Agenda and minutes

Environment and Community Engagement Scrutiny Commission - Monday 10 July 2023 7.00 pm

Venue: 160 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2QH

Contact: Julie Timbrell 

No. Item



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    To receive any apologies for absence.


    Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Ketzia Harper and Councillor  Reggie Popoola.


Notification of any items of business which the chair deems urgent

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    In special circumstances, an item of business may be added to an agenda within five clear working days of the meeting.


    There were none.


Disclosure of Interests and Dispensations

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    Members to declare any interests and dispensations in respect of any item of business to be considered at this meeting.


    There were none.


Southwark Nature Action Plan (SNAP) and Tree management

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    A report on Southwark Nature Action Plan & Tree Planting Progress is enclosed.


    The following officers will present:


      Tara Quinn, Head of Parks and Leisure, Environment and Leisure

      Julian Fowgies, Tree Services Manager, Environment and Leisure

      Jon Best, Ecology Officer

    Supporting documents:


    The chair drew the Commission’s attention to the report on Southwark Nature Action Plan (SNAP) and Tree Planting Progress, and explained that this item is to support the planed review into Biodiversity.


    The following officers were invited to present:


    • Tara Quinn, Head of parks and Natural Environment, Environment and Leisure

    • Julian Fowgies, Tree Services Manager, Environment and Leisure

    • Jon Best, Ecology Officer, Environment and Leisure


    The chair then invited questions and the following points were made:


    ·  There is a new government requirement to deliver and produce a nature action plan to deliver biodiversity net gain, which means the SNAP will be reframed and updated.


    ·  In response to a question on capacity and resources officers explained there will be additional capacity provided through the planned appointment of a biodiversity project officer, who will particularly focus on the tree planting programme.


    ·  Measures are being taken to protect vulnerable trees, which now go on a list and are watered every week or two.


    ·  Members relayed concerns from residents that there is not enough collaboration between Tree Maintenance  and Parks regarding care of tree watering  bags, with reports of problems with bags been strimmed; not being resilient enough and being damage by rats. Officers said that they recognise that feedback and have been acting on these problems by buying better bags and issuing communication to park maintenance personal to be careful.


    ·  The Ecology Officer said that he is invited to comment on Major Development plans and makes conditions, such as incorporating insect hotels, swift and bee bricks, bat tubes, green roofs, a mix of grass and promoting biodiversity net gain.  He commented that photo – electric measures such as solar are complimentary to green roofs.


    ·  Members asked about his role in smaller applications and the Ecology Officer commented that he does minor applications up to 9 units and occasionally comments on householder applications. 


    ·  Members asked about creating a dark sky borough and the Ecology Officer said that they do ask developers to think about light especially near parks. There is also a curfew applied to certain sports parks. There is a dialogue about creating dark bat corridors.  A rare type of bat has been found in local woods, which has increased its range. Canada Water is considered dark.


    ·  The Tree Services Manager  was asked about use of wood timber. He said that the council do wood chip timber from parks and also encourage people to get in touch. This is cost neutral.


    ·  Members asked about the poor performance of tree contractors, which led to trees dying last year in the hot weather. The officer said that the council have identified two suppliers that have not come up to performance standards, and did not provide the young trees with sufficient water. There is a contractual obligation to replace these trees. These contractors will be excluded from future awards. He went on to explain that the new tree planting role is bespoke so will be able to improve monitoring.


    ·  The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Sustainable Freight scrutiny review

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    A headline report, summarising the work conducted last year, is enclosed.

    Supporting documents:


    The chair drew members attention to the headline report, circulated with the agenda, summarising the work conducted last year.


    The chair recommended that this is completed with some final evidence taken to address the following gaps :


      TfL/ GLA plans to support Sustainable Freight are understood and that these bodies are lobbied effectively to support the Council’s plans.


      How the Council and Business Improvement Districts can deliver Nests to enable hubs to receive, and then deliver the ‘last mile’ of online shopping by e cargo bikes.


      How to best encourage and enable citizens to make the switch to Sustainable Freight – for example opting for “click and collect” rather than door-to-door delivery.


    In addition, following  the interview with the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Streets & Clean Air,  at the last meeting of the previous administrative year, the Commission  resolved to request the following briefings that intersect with the review and will be requested for the November meeting:



      How the weight of vehicles [with reference to the growing number of Electrical Vehicles (EV) and their increased weight  due to  battery size] and consequent impact on increased production of tyre and other particulates,  plus increased morbidity and mortality if involved in accidents,  is being considered, and the link with emission based parking charges.


      Updated information on car ownership using ONS data overlaid with parking provision.




    The commission members supported this and in addition suggested that the commission:


    ·  hear from the Port of London on work to increase river freight , including an initiative at Bank Side,


    ·  investigate a planning application for a cargo hub / distribution centre at Old Kent Road,


    ·  hear from sustainable tyre manufactories,


    ·  Invite Imperial to give evidence on brake and tyre dust.





Work Programme