Highways & Neighbourhoods Cabinet Member - Minutes - 6 July 2011
3 (3) ASSESSMENT OF TREE RISK - The Director of
Infrastructure Services submitted a report seeking approval for the
adoption of the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) threshold
of acceptable risk from trees.
The report outlined that the council was responsible for the
management of a large number of trees across a number of services
including those in parks, highways, schools and cemeteries. It was
agreed that trees had a very significant beneficial effect on our
quality of life however, trees growing on publicly accessible land
or close to private property could also present a potential risk.
It was explained that as landowners, liability may rest with the
council for any damage or injury caused and it had a duty of care
to prevent foreseeable harm.
Fear of litigation had led many landowners to remove trees in
the name of 'health and safety'. This precautionary
approach had led to the unnecessary removal of trees, given a more
reasoned assessment of the balance between risk and amenity.
The National Tree Safety Group (NTSG) was formed in 2007 to
address this imbalance and develop a nationally recognised approach
to tree safety management. It had now provided guidance that was
proportionate to the actual risks posed by trees and was based on
the following five key principles:
- Trees provided a wide range of benefits to society;
- They were living organisms and naturally lose branches and
- The risk to human safety was extremely low;
- Tree owners had a legal duty of care;
- Tree owners should take a balanced and proportionate approach
to tree safety management.
It was considered that using the Quantified Tree Risk Assessment
(QTRA) system maintained a defendable position at the least
possible cost whilst avoiding undesirable loss of valued trees, and
was consistent with a duty of care based on reasonable care,
reasonable prediction and reasonable practicability.
Resolved - That the Quantified Tree Risk
Assessment system be adopted by the council and referred to in the
council's policy compendium on trees.
4 (4) PRELIMINARY FLOOD RISK ASSESSMENT - The
Director of Infrastructure Services submitted a report seeking
endorsement of the North Lincolnshire Preliminary Flood Risk
Assessment submission to the Environment Agency.
The Flood Regulations came into force in England and Wales on 19
December 2009.This statutory instrument transposed the EU Floods
Directive into domestic law, covering the assessment and management
of flood risk. The regulations set deadlines and placed duties on
the Environment Agency (EA) and lead local flood authorities
(LLFAs) which were county and unitary authorities.
The report indicated that the first stage was for the LLFA's
to prepare an assessment that considered general flood risk from
local sources of flooding, i.e. surface water, groundwater,
ordinary watercourses, canals and lakes in their area.The EA were
required to prepare assessment maps and reports for the sea, main
rivers and reservoirs.
LLFA's were required to submit their completed preliminary
flood risk assessment (PFRA) to the EA by 22 June 2011 with final
reports being published by the EA before 22 December 2011.The PFRA
aimed to identify areas with significant risk of flooding using
both local and national significance thresholds. It was explained
that the local significance thresholds were different to national
Resolved - That the Preliminary Flood Risk
Assessment submission to the Environment Agency be noted and
5 (5) REPRESENTATION ON REGIONAL FLOOD AND COASTAL
COMMITTEES - The Director of Infrastructure Services
submitted a report requesting consideration for representation on
Regional Flood and Coastal Committees.
The Regional Flood and Coastal Committees (England and Wales)
Regulations 2011 brought into place the Regional Flood and Coastal
Committees (RFCC) to succeed Regional Flood Defence Committees
(RFDC).The committee consented the Environment Agency's (EA)
regional programme of works on flooding and coastal erosion and any
levy placed on lead local flood authorities (LLFA). The committee
was responsible for the regulation and improvement of designated
main river watercourses.Council flood defence projects seeking EA
funding were also considered by the committee.
It was explained that there were 11 RFCC's covering England,
of which North Lincolnshire was covered by two.The Anglian Northern
committee covered the eastern part of North Lincolnshire and the
Severn Trent committee covered the western part of North
Lincolnshire including Scunthorpe.As previously with the RFDC,
North Lincolnshire Council was allocated a shared place with
Doncaster MBC and Rotherham MBC on the Severn Trent Committee.
A new arrangement had been proposed and agreed in the Anglian
Northern Region whereby North Lincolnshire Council now shared a
voting seat with Lincolnshire County Council.The Chairman of the
Anglian Northern Committee had written to the council encouraging
North Lincolnshire Council to attend this Committee on a permanent
basis, participating in the discussion and sharing the voting place
on an annual basis with Lincolnshire County Council.
Resolved - (a) That North Lincolnshire Council
appoint a representative to attend the Anglian Northern RFCC and
Severn Trent RFCC, and that attendance continues to be on behalf of
Doncaster and Rotherham councils, (b) that discussions take place
with representatives of Lincolnshire County Council as to voting
arrangements on the Anglian Northern Committee, (c) that the EA and
partner authorities be advised of the decision, and (d) that Cllr R
Allcock, Lead Member for Highways be appointed to represent North
Lincolnshire Council on the Anglian Northern RFCC and Severn Trent
6 (6) HEALTH AND SAFETY EXECUTIVE (HSE) AND LOCAL
AUTHORITY FLEXIBLE WARRANT SCHEME MEMORANDUM OF
UNDERSTANDING - The Director of Neighbourhood and
Environmental Services submitted a report seeking authorisation to
sign appendix 6 of the Health and Safety Executive and Local
Authority Flexible Warrant Scheme Memorandum of Understanding in
order to enable the Council's continued participation within
This scheme encompassed all local councils within the former
Humberside area including Hull City Council, North East
Lincolnshire Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
In the event that approval was not given the current memorandum
would expire on 1 April 2012 and officers would no longer be able
to intervene as regards matters of evident concern in premises
which fell under the enforcement responsibility of the Health and
It was explained that Flexible warranting provided a practical
approach designed to make the best use of joint resources by
removing the current barriers that restricted where an authority or
individual inspector could apply health and safety legislation. The
Flexible Warranting agreement covered the management arrangements,
including for example indemnification of inspectors, communication
between authorities, competence requirements and dispute
resolution, and provided a supporting framework to facilitate and
support inspectors working on behalf of the other authority.
Resolved - (a) That the details outlined within
the report be noted, and (b) that the Director of Neighbourhood and
Environmental Services be authorised to sign appendix 6 of the
Health and Safety Executive and Local Authority Flexible Warrant
Scheme Memorandum of Understanding in order to enable the
Council's continuing participation within the scheme.
7 (7) FEES & CHARGES 2011/2012 AMENDMENT -
The Director of Neighbourhood and Environmental Services submitted
a report to clarify the level of specific fees and charges for the
financial year 2011/12 following the report approved by the
Neighbourhood, Environment & Communities Cabinet Member in
Following consultation with Heads of Service, a revised list of
fees and charges was submitted to the Cabinet Member in March 2011
and approved.Subsequently there had been some feedback from service
users concerning the charges in respect of Reclaiming of Stray
Dogs, Poisons Act and Bereavement Services.These resulted from
clerical errors. The correct charges were set out in Appendix 1 of
Resolved - That the schedule of fees and
charges for the financial year 2011/12 as set out in Appendix 1 of
the report be approved.
8 (8) KIRTON LINDSEY PUBLIC CONVENIENCES - The
Director of Neighbourhood and Environmental Services submitted a
report seeking approval for the council to enter into a leasing
agreement with the Trustees of Kirton in Lindsey Diamond Jubilee
Town Hall to allow the opening of the external public conveniences
at the Town Hall.
The report set out the key terms of the lease and the running
costs, which would be incurred by the Streetscene & Landscapes
division of Neighbourhood Services.
Resolved - That the Cabinet Member approve the
council entering into a leasing agreement with the Trustees of
Kirton in Lindsey Diamond Jubilee Town Hall to allow the opening of
the Town Hall public conveniences on the terms set out within the
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