Venue: Committee Room, Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston PE21 8QR
Contact: Karen Rist, Democratic Services Officer Telephone Number 01205 314226. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were tabled by Councillor Judith Skinner Chairman of the committee, by Councillors Peter Bedford, Katie Chalmers and Yvonne Stevens. No substitute members in attendance.
To sign and confirm the minutes of the previous meeting.
Committee agreed the minutes of the previous meeting held on the 26 October 2021
DECLARATION OF INTERESTS
To receive declarations of interests in respect of any item on the agenda.
Councillor Alison Austin noted her role as a Director of Centrepoint Outreach.
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 2nd December 2021.
No public questions tabled.
A report by The Climate Change and Environment Officer
The Climate Change and Environment Officer presented the report to committee confirming that in 2020 Boston Borough Council had declared a climate emergency and as part of the Council’s commitment to tackling global climate change and addressing the impacts of its operations, agreed to develop a new Carbon Reduction Plan. The document was a key step in the Council’s response to the climate crisis. The plan had identified emission’s’ hotspots from the baseline year to been used to inform an overview of opportunities’ for carbon reduction.
The Carbon Reduction Plan set out strategic actions for implementation, to achieve the target of net zero CO2 emissions in advance of 2050, currently in advance of the Government target of 2050. Implementing the plan would significantly reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions by up to 90% by 2050.
Furthermore, it would be vital to embrace new green technologies as they became available and more viable and to identify new ways to reduce emissions further, especially scope 3 emissions that were mostly beyond the direct control of the Council.
The plan was a high-level document and therefore a more detailed action plan would need to be developed. That would include anticipated delivery timescales and be presented to Cabinet in spring 2022. Further feasibility studies of all the proposed actions would be undertaken. That would be with a full cost benefits analysis to allow proper consideration of payback prior to taking the projects forward.
The current net zero target in advance of 2050 would be difficult to report against and as such, officers recommended adoption of a more quantifiable target. Although Boston had declared its emergency in 2020, the current target did not reflect the level of ambition.
East Lindsey District Council had annual interim net zero / net neutral targets and officers recommended that Boston Borough Council align its own targets to enable a joined up approach for the two authorities to allow streamlined funding bids be made. It would also allow Boston to stay on track to meet its own net zero ambitions and aim to galvanise action in the short and medium term.
An amendment in target would enable the Council to achieve net zero by the year 2040 with a 45% reduction in carbon emissions by 2027. Year on year reductions target from the 2019 baseline would be 4.55% each year against the baseline. It would allow a split of 5% reduction each year until 2027 and then a 4.23% reduction each year against the baseline from 2027 to 2040. If agreed, the plan will be updated to reflect the changes in target and proposed new timeline prior to presentation to Cabinet in January 2022’. Officers would then ask the Carbon Trust to re model the plan to take into consideration the changes in target. If agreed
Committee comment and questioning followed which are collated and included:
Whilst applauding the plan and acknowledging the need, Members voiced various questions in respect of the lack of information in respect of funding ... view the full minutes text for item 29.
A report by the Safer Communities Service Manager
The Safer Communities Service Manager presented the report, confirming it was to provide Members with assurance of the ongoing work undertaken by the Housing Standards Team, with the last similar report tabled in 2014. The team dealt with licensing compliance for those properties requiring licencing and dealt with complaints across all types of rented properties not solely HMO’s (houses in multiple occupancy).
Furthermore, the team worked closely with both the Police and, also with the Fire and Rescue service with whom they now accessed premises allowing them to see inside properties first hand and refer any findings on through the procedure in place. The team also received referrals from partner agencies when visits carried out to properties for other purposes, suggests that the property is occupied as a HMO. Officers’ would be attending a meeting with the Police to gain an insight into their activities and to understand the pressure they face with a view to possible working alongside them in the future. The team would continue to progress its work with all agencies and partners.
The Housing, Health and Wellbeing Officer worked with many colleagues across the Council, not only on housing standards issues but also in assisting residents with educational support by providing key information on issues including sourcing vaccines, and recycling and fly tipping problems. They further bolstered their workload with enforcement work as and when required. Following the resignation of the Senior Housing Officer, the Council appointed a replacement on the 1st December 2021.
Members were advised that the Council had received an approach from SHELTER to support them in lobbying Government for landlord registration.
Concluding the brief overview the Safer Communities Service Manager confirmed that the report sought to gain Members support for the team to continue with its ongoing initiatives. Furthermore, Members were asked to consider convention of a Task and Finish Group to scope the opportunities available to tackle issues in respect of HMO’s and rented accommodation, both in the immediate impact on the tenants and the further reaching effect they have in respect of neighbourhoods and also on Council resources.
Noting work undertaken by a neighbouring authority in respect of selective licensing, the Safer Communities Service Manager noted that it would be a good piece of work to take into consideration should the Task and Finish Group be agreed.
Committee comment and questioning followed which are collated and the key comments included:
Members all felt that due to the scale of such a review, that an initial briefing needed to be scheduled, to enable them to gain a clear perspective of what the Council could actually do to improve things. Depending on the outcome of the briefing, Members could then take the review forward.
Ongoing concerns experienced by Members in relation to HMO’s included the constant placement of black bin liners onto pavements which could not be accepted by the waste collections due the mixed contents, often with foodstuffs encouraging vermin, and resulting in the Council’s fly tipping team having ... view the full minutes text for item 30.
MEMBER WORKING GROUP FLY TIPPING
A verbal update by Councillor Judy Welbourn
Councillor Judy Welbourn confirmed that the group had concluded and that a report would be produced which would come back to committee.
(For Members to note/discuss the Committee’s current work programme)
Members were advised that an invitation to Anglian Water to attend the meeting scheduled for the 1st February 2022 had been accepted.
The invitation to the Landlords’ Forum to attend in March is withdrawn in light of the recommendation for a Task and Finish Group review.