Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Board (Environment, Housing and Communities) - Thursday, 2nd February, 2023 10.30 am

Venue: Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR

Contact: Becky Atherton (0113 37 88642)  Email:

Link: to View Meeting Recording

No. Item


Appeals Against Refusal of Inspection of Documents

To consider any appeals in accordance with Procedure Rule 25* of the Access to Information Procedure Rules (in the event of an Appeal the press and public will be excluded).


(* In accordance with Procedure Rule 25, notice of an appeal must be received in writing by the Head of Governance Services at least 24 hours before the meeting).


There were no appeals against refusal.



Exempt Information - Possible Exclusion of the Press and Public

1.  To highlight reports or appendices which officers have identified as containing exempt information, and where officers consider that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information, for the reasons outlined in the report.


2.  To consider whether or not to accept the officers recommendation in respect of the above information.


3.  If so, to formally pass the following resolution:-


RESOLVED – That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following parts of the agenda designated as containing exempt information on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information, as follows:


No exempt items have been identified.


There were no exempt items.



Late Items


To identify items which have been admitted to the agenda by the Chair for consideration.


(The special circumstances shall be specified in the minutes.)


There were no formal late items.



Declaration of Interests

To disclose or draw attention to any interests in accordance with Leeds City Council’s ‘Councillor Code of Conduct’.


No interests were made.



Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitutes

To receive any apologies for absence and notification of substitutes.


Apologies of absence were received of behalf of Councillors E Carlisle, P Grahame and R Finningan.





Minutes - 5 January 2023 pdf icon PDF 263 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 5 January 2023.


RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held Thursday, 5th January 2022 be approved as an accurate record.


Matters arising

Minute No. 50 – Initial Budget Proposals. The composite budget statement has been shared with members and will be discussed at the upcoming Executive Board meeting on 8th February 23. Additionally, it was noted that proposals relating to new car parking charges have been withdrawn.


Minute No. 51 – Performance Monitoring. Issues raised are being picked up in an upcoming meeting and will be reported back to the Scrutiny Board.



Parks and Green Spaces Strategy pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To receive an update on the delivery of the actions set out in the Leeds Parks and Green Spaces Strategyin the period since its publication in March 2022.


Additional documents:


The report of the Chief Officer (Parks and Countryside) provided an update on the progress with delivering actions set out in in the Leeds Parks and Green Spaces Strategy one year on from its publication, covering the period March – December 2022.


Appended to the submitted report was a copy of the strategy and a progress update on the actions contained within the strategy.


The following were in attendance for this item:

·  Councillor S Arif, Executive Member for Public Health, and Active Lifestyles

·  Sean Flesher, Chief Officer Parks, and Countryside

·  Emma Trickett, Parks Technical Manager


The Executive Member for Public Health, and Active Lifestyles introduced the item, explaining that the report provides an update on progress made and sets out the authority’s vision to provide the best parks and greenspaces in the UK.


Officers in attendance provided an update relating to the eight priorities as outlined in the submitted report. Those being:

·  Quality – all city parks achieved the national Green Flag standard. An aspiration set out in the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) is for all community parks to reach the Leeds Quality Park (LQP) standard during the strategy.

·  Climate and biodiversity – planting 50 hectares of trees each year. The KPI was met in 2021/22 and the service are on target for the current year. Seasonal bedding has been reduced by 50% in 2022 and replaced with pollinator friendly wildflower mixes.

·  Access for all – the service partnered with West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) on an externally funded ‘Safer Streets’ research project. Research will contribute to design guides to ensure park designs are female friendly.

·  Culture – the service continues to progress on the cultural offer of the city. an indoor play-barn is being constructed at Temple Newsam Home Farm, a new flagship play area at Lotherton and plans for a natural history indoor play area at Tropical World.

·  Child friendly – the service continues to invest in play facilities. In 2022, 530k of Section 106 monies was invested across 11 different sites.

·  Working with communities – the service continues to work with a range of partners including Friends groups, Bloom groups, Sports clubs, and self-managed allotment sites.

·  Financial sustainability - several different funding mechanisms continue to be used to improve greenspaces and parks across Leeds. Monies include S106, Town’s Fund, unsuccessful bids to the Levelling Up Fund and work undertaken to create Plans on a Page for community parks.

·  Health and wellbeing – developing sports facilities through partnerships and externally funding a multi-use games area (MUGA), as well as football pitch improvements.


Board members raised the following key areas for discussion:

·  Volunteering opportunities and ways in which to raise capacity within communities, and whether Voluntary Action Leeds are involved in training.

·  Clarity on how inflation has affected supply of materials necessary to deliver greenspace / park improvements.

·  The importance of providing play facilities in built-up areas and the safety provisions in place to keep children safe from harm and busy roads.

·  A suggestion to increase litter and dog  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60.


Long Term Burial Plan pdf icon PDF 339 KB

To receive an update on the Council’s long term supply of burial space.


The report of the Chief Officer (Parks and Countryside) provided an update on the long-term burial plan for Leeds.


The following were in attendance for this item:

·  Councillor S Arif, Executive Member for Public Health, and Active Lifestyles

·  Sean Flesher, Chief Officer Parks, and Countryside


The Chief Officer (Parks and Countryside) introduced the report and provided an update on the position of supply in Leeds. Information relayed included:

·  An overview of table 3, setting out the 2008 position on new graves available across the city. The table evidenced that East-northeast Leeds was under most pressure, particularly in Harehills. Proposals were therefore developed to construct new cemeteries at Whinmoor and Elmete.

·  Cemeteries at Garforth and Kippax were also extended.

·  South-southeast increasing provision. Further provision has been provided at Hunslet Cemetery along with Phase 1 of an extension at Cottingley Cemetery.

·  There is a possibility to extend Cottingley Cemetery further subject to planning permission, adding an additional 7.1 years to the South-southeast.

·  There is planning consent to extend Whinmoor Cemetery, with the possibility to add an additional 7,000 graves.

·  An area of land has been identified in the east-northeast area, subject to further considerations and planning, and will provide a further 594 graves.

·  The overall projected supply at the end of November 2022 stands at 14.2 years, however, with the potential new burial spaces being developed, the figure will stand at 34.3 years provision.


In responding to questions from members, the following information was confirmed:

·  Provisions for faith groups across cemeteries. All of the council’s cemeteries are multi-faith, there is adequate provision across all cemeteries and it us up the individual where they would like to be buried. Further to this, a member queried whether it would be possible to dedicate sections of cemeteries to faith groups.

·  The position on Cottingley Cemetery. The proposal to extend Cottingley Cemetery will not take up all of the available space of the playing pitch. The scheme currently has preliminary plans, but it was confirmed that as part of that proposal, there is an opportunity to improve recreational value.

·  Clarity on cremation trends and different methods of burials. The council do not currently consider different methods of burials, due to the adequate provision of supply. There is a current trend of cremations increasing and specific requirements for faith groups also increasing.

·  Types of commemorations within communities. Most local authorities will only have 1 crematorium. There is an offer for families to strew remains in memorial gardens, and having the cremated remains buried in a small pot. There is also an option for a memorial tree.

·  Clarity on the assessment of spaces required. The council review current demand and work out the number of new graves constructed over the last 6 years. Each year this is assessed to determine whether any new projects are required.


A member suggested that officers liaise with planning colleagues in terms of identifying sites prior for provision and as part of the Site Allocations Plan process.


The Chair thanked those for attending,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.


Work Schedule pdf icon PDF 331 KB

To consider the Scrutiny Board’s work schedule for the 2022/23 municipal year.

Additional documents:


The report of the Head of Democratic Services provided the Board’s work schedule for the 2022/23 municipal year, and as attached at Appendix 1 of the report.


Members were reminded of a remote working group focusing on the Air Quality Action Plan. A remote meeting has been scheduled for Monday, 27th February 2023 at 2 p.m.


RESOLVED – To note the report and the Board’s work schedule for the remainder of the 2022/23 municipal year.



Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Scrutiny Board will take place at 10.30am on Thursday 2 March 2023. There will be a pre-meeting for all Board members at 10.00am.


The date and time of the next meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday, 2nd March 2023 at 10:30 a.m. There will be a pre-meeting for Board members at 10:00 a.m.


The meeting concluded at 12:15 p.m.