Agenda item

Minutes

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the following meetings:

Minutes:

The minutes of the following meetings were signed by the Chairman as a correct record:

 

·         Performance Monitoring Panel – 5 April 2016

·         Special joint meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel – 26 April 2016

·         Special joint meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel – 16 May 2016

 

With regard to the meeting of Performance Monitoring Panel on 5 April 2016, where reference was made to inviting a representative from Network Rail to attend a future Panel meeting to discuss how issues around how complaints and queries were dealt with (minute 41e), the following issues and concerns were raised:

 

·         The outside space was in a very poor state, with much of the area being overgrown.  It gave a very poor impression to those arriving in Spalding by train.

·         Part of the station building had been let out, and some of it was boarded up.  Again, it gave a poor impression of the town, and the building itself was listed.

·         Currently, any downtime as a result of barriers closing when trains travelled through Spalding created severe backlogs for those travelling on the roads.  The anticipated increase in trains travelling through Spalding would make this problem worse.  A bridge in the town had been discussed, but this would be some time in the future.

·         There had been recent incidences where faulty rail barriers, sometimes in combination with roadworks, had resulted in certain areas of Spalding being inaccessible, causing access issues and also major travel disruption. It was felt that these issues could cause potential problems for the emergency services.  Was this an issue that should be considered within the Authority’s Emergency Plan?

·         There were still concerns regarding the complaints process at Network Rail.  Members had contacted the company on a variety of issues, had been provided with reference numbers for their complaints, but no resolution to them.

 

Although the Panel initially felt that a representative from Network Rail should attend to answer questions on all of these issues, the Place Manager advised that they were too varied for one representative to deal with and that in reality, they would be dealt with by a number of different departments.  He also advised that some of the issues could be dealt with through planning processes.  The following suggestions were therefore made:

 

·         Poor upkeep of outside space – This could be dealt with through a S215 notice relating to untidy land.

·         Condition of part of the listed station building – This could be investigated by a planning enforcement officer.

·         The issue of downtime caused by railway barriers, and the potential public safety risk of emergency vehicles not being able to get through could not effectively be dealt with by Network Rail attending a Panel meeting.  It was important to consider two areas - the consequence of the barrier closures, and the pattern of downtime; and the provision of emergency services vehicles.  There had to be liaison with both Network Rail and the emergency services.  With regard to whether the Emergency Plan accounted for these situations, the Planning Manager commented that this would be an area in which to start considering how the problems could be addressed, with the long term solution of a bridge being part of the Local Plan, although this would be some time in the future.  He also pointed out that many towns were bisected by the railway and that this was not an issue peculiar to Spalding.

 

Following discussion on these various matters, the Panel agreed that rather than asking Network Rail to attend a future meeting, that a list of officers/ bodies to be contacted for each of the issues raised be provided in order that the Panel could progress the various complaints/concerns.  In addition, it was requested that the Emergency Plan be considered in light of members’ comments.

 

AGREED:

 

a)    That the minutes of the following meetings be signed by the Chairman as a correct record:

 

·         Performance Monitoring Panel – 5 April 2016

·         Special joint meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel – 26 April 2016

·         Special joint meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel – 16 May 2016; and

 

b)    That in order for the Panel to progress the various complaints/concerns raised relating to Network Rail, a list of officers and bodies to be contacted for each of the issues be provided.

Supporting documents: