What should the Environment & Communities Overview & Scrutiny Board investigate next?

The Environment & Communities Overview & Scrutiny Board will hold its last meeting of the municipal year on 17th April. They will use the meeting to reflect on how they have worked together this year and how they could improve next year. During 2011/12 the Board held 13 formal board meetings, 10 task and finish meetings and had an average attendance of 67%. Some of the work the Board has completed includes:

  • an in-depth review into Swansea City Centre 
  • follow ups on previous scrutiny reviews of recycling and Communities First
  • consideration of the revised residents car parking policy
  • performance reports on the Libraries Service and Recycling & Waste Management
  • a service briefing regarding affordable housing
  • scrutiny of future options for the management of the Council’s car parks
  • responding to a referral from Council regarding a notice of motion relating to traffic enforcement in the City Centre

At their final meeting the scrutiny councillors will also discuss ideas for next year’s work plan. Some of the topics that have already been suggested throughout the year include:

  • Worklessness/economic inactivity
  • Tourism
  • Affordable housing
  • Street lighting
  • CCTV

During May and June the new Chair and Vice-Chair will meet with officers and partners to talk about other suggestions for the Board’s work during 2012/13. The new Board will then discuss and agree the final work plan at their first meeting towards the end of June.

The Board is keen to find out what the residents of Swansea think are important issues, so if you have any comments on the ideas listed above, or any other suggestions that you think would be relevant, please let us know. You can find details of the range of topics that the Board covers here.

 

Comments

  1. Cy Westbrook says:

    TRANSPORT POVERTY IN AREAS IN SWANSEA.

     You may like to highlight the
    dire transport poverty in Suburban areas of Swansea and how badly it affects
    people in every aspect. How it affects city shopping buoyancy and areas like
    theatre/arts health.

    You may like to ask Council if they should start
    considering others forms…Community transport runs that are not only for
    disabled people?….transport sharing?

    Suburbia has become the new Rural and
    does not attract funding as Rural does. Voters would like Council to be seen to
    be actively discussing/seeking alternatives to provide adequate services if they
    cannot provide for communities out-with the city.

    Voters feel heavily neglected and the older people are also
    suffering financial poverty due to frequency of having to finance taxi payments
    as medical appoints cannot be fitted in with the very few provided bus
    runs.

     Suburban non-drivers are depressed and desperate. For the last 7 years
    our communities are eroding as people are being driven nearer amenities.

  2. Rosie Jackson says:

    Hi Cy – thanks for your comment. I agree that transport is a really important issue and we will add it to the list of possible topics for the new Board to consider when it is up and runnning in June.

    The Board did touch on the issue of public transport in relation to the city centre as part of this year’s review and one of the recommendations from the review is that the council:
    “Facilitates a review of public transport provision into and around the City Centre in
    conjunction with transport providers and Swansea BID, including consideration of
    introducing incentive schemes to increase use of public transport.”

    You can access a full copy of the review report here
    http://www.swansea.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=37049 The sections relevent to public transport are on page 22-24.

  3. Cyndy A Westbrook says:

    Hello Rosie J…

    May I please just comment on your recommendation for review ..

    ““Facilitates a review of public transport provision into and around the City Centre in
    conjunction with transport providers and Swansea BID, including consideration of
    introducing incentive schemes to increase use of public transport.”

    Not sure who you mean to introduce the incentive schemes to…The transport operators or the public..?.

    If you mean the public….

    ….One of the best incentives would be that buses are realistically scheduled..i.e. Certain buses give people more than 20 minutes in town to shop before the next bus home. This is all people are given on some routes…failing catching that bus home the 2nd bus of only 3 a day is two and half hours away. That is far too long for most people to walk about..especially older people.

    Another incentive would be that buses are not extraordinarily late in certain areas and then passengers are asked by the some drivers if they all want the Bus Station. The driver will then drive short cuts cutting out the original route and all the people waiting at stops along it. This is how some of the drivers have to make up time.

    An incentive would be that when people take the time to compile complaints of what is actually happening on these routes to tell the Councils Transport Office it is ‘acknowledged by First Bus Company’ as something wildly going amiss.

    Instead First Bus Company report back to the Councils Transport Section that this is NOT happening at all. They report..

    “With regards to drivers taking short cuts our Human Resources Manager has checked the drivers green road GPS system and can confirm that the driver
    operated the correct route.”

    First Bus Company are showing it is very much the Big Company against the small mans word.
    Passengers feel helpless and unable to be heard by thier Council.

    Our area does not need other incentives to use the services….just a reliable realistically designed schedule that drivers can keep up with and not have to take short cuts.

    When buses are too late or just dont show up because drivers have to miss out stops people just stop using the service. Then the service gets recommended to end because it is not viable. Its a huge destructive circle pointedly blamed on ‘non-use by the passengers’ but initiated by First Bus company staff both on the road and in the office.

    Its these issues which need investigation. These issues should not be put under the carpet due to ultra defensive statements from the Bus Company.

    I must add here that we have also noted and acknowledged that other routes run by First, especially the very frequently timed ones, seem to run beautifully and the drivers are friendly and obviously happy in their work.

    • Rosie Jackson says:

      Hi Cyndy,
      thanks for commenting on the issue of public transport and sorry for the delay in responding to your comment. The incentives schemes mentioned in the recommendation were intended to apply to passengers and I think your point about the reliability of public transport is a very good one.

      This year the Place Scrutiny Board has set up a Panel to look at the issue of public transport (more details can be found here http://www.swanseascrutiny.co.uk/2012/08/15/place-scrutiny-panel-gets-started-on-new-inquiry) and I think that your comments will be relevant to them as well. I will pass on your comments to the scrutiny officer dealing with this inquiry.
      thanks again
      Rosie

      • Hi Cyndy
        I’m the officer who will be working with the Place Scrutiny Board to take an in-depth look (this is often referred to as a scrutiny inquiry) at the issue of public transport in Swansea. I’ll keep your comments and pass them onto the councillors to consider. The councillors will carry out evidence gathering and consultation activities over the next few months and these activities will all be advertsied on the blog. If you want to keep updated with this scrutiny inquiry click on the “get updated by e-mail” button at the top of this page and you will receive an e-mail each time a relevant post appears on this blog.
        Thanks again for taking the time to comment.
        Delyth

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