Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3 - Civic Centre

Contact: Martin Stevens  Email: martin.stevens@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

[To receive any apologies for absence]. 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Ian Angus, Cllr Mary Bateman, Cllr Philip Bateman and Cllr Arun Photay. 

2.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest. 

3.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 597 KB

[To approve the minutes of the previous meeting as a correct record].

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2018 were approved as a correct record. 

4.

Matters arising

[To consider any matter arising from the minutes].

Minutes:

The Chair asked whether Cllr Phil Bateman had received the information on insurance claims he had requested at the previous meeting. The Scrutiny Officer confirmed that he had received the information. 

 

Cllr Haynes requested a briefing from the Head of Transport on the impact on the transport network in Wolverhampton of the new quarry being opened in Staffordshire.  The Chair stated he would ask the Head of Transport to provide a written briefing note to Cllr Haynes and himself. 

5.

Waste Management Delivery Plan pdf icon PDF 158 KB

[To receive a report on the evaluation of the Waste Management Delivery Plan]. 

 

Minutes:

The Lead Officer for Waste introduced the report on the evaluation of the Waste Management Delivery Plan.  The changes to the bin collection service had been a two-year process.  A substantial number of Council staff had been involved in the programme including those in finance and human resources.  It had therefore truly been an organisational wide achievement.   

 

The Portfolio Holder for City Environment remarked that the Council had been required to transform the waste collection service due to budget pressures.  Approximately 76% of Councils were now collecting general house waste on a fortnightly or even three to four-week basis.  Bringing the waste collection service back in-house had brought added benefits including better efficiency and accountability.  As an example, he cited the improvements in the expediency of clearing the waste from fly tipping. 

 

The Portfolio Holder for City Environment stated that the food waste collection service was no longer economically viable.  Government funding had been withdrawn and only about 10% of residents made use of the food waste collection service.  50% of the space on the collection wagons had been required to run the food collection service.  This had meant the wagons were having to return to the depot, more often than was required if the food collection service was not being run.  Removing the food waste collection service made the wagons much more efficient on their collection rounds.   Bringing the service back in house had been a good reason to purchase new wagons and design them to be as efficient as possible to the service needs of the Council.

 

The Portfolio Holder for City Environment remarked that all Wolverhampton residents had been offered the opportunity of upgrading their general waste bin to 240 litres.  He thought that given the scale of the waste collection changes, the transformation had gone reasonably well.  He acknowledged that the garden waste service was now a chargeable service for those wishing to receive the service.   He thought the £35.00 per annum charge was very reasonable and was one of the cheapest in the country.  He believed Wolverhampton was the only Council in the country that offered a 50% concessionary rate, lowering the cost to only £17.50.  Wolverhampton was not unique in charging, as 55% of Councils now charged for garden waste collection.  Hereford charged £3.50 for the collection of five garden waste filled bags. 

 

The Portfolio Holder remarked that all 20,000 purple garden waste bins ordered by the Council had been purchased by Wolverhampton residents.  The garden collection service had commenced last Monday.  The Portfolio Holder applauded the Officers and staff that had been involved in the transformation of the service, whom he described as being excellent throughout the process.  He also commended the support from the Scrutiny Panel and Members of the Council in their work to secure a relatively smooth transformation process.  He believed the Council were offering a better service than the private sector.  He was very pleased with the overall take up of the garden collection service.

 

A Member of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Active Travel Needs Assessment pdf icon PDF 524 KB

[To receive the Active Travel Needs Assessment Report]

 

[Report is marked: To Follow]

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Consultant in Public Health introduced the Active Travel Needs Assessment report.  She defined active travel as the choice of travel modes requiring physical activity for all or part of a journey in preference to motor transport.  Typically, these modes were walking, wheelchair use and cycling, whether as sole methods of transport or elements of a longer journey.  Increasing physical activity was a key local priority.  Healthy life expectancy in Wolverhampton was below the national average.  Wolverhampton was one of the 20% most deprived districts/unitarities in England and approximately 1 in 3 children lived in low income families. 

 

The Consultant in Public Health remarked that a lack of physical activity was a major contributor to a lower healthy life expectancy. Conditions linked to a lack of physical activity included cardiovascular disease and diabetes.  A third of the population of Wolverhampton was physically inactive, this meant they were doing less than 30 minutes of physical activity per week. Active travel was one way for people to start building physical activity into their daily lives.  Active travel could bring both physical and mental health benefits.  There were also the indirect benefits to improving air quality and reducing noise.  It also reduced traffic and made more efficient use of road space.   

 

The Professional Lead for Transport Strategy remarked that the Council had produced an Active Travel Strategy in 2016.  He stated that the Active Travel Strategy had identified three target groups within the population.  The first was those who undertook little or no physical activity and for whom there were considerable barriers to uptake of active travel and were generally resident in areas of high deprivation.  The second was those who were disposed to an active lifestyle and might extend this into travel under the right circumstances and were generally resident in the more affluent west of the city.  The third was vulnerable road users such as children and people with disabilities, located throughout the city.

 

The Professional Lead for Transport Strategy commented that the Council had conducted a survey on active travel.  The answers that had been received about why people did not engage in active travel varied depending on if they were referring to walking or cycling.  Common barriers to walking included, practical issues such as having to transport people to places, it being slower than other forms of transport, people having a limited range on how far they were prepared to walk, poor weather and safety concerns. There were also concerns over the common sight in Wolverhampton of footpaths being blocked by parked vehicles.  This was particularly problematic for wheelchair users and people with push chairs. 

 

The Professional Lead for Transport Strategy remarked that barriers to cycling were related to the safety of the infrastructure.  People were afraid that they would not be able to travel safely in Wolverhampton whilst cycling. Close passing by motor cars, even if it did not result in injury was a clear deterrent. Some areas had implemented active travel solutions successfully, he cited the example  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

2018 Budget Funding - £60M to Plant Trees pdf icon PDF 288 KB

[To receive a briefing note on the funding proposal announced following the Government’s 2018 budget for more than 10 million trees to be planted across England with the injection of £60m of new funding over five years, as part of what the government billed as its “drive to preserve the country’s greenery]. 

Minutes:

The Head of Environmental Services introduced a briefing note, entitled “£60 million to Plant Trees.”  He stated that the Government had announced a budget of £60 million to plant more than 10 million trees across the country, in a drive to replace the country’s greenery.  The £10m going towards planting urban trees was to be matched by contributions of funding and assistance from local authorities, community groups and charities.  Details about bidding for the funding as part of the initiative were not currently available and were yet to be formulated by the relevant Government department. 

 

A Member of the Panel commented that tree planting schemes in Wolverhampton in the past had been challenging due to them being damaged by people using motor vehicles or purposely pulling them out to make way for parking.  The Head of Environmental Services responded that using larger trees could help alleviate some of these problems.  It was however important to address the root cause as to why trees were being damaged, which often centered on parking issues.  The current legislation could also be restrictive for the circumstances which allowed the Council to put forward prosecutions.  

8.

Work Plan pdf icon PDF 440 KB

[To receive the Scrutiny Work Programme]. 

Minutes:

Members agreed to add the plans for the Bike Sharing scheme project, to the Scrutiny Work Plan. 

 

Resolved: That the Scrutiny Work Plan be agreed. 

9.

Future Meeting Dates

The future meeting dates for the Vibrant and Sustainable City Scrutiny Panel are as follows: -

 

11 April 2019 at 6pm

20 June 2019 at 6pm

5 September 2019 at 6pm

7 November 2019 at 6pm

30 January 2020 at 6pm

19 March 2020 at 6pm

Minutes:

The future meeting dates for the Vibrant and Sustainable City Scrutiny Panel were confirmed as follows: -

 

11 April 2019 at 6pm

20 June 2019 at 6pm

5 September 2019 at 6pm

7 November 2019 at 6pm

30 January 2020 at 6pm

19 March 2020 at 6pm

10.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

[To pass the following resolution:

 

That in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business as they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information on the grounds shown below.

 

By virtue of paragraph(s) 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 - Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)].

Minutes:

Resolved: That in accordance with Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 that the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the item on WV Active as it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information.  This is by virtue of paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 – information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information). 

11.

WV Active Presentation

[To receive a presentation on WV Active from the WV Active Manager].

Minutes:

The WV Active Manager gave a confidential presentation on WV Active.  At the conclusion of the presentation, Members thanked the WV Active Manager for his work in improving the service.