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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room A, Town Hall, Blackpool

Contact: John Greenbank  Senior Democratic Governance Adviser

No. Item



Members are asked to declare any interests in the items under consideration and in doing so state:


(1) the type of interest concerned either a


(a)   personal interest

(b)   prejudicial interest

(c)    disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI)




(2) the nature of the interest concerned


If any member requires advice on declarations of interests, they are advised to contact the Head of Democratic Governance in advance of the meeting.


There were no declarations of interest made on this occasion.



To agree the minutes of the last meeting held on 5 July 2023 as a true and correct record.


The Committee agreed that the minutes of the meeting on 5 July 2023  be signed by the Chair as an accurate record.



To consider any applications from members of the public to speak at the meeting.


There were no public speakers on tis occasion.



To consider the Executive and Cabinet Member Decisions within the remit of the Committee, taken since the last meeting.

Additional documents:


The Committee noted the Executive and Cabinet Member Decisions taken within its remit since the last meeting.



To provide information on the performance data of Council-owned and managed car parks, and on-street parking, both with regards to patronage and income in the full year ending 2022-23, and in the current year, April to August, with comparisons to previous years.

Additional documents:


Mr Philip Welsh, Head of Tourism and Communications, presented the Annual Parking Performance report. The report outlined the performance of the parking service during 2022-2023 and details of performance between April and August 2023. Mr Welsh explained that the levels of patronage and income had been affected by the ongoing regeneration projects in Blackpool that had seen some car parks closed for part of the year. This had caused an improvement in levels of patronage in other car parks within Blackpool, which had meant there had not been a significant reduction in overall numbers during 2022-2023. Between April and August 2023 visitor numbers had risen up to the summer period but had then dropped as the result of the poor weather experienced. However the Air Show and Firework World Championship held in August had assisted in the recovery of patronage towards the end of the period.


Parking Services was also reported as continuing to invest in new infrastructure in car parks. This included ensuring that ticket machines were prepared for Vodafone’s switch off of its 3G network. While Mr Welsh confirmed that patrons of car parks would be able to pay in cash, card or phone, he explained that Parking Services had sought to encourage the use of the parking app. The app made parking easier and would mean that less cash was being held in machines, making them less vulnerable to instances of crime. The app also contained a list of Council owned car parks and enabled payment for parking remotely if necessary.


The Committee discussed the possibility of using Council car parks to encourage the use of  trains from Blackpool. The possibility of a discounted commuter parking permit for those parking to use trains for travelling to work was raised. This had been considered by officers previously and Mr Welsh noted that parking permits for residents and businesses were already available and could be utilised by commuters.


Mr Alan Cavill, Director of Communication and Regeneration also highlighted the challenge of identifying who was and was not a commuter. He added that the Council’s wholly-owned company, Blackpool Transport Services Limited (BTS), had held discussions with the train operator, Northern, to discuss the introduction of single tickets for bus and train journeys. If this work went ahead he advised that the data gained would allow greater understanding of those commuting to and from Blackpool that could support the development of a commuter permit.


The Committee therefore asked that detail of this work and the possibility of creating a commuter parking permit be included in the next Parking Services Annual Report.


The limited Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Infrastructure within Blackpool’s car parks was also discussed. Members highlighted recent Government announcements postponing the ending of petrol and diesel vehicles sales from 2030 to 2035. Mr Scott Butterfield, Strategy and Climate Lead responded to advise that although the national target had been changed, the zero emission vehicle mandate committing car manufacturers to increasing sales of Battery Electric Vehicles had also been confirmed, and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.



To update the Committee on progress in preparing and implementing a new Staff Travel Plan, in line with the Climate Emergency Action Plan.

Additional documents:


Mr David Simper, Group Leader (Transport Projects), presented an update on the work to develop a Staff Travel Plan. He presented the draft Plan to the Committee and explained that this had been developed in order to update an existing document and support the Council’s target of achieving net zero carbon emissions.


While recognising that some staff remained dependent on cars in order to undertake their work, there remained a significant proportion of staff who could be encouraged to modally shift to use alternative methods of transport. Mr Simper noted that 64% of staff who lived between 1-3 miles from the Council’s offices used a car to travel to work. He further added that the Annual Staff Travel Survey had shown that the top three reasons for using a car for travel to work were:


-           Travel Time – The perception that car travel was quicker than other forms of transport such as bus or train.

-           Need – The belief that they needed a car in order to do their job.

-           Cost – The belief that travel by car was cheaper than alternatives.


These responses showed the challenge that existed in getting staff to change how they travelled to work. Mr Simper advised that the assumption of cars being quicker, cheaper and their being a lack of alternatives was not always the case. He highlighted the existing bus and tram network within Blackpool for which a discounted season ticket was available, in contrast to the rising cost of fuel and car ownership.


Efforts to encourage modal shift included information available on the Council Hub, highlighting public transport offers and cycling to work facilities. It had been recognised however that there was great reluctance among many staff to reduce car usage and therefore the aims and timescales within the Plan were long-term targets. Mr Simper also added that ongoing regeneration developments within Blackpool such as the Tramway Extension and the introduction of electric buses, presented an opportunity to promote the benefits of public transport.


The possibility of the introduction of incentives for staff to stop car use and adopt other methods of transport was discussed by the Committee. Mr Simper informed Members that consideration had been given to the promotion of an app that rewarded users for public transport usage in the form of vouchers.It was therefore agreed that details on possible incentives for modal shift be included in future reporting.


Other options that could be considered raised by Members included, discounted gym memberships, car sharing and public transport travel discounts. It was noted that there was a discount for staff car parking and the possibility of removing this to encourage other forms of travel was discussed. Mr Alan Cavill, Director of Communication and Regeneration, noted that due to the current perceptions surrounding car use, removing car permit discounts for staff would be unpopular. He advised that the Council did however charge more for staff parking closer to its offices and that homeworking had made the purchase of discounted  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.



To present an overview of the current Electric Vehicle Charging situation in Blackpool, and plans to improve provision.


Mr Scott Butterfield, Strategy and Climate Lead, presented an update on work to improve Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Provision within Blackpool. He informed the Committee that the model for improvement envisioned the private sector operating and maintaining EV chargers in Council operated car parks and elsewhere in the town. Up to £1.7m was available from the Government’s LEVI programme to develop the existing infrastructure and attract private sector investment and the model being developed would support the Council’s bid for this funding.


Work to support this had included discussions with Electricity North West to gain an understanding of the impact of increased EV charging and to allow the identification of the best sort of chargers to be installed. In line with the objectives of the LEVI programme, most chargers installed would be ”fast” chargers, which required less capacity from the electricity network, although consideration was been given to the installation of a limited number of “rapid” chargers on key sites. Other work being undertaken involved the mapping of EV Charging in Blackpool to better understand EV usage and demand, which would then influence the identification of charging locations.


Mr Butterfield referred to the Council’s proposed delivery model, which involved using off-street parking wherever possible, aiming for the maximum number of households possible to be within five minutes’ walk of a charger. This model was suggested as on-street charging represented a challenge as an increase in people parking on street could impact traffic flow and residential amenity. As these outcomes would not be desirable, delivery of on-street chargers would only be undertaken in exceptional circumstances where it could be proven that there would be no displacement of space used by residents for parking in connection with their own residence. It was also noted by the Committee that residents charging EVs in the street from power outlets in their own homes presented a challenge. This was because of the risk to members of the public caused by trailing wires and issues associated with dated domestic electricity wiring.


Mr Butterfield noted that a number of apps existed where EV owners advertised use of their home chargers for use by visitors. He added that consideration would be needed on how these could be included in plans for EV charging in Blackpool, recognising that currently the market for such apps was small.


The Committee also discussed risk management considerations associated with increased EV charging. Mr Butterfield advised that although appropriate risk assessments would be undertaken for each of the EV charging sites identified, the risk posed by EVs was considered low compared with other forms of personal electric transportation such as scooters due to the safety requirements imposed on car manufacturers. He noted that there was a lower likelihood of vehicle fires in EVs than petrol or diesel vehicles, but acknowledged these could have more serious consequences in the event that they occurred. The main mitigation against such issues was ensuring correct installation and maintenance of vehicles and charging points.


The disposal of car batteries  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.



To consider the Workplan and to monitor the implementation of Committee recommendations, together with any suggestions that Members may wish to make for scrutiny review topics.

Additional documents:


The Committee considered its work programme and action tracker for the remainder of the Municipal Year. It was requested that the description of the Circular Economy Item identified in the document be updated to include details of employment opportunities related to climate emergency work and programmes taking place in Blackpool.


The Committee agreed:


1.           That the Climate Change and Environment Scrutiny Work Programme be noted; and

2.           That details of climate emergency employment opportunities be included as part of the Circular Economy item on the work programme.



To note the date and time of the next meeting as Wednesday, 15 November 2023 commencing at 6.00pm.


The Committee noted the date and time of the next meeting as Wednesday, 15 November 2023 commencing at 6.00pm.