Agenda item

Work Programme 2019/20

Progress with establishing task and finish groups


The proposed task and finish groups are:


a)     Cycling protocols and infrastructure

To cover establishing from West Sussex County Council Highways how they will facilitate and build good cycling infrastructure across Horsham District and how they will adopt liveable streets schemes to enable filtering and reduce rat runs, particularly around schools and how they will implement the Government’s Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) Strategy which sets out the Government’s ambition to make walking and cycling the natural choices for shorter journeys or as part of a longer journey.  



b)    Health provision

It is proposed that the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the GP practices are called to account for how they propose to reduce the waiting times which are known to reach as much as three or four weeks at some surgeries.



c)    Parking

Proposed task and finish group to review the planning links between Horsham District Council and West Sussex County Council in relation to parking regulations, transport conditions, electric vehicles and other interface aspects of planning applications.



i)     Task and Finish Group on Cycling Strategy


A document entitled “Horsham’s Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan: Update for Overview and Scrutiny” (LCWIP) was noted in the light of the proposed task and finish group regarding a cycling strategy.


Central Government have produced a cycling strategy and wish all Councils to do some strategic work in this area.  The work being done within the Council was centred on Horsham town and the surrounding area.  Council Officers were being supported by consultants to do the work.  Councillors with a town ward had been invited to attend a workshop as part of the LCWIP development. The Horsham Town Cycling Group is working towards a deadline of November when draft LCWIPs are required to be submitted to the Department for Transport (DfT).


Councillors Haigh and Donnelly who had suggested task and finish groups on cycling reminded the committee of their proposals.  They recommended having one task and finish group which was an amalgamation of their suggestions.


It was suggested that the Council needed to engage with neighbouring Crawley Borough regarding cycling.


There was a debate around whether to wait until the LCWIP had been completed or whether to run a group concurrently and discover what was planned for the district.  The LCWIP is focussed on Horsham Town Cenre.  There was also concern that work would have to be completed before November 2019 to be in line for government funding.


ii)    Task and Finish Group on Public Health


With regard to the proposed task and finish group on public health, there was a debate around whether it was a valuable exercise if no money was being given for new surgeries.  It was considered that it would be valuable to generate publicity for the issue and that it would provide an opportunity to call in health representatives.  They would be questioned about issues such as where one group of people have to agree to having a surgery and another have to agree to putting doctors in it.  It was noted that external experts could sit on task and finish groups although they would have no voting rights and that task and finish groups were not politically proportional.


iii)  Task and Finish Group on Off-Street Parking


It was noted that the issue of off street parking had been raised by a cabinet member at full council and that Reigate and Banstead council had successfully challenged Highway officers.  It was considered a valuable exercise to establish the legal relationship between the District and County when it came to off street parking.


The Monitoring Officer’s advice was noted.  One Councillor requested that the Monitoring Officer’s advice be added as an addendum to the minutes of the meeting.  The advice was as followed:


The Highways Authority is a statutory consultee with regard to various types of development and these are listed in Schedule 4 of The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015. 


The Schedule provides descriptions of development where the Highways Authority must be consulted.  The listed description details are relatively wide and open to interpretation and as given in Brian’s suggestion – ‘off road parking for new residences, offices, social housing’ this may well fit into the given descriptions of development.

For example:

Development other than minor development, likely to result in…

·        An adverse impact on the safety of, or queuing on a classified road

·        Construction, formation or laying out of access to or from a classified road

·        A material increase in the volume or a material change in the character of traffic entering or leaving a classified road or proposed highway

·        Prejudice the improvement or construction of a classified road or highway

·        Or where, the application site could still have the potential to exacerbate exiting operational classified roads


It is therefore arguable that the majority of applications with off road parking provisions would still fit in the development descriptions where consultation is statutory.


Not only that the Highway authority reserves it right to comment on any planning application that could affect he operation or road safety of any highway in their area.



Councillor Haigh stated that she had also been liaising with Councillor Circus regarding the Coast to Capital energy strategy.







a)      Councillors Haigh and Donnelly would work to draw up questions to ask of the Horsham Town cycling group.


b)     To wait until after the Town Centre cycling strategy had been produced and then consider whether to form a cycling task and finish group to use the town centre document as a template for the whole district.


c)      The task and finish group on public health be approved and chaired by Councillor Skipp.


d)     The Public Health task and finish group would report their terms of reference at the next meeting of the Committee.


e)     The names of councillors interested in being on a task and finish group regarding off street parking would be passed to the Scrutiny Officer.


f)       Councillor Haigh undertook to circulate information regarding a Local Energy Plan.


Supporting documents: