Agenda item

Members' Open Questions

A 45-minute period in which members may ask questions of the Leader, Cabinet Members, the Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees and opposition group leaders excluding the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Planning Committee, Licensing and Alcohol, Entertainment and Late Night Refreshment Licensing Committees and Governance and Audit Committee.


Question 1: Councillor Kaffy Rice-Oxley to Councillor Mark Whittington (Cabinet Member for Waste)


Councillor Kaffy Rice-Oxley asked for an update on proposals for a national food waste recycling scheme.


The Cabinet Member for Waste referred to the previous debate at this meeting on this matter and reminded Council that the Environmental Health Act 2021 placed a legal obligation on Councils to identify and collect different waste streams, one of which was food waste. In anticipation of this Act of Parliament, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs launched a consultation and it was understood that feedback from this would be reported back in the Spring 2022. In accordance with the legislation, it was anticipated that a national rollout of food waste collection would be introduced in March 2025. Finance was an issue, as had been previously highlighted, but there were potential avenues of funding such as New Burdens Funding that would assist Councils in providing this additional service.


The food waste collection trial resulted in approximately 24 tonnes of food waste being collected per month, with six tonnes transported weekly to Hemswell where it was converted into biogas and biofertiliser. This presented its own challenges in respect of the Council’s carbon footprint.


It was noted that the Council would be committed to the food waste collection programme when rolled out by the Government nationally and sufficient funding was provided to support its implementation.


Question 2: Councillor Susan Sandall to Councillor Mark Whittington (Cabinet Member for Waste)


Councillor Susan Sandall asked for confirmation as to the Council’s policy in relation to fly-tipping.


The Cabinet Member for Waste provided an assurance that the Council had a zero tolerance in respect of fly-tipping, highlighting that it was a crime and led to a blight on the countryside.


It was reported that the Council as recently as 4 March 2022 had successfully prosecuted a fly-tipper in Grantham and rural locations in South Kesteven and North Kesteven, with another prosecution in the pipeline. £60,000 was spent a year in relation to fly-tipping which funded one vehicle and two members of staff, together with investigation costs.


Evidence received from members of the public was used and led to the successful prosecution on 4 March. Fly-tipping could be reported to the Council via its website and members of the public were encouraged to do so as it meant that the Council could take immediate action.


Question 3: Councillor Penny Robins to Councillor Mark Whittington (Cabinet Member for Waste)


Councillor Penny Robins asked for clarification as to refuse collections on bank holidays associated with Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.


The Cabinet Member for Waste confirmed that as the bank holidays associated with Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee were on a Thursday and Friday, normal collections would resume with employers paid overtime, which had been accounted for in the budget.


A request was made to inform the waste collection team should any Member be aware of road closures in their respective wards which may potentially disrupt collection routes.


Question 4: Councillor Ashley Baxter


Prior to asking a question, Councillor Baxter sought clarification as to paragraph 4.8.1 of the Constitution in relation to open questions by Members which stated that open questions at Council would not be allowed at the Council’s budget meeting.


The Chief Executive explained that the item had been included on the agenda in error and thanked him for bringing this to the attention of Council.


The Chairman of the Council reported that the duration of the meeting had exceeded three hours. It was proposed and seconded that the meeting be extended by 30 minutes to allow for the remainder of Members’ questions.


It was noted that, in accordance with paragraph 4.8.1 of the Constitution, this item should not have been included on the agenda so there would be no other business for Council to consider.


Given that a procedural motion to extend the time of the meeting had been proposed and seconded, the proposition was put to the vote.


Upon being put to the vote, the proposition was lost.