Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny - Environment & Performance Committee - Tuesday, 5th January, 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: Online Meeting - view the meeting at www.mybostonuk.com/youtube

Contact: Karen Rist, Democratic Services Officer  Telephone Number 01205 314226. email:  karen.rist@boston.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

71.

APOLOGIES

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

There were apologies for absence from Councillors David Brown, Martin Howard and Chelcei Trafford.

72.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 137 KB

To sign and confirm the  minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 1st October 2020 were agreed as a correct record to be signed by the Chairman.

73.

DECLARATION OF INTERESTS

To receive declarations of interests in respect of any item on the agenda.

Minutes:

None.

74.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS

To answer any written questions received from members of the public no later than 5 p.m. two clear working days prior to the meeting – for this meeting the deadline is 5 p.m. on Tuesday 29th December 2020.

Minutes:

None.

75.

TWIN STREAM RECYCLING COLLECTION pdf icon PDF 474 KB

A report by the Assistant Director - Operations

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Assistant Director - Operations presented a report, which presented a proposal to expand the separate kerbside collection of paper and card across the Borough following a successful trial.

 

There were 3,002 properties currently taking part in a trial to collect paper and card from the kerbside separately from the mixed recycling presented in the blue recycling bin.

 

The Council stepped forward to trial this new ‘twin stream’ recycling collection service and it had demonstrated that the collections could achieve improvements in both the quality of the recycling collected and increase in materials captured for recycling. Positive feedback on using the service had been received from residents in the trial area.

 

This project was the culmination of collaborative working with the Council’s partners in the Lincolnshire Waste Partnership, to meet the objectives of the Lincolnshire Waste Management Strategy, which would also meet the requirements of the forthcoming national legislation contained in the Environment Bill 2020, and the Council’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint.

 

The report detailed the proposal to expand this service for the separate kerbside collection of paper and card to the remaining properties within the borough, setting out the environmental benefits, and operational and financial impacts. It also took account of the Council’s commercial customers who would also need to take part in this twin stream recycling collection.

 

The Portfolio Holder addressed the Committee and voiced strong support for the scheme and then raised the following issues:

 

·         The County Council should cover the cost of replacement bins as it would receive the surplus from the sale of the paper and card collected. ELDC’s Portfolio Holder agreed that County Council funding should be 3%, not the 1% offered.

·         The size of the bin would be an issue for residents in Victorian terraces etc.

·         All bins and side waste should be collected currently.  . There had been many complaints because bins and side waste had been missed over Christmas.

·         It was essential that both residents and staff received training.

 

 

Members fully supported the scheme and felt that officers and refuse staff were doing an excellent job.  Various points were made, including:

 

·         Households having another bin on view in some streets would detract from the attractiveness of the area.

·         They had received many complaints from residents who did not have room for an additional bin with some having to take them through the house.

·         Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) had not been included in the trial.

·         The monthly collection of the blue and purple bins might not be sufficient, particularly in lockdown when more waste was created.  Blue bins would be heavy with only been collected every four weeks.

·         There were conflicting views about the colour of bins; purple stood out too much and black would be less visible at night.

·         It would be useful to know the views of the Lincolnshire Waste Partnership and other Lincolnshire authorities about how they were tackling recycling.

·         It was satisfying that Boston would be at the forefront of the rollout and some initial  ...  view the full minutes text for item 75.

76.

CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENVIRONMENT UPDATE pdf icon PDF 588 KB

A report by the Climate Change and Environment Manager

Minutes:

The Climate Change & Environment Manager presented a report, which detailed the progress made by the Council against the nine recommendations agreed by Full Council in January 2020 (Appendix A), attached a draft Environmental Policy for Members’ consideration (Appendix B) and set out the next steps to be taken.


The Climate Change Working Group, established by the Committee, had submitted the nine recommendations to Full Council, but the Covid-19 pandemic had impacted progress and the necessary resources to take the work forward had only been identified recently.  The Climate Change & Environment Manager had been working with the Assistant Director - Regulation since August 2020.

 

The Strategic Alliance with East Lindsey District Council (ELDC) gave a renewed opportunity to pick up this work and to share knowledge and experience to help both authorities take action on the climate change agenda. 

 

The Council’s new Corporate Strategy for 2020-24 included a priority around environmental awareness and accountability.  This contained several commitments including developing a Carbon Reduction Plan and ensuring that every service and policy delivered on the Council’s climate change commitments.

 

The Council was in the process of commissioning the Carbon Trust to produce a new Carbon Reduction Plan, which would also provide an updated baseline of the current carbon footprint. Work would begin on this in early 2021. The Carbon Trust had recently completed a similar exercise for ELDC and it was hoped there would be opportunities to align both plans and identify savings through joint projects.

 

The nine recommendations demonstrated a clear intention to embed a culture of environmental consideration and carbon reduction across all areas of the Council.  To ensure this happened, the Environment Policy would set the framework under which relevant plans and strategies, such as the Carbon Reduction Plan, would sit. It was a simple mandate for climate change and environment action with four main themes that would ensure every service area was working to an agreed set of objectives consistent with the new corporate priority. 

 

It was also important that all Council staff had an awareness of the far-reaching implications of climate change, the multiple benefits that taking action could achieve and an understanding of where changes could be made. A Carbon Literacy training programme was in development to be rolled out to all staff and Members in 2021. 


The next step would be to produce a Climate Change Strategy for the Strategic Alliance as a whole, which would set the context for Boston and East Lindsey.  The Strategy would identify key sectors and stakeholders with which to engage and set out an action plan for ensuring the Council and ELDC worked collaboratively to reduce emissions and enhance the natural environment for residents, businesses and visitors.

 

As Portfolio Holder, the Leader explained that the new Climate Change Strategy would be an important key consideration for the Council. Progress could not made alone; it would be crucial to draw on experience to benefit the whole area.

Members welcomed and commended the report.  It was remarked that all individuals could  ...  view the full minutes text for item 76.

77.

WORK PROGRAMME TO INCLUDE QUARTER 2 PERFORMANCE DATA pdf icon PDF 542 KB

(For Members to note/discuss the Committee’s current work programme)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered the Committee’s work programme for the remainder of the year along with performance monitoring information for 1 July – 30 September 2020 in relation to the priorities within the Committee’s remit. 

 

The Transformation & Governance Manager advised the Committee of the positive progress made in many areas despite the difficult circumstances. There were some challenges and the report set out how these were being addressed.

 

In response to questions, it was confirmed that the low percentage of net business rates collected had been the result of the impact of COVID reliefs.

 

Members gave further consideration to fly tipping, which they felt was a significant issue. They asked that the fly tipping teams be congratulated and thanked for their hard work, particularly due to the increase in the last few months. However, despite their tremendous work, it had still not been possible to reduce the amount of fly tipping, especially in the summer months. It was appalling and resulted in a significant number of complaints. One view was that there was a link between incidents of fly tipping incidents and the tip, which should be more accessible to make it easier to use to get rid of waste.  It was felt that Members should meet urgently to rethink the issues and explore possible solutions. 

 

In agreement, the Portfolio Holder asserted that they should all work together to help clean up the town and all areas of the borough. The non-Committee Member in attendance asked if a working group should be set up.

 

The Leader agreed and confirmed that they were checking fly tips in order to identify those responsible in order to prosecute them.

 

A Member expressed satisfaction at the increase in fines and stressed the importance of raising awareness of how matters were pursued, suggesting that details of fines and prosecutions should be published prominently.

 

The Transformation & Governance Manager confirmed that the figures in the report were affected by the timing of the end of the quarter in that some had not yet had time to be paid. A table would be contained in the next quarter’s report with full and clear data.

 

The Assistant Director - Regulation confirmed these issues would be discussed with the Assistant Director - Operations with a view to holding a meeting to explore ideas along with the Operations Manager, though they needed to be conscious of the timing with respect to work on the twin stream recycling scheme.

 

It was agreed to form a Working Group for Members to explore solutions to the problems of fly tipping, with names to be forwarded to the clerk.

 

Action: JC

Advise all Members of the Committee that a Working Group is to meet to explore fly tipping solutions and forward names of those interested to Madam Chairman.

 

The Assistant Director - Regulation then updated the Committee as follows.

 

1.    The opening hours of the Waste Recycling Centre in Boston had been circulated to Members.

2.    The Operations Manager had raised Members’ concerns in respect of dog  ...  view the full minutes text for item 77.