Agenda item

Overview of Responsibilities of Portfolio Holder for Environment, Sports and Leisure - Verbal Update


The Chair decided that item 8 should be heard first.


Councillor Jefferies invited the Committee to ask him questions.


The Chair requested an update regarding brown bin collections.


Councillor Jefferies responded that due to actions of the protestors, roads were closed around the depot and therefore lorries could not get in or out. They are therefore currently two days behind with collections as on Monday and Tuesday the brown bins couldn’t be collected. The service will be working on Saturday to make up for this and therefore for those whose bins weren’t collected on Monday and Tuesday their bins will be collected by Saturday. Councillor Jefferies also confirmed that they have had some success in recruiting loaders and drivers but at the same time others are still leaving. He assured the Committee they are doing work at the depot on retaining workers.


The Chair queried if other Councils were having the same difficulties.


Councillor Jefferies confirmed that other Councils were also experiencing recruitment difficulties.


Councillor Muldowney queried if any contingency plans were in place as the protestors are continuing to target the depot.


Councillor Jefferies explained that they have no other site in the borough and they have to rely on the Police to deal with the protestors.


The Recreation and Leisure Services Manager joined the meeting at 19.06


Councillor M Coxshall joined the meeting at 19.08


Councillor Jefferies stated that bins will always be missed for a variety of reasons (blocked access, staff shortages, lorry breakdowns) and they are reviewing the whole process for reporting missed bins so residents can report it easily, obtain a reason as to why it wasn’t collected and receive an answer as to when it will be collected.


Councillor Byrne raised that whenever he reports a missed bin the reason given for this is always blocked access.


Councillor Jefferies responded that the system can take photos and he is determined to improve it so this is done.


Councillor Arnold explained that the communication to residents needs to be better as they wont know to put their bins back out to be collected once they have been missed.


The Assistant Director for Street Scene and Leisure confirmed that they are doing a lot of work with the Communications team and information is on the website. He confirmed they are asking people to keep their brown bins out until Saturday if their bins were missed on Monday and Tuesday. He highlighted that he understood this was not convenient for residents.


Councillor Muldowney agreed with Councillor Arnold that a lot of the bad feeling and frustration expressed by residents could be solved with better communication.


Councillor Jefferies stated that the information was on the website, Facebook and Twitter. He agreed communications can always be improved.


Councillor Byrne stated that he had not had the same problems with missed bins with trade waste. He queried why this was the case and if there was anything that could be learnt from that team.


The Assistant Director for Street Scene and Leisure explained that they are a much smaller team with just two vehicles. It was therefore easier to manage and resource this team.


Councillor Arnold queried that now the bird nesting season is over will work start on trees.


The Assistant Director for Street Scene and Leisure confirmed that the team would normally start the winter maintenance programme once the grass cutting season has come to an end. However, he commented that they are cutting the grass later in the year and also starting to cut it earlier. The Assistant Director for Street Scene and Leisure confirmed that all the trees in the Borough have been surveyed and graded and the team will work over a 5 year period to make sure the maintenance on those trees is carried out.


Councillor Arnold asked if information could go on to the website about when this work is going to be carried out as he often gets calls about trees from residents.


The Assistant Director for Street Scene and Leisure confirmed that he would speak to the web team although they may only be able to specify the area that they will be working in as opposed to confirming the particular work that will be carried out.


Councillor Byrne queried whether single use plastic was being used in the building as he noted there were single use plastic cups by the water machine.


Councillor Jefferies confirmed there is a policy to reduce the use of single use plastic in the Civic Offices.


The Assistant Director for Street Scene and Leisure responded that he would speak to facilities about this.