Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Environment
Monday, 29th January, 2018 6.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, Council Offices, The Burys, Godalming. View directions

Contact: Fiona Cameron  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

40.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 106 KB

The Minutes of the meeting of the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee held on 13 November 2017 are attached, and Members are asked to confirm them as a correct record. 

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 13 November 2017 were confirmed as a correct of the meeting.

41.

DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS

To receive from Members declarations of interests in relation to any items included on the agenda for this meeting, in accordance with Waverley’s Code of Local Government.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interests in relation to items on the agenda.

42.

QUESTIONS BY MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

The Chairman to respond to any questions submitted by members of the public in accordance with Procedure Rule 10.

Minutes:

There were none.

43.

Procurement approach for provision of Waste, Recycling, Street Cleaning and Grounds Maintenance Services - Report of the Member Task & Finish Group pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To receive the final report and recommendations [TO FOLLOW] of the Member Task & Finish Group on the procurement approach for provision of Waste, Recycling, Street Cleaning and Grounds Maintenance services from the end of the current contracts in October 2019.

 

Recommendation

 

The Committee is asked to consider the conclusions and recommendations set out in the report, and agree recommendations to the Executive on the procurement approach for provision of Waste, Recycling, Street Cleaning and Grounds Maintenance services from the end of the current contracts in October 2019.

 

The Committee may endorse the attached report and recommendations in full, or with amendments agreed during the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee had been sent the final report and recommendations from the Member Working Group that had been considering Waverley’s approach to procuring the provision of new waste, recycling, street cleaning and grounds maintenance services from October 2019, when the current contracts ended.

 

The Chairman invited Cllr Nick Williams, Chairman of the Member Working Group, to give a brief introduction to the work that Members had done, before going into Exempt session in order for the Committee to consider the report and recommendations in detail.

 

Cllr Williams informed the Committee that the Working Group had met nine times, with officers and consultants, and carefully considered the performance of the current contracts and customer satisfaction, the likely cost of future service delivery, and options for cost savings and improved efficiencies. The most important finding was that the current contracts were very highly performing, and customer satisfaction was also very positive. The collection of waste and recycling, in particular, was the one Council service that was delivered every week to every household in the borough, and despite the financial pressures on the Council, it would be a false economy to compromise on performance standards in order to make cost savings.

 

Whilst the Working Group’s report was Exempt, as it contained commercially sensitive information, before going into Exempt session the Chairman expanded on the high performance standards achieved under the current waste and recycling contract:

·           Waverley is 5th highest performing Waste Collection Authority in England (out of 228) for dry recycling at 34.1%. Only South Oxfordshire and Surrey Heath achieve higher levels of diversion amongst its Nearest Neighbours and Surrey authority groups.

·           Total kerbside residual waste collected is well below the average in Surrey, demonstrating Waverley’s waste reduction policies (no excess residual waste, lid closed policy) are having a positive effect.

·           Compared with its Nearest Neighbours, Waverley has the 4th highest yield in kg per household per year for kerbside dry recycling, and the 5th lowest yield for kerbside residual waste. This demonstrates that residents use the recycling scheme well, and are keeping the volume of residual waste consistently low;

·           Waverley’s overall recycling/composting rate was 54.9% in 2015/16 and has increased to around 57% due to the improvements put in place since the last audited data was reported.

 

At 6.40pm, on the recommendation of the Chairman, the Committee RESOLVED that in accordance with Procedure Rule 20 and with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting to avoid disclosure of information as described in Paragraph 3 of the revised Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, ie:

 

            Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person       (including the authority holding that information).

 

Having discussed the report and recommendations in Exempt session, at 7.00pm the meeting resumed in open session and the Chairman confirmed that the Committee had endorsed the recommendations to the Executive on the procurement approach for provision of Waste, Recycling, Street  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43.

44.

Medium Term Financial Plan 2018/19 - 2020/21 and General Fund Budget 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 104 KB

This report outlines the latest General Fund Budget position for 2018/19.  Members are reminded of the need to achieve savings throughout the three-year period covered by the Medium Term Financial Plan.  Information is provided on the details of the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement 2018/19 and the Council’s financial position following this.

 

Each Overview and Scrutiny Committee is requested, in the light of the significant budget shortfall in the medium term, to consider all of the proposals identified in this report and make any observations for consideration by the Executive.

 

Recommendation

 

It is recommended that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee:

 

1.         in the light of the significant budget shortfall, considers the proposals to balance Waverley’s General Fund budget in 2018/19 as set out in this report and makes any observations to pass to the Executive; and

 

2.         considers the draft capital programme and fees and charges and passes any comments and observations to the Executive.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Graeme Clark, Strategic Director, introduced the report that set out the proposed Medium Term Financial Plan 2018/19-2020/21 and the General Fund Budget for 2018/19. The same report was being considered by all four Overview and Scrutiny Committees and observations and recommendations would be passed to the Executive.

 

The headlines were that at the start of the budget process in July 2017 the 3-year budget gap had been £2.7m. This was largely a result of inflationary pressure on costs, the reduction in the Council’s Government Grant to zero for 2081/19, and the reduced contribution from Surrey County Council to Waste and Recycling costs. The latest projections showed the budget gap had increased to £3.2m, largely due to higher inflation costs, of which £0.8m was in 2018/19.

 

There had been significant changes, too, in the level of future payments expected under the New Homes Bonus (NHB) as a result of the Government curtailing payments going forward. These would reduce the forecast NHB income by £3.5m over the 3-year period 2017-2020. Since the introduction of the NHB, the Council had made it policy not to use NHB to support ongoing service delivery, but to use it for ‘invest to save’ projects. This meant that there would be no direct impact on service delivery from the reduction in NHB funds, but the Council’s ability to generate income from investing this money would be significantly impacted.

 

The Chairman thanked Officers for their introduction, and invited the Committee to consider each of the recommendations to the Executive as set out in the report.

 

The Committee noted the proposed increase in Waverley’s council tax by 2.99%, the maximum allowed in 2018/19, and recognised that this preserved the base line of council tax income. The Chairman asked what alternatives had been explored to bridge the budget gap before proposing the council tax increase of 2.99%?

 

Graeme Clark agreed that it would be nice to have options to consider whilst still being able to retain provision of services going forward, and it was hoped that the planned community budgeting exercise would provide a strong steer on the relative values residents assigned to different services.

 

The Committee recognised that all councils had difficult decisions to make to balance their budgets, that required a judgement to be made between increasing council tax and charging for services. The Council’s entry into Property Investment was already making a positive impact on the budget and reducing pressure on the need to increase fees and charges, and council tax, even more.

 

The Committee noted that the Budget Book would be published after the Council meeting on 20 February, and that they had already agreed an action to carry out an in-depth review of certain budgets within the Environment service.

 

With regards to the proposed savings and growth proposals, it was noted that:

·         the car parking ‘Check In – Check Out’ trial in Cranleigh had been terminated with the agreement of the Chamber of Commerce, as it was not well used compared to cashless payments. There  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44.

45.

Service Plans 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 59 KB

This report presents the draft Service Plan objectives for the new financial year 2018-2019 for the service areas under the remit of this Committee.

 

Members will receive short presentations from each Head of Service regarding the main features and priorities of their plan and are asked to make any observations on the plans to the Executive.

 

Recommendation

 

It is recommended that the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee:

 

1.   considers the draft Service Plan Objectives for 2018/19 and makes any          observations to the Executive; and

 

2.   recommends that the Heads of Services review their Service Plans for            2018/19 once the new Corporate Strategy is agreed.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee considered the draft 2018/19 Service Plans for Environmental Services, Planning and Parks & Countryside.

 

The Committee:

 

·         noted that it would be receiving an update on the activities of the Joint Enforcement Initiative at the March 2018 meeting.

 

·         was keen that the strategic review of off-street parking provision included looking at the potential to maximise use of Waverley’s car parks, including building on levels above the car parks to provide homes for rent; whether chevron parking in some car parks would improve the layout and customer experience; and reviewing the use by Cranleigh Market of Village Way car park to ensure that the needs of residents wanting to park are addressed, and income is optimised for the Council.

 

·         was pleased to see the action to develop a revised Air Quality Action Plan through the Waverley Air Quality Steering Group, and noted that a working group focussed on addressing air quality issues in Farnham had been set up.

 

·         noted that it would be receiving an update on the Frensham Great Pond ‘Heathland Hub’ at the March 2018 meeting.

 

·         recognised the challenge of ensuring that affordable housing provided by developers is delivered in parallel with market housing, but wanted to see a robust approach to negotiation of delivery phasing within S106 agreements in order to secure planning gain.

46.

Performance Management Report 2017/18 Quarter 2 pdf icon PDF 111 KB

The report details the Council’s performance in Quarter 2 of 2017/18 for services that fall within the remit of Environment O&S: Planning and Environment. 

 

Annexe 1 to the report details performance against key indicators.

 

Recommendation

 

It is recommended that the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee:

 

1.    Considers the performance figures for Quarter 2 as set out in Annexe 1, and agrees any observations or recommendations about performance and progress towards the targets it wishes to make to the Executive.

2.    Considers the target review for the E4 (missed bins) indicator and if agreed, recommends approval of the change to the Executive. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Nora Copping, Policy & Performance Officer presented the Performance Management Report for Quarter 2 of 2017/18 (July – September 2017), and the Committee was pleased to see the generally good performance across services.

 

The Committee considered at length the proposal for the ‘missed bins’ KPI (E4), that the target should be reduced from 26/104,000 collections to 50/104,000. Whilst it was recognised that the threshold for penalty charges being imposed was 50 missed bins/104,000 collections, but were reluctant to set this as the ‘target’ when current performance was better than this.

 

The Committee noted that even at the higher level, this was a very small percentage of the total number of collections each week. The amount of client management time needed to achieve marginal improvement and keep the missed bin rate closer to 26/104,000 than 50/104,000 arguably did not translate into an equivalent improvement in customer satisfaction.

 

However, as a compromise the Committee agreed to recommend to the Executive a new target of 40 missed bins/104,000.

47.

Air Quality - Update pdf icon PDF 69 KB

This report provides an update on Air Quality issues in Waverley.

 

Recommendation

 

It is recommended that Members receive the report and welcome the proposals for future air quality monitoring and reporting.

Minutes:

Victoria Buckroyd, Environmental Health Manager, introduced the report that provided an update on Waverley’s air quality monitoring and reporting, including the appointment of Amec Foster to undertake a review of the network of diffusion tubes, and to carry out air quality monitoring on behalf of Waverley.

 

Cllr Byham welcomed the review of diffusion tube locations, and highlighted concerns in Bramley in relation to the impact of increased traffic volumes as a result of the huge amount of housing development that had been approved in the south of the borough, and into Sussex.

 

Cllr Byham had some concerns about the appointment of contractors to undertake Waverley’s air quality monitoring, given the recent problems of Carillion. Victoria Buckroyd reassured the Committee that Waverley’s Contract Procurement Rules had been followed and the appointment of Amec Foster had been the outcome of a competitive tender process.

 

The Committee noted the arrangements for future air quality monitoring and reporting, and that the procurement of the contracts to review the air quality monitoring network and to undertake air quality monitoring and reporting services had been carried out in accordance with Waverley’s Contract Procurement Rules.

48.

Environment Corporate Priorities - Update pdf icon PDF 69 KB

This report provides information on key corporate priorities that fall within the remit of the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee. 

 

Updates since the Committee report in November  are shown in bold type.

 

Recommendation

 

It is recommended that the Committee considers whether there are matters in relation to these Corporate Priorities that they would like to add to the Committee Forward Programme, ensuring that the purpose for scrutiny is clearly defined and any proposal passes the work programme selection criteria flowchart.

Minutes:

Graeme Clark, Strategic Director, introduced the progress report on key corporate priorities within the remit of the Environment O&S Committee.

 

With regard to the Local Plan Part 1, Graeme Clark informed the Committee that since the agenda report had been issued the final draft of the Inspector’s report had been received for fact-checking by Waverley. It was expected that the final report would be received shortly, at which time it would be published and be submitted to O&S, the Executive and Council. The decision for the Council would be to adopt the Local Plan, or not.

 

The Chairman asked Officers to prepare a response to the Neil McDonald consultation submission, in order to help Members to decide whether they should accept the housing numbers in the Inspector’s report. The Chairman agreed to take this up with Officers off-line, but the Committee noted that the Inspector would decide if the Local Plan was ‘sound’ and on what basis; there was no scope for Waverley to negotiate with the Inspector over the housing numbers.

 

The Chairman also asked whether the comments submitted by the Committee to the Executive in relation to the CIL Draft Charging Schedule would be forwarded to the Inspector for the Examination in Public; and, whether there was another planning application for Brightwells (for the construction access and bridge) to come forward. The Chairman agreed to follow-up off-line on both points.

49.

COMMITTEE FORWARD WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 99 KB

The Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee, along with the O&S Coordinating Board, is responsible for managing the Committee’s work programme.

 

The current work programme (attached) includes items agreed at the O&S Coordinating Board and takes account of items identified on the latest Executive Forward Programme (Annexe 2) as due to come forward for decision.

 

Recommendation

 

Members are invited to consider their work programme and make any comments and/or amendments they consider necessary, including  suggestions for any additional topics that the Committee may wish to add to its work programme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee reviewed its future work programme and noted the items scheduled to come forward in March 2018:

 

·         Place shaping presentation

·         Frensham Great Pond ‘Heathland Hub’

·         Joint Enforcement Initiative

·         Air quality update

·         Corporate priorities update

 

Cllr Hunter asked for an update on the cordoned-off area in Crown Court and the reason for the delay in completing the works, which was unsightly and causing inconvenience for users.

 

The Vice-Chairman asked the Scrutiny Officer to update Section B of the work programme to show the Planning Member Reference Group, and the Budget Review Working Group.