Agenda and minutes
Homes and Environment Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 13th February, 2019 2.00 pm
Venue: Council Chamber, Guildhall
Contact: Craig Stevens Scrutiny Facilitator
Webcast: View the webcast
Apologies for absence
An apology for absence was submitted on behalf of Councillor David Maddocks.
To sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 16 January 2019.
RESOLVED – That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 16 January 2019 be signed as a correct record.
To consider the report of the Head of Finance
The Head of Finance submitted a report (HF/16/19s) to assist Members in agreeing a list of potential scrutiny topic areas for the next 12 months and possibly longer term.
In introducing the report the Scrutiny Facilitator drew particular attention to paragraphs 4.1 to 4.3, which highlighted the changes made to the Work Programme arising from the last meeting and proposed future changes.
During the debate the following proposals were agreed:
· ‘HRA Environmental Improvement Schemes’ - This item, originally scheduled for February be deferred to the March 2019 meeting.
· ‘Gardens in Council House Voids’ and ‘Performance in respect of Voids’ – The two items be amalgamated into one report and be considered at a special meeting to be arranged in March/April 2019 following a site visit to view relevant properties.
AGREED – That, subject to the aforementioned, the work programme as attached to the report (HF/16/19s) be agreed.
To consider the report of the Lead Member for Place - Environment and Transport
The Lead Member for Place - Environment and Transport submitted a report
(HEP/11/19S) seeking Members views on the proposed options for the
provision of an environmental enforcement service across Wrexham County
In introducing his report, the Lead Member provided some background
Information in respect of the four options detailed in the report. He responded
to Members questions accordingly thereafter.
During discussion, the following points were noted, in particular:
· Collaboration with other North Wales Councils (Option 3) had been cited as the preferred option for consideration during the establishment of the Environmental Enforcement Task and Finish Group. The Lead Member advised however that this option was not viable at the present time due to the differing approach’s currently being adopted by neighbouring authorities.
· It was noted that the engagement of an external contractor (Option 2) could take at least six months and it may not therefore be appropriate to pursue this option.
· Members were asked to be mindful of the fact that Wrexham Council would continue to face budget pressures and that the provision of an in-house Enforcement Service would need to be absorbed within the current workforce and budget.
· There was a general consensus from Members that there was a level of public dissatisfaction resulting from the need for a more proactive approach to the enforcement of littering and dog fouling offences and therefore maintenance of the current model (Option 1) which prioritised civil enforcement of parking offences over these issues, should not be considered as a means of providing environmental enforcement in the medium to long term.
(i) That the current model be maintained whilst a solution is found.
(ii) The favoured option is option four, in house provision, subject to a more detailed assessment.
(iii) Legal or contractual definitions be obtained to ascertain if
only certain types of litter can be collected for option 2, to engage an external contractor.
(iv) Not to proceed with option 3, engage in a collaboration with
other North Wales Councils, at present but to be receptive to any collaborative work with other authorities in the future.