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Agenda item

Programme of Portfolio Holder Attendance

Report of the Elections and Members’ Services Officer


Councillor Peter Barnes attended the committee to answer questions submitted in advance of the meeting.  Mike Hill, Deputy Chief Executive & Director of Finance, Melvyn Cryer, Service Manager, Parks and Street Care, and Caroline McKenzie, Service Manager Waste Services also attended the meeting.


The following questions were addressed:

Quarter 1 Performance report 2016/17

  • NI 191 Residual household waste per household in Kg - what is the average target of similar authorities, and what is meant by the target being described as "challenging" in the year end performance report.

NI191was a target previously used and includes street cleaning and bulky waste collections.  Many authorities no longer use this target and just record the amount collected.  The two who do, Ashfield and Bassetlaw were also below target. Bassetlaw currently do not charge for the collection of garden waste, Broxtowe and Rushcliffe have just started to charge. Garden waste is still being deposited in black bins.  When green bins were introduced there was lots of education and information provided about what should be put in the bin. The level of information provision has fallen back as resources are no longer available, resulting in contamination by articles that should not be put in the recycling bin increasing. Free bulky waste collections are provided in January and February.

Following questions from members additional points were highlighted

·         About 27% of households have garden bins and this service is at capacity.  The purchase of a new vehicle will enable the service to be increased and there will be additional promotion of the service

·         The authority works with other local authorities to try and improve ways to encourage recycling

·         Work is being undertaken with the County Council to improve contamination rate and to enables more issues to be recycled. Pictorial stickers to remind what can be recycled are being developed

·         Difficulties arise as the public is unclear about which type of plastics are recyclable

·         Recycling rates have fallen across the whole of the county

·         Wormeries and wood collections were also discussed.


·         NI 195a. Percentage of streets with unacceptable levels of litter. Can you define "unacceptable”?  What are the criteria? Is the amount of litter measured? If so how?


An explanatory note was circulated which defined standards of unacceptable levels, this included photographs of the cleanliness grades defined by the Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse. 


·         LI 133.  Number of fly tipping incidents reported to Gedling Borough Council. Have any work initiatives or strategy been planned to halt this increase.  If the registration of vehicles at recycling centres increases incidents what measures will be put in place to mitigate the anticipated increase in fly tipping.


Public Protection Officers enforce fly tipping using fixed penalty notices. [To be signed off shortly]. They investigate the majority of cases in an attempt to evidence ownership of the dumped waste. 1 unit of four covert cameras have recently been purchased and are about to be deployed in our hot spot areas, (Gravelly Hollow, Calverton & Honeywood Gardens Estate to name two such areas), in an effort to catch perpetrators in the act so that they can be prosecuted accordingly.


GBC have had some success in this area recently with two high profile cases, publicised in the local press and dealt with by the Courts.


The strategy to halt the increase has been reviewed and current hot spots identified in conjunction with PASC operatives and patrols are being targeted, particularly in areas of deprivation. Two advertising A board signs have also be made to identify witness for any larger fly tipping cases, and we also continue to put up our normal fly tipping signs up related to hot spots. In future any ‘Fixed penalty notice’ monies will come directly to GBC rather that the courts and will be used to further fund fly tipping initiatives. We also promoted a no-fly tipping message at the Arnold Carnival and Gedling shows.


We’ve also purchased crime scene tape which is now stuck to any fly tipping we come across to advertise it as an offence and let people know it has been reported to prevent repeat visits and unnecessary re reporting of incidents.


Working with County on the waste and recycling centres, and the introduction of the permit system, local; residents will not be fined first time, but will be given second chance and checks will be carried out on an ad-hoc basis. Historically we have not seen issues in this area, but it is presented as a possible risk.


New weekly meeting are now taking place which will ensure we maintain close communication between PASC, Waste and Public Protection in our efforts to reduce and prevent this offence from occurring.


Following questions from members the following issues were addressed


·         Fixed penalty notices can be issued when it is possible to establish who has dumped the rubbish.  There have been two high profile prosecutions

·         It is too early to say how successful the use of A Boards has been

·         It is the householder not the person who dumps the waste who is the responsible person and they are the ones liable for prosecution

·         The Arnold and Gedling Show are used to promote fly tipping and dog fouling as a crime.


·         LI 346 Percentage of fly tipping incidents removed within 4 working days.  Why has the target been changed from 2 working days (2015/16 indicator target) to 4 this year? The note in the year end performance report mentions   "....the service has been re-engineered....”  Can you elaborate?


PASC Budget reductions have resulted in reduced ‘agency labour’ budget from £132,000 to £40,000. This means we do not have the flexibility we once had to channel labour into areas required on an instant basis.


Our response turn around has been identified as having slowed as a result. This coupled with a significant increase [40%] in fly tipping over the last two years has resulted in more cases to clean up.


As a result a capital bid was prepared for an extra member of staff to form a fly tip response team. But this was unsuccessful. Mindful of this SLT when considering the Gedling Plan for 16/17 amended the response time from 2 days to 4 days to give PASC staff more time to respond. We usually respond within 3 days every time.


Members were concerned about the public leaving white goods in their garden or on the street in the hope that they will be picked up.  These can be collected in the bulky waste collections which have to be paid for.  If there is a problem of white goods being disposed of members should contact waste services.

Annual Indicators included in the 2015/16 Year End Report

  • LI 249 Reduce carbon emissions from Council estate - as the target appears to be very low, what is the average target of similar authorities and is anything being done to increase Gedling's performance?

The authority has one electric vehicle, a duel fuel option is better than all electric.  Members suggested that the possibility of making taxi’s emission free should be considered, and it was agreed this would be given consideration.

  • LI 316 Amount of electricity generated from renewable energy for use in the Council’s own estate - as the target is very low, is anything being done to increase Gedling's performance?

Five to ten years ago there was a government agenda to promote renewable energy; this has been relaxed in the last five years.  During this period councils attempted to deliver easy initiatives, solar panels, thermostatic controls and energy efficiency light bulbs.  Energy saving initiatives would now need capital investment and the 10% target may seem low but in terms of investment available it is quite ambitious.  Leisure Centres are looking to use more energy efficient boilers and the buildings at Gedling Country Park will have solar panels on the roof.  Members considered that the planning regulations could be used to recommend the siting of solar panels on new buildings should be examined.

Indicators included in the 2015/16 Year End Report measured as part of the two yearly resident’s survey

·         LI 020. Percentage of residents satisfied with parks and open spaces. How is resident's satisfaction measured? 

Resident satisfaction is obtained bi-annually from the Gedling Conversation roadshows. Online survey’s and marquee town centre roadshows. 74% to 72%.


PASC Services also undertake an annual resident Parks surveys in our Parks and Open Spaces during the summer.

Results from this bespoke survey have shown even higher results.


12/13  96%

13/14  94%

14/15  92%

15/16  94%


·         LI 042. Percentage of survey respondents satisfied with street cleansing

Can the portfolio holder expand and elucidate on the following?


Gedling Conversation Satisfaction 58% down from 72%.

Rurals 72.7% Urban 56%.

·       What programme of actions?

There have been a number of new street cleansing initiatives this year following the poor satisfaction result, including:

Targeted street sweeps. For example Byron Street, Daybrook and Dunstan Street, Netherfield.

Where the residents of ‘hot spot’ streets have received letters advising that we will be cleaning their road on a certain date and requesting that they move their cars for the duration of the street sweep.

Employee Volunteering.

Clean Up’s at the Hobbucks, and at Top Valley behind the housing where fly tipping over garden fences has occurred in the past and is degrading the environment.

TV promotion.

With the ‘Dog Poo Tree’ at Mapperley Top and Gedling Country Park and ‘dog poo stencils’ and ‘we are watching you’ posters around the borough to increase public awareness of the anti-social issue.

Social media promotion.(Member of Keep Britain Tidy organisation).

The Keep Britain Tidy Clean for Queen initiative, which was tweeted by Kirsty Allsopp [National TV presenter] who has over ‘400,000’ followers nationally which all helps get the message out there.

Keep Britain tidy tweeted us to all their supporters, so as you can see we are making the most of social media to get the message out that Litter and Dog Fouling are not acceptable and that we are and will take action to stamp it out.

Dog Fouling and Litter stencils in biodegradable paint.

Support for litter picks by supply black bags, litter pickers, gloves and fluorescent vests and pick up the rubbish afterwards. Guides, Scouts, Brownies, School Groups etc.

Advertising on Council Vehicles.

Promoting an anti-littering, dog fouling and fly tipping message on Bin Lorries and Street Cleansing vehicles.

Sponsorship support from local companied, L’Oreal, McDonalds, and Boots who sponsor bins and provide corporate staff to carry out environmental cleansing initiatives. Staff member to litter pick in AHP on Saturday afternoons during the summer.

Use of Restorative justice personnel to carry out environmental initiatives. E.g. paint Burton Road Pavilion. Litter pick, sweep up leaves etc.

Organised litter picks by school children.

The following concerns were highlighted by Members:

·         Gedling Borough needs to be aware when the County Council is grass cutting to enable litter to be removed.

·         Cleaning of litter bins in shopping centres, for example Calverton, is done by contractors.

·         Bins are replaced when necessary.  They are expensive, new bins cost between £350 and £400.00.

·         Concern was voiced about bins not being fully emptied. It was explained that operatives sometimes use litter pickers to remove individual items as replacement bags are a costly item.

·         Can we have access and sight of the geographical analysis?

A report which presented the Satisfaction Survey 2015 analysis for smaller areas within Gedling Borough was distributed.  This included a summary of key findings, comparison of satisfaction levels between rural and urban wards and also between different post code areas within the borough.

·         What form will “communication with residents” take?

In support of the Gedling conversation roadshows and online survey, an additional street cleansing satisfaction resident survey was carried out this year following the poor results. This communication was undertaken at the Arnold Show, as part of a wider PASC roadshow event to advertise our services and better understand resident satisfaction with additional information provided for the public regarding the difference between GBC and Notts. County Council responsibilities as we are a two tier authority.

A clipboard survey of resident data undertaken for the first time at the carnival this year indicates a satisfaction rate of 82% across urban & rural areas.


Hope to introduce the same at the Gedling Show next year.


Questions asked as part of this survey were;

Your Satisfaction with where you live &

Your Satisfaction with your local town centre.


PASC Services are APSE Best Street Cleansing Team Winner’s 2013 & 2014, Finalists 2015 and Finalists again September 2016.

·         How will the "partnership" with Notts. CC work in practice?

Communication with start with ‘Via’ the contracting highways arm of NCC at the earliest to ensure we keep communication channels open between us.


·         To thank Councillor Barnes and the officers for their attendance.


·         To obtain additional information relating to

o   the possibility siting of solar panels on new buildings and

o   taxi cab omissions.


·         To note the report.


Supporting documents:


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