Final Report - Watton (Agenda Item 5)
To consider the final report to be put before the Overview & Scrutiny Commission meeting on 7 October 2010.
The Scrutiny Office (SO) introduced his report and confirmed that part of the land outside the school was owned by the Council and it was
AGREED that this should be drawn to the attention of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission as part of the Group’s final report, citing the possibility of future parking facilities there. There were some trees on this land, but these were relatively young and could possibly be replaced with new plantings.
Aside from this, the SO said that the recommendations in the final report were drawn up to be in line with the Group’s previous discussions and conclusions. He noted that a Key should be added to the map at Appendix 4, indicating the location of each of the car parks. <2>
He also confirmed that the survey work by the children at Ashill Primary School had been acknowledged.
There was brief discussion about the noticeboard at the Kittell Close car park. Apparently if a car was parked immediately in front of this, it was very hard to read.
However, as the recommendation was for Kittell Close to be the town’s long stay car park, the SO was loathe to lose this parking slot. On the assumption that the noticeboard belonged to the Town Council, it was felt that the onus more properly rested with them to move it to a more accessible position if they believed this to be a significant problem.
With regard to the suggestion of parking along one side of the High Street only, he confirmed that the recommendation was for this to be sent forward to appropriate authorities for consideration and possible implementation. The Council could only make recommendations to the appropriate bodies. However, he also confirmed that there was a proposal for a review of progress in early summer 2011, to ensure that agreed recommendations were being taken forward.
A Member asked if the relevant contacts at Norfolk County Council had been kept in the loop in terms of suggested proposals before the Group had reached its final conclusions. He thought this would be particularly useful with respect to the forthcoming reviews of Swaffham, Dereham and Thetford. If NCC were to receive copies of key documents at an early stage of discussion, they might be able to give useful feedback, especially if proposals would not be feasible in terms of implementation (e.g. because of legislation, or local historical anomalies, etc).
The SO added that whilst the projected route was for the Group’s recommendations to go through the Overview & Scrutiny Commission (O&SC) to Cabinet for approval, the O&SC had the right to make direct representations to outside bodies if it wished. It could also call relevant bodies to appear before the Commission if they failed to respond to requests for information, guidance or actual work – especially if the Council’s requests were based upon solid research, as was the case with work done by the Task & Finish Groups.
Generally speaking it was in everyone’s interest for appropriate action to be taken, since there was increased awareness nowadays about public image.
All the proposals in the Final Report which was attached to the Agenda were agreed as written, with the exception of noting that the word “one” should be inserted at Recommendation 8, to read: “…a full assessment of restricting parking to only one side of the High Street”.
It was therefore RECOMMENDED that the proposals be taken forward to the O&SC for consideration and support.
The Chairman concluded the Watton Review by expressing the Group’s thanks and appreciation to the SO for his excellent work on this project, and wishing him all the best for his new job.