Agenda and minutes

Economic Prosperity, Environment and Highways Board
Wednesday, 21 October 2015 10.30 am

Venue: Ashcombe, County Hall, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, KT1 2DN

Contact: Huma Younis or Dominic Mackie, Room 122, County Hall, Kingston upon Thames 

Items
No. Item

1/15

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS

2/15

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING: 9 SEPTEMBER 2015 pdf icon PDF 269 KB

3/15

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

    To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests from Members in respect of any item to be considered at the meeting.

    Notes:

    ·         In line with the Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012, declarations may relate to the interest of the member, or the member’s spouse or civil partner, or a person with whom the member is living as husband or wife, or a person with whom the member is living as if they were civil partners and the member is aware they have the interest.

    ·         Members need only disclose interests not currently listed on the Register of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests.

    ·         Members must notify the Monitoring Officer of any interests disclosed at the meeting so they may be added to the Register.

    ·         Members are reminded that they must not participate in any item where they have a disclosable pecuniary interest. 

     

    Minutes:

    None.

4/15

QUESTIONS AND PETITIONS pdf icon PDF 8 KB

    To receive any questions or petitions.

    Notes:

    ·         The deadline for Member’s questions is 12.00pm four working days before the meeting (Thursday 15 October 2015)

    ·         The deadline for public questions is seven days before the meeting (Wednesday 14 October 2015).

    ·         The deadline for petitions was 14 days before the meeting, and no petitions have been received.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    A member question had been received from Cllr Nikki Barton and a response was tabled. The response tabled at the meeting is attached to the minutes.

     

    2.    A question around staffing levels within Highways was raised. Highways recognise that there are issues around staffing levels within the service and are taking steps to address these. The Highways service has implemented a recruitment drive to reduce its reliance on agency and consultancy staff.

     

    3.    A question regarding the delay to roadwork schemes was raised citing frustrations at issues within supply chains and quotation delays. In response, the Assistant Director for Highways assured Members that the service was doing all that they could to resolve the faults in Surrey’s roads and that a review on progress and processes is being completed with Kier.
    It was suggested for the Local Committees Chairman’s group to discuss longer term solutions to issues with Project Horizon.

     

    Actions: None.

     

    Cllr Daniel Jenkins arrived at the meeting at 10.35am.

     

5/15

RECOMMENDATIONS TRACKER AND FORWARD WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 51 KB

    The board is asked to monitor progress on the implementation of recommendations from previous meetings and to review its forward work programme.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    The Board noted that the recommendation tracker was complete.

     

    2.    The Board agreed to add Superfast Broadband to the forward work programme for January and March 2016.

     

    3.    The Chairman explained that he had received low level of responses to an email he had sent to the board around items to be included on the forward work programme. The Chairman asked for Members of the Board to email him with possible items and topics they would like to scrutinise next year. 

     

    Actions: None

     

6/15

UPDATES FROM MEMBER REFERENCE GROUPS AND TASK GROUPS

    To receive a verbal update from the boards task groups and member reference groups.

    Minutes:

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    The Chairman gave a verbal update from the recent meeting of the Performance and Finance sub-group at which Members discussed potential future savings opportunities for Highways and concerns around staffing issues.


    Members raised concerns around the number of recent staffing restructures Highways has undertaken in recent years and suggested that the frequent review of the service could be damaging to employee morale and a distraction to their work, whilst also not being very cost effective and leading to short-term vacancies, often filled by temporary and agency staff with potentially less local area knowledge at a higher cost than permanent staff.
    Members requested that Highways conduct fewer staffing restructures in the future and for the Chairman to raise this issue at the next Council Overview Board meeting.

     

    2.    The Chairman agreed to send the board the most recent update report from the performance and finance sub group. It was further explained that the Members on the sub group represented the wider geographical area of Surrey.   

     

    3.    Cllr Richard Wilson gave a short update on the work of the Customer Service Excellence member reference group. The Chairman explained that the Basingstoke Canal task group would be reporting back to the board in the New Year. Cllr Pat Frost stated that the Local Transport Review Member Reference Group would be restarting meetings in the New Year.   

     

    Actions:

    ·         For the Scrutiny Officer to send the board the latest Performance and Finance sub group report.

     

    ·         For the Chairman to speak with David Munro, Chairman of the Council Overview Board about staff restructuring and possibly including this as an item on the  Council Overview Board forward work programme.

     

7/15

THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL AND SURREY WILDLIFE TRUST TO MANAGE THE COUNTRYSIDE ESTATE pdf icon PDF 98 KB

    Purpose of the Report: Scrutiny of Services and Performance Management/ Policy Development

    This report updates the Board on the review of the Agreement between Surrey County Council and Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT) to manage the County Council’s Countryside Estate.  A decision will be going to the County Council’s Cabinet in November 2015, an outline draft of which is attached.  This will set out the variations to the current Agreement and the monitoring process put in place to ensure the service is delivered to the agreed standards. The Board is asked to provide feedback on the proposed changes to the Agreement.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    The Chairman withdrew this item from the agenda. The item may return to the next Board meeting; or alternatively, emergency special Board meeting may be called solely for the discussion of this document.

     

    Actions: None

     

8/15

SHAPING SURREY'S COMMUNITY RECYCLING CENTRES pdf icon PDF 242 KB

    Purpose of the report: Scrutiny of Services/ Policy Development

     

    To enable scrutiny of proposals to change the service offered at the Community Recycling Centres (CRCs) to reduce costs and meet savings targets.

     

    These proposals are due to be presented to Cabinet in November.

     

    Minutes:

    Declaration of Interests:

     

    None.

     

    Witnesses:

    Richard Parkinson, Waste Group Manager

    Ian Boast, Assistant Director for Environment

    Mike Goodman, Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning

    Justin Foster, Waste Contract Manager

     

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    A presentation was shown to the Board outlining key results from a public consultation around potential changes to Surrey’s Community Recycling Centres (CRCs). The presentation explained that Surrey’s residents valued Community Recycling Centres very highly, and that their biggest concern was that if Centres were to close there would be an increase in fly-tipping. It was suggested that savings could be made from the following options:

    a.    Reducing site opening hours

    b.    Closing sites per day per week instead of a full closure

    c.    Charging residents for certain kinds of household wastes

    d.    Adding further support to re-use schemes at CRC sites.

     

    2.    It was explained that fives kinds of non-household waste had potential to become chargeable items, these were:

    a.    Soil and rubble, a saving could be made from lowering the current personal allowance cap, after which a charge is applicable.

    b.    Asbestos, however charges would see little return and asbestos is expensive to clean up when fly-tipped, so it would be preferable to not add any charges for its legal disposal.

    c.    Plasterboard, however setting charging limits would be difficult to police. Large amounts should be charged for but smaller amounts may be accepted for free.

    d.    The quantity of tyres brought to CRCs has increased recently. Adding a charge similar to that of motor trade companies could cover their disposal.

    e.    Gas bottles should be returned to their supplier for re-use. Adding a charge could encourage this or cover the cost for this process.

     

    3.    Officers outlined some projected saving possibilities around general efficiencies, re-use schemes, charging models for certain non-household wastes, reducing opening hours and site closure options (in general terms, there were no discussions around particular site closures).

     

    4.    A discussion around the approach of the public consultation confirmed that respondents were able to give their preferences to the savings measures listed above. It was explained that further information on the consultation responses would be made available to Members.

     

    5.    Members suggested that as Surrey residents appreciate and value the CRCs so highly, any full site closures would be a very unpopular.. Therefore, if any changes to opening hours or site operations were to be made in the future, these would need to be effectively communicated with residents and users of the CRC sites.

     

    6.    Concerns were raised over the negative impact changes may have on customers and their DIY disposal methods. It was mentioned that fly-tipping continues to be a nuisance and expensive for the Council to clean up. However most fly-tipped material is non-household waste and businesses need to be targeted to reduce this practice. The Cabinet Member explained that he had met with the Police and Crime Commissioner of Surrey to discuss issues around fly tipping. The service would be working with partners to produce  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8/15

9/15

INTERNAL AUDIT REPORT ON THE REVIEW OF WASTE MANAGEMENT AND MINIMISATION pdf icon PDF 83 KB

    Purpose of the report:  Scrutiny of Services

    To review the summary of audit findings and Management Action Plan produced as a result of an internal audit review of the Waste Management and Minimisation 2014/15.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Declaration of interest:

     

    None.

     

    Witnesses:

     

    Siva Sanmugarajah, Lead Auditor

    Simon White, Audit Performance Manager

    Ian Boast, Assistant Director for Environment

     

    Key points raised in the discussion:

     

    1.    The audit report was noted and a Management Action Plan had been agreed with the service.

     

    2.    It was confirmed that the audit report had been completed before the revised Eco Park business case was finalised.

     

    3.    No items of the report are deemed to require special attention.

     

    Recommendations:

     

    The board reviewed the audit report and management action plan and made no recommendations.

     

    Actions: None

     

10/15

DATE OF NEXT MEETING: 10 DECEMBER 2015

    The next meeting of the Economic Prosperity, Environment and Highways board will be held on 10 December at 10.30am in the Ashcombe Suite, County Hall, Kingston upon Thames.

    Minutes:

    The next public meeting of the Board will be held on 10 December 2015 at 10.30am in the Ashcombe, County Hall.