Venue: Meeting Room 1, 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, Milton, Abingdon OX14 4SB
Contact: Ron Schrieber Democratic Services Officer
Declarations of disclosable pecuniary interest
To adopt and sign as a correct record the minutes of the committee meeting held on 21 May 2015 (attached).
RESOLVED: to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 21 May 2015 as a correct record and agree that the Chairman sign them.
Report of the head of corporate strategy (attached)
At its meeting in February 2015, the council adopted its air quality action plan (AQAP) which included the development of a low emission strategy (LES) and a low emission zone feasibility study.
The committee considered the draft LES which proposed actions to improve air quality across South Oxfordshire. It incorporated the low emission zone feasibility studies relating to Watlington, Wallingford and Henley, towns which have air quality management areas (AQMAs) in place due to their specific air quality problems.
The LES included the following actions already in the AQAP:
· Provision of electric vehicle recharging points;
· Consider a reduction in car park fees for low emission vehicles;
· Consider updating the council’s procurement policy to make it greener;
· The inclusion of air quality requirements in planning policies;
· Promoting the uptake of low emission vehicles;
· Promoting and supporting behavioural change;
· Investigate the potential for a freight clearway in Watlington.
It also proposed the following new actions and target:
· A low emission bus strategy;
· A low emission freight strategy;
· Two per cent of cars and small vans to be electric by 2020 and five per cent by 2025.
Two key actions proposed were investigating the removal of on street parking in areas of Watlington and investigating options relating to bus only use of Wallingford Bridge. These actions could solve the air quality problems in these towns and the AQMAs could be revoked.
In response to member’s questions, officers reported that:
· Most of the proposed actions would require the support of other agencies such as Oxfordshire County Council and bus operators;
· There were no review dates for the proposed actions as they were subject to consultation. A report would be submitted to the committee on the results of the consultation;
· As part of the consultation, local residents would be able to submit alternative proposals.
Anna Badcock, ward member for Watlington, requested the committee to review the proposals for this town. She stated that local residents wanted fewer lorries driving through Watlington rather than changes which would encourage more freight movements. She expressed the view that the local air quality problems could be solved by stricter enforcement of the current 7.5 ton weight restrictions and reported that local residents were willing to fund the cameras required.
The committee noted Cllr Badcock’s concerns and suggested that her views and those of local residents and Watlington Parish Council should be submitted in response to the consultation.
In further discussion members raised the following issues:
· Whilst there were specific proposals to reduce emissions in two of the AQMAs, Wallingford and Watlington, there were no such proposals for the third, Henley;
· Why the strategy did not refer to Thame or Didcot.
In response, officers reported that, unlike Wallingford and Watlington, there was no one specific action that would reduce significantly emissions in Henley. However, the effect of all the proposals in the LES would reduce emissions in Henley by approximately 5%. With regard to Thame and Didcot, air pollution levels were not high enough to require AQMAs. However some of ... view the full minutes text for item 5.