(For Members to note/discuss the Committee’s current work programme)
The Transformation Manager presented the Q3 performance confirming it was up until the end of December 2020 and was similar to the Q2 report with restrictions still in place during the reporting time.
Some areas had performed really well dispute the circumstances including planning services and in supporting local businesses albeit in a different way to the norm.
Other areas clearly reflected the impact of the restrictions. Collectable business rates had been severely impacted by the various reliefs awarded to support businesses during lockdown. Car parking income and the markets income had been heavily impacted due to changes in policy and circumstances.
Household waste was within tolerance, however residual waste per household was worse than target due to people working / being at home more.
Concluding the Transformation Manager advised that there had been a positive with the Guildhall which had gone through Quality Assurance and had had not only passed, but had increased their score due to a new pre booking system and allowing better accessibility and improved staffing arrangements.
Member comments included appreciation of the provision of the gross and net figures for the business rates, with a request for confirmation in respect of the differential between them relating to what the Government use for their calculations. The Transformation Manager confirmed she would source the information and forward to members after the meeting.
A number of members tabled their recognition and appreciation of the increasing volume of work undertaken by the fly tipping team.
Noting that an update on the member working group for Fly Tipping was on the agenda, a member suggested that a joint scrutiny meeting or task and finish review on completion of the member working group, be held to look at the correlation between fly tipping and HMO’s. Officers’ from both service areas – housing and waste disposal, to be included along with representation of the Landlords Forum with a view to looking to address the ongoing increasing issues of fly tipping / black bags and furniture items, clearly resulting from over-crowded houses. Options to include looking at changes in licensing of HMO’s.
The Assistant Director – Regulation (Lead Officer for the committee) suggested that the idea should be relayed to the member-working group in the first instance.
A member asked if it would be possible to see comparative percentage rates of fly tipping during the period of weekly collection of green bins with a view to looking to reverting to weekly collections. On being advised that it had been many years since such collections took place and that working methods and policies were very different now, as such any comparison would not be comparative, the member re phrased the question and asked if a significant reduction in fly tipping would occur should the collection of green bins revert to weekly. The Lead Officer re stated that the cost implications of such a piece of work and the changes required to policy would require a clear steer from all members and the executive.
One suggestion tabled was that the households with lots of side waste have an additional bin but issues of siting the bin at such premises could provide difficult. A member stated that if used correctly, the provision of the bins now provided gave more capacity for waste than ever before. The blue bins having been successful for many years and the recent addition of the purple bins gave residents even greater management of their waste, if they did so correctly. One ongoing problem with disposal of large boxes etc. was residents failed to break them down prior to putting them in the bin resulting in the bins not being used to their maximum capacity.
A further suggestion referenced the opening hours and existing policy of the Recycling centre, requesting that they be reviewed, with a view to extending the opening hours and to accommodate trailers and vans that were the preferred vehicle of fly tippers. If the people with these vehicles who collect the waste were able to go and drop it at the recycling centre, it would certainly stop many of the fly tips outside of the town, and maybe some within the town.
The Lead Officer for the committee suggested that the idea be relayed to the member-working group in the first instance.
Referencing the working programme for 20/22 the Lead Officer for the committee addressed the next meeting on the 22 June 2021.
Members were advised that a request tabled previously for an update on the provision of toilets (both Council owned and private owned but available for public use) would be on the agenda. Madam Chairman had requested that the Recovery Plan recently taken through Cabinet should come to committee and would be on the June agenda. An update on the member-working group for fly tipping would now be a standing item on all meetings until its conclusion at which point the final report by the group would be tabled back through the parent committee.
SR: To provide information in respect of the differential between the net and gross figures in respect of the business rates.
KR: To relay the two suggestions above in respect of Fly Tipping to the lead officer for the member-working group for fly tipping.
CA: To confirm who will table the Recovery Plan at the next meeting.