Agenda and minutes

Environment and Customer Services Policy and Scrutiny Committee - Monday 18th January, 2016 7.00 pm

Venue: Rooms 5, 6 & 7 - 17th Floor, Westminster City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6 QP. View directions

Contact: Jonathan Deacon  Email: Tel: 020 7641 2783

No. Item



To note any changes to the membership.


1.1      Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Julia Alexander and Councillor Jason Williams.  Councillor Murad Gassanly replaced Councillor Williams at the meeting.


Declarations of interest

To receive declarations of interest by Members and Officers of any personal or prejudicial interests.


2.1      There were no declarations of interest.   




Minutes pdf icon PDF 299 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on Monday 9 November 2015.



3.1       RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on Monday 9 November 2015 be signed by the Chairman as a correct record of proceedings.



Update from Cabinet Members pdf icon PDF 204 KB

Written updates from the Cabinet Member for the Built Environment, the Cabinet Member for City Management and Customer Services and the Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Parking - To Follow.                   


Question And Answer session at the meeting with the Cabinet Member for the Built Environment, Councillor Robert Davis MBE DL

Additional documents:



4.1       The Committee received written updates from the Cabinet Member for the Built Environment, the Cabinet Member for City Management and Customer Services and the Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Parking on significant matters within their portfolios.  


4.2       The Chairman welcomed Councillor Robert Davis and Councillor Melvyn Caplan to the meeting.  The Committee firstly put questions to and received responses from Councillor Davis on a number of matters that were relevant to the Built Environment portfolio.  These included the following topics:


·           The Cabinet Member was asked whether there had been an impact on the Council as a result of Westminster’s Community Infrastructure Levy (‘CIL’) being implemented in 2016 rather than the earliest possible date which was April 2015.  Councillor Davis replied that he had signed the Cabinet Member Report approving the Charging Schedule for CIL and subject to Council’s approval on 20 January this would be introduced on 1 May 2016.  It was the case that the ability to use section 106 planning obligations for public infrastructure projects had been lost in April 2015.  However, what was gained under section 106 planning obligations and would be potentially lost or reduced in the event the CIL Charging Schedule was implemented would be contributions towards affordable housing.  The developers could potentially state that they had a compulsory obligation to pay the CIL charge and would not be able to afford a significant contribution towards affordable housing.  Whilst the Council had therefore lost out on infrastructure payments with the CIL Charging Schedule not being implemented until 1 May subject to Council’s approval, there had been a gain in affordable housing contributions which would be squeezed when the Council implemented a CIL. 

·           Members requested that their appreciation for officers’ organisation of the London Lumiere Festival held the previous weekend be formally recorded in the minutes.  Councillor Davis was asked for his view of the event and whether there were any plans to have a similar Festival in the future.  Councillor Davis thanked Richie Gibson and his team for their efforts over the four days, including managing the sizeable crowds.  He agreed with the Chairman that it had been particularly positive that young families had attended and enjoyed the Festival.  He added that discussions were taking place about potentially holding a similar event in a couple of years’ time.

·           In response to a question on Crossrail Line 2, the Cabinet Member advised that it was at any early stage of the scheme’s promotion.  The route had not been finalised.  However, it had been made clear to those involved with the project that protecting residential amenity, the operation of businesses and protection of the local environment in Soho Square, the Victoria area and Shaftesbury Avenue was high on Westminster’s list of priorities.

·           Councillor Davis was asked what profit had been made from the giant advert calendar at Marble Arch which had been a partnership between the Council and Samsung and also whether there was the potential to have something at this location which was even more  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Nine Elms to Pimlico Pedestrian / Cycle Bridge Proposal pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Report of the Head of Strategic Transport Planning & Public Realm


5.1      Councillor Angela Harvey had presented a residents petition objecting to a proposed pedestrian and cycle bridge between Nine Elms in Wandsworth and Pimlico at the Council meeting on 11 November 2015. In direct response to the petition submitted to the Council and to growing public concerns in the borough about the proposed bridge, the Leader of the Council, Councillor Philippa Roe, announced in November that this matter would be scrutinised at a meeting of this Committee as part of an ongoing inquiry. Organisations and individuals had been able to send in written evidence in the form of a ‘register of concerns and interests’ prior to the 18 January meeting.  The Chairman thanked everyone who had submitted written representations and added that all of these received prior to the meeting had been made available to Members of the Committee.  Further written representations could be submitted following the meeting as part of the ongoing inquiry.


5.2       The meeting itself was exceptionally well attended by approximately 100 members of the public.  The report for the item was introduced by Graham King, Westminster City Council’s Head of Strategic Transport Planning & Public Realm.  He stated that the proposal for a pedestrian and cycle bridge between Nine Elms in Wandsworth and Pimlico was in parallel with the development of Nine Elms, an opportunity area designated by the Mayor of London in the London Plan.  To date no formal consultation on a bridge had taken place and no planning application had been submitted.  The proposed bridge was being promoted through the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership by Wandsworth Council in particular.  Their work involved a number of studies into the potential for the opportunity area, including a feasibility study for a bridge carried out by Transport for London (TfL).  The feasibility study had outlined possible landing sites for a bridge.  Mr King advised that Wandsworth Council had run an international design competition to find a team of architects and engineers capable of producing a viable design for a bridge.  A winning design team had been selected by Wandsworth Council in November 2015.  He referred to the fact that as this process had been taken forward it had become clear that there was strong and growing opposition to the proposal for such a bridge in Westminster.  A number of concerns had been raised by Westminster Council officers regarding a potential bridge.  They had not accepted either the need for a bridge, the design approach or possible landing sites.  He added that the Council’s Planning Policy Framework was set out as an appendix to the report so that Members of the Committee would have access to the policy context a bridge would be considered against in the event a planning application was submitted.  Underpinning all of the policies as set out in the City Plan was that such schemes should not cause harm to residential amenity and such schemes should add to the attractiveness and accessibility of the City.  Whilst a nominal proposal to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Press Releases

The Committee to consider whether it wishes to issue any press releases in relation to its work.


6.1      The Chairman stated that he was minded to publish a press release in respect of the Nine Elms pedestrian / cycle bridge item.  It was intended that this would be circulated to Members of the Committee during the next few days.




Annual Work Programme and Action Tracker pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Report of the Scrutiny Team.

Additional documents:


7.1      The Committee noted the scheduled items in the Work Programme for the meetings on 7 March 2016 and 18 March 2016.  The items scheduled for 7 March were broadband coverage and connectivity in Westminster, the Open Spaces Strategy and the future of the Victoria Gyratory.  Mr King advised Members in respect of the future of the Victoria Gyratory item that following recent discussions with TfL officers it had become clear that due to delays in their programme it was not possible to set out TfL’s position in a report at this stage.  It was agreed that Mr King would inform the Scrutiny Team and Jonathan Deacon, Senior Committee and Governance Officer, when it was an appropriate time for this matter to be scrutinised.  The Chairman stated that there was the potential to replace this item with an update on a Nine Elms pedestrian / cycle bridge. 


7.2      RESOLVED: That the future of the Victoria Gyratory item be removed from the 7 March 2016 Work Programme schedule.



Any Other Business the Chairman Considers Urgent


8.1       There was no additional business for the Committee to consider.