ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE

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                              ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE

                                  15 SEPTEMBER 2005

                                       PRESENT:

            Councillors Sue Kettle, T J Marlow, W H Moore, Barbara Shephard,
            Peter Shephard, J A Sherlock, Graham Smith and J C Starkey (deputising
            for Councillor Gareth Anderson)

            Ex-officio member (Leader of the Council): Councillor F W Venables

            Apologies for non-attendance were received from Councillor Gareth Anderson


26   APPOINTMENT OF CHAIRMAN

     Resolved – That Councillor J A Sherlock be and he is hereby appointed Chairman of the
     Committee for the remainder of the 2005/06 municipal year.

                            (Councillor Sherlock in the Chair)

27   SUBSTITUTION

     Councillor J C Starkey informed the Chairman, in accordance with Standing Order No
     20, that he was attending the meeting as the duly appointed substitute for Councillor
     Gareth Anderson.

28   APPOINTMENT OF VICE-CHAIRMAN

     Resolved – That Councillor Peter Shephard be and he is hereby appointed Vice-
     Chairman of the Committee for the remainder of the 2005/06 municipal year.

29   DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

     No member declared any personal or prejudicial interest in any item of business to be
     considered at the meeting.

30   INFORMAL DISCUSSION – LIVEABILITY SCHEME

     Members were reminded that provision was made on the agenda for each meeting of
     executive committees for reporting officers to make presentations, or have information
     discussions with members, on a particular issue that was related to the committee‟s
     activities and duties.

     That evening, Mark Taylor, Project Manager at Birse Construction Limited, the main
     contractor for the Liveability Scheme, and David Kemp, the “Buy Recycled”, Co-
     ordinator at the Clean Merseyside Centre, attended the meeting to discuss the subject
     of recycling operations in connection with the Liveability Scheme.

     Mr Kemp began the discussion by introducing the Clean Merseyside Centre, which was
     the market development organisation for recyclable materials on Merseyside and the
     surrounding area.
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                           ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE                   15 SEPTEMBER 2005

The Centre was a non-profit making organisation which worked to stimulate, develop
and grow the market for recycled materials. It provided free support to businesses and
public sector bodies, at each stage of the recycling process, from collection, segregation
and reprocessing to manufacture and marketing of the final product, with the aim of
developing even higher value markets for recycled materials. Mr Kemp was the co-
ordinator for the “Buy Recycled” programme, which was the side of the operation which
assisted organisations in sourcing high quality affordable recycled products. Mr Kemp
outlined the business case for using recycled materials, and quoted some of the
financial benefits revealed in a number of case studies in the construction industry. He
also drew members‟ attention to some of the policy drivers which were requiring the
greater use of recycled materials. The Buy Recycled programme aimed to „close the
recycled loop‟ by securing markets for the recyclable products collected by local
authorities. He pointed out that the local authority could assist in this creation of secure
end markets, by stipulating the use of recycled products wherever possible, thereby
generating demand. A Guide to Recycled Content Products for the building and
construction sectors had been compiled, containing a wide range of examples of
products containing recycled material. Copies of this Guide, together with any other
information about the Clean Merseyside Centre, could be obtained from Mr Kemp. He
was contactable as follows:-

Tel: 0151 236 1328
Email:     david.kemp@clean-merseyside.com
Website: www.clean-merseyside.com/end_markets.html

The Council was invited to engage with the Clean Merseyside Centre through the Buy
Recycled programme.

Members asked a number of questions, to which Mr Kemp responded.

Mark Taylor, Project Manager at Birse Construction Limited, then talked to members
about the company‟s recycling operations, with particular reference to the Liveability
Scheme in Ellesmere Port. He began by outlining the reasons for maximising the use of
recycled products, not least being the fact that it was cheaper! He described how Birse
worked alongside the Clean Merseyside Centre, using its database to source local
recycled products. He gave some examples of the wide range of products which were
available as recycled or containing a recycled element. He then gave members some
idea of the scale of recyclable elements being used in the Liveability Scheme in
Ellesmere Port, where some 78% of products, by number, were either recycled or
contained a recycled element. Mr Taylor advised the Committee that Birse was a
member of the Considerate Contractors scheme, and abided by the Code of Practice
regarding considerate and responsible behaviour on site. He gave several examples of
the way in which the work being carried out on the Liveability Scheme demonstrated
compliance with the Considerate Contractors‟ Code of Practice.

Finally, Mr Taylor reported on the four awards which the company had received recently
for their standards under the Code of Practice, and in the area of recycling.

The Chairman (Councillor Sherlock) thanked both Mr Kemp and Mr Taylor for their
presentations. Members were pleased with the way work on the Liveability Scheme
was being carried out in the town centre, with excellent working relationships all round,
and looked forward to this continuing.
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                                ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE                   15 SEPTEMBER 2005

     The Town Centre Manager, Lorraine Taylor, then circulated, for members‟ information,
     photographs recently taken of the children‟s artwork for the floor tiles in Marina Walk. It
     was hoped that the floor tiles would be in position in Marina Walk by the time of the
     Committee‟s next meeting in November.

31   ELLESMERE PORT TOWN CENTRE – OFF-STREET PARKING AND RESIDENTS‟
     ON-STREET PARKING

     Further to minute 61 (17.3.05), the Director of Corporate Services reported on the latest
     developments in the implementation of the Ellesmere Port town centre parking scheme.

     Insofar as off-street parking was concerned, members were advised that, because the
     Council was introducing charging on new car parks, it would be necessary to advertise
     the proposals and to consider any objections received from the public. Members were
     advised at the meeting that the deadline for this on the Wellington Road car park had
     now passed and that no objections had been received.

     The consent of the County Council was yet to be obtained for the Borough Council to
     exercise its powers to introduce the charges on the new car parks, and this matter was
     being addressed through the Highways and Transportation Local Joint Committee. A
     report was to be presented to the Highways & Transportation Local Joint Committee,
     dealing with this issue, on Thursday 22 September 2005.

     It was pointed out that charging on the Wellington Road car park was being introduced
     to manage demand for parking arising from the temporary loss of spaces due to the
     Ellesmere Port town centre re-development. Once the re-development was complete, a
     review of all available parking and demand upon it would be undertaken to establish
     whether there was a need to continue charging on Wellington Road.

     The Director of Corporate Services went on to update members on the proposed on-
     street residents‟ parking scheme. It was intended that this scheme be self-financing, by
     levying a charge of £40.00 on drivers who did not abide by the scheme. She then
     explained how the proposed scheme would need to be amended, from an experimental
     order, to a designated parking places order, to enable the Council to levy the charge of
     £40.00. This would also mean that the order would need to be advertised, and any
     public objections be considered by the Highways and Transportation Local Joint
     Committee, before the order could be made.

     Resolved – That the report be noted.

     EN/193

32   ELLESMERE PORT TOWN CENTRE CAR PARKS – PARKING CHARGES

     The Committee was advised that, at a meeting of the Highways and Transportation
     Local Joint Committee held on 26 July 2005, a member had referred to a recent report
     by an outside agency that advised that it was good practice for local authorities to show
     the use to which income derived from parking charges had been put. He had felt that,
     following the introduction of parking charges for the car parks in Ellesmere Port town
     centre, it would be beneficial for the Borough Council to issue a statement showing the
     amount of income it had derived from these charges and the type of schemes, financed
     from the money thus raised, that had benefited the local community.
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                               ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE                  15 SEPTEMBER 2005

     By minute 36, the Local Joint Committee had resolved to ask the Environment
     Committee to consider issuing a statement to show the types of schemes that had
     benefited from the income derived from parking charges in Ellesmere Port town centre.

     Resolved – That the Director of Corporate Services be requested to report to a future
     meeting of this Committee on the estimated costs involved in carrying out the request
     made by the Highways and Transportation Local Joint Committee.

33   WIRRAL HEARTBEAT – „OUTREACH‟ GYM; CAR PARKING CHARGES

     The Committee considered correspondence received from Mr Andrew Miller MP,
     requesting that the Council consider introducing an exemption from car parking charges
     in the town centre car parks in respect of volunteers working on projects such as the
     recently opened Wirral Heartbeat „Outreach‟ gym at Ellesmere Port Fire Station.

     Resolved – That the request be noted, and the relevant officers be instructed to report
     to the next meeting on the implications of introducing such an exemption, in terms of the
     other schemes of a similar nature operating in the town centre, to which such an
     exemption would need to fairly and equally apply.

34   BONFIRE REMOVAL INITIATIVE 2005

     The Head of Environmental Services reminded members that, in 2004, a successful
     multi-agency initiative had been introduced to reduce the number of incidents of
     nuisance bonfires in the Borough around the period leading up to 5 November. The
     scheme had resulted in a measured 34% reduction in fire service responses over the
     period 1 October to 5 November 2004.

     The cost of the scheme had been £4000. Although a growth item identified by the
     Committee to repeat the scheme in 2005 (minute 39(g)(20.1.05) refers) had not been
     included in the 2005/06 budget, funding of £4000 had been obtained via the Cheshire
     Fire Service and the Community Safety Partnership to enable the initiative to continue in
     the current year.

     A further report would be presented as part of the budget-setting process for 2006/07 on
     the outcome of the current year‟s initiative and presenting future options for sustaining
     an appropriate response to nuisance bonfires in future.

     Resolved – That the report be noted.

     EN/194

35   CAPITAL PROGRAMME 2005/06

     The Head of Financial Units reported on the capital programme for the Environment
     Committee for 2005/06.

     The report outlined the expenditure on capital schemes up to 31 August 2005,
     compared with the approved budget. Information was also included on which priorities
     were being addressed in respect of each scheme.

     Resolved – That the report be noted.

     EN/195
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                                ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE                   15 SEPTEMBER 2005

36   REPRESENTATION ON OUTSIDE BODIES – REPORTING ARRANGEMENTS

     Members were advised that a system had been introduced to enable Councillors who
     had been appointed to serve on outside bodies relevant to this Committee, to give a
     report on the proceedings of recent meetings of these bodies which they had attended,
     where there was an immediate policy implication that impacted on service delivery. In
     the event that the Council representative did not serve on this Committee, he or she
     would be invited to attend and make their report.

     The following outside bodies had been identified as those most relevant to the
     Environment Committee:–

     Manchester Port Health Authority
     BNFL Local Stakeholder Group
     URENCO (Capenhurst) Limited Liaison Committee
     Cleanaway Liaison and Monitoring Group
     Kemira Fertilisers Liaison Group
     Air Quality Forum
     Joint Cheshire Districts/Cheshire County Council Waste Task Group
     Associated Octel Liaison Committee
     Shell (UK) Limited Liaison Committee
     Cabot Carbon Liaison Committee
     Bridgewater/National Power Liaison Committee
     Shotton CHP Liaison Group

     On this occasion, there were no matters to report.

37   WASTE MANAGEMENT SERVICES – PROGRESS REPORT

     Further to minute 12(14.7.05), the Head of Environmental Services reported on the
     progress to date on the implementation of the borough-wide waste recycling scheme.
     He outlined the operational changes which had been implemented to re-structure the
     service to embrace all of the waste collection and street cleansing duties that formed
     part of the overall front line „street scene‟ operational services provided by the Public
     Space Unit. These included commercial waste collection services (skip hire, transfer
     station, trade waste collection and baling plant), domestic waste collection services
     (domestic waste collection, kerbside recycling plant, collection of bulky items and
     recycling promotion), and street scene services (street cleaning and abandoned
     vehicles).

     The Head of Environmental Services went on to update members on the financial
     implications of the latest developments. He reminded the Committee that, at its last
     meeting, he had reported that the service was over-budget for the first quarter of
     2005/06. However, as predicted, these early costs had now reduced and, unless there
     were unforeseen problems later in the year, it was anticipated that the costs of the
     delivery of the waste management services would be within the approved budget.

     As requested by members at the last meeting, an initial financial breakdown and revised
     budget for various elements of the service was submitted, together with comments on a
     number of the costs which had been identified as a result of the refined budget estimate.
     A more complete financial breakdown would be submitted in due course, in each of the
     three budget areas of commercial operations and streetscene. It was also hoped to
     submit, to the next meeting, a three-year financial appraisal of the scheme, to enable
     members to better evaluate the future of the scheme.
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                                ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE                15 SEPTEMBER 2005

     The Head of Environmental Services then updated members on progress on the
     Council‟s recycling activities, as measured against the Council‟s best value performance
     indicators for waste management. It was expected that the total recycling target of 24%
     set for 2005/06 would be exceeded, and it was estimated that the recycling rate might
     reach 35% by the year end, and exceed 40% in 2006/07.

     Members were advised of the following collection issues which had been dealt with
     since the last meeting:

     -       complaint pattern
     -       assisted collections
     -       non-receipt of containers
     -       collections from flats
     -       contamination.

     Members were also reminded of the position to date regarding the following four areas
     of the new operation which required on-going analysis and consideration:

     -       the kerbside recycling plant (KRP)
     -       the recycling collection rounds
     -       the satellite recycling collection round
     -       the residual waste collection rounds

     Resolved – That the report be noted.

     EN/196

38   URGENT ITEM OF BUSINESS

     Resolved – That, on the grounds of urgency, that the matter should be dealt with as
     quickly as possible, the business contained in minute 39 (post) was considered.

39   AIR QUALITY INFORMATION

     The Environmental Protection Unit Manager tabled a press release, issued that day,
     regarding the air quality information published on the Council‟s website. Air Quality
     Management magazine had reviewed every Council website in the country (nearly 500),
     and had ranked Ellesmere Port and Neston‟s air quality information pages as the fourth
     best in the UK. This was the second time that the Council‟s site had appeared in the top
     ten and the fourth year that it had been top in Cheshire.

     Resolved – That the report be noted, and that the Committee record its appreciation of
     the efforts of the staff concerned in producing this information.

40   DURATION OF MEETING

     The meeting began at 6.15 pm and ended at 8.15 pm.


     JB/CP