Agenda and minutes

Venue: Bromley Civic Centre

Contact: Keith Pringle  020 8313 4508

Items
No. Item

103.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors David Jefferys, Terence Nathan, Chris Pierce and Catherine Rideout. Cllr Simon Fawthrop attended as alternate for Cllr Chris Pierce.

 

104.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

There were no declarations.

 

105.

QUESTIONS FROM COUNCILLORS AND MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ATTENDING THE MEETING

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions to this Committee must be received in writing four working days before the date of the meeting.  Therefore please ensure that questions are received by the Democratic Services team by 5pm on Wednesday 9th March 2016.

Minutes:

There were no questions to the Committee.

 

106.

MINUTES OF THE ENVIRONMENT PDS COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 2ND FEBRUARY 2016 pdf icon PDF 219 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes were agreed.

 

107.

QUESTIONS TO THE PORTFOLIO HOLDER FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC AND COUNCILLORS ATTENDING THE MEETING

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions to the Portfolio Holder must be received in writing four working days before the date of the meeting. Therefore please ensure that questions are received by the Democratic Services team by 5pm on Wednesday 9th March 2016.

Minutes:

Two questions were received for oral reply along with two questions for written reply. Details of the questions and replies are at Appendix A.

 

108.

PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY OF REPORTS TO THE ENVIRONMENT PORTFOLIO HOLDER

The Environment Portfolio Holder to present scheduled reports for pre-decision scrutiny on matters where he is minded to make decisions.

108a

BUDGET MONITORING 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 199 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report FSD15021

 

Based on expenditure and activity levels to 31st December 2015, the latest

budget monitoring position for the Environment Portfolio 2015/16

showed an under-spend of £172k, with the controllable budget projected to be

underspent by £139k at year-end.

 

Details were provided of the projected outturn with a forecast of projected

spend against each relevant Environmental Services Division compared to the

latest approved budget. Background to variations was also outlined.

 

RESOLVED that the Environment Portfolio Holder be recommended to endorse the latest 2015/16 budget projection for the Environment Portfolio.

 

108b

ARBORICULTURAL STRATEGY/TREE PLANTING AND MAINTENANCE INITIATIVE pdf icon PDF 151 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report ES16015

 

Members considered the L B Bromley Tree Strategy for the next four years setting out responsibilities for tree owners (public and private), benefits of trees to the borough, and best arboriculture practice. Prepared in response to National, Regional and Local policy frameworks, the Strategy also considers the benefits of maintaining trees, reviews the existing Policy framework and examines the Borough context including ownership of Bromley’s trees.

 

The Strategy would be monitored by completing actions and achieving performance measures, the Council’s Trees and Woodland Team reporting annually on key performance indicators and any notable issues.

 

Of the £750k approved by Council on 22nd February 2016 for Member initiatives, Report ES16015proposed that £250k be delegated to the Executive Director, Environment and Community Services for additional tree maintenance, new tree planting, and enhancing woodland.

 

In discussion a number of points were raised.

 

Clarification was sought on whether trees within the grounds of academy schools should be treated as trees on private land and where appropriate protected through Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs). The Chairman suggested having a clearer definition of a safe tree with respect to storm severity (e.g. a 1 in 30 year storm event) as it would highlight to residents that trees would always be susceptible to damage if the weather was sufficiently severe. In regard to pruning and safety surveys it was highlighted that trees would be re-inspected following a storm. A definition of a low risk tree and criteria could also be provided in the Strategy.

 

A brief summary was also provided on the position with Ash Dieback in the borough. The position was anticipated to get worse before any improvement. According to the Forestry Commission, the problem was particularly prevalent in the east of the borough including the St Mary Cray area. The Forestry Commission would deliver a new round of treatment and can provide further information.

 

If approved, it would be necessary for the Planning Department to comply with the Strategy. 

 

Surveying TPOs and reviewing and updating them for electronic recording could take several years to implement. Interested parties would know before TPOs are revoked and Ward Members would be amongst interested parties to be informed. New TPO criteria would be would be reported to Members, the criteria for trees worthy of protection having not previously changed.

 

A Member suggested that TPOs need to be (consistently) enforced. It seemed too easy for developers and residents to remove a tree and plant another in an alternative location; a monetary sanction was necessary, not simply a new tree planting. Although some money could be obtained through the Capital Asset value scheme for trees which needed to go to Planning, compensation was sometimes not possible with planting a few saplings. The Chairman suggested a recommendation to the Portfolio Holder encouraging Planning to enforce TPO defaults. 

 

It was intended to seek a meeting with Government sources to lobby for a change in legislation so that the onus would be on a resident/developer to prove that a tree had not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 108b

108c

ENVIROCRIME / FLY-TIPPING ACTION INITIATIVE pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report ES16017

 

Following Council approval on 22ndFebruary for £750k to be set aside as one-off funding for Member Initiatives, Report ES16017 sought approval to use £250k of the sum for action against fly-tipping and enviro-crime, the report also outlining proposed work in this regard.

 

Fly-tipping incidents in the borough had increased in recent years and an Officer Working Group, established last November, created an action plan to co-ordinate the Council’s response to the problem. Going forward, the plan would use the £250k sum to build on existing projects and initiatives overseen by the Working Group.

 

The following approach was outlined:

 

·  installation of street furniture such as height barriers and width restrictors at known hotspots;

·  enforcement activities such as joint Police operations and greater use of CCTV and other technologies; and

·  a communications campaign.

 

Although having no enforcement/prosecutions target, it was intended to prosecute where evidence existed of fly-tipping/enviro-crime and to emphasise the responsibility of individuals for their waste. Officers sought to raise the public’s awareness of enforcement in the borough and a joint enforcement operation with the Metropolitan Police had been undertaken on 9th March. Over a three hour period 26 vehicles were stopped; if waste was carried, checks were made for necessary documents such as a waste carrier notice. It was intended to conduct similar operations in the next few months.  As well as liaising with conventional local media (in reporting enforcement outcomes), social media could also aid deterrence.

 

It was confirmed that a waste carriers notice would be necessary to carry garden waste to private land as part of a business. It was also suggested that resident associations might be able to help in regard to width restrictions at fly-tipping/enviro-crime hotspots. It was confirmed that officers were looking at roads where the installation of width restrictors might be an option.

 

RESOLVED that the Portfolio Holder be recommended to:

 

(1) approve the general aims set out in Report ES16017 to take further action in combatting enviro-crime; and

(2)  delegate authority to the Executive Director for Environmental and Community Services to draw down the earmarked reserve as required to take the action outlined in Report ES16017 in discussion with the Portfolio Holder.

 

109.

PARTNER SCRUTINY - WASTE MANAGEMENT CONTRACT pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Representatives from Veolia will be attending for this item.

Minutes:

Report ES16016

 

Members reviewed the performance of Waste Management, covering the collection of all Municipal Waste (refuse & recycling) and its subsequent disposal.

 

The Regional Manager of the Council’s Waste Management contractor, Veolia Environmental Services, was in attendance for the item along with Veolia’s Contract Manager for the L B Bromley contract.

 

In a wide-ranging discussion on Veolia’s performance a number of points were discussed with key considerations included in the summary below.

 

·  To help prevent spillage of material between collection and deposit in vehicles, crews are taught about tidying up with supervisors liaising with collection crews – failure to deliver required standards would be considered a disciplinary matter.

·  Plastics can be blown on to the highway in windy conditions and Veolia were prepared to look at introducing specific training for the problem if necessary.

·  Bring banks sometimes get full with material left around the banks. Veolia’s Environment Manager would look further at the problem - if necessary collection schedules would change. It was suggested that it should not be solely for residents to report such problems.

·  With bottles/cans/plastics collected every two weeks, a Member noted that a number of bottles were left at bring banks over Christmas. Members were advised that collections had doubled prior to the holiday. Two vehicles are allocated to lift the bring banks and Christmas is a busy period for Veolia. Dust carts had also been used to clear material left.

·  It was not possible to take forward a suggestion that collection crews also visit a local bring bank, at least to report whether or not the bank was full. Veolia collection rounds and crews were maximised. Bring banks had been assessed for  low usage and through the Environment Manger and new neighbourhood officers it would be possible to empty the banks sooner with an amendment to the Waste Management contract. The new neighbourhood approach would help to remove any silo approach with services.

·  The neighbourhood officers would be desk based for 30% of their time and operational outside in remaining time. More technical solutions would be introduced in the field from 1st April in the new programme. An officer would cover two wards with one working day out of five given to waste activity (other activities would include monitoring of street cleaning).

·  To promote the Green Garden Waste (GGW) collection service as widely as possible, advertising in a variety of local magazines and at gardening outlets was being explored. The sides of recycling vehicles would also be used along with promotion in Environment Matters.

·  It might be possible in the future for residents to report that a GGW collection was not needed for a particular week – this could be looked at when considering a new environmental services contract from 2019.

·  The total number of missed collections in the borough compared broadly to missed collections in other boroughs.

·  On recycling it was intended to complete a residual waste audit to gauge the composition of waste materials left for collection. This would help  ...  view the full minutes text for item 109.

110.

SCRUTINY OF THE ENVIRONMENT PORTFOLIO HOLDER

Minutes:

Addressing the Committee, the Portfolio Holder referred to managing a reducing budget for the Portfolio.

 

With impending service revisions for Green Garden Waste (GGW) Satellite Sites, officers would be vigilant in monitoring for any increase in fly-tipping.

Recycling performance generally for L B Bromley had dropped slightly and it was necessary to restore performance to previous levels. There was possibly a higher percentage of used nappies in waste for landfill.

 

Changes to Parking Charges had bedded in and the Portfolio Holder was pleased that road safety continues to improve in the borough with an evidence led approach making a difference.

 

On budget performance next year, the Portfolio Holder anticipated keeping the portfolio to budget at least, subject to unforeseeable circumstances particularly in regards to any severe weather.  

 

In discussion, the Portfolio Holder responded to questions on highway utility works. The Portfolio Holder suggested that gas and water pipes were at greater risk to problems in cold weather. Much of the pipe network was old and the Portfolio Holder suspected that many problems were age related.

Compensation could be sought from a utility company laying new pipes or cables to an insufficient depth but it would first be necessary to prove the company had not undertaken its work properly. The Mayor of London had been clear that utility companies need to maintain good performance to keep traffic moving and there was evidence to suggest they were improving.

 

Aware that affordable measures had been taken to address certain congestion pinch points, the Chairman enquired of the way forward to ease other congestion problems which might be more expensive to undertake. The Portfolio Holder felt there was no obvious solution to improving traffic flows at certain places. Improving congestion was a priority and Members were encouraged to highlight any particular problem in their ward. Although some measures might now be difficult to afford, this should not prevent them being prioritised and funding bids made to TfL.  

 

The Portfolio Holder confirmed that he would make representations to press for a change to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) so enabling CCTV cameras to be used proactively against anti-social behaviour such as fly-tipping and dog fouling.  

 

The Portfolio Holder also responded to matters raised in connection with “Fix my Street” on the Council’s website.

 

111.

FORWARD WORK PROGRAMME, MATTERS ARISING, AND CONTRACTS REGISTER pdf icon PDF 246 KB

Minutes:

Report ES16009

 

Members noted items for future meetings in 2016/17.

 

An organised visit of the Waldo Road Reuse and Recycling Centre had taken place on 11th March 2016. For the future it was agreed that any visits would be solely related to work undertaken by a Working Group of the Committee.

 

A meeting of the Committee’s Working Group established to consider the new Environmental Services Contract would be arranged for a date in April 2016.

 

Concerning the latest Contracts Register Summary, an update was given on the current position concerning contracts for On-Street Poster sites and Bus Shelter Poster sites. It was noted that progress on the re-tendering of the Parking Service had been scrutinised at the Commissioning WG of E&R PDS.

 

The Chairman also requested any feedback post-meeting on his draft contribution to the 2015/16 PDS Annual Report for Council (the draft contribution having been tabled for Members).

 

In concluding the meeting the Chairman thanked Members for their scrutiny work during the year and also thanked officers for their support. 

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)  the Forward Work Programme of items for future meetings in 2016/17 be noted (Democratic Services Note: since the meeting, the Council’s Programme of Meetings 2016/17 had been agreed with the next meeting date of the Committee confirmed as 7th June 2016);

 

(2)  progress concerning previous Committee requests be noted; and

 

(3)  a summary of contracts related to the Environmental Portfolio be noted.

 

Appendix A pdf icon PDF 65 KB

 

Original Text: