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Link: Meeting Recording
Apologies for Absence
There were no apologies for absence received.
To give consideration to the minutes of the meeting held on 18 January 2021.
Councillor Suzanne Brookfield raised the point that in the previous minutes, Councillor Ashley Farrall had given apologies and Councillor Hazel Faddes was a substituting Member, however this was not reflected under Apologies for Absence.
Declarations of Interest
To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any disclosable pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests in any item on the agenda.
There were no declarations of interest given.
To provide an opportunity for Members to declare the existence of a party whip in relation to any item on the agenda.
There were no declarations of the Party Whip.
Public Speaking/Open Session
A total period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to make a statement(s) on any matter that falls within the remit of the Committee.
Individual members of the public may speak for up to 5 minutes, but the Chairman will decide how the period of time allocated for public speaking will be apportioned, where there are a number of speakers.
Note: In order for officers to undertake any background research, it would be helpful if members of the public contacted the Scrutiny officer listed at the foot of the agenda, at least one working day before the meeting to provide brief details of the matter to be covered.
Congleton Town Councillor Robert Douglas attended the meeting and gave a statement on the Household Waste Recycling Centre in Congleton.
Councillor Douglas stated that Cheshire East Council provided a public consultation for the Household Waste and Recycling Centres which he found to be misleading and contradicting information. He noted that May-June 2020, figures were used which is when people were in lockdown and visits to waste sites were restricted. The figures that related to early 2016 came from a time when the Arclid site was still in operation and as a result was misleading. Councillor Douglas surmised that the closure of the Congleton site could result in longer queues, reduced recycling and idling cars.
Mr. Connor Naismith attending the meeting and gave a statement on Flag Lane Baths in Crewe.
Mr. Naismith advised that Flag Lane Baths in Crewe were an important part of Crewe’s heritage although they had become a hotspot for Anti-Social Behaviour. Mr. Naismith would like to know what steps Cheshire East Council was taking in regards to regeneration in that area.
· Councillor Douglas and Mr. Connor Naismith be thanked for their attendance and questions to the Committee today; and
· Frank Jordan, the Executive Director for Place be asked to provide a substantive response in writing for Mr. Naismith
To review the results of the consultation relating to the Household Waste and Recycling Centre and draft recommendations ahead of review by Cabinet.
Councillor Laura Crane, Portfolio Holder for Highways and Waste introduced this item and advised that it represented the consultation responses on Household Waste and Recycling across the borough, and included the end of lease for the waste site in Congleton.
Ralph Kemp, Head of Environmental Services presented the item to the Committee.
At this point in the meeting, it was noted by the Chairman that there had been no report circulated with the agenda and that several Members had noted this to him.
Ralph advised that this item was scheduled to go to Cabinet in March. He then presented a short presentation that reviewed the outcome of the consultation and the proposed recommendations for debate and discussion.
The key messages for the Committee were that Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRC) were within a reasonable distance and free of charge to use for residents within the borough of Cheshire East. Currently ANSA delivered the contract through HW Martin however this contract would be ending in March 2023. The Council were already within an extension period and this could not be extended. Cheshire East Council was looking for future provision.
20% of the waste that CEC processes was from bin banks and HWRC. 80% was collected at the kerbside.
The Municipal Waste Strategy focussed on the management of waste and waste reduction. In order to prepare for the end of the contract the Council commissioned a further review in 2020 to:
· Review the existing service, comparing it with neighbouring and similar authorities;
· Review the wider waste management market to examine existing contracts and delivery arrangements; and
· Model a range of scenarios for the future shape of the household waste recycling centre contract.
In 2018-19 Cheshire East was positioned 14th highest from 345 authorities in England for waste per household
The consultation responses had asked residents to consider 4 scenarios and indicate how strongly the resident supported or opposed each option being considered. From the responses, the top answer was to keep the current service as it is. This would involve the replacement of Congleton HWRC when the lease on the current site expires in September 2021.
In considering the draft recommendations the following items were key issues:
• The commissioning of a new contract for the delivery of the Household Waste Recycling Centre service in the borough by the end of March 2023.
• It was anticipated that the cost of the new contract will increase significantly owing to volatility in the market for recyclables.
• The lease for the current Household Waste Recycling Centre in Congleton would expire in 2021. Not delivering a new facility in Congleton would deliver a reduction in the future running cost of the HWRC service and so partly mitigate the anticipated increased cost of the new contract. Furthermore, it would avoid the cost associated with repaying the capital investment required to deliver a new facility at Congleton which is estimated to be £250k per annum.
• Therefore a proposal was to not replace Congleton ... view the full minutes text for item 55.
To receive an update on the consultations relating to the Vulnerable and Older Persons Housing Strategy 2020-2024, and the Tenancy Strategy.
Peter Skates, Director of Growth and Enterprise introduced the item and , Senior Policy Officer Chris Hutton provided the Committee with an overview on the Vulnerable and Older Persons Housing Strategy 2020-2024 and the Tenancy Strategy, the Cheshire East approach to consultation, an update of the consultation for both strategies including amendments and the approach to adoption.
The Committee heard that the Vulnerable and Older Peoples Housing Strategy was not a statutory document, Cheshire East has one as part of a good practice document. There were three main priorities to the strategy:
· People are supported to live in their own homes independently for longer;
· When required, people can receive the support they need in a wide range of specialist, supported accommodation within the Borough; and
· People are able to make informed choices about the accommodation, care and support options within Cheshire East.
The Committee heard that the Strategic Housing Team had sought legal advice regarding the running of the consultation during lockdown. During the early days of the pandemic, government guidelines were more restrictive and so the consultation ran for eight weeks and was then extended for another 4 weeks, in total it ran from May- August 2020. The consultation consisted of an online survey and questionnaire and did incorporate recommendations given from Health, Adult Social Care and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
There had been 32 responses to both consultations plus additional emails, the focus was now on the next steps and adoption of the strategy and were:
· A review of the actions for each cohort;
· Significantly improved ‘Supported Living’ sections for learning, disability and mental health;
· The impact of Covid-19 and the response from Cheshire East Council; and
· Adoption by Portfolio Holders.
The Committee were given the opportunity to ask questions, and there was some discussion about the 32 responses given to the consultation. Chris explained that this was in line with previous responses to similar strategies.
The Committee requested a tracked version of the consultation document to see the context of any alterations as a consequence of the consultation views.
Chris then gave another short presentation on the Tenancy Strategy.
This is a statutory document but Registered Providers only have to take due regard to it and aren’t bound by it. The strategy focused on the types and circumstances of tenancies, including fixed term and circumstances that granted any extensions.
The Tenancy Strategy consultation ran from Oct-Jan 2021 and took the form of an online survey and questionnaire.
Chris explained that Pre-Covid the team would have engaged with face to face meetings would have had breakout rooms for smaller focused groups.
The next steps and adoption for the Tenancy Strategy were:
· Review of comments that related to Domestic Abuse;
· Updated figures;
· Acknowledgement of figures that related to Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB)/rent arrears and clarifying the processes that are used to manage this; and
· Adoption by Portfolio Holder
The Committee were given the opportunity to ask questions, and there was some discussion that included:
· Registered Housing Providers take due ... view the full minutes text for item 56.
To give consideration to the Forward Plan.
Consideration was given to the Forward Plan.
RESOLVED- That the Forward Plan be received and noted.
To give consideration to the Committee’s Work Programme.
Consideration was given to the Work Programme.
The Chairman noted that the March meeting would be the last for this Committee before the Council moves into a Committee System style of governance.
Councillors Peter Groves and June Buckley advised the Committee that the Task and Finish Group meetings from this week had been very excellent and informative and extended their thanks to the Chairman and Democratic Services for arranging them.
RESOLVED- That the Work Programme be received and noted.