Councillors' Attendance Statistics
Agenda and minutes
Special Meeting, Environment, Sustainability and Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 10 November 2011 8:00 pm
Contact: Jessica Vine; 020 8891 7078; Email: email@example.com
Apologies were received from Councillor Avon who was substituted by Councillor Bouchier.
Apologies were received from Councillor Acton who was substituted by Councillor Nicholson.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Members are requested to declare any interests orally at the start of the meeting and again immediately before consideration of the matter. Members are reminded to specify the agenda item number to which it refers and whether the interest is of a personal or prejudicial nature.
Members are also reminded of the requirements of Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 that they should declare and not vote on specified matters if they are two months or more in arrears with their Council Tax payments.
Councillor Bouchier declared a personal interest in the Olympic Cycle Events item by virtue of the fact that she was the Chairman of the Petersham Common Conservators, who were responsible for land near to the cycle route.
The Committee will hear a presentation from Transport for London and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games on the Olympic road cycling and time trial events which will be hosted by the borough in 2012.
Background report of the Cabinet Member for Highways and Street Scene attached.
Appendix A attached.
Introduction by Assistant Director and Cabinet Member
The Assistant Director of Environment and the Cabinet Member for Highways and Street Scene provided an introduction to the item. It was explained that the cycle events would take place in the borough on the first weekend of the Olympics (28th and 29th July 2012) as well as on 1 August 2012, and were likely to draw large crowds of spectators. In order to manage crowds and to ensure the safety of participants there would be road closures in the affected areas on event days.
The test event on 14 August 2011 had allowed the Council, Transport for London (TfL) and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) to identify potential organisational issues ahead of the Olympic events and to examine the impact on the road network. It was recognised that road closures and associated congestion would be inconvenient; however, it was felt that the benefit to the borough in terms of the prestige, publicity and business opportunities associated with hosting an international event, would compensate for the difficulties.
It was noted that the Council had channelled staff resources into assisting TfL with Olympic preparations, though TfL were responsible for funding the temporary removal and replacement of street furniture.
Issues that had been identified as being in need of further examination included the setting up of barriers; the distribution of publicity about event day arrangements; delays in re-opening roads; and the removal of street furniture. The Council would be working with TfL and LOCOG to address these issues.
Presentation by LOCOG and TfL
The Committee heard a presentation from Michelle Saint, Road Cycling Communications Officer, LOCOG; and from Gary MacGowan, Head of Road Events, TfL. The Committee was advised that:
(i) The London-Surrey Cycle Classic Test Event on 14 August had been successful, but had also highlighted areas for improvement. The event had required the largest number of road closures ever experienced in South West London and was thus complex to organise.
(ii) A draft of road closures for the Olympic cycle events would be completed by April 2012, with Traffic Regulation Order consultations taking place in May and June. The aim was to maintain access to roads wherever possible, though some areas would be necessarily land-locked. The test event had revealed access issues in Ham and Petersham: it was hoped that these would be addressed by minimising the amount of time that roads remained closed and maximising publicity.
(iii) The London riots in August 2011 had meant that problems with barrier deployment were experienced for the test event. LOCOG would now manage the barrier plans and strengthen communication with contractors to address these issues.
(iv) In advance of the Olympic cycle events, TfL would co-ordinate the removal of certain street furniture which represented a safety risk to competitors, such as bollards on the Star and Garter Hill. Potholes would be repaired by each local authority.
(v) During the test event, parking suspension in Richmond borough had not raised any issues, despite the fact that Richmond required more suspensions that other boroughs. Publicity had been good and only a small number of vehicles had to be moved.
(vi) 2,800 stewards would be used for each event along the whole route. Stewards would be trained and fully briefed on the road layout and public transport links in the area they were working. Local volunteers would be used where possible.
(vii) A communication plan was being developed for the 2012 events to provide more comprehensive information to businesses and residents. Drop-in-sessions and leafleting would form part of the advertisement of the races and road closures, as well working with Travel Advice to Business and Freight Journey Planner.
(viii) The events would receive international media coverage and it was anticipated that up to two million people could attend to spectate.
Representation from Registered Speaker
Councillor Williams made a representation as the ward Councillor for Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside. He stated that he was glad that the events were taking place in Richmond, but that LOCOG and TfL should seek to minimise public disruption. He was concerned that the problems experienced during the test event in Ham and Petersham, where many residents and businesses had been land-locked, would be extended for several days during the Olympics, and that the road closures had been maintained for longer than was necessary.
In response to Members’ questions the following information was provided by officers of the Council, TfL and LOCOG:
(i) LOCOG would work with the British Transport Police to create crowd management plans for each transport hub. Marshalls would be located at stations to direct spectators. There would also be an increase in signage. Locations for temporary toilet facilities would be sought which complied with health and safety requirements.
(ii) Businesses would be encouraged to work with LOCOG and to become involved in the events. The cycle races had the potential to provide a large boost to the local economy, as was evidenced when the Tour de France was held in the UK in 2007.
(iii) Residents and business up to 400m either side of the route would receive letters prior to the events which would include details about road closures, crossing points and potential traffic disruption. Businesses could be granted a relaxation on delivery restrictions over this period to compensate for the disruptions.
(iv) The Olympic torch relay would be passing through the borough on 24 July 2012 but no road closures were deemed necessary as this would be a single lane convoy.
(v) The Council would be working with LOCOG, TfL, and other local partners to create a unified local plan for the Olympic events. The Council would also work with town centre managers and the Chamber of Commerce to ensure preparations were made for businesses. If Councillors were aware of specific event concerns within their wards they could contact the Assistant Director (Highways and Transport) or the Head of Policy and Design at the Council.
Members discussed the information provided and noted concerns that had been raised. The Chairman thanked the representatives of LOCOG and TfL for their attendance and contributions.
It was RESOLVED:
1. That the Report of the Cabinet Member be noted.
2. That the following comments be provided to the Cabinet Member for Highways and Street Scene:
The Committee welcomed the Olympic Cycle Events being held within the borough and requested that the following issues be considered as part of the preparations for the events:
(i) Road closures should be in place for minimum periods and should be publicised as widely and as far in advance as possible.
(ii) Crowd management at stations should be adequately addressed; stewards should be able to provide advice on the locality.
(iii) Relaxation of delivery times for local businesses should be encouraged.
(iv) The provision of and location of public amenities such as toilets should be considered.
(v) Publicity for the events should be provided as soon as possible: council tax leaflets could provide details of the races and road closures; comprehensive leafleting should take place, especially in land-locked areas; road signs should provide more detail of closures; maps should be provided on the Council’s website which detailed the roads affected by the cycle races and the torch relay (a link should be provided from the home page).
(vi) Park gates should be opened as early as possible on event days.
(vii) Bicycle parking for spectators should be provided if possible.
(viii) Councillors should be updated on plans involving their wards.