Report from the Cabinet Member for Commercial and Operational.
Members had been circulated with a report on the response to the recent consultations relating to the Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy for England. How waste was managed as a Country was high on the Government’s agenda and an overhaul of the current process with regard to collection, disposal and management of waste was underway. Four consultations had been received but only one of the consultations which looked at waste and recycling and food waste was more relevant to the district as the collecting authority. The consultation was lengthy and had been completed the day after the district elections. The prescriptive content of the questions led down a specific route i.e. the promotion of localism to the local collection authority. However, how waste and recycling was collected in one area did not fit all areas. Work had been done with the Lincolnshire Waste Partnership to produce a response following a robust debate which had taken place in relation to specific answers to the consultation in connection with the food waste aspect.
Discussion followed on the consultation document and when it took place. The previous Environment OSC had received a presentation and had been circulated with the Lincolnshire Waste Partnerships response. Anybody had been free to respond to the consultation, not just local authorities. New Members asked if this could be re circulated to enable them to have the background information.
> Action Note
A copy of the previous presentation to be circulated to Members of the Committee.
Further discussion followed about the responses given especially in relation to question 18 which concerned food waste collection. It was proposed that by 2023 legislation provided that everyone had access to at least a separate weekly collection of food waste. The interpretation of the consultation question caused disagreement when discussed at the Lincolnshire Waste Partnership meeting however a neutral response was agreed.
The previous action notes of the Committee had stated that officers would circulate the response to the consultation document, no response had been circulated to date. The Lincolnshire Waste Partnership response had been circulated previously and the Council’s response was circulated at the meeting. It was stressed that the timing of the consultations had been bad and this had been reflected in the previous meetings notes, the consultation had not been completed until the day after the district elections had been held. Going forward it was requested that information requested by the Committee be circulated in a timely manner. Further discussion on the responses followed. Due to how the consultation was undertaken the responses could only be printed out and without the question/statement relating to the response the context was difficult to understand.
The Chairman asked that future consultations be put into context by Officers before circulating to Members.
One Member asked when the response from Government was expected. The Cabinet Member for Commercial and Operations told the Committee that they had met with DEFRA a few weeks ago and further consultation was planned for September. It was stressed that the timescale may slip and Members were referred to the timeline appended to the report, however the Committee would be kept informed.
A question was asked about the food waste trial, the Member was told that an update would be given in the next item. The Member did not agree with free green waste collection on environmental grounds, people should compost. It was felt that education played a large part. The Cabinet Member Commercial and Operations said that in relation to free green waste it was unfair for people who did not have a garden to subsidise through their council tax those that did to enable a free green waste collection to take place.