Agenda and minutes

Venue: Guildhall

Contact: Committee Administration 01905 722027, 722006, 722085 

Items
No. Item

45.

Appointment of Substitutes

To receive details of any Members appointed to attend the meeting instead of a Member of the Committee.

Minutes:

Councillor Barnes for Councillor Biggs.

46.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

None.

47.

Public Participation

Up to a total of fifteen minutes can be allowed, each speaker being allocated a maximum of five minutes, for members of the public to present a petition, ask a question or comment on any matter on the Agenda or within the remit of the Committee.

Minutes:

Steve Mather

 

Steve Mather, local resident spoke regarding climate emergency and how this was to be tackled and the protection of the city’s green spaces.

 

With regard to climate emergency he stated the he was proud to see that the City Council was the first of the countries authorities to declare a climate emergency, setting the most ambitious target to date to go on carbon neutral.  He asked the following question:

 

What official channels does the Committee have to work with Worcestershire’s County Council and other local authorities on issues affecting our environment?

 

With regard to the city’s green open spaces he felt that not enough was being done to protect them, with flooding the question has risen as to why building is allowed on or near areas affected by flooding.  He asked the following question:

 

What can be done to improve protection of our city’s green spaces so that they remain to enjoy for generations to come?

 

In response, the Chairman thanked Mr Mather for his questions and stated that Officers would provide a formal response.

 

Paul Snookes

 

Mr Snookes, a co-founder of a group call VEG – Villages Environmental Group in Warndon Villages, spoke on the work of the group which was to protect and enhance biodiversity; inform and educate local residents; and improve the wellbeing of residents by creating more opportunities to connect with our local environment.

 

The group work closely with the City Council and Parish Council.  The work includes restoring meadows, enriching verges, planting trees and much more for which there are many volunteers.  Work takes place with other groups, such a the WWT and the canal group to establish wildflower corridors and traffic free routes for residents.  The group would be piloting native wild flower areas and would like the Committee’s support.

 

The Chairman thanked Mr Snookes for providing information on the valuable work of the group and referred to the links between the Council and Parish Council and the move towards less grass cutting in these areas.

 

Lorna Crofter

 

Lorna Crofter, local resident and also on behalf of several members of community groups, spoke on several matters relating to pollution and the Coronavirus and the effect this was having on people’s health not just locally but worldwide.  She spoke of the support that she provides to the community by feeding back information to them on matters that concern them.  She also spoke of and the lack of CCTV in certain areas, particularly by the Hive. 

 

The Chairman thanked Ms Crofter and indicated that she would arrange for information to be sent to her on the issues she raised.

48.

Minutes

Of the meeting held on 28th January 2020 to be approved and signed.  (To follow)

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 28th January 2020 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

Matters Arising:

 

Minute 37 – Public Participation

 

The Corporate Director – Place confirmed that he had written to the Environment Agency with regard to the fish stocks at Laugherne Brook Local Nature Reserve and was waiting for a response.

 

It was agreed that the Committee would organise a visit to the site late June/early July with a possible committee meeting to be held in the Green Centre at the same time.

 

Minute 44 – Any Other Business - Urban Trees Challenge Fund

 

The Committee were informed that a date had been agreed for the tree seminar and Members were to be informed accordingly.

 

49.

Proposed Committee Performance Scorecard for 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 102 KB

That the Environment Committee consider the proposed content of the Environment Performance Scorecard for 2020/21.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Committee considered the proposed content of the Environment Committee Performance Scorecard for 2020/21, which was attached as Appendix 1 to the covering report.

 

The Corporate Director – Place and the Head of Environmental Operations presented the report and highlighted the main points.  The Committee’s attention was drawn to paragraph 3 of the report which highlighted a suite of new PI’s for monitoring Street Scene performance as part of the proposed changes to how the service is delivered following recent trials of new ways of working.

 

It is proposed to have three types of street scene indicator measuring, namely Quality; Response and Satisfaction, details of these were provided at paragraph 3.10-3.19 of the report.

 

The Corporate Director – Place and the Head of Environmental Operations responded to questions from Members about the new measures and the provision of narratives to go with them, particularly the response measure.

 

Members were pleased to see that environmental sustainability work has been added as a project and asked whether a new indicator could be added to measure environmental sustainability performance, together with annual reporting.  The Corporate Director – Place confirmed that this was in hand.

 

RESOLVED:  That the Committee note the proposed content of the Environment Performance Scorecard for 2020/21.

50.

Procurement & Introduction of In Cab Technology for Waste Collection Vehicles pdf icon PDF 118 KB

That the Committee recommends to Council a supplementary estimate to the capital programme of £26,087 to  facilitate the installation of ‘Jobtrak’ to complement the existing Dennis Connect system.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the procurement and introduction of in cab technology for waste collection vehicles.

 

The Committee were informed that following the successful deployment of a Dennis Connect in 2018, the waste service now had an array of advanced telematics at its disposal with real-time tracking, enhanced aftermarket care and real- time alerts.

 

The next phase of improvements and transformation is possible through the implementation of a bolt on application (Jobtrak) to the Dennis Connect system.  This tool would allow for real-time data and service information to be passed between the back office and the front line service delivery crews.

 

Following a visit to Wolverhampton Council, which has installed Jobtrak in-cab solution to its waste fleet, officers conducted a trial with a live system over a two week period in the summer of 2019.

 

There are a number of improvements that the system would bring, largely around the removal of paperwork and timeliness and accuracy of information that crews work from, bringing about Health and Safety and efficiency benefits.  These were highlighted at paragraph 3.3. of the report.

The Environmental Operations Team Manager (Waste/Fleet) had shown the Committee the volume of paperwork that the driver of the vehicle currently took with him in his cab to meet Health and Safety requirements.

 

Members were informed that this was a ‘bolt on’ to the already established Dennis Connect system.  There is no contract period and notification to cease using the software can be given at any time.

 

The financial and budgetary implications were highlighted at paragraph 5.1 of the report.

 

The Environmental Operations Team Manager (Waste/Fleet) responded to questions from Members around the implications for using technology in the cab and it was confirmed that a review of the risk assessment of mobile devices would also take place.  When asked about whether other suppliers had been looked at, it was explained that it was more affordable to utilise the existing system rather than procure a new one.

 

On being put to the vote the proposal was unanimously agreed.

 

RESOLVED:  That the Committee recommend to Council the amendment of the Capital Programme of £26,087 to facilitate the installation of ‘Jobtrak’, to complement the existing Dennis Connect System.

51.

Memorial Policy for Parks and Other Public Open Spaces pdf icon PDF 118 KB

1.       That the Committee agrees the following policy statement in relation to provision of memorials in parks and open spaces:

 

Wherever possible the Council will support applications and assist in the provision of sponsored Memorials in its parks and open spaces, subject to the agreed guidance and fees and charges (memorials include benches with plaques, trees and shrubs).

 

Scattering of ashes in parks and open spaces is not deemed suitable as these are public areas provided for leisure and recreation purposes.

 

2.       That any Sponsored memorial benches in Gheluvelt Park are exclusively for ex-service personnel as detailed in paragraph 3.4;

 

3.       That the Committee notes that procedures for implementing the policy, including terms and conditions and fees and charges, will be reported to a later meeting of the Committee; and

 

4.       That the agreed fees and charges for memorials offered by the Bereavement Service are adopted as an interim measure for 2020/21.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on a Memorial Policy for parks and other public open spaces.

 

The Head of Environmental Operations, in presenting the report, drew the Committee’s attention to a policy statement, set out in paragraph 1.1 of the recommendation, requesting the Committee’s approval.

 

The Council receives an estimated six to ten requests a year for memorials to be located in parks and open spaces, including the City Centre.  Additionally, the Council sometimes receives requests for ashes to be scattered in parks and open spaces.

 

To consider best practice and learn from others, feedback from other local authorities on their approach was detailed in Appendix 1 attached to the report.  This benchmarking information has been used to develop the Worcester City policy.

 

The preferred option was identified at paragraph 3 of the report. Members were informed that a report will be brought back to Committee during 2020-21 with the detail, once the overarching policy had been agreed.

 

The Head of Environmental Operations responded to questions from Members, in particular an option to allow for ashes to be placed under a tree, which was to be considered. It was also suggested that it may be worth finding out the County Council’s approach with regard to Worcester Woods.

 

On being put to the vote the proposal was unanimously agreed.

 

RESOLVED:  That the Committee:

 

1.      agree the following policy statement in relation to provision of memorials in parks and open spaces:

 

Wherever possible the Council will support applications and assist in the provision of sponsored Memorials in its parks and open spaces, subject to the agreed guidance and fees and charges (memorials include benches with plaques, trees and shrubs).

 

Scattering of ashes in parks and open spaces is not deemed suitable as these are public areas provided for leisure and recreation purposes;

 

2.      agree that any Sponsored memorial benches in Gheluvelt Park are exclusively for ex-service personnel as detailed in paragraph 3.4;

 

3.      note that procedures for implementing the policy, including terms and conditions and fees and charges, will be reported to a later meeting of the Committee; and

 

4.      adopt the fees and charges for memorials offered by the Bereavement Service as an interim measure for 2020/21.

 

52.

Any Other Business

Which in the opinion of the Chairman is of sufficient urgency as to warrant consideration.

Minutes:

Flood Issues

 

The Corporate Director – Place reported that the flood levels were starting to fall which meant a lot of work to be carried out by the operations team and asked Members to bear with him whilst this work was being carried out.

 

The Chairman on behalf of the Committee, gave her thanks to all those members of staff who have been involved with the flood issues.