub-Group should meet again to discuss where they saw it could take this on behalf of the Area Constituency Committee in terms of which of the topics and priorities should be taken on.
· The Sub-Group should spread its learning and therefore:-
· The presentation, which had been given at the Sub-Group’s meeting by the Climate Change Officers, should be forwarded to all Committee Members. Ruth Gladstone undertook to email the presentation to all Committee Members.
· All Members and staff should be encouraged to do the 90 minutes on-line Climate Change training available via the Learning Zone.
· A full-day’s carbon literacy training should be provided for all Members of the County Council. Another Member commented that this was already available.
There was a discussion about whether other area constituency committees had Climate Change Sub-Groups. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman undertook to raise this suggestion at the meeting to be held on 21 October 2022 of Area Constituency Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs.
That the report, together with discussion at this meeting, be noted.
A short comfort break was held at this stage of the meeting
Report of the Corporate Director – Business and Environmental Services.
Replacement report attached.
Purpose: To provide an update, as requested by Committee Members, on the progress of this study.
Considered: A report of the Corporate Director – Business and Environmental Services which provided an update on the progress of stage 2 of the Harrogate Transport Improvements Programme which built on the findings of the extensive Harrogate Congestion Study public engagement of 2019.
Louise Neale (Team Leader Transport Planning, Highways and Transportation) introduced the report and highlighted, amongst other things, that a further report, setting out the findings and recommendations at the conclusion of the study, would be brought to a meeting of this Area Constituency Committee in the first half of 2023.
In response to Members’ questions, Louise Neale confirmed the following:-
· When the Council received new Active Travel Fund announcements, officers looked back through the full range of previously suggested schemes and brought forward those which were the ‘best fit’ for the criteria accompanying that announcement.
· A high level assessment was progressing for a stand-alone Killinghall bypass. A report had been received very recently and officers were currently assessing it.
· The funding which the County Council had available was Action Travel Fund. Officers had had conversations with Active Travel England who accepted that the County Council, along with other councils, had not been able to deliver within the very short timescales which were initially set out. Active Travel England were happy for officers to work with them to come to agreed designs. There were no suggestions about having to hand funding back.
Members discussed the report and made the following points:-
· The earlier reports by consultants WPS had included some easy quick wins, eg putting electric signs on bus shelters to show what time the next bus/train would be arriving. County Councillor Paul Haslam asked to see a checklist of all those easy quick wins, together with information to show what had happened to each.
· Consideration should be given to train travel. In particular, the latest Integrated Rail Transport Policy covering Leeds included a very interesting type of metro system and this should be extended to include Harrogate and York. Harrogate Borough Council had already written to Leeds to ask for Harrogate to be part of that system.
· To take traffic off the A61, there should be a train station on Claro Road. This was supported by the Liberal Democrat Group.
· A Member asked for a footpath to be provided between Killinghall and the Greenway in order to take traffic off the road network.
· Any assessment undertaken for a new cycling scheme or a new walking scheme should include a measurement of the number of cars which that scheme would take off the road.
· It was a puzzle how safe cycling could be introduced along Wetherby Road and Skipton Road, which were amongst the busiest roads in Harrogate.
· The traffic tail-backs along Wetherby Road were unbelievably long and continuous 24/7, and this road needed to be looked at.
· The Showground would be a better location for park and ride rather than Leeds Road. Leeds Road was so close to the town that it would not encourage many people ... view the full minutes text for item 20.
Report of the Corporate Director – Business and Environmental Services
Purpose: To identify local cultural assets.
Considered: A report of the Corporate Director – Business and Environmental Services setting out the Cultural Framework for North Yorkshire which had been endorsed by the County Council’s Executive on 8 March 2022. The Executive had asked for the Framework to be submitted to each of the area constituency committees.
Mark Kibblewhite (Senior Policy Officer, Growth, Planning and Trading Standards) introduced the report and gave a presentation to highlight key issues within the Framework. He highlighted that the Framework was part of an on-going conversation to provide an overarching direction of travel, and to act as a catalyst for conversation, partnership brokering and investment including securing both public and private sector funding. The intention was for the new North Yorkshire Council to produce a Cultural Strategy and this Framework was a first step into something much bigger and better that was rooted in the work of the new Authority. The Framework made a good case for the role of culture in supporting health, local economies and local communities.
In response to Members’ questions, Mark Kibblewhite provided the following further information:-
· Mark Kibblewhite was unsure whether the “Think Harrogate” study had been used in the Framework. He was aware, however, that colleagues from Harrogate Borough Council and Destination Harrogate had been on the partnership working group which had developed the Framework.
· There was nothing in the document that said that school halls could not be used as cultural spaces or that those spaces were not valid or important.
· Each community network would decide the content and development of its own 10 year plan.
Members discussed the report and made the following points:-
· There were many gaps in the Framework, for example, there was no mention of brass banding, the Bad Apple Theatre Company, and there were several gaps relating to Knaresborough such as the Castle, Knaresborough FEVA, and the great Knaresborough bed race. In response, Mark Kibblewhite accepted the limitations of the audit but highlighted that the Framework supported the value of these events/work. As such, when the organisation talked to authorities/Arts Council about what it did, it was supported by the work which had been done to highlight the benefits of that activity.
· A Member advised that he was really disappointed by the Framework because:- it did not set a direction in terms of that which can now be used within the heart and the cultural drive which he believed would come through community networks; there were many gaps in the Framework; the Framework felt very top-down, whereas it should have been bottom-up; and he had checked the credentials of the arts development company Mustard& who had been commissioned to develop the Framework and he felt that the two individuals in Mustard& had not had the skills to produce a strategic Framework of this sort. The Member expressed that opinion that someone should have ‘pulled the plug’ on the Framework during the process because Covid had made it really difficult to deliver this sort of engagement process. He felt that ... view the full minutes text for item 21.
Report of the Principal Democratic Services Officer
Purpose of the report: To ask Members to consider, amend and add to the Committee’s work programme.
Considered: The Work Programme for the Committee to consider and amend.
Ruth Gladstone suggested the following changes to the Work Programme:-
· The deletion of the North Yorkshire Rural Commission’s Update because a report on this matter was scheduled to be considered by the Executive in November 2022.
· The inclusion of a report on the Harrogate Transport Improvements Programme – Stage 2 Findings and Recommendations, for a meeting of the Committee to be held in the first half of 2023.
· The inclusion of a report on the Harrogate Station Gateway project, for a meeting of the Committee to be held in early 2023.
· The scheduling of a presentation about fuel poverty, for the Committee’s meeting to be held on 24 November 2022.
County Councillor Hannah Gostlow referred to river pollution at Knaresborough and suggested that this should be an issue for discussion with the MP at the Committee’s special meeting on 10 November 2022. She also advised that the Knaresborough community felt that having a Designated Bathing Area was the only way to get action from Yorkshire Water in terms of making the river water cleaner. However, fast action was needed for the submission of an application for a Designated Bathing Area and the investigation could not wait until the Committee’s meeting in March 2023, as currently indicated on the Work Programme. She proposed the setting up of a Task and Finish Working Group to investigate the submission of an application for a Designated Bathing Area. Various Members volunteered to be part of the Task and Finish Group.
Members asked about the timing of the submission of further information concerning the Harrogate Station Gateway project.
The Chairman reported that she was pressing the LGR Member Working Group on Planning to have for responsibility for planning devolved to a sub-committee of this Committee so that Harrogate and Knaresborough Members made decisions locally instead of decisions being made by Members from across North Yorkshire. She was also pressing for the Committee to be a consultee on licensing and highway matters because it was very important that Harrogate and Knaresborough Members had input into such consultations.
(a) That the Work Programme be approved, subject to the suggestions put forward by Ruth Gladstone.
(b) That river water quality at Knaresborough be put forward for discussion with the MP at the Committee’s meeting on 10 November 2022.
(c) That a Task and Finish Group, comprising County Councillors Hannah Gostlow, Monika Slater, Paul Haslam and Arnold Warneken, be established to investigate the submission of an application for a Designated Bathing Area at Knaresborough.
(d) That Highways Officers be asked to provide a short briefing note for Members in two months’ time containing a further update on Harrogate Station Gateway project.