Agenda and minutes

Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel - Wednesday 9th November, 2022 10.30 am

Venue: Spencer Room

Contact: Susan Lightwing 

No. Item


Welcome and Evacuation Procedure


The Democratic Services Officer welcomed all present to the meeting and read out the Building Evacuation Procedure.


Appointment of Chair


In the absence of a Chair or Vice Chair, the Democratic Services Officer asked for nominations for a Chair for the meeting.  Councillor Mawston was nominated and the nomination was seconded.


ORDERED that Councillor Mawston was elected Chair of the Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel for the meeting.


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.


There were no declarations of interest received at this point in the meeting.


Minutes - Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel - 12 October 2022 pdf icon PDF 244 KB


The minutes of the meeting of the Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel held on 12 October 2022 were taken as read and approved as a correct record.


In relation to Minute No 22/30 Councillor Branson confirmed that Middlesbrough Council would participate in any joint scrutiny investigation into shellfish deaths along the north east coast with other Tees Valley Authorities.


Flood Risk Management pdf icon PDF 8 MB

The Panel will receive the annual presentation on the Council’s Flood Risk Management arrangements.


RECOMMENDATION: that the Panel determines whether further information is required.


The Panel received a presentation from the Public Rights of Way Officer on the topic of Flood Risk Management.  As a result of the Pitt Review in 2007, the Scrutiny Panel was required to receive an annual summary of actions taken locally and review works carried out, to manage flood risk.


Middlesbrough’s drainage system was extensive and complex in nature comprising open and culverted watercourses and a surface water/combined sewerage system.  Flooding could come from a variety of sources including surface water run off, ordinary watercourses, surcharging sewers and road gullies.


Surface water flooding occurred when intense rainfall, often of short duration, was unable to permeate into the ground or enter drainage systems quickly enough, resulting in ponding or overland flows.   This could cause considerable problems in urban areas.   During periods of heavy rainfall, standing water could accumulate even if the road gullies were in good working order.   Some gullies could not drain the water away fast enough and therefore would surcharge during periods of intense rainfall.  Such intense periods of rainfall often short in duration, and once over, the gully would usually drain away the water without needing any attention.  Areas susceptible to surface water flooding had been identified by the Environment Agency (EA) and were shown on a map of Middlesbrough.


Middlesbrough Council worked with Northumbrian Water Limited (NWL) to carry out strategic studies.   The strategic studies highlighted and prioritised the areas of greatest risk from combined flooding within each of the catchment areas.  Middlesbrough was covered by several catchment areas and each area would have a two stage study undertaken.  Stage 1 focused on the collection, collation, analysis and prioritisation of information to identify areas of High Risk from Flooding.  Stage 2 focused on identifying opportunities within the top three or four high risk areas to reduce or prevent flooding.  The Environment Agency also contributed to this work.


A strategic study of Middlesbrough East, which included some of Redcar and Cleveland had been undertaken.  Stage 1 was completed in 2018 and ten flood risk areas were identified.  Three or four of those areas were taken to a Stage 2 study which was completed in 2021.  Some of the issues were for the NWL network and others related to surface water flooding.  When an area was identified for a scheme it was added to the EA’s Forward Work Programme for funding.  If a scheme was to address surface water this would be eligible for EA funding.


Flood Defence Grant in Aid (FDGiA): the EA’s Medium Term Plan was a rolling list of schemes which were refreshed annually and were funded from Government funding allocation.   The funding set by the Government was for six years and the current funding would run from 2021/2022 to 2026/2027.   Councils could put forward schemes of areas susceptible to surface water flooding, with an indication of how many areas might get flooded.  Then carry out studies and modelling would be carried out to justify whether to take it further or whether it was not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22/37


Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel Work Programme 2022-2023

Verbal Update.


Members discussed the current Work Programme as follows:


Following receipt of an overview of Nutrient Neutrality at the last meeting, the Panel agreed to put this scrutiny investigation on hold until 2023.  Following recent changes within Government there was some uncertainty as to possible changes to national planning policy and legislation.   It was agreed it would be prudent for the Panel to await clarity from the Government on this issue before proceeding further with its investigation.


In relation to the Prevention of Damage to Grass Verges, the Panel agreed that the information provided and discussed at the last meeting was sufficient and no further investigation was required at this time.


It was suggested that the issue of School Transport should be added to the current programme, given that it was a statutory requirement and an ongoing spending pressure due to a greater number of children qualifying for home to school transport, new schools, and an increase in costs to transport children out of the area. 


A further suggestion was that the Panel should look at a scheme operating in Greater Manchester where 100% of Business Rates were retained by the Authority and redistributed between the different authorities in the Greater Manchester Council according to need, and whether there was potential for a similar scheme in the Tees Valley area.  


The Panel also requested an update on the Linthorpe Road Cycle Lane and the changes proposed since the Panel last discussed this in September.


The other topics previously approved by Overview and Scrutiny Board would remain on the Panel’s work schedule to be programmed in when timely.  The topics were:


           Housing: Impact on Health and Wellbeing AND Income to the Council/Potential             Impact of Increased Development Costs.

           Enforcement of Planning Conditions.

           New Pest Control Service – currently on hold due to the service not yet being             in operation.

           Local Plan Update – currently on hold due the Council agreeing to commence             work on a new Local Plan in October 2022


AGREED as follows:

1.  The information provided was received and noted.

2.  A request would be made to the Overview and Scrutiny Board to approve amending the Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel’s Work Programme 2022-2023 to include School Transport and Business Rates.



Date of Next Meeting - 7 December 2022


The time and date of the next meeting of the Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel was confirmed as 7 December 2022 at 10.30 am.


Overview and Scrutiny Board Update

The Chair will provide a verbal update on matters considered at the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board held on 25 October 2022.


The Chair provided a verbal update on agenda items from the Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting held on 25 October 2022 which included updates from the Executive Member for Adult Social Care, Public Health, Public Protection and Digital Inclusion, Scrutiny Chairs’ and in relation to the Executive Forward Work Programme.   


In relation to the Executive Member’s presentation, the Overview and Scrutiny Board had resolved that a letter be written to the Police and Crime Commissioner highlighting the concerns of the Board in relation to the ending of the Heroin Assisted Treatment (HAT) programme in Middlesbrough.


Any other urgent items which in the opinion of the Chair, may be considered