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No. Item


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 307 KB

To remind Members of the need to record the existence and nature of any personal, disclosable pecuniary or other registrable interests in items on the agenda, in accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct.


There were no declarations of interest received.


Items called-in following the meeting of the Executive on 14 December 2023 pdf icon PDF 298 KB

Purpose: To consider any items called-in by the requisite number of Members following the meeting of the Executive on 14 December 2023.

Additional documents:


The Commission considered the call-in of the Executive Decision (EX4416) on 14 December 2023 regarding Newbury Town Centre Pedestrianisation Extension Trial (Agenda Item 3).

Councillor Denise Gaines (Executive Portfolio Holder for Highways, Housing and Sustainable Travel) presented the background to the proposed pedestrianisation extension trial and the reasons for the decision. Key points from the presentation were as follows:

·       The Executive wished to implement an experimental traffic regulation order (ETRO) instead of a permanent traffic regulation order (TRO) to ensure that the final decision was based on the actual impact of the scheme rather than perceptions of what the impacts might be.

·       Councillor Gaines was confident that:

o   due regard had been given to duties under S149 of the Equality Act 2010 (the Act);

o   there had been no breach of Council duties defined in the Act;

o   the Highways Department’s Equalities Impact Assessment (EIA) was robust enough to deal with the requirements of ETROs, but it was acknowledged that further information could have been provided to evidence their reasoning and give greater confidence in the assessment;

o   it was considered that another EIA was not required;

o   a consultation process was not required at this stage, but a 6 month consultation would take place from the day the ETRO came into effect.

·       The Council had a duty to consider how its policies and decisions affected people with characteristics protected by the Act and the purpose of the Public Sector Equalities Duty (PSED) was to ensure that the Council undertook its public functions while consistently considering how it could promote equality. The Council had to keep reviewing how it promoted equality.

·       The Council had to have due regard to advance equality of opportunity between persons who shared protected characteristics and others.

·       Duties under the Act did not require the Council to eliminate every negative impact – the requirement was for the Council to have due regard to removing / reducing negative impacts. ‘Due regard’ varied according to circumstances, including the period that the scheme would be in place, and the nature / scale of consequences. The level of assessment for ‘due regard’ was likely to be less demanding than for a permanent scheme, especially where the scheme was experimental and included a more robust assessment of equality impacts later in the process. A consultation with all stakeholders was planned as part of the ETRO.

·       In preparing the report and the EIA, Highways had given due regard to the Council’s duties under the Act, with consideration given to who may be affected by the ETRO, including those with protected characteristics.

Councillor Ross Mackinnon presented the reasons why the decision had been called in and the alternative course of action proposed. Key points from the presentation were as follows:

·       It was suggested that the Council had breached the PSED. Attention was drawn to Section 2 of the EIA, which asked about: the groups that might be affected by the decision, the nature of those impacts, and the information used to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.