Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny - Environment & Performance Committee - Tuesday, 1st February, 2022 6.30 pm


Contact: Karen Rist, Democratic Services Officer  Telephone Number 01205 314226. email:

No. Item


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To sign and confirm the  minutes of the previous meeting.


Committee agreed the minutes of the previous meeting held on the 7th December 2021.



To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were tabled by Councillor Tom Ashton with no substitute member.



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


Councillor Alison Austin referenced the performance reporting which included homelessness and noted her position 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 27 January 2022.



No public questions were tabled.


Prior to moving into part 2 of the agenda Madam Chairman welcomed Dr Robin Price and Ms Rose Shisler thanking them for agreeing to attend and present on behalf of Anglian Water



A presentation by representatives of Anglian Water.


Dr Price provided an in-depth overview of the presentation displayed, confirming it would be provided to Members for their reference of detailed information in respect of the corporate data after the meeting. His comments included the following:

The Company welcomed scrutiny of its environmental performance by campaigners, partners and the public.  Anglian Water has been the first company in the UK to produce a Climate Change Adaptation Report and had won three net zero awards during 2020 – 2021.

Anglian Water employed 5000 staff and serviced 7 million customers across Eastern England.  The area was classed as a dry region with on two thirds of the average UK rainfall.  The area was fast growing with an expected 175k new homes by 2025.  Currently 1100 recycling centres served the area with 400 water treatment sites and 76k kilometres of sewers.

The ambition of the company was to bring environmental and social prosperity to the region with the four key goals guided and identified by the needs of its stakeholders being, to make life better for residents; delivery of its 2020 – 2025 final determination; deliver its’ identified business priorities and create a sustainable future for the region.

Their 25 year strategic ambition was to reduce their net carbon by 70% by 2025, to work with others to achieve significant improvements in ecological quality, to make the East of England resilient to the risks and flooding and drought and finally to enable sustainable economic housing growth in the fastest growing area of the Country, being a statutory consultee for planning applications.

Anglian Water would be looking at reducing emissions within its own build material including the carbon embodied within concrete and pipes. Furthermore, due to the low lying land within the area it would need to continue pumping and as such look to increase renewable energy including use of wind-power and renewables.  Being aware of the need to off-set, the Company recognised that it would need to invest in nature based solutions and not just off-set by replacing trees.

Addressing a question tabled in respect of the carbon footprint of its existing fleet, Dr Price confirmed that Anglian Water whilst having 180 electric cars on order, were looking at minimising the business travel of its employees and were re-imagining its existing offices to address working in more efficient ways.   They aspired to have 25% of their existing vans changed over by 2025 and were setting strong targets looking at alternative ways to fuel their tanker movements including consideration of liquid nitrified gas and potentially the use of bio methane gas which they already produced, some of which was exported to the gas grid.  Their aspiration was to have 90% of their overall fleet changed over by 2030.

Referencing issues with storm overflows, Dr Price confirmed that Anglian Water were investing £200million in looking at the issues.  This would include £80million in installing additional storm tanks; £56million in increasing water capacity at the water recycling plants and £20million in installing new drainage solutions.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.



Committee work programme including Quarter 2 Performance Monitoring report.

Additional documents:


The Insights and Transformation Manager present the report advising it was in the same format as Q1 with all performance information tabled relating to both Scrutiny committees.  A brief summary was provided prior to committee comments:

Housing and Wellbeing was better than target in respect of the number of properties improved through Council intervention.  However the percentage of cases opened at homelessness prevention stage was below target but a lot of new work and new measures were now in place.  The number of verified sleeps was worse than target but it was an aspirational target which the Council aimed to achieve.

The percentage of Alliance workforce who said 'yes' when asked if they felt valued at work was still below target however there was a marked improvement from the Q1 return (61.58%) to the Q2 return (73.03%). Increased liaison with those members of the workforce who did not feel valued continues to take place and the alliance would look to gather staff engagement data from other local authorities to benchmark its’ own results.

Due to pending agreement from the Waste Disposal Authority in relation to changes in how recycling performance is measured, no data was available. However, the percentage of fly-tips collected within 3 working days of being reported was above target.

Whilst all planning was below target, the local performance measures did exceed the national minimum requirement as they did not include agreed time extensions. In addition, the ongoing changes and general workloads within the service did impact on performance in the short term. Major applications commonly are those which require negotiations, amendments, Committee decisions or legal agreements. The Council may revert to national targets.

The percentage of food premises inspections completed against the Food Standards Agency annual inspection plan were within tolerance. With the exception of a small number of fishing vessels which could not be inspected owing to the seasonal nature of their business, Boston was undertaking its food safety inspection programme as it did before the start of the pandemic. Unlike most, if not all, other local authorities, Boston has not had to implement the Food Standards Agency (FSA) recovery plan to retrieve the food safety inspection programme to where it was before the pandemic. As such the food safety inspections will be reported in the same way as before the service was disrupted by the pandemic, rather than against the FSA Recovery Plan.

The time to process new Benefit claims was below target which had been hampered by balancing high workloads and resources, including the diversion of experienced resources to deliver Test and Trace along with work required to clear the backlog of un processed records that accumulated prior to PSPS taking over the service.

The NDR collection rate was below target, but comparisons with targets and previous years are not valid, as the partial removal of Covid related reliefs part way through the year has meant that the liability is not distributed evenly throughout the year and is weighted towards the end  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.