Revenue Outturn 2017/18 – Allocation of Underspend
- Meeting of Communities, Housing and Environment Committee, Tuesday 17th July, 2018 6.30 pm (Item 34.)
- View the background to item 34.
Mr Mark Green, the Director of Finance and Business Improvement introduced his report on the Revenue Outturn 2017/18 – Allocation of Underspend in which he advised that Policy and Resources Committee had invited all the Service Committees to submit a proposal as to the allocation of the underspend to be spent on specific projects.
Mr Duncan Haynes, the Mid-Kent Environmental Protect Team Leader was invited by the Chairman to inform the Committee of a potential use for the underspend to carry out a feasibility study into a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) or Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in Maidstone.
Committee was advised that the actions in the Council’s Air
Quality Action Plan/Low Emission Strategy had been divided into a
number of themes, the most important being Transport. One of the actions was to undertake a feasibility
study into a Clean Air Zone or Low Emission Zone in Maidstone and
focus on the areas around the High Street. However, since that action was formulated,
Officers had obtained data that showed pollution levels around
Upper Stone Street were much higher so this would be the area
concentrated on should a feasibility study be funded.
Therefore the scope of the study would focus on Stone Street but any measures implemented would include the route to and from the town centre via Loose Road (including the Wheafsheaf junction).
It was noted that the action plan was clear in that it stated that the feasibility study could only be carried out if the required funding was found. A quotation was obtained and an application to Defra for funding had been made but proved unsuccessful.
In the absence of any funding, it was proposed that £30k be requested from the underspend to enable Officers to commission the feasibility study.
In response to
questions from Members, Mr Haynes responded that:-
He would circulate to Members the data regarding air quality which
related to Stone Street and the Wheatsheaf junction.
The low emissions zone would focus firstly on vehicles that emitted
the highest emissions, for example buses and then move onto the
next most polluting sector.
That it was mainly Metropolitan Borough Councils that were
successful in their bid for funding from Defra and the fact that
they had success was probably due to the fact that the low
emissions sanctions had been forced upon them.
That the feasibility study would take in all the one way system,
not just Stone Street.
In response to a
question from a Member, the Head of Housing and Community Services
confirmed that the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and
Transportation Committee looks at the policy for low emissions but
the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee looked after the
monitoring and implementation.
The Committee made the following comments:-
That the health of residents in the borough was their first concern
and the underspend should be used to ensure the health of residents
That a decision on the underspend should be dealt with by full
Council, not just Policy and Resources Committee
That the planting of trees up Stone Street would help to absorb
some of the pollution in the area
Re-routing buses away from Stone Street would cause further
congestion on unsuitable roads
That the underspend should be put in reserves for the
That the action plan gives the Council the right to take the work
forward, it is not something that KCC can do.
· That the bus companies should be required to use low emission vehicles
RESOLVED: That this Committee recommend to Policy and Resources Committee that £30,000 be used from the underspend to commission a low emissions feasibility study.
Voting: For: 5 Against: 4 Abstentions: 0
The Chairman used his casting vote in favour of Option 1.