Agenda and draft minutes

Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 6th February, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL. View directions

Contact: Jenny Shade, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email: Direct.Democracy@thurrock.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

49.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 90 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 3 October 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the Cleaner Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on the 3 October 2019 were approved as a correct record.

50.

Items of Urgent Business

To receive additional items that the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency, in accordance with Section 100B (4) (b) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

51.

Declaration of Interests

Minutes:

No interests were declared.

52.

Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy Report pdf icon PDF 273 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Michelle Cunningham, Thurrock Community Safety Partnership Manager, highlighted areas from the report of the work associated with the Thurrock Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy 2017-2020 and the proposed priorities for the refreshed strategy commencing for March 2020-2023. Members were informed that the strategy focused on the needs of women and girls but it was also recognised and responded to that men were victims of these crimes too. Members were referred to the key successes, the five themes to which the strategy would be delivered and the next steps.

 

Councillor Fletcher thanked Michelle Cunningham for the report and questioned was there any time limits to which departments communicated with each other on areas such as housing safeguarding. Michelle Cunningham stated that each case would be different but it would be a housing responsibility to victims and asked Councillor Fletcher to provide more specific information outside the committee.

 

Councillor Worrall questioned whether the 7367 MASH referrals were just for Thurrock and questioned how many more incidents were being non-reported. Michelle Cunningham stated that this was a frightening figure as 2482 referrals had a domestic abuse component. These were static reported figures for Thurrock and agreed with Councillor Worrall’s concerns that there were still victims who were not reporting incidents.

 

Councillor Worrall questioned whether any Members had been invited to the Violence Against Women and Girls conference held in September 2019 and could Members be invited to any future events. Michelle Cunningham stated Members would definitely be invited to any future conferences and would be invited to the J9 Domestic Abuse awareness bite size training as well.

 

Councillor Worrall touched on Modern Day Slavery and how this was being tackled in Thurrock. Michelle Cunningham stated that this had become a priority and would now be hosting the first Essex and Kent Partnership and three new officers would be joining the team in a couple of weeks. With Community Safety Partnership funding would be aimed at businesses and communities. Meeting with immigration and undertaking joined-up campaigns. Councillor Worrall thanked Michelle Cunningham for a great report.

 

Councillor Rigby questioned the age bracket of girls being reported on in the strategy. Michelle Cunningham stated that this was up to the age of 18. Although transition work was underway with Adult and Children’s Social Care and the Thurrock Community Safety Partnership to ensure this care was provided up to the age of 25.

 

Councillor Worrall stated her concern on the number of vulnerable people that attended the soup kitchen ran by the Friends of Essex and London Homeless at the Church in Orsett Road, Grays who possibly were being exploited and asked for Officer intervention. Michelle Cunningham agreed that this was a valid point and would refer to the team.

 

Councillor Rigby referred to the “The Good Man Project” and questioned how these referrals were made. Michelle Cunningham stated these would be referrals from schools, those at risk of exclusion or referrals from social care. That the feedback received had been good to which the service  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.

53.

Fees and Charges Pricing Strategy 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 152 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Daren Spring, Assistant Director Street Scene and Leisure, presented the report that set out the charges in relation to the services within the remit of the Cleaner Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee. The charges would take effect from the 1 April 2020 unless otherwise stated. Members were referred to the appendices which detailed the proposed charges and deletion of current fees and charges.

 

Councillor Worrall stated her disappointment on the increases being proposed for football pitches as residents were being penalised for trying to keep fit. Councillor Worrall also stated that by increasing fees for sporting activities may have a detrimental effect on families in the borough.

 

Councillor Worrall asked for clarification on the fee to remove skips. Daren Spring stated these were skips that were parked in roads which had exceeded the time allowed as part of the license supplied by the skip company.

 

Councillor Worrall questioned whether the Thameside Theatre packages had been effective. Leigh Nicholson, Interim Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Public Protection, agreed that the packages had been effective and stated there was still an option to rent individual pieces but the packages were easier and more cost effective to hire.

 

Councillor Van Day asked how often the fees and charges were reviewed to which he was informed these were reviewed annually.

 

Councillor Fletcher questioned the figures for the next budget, whether putting the costs up on sporting facilities would offset the costs of employing park engagement officers who had been employed by the Council to promote the use of sporting facilities and that the parks model had not considered all sporting groups. Daren Spring stated the budget proposals were now being prepared and the fees and charges would go to Cabinet to be verified. Members were informed that the increases in pitches were to ensure they were of good quality had not been cost recoverable but smaller groups such as bowling and cricket clubs where the pitch area was smaller could become self-managed with external funding but all sporting clubs would be included and consulted with to find ways to improve services.

 

Discussions were undertaken on the wording of recommendation 2 and how that delegation would be used. The Vice Chair put recommendation 2 to the vote to which the recommendation was drawn at two for and two against to which having the Vice Chair having the casting vote the recommendation was agreed.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.         That Cleaner Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted the revised fees, including those no longer applicable, the commented on the propels currently being considered within the remit of this committee.

 

2.         That Cleaner Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted that director delegated authority would be sought via Cabinet to allow Fees and Charges to be varied within a financial a year in response to commercial requirements.

54.

Air Quality & Health Strategy and Modelling Assessment Update pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mat Kiely, Transportation Services Strategy Lead, presented the report that focused on the scope work for the Air Quality Modelling and a refreshed Air Quality and Health Strategy which would be progressed over the coming year.

 

Councillor Worrall stated that residents were being encouraged to use electric vehicles but questioned the number of electric vehicle charging points available in the borough, particularly around new housing developments. Mat Kiely stated the electronic vehicle charging points provision would need to be addressed as part of the Air Quality Strategy and the Local Plan would identify the need and delivery of these points and the housing allocation would also be addressed as part of this process. As part of the processes of the tender exercise would be to deliver these provisions.

 

Councillor Worrall touched on the tree planting strategy and questioned why the area in Montreal Road in Tilbury still remained an area of tarmac and trees had not been planted as promised. Mat Kiely stated that funding had increased for tree planting which would form part of the Air Quality Strategy and that the Air Quality Management Area models would incorporate the need for more trees in the borough and where trees should be planted. Mat Kiely agreed to look into this area and report back to Councillor Worrall.

 

Councillor Worrall questioned whether the air quality monitors were currently positioned in the best places and had consideration been made to install them in industrial areas. Mat Kiely stated the current locations had been identified by the last model with the new model identifying any additional monitoring sites.

 

Councillor Fletcher suggested a review of the existing air quality management areas in Thurrock be undertaken as some wards may now have the same issues as those wards that had monitors installed already.

 

Councillor Van Day questioned whether there had been any complaints due to the lack of electric vehicle charging points. Mat Kiely stated there would be a generic need to increase the number in the borough and work was being undertaken to increase this number in line with the growth of electric vehicles.

 

Leigh Nicholson stated that electric vehicle charging points would form part of the Local Plan and to ensure that Thurrock was flexible and moved with the times to identify the need. This would also be a key part of discussions with the property developers.

 

Councillor Rigby questioned the relevance of the number next to the particulate matter. Mat Kiely stated this would be the size of the matter but would check with the Air Quality team and confirm to Councillor Rigby.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.         That the Cleaner Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted and endorsed the key elements that are to be addressed and taken forward in order to develop the required air quality modelling and a review and refresh of the Air Quality and Health Strategy.

 

2.         That the Cleaner Greener and Safer endorsed the need for appropriate funding and resource to be explored and provided within the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.

55.

Recycling for Communal Buildings pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Daren Spring, Assistant Director Street Scene & Leisure, provided an update on the activities in relation to the recycling in communal buildings which included an overview of the recycling pilot that had been undertaken at two locations in the borough and included an outline of the future activities there were scheduled to take place. That Thurrock residents recycled approximately 37% of their waste and the introduction of increased recycling opportunities in communal buildings could have a considerable effect on the overall recycling rates. Members were referred to Appendix 1 that highlighted the signage, literature and the bins used. The next steps would be to escalate these facilities into all communal buildings.

 

Councillor Fletcher thanked Officers for the report and commended the work undertaken. Councillor Fletcher asked if the pilot was commencing now would anything be done differently to what was undertaken in the pilot. Lynn Aben, Recycling Project Officer, stated nothing would have been done differently. There were no recycling facilities in those two communal buildings before the pilot so residents had not been recycling so it had been educating those residents as to why they should recycle, the impact and what happens once items had been recycled.

 

Councillor Worrall questioned whether this would be an opportunity to expand and educate residents on other initiatives such as TerraCycle. Lynn Aben stated that she had worked with TerraCycle, which was a recycling company that had become a global leader in recycling hard-to-recycle materials and hoped that more sites would become available in the borough. That parks were a good way forward to have these TerraCycle points and Members were referred to the TerraCycle facilities available in Hardie Park. Lynn Aben stated this new initiative had been advertised but would speak with the communications team to ensure that information was available on the Council’s web site.

 

Councillor Van Day questioned whether there was any feedback from the Waste Consultation. Lynn Aben stated that some 250 residents so far had responded but no conclusions could be made at this time. More information would be available once the consultation had finished and the data had been analysed.

 

Councillor Worrall asked whether the next phase would be rolled out in one phase. Lynn Aben stated this would be a longer process and rolled out in phases with Council housing properties being undertaken first and then privately owned properties. Daren Spring stated that this would be a gradual roll out and that Private Providers had already shown an interest in this initiative. Councillor Worrall further asked how long the process would take to implement to which Officers stated that the process would take at least a year to implement.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.         That the Cleaner Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee reviewed the report for information and contents.

 

2.         That the Cleaner Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee supported the proposal to Cabinet to roll out of recycling in all communal buildings in Thurrock.

56.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Minutes:

As this meeting was the last Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee of the municipal year Members agreed that the Chair allocated to the committee for the next municipal calendar would review the work programme items with Officers.