Venue: Bury Town Hall
Contact: Leigh Webb Democratic Services
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee are asked to consider whether they have an interest in any matters on the agenda and, if so, to formally declare that interest.
Councillor Cummings declared a personal interest in Minute OSC.193, Call in of Cabinet Decision – Zero Waste Strategy and Sustainable Waste Collection Service, as the Council’s Spokesperson for Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority.
PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
A period of 30 minutes has been set aside for members of the public to ask questions on matters set out on the agenda for tonight’s meeting.
The Chair, Councillor Gartside, invited questions from members of the public present at the meeting and the following issues were raised:
· A number of residents raised concerns in relation to potential health hazards from flies, maggots and vermin as a result of the proposal to empty grey bins every 3 weeks.
Councillor Isherwood, Cabinet Member for Environment, stated that he did not anticipate any increase is flies, maggots and vermin as a result of the new collection arrangements and explained that no food waste should be going into the grey bin. All food waste would be collected fortnightly through the brown bin collection round.
· In response to a number of questions relating to difficulties faced by large families the Cabinet Member explained that the overall bin space across all four bins would not reduce and highlighted that green and blue bins would be emptied more frequently. For large families who are recycling as much as possible but still struggle with capacity a waste audit can be arranged and an extra grey bin provided if necessary.
· With regard to a question concerning the assumptions and business case on which the proposals were based the Cabinet Member explained that this information was set out in the Zero Waste Strategy. The Cabinet Member reported that evidence shows that restricting residual waste collections has a positive impact on rates of recycling and referred to the increase in Bury from 28% to 47% following the switch to fortnightly collections.
· In response to a question concerning the recent campaign to encourage people to take smaller 140 litre grey bins, the Cabinet Member reported that residents wishing to upsize to a 240 litre bin could do so at no cost.
· Alison Moses enquired if the proposals were driven by financial reasons or the need to increase recycling rates. The Cabinet Member referred to the budget cuts faced by the Council and reported that the proposals would achieve savings and increase recycling rates.
· Councillor Walker highlighted the change of policy from encouraging the use of smaller grey bins. Councillor Southworth, Deputy Cabinet Member for the Environment, explained that many of the residents who took up the offer of a 140 litre bin were single person households and it is hoped that they would be able to manage with 3 weekly collections. The Deputy Cabinet Member re-iterated that those who need to upsize could do so free of charge.
· Councillor Wright stated that the decision had been taken in a non transparent way with no public consultation.
· In response to a question from Councillor Gunther concerning the cost of disposing of green waste, the Cabinet Member reported that although there was an associated cost of disposal of £61 per tonne, this was still a large saving when set against the £284 per tonne of disposing of residual waste.
· In response to a request from Councillor Shori, the Cabinet Member confirmed that he was happy for a steering group to be set up with the Sedgley community and senior ... view the full minutes text for item OSC.192
Following the receipt of a Notice of Call-in within the required deadline, from Councillor Gartside calling in the decision of the Cabinet set out in Minute CA.04 of the meeting held on 16 July 2014, a meeting of the Committee has been convened in order to consider the matter in accordance with the reasons set out on the Notice of Call-In.
A copy of the original paperwork considered by Cabinet, along with the decision Minute and Call –in notice are attached.
The Scrutiny Commission considered a called-in decision of the Cabinet meeting held on 16 July 2014 in accordance with the Council Constitution.
The Cabinet had made the following decision:
1. That approval be given to adopt Bury Council’s Zero Waste Strategy, including the 10 Strategic Objectives as detailed in the report submitted.
2. That approval be given to the proposed changes to the waste collection service.
3. That approval be given to an ‘invest to save’ initiative to include a capital spend of up to £213,400 and one-off implementation costs of £189,700 to introduce the changes. These costs will ultimately be self-financing, but initially are to be funded from loan and reserves as detailed in Section 4 of the report submitted.
A Call-In Notice had been submitted by Councillor Gartside, Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, setting out the reasons for the Call-In of the decision. A summary of the reasons is set out below:
· Inadequate consultation
· Adverse public reaction
· Potential health hazards
· Arrangements for Christmas and New Year
· Request for further clarification over provision of extra grey bins
· Assurances sought in relation to whether staff resources were in place to deliver the new regime
· Suggestion for phased roll out
· Further negotiation required with GMWDA to expand range of recyclables collected
· Level of consultation with Government
Councillor Gartside invited questions and comments from the Members of the Committee and the following issues were raised :-
· In response to a question from Councillor Tariq, the Cabinet Member confirmed that savings to the Council as a result of the previous switch to fortnightly collections had resulted in annual savings of £4m.
· With regard to the issue of nappies, the Deputy Cabinet Member stated that these should be wrapped up and sealed before being placed in the grey bin Where parents were struggling, individual cases would be looked at and an extra bin provided if necessary.
· Councillor Nuttall raised the issue of properties currently without a brown bin. The Cabinet Member reported that solutions were being sought for approximately 600 properties in rural areas of the borough and stressed that 3 weekly collections would not be introduced to these residents until the issue is resolved.
· In response to a question from Councillor O’Brien concerning flats, the Cabinet Member explained that the vast majority of such properties with communal bins would remain on fortnightly refuse collections.
· The Deputy Cabinet Member highlighted the issue of supermarket packaging and stressed the need for regional lobbying on this issue.
· Councillor Daly highlighted the rise in recycling rates since 2011 and suggested that if this level of increase was maintained, along with the anticipated rise as a result of the work of the education awareness team, the Council could still achieve its recycling targets. The Cabinet Member explained that the rate of recycling had levelled off at about 47% and to achieve its aim of 60% by March 2016 further measures were required.
· Councillor O’Brien highlighted the importance of education in relation to ... view the full minutes text for item OSC.193