Agenda and minutes

Environment and Communities Committee
Monday, 7th March, 2022 10.30 am

Venue: The Capesthorne Room - Town Hall, Macclesfield SK10 1EA. View directions

Contact: Helen Davies  Tel: 01270 685705 Email:  helen.davies@cheshireeast.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

49.

Apologies for Absence

To note any apologies for absence from Members.

 

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

50.

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.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received.

51.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 161 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on 20 January 2022.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting 20 January 2022 be accepted as a correct and accurate record.

52.

Public Speaking/Open Session

In accordance with paragraph 2.24 of the Council’s Committee Procedure Rules and Appendix on Public Speaking, set out in the Constitution, a total period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to put questions to the committee on any matter relating to this agenda. Each member of the public will be allowed up to two minutes each to speak, and the Chair will have discretion to vary this where they consider it appropriate.

 

Members of the public wishing to speak are required to provide notice of this at least three clear working days’ in advance of the meeting.

 

Minutes:

Congleton Town Councillor Robert Douglas attended the meeting to speak in relation to agenda item 6. Referral of Notice Motion: Replacement Recycling Site at Congleton, he noted the need for a Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC) within Congleton and noted that the losses to the population of Congleton and surrounding areas would be more significant than when the Arclid site closed.

 

Councillor Douglas noted the impact of the closure of the site to the vulnerable residents of Congleton plus the environmental impacts in relation to carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles.  He requested the Committee consider a full feasibility study for a HWRC for Congleton.

 

Congleton Town Councillor Suzy Firkin attended the meeting to speak in

relation to agenda item 6. Referral of Notice Motion: Replacement Recycling Site at Congleton, she noted the decision to close the site at Congleton was called into question by Congleton Town Council. 

 

Councillor Firkin acknowledged the help and support given by Paul Bayley, Director of Environment and Neighbourhood Services, Ralph Kemp, Head of Environmental Services and Andrew Dunstone, Waste Strategy Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, to date and requested a commitment by the Committee to consider Congleton for future waste pilots.

 

 

53.

Referral of Notice of Motion: Low Carbon Advertising pdf icon PDF 220 KB

To consider the Notice of Motion lodged at Council on the 15 December 2021 in respect of Low Carbon Advertising.

Minutes:

Councillor Quentin Abel was the original seconder of the Notice of Motion and introduced the item to the Committee.  Councillor Abel noted that the original Motion contained detail outside of the direct control of the council and for that reason proposed an amendment to the motion that was seconded requesting the inclusion of the following wording to be included at the end of recommendation 3.1.1: ‘and encourage the reduction of high carbon products’.

 

There was some discussion about the current policy on advertising on bus shelters by Transport Service Solutions (TSS) and encouragement for all suppliers to adhere to policy.

 

Paul Bayley, the Director for Environment and Neighbourhood Services reminded the Committee that from the 1 April 2022, the commissioning work of TSS would transfer back to the council and the operational services would transfer to ANSA.  This work would become the remit of the councils Strategic Transport Department to action.

 

RESOLVED (Unanimously)

 

That the renewal of the current Advertising Concession Agreement in May 2022 which will provide an opportunity to review the current set of prohibitions and encourage the reduction of high carbon products be noted.

54.

Referral of Notice Motion: Replacement Recycling Site at Congleton pdf icon PDF 296 KB

To consider the Notice of Motion lodged at Council on the 15 December 2021 in respect of the Replacement Recycling Site at Congleton.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Denis Murphy was the original proposer of the Notice of Motion and introduced the item to the Committee.  Councillor Murphy noted that a lot of residents in Congleton had spoken to him with concerns about the closure of Congleton Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC).  There were fears from residents about fly-tipping and the increased disposal of waste through the black bins as part of the domestic refuse collection.  Councillor Murphy encouraged the Committee to review the HWRC provision for Congleton.

 

Councillor June Buckley was the original seconder of the Notice of Motion and addressed the Committee, she noted the figures quoted within the report appeared low but in the context of the pandemic, the sites were closed for a while.  Councillor Buckley suggested using 2019 figures to represent a more accurate baseline and noted she had seen more visible instances of fly-tipping despite the reports that it had reduced.

Ralph Kemp, Head of Environmental Services assured the Committee that officers would continue to engage with Congleton Town Council and monitor fly-tipping and vehicle numbers to other HWRC sites.

The Committee had some discussion that noted:

·         Congleton was the third largest town within the borough and yet was without a HWRC  facility;

·         The potential for cross border working with Cheshire West and Chester and a sharing of responsibilities;

·         When the Congleton site was closed, Members were advised that provision could be reviewed as part of the procurement process;

·         The potential to work costed option in any procurement that would include Congleton as part of service provision;

·         The implications of the Environment Act and the potential to monetise waste;

·         The potential for a Member Advisory Panel to review HWRC services later in the year;

·         The importance of innovative approaches to waste including pop-up centres, upcycling and recycling, and the need to find environmentally-friendly low-impact outcomes;

·         The rising cost of fuel and the impact to both residents and contractors;

·         The fact that the contract procurement could lead to closures elsewhere.

The Committee noted that the staff who work at the HWR centres were very efficient and polite and requested thanks to be passed on.

Finally the Committee requested clarity on the historic ownership of the old Congleton HWRC site.  The Head of Environmental Services advised a written response could be provided.

RESOLVED:

That the Committee will await the report regarding the procurement of the HWRC service contract and decide then whether to establish a Member Advisory Panel to look at what the future service provision across the borough will look like.

 

Councillor Tony Dean proposed a named vote and this was seconded by Councillor Charlotte Leach:

Councillor Quentin Abel

For

Councillor Mike Benson

Against

Councillor Joy Bratherton

For

Councillor June Buckley

Abstained

Councillor Laura Crane

For

Councillor Tony Dean

Against

Councillor Ashley Farrall

For

Councillor Les Gilbert

Against

Councillor Peter Groves

Against

Councillor Charlotte Leach

Against

Councillor James Nicholas

For

Councillor Jonathan Parry

For

Councillor Mick Warren

Abstained

 

 

55.

Referral of Notice Motion: Single Use Plastics pdf icon PDF 165 KB

To consider the Notice of Motion lodged at Council on the 15 December 2021 in respect of Single Use Plastics.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Kate Parkinson was the original proposer of the Notice of Motion but was unable to attend the meeting, so Councillor Tony Dean (the original seconder) read a statement on her behalf.  The statement noted the councils vision for an open, fair and green in its Corporate Plan and requested the Committee encourage the banning of single use plastic from its operations within six months, to promote the use of filtered water fountains and taps within Cheshire East and ESAR buildings and to encourage Councillors to bring their own water flasks and mugs into buildings. 

 

The recycling for mixed plastics was not always easy and often was incinerated or sent to landfill.  West Park, Macclesfield was currently trialling a waste recycling bin, encouraging the general public to dispose of their plastic waste more carefully.  Cheshire East was the 5th highest area in the country for household waste disposal and costs £33 million per year from this Council’s Environmental department budget. While this includes waste from parks, gardens and commercial businesses, the amount of money we spend to get rid of our plastic waste is in the region of £500k.

 

Councillor Tony Dean then addressed the Committee as the original seconder of the Notice of Motion, he advised the Committee that in 2018 there had been a similar Notice of Motion to eliminate Single Use plastics throughout the councils facilities management supply chain by 2020.  This motion was approved and implemented but the evaluation report was never concluded.

Councillor Dean would reaffirm the requirement to remove single use plastics from operations, with the caveat that it can only be used when there is no safe equivalent for health reasons in relation to food.

The Committee noted there was no current baseline of single use plastics, this would be useful to have data to scrutinise against.

The Committee requested that when the report was scheduled that a specialist officer attend the meeting to answer any recycling specific detailed questions that Members might have.

RESOLVED: (Unanimously)

 

That the original motion from 2018 to ban single use plastics proceed and that officers produce a report on the current use of single use plastics across the council be submitted to this Committee for further scrutiny.

56.

Standing Item: Members Advisory Panel: Cheshire East Cemeteries Strategy Review

To receive an oral update from the Chair of the Member Advisory Panel.

Minutes:

Councillor Joy Bratherton updated the Committee on work to date.  The Members Advisory Panel had a robust set of Terms of Reference, Members had visited Sandbach Cemetery and looked at all aspects of land availability and new land.  Alderley Edge and Macclesfield Cemetery visits were scheduled for the 23 March 2022 followed by Crewe and Meadowbrook Cemeteries on the 12 April 2022 with officer based meetings throughout to discuss findings.

RESOLVED:

That the update by Councillor Bratherton be received and noted.

 

57.

Standing Item: Member Advisory Panel: Cheshire East Planning Process Review

To receive an oral update from the Chair of the Member Advisory Panel.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Tony Dean updated the Committee on work to date.   Phase 1 report is near to completion by Jayne Traverse, Executive Director of Place but will be scheduled for the June Committee.  There had been a lot of work to date and there had been meetings completed with management which resulted in a lot  of data and improvement ideas.  There had been a wide customer review, using agents and councillors on the Member Advisory Panel had canvassed their own groups for issues, there had been responses from all three of the political groups represented.

Councillor June Buckley agreed to take forward the questions asked of groups to the Liberal Democrat Party for full representation.

The Committee noted the need to elevate the issue of planning enforcement.

RESOLVED:

That the update by Councillor Dean be received and noted.

 

58.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 119 KB

To consider the Work Programme and determine any required amendments.

 

Minutes:

Paul Bayley, Director of Environment and Neighbourhood Services introduced the item to the Committee, he advised that there are currently four items of business for the June Committee, however it was expected that a number of items would be added before then e.g. report from the planning review. 

Councillor Ashley Farrall asked if the Cleaner Crewe Pilot report in April could be considered at the June meeting, the Chair noted Councillor Farrall could take that item forward to add to the Work Programme.

RESOLVED:

That the Work Programme be received and noted.