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Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received form Councillors Michelle Cook, Sarah Daniels and Ben Price.
The minutes of the meeting held on 14th June 2022 were approved as a correct record.
(Moved by Councillor R ford and seconded by Councillor J Harper)
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of Members’ interests (personal and/or personal and prejudicial) in any matters which are to be considered at this meeting.
When Members are declaring a personal interest or personal and prejudicial interest in respect of which they have dispensation, they should specify the nature of such interest. Members should leave the room if they have a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of which they do not have a dispensation.
There were no declarations of interest.
Update from the Chair
The Chair reminded the Committee of the additional Committee meeting scheduled for 23 August 2022.
Responses to Reports of the Infrastructure Safety & Growth Committee
Update on responses received to Reports of the Infrastructure Safety & Growth Committee:
Consideration of Matters referred to the Infrastructure Safety & Growth Committee from Cabinet or Council
No new items had been referred.
(To receive an update on the Dry Recycling Contract)
The Chair welcomed the Portfolio Holder for Skills, Planning, Economy and Waste, Councillor Stephen Doyle and the Chief Executive, Andrew Barratt, the Operations Manager, Ben Percival, and Nigel Harris, the General Manager, of the Joint Waste Service to the meeting to update the Committee.
The Operations Manager provided an overview of the implementation phase of dual stream service during which there was concurrent implementation of the new service together with continuation of the old service. Implementation was completed at the end of May 2022 with the full dual stream collections commencing from 30th May 2022. During the first five full weeks of the new service there had been carefully monitoring and whilst it was early to draw firm conclusions it was reported that:
· There had been no appreciable increase in residual waste, suggesting that recyclable materials were not being put into the general (black bin) waste
· Missed bin reports had been reducing since implementation
· Rejected bins and contaminated waste had significantly reduced since implementation
· It was intended that there would be regular reviews, including at month 3 and month 6 to consider whether there were any improvements which could be made.
The Committee commented and sought clarifications in the following areas:
1. Whether there was any comparator data from other local authorities regarding the roll out of the dual streaming systems and how did Tamworth Borough Council’s data compare. It was reported that the implementation of dual stream recycling had transformed the quality of the recycling collected and led to a significant reduction in the percentage of contamination rate from around 14 /15% (for co-mingled waste) to <2% for card and paper, and to <5% for glass, plastics and cans which had meant there had been no rejected loads, which was not understood to be the case in all local authority recycling services. Going forwards further data would be available.
2. Information on methods for securing the blue bags, where it was reported that the bag had been specified to fit within the top of the blue bin, and it had never been designed to hook onto the blue bin. It was reported that second blue bags could be requested by residents. It was reported that once there was further data available there would be consideration of whether any improvements could be made. It was highlighted that any changes would need to be made on a round by round basis and not by specific households
3. How many requests for additional blue bags had been made where it was reported that 3500* had been requested.
4. Whether the blue bags delivered had met the specification, whether the decision to use bags for card and paper and the bins for the glass, plastic and tins reflected the volume of waste from households, as well as consideration as to how the card and paper waste in bags would be managed in inclement weather. It was reported that the specification of the bags was currently a matter under discussion with the supplier ... view the full minutes text for item 22.
Electric Vehicle Charging
(To receive a verbal update from Officers)
The Head of Economic Development and Regeneration provided an update to the Committee on the progress made since the Committee’s last update on Electric Vehicle Charging. The update included confirmation that a contract had been signed with BP Pulse for the installation and ongoing maintenance of electric vehicle points at 2 council owned car parks in the town; Bolebride and Riverside. A map of the intended locations of the points was circulated, which had followed a site visit by BP Pulse to identify the optimal locations. At each location there would be two fast chargers, with 2 charging points on each. The installation had not yet commenced.
The Committee sought clarifications in the following areas:
1. How the usage of the charging points would be monitored where it was reported that this would be done by BP Pulse and the contract included some sharing of information.
2. How long it would take to install the charging points, where it was reported that this would depend upon the locations and proximity to electricity sub stations.
3. Any potential limitations of the infrastructure available in terms of electricity supply, where it was reported that these charging points would assist in identifying the demand for charging points, which would help future conversations in this area. Further it was reported that there was a Corporate Project in the Corporate Plan to develop an EV Charging Strategy which would articulate what as an authority we want to deliver and then discussions on how this could be delivered would commence. Further there was work at a Staffordshire County level on sustainability which also included EV Charging at a Staffordshire level. Over time it was also reported that the range of electric vehicles and other technological developments would develop and this could impact the demand and nature of charging facilities required.
The Chair thanked the Portfolio Holder and Officers for their update and the Head of Economic Development and Regeneration then left the meeting.
(Report of the Assistant Director, Growth & Regeneration)
The Chair reminded members that this was report was before the Committee following a petition to full Council, which Council referred to the Committee to review the relevant legislation and any other relevant material before reporting back to full Council.
The Assistant Director, Regeneration and Growth provided an overview of the report and highlighted that the relevant legislation included Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and that the netting of hedges was used by developers to mitigate their risks of undertaking works illegally. It was reported that Natural England did not regulate the use of netting by developers, however, they would expect developers to take a proportionate approach to netting and they provide guidance about the netting mesh size.
The Assistant Director further reported that Part 6 of the Environment Act 2021, included a requirement for developers to deliver a 10% biodiversity net gain (BNG) as a condition of planning permission in England, and that this requirement was a direct consequence of the petition presented to Government in 2019. This requirement had cascaded into the National Planning Policy Framework 2021, and this was being implemented by Borough Council officers. The result of the BNG was expected to encourage developers to consider their approaches which could involve them retaining the existing habitats to achieve the 10% BNG.
The Assistant Director advised that some other council’s included information on their website which could be considered, and further included Informatives on their planning permissions which were of an advisory nature, which highlighted to developers their duties under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
The Committee commented and sought clarifications in the following areas:
1. Whether there was anything the Council could do to prevent the removal of hedgerows as part of a development, where the Assistant Director reported that it was not unusual for there to be some tree or hedgerow loss as part of an application for development, however the application would normally be accompanied by ecological surveys, which would assess the value of those habitats. Sometimes hedgerows were lost for safety (visibility) reasons. The BNG would now mean that developers would need to consider further any removal of hedgerows / trees given the need to deliver more than the net gain.
2. Could the council put planning conditions on, for example, the timing / period of netting of hedges? The Assistant Director reported that she would need to take legal advice on whether this was possible.
3. To consider ensuring that training for planning committee members included the consideration of the environment / green agenda.
The Chair reported that following receipt of the further information requested regarding what could be included in permissions, the Chair would feedback to the Committee.
The Committee thanked the Assistant Director for her report and for the Assistant Director and the Portfolio Holder’s attendance, following which they left the meeting.
(Discussion item – link to Forward Plan is attached)
No further items were identified at this time.
Working Group Updates
To receive updates from any Working Groups
There was no further update at this time on the Facilities for HGV Drivers working group.
The Chair reported that in respect of the Travellers working group, he was in contact with the Portfolio Holder who had identified that there was work at a Staffordshire level ongoing. Once there was further information regarding this he would report back as appropriate.
(Update and discussion on the Infrastructure Safety & Growth Scrutiny Work Plan)
The Committee considered its work plan and update it as below.
A further working group was identified to look at the integration of transport available to local residents in Tamworth.