Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL. View directions
Contact: Jenny Shade, Senior Democratic Services Officer Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Democratic Services had received an apology for Councillor Muldowney.
The Chair welcomed the two new members to the committee.
Julie Rogers stated a briefing session had been arranged for the new members which provided information on the group’s journey so far and members were provided with all the correspondence and minute information. As Councillor Muldowney was unable to attend this session the information pack had been placed in her pigeon hole.
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Waste Management Working Group meeting held on the 6 January 2020.
The minutes of the Waste Management Working Group held on 6 January 2020 were approved as a correct record.
Julie Rogers reminded Members that the information discussed at this working group was privileged and should not be shared without prior consent. That everything discussed and agreed, or documentation shared with the working group had to be regarded as confidential, such information was not and should not be in the public domain.
Andy Kelly and Daren Spring provided Members with an overview of how the Strategy document would be presented. Members discussed and the following points were raised:
• Chapter 2 - The National Picture should be summarised and contain links to full documentation. Best practice and identify what works best nationally and where. Identify best performing local authorities. Shift patterns could form an appendix document.
• Chapter 2 – The Local Picture should include a 10 year picture and how the impact of planned growth would affect the borough. Julie Rogers stated that the Local Plan would make reference to the boroughs growth and a link could be included to the Local Plan. Need to identify what works well now and what does not and what services are effective or not.
• Chapter 3 – Would include the comments from the consultation.
• Chapter 4 – Enforcement should be included and consideration as to how strict these should be and at what point they should be implemented.
Julie Rogers reminded Members to think back to the original plan for the strategy document and to start to thinking now about what should be included within the document. This is an opportunity to get clear messages across to our residents, such as what should be included and to what level, how enforcement could be included, potential for separate food waste, whether concessionary discounts should applied for replacement bins, infrastructure support, vehicles linking to air quality, the depot, electric vehicles and charging points for future use, etc.
Councillor Fletcher commented that the strategy should include Key Performance Indicators and questioned whether the flat recycling project should be referred to in the local picture. Julie Rogers stated that Cabinet had approved the finance budget, which includes the capital programme for the recycling project and if approved at Council next week the 18 month implementation programme will be rolled out.
Members agreed that residents were doing well in recycling and this was reflected in there being no loads rejected in the last year but recognised that more could be done.
Members agreed they were comfortable for the template to be used.
Consultation (Verbal Update)
Julie Rogers shared her concerns on the hand delivery of the “Let’s Talk Rubbish Postcard” that was being delivered by hand by a company to every household in the borough. That the company had now been challenged and evidence had been requested that these postcards had been delivered as reports had shown that this work had not been completed.
Members were informed that the information on this postcard had also been included in social media updates, press releases, advertising and hard copies were available in libraries and hubs.
Members were informed that the sticker for the recycling bins which the portfolio holder had committed to sending out during February, had been held following comments from the working group.
Julie Rogers referred Members to a draft letter that would be sent to every household over the next week that highlighted best practices for recycling and helped to address any confusion on the use of compostable bags. The letter would also refer residents to the consultation. The letter had been signed off by the portfolio holder but Members were asked for their views which are detailed below:
• Brown Bin - Best Practice – should be highlighted in bold.
• Link to consultation website – should refer to the consultation/talking rubbish and be highlighted and in italics.
• The yellow and blue talking rubbish header should be used.
• Second paragraph to refer to national best practice and to refer readers to paragraphs below for clarification.
• To replace “to drive accurate recycling” with “you to improve your recycling”.
• Remove the words “that you take the necessary action” from paragraph three.
Julie Rogers stated that once the letter had been finalised it would be sent out to all households via Royal Mail and social media would continue to be used to promote the consultation.
Members were requested that to ensure all residents had the opportunity to speak that the consultation end date, 4 March 2020, be extended until the 22 March 2020. Members were informed this change of date would not impact the timelines already set to which all Members stated their agreement with this extension.
Members were informed that the Monitoring Officer had agreed that the working group could meet within the purdah period with a proviso that the work undertaken remained confidential with no agenda and minutes being issued within the purdah period. All Members agreed with the Monitoring Officer’s comments.
Members were provided with an update from the ongoing waste consultation to which as of 10am on the 19 February, 386 residents had participated in the survey. At this time it was unclear as to why 394 residents had visited the site but had not completed the survey. Members were briefed on 10 of the results received so far and agreed that there were some interesting comments made. Members were informed that residents no longer were required to register which may have deterred some residents from completing the survey. Work on social media would continue to drive the ... view the full minutes text for item 24.
Any Other Business
Members agreed to move the 16 March 2020 meeting to the 25 March 2020.
Members agreed to hold an additional meeting on the 4 May 2020.
Julie Rogers advised that waste disposal contracts are due for renewal or extension in December 2020. Notification of extension has to be submitted to our contractors by 10 March. Discussion with Cabinet Members and the PFH had taken place and they were supportive of extensions, awaiting the outcome of the consultation. The Working Group agreed that extending the contracts made sense while the strategy is being progressed.