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Meeting Details

Executive Scrutiny Committee
16 Jan 2017 - 18:30 to 21:22
Occurred
  • Documents
  • Attendance
  • Officers in Attendance
  • Declarations of Interests

Documents

Agenda

Items
1. Welcome and Introductions

The Chair to welcome Councillors and colleagues to the meeting.

2. Apologies

To receive any apologies of absence.

3(a) pdf Minutes (294Kb)

To approve, and the Chair to sign as a correct record, the Minutes of the meeting of the Executive Scrutiny Committee held on 15 November 2016 (Item 3(a)).

3(b) pdf Minutes (306Kb)

To approve, and the Chair to sign as a correct record, the Minutes of the meeting of the Executive Scrutiny Committee held on 5 December 2016 (Item 3(b)).

4. Disclosures of Interest

Councillors to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests, or personal interests (including other pecuniary interests) they may have in the business to be transacted, and officers to disclose any interests they may have in any contract to be considered.

5. Meeting Procedure

The Chair to outline the procedure to be followed at the meeting.

On 20 December 2016, Councillor Gifford (Cabinet member for Place) made the following decision in respect of the Parking Charge Review:

"That the proposals contained within the hierarchy at the Annex attached are approved with effect from 1 April 2017 with amendments to give effect to phasing the increases for the Low Carbon Vehicle Permit and the Multi-Occupancy Vehicle Permit over the next two financial  years."

The Delegated Decision has been called in by Councillors Bint and McLean:

I hereby call-in the Delegated Decision taken on 20 December 2016 by Councillor Gifford titled Parking Charge Review.  I do this in conjunction with Councillor McLean, the Conservative shadow portfolio-holder for Highways.  The decision was described by members of the public as being “invidious”, “unfair” and “regressive”, and I agree with all those comments.  More formally, the reasons for this call-in are as follows:

1.    All the fee changes are increases, yet there is no rationale being put forwards for a net increase in fees, and the justification put forwards by most officers for the changes is to address inconsistencies between the different fee levels.  Given the massive (£11m) annual surplus on parking, there can be no justification for a net increase for any reason other than traffic management reasons, and no such justification has been put forwards.  Any net increase in parking tariffs based on the rationale in the paper and as expounded by officers at the meeting is therefore unjustified and unacceptable.

2.    There can be no justification for reducing the attractiveness of relatively low-carbon modes of travel.  Yet that is precisely what the officer report seeks to achieve.  The modes of travel facing these fee increases are precisely the modes of travel that the Council should be trying to make more attractive, so more people use these modes of travel, compared to other forms of parking (i.e.  a single-occupancy private car).  The increase of these tariffs is therefore contrary to the Council’s adopted objectives for reducing total carbon footprint and contrary to the Council’s adopted objectives for modal shift, and is therefore unacceptable.  If the current Administration has adopted a position of climate change denial, as indicated by these proposals, the public deserves to know!

3.    Members of the public spoke of the profound impact of these changes on various groups of Central Milton Keynes employees and employers, and there is nothing in the officer paper to show that these considerations - including the overall impact on jobs and the local economy, and the overall impact on people’s travel choice including purchasing decisions of electric and hybrid cars - have been assessed.  The decision is therefore unacceptable by virtue of not assessing the likely impact.

4.    There are a number of questionable points put forward in the paper or verbally by officers at the meeting.  For example, the verbal assertion that “motorists are being subsidised” (when actually motorists are contributing £11m of surplus being used to subsidise non-motorists).  There is a written assertion (paragraph 2.4) that officers are engaged in price-fixing discussions with competitors that would be illegal under Chapter 2 of the Competition Act.  Paragraph 3.1 indicates that the authors of the papers believe this is a revenue raising proposal, contrary to the assurance of the Corporate Director.  The decision is therefore unacceptable by virtue of being based on improper, factually incorrect and inconsistent officer advice.”

A copy of the report and Annex considered by the Cabinet member is attached together with a copy of the Decision Sheet and Annex.

The Committee is requested to consider the reasons set out in the call-in request and, in accordance with the Council’s Constitution, either:

(a)    refer the item back to the Cabinet, setting out the nature of the Committee’s concerns;

(b)    not refer the item back; or

(c)    refer its views to the Council.

Additional Meeting Documents

  1. pdf Decision Sheet (66Kb)
  2. pdf Minutes (214Kb)

Attendance

Name
No other member attendance information has been recorded for the meeting.
NameReason for Sending ApologySubstituted By
Councillor John Bint Councillor Edith Bald
NameReason for AbsenceSubstituted By
No absentee information has been recorded for the meeting.

Declarations of Interests

Member NameItem Ref.DetailsNature of DeclarationAction
No declarations of interest have been entered for this meeting.

Officers in Attendance

Also in attendance at the above meeting were:

Councillors Bint (as a caller-in), R Bradburn, P Geary, Gifford and McLean (caller-in)

Duncan Sharkey (Corporate Director - Place)

Tom Blackburne-Maze (Service Director [Public Realm])

Andrew Moss (Interim Head of Transport)

Sharon Bridglalsingh (Service Director [Legal and Democratic Services])

Simon Heap (Committee Services and Scrutiny Manager)

19 members of the public

A to Z of Services