Venue: Kennet Room - County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, BA14 8JN. View directions
Contact: Ellen Ghey - Democratic Services Officer Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To receive any apologies or substitutions for the meeting.
Apologies for absence for Members of the Committee were received from:
· Councillor Charles McGrath
· Councillor Derek Walters
· Councillor Tony Trotman
· Councillor Dr Nick Murry, who was substituted by Councillor Matthew Dean
· Councillor Mel Jacob, who was substituted by Councillor Stewart Palmen
Additional apologies for absence were also noted from Councillor Nick Holder, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change.
Minutes of the Previous Meeting
To approve and sign the minutes of the Environment Select Committee meeting held on 6 June 2023.
The minutes for the previous meeting held on 6 June 2023 were considered. Following which, it was:
The Committee approved and signed the minutes of the previous meeting held on 6 June 2023 as a true and correct record.
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.
There were no declarations of interest.
To receive any announcements through the Chair.
The Chairman announced that two items on the Forward Work Plan scheduled to be considered at the meeting, relating to Active Travel and Public Transport Review & Passenger Transport Service Update, had been deferred to a later date. As such, it was noted that they would remain on the Forward Work Plan until such time.
The Council welcomes contributions from members of the public.
If you would like to make a statement at this meeting on any item on this agenda, please register to do so at least 10 minutes prior to the meeting. Up to 3 speakers are permitted to speak for up to 3 minutes each on any agenda item. Please contact the officer named on the front of the agenda for any further clarification.
To receive any questions from members of the public or members of the Council received in accordance with the constitution.
Those wishing to ask questions are required to give notice of any such questions in writing to the officer named on the front of this agenda no later than 5pm on Tuesday 18 July 2023 in order to be guaranteed of a written response. In order to receive a verbal response questions must be submitted no later than 5pm on Thursday 20 July 2023 Please contact the officer named on the front of this agenda for further advice. Questions may be asked without notice if the Chairman decides that the matter is urgent.
Details of any questions received will be circulated to Committee members prior to the meeting and made available at the meeting and on the Council’s website.
The Chairman informed Members that a number of statements had been received the previous evening via email relating to Agenda Item 6: Household Waste Management Strategy Update. It was confirmed that those statements had been passed onto the relevant officers for note, and that they would also be circulated to Committee Members after the meeting.
A further two members of the public were in attendance and also made statements in relation to Agenda Item 6, focussing on alternative methods of domestic waste management, utilising previous disposal sites such as bottle banks, and potentially combining collection services.
Household Waste Management Strategy Update (2023/24)
The Environment Select Committee annually receives a review of the Household Waste Strategy which includes emerging legislation and policy that may affect the strategy, an annual review of performance and an annual action plan to deliver the strategy priorities.
Councillor Bill Parks, Portfolio Holder for Waste, alongside Sarah Valdus, Director for Environment, and Martin Litherland, Head of Waste Management, updated the Committee on the Household Waste Management Strategy 2023-24.
It was explained that when looking at the whole life cycle of waste materials, officers were aiming towards a circular economy whereby waste was reduced and reused while ensuring there was due consideration and interlinkage to Wiltshire Council’s Climate Strategy and Delivery Plan. Members were informed that a national carbon calculator had recently been launched which allowed officers to assess the carbon impact of the services provided. The significant changes in UK waste policy under the Environment Act 2021 were briefly noted but it was highlighted that key details of these changes were yet to be announced. The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) had released an Environment Improvement Plan (EIP) which introduced national targets. Officers were in the process of assessing the implications of these to waste management as well as other Council services.
Aspects of the National Policy Review were then detailed. Namely, the:
· Plastic Packaging Tax launched in April 2022.
· Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme.
· Deposit Return Scheme launching in October 2025.
· Further consistency in collections; potential for weekly food waste collections from approximately 2025.
· Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs); the incineration of all waste upholstered domestic seating from 1 January 2023 due to the presence of flame-retardant chemicals.
The impacts on Wiltshire’s waste services for each of the above was explained, such as potential losses in income and/or further costs and emission implications if additional collections were confirmed as required.
A performance update for 2022/23 was then given with officers providing figures for the number of tonnes of municipal waste managed, Wiltshire’s recycling rate, and how much waste was sent for waste treatment or landfill. It was noted that the vast majority of these figures had reduced since the previous year 2021/22, which officers suggested could be attributed to the more stringent measures put in place as a result of the Environment Act 2021 and/or emerging public concerns arising from the climate crisis. Members were then updated on the 2022/23 action plan’s activities, including the launch of the reusing paint and ‘Recycling – Let’s Sort It!’ campaigns, successful trial of a pop-up reuse shop in Devizes, and new recycling collections for household batteries.
Highlights from the 2023/24 action plan were given and it was noted that the number of activities for the upcoming year’s plan had been reduced to support officers’ ability to deliver targets against other competing priorities, such as coordinating the response to the emerging Environment Act 21 requirements and the procurement of new services and contracts post 2026. As approximately 16% of the contents of general waste bins collected at the kerbside contained materials that were recyclable, officers were focussing on concerted public engagement through the continued use of the ‘Recycling – Let’s Sort It!’ campaign to communicate further advice, guidance, and education in relation to reusing, recycling, and reducing the amount of waste ... view the full minutes text for item 43.
Updates from task groups
To receive any updates on recent activity for active task groups.
Councillor Jonathon Seed, Chairman of the Housing Allocations Policy Task Group, presented an update on the work of the Task Group since its inception.
The recent activities of the Task Group were detailed, namely:
· A scoping meeting held on 19 June 2023 with Nicole Smith, Head of Housing.
· A meeting with local social housing providers held on 12 July 2023 to understand and get feedback on how the current Housing Allocations Policy worked in practice.
· A meeting between the Chairman, relevant Cabinet Member and Head of Housing to understand the aims of the policy.
Furthermore, Members were informed that the Task Group were intending to hold two more meetings to discuss and conclude on different areas of the policy ahead of developing a report and a set of recommendations before being brought to a future meeting of the Committee.
During the discussion, members queried Paragraph 9 of the report and asked for further clarification on what was meant by “inconsistencies with applying the policy”. In response, it was noted that some cases were found to be dealt with quicker and more concisely, however it was acknowledged that further discussions were needed to find out more details. Other points raised included defining what was meant by affordable housing.
Cllr Seed concluded by commending the experience of the Task Group’s Membership and the hard work undertaken up to the date of the meeting.
Councillor Graham Wright, Chairman of the Climate Emergency Task Group, then presented an update on the work of the Task Group since 6 June 2023.
The recent activities of the Task Group were detailed, namely:
· Receiving a briefing on 29 June 2023 from Councillor Nick Botterill, Cabinet Member for Finance, Development Management, and Strategic Planning, Georgina Clampitt-Dix, Head of Spatial Planning, and Geoff Winslow, Spatial Planning Manager, concerning the draft Local Plan and the policies that would address the climate emergency.
Members were informed that the Task Group were pleased that the draft Local Plan recognised and was working towards tackling many of the issues previously raised in discussions with officers and Cabinet Members, such as promoting renewable energy and accelerating the construction of low carbon homes. As such, it was highlighted that the Task Group would continue to monitor the delivery of the Council’s Climate Strategy as well as focussing on local transport.
Members requested that the Task Group consider exploring the Council’s Waste Disposal Policies in relation to the amount of carbon emissions generated by the disposal of municipal waste, as discussed during the previous Agenda Item. Furthermore, Members highlighted that officers would be undertaking conversations with Hills to further explore the issue and requested that officers from the Climate Team be involved in those discussions at the appropriate time.
After which, it was:
a) The Committee noted the update on the Task Group activity provided.
b) The Committee noted the changes to the Housing Allocations Policy Task Group Terms of Reference and the timing of its final report.
c) The Committee noted the Climate Emergency ... view the full minutes text for item 44.
Forward Work Programme
To note and receive updates on the progress of items on the forward work programme.
Under the revised Overview and Scrutiny (OS) arrangements there is now a single OS work programme controlled by the OS Management Committee, linked to priorities in the Business Plan.
Therefore it should be noted that, whilst any matters added by Members are welcome, they will be referred to the OS Management Committee for approval before formal inclusion in the work programme for the Environment Select Committee.
A copy of the Overview and Scrutiny Forward Work Programme for the Environment Select Committee is attached for reference.
The Committee received the Forward Work Programme for consideration.
Councillor Stuart Wheeler highlighted the implementation and performance of the Milestone contract to date and suggested that further scrutiny was needed in relation to the effective operation of the Parish Stewards Scheme and other difficulties raised by members of the public such as the accessibility of work and costs. Parvis Khansari, Director of Place, confirmed that a report could be brought to a future meeting of the Committee to provide reassurance and further clarity for Members.
Members also raised Leisure Services and if any Terms of Reference were available for any scrutiny activities in the area, and if the commitment circulated to Members regarding the continued use of Salisbury City Hall as a live music venue underlined any review that was being undertaken. Officers confirmed that these two points would be reviewed and confirmed outside of the meeting.
Furthermore, Members noted that they had been contacted by a member of the public who was a qualified Rights of Way officer and had raised concerns as to the accuracy of Wiltshire Council’s definitive maps and the backlogs experienced by these officers in reviewing Rights of Way within Wiltshire. Members then suggested that further reviews into these issues be undertaken.
After which, it was:
The Committee approved the Forward Work Programme with the inclusion of items suggested by Members regarding Rights of Way and the Council’s Milestone contract.
Any other items of business which the Chairman agrees to consider as a matter of urgency.
There were no urgent items.
Date of Next Meeting
To confirm the date of the next scheduled meeting as 19 September 2023.
The date of the next meeting was confirmed as 19 September 2023.