Venue: Parkside Suite - Parkside. View directions
Contact: Amanda Scarce Jess Bayley
Note: Brought forward to 24th July
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and invited representatives from Age UK to give a short presentation on the local Age UK partnership with North Worcestershire.
To receive apologies for absence
Apologies from absence were received from Councillors C. A. Hotham, R. E. Jenkins, L. C. R. Mallett, H. D. N. Rone-Clarke and J. Till.
Declarations of Interest
To invite Councillors to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Disclosable Interests they may have in items on the agenda, and to confirm the nature of those interests.
There were no declarations of interest on this occasion.
To receive any announcements from the Chairman and/or Head of Paid Service
There were no announcements from the Chairman or Head of Paid Service.
To receive any announcements from the Leader
The Leader advised that on Saturday 6th July, as Members may have been aware, there had been a fire involving the Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) to the Server Room at Bromsgrove District Council. She was pleased to report that no one had been injured and the authority had not lost any data.
The Leader took the opportunity to thank the Officers who handled the situation in a most professional manner and restored business as usual by 4pm on 8th July 2019.
The Leader further advised Council that, Councillor M. Thompson had recently spoken with the Chief Executive and her regarding the issue of drugs/ substance mis-use in our District. It had been agreed that a Substance Mis-use Multi-Agency Forum be set up. This was with a view to getting a greater understanding of the issues in Bromsgrove, their impact and the support/ services that were currently available. Once outcomes had been agreed she would look at convene the forum and hold the first meeting. Members would then receive a calendar invite to this first meeting.
Councillor M. Thompson thanked the Leader and Officers for helping to bring forward the Council meeting and allowing the Climate Change motion to be discussed as soon as possible, acknowledging that this was an important matter which warranted being given the appropriate time for debate. He asked that the Chamber consider extending the time allocated to Motions on Notice to allow all those put forward to be debated.
The Chairman thanked Councillor Thompson for his comments and reminded Members that he expected there to be sensible cross party debate of all matters.
The Leader advised Members that whilst the time extension was a matter for Council she was happy for this decision to be made by the Chairman. The Chairman confirmed that he had spoken to the Monitoring Officer and would discuss this further under that item.
Councillor S. Colella asked the Leader whether the fire, to which she had referred, had been appropriately investigated by the relevant authority and also whether this had been the case regarding the fire which had taken place at the Burcot Lane site in 2018.
The Leader advised that she was unable to comment on the Burcot Lane incident, but could confirm that the fire at Parkside had been due to an upgrade carried out by UPS with the fire occurring some 20 minutes later. The circumstances had been thoroughly investigated and the matter dealt with appropriately.
To receive comments, questions or petitions from members of the public
A period of up to 15 minutes is allowed for members of the public to make a comment, ask questions or present petitions. Each member of the public has up to 3 minutes to do this. A councillor may also present a petition on behalf of a member of the public.
The Chairman confirmed that a member of the public had asked a question as detailed below:
Ms J. Tipper
Ms Tipper asked Councillor M. Sherrey, the Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services the following question:
Could you tell me what proportion of our recyclable waste is actually recycled, and where and how this is carried out, and what is the end product of these processes? Also, are there plans for a food waste collection?
Councillor Sherrey responded that all of the dry recycling that the Council collect from residents’ green bins was transported to a site just outside Worcester called Envirosort. This facility had been contracted by Worcestershire County Council (WCC) to mechanically sort the recyclables in order for them to be sold on into the recycling industry, to be either reprocessed into new materials, or used as a sustainable material in industry. All of the glass and tin cans were sold on to re-processors who then use it in the UK.
Most of the paper was bought by paper mills in the UK, with a proportion being sold to Europe, and a small amount was sent to Asia where it was also used to make new paper products.
There were a number of different plastics used in packaging, and once sorted at Envirecover, some of them may be further sorted at other facilities to ensure a high quality material, and then sold on to businesses in the UK, Europe and Asia.
There was an element of contamination in recycling bins, where people placed the wrong items in their bin, and this sometimes prevented some material from being processed in full, but this material was separated out and sent to an “energy from waste” facility called Envirecover in Hartlebury near Kidderminster, which burnt the residual waste from grey bins to generate electricity. After incineration, any recoverable metals are separated out and fed back into the recycling stream, and the ash produced is used in the aggregate industry as an inert material. The proportions vary, but approximately 10% of the dry recycling we collect was contaminated, and was processed this way.
The Garden Waste Service was only able to take garden waste, but this was sent to an open window composting facility near Pershore where it was turned into a soil improver that was available to buy for both commercial and domestic use.
As with the recycling collection, any contamination was separated out where possible, and this was then disposed of either to landfill at the nearby Hill & Moor site, or sent across to Envirecover at Hartlebury.
Worcestershire Authorities currently have no specific plans regarding food waste, but it is currently being discussed at a National level, as part of Central Government’s Waste & Resources Strategy, and may well be implemented through legislation along with additional funding to allow us to set up the appropriate treatment facilities, as the existing composting facilities were not allowed to take food waste due to Environmental Health legislation. There was an ongoing consultation throughout ... view the full minutes text for item 30\19
To consider the recommendations from the meeting(s) of the Cabinet held on 10th July 2019.
The Chairman advised Members that in respect of the background papers to these recommendations, pages 29 to 33 were attached in error and were not for consideration at this evening’s meeting, this was an error on the part of Democratic Services and Members were asked to disregard these pages.
Councillor M. Thompson requested that in respect of the recommendations for the Finance Monitoring Outturn 2018/19 that recommendation (h) be taken separately.
Active Kitchen Report
Councillor S. Webb, Portfolio Holder for Strategic Housing and Health and Wellbeing proposed the recommendations in respect of the Active Kitchen report. These were seconded by Councillor K. May.
In proposing the recommendations Councillor Webb commented that she was happy to put forward these recommendations and hoped that Members would be supportive of the project.
Councillor P. McDonald expressed his disappointment at the incorrect spelling of Rubery within the recommendation and the Leader apologised for this error.
Members discussed a number of areas within the report in more detail, including:
· The fact that such projects were needed.
· An understanding of those areas where the project will be piloted and why they have been chosen and whether it would be rolled out more widely.
· Appreciation that the need had been recognised in the Drakes Cross area.
· Support for the project.
· Whether reviewing the project in July 2020 would be too late for the summer holidays and the date brought forward. Councillor Webb explained that by using that date it would allow for sufficient data to be gathered to ensure that a proper evaluation of the scheme was carried out.
· Clarification as to the format of that evaluation.
(a) that Officers continue to pilot the Active Kitchen service in Sidemoor, Charford, Catshill, Rubery and Drakes Cross in 11 weeks of the school holidays and that approval be given for an estimated £34,000 to be drawn down from balances 2019/20 to find the service’s operational delivery, marketing, research and development be approved; and
(b) that Officers return to Cabinet in July 2020 to review the pilot and recommend the next steps for the project.
BDC Low Emissions Strategy
Councillor M. Sherrey, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services proposed the recommendations in respect of the Low Emissions Strategy. These were seconded by Councillor A. Kent.
In proposing the recommendations Councillor Sherrey advised Members that work on this had commenced some time ago and that it was now important it got started in order that the benefits to the District could begin.
Members discussed the following in more detail:
· An important step towards becoming carbon neutral and the need for the Council to set an example for its residents. Councillor Sherrey confirmed that the strategy looked at the wider use of vehicles and that the Council was considering this when replacing the smaller vehicles at the depot.
· The importance of infrastructure to be in place and for there to be suitable charging points for other vehicles available and to promote the greater benefit to the community.
· The need ... view the full minutes text for item 31\19
The Minutes form the Cabinet meeting held on 10th July were submitted for information and noted by Members.
The Leader confirmed that this item had been withdrawn as the document was currently still out for consultation.
Questions on Notice (to be circulated at the meeting)
To deal with any questions on notice from Members of the Council, in the order in which they have been received.
A period of up to 15 minutes is allocated for the asking and answering of questions. This may be extended at the discretion of the Chairman with the agreement of the majority of those present.
Question submitted by Councillor R. Hunter
How many bus shelters are the responsibility of Bromsgrove District Council, what budget is made available annually for their maintenance and is this sufficient to keep them in good order?
Councillor M. Sherrey, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services responded that there were 44 bus shelters within the District which Environmental Services were responsible for, with an overall budget of £2k per annum.
Question submitted by Councillor J. King
How is Bromsgrove spending its allocation of the Government’s Brexit Preparedness funding and is the District prepared for the potentially devastating consequences of Brexit?
The Leader responded that the Council had received an allocation of £17,484 in March 2019; which had been transferred in to a reserve account as corporately, this Authority had not identified any pressing demands. It was confirmed that should any come forward then the monies would be utilised accordingly.
Question submitted by Councillor S. Hughes
Is the provision of two recycling bins at opposite ends of Bromsgrove high street sufficient and what plans are in place to improve recycling facilities in the town centre?
Councillor M. Sherrey, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services responded that there were in fact 4 recycling bins at each end of the High Street all of which were well used.
A period of up to one hour is allocated to consider the motions on notice. This may only be extended with the agreement of the Council.
Playing our part in stopping climate change
Before commencement of proceedings, Councillors P. McDonald, A. Kent and S. Baxter indicated that they wished to put forward an amendment to the Motion.
The Chairman reminded Members that it was important that this matter was debated properly and that Members concentrated on the facts and evidence based discussions.
Members considered the following Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor S. Hughes:
“Climate change is already causing serious damage to our community in Bromsgrove and communities around the world. The Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2018 Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5?C calls for urgent action within 12 years to protect people from the consequences of irreversible climate change. All governments: national, regional, and local have a duty to act.
Council declares a climate emergency that requires urgent action. Bromsgrove Council Cabinet will therefore commit to doing the following:
· Work with our partner authorities to review and update the Worcestershire County Climate Change Strategy, which is about to expire, ensuring ambitious targets for improvement.
· Establish a working group to engage with the community, develop an action plan and report regularly on actions taken.
· Explore areas where our services can be delivered in a way that reduces the Council’s carbon emissions and look at ways in which the Council’s energy supplies can be from 100% renewable sources.
· Set an aspiration for Bromsgrove to become carbon neutral.”
The Motion was proposed by Councillor Hughes and seconded by Councillor R. Hunter.
In proposing the Motion Councillor Hughes explained that it was an area which impacted on everyone and something which people came across every day, whether it be through air pollution from excess traffic or the impact of single use plastics, which had been well documented. Councillor Hughes highlighted to Members that, should no action be taken, then the damage caused by global warming would become irreversible in 12 years’ time. The work that was already being done was recognised but it was imperative that it be acknowledged that much more needed to be done at a faster pace. Direct action needed to be taken to ensure that everyone played their part in making those necessary changes. The importance of educating the young was also highlighted. A working group would be able to co-ordinate and evaluate the best way forward and engage with local partners and other groups to ensure that Bromsgrove played its part in this global issue. There were already over 90 other local authorities who had signed up to such an agreement and it was felt that Bromsgrove must also take action as a matter of urgency.
Councillor A. Kent proposed some small amendments to the motion, which were seconded by Councillor K. May and accepted by Councillor Hughes.
The amended Motion is detailed below:
Council declares a climate emergency. Bromsgrove Council will look to do the following:
· Work with our partner authorities to review and update the Worcestershire County Climate Change Strategy, which is about to expire, ensuring ambitious targets for ... view the full minutes text for item 35\19