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Quarterly Main Legislative Committee Meeting
Tuesday 18th October 2022
11:00 to 14.00 - Teleconference via MS Teams
- Linda Bamford (LB) – Convener/Chair
- Hilary Stubbs (HS) – Vice Convener
- Audrey Birt (AB)
- David Hunter (DH)
- Graham Dunn (GD)
- Joanne Devitt (JD)
- Lynsey Shovlin (LS)
- Michael Tornow (MT)
- Naghat Ahmed (NA)
- Simon Watkins (SW)
- Susan Fulton (SF)
- Heather Still (HS)
- Lucy Logan (LL) – Minutes (in VA’s absence)
- Jean Goodband (JG)
- John Maxwell (JM)
- Ally Nelson (AN)
- Daniel Bulawa (DB) (11.40 to 12.15)
Agenda Item 1: Welcome, Apologies and Housekeeping
1.1 The Convener welcomed everyone to the meeting. Minutes will be drafted and shared for comment and approval within 10 days and the next board meeting will take place on 31 January 2023.
1.2 The Convener confirmed all in attendance to assist with verbal orientation, listed apologies and confirmed that Daniel Bulawa would be joining at 11.40am.
1.3 The Convener ran through agenda items, timings and order for agreement before commencing.
Agenda Item 2: Approval of minutes, matters arising and update on action points from previous meeting
2.1 There were 19 actions from the July 2022 meeting, of which several were classified as on-going before today’s meeting. The Convener ran through all outstanding actions.
2.2 Action 1: Deputy Sponsor to raise concerns regarding the Medium Term Exemptions (MTE) for the Public Sector Vehicle Access Regulations (PSVAR) as an outstanding action from the April 2022 MACS legislative main committee meeting (previous action point 5).
The Department for Transport (DfT) have recently reached out to Transport Scotland (TS) requesting comment and assume MACS will also be asked to engage soon. TS agree with MACS that there shouldn’t be any further extensions to this PSVAR work, however noted that this is a reserved matter. The committee agreed to close this action with the understanding that MACS will be engaging with DfT directly on the review of PSVAR scheduled for 2023.
2.3 Action 2: Secretariat to check progress on previous action point 6: ‘if and how MACS can be involved in writing the 20 Minute Neighbourhood guidance’.
It has been identified that it is not too late for MACS to be involved in this work. The committee agreed to close this action with the agreement that the secretariat will facilitate this connection.
2.4 Action 3: Secretariat to progress MACS member ID badges and business cards.
Due to a delay in letters being sent to potential new MACS members, this action will be closed and picked up by the Secretariat when the members have joined the committee.
Action 1: Sponsor (JM) to confirm if offers of appointment have been sent to potential new members.
2.5 Action 6: Deputy Sponsor to enquire about timescales and opportunities for MACS engagement with the new Disability and Equality Plan from Directorate of Equality and Human Rights colleagues.
MACS will be invited onto the group for next stage of development project. Action now closed.
2.6 Action 9: Deputy Sponsor to find out if Rail Directorate work on timetables was affected by current rail strikes. (remains open)
MACS asked TS to chase this in order to close the action, which has been open since July 2022.
2.7 Action 10: Deputy Sponsor to find out what documentation is available and what stage the Inclusive Design guidance is at. (remains open)
JM updated that work is still being done on this guidance and the next steps in progressing it. The committee agreed to keep the action open until an update can be provided by the Deputy Sponsor.
Action 2: Deputy Sponsor (SD) to provide MACS with a copy of the Inclusive Design Guidance or if delayed and indication of the timeline for publication.
2.8 Action 12: Secretariat to source the new NST2 Delivery Plan monitoring and evaluation report and circulate to Planning and Strategy workstream and Action 13: Secretariat to find out the TEN meeting schedule.
The secretariat provided DH with an update but MACS are concerned with the reduction in engagement they have had with NTS2 for several months.
Action 3: Secretariat to contact Heather Cowan to request a meeting for MACS on NTS2 stakeholder engagement.
2.9 Action 19: Secretariat to scope most influential travel accessibility conferences. (remains open)
The Secretariat has already shared some relevant links and the action can now close from the Board meeting log and deferred to the Leads meeting for updates.
2.10 The Convener asked if the Secretariat can chase open actions at agreed timescales leading up to Board meetings.
Action 4: Secretariat to chase open board meeting actions between board meetings at staged intervals i.e. 4 weeks after meeting, then week 8 and 1 week before papers are due to be distributed.
2.11 The following actions were all marked as completed: 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17 & 18.
Agenda Item 3: Update from Convener
Welcome new members
3.1 As touched on under agenda item 2, there has been a delay in offer letters being sent to the new MACS members. The Convener hopes to welcome the 3 new members to the committee soon.
Update on discussions with the Director of Bus Accessibility and Active Travel (BAAT) and the Head of MACS Secretariat.
3.2 At the October 2022 meeting between the MACS Convener and Director of BAAT, the risk register, managing and reducing therisks was again discussed. The Convener is taking time to reflect on this discussion and the next steps going forward.
3.3 The Convener has been meeting on a weekly basis with the Head of MACS Secretariat. These discussions have been helpful in planning the Knowing Me, Knowing You, Inclusive Communication session and the session on Message Framing” scheduled April 2023.
TS Policy Teams have been invited to join the session on Inclusive Communication, as it would be beneficial to all.
Update on the preparations for the November scoping day
3.4 The Convener gave an update on the Scoping day and the 4 session that would be covered. She confirmed that the briefing for the session with the Minister for Transport had been agreed with herself and the Leads and would be circulated by no later than 8 November 2022 alongside the papers supporting the other 3 sessions, including her own discussion paper on work plan links to Programme for Government (PfG).
Agenda Item 4: Sponsor Team - paper and update
Daniel Bulawa from Transport Scotland Active and Sustainable Travel Policy Team joined the meeting.
4.1 The Convener handed the floor to the Sponsor team and DB to field questions on the Sponsor Team Update.
4.2 SF asked if MACS could be sent a copy of the guidance produced by CoMo UK on accessible mobility hubs. DB pointed out that guidance is available on their website and knowledge hub:
DB recognised the importance of ensuring Disabled People Organisations (DPOs) and MACS are involved in designing mobility hubs from the very beginning.
DB is currently involved in a hub policy coordination group and will be in touch with MACS when the time comes to engage with stakeholders.
4.3 DH highlighted the close connection between the concept of ‘mobility hubs’ and other transport interchanges. Disabled people need changing transport modes to be practical and easy to use as well as affordable.
DB noted that the Energy Saving Trust are including the involvement taxi services will have in mobility hubs.
4.4 SF asked how TS are ensuring consultations in Edinburgh and Glasgow on LEZs are also reaching disabled people in other areas. DB stated that he was interested in ensuring that local communities have an opportunity to engage, and one piece of work supported by his team is CoMoUK’s “Low emission zones - a just transition” work, which while not focussed on disabled people, is aiming to conduct community consultations in an area of multiple deprivation in each low emission zone, to understand what is wanted and needed in terms of tackling transport poverty and inequality
4.5 DB stated that “Way to Work” recently rebranded and relaunched their website. DB highlighted to them that Disability Equality Scotland (DES) Accessible Travel Hub should be signposted.
DB also spoke about a new post of Rail and Shared Transport Liaison Officer CoMoUK have employed to help integrate rail with shared and active travel modes.
The Convener asked DB if he could ensure this work area and the work being progressed by John Lauder (on access to rail station by sustainable travel modes) linked up to prevent duplication and share learning.
Action 5: DB to share CoMo Employer toolkit, “Way to Work” toolkit and a link to the rebranded website with MACS.
4.6 DH asked for more information on the cycling framework action plan
consultation. He also highlighted the importance of walking and wheeling to disabled people, for example as noted in ‘Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference’. DB agreed, and would re-affirm this message in his team. DB also explained that the Active Travel Team have been convening working groups, which MACS should have been invited to.
Action 6: DB to ensure AT colleagues include MACS in the cycling
framework consultation, and emphasise the feedback on 'walking and wheeling'.
4.7 The Convener updated that, to her knowledge, DES will be working with Sustrans on some engagement work with local Access Panels to raise awareness of disabled people’s needs in infrastructure and service designs and in the transition to more sustainable travel modes not overlooking the reliance disabled people have on cars as a mobility aid.
4.8 HS asked if TS can do more to engage with the Aviation Team. AN added that they have reached out to aviation asking for engagement meetings with MACS but this has proved unsuccessful so far.
Action 7: AN to set up a call with aviation team to ask them more about how they are address accessibility issues.
4.9 JD pointed out that inaccessible coaches are being used in her local area to replace buses and they are not accessible for people with reduced mobility and wheelchair users (if not booked).
The Convener stated this is why it is important that PSVAR regulations do not get delayed further.
4.10 The Convener thanked DB for his time and insight, which helped reduce actions for the Sponsor Team.
Agenda Item 5: Workstream Leads Update – Any key points or new areas of engagement not covered in super report or virtual meetings.
Planning and Strategy – DH
5.1 MACS has written twice to the Minister for Social Security, Ben Macpherson MSP, who’s portfolio covers Social Security Scotland, requesting him to use his influence in asking Motability Operations to rebate profits to their customers (disabled people).
Motability Operations make £100million every month and in the current cost of living crisis, MACS do not think this level of profit making is acceptable or sustainable. This view was supported by MACS counterparts at a recent 4 Nations meeting.
5.2 DH has also engaged with Social Security officials who are exploring if they can widen the group of accredited organisation as currently it’s only Motability.
5.3 DH was pleased to have recently been invited to meet with Transport Scotland officials to discuss the demand management measures which TS is considering in order to reach their ambition to reduce private car travel by 20% by 2030. MACS welcome involvement in these conversations and will continue to engage on this work.
5.4 The Convener will use the Scoping Day discussion paper to set out how MACS work links to the Programme for Government.
Bus, Taxis and Community Transport – GD/AB
5.5 GD attended the CTA conference in September. GD has a meeting with David Kelly next month and agreed to report back via the work-stream newsletter.
5.6 MACS recently met with the SG Primary Care team and have been advised that the strategic Transport to Health and Social Care Board/Advisory Group, previously being established, is no longer something health colleagues are able to prioritise. MACS are extremely disappointed at this news. They are awaiting a write up of actions from the meeting before writing to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, Humza Yousaf MSP, to raise their concerns.
5.7 AB asked the accessibility team how the halting of this board/advisory group will impact the Transport to Health and Social Care work packages of the Annual Delivery Plan and priorities for the Accessible Travel Policy Team.
AN advised that he thought the Accessible Travel team would have to consider next steps and wait to hear regarding the follow up of the meeting from the SG Primary Care Team.
5.8 MACS are holding a Development Day on 13 December 2022 themed around Equality and Human Rights, which AB is organising and facilitating.
Ferries and Aviation – HS, Vice Convener
5.9 Another round of the ferry accessible fund is forthcoming, using funding left from former ferry fund before the funding comes from the Island Connectivity Plan.
5.10 HS informed the committee that she is pleased to be included in the Island Connectivity Plan stakeholder group. In a recent round of meetings the group spoke to Local Authorities.
5.11 HS would is considering planning a visit to the new Glen Saxon vessel next year and this could coincide with the August 2023 Development Day themed around “Ferries”.
Rail – SW
5.12 DfT appointed a new UK Minister for Transport in September who had confirmed rail ticket office closures in England. SW had previously responded to a consultation on this in Scotland and had provided his brief overview and outcomes to his 4 Nations colleagues for information.
5.13 SW is a member of the sub-advisory group for Great British Railways and awaits to see if legislation goes through.
5.14 SW had wanted to build a trusted relationship as internal adviser with TS Rail and has recently been asked to engage on a Equality Impact Assessments (EqIAs) with TS High Level Order Specification, which he hopes is a step in the right direction. He is also hoping to meet with Bill Reeve, TS Director, Rail.
Roads, Infrastructure and Active Travel – SF
5.15 The work stream updated that they are pleased to have various events coming up including Strathclyde Passenger Transport (SPT) summit and a shared transport conference. These events are good for raising awareness of MACS, networking and making connections to progress MACS objectives.
5.16 SF confirmed that Publicly Available Specification (PAS) guidance for electric vehicle charging points is just guidance. British Standards are hoping this will be made into a standard. There was a huge amount of engagement with disabled people to benefit from their lived experience to inform the guidance.
5.17 At the next leads meeting SF would like to discuss creating a suite of documents outlining MACS position on multiple topics and projects and will request this on the agenda.
5.18 SF plans to work on cycling consultation in the coming week.
Agenda Item 6: Key Messages for Twitter
6.1 The committee agreed to tweet about how MACS welcome the more in-depth discussion around Sustainable and Active Travel today.
Agenda Item 7: AOB
7.1 Some committee meetings had been categorised as ‘optional’ during pandemic. The Convener suggested dropping these optional meetings to create more space for workstream engagements. The Planning and Strategy and Leads meetings will remain and can be opened to the full committee if required. The committee agreed on removing the optional meetings from the 2023 meeting schedule.
Action 8: The Convener to recirculate the 2023 meeting schedule without ‘optional’ meetings.
7.2 It was also agreed that Main Committee Meetings Legislative would be called Board Meetings moving forward.
- 1: Sponsor (JM) to confirm if offers of appointment have been sent to potential new members; Closed. New members appointments commence 1 Jan 2023.
- 2: Deputy Sponsor (SD) to provide MACS with a copy of the Inclusive Design Guidance or if delayed and indication of the timeline for publication.
- 3: Secretariat to contact Heather Cowan to request a meeting for MACS on NTS2 stakeholder engagement.
- 4: Secretariat to chase open board meeting actions between board meetings at staged intervals i.e. 4 weeks after meeting, then week 8 and 1 week before papers are due to be distributed; Closed. Secretariat actioned and will add to desk top instructions.
- 5: DB to share CoMo Employer toolkit, “Way to Work” toolkit and a link to the rebranded website with MACS; Completed and closed.
- 6: DB to ensure AT colleagues include MACS in the cycling framework consultation, and emphasise the feedback on 'walking and wheeling'.
- 7: AN to set up a call with aviation team to ask them more about how they are address accessibility issues.
- 8: The Convener to recirculate the 2023 meeting schedule without ‘optional’ meetings; Completed and closed.
- 9: Deputy Sponsor to find out if Rail Directorate work on timetables was affected by current rail strikes; Ongoing (Action 9 from July Meeting)
- 10: Deputy Sponsor to find out what documentation is available and what stage the Inclusive Design guidance is at; Ongoing (Action 10 from July Meeting)