Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Bromley Civic Centre

Contact: Stephen Wood  020 8313 4316

Items
No. Item

115.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Kieran Terry and Councillor Christine Harris attended as substitute.

116.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

117.

MINUTES OF THE ECS PDS MEETING HELD ON 9th JUNE 2021 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 9th of June 2021 were agreed as a correct record.

118.

QUESTIONS TO THE PORTFOLIO HOLDER OR CHAIRMAN

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions that are not specific to reports on the agenda must have been received in writing 10 working days before the date of the meeting. Please ensure therefore, that questions which are not specific to the agenda are received by the Democratic Services Team  by 5.00pm on August 17th 2021.

 

Questions specifically relating to reports on the agenda should be received within two working days of the normal publication date of the agenda. Please ensure that questions specifically on reports on the agenda are received by the Democratic Services Team by 5pm on Wednesday 25th August.

 

Questions can also be emailed direct to stephen.wood@bromley.gov.uk 

 

Minutes:

Written and oral questions were received from members of the public and from Councillors and these are attached as appendices to the minutes.

119.

MATTERS ARISING AND WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 249 KB

Minutes:

It was noted that Riney would be attending the Committee on 17th of November.

 

Members were informed that a report on electric vehicles would be presented at the November meeting.

 

A Member suggested that with respect to road traffic schemes under consideration, it would be helpful for both Members and the public to receive updates on a six monthly basis. This would enable everyone to understand how projects were developing. The Chairman supported this idea.

 

A Member asked if a review of ‘Fix My Street’ could come to the Committee. The Chairman said that this would be considered and that someone would get back to the Member with a response to her request.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1) Riney would attend the meeting on 17th November.

 

2) A report regarding electric vehicles would be presented at the November meeting.

 

3) A update on road traffic schemes under consideration should be presented to the Committee for information on a six monthly basis.

 

4) Consideration would be applied to the request for a review of ‘Fix My Street’ and a response provided to the relevant Member. 

 

 

120.

PRESENTATION FROM TfL--358 ELECTRIC BUS

Minutes:

John Colgan, (Business Development Manager/Buses) from TfL attended to  present to the Committee.

 

The presentation was concerning the trial of the proposed electrification of the 358 bus route from Orpington to Crystal Palace. This was being trialled in an attempt to begin to address issues of air quality and TfL's carbon footprint. Mr Colgan informed the Committee that the journey quality for passengers would be improved, with less noise, less juddering and with onboard charging points for the convenience of passengers. The new buses would have very high safety specifications.

 

Members were briefed concerning the various technologies that could be utilised to bring about the electrification of the route. TfL had considered that the use of ‘opportunity charging’ with pantographs seemed to be the best option to progress the project.

 

It was anticipated that going forward TfL would aim for approximately 80% of its route to run off electricity, with the remaining 20% running off hydrogen. The use of hydrogen was expensive and required a different infrastructure. An explanation was provided as to how the ‘opportunity charging’ option would work.  It was noted that this was a single decker route because of the low bridge near Shortlands train station. It was explained that the technology worked off a pantograph charger which connected to the bus and which derived its electric power from the national grid.

 

Mr Colgan stated that the new electric buses would be operated by ‘Go Ahead’ and would have the highest safety specifications of any buses in London. The buses and the accompanying equipment would all be made in Spain as a single integrated package. Members asked if there was not a British company that could be used, but apparently this was not the case. A Member asked if the possibility of the batteries being provided by a British company had been looked at. Mr Colgan responded that all possibilities had been examined and the integrated Spanish solution was the best option. 

 

Members noted the existing operation of a similar system of electrification using pantographs at Harrogate. Members were shown plans for the development of the pantograph and ancillary equipment at Crystal Palace Bus Station. It was noted that this would not interfere in any way with the movement of buses and existing bus services. A permitted development certificate of lawfulness had been granted by the Council.

 

Plans were also shown for the installation of the relevant equipment in a disused yard at Orpington Bus Station. This land was owned jointly by ‘Arch’ and Network Rail;  work was being undertaken to arrange the required leases.  Preparation of the sites would commence during spring/summer 2022. 

 

A Member drew attention to the  43 bus route which was serviced with electric buses with a range of 160 miles. This being the case, he wondered why the new technology was required. Mr Colgan explained that around 10%-15% of the current bus routes were in excess of 200 miles and so the new technology was a cost effective way of servicing buses  ...  view the full minutes text for item 120.

121.

VEOLIA ANNUAL CONTRACT PERFORMANCE REPORT pdf icon PDF 772 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Assistant Director for Environment attended and introduced the report.

 

Attending on behalf of Veolia was Ben Velmans--Regional Manager.

 

LBB was now in the second year of the contracts that had been agreed with Veolia in 2019—the total contract period was for an 8 year term.

 

The contracts were managed via a governance model; KPIs were monitored on a monthly basis. The report covered a number of contract streams, one of which was waste disposal. The waste disposal contract stream had performed satisfactorily during the pandemic in meeting the KPIs and zero waste had been sent to landfill which had exceeded the target. With more people working from home during the pandemic, more business and domestic waste was collected. Staff shortages during the pandemic had caused a dip in performance with respect to waste collections.

 

During the period covered by the report the recycling target was not achieved, and the reasons for this were covered in the report.

 

There had been an increase in green garden waste customers.

 

The street cleaning targets had been achieved throughout the pandemic period. It was further noted that during the period covered by the report, there had been a 17% increase in service requests to ‘Fix My Street’.

 

A Member highlighted some errors in the report which were noted by the Assistant Director. A Member referred to section 5.22 of the report which detailed various inquiries that had been received in relation to all aspects of street cleansing. He was interested to know if there was a particular hotspot where these complaints were originating from. He suggested that going forward that some sort of measure or analysis of these hotspots be incorporated into future reports.

 

A Member referred to section 5.14 of the report which stated that the moisture content in some loads of paper and card was so high that it could not be recycled. The Member wondered what could be done about this and what the potential cost to the Council could be. He mentioned that the waste recycling bins did not have hard lids which meant that rain water was getting in. He said that it was a shame that paper could not be recycled because of rainfall.

 

The Assistant Director responded that in future reports, details of complaint hotspots and potential costs incurred by the Council would be incorporated.

 

Mr Velmans outlined the procedures being adopted by Veolia to reduce their carbon footprint. The biggest factor would be the type of vehicles used. It was explained that at the beginning of the contract, Veolia procured some electric vehicles but primarily standard diesel engine vehicles for the main dust carts. They were the best vehicles that were available at the time of the initial procurement. As had been previously noted with the TfL presentation, some challenges existed with electric vehicles in terms of being able to complete their cycles, and this was compounded with dustcarts in the sense that much of the electric was used in the back of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 121.

122.

PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY OF REPORTS TO THE ENVIRONMENT AND COMMUNITY SERVICES PORTFOLIO HOLDER

Portfolio Holder decisions for pre-decision scrutiny.

122a

OUTTURN 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 307 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members noted that this report had already gone to the Executive and the recommendations had been agreed.

 

A Member stated that he wanted to understand what was happening to the ‘run rate’. He felt that this would give Members a clearer idea concerning what was on track. In fact, he felt that information concerning the run rate should be added to all financial reports across the Council.

 

A Member referred to the purchase of a Sonic Tomograph. The report stated that the Council had paid £30k for this item. He wondered why this was the case as he had looked one up on Google and the cost was only £2k. He requested an explanation of this and the Director of Environment and Community Services said that he would look into the issue and provide a response.

 

RESOLVED that the  Director for Environment would look into the cost of the Sonic Tomograph and report back to Members. 

 

 

 

 

122b

BUDGET MONITORING 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 305 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The issue concerning underspends in the Traffic and Road Safety Service because vacancies had not been filled was raised. This was cross referenced to the capital programme report which mentioned over £600k slippage in the Capital Programme and design work. It was asked if the fact that vacancies had not been filled had caused  a delay to certain projects in the Capital Programme.

 

The Assistant Director for Traffic and Parking responded that LIP (Local Implementation Plan) related work had been affected by uncertainty because of a lack of funding from TfL. This was a legacy from May 2020 when TfL experienced a funding crisis. So any delays in the Capital Programme were not caused by vacancies, but rather by a lack of funding from TfL. It was also the case that because of the pandemic, funding that was available had to be allocated to Covid related projects.

 

A Member referenced page 105 of the agenda where there seemed to be an indication that the ‘run rate’ was increasing in certain areas like waste services. He commented that it would be useful to know why this was the case.

 

The Head of Finance (ECS) responded and explained that Covid impacts were now within the monitoring process, but it may be more helpful going forward to make a clearer distinction between what was ‘business as usual’ and what had been impacted by Covid.

 

RESOLVED that the Budget Monitoring report be noted.

 

 

123.

CAPITAL PROGRAMME MONITORING--Q1--2021--2022 pdf icon PDF 635 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This report noted changes that had been agreed by the Executive on 15th July 2021.

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted.

124.

FUTURE MAINTENANCE OF THE WINTER SERVICE FLEET pdf icon PDF 142 KB

Minutes:

The question was raised as to how the contractual costs compared with other boroughs. The Assistant Director for Highways responded that the initial valuation for the contract was looked at in detail two years ago. The reason for bringing this report to the Committee was simply to extend the contractual services for the remaining period of the contract. Costs were difficult to compare with other boroughs as other councils operated differently to LBB. It was noted that with respect to the vehicle fleets, any specialist work would be undertaken directly by the manufacturers--but routine maintenance was undertaken by local companies. It was further noted that the vehicle maintenance costs were fixed.

 

RESOLVED that the report on the future maintenance of the winter service fleet be noted.  

124a

FUTURE OF FOOTWAY RECYCLING COLLECTION SERVICE pdf icon PDF 581 KB

Minutes:

A Member expressed the view this was a case of ‘use it or lose it’ and consequently the service had now been lost.

 

Whilst the Chairman expressed some sympathy with this view, he felt that not enough work was being done by the Planning Department to put more onus on developers to provide adequate recycling facilities. The Chairman was concerned that unless the Council could achieve a different outcome, then the Council’s recycling rates would decline. 

 

The Portfolio Holder said that the Council was getting advice from ‘WRAP’ (Waste and Resources Action Programme) to clarify what could be achieved in line with current planning law. LBB needed to make it clear what the Council expected from developers. The Portfolio Holder had requested that officers make it clear to developers that adequate waste and recycling points were required.

 

The Assistant Director for Environment mentioned that a paper was being looked at in Parliament next year concerning these matters and so it was likely that subsequently, a report would be presented to the ECS PDS Committee. 

 

The Director for Environment and Community Services stated that he had spoken with the Chief Planner concerning this issue. His aim was to get a round table of officers together so that the Planning Team would be fully aware of the concerns in this area.

 

A Member commented that residents in flats were paying council tax and so were paying for a service. She felt there had been a lack of communication to explain to homeowners what they could do. She felt it had not been made clear enough about where they could put their recycling and waste. She expressed the view that it looked like the project had been badly managed. She felt that more needed to be done to work out what had gone wrong so that the pilot would not turn out to be a complete waste of money. It was important to find out what the barrier or barriers were to the successful implementation of the pilot scheme and she suspected it lay in the area of poor communication.

 

A Member responded that officers did go door to door to publicise the pilot and that possibly what may be required was a sort of communal type of bin system; however in his view the current scheme was dead and something else had to be looked at.

 

The Assistant Director for Environment said that the Council had tried its best to engage.

 

A Member reiterated her view that the Council needed to get more from the pilot scheme.

 

The Chairman concluded the discussion by saying that it was great and we can't always be successful.

 

 

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1) The Portfolio Holder agreed to cease the footway recycling collection service pilot and that the cessation of the pilot be communicated; also that the locations of the nearest recycling sites be communicated to all households in the pilot areas. 

 

2) The Portfolio Holder agreed that alternative options for recycling provision be considered for Chatsworth Parade.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 124a

125.

STREET LIGHTING LED CONVERSION PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 677 KB

Minutes:

Members noted the report on the Street Lighting LED Conversion Programme.

 

RESOLVED that the proposed programme for lantern conversions and column replacements be approved.

 

 

 

 

126.

SOUTH EDEN PARK ROAD (BECKENHAM) SAFETY IMPROVEMENT SCHEME pdf icon PDF 929 KB

Minutes:

The Assistant Director for Traffic and Parking introduced the report. He explained that officers had been asked to look into road safety in this area, particularly with respect to schools. Officers had consulted with Ward Councillors. No decision was required at this stage. Officers had been asked by Members to look into road safety issues with respect to South Eden Park Road and adjacent areas—mainly with regard to local schools. The schools concerned were Langley Park, Unicorn, St David’s and Oak Lodge.

 

Officers had undertaken site visits to consult with local residents. On the list of casualty cluster sites in the borough, one of the sites that officers had recently been looking into was on the junction of South Eden Park Road and Links Way. There was no specific casualty problem identified with respect to any particular school. The Assistant Director explained that there was no funding available from TfL for this type of work to be undertaken until at least the 11th December. This, however, did not mean that the Council could not continue to investigate and prepare plans and costings in the interim.

 

Councillor Nicholas Bennett attended and addressed the Committee.  He said that his concerns were with respect to Beckenham Road and South Eden Park Road. His main concern was focussed on cars speeding on Beckenham Road. He explained that this was a route taken by the 194 bus—it was a very straight and wide road and drivers were often tempted to speed along it. His concerns were for the local residents and for people trying to cross the road as they were put in danger because of speeding traffic. There was only one crossing point on the road which was a traffic island by St David’s School.

 

Councillor Bennett made the following suggestions:

 

·  A 20 mph warning activated sign to be installed by St David’s School. This would operate only during school hours

 

·  Changes should be made to the current crossing at St David’s Road. It should be changed to either a light controlled crossing or a zebra crossing. His preference was for a zebra crossing that would give priority to pedestrians.

 

·  The widening of the pavement from 18 Beckenham Road to the junction. This was only 110mm wide and was basically just enough width to get a pram through.

 

·  There was a concern about vehicles jumping the traffic lights at the junction of Red Lodge Road and Station Road. A camera should be installed to capture the details of any vehicle jumping the traffic lights.

 

Councillor Christine Harris drew attention to what she regarded as a very dangerous stretch of road that ran from Creswell Drive to 82 South Eden Park Road. She expressed the view that this was a very hazardous stretch of road for pedestrians as it was only the width of a buggy. Councillor Harris had witnessed occasions when young people had stepped out into the road without looking behind them in order to let others pass by. The issues were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 126.

127.

PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY OF REPORTS GOING TO THE EXECUTIVE

128.

COMMUNITY CYCLE TRACK, HOBLINGWELL WOOD RECREATION GROUND pdf icon PDF 416 KB

Minutes:

Members regarded this report as a good news story and approved the recommendations in the report. It was noted that the decision with respect to the increased costs in the capital programme provision would be made by the Executive at its meeting on September 22nd.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1) The proposed repurposing of £35k from the Neighbourhood Management revenue budget for 2021/22 in respect of the variable work elements be agreed.

 

2) There should be an increase of £31k in the contribution from the Friends Fund and a contribution of £35k from the Environmental Initiative Fund.

 

3) There should be an acceptance of the HSBC grant, subject to standard terms and conditions and that this should be applied to the project.

 

129.

POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND OTHER ITEMS

129a

ECS PERFORMANCE OVERVIEW pdf icon PDF 139 KB

Minutes:

The Chairman expressed his thanks to the Senior Business Performance Officer for producing a performance overview document that was much easier to read than previous versions.

 

Members noted the red risk areas which related to the recycling of waste and to highway maintenance.

 

With respect to highway maintenance the Senior Business Performance Officer commented that performance had been impacted by bad weather and by the delay in the recruitment of a new Contract Manager. The Director of Environment and Community Services stated that he had been meeting with Riney in an attempt to resolve outstanding issues and that Riney were aware of these issues.

 

It was noted that Riney would be attending the November meeting of the ECS PDS Committee. A Member requested that the KPIs be brought back to the November meeting.

 

A Member asked if any analysis had been undertaken regarding non-recyclable black bags. It was confirmed that this analysis had not been explored. A Member stated that the public should be reminded that they could request extra recycling boxes and more green garden waste containers.

 

The Portfolio Holder commented that the increased volume of waste was concerning. Another Member pointed out that as well as the effects of the pandemic, increased waste volumes could also be impacted because the population rate was increasing.

 

RESOLVED that the ECS Performance Overview update be noted.

 

 

   

130.

LBB'S NET ZERO CARBON ACTION PLAN--REPORTING YEAR TWO pdf icon PDF 580 KB

Minutes:

A Member raised the issue of how the Council’s emissions were calculated. He expressed the view that ‘green’ suppliers and contractors’ emissions had not been taken into consideration and because of that the way in which LBB had been instructed to calculate the emissions by the GLA was wrong. He felt that the fact that LBB  used suppliers that used renewable energy sources had been overlooked.

 

The Carbon Programme Manager stated that this was a matter that was bigger than the GLA, and that in fact it was a matter of international debate. He said that LBB was waiting to hear from London Councils to see if they approved LBB’s Net Zero Carbon Action Plan. He was hoping that they would vote in favour.

 

A Member commented that if the Council was using renewable energy suppliers—then that should be taken into consideration in the way that emissions and targets were calculated. The way that the GLA was making the calculations should not be accepted and that common sense was required.

 

The Chairman agreed that this matter was a problem for the sector.

 

Members noted that London Councils and the GLA were working on a standard methodology that could be used by all councils in London.

 

The Chairman was pleased to note that paper usage in the Council had dropped from 44 tons to 10 tons per annum.

 

RESOLVED that the progress made concerning the Council’s Net Zero Carbon Action Plan be noted.

 

 

 

 

131.

ECS RISK REGISTER pdf icon PDF 344 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A discussion took place as to how risk ratings were derived and why some risks looked more severe than others but may have a lower risk rating. It was accepted that risk ratings were not always easy to assess. It was noted that there were certain risks that the Council had some control of, but there were  other risks that the Council had little or no control over. It was noted that the degree of risk was a view taken at a particular point in time and that the process of rating risks was not a precise science.

 

RESOLVED that the update on the Risk Register be noted. 

132.

TRANSFORMING BROMLEY 2019--2023: FIRST TWO YEARS pdf icon PDF 297 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members noted the Transforming Bromley report.

 

A Member referenced page 209 of the agenda pack—and section 3.34 of the report. This highlighted the need to ‘review the three main environmental contracts’. The Member asked for further detail regarding which contracts were being mentioned. The Director responded that he would seek clarification on this and report back.

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted and that the Director for Environment and Community Services report back concerning the three contracts that were highlighted in section 3.34 of the report.

 

    

Written Questions from the Public pdf icon PDF 697 KB

Written Questions from Councillors pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Oral Questions from the Public pdf icon PDF 258 KB

Oral Questions from Councillors pdf icon PDF 263 KB

 

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