Agenda and minutes

Prosperous Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday 29th November 2021 2:00pm

Venue: Oak Room, County Buildings, Stafford

Contact: Jonathan Lindop  Email:


No. Item


Declarations of Interest

Additional documents:


There were no Declarations of Interest made.


Minutes of meeting held on 16 September 2021 pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Additional documents:


RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 16 September 2021 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman.


Flood Risk Management Report 2021 pdf icon PDF 221 KB

Report of Cabinet Member for Environment, Infrastructure and Climate Change


The meeting will be addressed by a representative of Eccleshall Flood Action Group (copy correspondence attached) 

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report of the Cabinet Member for Environment Infrastructure and Climate Change informing them of the proposed process and timescales for refreshing the Authority’s Flood Risk Management (FRM) Strategy together with the County Council’s FRM Team’s workplan priorities for 2021/22 (schedule 1 to the signed minutes).


The County Council were designated Lead Local Flood Authority for Staffordshire under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. As such the Authority had various responsibilities associated with floods and water including the development of a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy and monitoring progress and activity by all parties involved in flood risk management. Their current FRM Strategy had been prepared in December 2015 and was due to be updated in 2020. However, following a delay in publication of the Government’s National Strategy this had been postponed until 2022.


However, Members noted that work had already commenced on the Strategy refresh and it was expected that external consultants would be appointed in early 2022 to assist in this process. In addition, key Stakeholder involvement was planned for Spring 2022 with a draft revised Strategy being submitted to Cabinet for approval during Autumn 2022 with final publication expected in Winter 2022.


Members heard that the FRM Team worked to fulfil the County Council’s statutory duty under the Act by investigating incidences of flooding where either:- (i) five or more residential properties in one location had flooded; (ii) two or more commercial properties in one location had flooded or; (iii) one or more critical infrastructure in one location had flooded. Accordingly following floods which had met the above-mentioned criteria, 15 reports were due to be published before the end of 2021/22.


Since Autumn 2019 the Team’s’ priorities had changed in response to:- (i) an increased demand for flood investigations; (ii) the Covid-19 pandemic and; (iii) to take account of the various lessons learned over the previous flooding period. Their focus was now entirely on ensuring the Authority’s statutory duties were being met and Members also noted the specific priorities set out in Appendix 1 to the report.   


In response to a letter dated 18 May 2021 from Mr. S. Perren, Chairman of the Eccleshall Flood Action Group (EFAG) to the County Councillor for Stone Rural County Electoral Division (the previous Chairman of the Committee) regarding flooding in Eccleshall and suggested remedial actions (attached at Appendix 1 to the signed minutes), the Committee were addressed and given a PowerPoint presentation by Mrs. S. Bramall of EFAG (slides attached at Appendix 2 to the signed minutes) highlighting the Group’s concerns. The Committee were interested to learn something of the detrimental impact flooding had on local communities in Staffordshire as a whole so that they could better hold the Cabinet Member to account and ensure that the County Council’s duties and responsibilities were being met.


During the full and wide ranging discussion which ensued, Members gave detailed scrutiny to the Strategy and Team’s priorities etc, asking questions and seeking clarification on various matters, where necessary, including:-  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.


Infrastructure+ and Lighting for Staffordshire Performance Review pdf icon PDF 633 KB

Report of Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport   

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report of the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport updating them on the operation of the County Council’s Infrastructure+ (highway and non-property infrastructure services) and Lighting Contracts (schedule 2 to the signed minutes).


Infrastructure+ had gone live on 1 October 2014 since which time it had:- (i) delivered in excess of £300m highway maintenance operations and projects; (ii) achieved over £30m front-line service cost savings and; (iii) implemented in excess of £100m of Highway and transport infrastructure improvements.


A total of 905 Staffordshire households had responded to the 2021 National highways and Transport (NHT) survey, an analysis of the responses received had indicated they placed most importance on ‘Safety on Roads’ and ‘Condition of Roads’ and least importance on ‘Demand Responsive Transport and ‘Local Taxi or Minicab Services’. In addition, the public were most satisfied with ‘street lighting’ and least satisfied with ‘Condition of Roads’.


Members noted that Staffordshire’s overall theme scores in the 2021 NHT survey had generally declined when compared to those in 2020. Respondents’ considered that there were more potholes and damaged roads and the Authority were doing less to repair local highway infrastructure. However, a transformation programme comprising three elements ((i) Design of Future Service Deliver Model; (ii) Changing Arrangements Now, ready for the Future and; (iii) A new Investment Strategy) was currently being developed which would ensure better performance in the future. Specifically, the Programme aimed to:- (i) put communities and customers at the heart of service delivery; (ii) provide greater control and flexibility of resources; (iii) launch a new enhanced communities offer and; (iv) focus on quality, improving assets and demonstrating value for money.


With regard to lighting, Lighting for Staffordshire Limited had commenced their delivery of the street lighting Private Finance Initiative Contract in May 2003. Since this time the quantity of street lighting assets in the County had increased from 99,343 to 108,406 in 2021 (ie 9.1%). Members noted that contract performance took account of both the Asset Renewal Programme and general maintenance operations.


Members noted that the total number of assets renewed in the current five-year block period (2018-2023) was 7,160 against a target of 9,170. In addition, the number of assets renewed in the two previous blocks had exceeded their respective targets. During 2021, the total number of faults (including emergency faults) had reduced by approximately 50% when compared to 2003. Also, the number of lights lit remained consistently high at 99.3% compared to a target of 98%. According to the NHT survey, Staffordshire’s customer satisfaction was 98%.


During the full and wide-ranging discussion which ensued, Members gave detailed scrutiny to the performance data set out in the report and appendices, asking questions and seeking clarification on various matters, where necessary, including:- (i) the significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions achieved by the lighting renewal programme; (ii) the reliability of new equipment (lights and columns) installed; (iii) the standards required of new developments in respect of highway infrastructure prior to adoption by the County Council; (iv)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.


Bus Transport Inquiry Day (Friday 21 January 2022) Information Sharing Session

Presentation by Director of Economy, Infrastructure and Skills

Additional documents:


The Committee received a briefing and PowerPoint presentation from the Director of Economy Infrastructure and Skills on the bus transport market in Staffordshire together with recent developments in national policy, relevant to their forthcoming Inquiry Day on 21 January 2022 (slides attached at Appendix 3 to the signed minutes).


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 327 KB

Additional documents:


RESOLVED – That, with the addition of “Flood Risk Management Strategy 2021/27 Outcome Measures – Progress” (as set out in minute No. 24 above), the updated Work Programme (schedule 3 to the signed minutes) be approved.


Date of Next Meeting - Thursday 13 January 2022 at 2.00 pm, County Buildings, Stafford

Additional documents:


RESOLVED – That the date, time and venue of the next meeting be noted.