Agenda and draft minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Environment - Wednesday, 24th June, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Zoom Meeting

Contact: Kimberly Soane  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS

To receive apologies for absence and note substitutions.

 

Members who are unable to attend this meeting must submit apologies by the end of 17th June 2020 to enable a substitute to be arranged, if applicable.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Brian Edmonds

 

Cllr Jerry Hyman attended as a substitute.

2.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 166 KB

The Minutes of the meeting of the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee held on 13th January 2020 are attached, and Members are asked to confirm them as a correct record. 

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 13th January 2020  were confirmed as a correct record of the meeting.

3.

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:

Cllr Martin D’Arcy advised that he had a non-percunery interest in Item 9 – Pesticides Policy as he had been consulted during its development.

4.

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.

 

The deadline for submission of written questions for this meeting is Tuesday 16th June 2020.

Minutes:

A representation along with three questions had been submitted by Fiona Scimone relating to Item 9 – Pesticides Policy.  The Chairman read out the questions and the committee were advised that as the responsible officer was not available to answer the questions in person a written response would be sent to Ms Scimone as soon as possible.

 

5 other letters of support for the policy were also received.

5.

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS

The Chairman to respond to any questions received from Members in accordance with Procedure Rule 11.

 

The deadline for submission of written questions for this meeting is Tuesay 16th June 2020.

 

Minutes:

No questions had been received from Members.

6.

UPDATE ON PROGRESS OF LPP2 pdf icon PDF 167 KB

To receive an update on the progress of the development of the Plan and expected timescales. And agree any recommendations within the paper.

Minutes:

Graham Parrott, Planning Policy Manager, introduced the agenda report that set out the progress with Local Plan Part 2 (LPP2).  LPP2 expanded on strategic policies in LPP1, including specific new policy requirements to mitigate the impact of development on climate change. LPP2 was also proposing site allocations for Haslemere and Witley, to enable those settlements to meet their LPP1 housing requirements, and for Gypsy and Traveller sites.

 

The Chairman queried the proposed timescale for bringing forward the pre-submission draft, and the narrow window for the document to be scrutinised by Environment O&S before it went to the Executive.  Officers advised this would be challenging, but due to the delays during the current pandemic it was necessary to push ahead as quickly as possible to avoid any further delays.

 

Cllr Paul Follows had registered to speak on this matter, and highlighted the Executive’s wish to ensure the aspirations of Haslemere and Witley were acknowledged in LPP2. The Executive wanted to allow as much time as possible for scrutiny but also wanted to push forward the process as quickly as possible.

 

The Committee discussed how the outstanding Neighbourhood Plans could be developed and brought to fruition in order to drive LPP2. Whilst referendums currently had been delayed until 6th May 2021,  it was hoped these might be able to happen sooner if government guidance was updated.

7.

CLIMATE CHANGE STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN

Verbal update from Portfolio Holder in the Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan.

Minutes:

Cllr Steve Williams, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainability, updated the Committee on progress with the Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan.

 

The Committee was reminded that on 18 September 2019 Full Council had declared a Climate Emergency, and on 3 March 2020 a draft strategy and action plan had been endorsed by the Executive as the basis on which to take the work forward.  The documents were now available for comments by the public, and the Action Plan was being refined to define ‘SMARTER’ targets to enable Waverley to be carbon neutral by 2030.

 

An updated Action Plan was scheduled to come to the Committee in September with a view to it then going to the Executive in October.

 

The Chairman raised concern that due process had not been followed and the Committee had been disregarded by having the Action Plan go out to public consultation with no Overview and Scrutiny input.  Cllr Williams explained it had been agreed at the Council meeting that the document would go to Executive within 6 months, and there had been a lot of debate at that Council meeting which included members of this committee.  Also the papers had been available in the Executive agenda for members to look at if they so wished.

 

Cllr Paul Rivers commented that he found the document very hard to follow as it was not well structured and asked that it be reviewed and redesigned.  Cllr Williams welcomed the comment and agreed this would be looked at.

 

The Chair thanked Cllr Williams for his update but advised she would be contacting the Monitoring Officer as she was unhappy with the way the process had been followed with no consultation with this committee.

8.

HOUSEHOLD RECYCLING CENTRE ISSUES AND PROPOSALS pdf icon PDF 113 KB

To consider the issues and proposals set out in the report and consider the proposed recommendations to Executive.

 

Recommendations

 

2.1       The banks for co-mingled recycling at bring sites listed in Annexe A be removed as soon as possible to avoid any ongoing additional payments to Biffa.

 

2.2       The banks for textiles and WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment)  are removed shortly following the introduction of the kerbside textiles and WEEE collections (Autumn-2020)

 

2.3       An effective communications plan be developed to promote the additional kerbside recycling collection services and the reasons for removing these sites.

 

Minutes:

Richard Homewood, Head of Environmental and Regulatory Services, introduced the agenda report that set out proposals to remove the ‘Bring-Sites’ from various car parks in the borough.  He explained that these sites were installed before the introduction of wheelie bins and the collection of such a wide range of recyclables kerb side.  In addition there were plans in place to start collecting textiles and small electrical appliances kerbside in the Autumn, which would make the Bring Sites surplus to requirements.

 

Bring Sites had always caused issues with items being fly-tipped and high levels of contamination in the recycling bins, and this had increased during lockdown.  The collections were now going to landfill rather than being recycled as materials were so badly contaminated.  Fines had been enforced on individuals who had been identified fly tipping at the sites.

 

In response to questions, the Committee noted that removal of the Bring Sites would avoid additional collection costs of £146,000 per annum, and the cost of refurbishing the sites, around £70,000.

 

The committee welcomed the report and SUPPORTED the recommendations set out in the report and COMMENDED them to the Executive.

 

9.

PESTICIDES POLICY pdf icon PDF 776 KB

To consider and scrutinise the draft policy and make any suggested revisions before it is formally agreed.

 

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered the draft Pesticides Policy circulated with the agenda.  Unfortunately an officer was unavailable to outline the document but members were asked to make comment which would be passed to the officers concerned.

 

The Committee welcomed the policy and overall felt it was very well written.  Again Cllr Rivers felt it was too long and outlined that policies should only be a few pages with procedures and timescales being separate documents to accompany the Policy.

 

The Committee asked that the Towns and Parishes were fully consulted on this document too as it was important for there to be a full ‘buy-in’ from all partners.

 

The Committee were advised that in addition to this policy, a biodiversity policy was being written and each of these work streams would need to work in partnership with each other.

 

The Committee welcomed the report and SUPPORTED the recommendations set out in the report to the Executive.

10.

GREEN SPACES STRATEGY SCOPING REPORT pdf icon PDF 78 KB

To receive the report of the working group of this committee, consider the recommendations set out within it and approve the report for submission to the Executive.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Martin D’Arcy gave an overview of the report from the Green Spaces Strategy Working Group which had been developed to make recommendations to officers in writing the Green Spaces Strategy.

 

The Committee were encouraged by the report identifying the partners and stakeholders who would need to be consulted as part of the strategy.

 

Concern was raised regarding the timescales set out and the availability of resources.  It was acknowledged that it would be resource intensive.  The Committee were assured they would be kept updated on the progress of the draft strategy.

 

The Committee AGREED  the structure and content of the report. 

 

A recommendation in the report was to put Verges on the Committee’s work programme. The Committee agreed this was a worthwhile subject to scrutinise.

 

The Committee  AGREED  the recommendations and proposals in the report.

11.

CORPORATE PERFORMANCE REPORT Q4 2019/20 DOTX 45 KB

To consider the performance report (to follow) and make any observations or recommendations as appropriate.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee noted the Corporate Performance Report for Q4 of the 2019/20 council year.  The Committee focussed on those service areas within their remit and the KPI’s not reaching target.

 

Planning

 

Zac Ellwood, Head of Planning & Economic Development advised that the main KPI of concern was LP152 – Major planning appeals allowed as a % of major appeal decisions made.  This had been off target for 2 quarters now, although the actual number of appeals concerned was relatively small.

 

P3 – All planning appeals allowed out of all appeals determined was once again off track but this was being addressed.  The Committee was advised that the Head of Planning and Economic Development was reviewing all recommendations to refuse planning permission to ensure that these were robust decisions.

 

P7 – Actual number of dwellings commenced was a KPI which was difficult to influence as when developers commenced on site was outside of the Council’s ability to influence.

 

Environment

 

Richard Homewood, Head of Environmental & Regulatory Services, advised that E1 – Materials Recovery Facilities rejection rate was now back to green mainly because the collections from Bring Sites were now being counted in E NI191 – Residual household waste per household as it was going to landfill (due to contamination) (see item 8 above) rather than recycling.

 

This has meant E NI191 has now been red for two quarters, influenced by Christmas and lockdown as well as the issue with the Bring Sites.

 

E3 – Street cleaning was being monitored. It was noted that resources had been diverted to refuse collection during lockdown due to being short staffed.

 

The Committee was advised of a proposal to discontinue KPI E4 – no of missed bin collections per 100,000 per week and replace it with E4a and E4b as the refuse collections and food waste collections were now carried out separately so it was only fair to measure them separately too.

12.

COMMITTEE FORWARD WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 217 KB

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

 

Currently due to the current Covid-19 issues the committee are only working on business critical items therefore the work programme has not been updated.

Minutes:

The Committee was advised that due to the current Covid-19 issues the focus was on business critical items therefore the work programme had not been updated.  Members were, however, encouraged to contact the Scrutiny Officer if they felt there was an item the Committee should discuss.

 

It was hoped that business as usual may be underway by the September meeting.