Agenda and draft minutes

Overview & Scrutiny - Environment & Performance Committee - Tuesday, 22nd June, 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room, Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston PE21 8QR

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

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were tabled by Councillor Chelcei Trafford and Councillor Anton Dani.  No substitute members.

The Lead Officer for the committee the Assistant Director – Regulation also tabled apologies, with the Assistant Director – Assets in attendance as Lead Officer for the meeting.

2.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 94 KB

To sign and confirm the  minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

Committee agreed the minutes of the previous meeting held on 27 April 2021

3.

DECLARATION OF INTERESTS

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

Minutes:

Councillor Alison Austin declared that she was a Director of CenterPoint Outreach.

Councillor Paul Goodale declared he was the Chairman of the BTAC committee referenced within the report and confirmed he would be speaking on the reference in his role as Chairman of that committee.

 

4.

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 Thursday, 17th June 2021.

Minutes:

No public questions were tabled.

5.

STRATEGIC ALLIANCE COVID19 RECOVERY PLAN 2021-2023 pdf icon PDF 289 KB

A Report by the Assistant Director – Towns Funds

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Assistant Director – Economic Growth presented a brief receive of the report to the committee confirming it was tabled at the request Madam Chairman following it being approved implemented at Cabinet on the 31 March 2021.

 

The Recovery Plan set out a range of practical measures calculated to help the people and businesses of Boston and East Lindsey bounce back from the harm caused to the areas’ economies and civil society by the “lockdowns” imposed on local businesses and communities to contain Covid19.

 

It focused on delivering activities and things that are tangible and useful to local people and businesses. Cabinet and the Executive Board would receive 6 monthly progress reports to help to understand what was working and what was not.  This reporting would then allow them to address any issue and identify any potential to implement additional initiatives.  It would in addition ensure that spending of the resources provided by Government focused on activities producing the greatest benefit.  The first reporting was expected in September 2021.

 

Committee deliberation followed which included:

 

Referencing training identified within the welcome back funding a Member asked if the funds would be used to train staff who undertook the cleaning within the town, along with those who helped support the volunteers with grass cutting, planting and the borders.  The Member noted that the standard of those operations was not currently to the standard it should be.

The Assistant Director – Economic Growth advised she would speak with the relevant service director and revert with the information.

 

Advising his role as Chairman of the BTAC committee, the Member questioned the deployment of BTAC operatives, which was noted within the as being the responsibility of the Council, when the deployment was the responsibility of BTAC. The report further implied the deployment was only within the town centre, when their deployment was further afield at the whole of the BTAC area, as well as within the town centre. Referencing the introduction of a new team the Member wondered if it was more a replacement then additional resources with some of the existing resource being removed.

 

Addressing the reference of the unlawful use of holiday caravans within point 30 of the plan – tackling health equalities, the Member appreciated that it was specific to ELDC but voiced concern why there was no reference to private sector rented housing.  A number of wards with Boston were subject to ongoing overcrowding in HMO’s:  the Borough currently had 49 registered but HMOs with significantly more needing to be registered.  The occupants of such residences predominantly worked within factories with little social distancing, which continued to have very high rates of Covid transmissions with possibly no option of self-isolating. Living in similar conditions with overcrowding only served to spread the infection further. The wellbeing of other residents living in unacceptable conditions in housing needed prioritising alongside those living in caravans.

 

Responding the Assistant Director – Economic Growth that a partnership approach was encouraged by the Government in respect of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

VERBAL UPDATE ON THE MEMBER WORKING GROUP - FLY TIPPING

A verbal report by Councillor Judith Welbourn

Minutes:

Councillor Judith Welbourn presented the work confirming that the Clean Sweep would take place in September.  Suggestions raised by the Group included lobbying for increases in charges for fly tipping.  That the Police from neighbouring Authorities share information in respect of fly tipping to allow sight of activity elsewhere.  That a trade agreement be given to two DVLA registered metal dealers, as there were a number of vans going round collecting waste but there were not all registered. A further suggestion was for a countywide group to share information to monitor incidents.  Referencing the deposit paid the group had suggested that part of that deposit should include a deposit for waste that would be non- refundable if the tenants failed to adhere to the correct disposal methods. The tenant would be asked to sign agreeing to the waste deposit and agreeing to dispose of waste in the correct manner.

 

The group also suggested the introduction of a separate licensing committee solely for HMOs.

 

As part of the Council’s Empowering Healthy Communities programme, a multi lingual officer has been employed to engage with landlords and tenants of HMOs and other privately rented homes to provide education, advice and support about a range of issue including how our various bins should be used; the officer will also gain insight into ongoing issues in order the help shape future work, engagement and intervention.

 

Committee deliberation followed including:

 

A Member voiced concern at the suggestion for greater involvement by the Police.  The Member stated that what a member of the public perceived to be a big problem, may be perceived by the Police as a trivial matter. The Police who deployed their resources as a matter of need and urgency.

In reference to the suggestion of the deposit to include a deposit for correct waste removal, a Member stated they felt it to be unreasonable and questioned where the tenant would get the additional money.  The Member further voiced concern at the continual reference to HMOs being responsible for the bulk of fly tipping asking what evidence the Council had to substantiate it. They further commented that 24 hours opening at the Household Waste Recycling Centre and the allowance of vans would stop the problem as most people had vans.

 

In response, a Member stated that it was unreasonable to expect members of the public to have to continue paying for clearance on the ongoing fly tips. Continual incidents at the same sites of known and registered HMOs clearly evidenced that they were creating the majority of the fly tipping incidents within the town. The Recycling Centre was a Lincolnshire County Council facility, and the Council had no control over its operation and a Member doubted it would resolve the problem as those in quick turnover houses would continue to tip.

 

Members questioned how the suggested additional licensing committee would work as the existing committee was subject to national licensing laws with no provision for licensing of HMOs with the current decision in respect  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 529 KB

Standing Item.

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Lead Officer presented the following updates from the previous meeting:

 

1.         The request for member training to be recorded and published on the website is going to the Councillor Development Group at its next meeting as it sits within their remit to determine.

 

2          Recommendations 12 and 13 from the Task and Finish Group Review, for determination by BTAC:

 

That committee agreed:

 

That Option 1 be approved, as set out in paragraph 4.3 of the report, to employ security personnel with the appropriate competency and training to open and lock the gates of Central Park on a daily basis for a one-year period.

 

That the Assistant Director Regulation be delegated authority, in consultation with the Chairman of BTAC, Leader Portfolio Holder and Section 151 Officer, to implement this option with Members to be consulted on the details.

 

That the Assistant Director Regulation undertakes an immediate recruitment process to acquire one CCTV operator, to be focused on the BTAC area

 

3.         That the Transformation Manager provide information in respect of the differential between the net and gross figures in respect of the business rates.

 

4.         Comments and suggestions relating to Fly Tipping Issues were fed back to the Member Working Group

 

Addressing the work programme the Lead Officer confirmed that:

papers members will see that:

1.            The next meeting on September 7 has a busy agenda.  The report in respect of the provision of public conveniences would be tabled along with the annual ASB and CCTV reporting. 

There will be further updating on the Member Working Group and the work programme would include the new formatted quarter performance monitoring, to aide committee’s in identifying reporting.

 

2.           The subsequent meeting in October already has 2 reports:

 

§  The first is the Draft Climate Change Strategy

§  The second is the update on the Climate Change Assembly.