Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Environment - Monday, 18th January, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: ZOOM MEETING - Virtual Meeting. View directions

Contact: Kimberly Soane  Democratic Services Officer

No. Item



To approve the Minutes of the meeting of the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee held on 11 November 2020 and published on the Council website.


The Minutes of the Meeting held on 11 November 2020 and published on the Council website were noted and confirmed as a correct of the meeting.



To receive apologies for absence and note substitutions.


Members who are unable to attend this meeting must submit apologies by the end of Monday 11th January 2021 to enable a substitute to be arranged, if applicable.


Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Anna James.




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.


There were no declarations of interest submitted for this meeting.



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 Monday 11th January 2021.



There were no questions from members of the public submitted for this meeting.



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 Monday 11th January 2021.



There were no questions from members submitted for this meeting.




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.




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:


Louise Norie highlighted the items set out in the Forward Work Programme for future meetings.


·         Service Plans will be presented to the March meeting.

·         Affordable Housing SPD due to be circulated to the committee..

·         Car Parking Review due spring 2021

·         Local Enforcement Plan due at the March meeting.

·         Green Verges and Place-Shaping still to be agreed.

·         Biodiversity Action Plan seemed to have dropped off the programme, it had been delayed to end of 2021/22.


The chairman then asked the committee to consider any further issues they wished to be added to the programme for scrutiny.


Items suggested were:


·         Lesson learnt during Covid & how they can be built on.

·         Establishment of green corridors for people and wildlife.

·         Minimum amenity space for new builds.

·         Balancing the need for general street maintenance with the aspiration for a natural environment.


Action: Mark Mills, Scrutiny Officer, to draw together ideas from Members for items.



To receive updates on current issues in order to support the Committee in identifying items for the forward work programme.



Environment and Regulatory Services


Richard Homewood reflected on the last year, outlining the services provided and how they have adapted throughout 2020 in response to the pandemic.


Environmental Services


A new waste collection contractor (Biffa) was employed.  The old contractor had established certain practices and when Biffa came on board there were some significant changes, such as round changes, which caused some unrest for residents initially.  The Covid impact has made tonnages for domestic and food waste go up but commercial waste has gone down.  Sickness rates at Biffa have caused some issues but these have been negated by suspending the green waste collection so staff can be redeployed for waste and food collections. Subscriptions will be extended to compensate for the suspension.




Dramatic drop in car parking income over last year.  Parking charges were suspended between March and July. South Street car park, Farnham has been refurbished and a multi storey car park has been erected on the old Dogflud Way car park.  Covid test stations have also been erected in some Waverley car parks.


Emergency Planning have been focusing on Covid but have also had to consider Brexit plus flood and fire issues. Teams have also had to consider requests for events and what could be allowed.


Environmental Health


Food inspections were delayed to allow the food safety team to support businesses to diversify during the lockdowns. The Licensing Team have also worked alongside them to support and advise.


Other projects the teams have worked on are:


·         Promoting cycle ways.

·         Electric Vehicle (EV) charging projects

·         E-Cargo bikes.


The committee admired the way the teams had responded to the pandemic and asked if representation had been made to government regarding front line services being prioritised for the vaccine. They were advised that no representation had been made as the prioritised categories had already been decided.


Richard Homewood was asked about the gaps that were identified during the fire on Hankley Common. It was felt that the emergency plan had not worked as well as it should have.  Richard Homewood advised that the teams are always learning and will adapt and make changes in their responses.


The committee asked if there were any evidence of damage to on street EV points. Richard Homewood advised that he was not aware of any, they held no money so were not as attractive as pay and display machines.


Richard Homewood was asked about the Air Quality Action Plan and if the existing infrastructure plans had dropped off? 

Richard Homewood advised that the teams are continuing to monitor air quality.  There was a gap in recording due to Covid but this has resumed and an Air Quality Statement would be drafted after the December 2020 results are received.  The Air Quality Action Plan would be revised and both would be brought to committee.


Planning and Economic Development

Zac Ellwood explained that, despite the pandemic, planning services had continued.  The staff had been under pressure but worked well.


Dunsfold Park


This development had not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.



The Corporate Performance Report provides an analysis of the Council’s

performance for the second quarter of 2020-21 The report, set out at Annexe 1,is being presented to each of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees for

comment and any recommendations they may wish to make to the Executive.


The Corporate Performance Report for quarter 2 of 2020/21 had been circulated with the agenda and members were asked to make comment.


Planning and Economic Development


Concern was raised that the notes accompanying the complaints indicators were contradictory to the good performance shown under PI151, PI153 and PI123. How many of the applications were subject to extension of time agreements? Zac Ellwood responded that a large proportion of the applications would have been given an extension of time and that he was happy to come back to the committee with the exact statistics.


It was asked what was happening with pre-applications as the narrative did not paint a good picture.  Zac Ellwood explained that the current process was not fit for purpose and needs reviewing/an overhaul.


The committee asked for statistics around the Discharge of Conditions to be provided.


The committee asked if Horizon would make any difference to how we will see planning applications?  They were advised that it should not make any difference, however, the current reporting process is being reviewed.


Environment and Regulatory Services


The committee asked why kerbside collections had been delayed.  Richard Homewood advised this was due to an issue around transporting the goods from Biffa to SCC. 


It was also asked if kerbside collections was still economical in the current climate?  They were advised that the collections were included in the current contract so would not cost us any more than currently and the collection of textiles does generate a small income.


Closing comments:


It was suggested that the current PI’s did not tell the committee very much and that we needed a different way of reporting. It was felt the committee required the quality of the responses not the time taken to make the response.


Louise Norie advised that there were two approaches that could be taken to review the way PI’s were reported. A) Review at end of year as has happened previously.

B) Ask for a more bespoke report to be written to give more detail to the areas of concern expressed by the committee . It was suggested we should have Waverley targets not national ones and a working group should be established to set those targets.


Action: Report to be brought to next meeting developing on the Planning KPI’s to give a clearer picture.



To consider, if necessary, the following recommendation on the motion of the Chairman:




That pursuant to Procedure Rule 20 and in accordance with Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items on the grounds that it is likely in view of the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the public were present during the items there would be disclosure to them of exempt information (as defined by Section 100I of the Act) to be identified at the meeting.


There were no items to discuss in exempt session so the Chairman closed the meeting.