Agenda and draft minutes

Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 1st October, 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

64.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 246 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 2 July 2020.

Minutes:

The minutes of the Cleaner Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on the 2 July 2020 were approved as a correct record.

65.

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 urgent items of business.

66.

Declaration of Interests

Minutes:

No interests were declared.

67.

Cross Party Waste Working Group and Municipal Waste Strategy for Thurrock 2021-2031 pdf icon PDF 208 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following Members of the Waste Management Working Group were in attendance for this item – Councillors Byrne, Muldowney, Ralph, and Smith.

 

Councillor Fletcher, Chair of the Waste Management Working Group, presented the report and stated the Cross Party Waste Working Group had been formed in August 2019 with the key objective of reviewing the requirements of the Government’s waste strategy paper and establish how Thurrock would be able to meet those requirements. The Group considered the statutory implications for the Council which would impact on the way Thurrock collected and disposed of their waste and to improve the level of the recycle rate of household waste that was re-used, recycled and composted. Thurrock’s recycling rate was 34.76% compared to the national average of 43.2%.

 

Members were provided with the areas investigated and the activities the working group had undertaken which included:

 

·         Understanding the current process with household waste collection which included a visit to Bywaters, Thurrock’s current dry recycling disposal point.

·         A review of the current waste collections service levels and vehicles which included a visit to the Depot.

·         An overview of communications and education had taken place in the past two years.

·         Members attended a training event with WRAP. An insight into messaging and communication regarding recycling and reuse.

·         An overview of the planned improvements for the Household Waste and Recycling Centre redevelopment.

·         Supported the work currently being undertaken on the Flats Recycling Project.

·         Benchmarking the collection regimes maintained by other councils.

·         Reviewed the National Waste Strategy to understand the implications for waste services in Thurrock.

·         A consultation of all residents was undertaken with a response rate of 1%, 684 completed surveys returned.

·         Education work within schools would continue.

 

Councillor Fletcher stated that following the work of the Waste Management Working Group the recommended approach would be to:

 

1.         Thurrock would have a refreshed Waste Strategy that was compliant and aligned with National Policy. The approach outlined in the strategy would include changes to domestic collections, implemented on a phased approach which would have implications for disposal contracts and vehicles. The key aspects would be: replace residual waste collections with a new weekly food waste collection to all households and an alternate weekly residual collection; retain the weekly collections of dry recycling; retain the fortnightly collections of garden waste; redevelop the Household Waste and Recycling Centre; review of Thurrock’s waste collection fleet to ensure a reduction in carbon footprint and fuel usage; ensure future waste disposal contract negotiations followed new principles such as (i) reduction in distance travelled to disposal sites (ii) identify opportunities for additional recycling and reuse and (iii) ensure a reduction in waste sent to landfill; reduce the occurrence of single use plastics; investigate the feasibility of creating a transfer station within Thurrock to support alternative disposal options; investigate the feasibility of building an energy recovery facilities in the borough.

2.         To ensure that throughout the implementation of the Waste Strategy, the service would consistently look to Educate and Empower residents to recycle and reuse  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.

68.

Public Protection work involving Animals pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Minutes:

Gavin Dennett, Strategic Lead Public Protection, presented the report which provided members with an update on the services and functions the Public Protection Team undertook that involved the regulation and permitting of animal movements in relation to the control of diseases of livestock, detention and quarantining of pets in relation to rabies control and the licensing of some animal related services.

 

Councillor Redsell stated the Council needed to be stricter and to follow up on those residents living under a tenancy agreement where there were lots of pets in one property or dangerous dogs. Gavin Dennett stated these instances should be referred to Housing but if it was a risk or health concern for the animal the RSPCA would need to be involved.

 

Councillor Lawrence questioned what could residents do when they saw horses tied up on the roadside. Gavin Dennett stated that horse welfare would fall under the Animal Welfare Act and the RSPCA would enforce where horses were in distress. The welfare of horses that may stray onto roads and the welfare and safety of road users fell with the Police who had some powers to ensure that roads were kept clear. The Council would also ensure that any leases issued for grazing covered the appropriate conditions and was dealt with properly.

 

Councillor Lawrence asked for clarification on housing associations where there had been reports of the number of dogs in flats and questioned whether the Council had any powers to deal with that. Gavin Dennett stated housing associations would have their own terms, tenancy agreements and stipulations with the Council would not having as much control as they did over their own tenancies. Councillor Lawrence questioned what the process would be to report an incident of a resident living in Thurrock but under another housing association who kept dangerous dogs. Gavin Dennett stated that if the resident had concerns about dog noise the Council did have some powers but if the resident felt in danger of a dog attack they should report this to the Police and the Council could assist the Police in communicating with such housing associations.

 

Councillor Rigby questioned whether there had been an improvement in the reduction of puppy farms following the compulsory registering of breeders with the Council. Gavin Dennett stated there had been an improvement with those that registered but the issue was with the illegal puppy farms who were unlikely to register. That the Council issued dog breeding licences which were enforced vigorously and also worked alongside other local authorities. Councillor Rigby further questioned whether the imported dogs were being picked up at the ports or once they were in the communities. Gavin Dennett stated that these were normally identified through a consumer complaint received through the Trading Standards Team. Also any potential stowaway animals found in the port area would be dealt with differently as they were potentially importing disease so would have to be quarantined.

 

Councillor J Kent noted his disappointment in the contents of the report which  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68.

69.

CCTV Public Identification Policy Update pdf icon PDF 455 KB

Minutes:

Dulal Ahmed, Housing Enforcement Manager, presented the report that outlined the Council’s CCTV purpose, the six month interim results implementing the policy during COVID-19 and assisting with the successful prosecution of offenders. That CCTV was an invaluable tool for Essex Police and the Community Safety Partnership to combat crime, deter anti-social behaviour and environment crime such as fly tipping, whilst enhancing community safety. Members were referred to the data sharing part of the report and the evidence packs that were produced for the Police and Council enforcement officers.

 

Councillor Redsell referred to the mobile cameras and questioned whether these were connected to vehicles. Dulal Ahmed stated there were 10 mobile camera devices that were fitted around the borough on street furniture and that the Council did not have any cameras on moving vehicles.

 

Councillor Redsell referred to the problem of motor bikes on Blackshots Field and questioned why this camera did not pick anything up.  Dulal Ahmed stated the Council had worked closely with Essex Police on a number of operations on motor bike offenders and had been identified with their items being seized.

 

Councillor Lawrence questioned what the process was for Members to ask for a mobile camera to be moved into a certain area. Dulal Ahmed stated that intelligence of such activities would be presented to the Council’s Local Action Group and would be discussed with partners including the Police to identify what offences were being committed, the operation need and whether it would be feasible to install a camera at that location. Members could report such activities to the Police as a priority area or an email could be sent to the community safety partnership team. 

 

Councillor Lawrence questioned whether mobile cameras had been in operation to capture the use of gas canisters. Dulal Ahmed stated that cameras had been deployed to car park areas to deter this from happening and contact was being made to those offenders using the vehicle registration number to identify them. Members were reminded that these incidents, and where the registration number was known, could be reported to the Police. Julie Rogers stated a lot of joint work had been undertaken with the Police and the Council’s enforcement team and had some very positive outcomes and that Members could report any such incidents through member enquiries.

 

Councillor J Kent questioned whether the Council were considering in any way the use of facial recognition software. Dulal Ahmed stated that his team were in the process of drafting a CCTV Strategy and there were no plans, at this stage, to look at using facial detection as a surveillance tool to identify persons of interest.

 

At 9.20pm, Councillor Redsell suspended standing orders.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.         The Cleaner Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted and commented on the interim results of the Public Identification CCTV policy.

 

2.         The Cleaner Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted the Community Safety Partnership oversee the monitoring of this policy.

 

Community Safety Partnership oversee the monitoring of this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 69.

70.

A collaborative approach to Arts, Culture and Heritage in Thurrock pdf icon PDF 247 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Stephen Taylor, Strategic Lead Economic Development, presented the report that set out the role of the Council to facilitate a collaborative approach to develop shared ambitions around community drive arts activity and the steps being taken by partners to secure resources and support delivery. The Council recognised the value of arts, heritage and culture and heritage in itself and as a way of improving health and wellbeing, learning and skills, civic pride and a community driven growth agenda.

 

Councillor Redsell stated the residents were missing culture and heritage events but it was good to hear that work was still continuing in the background.

 

Councillor J Kent queried whether this item fell under the terms of reference of this committee. Stephen Taylor stated the fees and charges report for theatre and museum had traditionally been presented to this committee for approval and this had been the basis for bringing this report this evening.

 

Councillor Hague asked for some examples of practical and physical outputs of this work programme to ensure that the Council build on the strengths and capabilities that Thurrock had locally. Stephen Taylor stated that the outcome in terms of the community driven arts and heritage activity would be determined through development of the shared vision and priorities but an agreed approach would give a good basis for external funding bids, help identify who was interested in what and to see where there may be opportunities to join up and collaborate to deliver a bigger or better programme. In terms of looking at the economy, jobs, skills and business it would be an opportunity to look at what could be attracted into the borough or grown from existing business base. Councillor Hague thanked for the answer and although creative was important it should also be linked into the economic development in the area and building in the sense of place.

 

Councillor Redsell stated the Council needed to be more imaginative in their ideas and plans.

 

Councillor J Kent stated that more consideration should be given to matching developments with the need of the local art community and referred to the close working of the High House Production Park with Acme Studies. Councillor J Kent stated the approach of the report was too self-selected and there was a concern that a lot of artists were missing out. That it was for the community to be given the tools they need to run events such as an open-air cinema and not for the Council to tell the communities what they think they want. Councillor J Kent referred to the Creative People and Places lottery bid and stated the members did not know what was in that report, what that would deliver and what success would look like and stated the report was very unclear as to what the message was that they were trying to get across. Stephen Taylor stated Tilbury on Thames Trust had been selected by a voting process managed by the CVS and acknowledged that it would have  ...  view the full minutes text for item 70.

71.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 16 KB

Minutes:

Members discussed the work programme.