Eastleigh Borough Council:

Minutes for Environment Scrutiny Panel meeting, Jan 22 2009, 7.00PM official page

Other committee documents for Eastleigh Borough Council :: Environment Scrutiny Panel details

Venue: Committee Room, Civic Offices, Leigh Road, Eastleigh SO50 9YN

Contact: Julia Roy, Democratic Services Officer Tel: 023 8068 8133; Email:  julia.roy@eastleigh.gov.uk 

Items No. Item

1.

Minutes PDF 26 KB

To consider the Minutes of the meeting held on 1 December 2008.

Minutes:

It was AGREED -

 

That the Minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 1 December 2009 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record, subject to it being recorded that the second paragraph of Item 11 (Work Programme) referred to Chandler’s Ford station, not Southampton.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Members were invited to declare interests in relation to items of business on the agenda.  Any interests declared are recorded in the relevant minute below.

3.

Chairman's Report

Minutes:

The Chairman referred to an e-mail recently sent to Panel Members by the Planning Officer, Regeneration and Planning Policy, which contained a summary of Portsmouth Water’s initial statement of response to its consultation carried out last year.

 

The Planning Officer had asked if it was acceptable to the Panel if she continued to provide updates electronically on responses as she received them, and then brought formal reports to the Panel as necessary.  The Panel agreed to this proposal. 

4.

StreetScene Service PDF 18 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Head of Direct Services which provided an update on StreetScene service operations during 2008. 

 

In early 2007, Grounds Maintenance had been integrated with Street Cleansing and brought back in-house as part of the StreetScene service.

 

The first year of the new service had seen a general improvement in Grounds Maintenance standards over those achieved by the external contractor, but during 2008 concerns had been raised regarding quality, particularly from June 2008 onwards.

 

Issues affecting the service included changing weather patterns over the last 2-3 years, which had resulted in the continuation of growth throughout the summer and necessitated in some locations four cuts of shrubs and hedges, instead of the planned two.  The wet summer had also resulted in, on average, only 10 cuts being achieved, rather than the scheduled 14.  However, standards had been as good or better than neighbouring authorities. 

 

For 2009, it would be necessary to consider different patterns of working to ensure that available resources matched workload as far as was practicable.  This would probably include the use of “annualised hours” to allow for longer working hours in the summer.

 

With regard to street cleansing, on average over 90% of complaints regarding tasks had been dealt with within the published response times.

 

A review of mechanical sweeping frequencies and schedules needed to be undertaken to ensure that the maximum benefit was being obtained from the available resources.

 

The report contained 12 proposed actions for 2009, progress on most of which was already being made, designed to help raise the standard of the StreetScene service.

 

The Panel welcomed the report and, during discussion, the following points were raised:-

 

It would be useful to publish a programme of cuts, to enable residents and Members to find out when cutting would take place in each area.  The Head of Direct Services replied that, rather than publishing a yearly plan, the sequence of cuts would be published.  Then the start date of the current cut would be published, together with the order of cuts.  Information sent back to the support services team would enable this information to be constantly updated on the website, enabling residents and Members to find out if any cuts had been missed and where cutting was currently being undertaken.

 

What could Members do to encourage people to become Community Champions?  The Recycling and Development Manager replied that the Borough currently had a group of 15 Community Champions, working across all areas, most of whom were mainly interested in waste and recycling.  Two meetings had been held and a community clean-up had been carried out in North End Copse (Chandler’s Ford).  A visit to a recycling facility had also been organised and a presentation on StreetScene was to be given to the group by managers.  Terms of Reference were being developed and training requirements identified.  Members could encourage people to join the group and were also welcome to attend meetings and events if they wished.  The initiative  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Domestic Refuse Service - Policy on and Cross Contamination of Domestic Recycling Wheeled Bins PDF 14 KB

Minutes:

It had been agreed at a meeting of the Panel on 31 January 2008 that a programme of review and development of policies for Waste and StreetScene services would be undertaken by a sub-group of the Panel.

 

The sub-group had met and produced recommendations for a formal policy on dealing with cross-contamination of wheeled bins.   

 

Contamination in the green bins was an ongoing issue for all collection authorities in Hampshire and Eastleigh currently had a contamination rate of 8.24% compared to the average for the County of 8.13%.

 

It was recommended that the policy for responding to contaminated bins should be as follows:

 

-          The recycling bin will not be emptied; an advice note will be left by the collection crew giving the reason;

-          If the householder removes the non-compliant waste a collection will be made, usually by the end of the week;

-          If there are persistent issues at the same property or if the non-compliant waste is not removed from the bin, a charge may be made to empty the bin;

-          Information on how to use the recycling bins correctly will be provided by the Recycling and Development team;

-          Continual contamination of the wheeled bins will result in enforcement action being taken in accordance with the Council’s Enforcement Policy relating to improving Local Environmental Quality.

 

The policy was to be placed on the Council’s website and included in the annual Direct Services Guide.

 

During discussion of the report, the following issues were raised by the Panel:-

 

Did other authorities also use enforcement to tackle continued contamination of recycling bins?  The Recycling and Development Manager confirmed that this was the case, although enforcement action was considered as a last resort.  A number of steps could be taken beforehand, such as levying a fine or not emptying the bin.

 

Diffculties for residents in knowing which plastics could be recycled.  The Recycling and Development Manager acknowledged this and confirmed that work was being carried out nationally to address the issue of packaging.  Information on which plastics could be recycled was available on the Council’s website.  However, the largest contamination issue was domestic waste being put in recycling bins and a programme of staff training was in progress regarding this.

 

It was AGREED –

 

That it be recommended to Cabinet that the policy relating to the collection of recyclable waste cross contaminated by incorrect materials such as food waste and/or non recyclable items, contained in paragraph 6 of the report, be approved.

6.

Domestic Refuse Service - Policy on Waste Collections from Charity Shops PDF 13 KB

Minutes:

As part of the programme of review and development of policies for Waste and StreetScene services, a sub-group of the Panel had met and produced recommendations for a formal policy on waste collections from charity shops.

 

Charity shops were charged for each container emptied and additional black sacks were also charged.  These charges were the same as for other commercial waste customers. 

 

Charity shops nationally had questioned whether the level of charges made by collection authorities was fair, as it generally included an element of disposal.  Hampshire County Council was co-ordinating a response on behalf of all authorities and, until the legal position regarding disposal was established, none of the County collection authorities were changing their charges.

 

It was recommended that the existing policy that waste from charity shops would be subject to a charge remained unchanged, and that the charges should be the same as for other commercial waste; this position would be maintained until the County Council’s research had been completed.

 

It was AGREED –

 

That it be recommended to Cabinet that the policy relating to the collection of waste from charity shops, contained in paragraph 7 of the report, be approved.

7.

Domestic Refuse Service - Policy On Businesses Working From Home (including Childminders) PDF 18 KB

Minutes:

As part of the programme of review and development of policies for Waste and StreetScene services, a sub-group of the Panel had met and produced recommendations for a formal policy on the collection of business waste in the domestic waste stream.

 

The waste from businesses working from home was usually recyclable and did not cause a collection issue.  However, in the case of childminders, the waste often constituted residual waste in the form of nappies, and required additional wheeled bin capacity. 

 

It was recommended that the policy for businesses working from home should be as follows:

 

-                      Waste from businesses working from home (including childminders) will be subject to a charge;

-                      No additional capacity will be provided for waste from businesses working from home;

-                      In the event that householders do not comply with the policies of waste from businesses from home (including childminders), the following process will apply:

-                         The bin will not be emptied; an advice note will be left by the collection crew giving the reason;

-                         Advice will be given to the householder on their responsibilities under the Duty of Care; the bin can be emptied for an appropriate charge.

 

The policy was to be placed on the Council’s website and included in the annual Direct Services Guide.

 

The Recycling and Development Manager agreed to liaise with Social Services and with the National Childminding Association regarding the information provided to childminders about waste.

 

It was AGREED –

 

That it be recommended to Cabinet that the policy relating to the collection of business waste from domestic premises, contained in paragraph 9 of the report, be approved.

8.

Trade Waste Recycling Service PDF 12 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Head of Direct Services which provided an update on the introduction of the Trade Waste Recycling Service.

 

The Trade Waste service had a customer base of approximately 750 businesses, and a survey of customers’ waste in 2004 had suggested that over 50% was recyclable, comprising mainly paper and card.  The survey had also suggested that there was considerable interest amongst customers in using a recycling service.

 

The service had been introduced in 2008 and was based on the weekly collection of dry mixed recyclables.  Take-up had been slow, with only 30 customers using the service so far. All collections were undertaken on the same say of the week and there was capacity on the vehicle to double the customer base without deploying additional resources or re-scheduling collections.  

 

Future developments included the promotion of the scheme to businesses located close to those already subscribing to the service and more concentrated promotion at the end of summer 2009. 

 

With regard to promotion, it was queried whether a certificate could be issued to businesses taking part in the scheme, which could be displayed at their premises.  The Head of Direct Services confirmed that this proposal could be carried out, and that it would also align with the Tidy Business Awards Scheme.

 

It was AGREED –

 

That the report be noted.

9.

Overview of Project Integra Annual Action Plan 2008 - 2013

Minutes:

The Head of Direct Services provided a verbal report on the Project Integra Annual Action Plan 2008 – 2013.

 

The Action Plan was based around the following five key work streams, each of which had its own list of actions:

 

Sustainable Recycling: Project Integra aimed to deliver high level performance at an acceptable level of cost and environmental impact whilst maintaining public support and participation.  Waste avoidance was also included in this strategic outcome.

 

Eliminating Landfill: Project Integra was committed to the eventual elimination of landfill in the context of the sustainable resource management agenda, scarce local capacity and steeply rising costs.

 

Commercial Materials Management: Project Integra was seeking to provide of facilitate capacity to capture commercial recyclables in line with the national waste strategy and resource management agenda and to attract investment  and achieve economies of scale.

Action was dependent on Material Flow Planning to provide baseline data and infrastructure recommendations.

 

Efficiencies/Value for Money: There was scope for joint working particularly in waste collection to achieve economies of scale such as optimising rounds and pooling rresources.

 

Leadership and Influence: Project Integra had been successful in influencing the national agenda, securing external funding and delivering behavioural change locally.  However, the partnership had to continue to invest time and resources in this key strategic outcome in support of the other elements of the Action Plan.

 

In thanking him for his report, the Chairman referred to this meeting being the last Environment Scrutiny Panel that the Head of Direct Services would attend, as he was leaving the Council to take up another post at the end of the month.  On behalf of the Panel, the Chairman thanked him for his hard work over the last seven years, during which he had been very helpful to Members, and wished him well in his new post.

 

It was AGREED

 

That the report be noted.

10.

Forward Plan PDF 24 KB

Minutes:

The Panel considered the Forward Plan of Key Decisions.

 

Reference was made to the Customer Service Strategy, to be considered by Cabinet on 5 February.  It was reported that a number of residents had experienced problems in trying to resolve queries asked of the Council with regard to services.  The Customer Service Strategy was not within the Panel’s remit, but the Corporate Director agreed to address the issues outside the Panel.

 

It was suggested that the Council’s Carbon Dioxide Baseline, considered by Cabinet on 12 January, should be brought to the Panel. 

 

It was AGREED –

 

That a report on the Council’s Carbon Dioxide Baseline be added to the Panel’s Work Programme.

11.

Work Programme PDF 11 KB

Minutes:

Members reviewed the Work Programme of items proposed for future meetings.

 

Reference was made to the Drainage Sub-Group, which had not yet been able to arrange a meeting with Southern Water.  In response to a query, it was confirmed that drainage came within the remit of the Cabinet Members for both Environment and Transport and StreetScene.  The suggestion was made that both Cabinet Members, and the Chair of this Panel, should sign a letter inviting a representative from Southern Water to attend a meeting of the Sub-Group. 

 

With regard to the queue for the ticket machine at Chandler’s Ford station raised at the previous meeting, a reply had been received from South West Trains, which the Corporate Director agreed to pursue further.

 

The Democratic Services Officer reported that, following liaison with the Head of Transportation and Engineering, it had been established that Hampshire Highways staff had given a training session for Members during 2008, attended by a number of Panel members, and it would therefore be more appropriate to invite them to a meeting of the Panel towards the end of 2009.

 

In addition, liaison had been taking place with the Highways Agency and it had seemed likely that a representative would be able to attend a meeting of the Panel.  However, recent correspondence had stated that the Highways Agency had placed an embargo on attendance at Scrutiny Panels, which might be lifted at the start of the new financial year.

 

The Democratic Services Officer agreed to liaise with the Biodiversity Officer regarding the provision of an update on the Biodiversity Action Plan at a future meeting of the Panel.

 

It was AGREED –

 

That the Work Programme be noted.

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