Agenda and draft minutes

Call In Sub Committee
Thursday, 7th January, 2021 7.30 pm

Venue: Zoom - Online. View directions

Contact: Adam Rees 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence and Substitutions




Declarations of Interest

Councillors declarations of interest (if any) in relation to items on the agenda.




Procedure for the Meeting

To note the following procedure, which will apply for this meeting:


(i)            The Councillors who called-in the decision will explain their reasons for doing so.


(ii)          The Sub Committee will consider information in relation to the background to the decision and receive evidence from relevant Councillors and Officers.


(iii)         Members of the Sub Committee will question the information received and ask questions of the witnesses.


(iv)         The Sub Committee will determine what action to take in response to the call-in.  The decisions available to the Sub Committee are:


(a)  Not to take any further action;




(b)  To refer the decision back to the Cabinet for reconsideration. (Such a reference would need to be accompanied by a written statement of the Sub Committee’s concerns).


(c)  Separately, to refer the matter to the Scrutiny Committee.



The Chair explained the procedure for the meeting as detailed on the

agenda and explained that the Portfolio Holder for Environment, Councillor Danny Purton and Head of Environment and Planning, Andrew Bramidge are in attendance as witnesses to respond to questions by Sub Committee




Call In of Decision of Cabinet on 3 December 2020: Development of Options for a Harlow Metro System pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Additional documents:


The Sub Committee received a report that explained the call in process and included the original call in notice signed by Councillors David Carter and Simon Carter.


In accordance with point (i) of the meeting procedure, Councillor Simon Carter outlined the reasons for the call in. These were as detailed in the call in notice signed by himself and Councillor David Carter. He reiterated the request of the call in notice, that the decision be referred back to Cabinet for reconsideration.


In accordance with point (ii) of the meeting procedure, Councillor

Purton provided an explanation for the Cabinet’s decision on 3 December. He confirmed that an additional paper had been submitted to the Sub Committee which had been published as a supplementary agenda.


In accordance with point (iii) of the meeting procedure, the Sub Committee

asked a series of questions of attending witnesses. Councillor Charles asked a series of questions on the decision making process of the report, to understand the value for money and that it achieves the feasibility scores to warrant further discussions. Councillor Charles asked what level of analysis was undertaken to consider alternatives and determine that the Metro system was the most viable to take to Cabinet. Councillor Purton advised that the feasibility study would consider a number of types of modes of transport. Councillor Charles asked whether the Administration had produced a scoring of some sustainable transport options and scoring criteria prior to taking the report to Cabinet. Councillor Purton confirmed that the Council doesn’t have any Transport Officers hence why a consultation has been employed to carry out these exercises. Councillor Charles asked whether the Administration had considered whether the affordability of the scheme warranted future progress as Councillor Charles noted that there would be serious challenges around the long-term affordability of the scheme if the subsidy of the scheme hadn’t been considered. Councillor Purton noted his technical background and explained that the usual practice for these forms of transport are the Local Authorities providing the infrastructure and the manufacturer and operators providing and running the vehicles.


Councillor Hulcoop asked for clarification on the type of system which might be introduced. Councillor Purton advised that, at this stage, the type of system being considered was a cross between a tram and a bus. The double ended bendy bus would run separate to the highway. Councillor Hulcoop also requested Councillor Purton’s comments on support so far received from Essex County Council. Councillor Purton confirmed that no support had been received from Essex County Council so far. 


Councillor Toal requested clarification on claims that the Cabinet had been asked to commit to an unknown amount of expenditure. Councillor Purton confirmed that the project is being progressed on an interactive contract he did not state at the meeting that the cost of the project would be £20 million per kilometre.


Councillor Charles asked whether research had been carried out into the attractiveness of inter-Harlow connections and whether this was more needed so than connections outside  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.