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Agenda and minutes

With effect from 1 April 2016 Agenda and Minutes will be available in both Welsh and English. Reports are working documents and produced in English only in accordance with Welsh Language Standard 41 of this Council’s Final Compliance Notice from the Welsh Language Commissioner.

Venue: Council Chamber, Guildhall

Contact: Craig Stevens  Scrutiny Facilitator

Media

Items
No. Item

49.

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Bryan Apsley and T Alan Edwards.

 

Welcome

 

The Chair welcomed Darren Williams to his first meeting of the Homes and Environment Scrutiny Committee following his appointment as Chief Officer Environment and Technical.

 

50.

Declarations of personal interests, if any

Members are reminded of their responsibility, under Paragraph 11 of the Members’ Code of Conduct, to declare the existence and nature of any personal interest in respect of any of the business to be transacted at this meeting

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were reminded of their responsibility, under Paragraph 11 of the Members’ Code of Conduct, to declare any interests in relation to any of the business to be transacted at this meeting.  The following declaration was made:

 

Agenda Item 5 – Councillor John Phillips – personal non-prejudicial -  (related to an individual employed within the Environment and Transport Department).  The Councillor remained in the meeting and took part in the voting thereon.

 

51.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 13 March 2019

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Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 13 March 2019 be signed as a correct record.

52.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 84 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Officer Governance & Customer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Officer for Governance and Customer submitted a report (COGC/02/19s) 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 paragraph 4.1, which highlighted the changes made to the Work Programme arising from the last meeting and proposed future changes.

 

During the debate the following points were noted:

 

·         Representatives of Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) were unable to attend the meeting on 8 May 2019 but would continue to liaise closely with Officers regarding the effects of Welfare Reform on both Council and private rented sector tenants.

·         The update report in respect of the ‘Housing Strategy’ be considered at the September 2019 meeting.

·         It was noted that the Vice-Chair had undertaken a piece of work regarding the scheduling of future items, in consultation with Lead Members and that an update would be provided at the next meeting.

 

AGREED – That, subject to the aforementioned, the work programme as attached to the report (COGC/02/19s s) be agreed.

 

53.

Waste Reduction and Recycling Initiatives in Wrexham pdf icon PDF 114 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for Place – Environment and Transport

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Minutes:

(Declarations of personal interests in relation to this item are set out under Minute 50 above)

 

The Lead Member for Place – Environment and Transport submitted a report (COET/01/19S) updating Members on waste reduction and positive recycling initiatives helping enable Wrexham Council to fulfil its aim to reduce municipal (residual) waste.  The report also proved an update on the work developing in line with Wrexham’s pledge to minimise the purchase and use of single-use plastics, both in its direct services and in those provided on its behalf.

 

The Lead Member introduced his report and responded to Members questions accordingly.

 

During the ensuing debate, the following points were made, in particular:

 

·         Confirmation that recycling provision was available for trade waste and that officers continue to work with businesses to encourage use of this facility.

·         Acknowledgment of the competitive external market for trade waste.

·         Welsh Government would are examining their waste strategy and a number of UK wide consultations are currently underway all of which may be reflected in a new Waste Strategy  which in all likelihood would include renewed targets and these would help to inform the Council’s future recycling programme.

·         The Council were using social media to encourage a behavioural change with regards to recycling and to encourage a reduction in the amount of waste placed in black bins.

·         The need to continue to actively promote the use of green compost bins.

·         Any opportunities to obtain funding from Welsh Government or other sources will continue to be examined and as appropriate would be used to continue with the roll out of wheelie bins and recycling boxes.

·         The need to ensure that operatives within the Environment Department were adhering to standards in respect of kerbside presentation.

·         Acknowledgment of Wrexham’s pro-active approach in terms of single use plastic.

·         The Lead Member referred to correspondence he had recently received from Plastic Free Wrexham.  He advised he would share this with Members of the Committee.

·         Reference was made to the best performing Countries with regard to recycling and their approach.  Further information on this would be provided.

 

AGREED –

 

i)             That the Lead Member and Officers be thanked for the      report.

ii)            That the report be noted and in particular the targets set for recycling rates by 2025.

iii)           That work already accomplished in respect of waste reduction and recycling be commended.

iv)          That the committee consider a  further report on this matter in six months, with an emphasis on meeting the 2025 recycling targets.

 

54.

Review of Performance of the Streetscene Service against the revised Streetscene Standards pdf icon PDF 130 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for Place – Environment and Transport

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Place – Environment and Transport submitted a report (COET/02/19S) updating Members on the Street scene service performance against the revised standards and protocols.

 

The Lead Member introduced his report and responded to Members questions accordingly.

 

During the ensuing debate, the following points were made, in particular:

 

·         Concern from one Member that there was not enough information contained within the report to allow proper scrutiny of overall performance within the relevant service areas.

·         The need to further promote the changes with the Council’s winter garden waste collection service from fortnightly to monthly.

·         IN cab technology was now present on all Street scene vehicles and this would allow for robust monitoring of those properties where bins had not been presented by 7.30 am.

·         The need to consider how the decline in biodiversity could be addressed as part of the Street scene service.  Members were advised that the Head of Environment and Planning had issued  an information report on this issue a number of months back

  • Whilst the Council endeavoured to meet its grass cutting service standard of 6-8 times per year on public land as part of its Service Level Agreement (SLA) there would be instances where it would not be possible to meet this standard.  It was important to recognise that this did not indicate serious weaknesses in the service provided.  Officers confirmed that reduced grass cuttings services in 2018 could be attributed to a particularly long, dry spell of weather and the need to take a practical approach to the service standards and the need to consider the best use of diminished resources.
  • The Highway Safety Inspection Policy was reviewed in 2018.  Officers advised that details of response times were not included in the report as they related to the revised Policy.
  • A small upward trend in highway condition surveys  was noted by Members.
  • A pilot on hot tar road repairs was underway.  Whist this produced longer lasting results there was a need to balance this against the increase in term of both cost and resources.
  • Whilst Members acknowledged the need to prioritise those roads with a higher volume of traffic they stressed the need to redress the balance in terms of the work required in rural communities and class C roads.
  • The Council was working in partnership with the prison to address the issue of litter at Wrexham Industrial Estate.
  • Concern at the increase in the number of people fly tipping in Wrexham and the need to continue to promote the 3 amenity sites within Wrexham.
  • Acknowledgement of the great work carried out by voluntary groups within the community to tackle litter and fly tipping in Wrexham.  The work carried out by Keep Wales Tidy was also recognised.
  • Acknowledgment of the good service provided by Street cleaning staff.

 

AGREED –

 

i)             That the Lead Member and Officers be thanked for the report

ii)            That an All Member workshop be held to consider approaches to litter collection and that this involves relevant partners/organisations.

iii)           That a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.

55.

Any other items which the Chair decides are urgent

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair was of the opinion that the following matter be dealt with as a matter of urgency in accordance with Section 100B (4) (b) of the Local Government Act 1972 by reason of the fact that it would be unnecessarily delayed if held over to the next meeting.

 

 A Member queried if it would be possible to consider co-opting Members of the Tenant Member Partnership onto the Committee.

 

AGREED – That a report on this be submitted to a future meeting.