Agenda and minutes

Vibrant and Sustainable City Scrutiny Panel
Thursday, 12th July, 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 3 - Civic Centre

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

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Ian Angus, Cllr Bhupinder Gakhal and Cllr Christopher Haynes. 

2.

Declarations of interest

[Members are reminded that they must not participate in the discussion or voting on any matter in which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest and should leave the room prior to the commencement of the debate].

 

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest. 

3.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 77 KB

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

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair. 

4.

Matters arising

[To consider any matter arising from the minutes]

Minutes:

The Chair asked for an update to be given on the recommendations that had been made at the last meeting in relation to air quality.  The Service Lead for Residential responded they were working with ICT on some technical issues to display the air quality data collected from the monitoring stations.  The City Council were currently responding to the government mandate to produce a targeted feasibility study on how air quality could be improved at certain key locations.  This was currently in development and would be made available at the end of the month. DEFRA had not permitted them to use the grant money available on new air quality monitoring equipment. 

5.

Kingdom

[Mark Mountford (Regional Manager) and Paviter Singh (Wolverhampton Site Team Leader) will give a presentation on the work Kingdom carry out on behalf of City of Wolverhampton Council and will be able to answer questions put by Scrutiny Panel Members.  Council Officers Ross Cook (Service Director City Environment), Colin Parr (Head of Business Service) and Shaun Walker (Service Lead Residential) will be in attendance]. 

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Mr Daniel Edwards and Mr Paviter Singh (Team Leader) representing Kingdom to the meeting. 

 

The Team Leader for Kingdom gave a verbal presentation on the work which Kingdom carried out on behalf of the Council.  He said Kingdom had been in partnership with the Council since 2015 to make Wolverhampton a safer, cleaner and greener place.  They tackled issues surrounding litter offences and walkers failing to remove dog faeces.  They had achieved considerable success since the contract commenced.  Their work had initially begun with a twelve-month pilot scheme.  Since the Council had begun working with Kingdom there had been a reduction in the overall amount of litter in the Wolverhampton area.  Kingdom also had contracts with Walsall, Dudley and Birmingham. 

 

Several members of the Panel expressed their support for the work Kingdom were carrying out on behalf of the Council.  A Member asked about the recent coverage in the Express and Star newspaper regarding the headline of “dropped an apple, face an eighty pound fine.”  The article was in reference to the PSPO (Public Space Protection Order) in Park Village.  The majority of comments she had seen on the social media platform, Facebook, had been of a positive nature in reference to the PSPO.  There were a couple of negative comments she had seen, which included a person who alleged his wife had been fined £75 for dropping a cigarette outside New Cross Hospital having just been diagnosed with Cancer.   She was also aware of a homeless person who had been given a fine outside of a hostel.  She asked how Kingdom supported vulnerable people including those with learning disabilities. 

 

The Team Leader for Kingdom stated they had a representation process where if there were mitigating circumstances they could be forwarded in writing to them.  The case would then be reviewed and if it was deemed appropriate the fixed penalty notice would be revoked.   Kingdom Officers were allowed to give a verbal warning if it was obvious they were dealing with a vulnerable person, instead of issuing a fixed penalty notice. 

 

The Cabinet Member for City Environment stated he had been the person responsible for signing the contract with Kingdom on behalf of the Council.   Before this time, it had been a very limited in-house service, which had little resources dedicated to enforcement.   When the service was in-house only 2-3 fines had been issued in one year.  Kingdoms patrols were not just restricted to the City Centre.  The service was cost neutral to the Council as part of the fine income went to Kingdom and the remainder was received by the Council.  Since the Council’s contract with Kingdom, the amount of litter in Wolverhampton had significantly reduced and more people were being caught for dog fouling.   Fines could be revoked when there were special circumstances.  He was of the view that overall the partnership working with contractor Kingdom had been a great success. 

 

 

A Member of the Panel asked what training Kingdom gave to their Enforcement Officers  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Waste Strategy 2018 - 2028 pdf icon PDF 6 MB

[To discuss and make recommendations on the delivery of the Waste Strategy 2018-2028.  The strategy approved by Cabinet is attached.  Ross Cook (Service Director City Environment) and Mike Butler (Lead Officer Waste) will be in attendance]

Minutes:

The Lead Officer for Waste gave a presentation on the Waste Strategy 2018-2028.  There were huge challenges surrounding waste management which were increasing each year.  The Council needed to shape its service requirements to be efficient and effective but by still meeting the community needs, legislative needs and financial and operational responsibilities.  There was a significant amount of legislative requirements which were often difficult to balance against each other.  The development and subsequent implementation of the waste strategy over the next ten years would ensure the timely provision of facilities and services that maximised the sustainable benefits for the community and support regeneration and growth in the City.  

 

The Lead Officer for Waste said the services would be transferred from contractor Amey back in-house to the Council on 1 September 2018.  There was a huge programme being undertaken, involving approximately 40 Officers, to make it a smooth transition.  The move to alternate week collections for general waste would be phased and implementation would commence in October 2018.  There was an assumption that this would be completed in time for Christmas 2018.  The introduction of the subscription garden waste service would commence in February 2019.  Applications for the service would be able to be made from October 2018 and the bins for the service would be delivered from January 2019.  There were no perceived changes to the dry recycling collection service and so the fortnightly collection service would remain in place. 

 

The Lead Officer for Waste stated the waste hold recycling offer would be reviewed and improved with an agreed position in place by April 2021.  A major project to develop and deliver waste management facilities would commence early next year.  This could include in 2027, replacements for waste transfer stations and the energy from waste contract arrangements. 

 

The Lead Officer for Waste stated the strategy also covered the consolidation of the Council’s collection and support operations onto a single site by September 2021.  The proposal was to make the maximum use of the Council owned five-acre site at Hickman Avenue.  The Council in the future was aiming for a zero waste to landfill service. 

 

A Member of the Panel asked if Ward Members would be informed of the precise dates when the changes to the waste services would take place within their Ward areas.  The Lead Officer for Waste stated that elected members would be kept informed as part of a full communications programme. 

 

The Cabinet Member for City Environment stated that the new subscription based garden waste collection service would provide those who subscribed with a purple coloured bin.  People could have multiple purple bins, but they would be charged at £35.00 each per annum.  The Council were trying to encourage people to compost as much as possible. There was also the option of people taking their garden waste to the HWRC (Household Waste Recycling Centre).  The current household green coloured bins would no longer be able to be used for garden waste.  People who wanted a larger bin  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Scrutiny Work Plan pdf icon PDF 131 KB

[To receive the current Scrutiny Work Plan and suggest items for scrutiny for the forthcoming Council year].

Minutes:

The Chair referred to the Work Programme which had been circulated with the agenda.  He also commented that the Scrutiny Manager had circulated via email a list of the areas which had been raised during the Annual Scrutiny Work Programme session held on 28 June. 

 

A Member asked for an item on tree policy to be included on the Work Programme.  He was particularly concerned with trees owned by the Council which were overhanging. 

 

The meeting closed at 7:52pm.