Agenda and minutes

Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 22nd January, 2019 10.30 am

Venue: Studio 1, The Guildhall Arts Centre, St Peter's Hill, Grantham. NG31 6PZ

Contact: Lucy Bonshor  e-mail:  l.bonshor@southkesteven.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

31.

Membership

32.

Apologies

33.

Disclosure of Interests

34.

Action Notes from the meeting held on 20 November 2018 pdf icon PDF 225 KB

35.

Updates from the previous meeting

    Minutes:

    A question was asked about the Street Lighting policy and why it had not been to Cabinet when a decision had been made by the Committee in July. The date on the Cabinet Forward Plan kept changing, what was the reason for the delay.    The Strategic Director Commercial and Operational indicated that further financial work was being done in relation to the costs involved and assumptions made, this work was being undertaken behind the scenes and it was suggested that rather than bring it back to Committee that the Cabinet Member for Environment decide the best way forward in consultation with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman and any required report goes direct to Cabinet.  One Member commented that the length of time and the amount of work that the Committee had done in relation to this issue was unacceptable, it should not have taken so long.  Members were happy that the Chairman and Vice-Chairman look at any report with the Cabinet Member for Environment and that it go straight to Cabinet.

     

    A further comment was made in relation to whether a quote had yet been received in relation to a recycling wheel.  The Assistant Director Commercial and Operational stated this would not be possible until all authorities were in agreement with the elements involved.

36.

DEFRA Resources and Waste Strategy

    Members to discuss outline of the Governments proposals

    link to document:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/resources-and-waste-strategy-for-england

     

     

    Minutes:

    Members received a presentation following the publication of DEFRA’s Resources and Waste Strategy (R&WS) for England and linkages to the Joint Lincolnshire Waste Management Strategy (JLWMS).  The Cabinet had agreed to adopt the Joint Lincolnshire Waste Management Strategy at their meeting in December.  Since that meeting the Government had published the Resources and Waste Strategy for England which had timescales that were wide ranging and comprehensive.   There was close alignment between the Lincolnshire JMWMS and the R&WS and it gave an idea of the work and consultations that the Committee would be involved in during the coming months.  There were six main areas contained in the R&WS:

     

    ·         Overall strategic vision

    ·         Waste collections

    ·         Partnership working

    ·         Waste facilities

    ·         Innovation

    ·         Measuring performance

     

    In the R&WS the overall strategic vision included multiple consultations on planned key issues with Government seeking to promote a circular economy as promoted in the Lincolnshire JMWMS.  Part of the multiple consultations included food waste collections which was topical within South Kesteven and the evidence locally will benefit any arrangements for Lincolnshire. It will be important to influence the Government’s Strategy to recognise the difference between those areas were food waste is going to landfill and those areas where there had been investment in other infrastructure, such as in Lincolnshire.    There were strong links between the JMWMS and the Governments promotion of a circular economy and the national strategy was also seeking a better quantity and quality in recycling in line with the JMWMS objective to standardise recycling across the County.  The national strategy also included promoting consistent dry recycling collections which aligned with objective 2 of the JMWMS.    The JMWMS included at objective 3 the consideration of having separate food waste collections, the national strategy spoke about introducing separate food waste collections.

     

    Partnership working between the District and the County was better than it had been previously during the last five years which was again an area highlighted in the national strategy and also referenced at objective 9 within the JMWMS.  Another issue highlighted within partnership working was the updating of the recycling credit system and the JMWMS also referenced that more innovative ways were needed to fairly distribute costs and savings across districts.  Once the County took back the responsibility for letting the recycling contracts in the County from the district councils, overnight Boston, North Kesteven and South Kesteven lost a significant amount of money.  Over time that cost had fluctuated with the price of recycling on the world market and the prices per tonne were now in excess of the recycling credits.  This was a big issue and innovative ways were needed to find a cost saving treatment.

     

    Waste facilities were another area identified within the national strategy and contained within the JMWMS where a review of household waste facilities had been identified within the action plan.  Household waste facilities needed to be fit for the future both locally and nationally.    New ways to treat waste had also been identified within the national  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.

37.

Grounds Maintenance

    Verbal update.

    Minutes:

    Ground Maintenance had been added as a permanent item on the agenda.  The Assistant Director Commercial and Operational gave an update to Members.  All the key elements for the setup of Environment SK were in place ready for the end of February.  Nearly 95% of the workforce were expected to TUPE transfer over to Environment SK.  A general briefing had been held before Christmas with staff together with one to one consultations.  28 staff were due to transfer across.

     

    The existing site where the ground maintenance service was currently located was perfect for Environment SK and back to back leases had been secured for the premises which were located off Swingbridge Road.   The location was ideal with close links to the A1.  Orders had been placed for all the necessary machinery, vehicles, vans, trucks and mowing equipment which should be delivered mid-February.  Policies, procedures and governance were all being worked on.  The Head of Street Scene had arranged a demonstration of the equipment and kit used and staff had been allowed an input into the decision making process.  Although it was a steep learning curve there were currently no concerns.

     

    One Member asked about the contracts in respect of Parish Councils, had there been any interest. The Assistant Director stated that Environment SK had been approached by some and costings and pricing models had been created and quotes given.  Until the new company was established large contracts would be not be looked at.  The Member asked about the size of the Parishes and a mixed response had been received to date.

     

    Further questions were asked about the payroll, would this be delivered by the Council or externally.  Software had been acquired in house and would be undertaken by the accountancy team which would be recharged to the Company.  Reference was made to Gravitas and it was stressed that Environment SK was a completely different model to Gravitas.   A further question was asked about how the service was managed was the same officer within the Council still the contact point for any queries to which the Assistant Director said yes it would continue the same.  More questions were asked about the cutting of grass near to the highway, patches of grass near pavements and road ways was there a move for Environment SK to cut everything.  Currently Glendale had the contract with the County Council for the cutting of grass near the highway.  A Member indicated that the cutting would revert back to three cuts rather than the previous two.  This would continue although dialogue would be undertaken with the County for how this was undertaken in the future to benefit the customer.    More discussion followed about the responsibility for cutting the grass at Deepings School and the Deepings Special Expense area.  The Assistant Director Commercial and Operational offered to speak to the Member outside the meeting.

     

    Members noted the update.

38.

Food Waste

    Verbal update.

    Minutes:

    The Assistant Director Commercial and Operational gave a brief update on the Food Waste Trial which was being undertaken in parts of South Kesteven.  Participation in the trial was still above 80% and the food waste being collected was approximately 6 tonnes a week.   The food waste was not being sent to the energy from waste centre but was being treated using a lower cost method.    Two vehicles had been rented with the pods attached and one additional operative employed.  Data was still being collected to find out trends and any changes in behaviour.  A report would be brought back to the Committee in the next few months.

     

    Members noted the update.

39.

Close of Meeting