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Agenda Item No.

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

CABINET: 27TH APRIL 2015

 

REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT): 10TH MARCH 2015

 

“969 REVISED WASTE MANAGEMENT AND CLEANSING CHARGING ARRANGEMENTS (REF) -

 

Cabinet had referred the report to the Scrutiny Committee for consideration.  Cabinet agreement had been sought for a range of new charges for the Council’s domestic waste management services.  The Council’s revenue budget for 2014/15 had identified savings of £100,000 per annum from 2014/15 from limiting the number of waste bags to be provided.  Due to a large existing stock it was not necessary to introduce such controls from 1st April, 2014 but Cabinet had been advised that they should now be introduced from 1st April, 2015.  The Director of Visible Services and Housing in presenting the report advised that the report provided specific proposals for charging for Waste Management services which had been considered to be necessary in balancing the budget in this service area for 2015/16.  The report highlighted that the Controlled Waste in England and Wales Regulations 2012 described waste which was to be treated as household waste, industrial waste or commercial waste and specified the types of household waste for which a collection charge may apply.  Included within the household waste for which the Council could make a collection charge and that it had have a statutory duty to collect were:

(i) garden waste

(ii) any article of waste that exceed 25kg in weight

(iii) any article of waste that did not fit into a cylindrical container 750mm in diameter and 1m in length

(iv) bulky household furniture waste (a general non-exhaustive guide to what was and what was not bulky household waste items was given for information in Appendix 1 as attached to the report).

Some charges already existed within Waste Management and Cleansing Services which primarily related to commercial waste collection services, chargeable additional recycling and composting receptacles, slipway, pier docking charges and filming fees.  These charges were however, currently under review with a further report to be presented to Cabinet in due course.  Members were informed that the Vale was currently one of only two Councils in Wales not to levy a charge for its bulky items collection service, the other being the Isle of Anglesey.  The remaining 20 local authorities had varying charges ranging from £10 to £34.  It was being proposed that a charge of £15 for up to 3 bulky waste items be introduced from 1st April, 2015.  Residents would however still be able to take bulky household items to either of the Council’s two household waste recycling centres free of charge but another option that was being explored for the Council was to engage and support voluntary organisations to promote the reuse of redundant furniture in the community.  Should officers be successful with obtaining such support the details would be provided to residents via the Contact Centre when calling to arrange a collection.  The contact details of the companies/charities concerned would be made available via the Council’s website.  Town and Community Councils would also be asked if they would be prepared to work with the authority on this matter.  It was further noted that with a 60% reduction in collection, £96,000 would be collected in fees and with a 50% reduction the income would be £120,000.  The savings from reducing one vehicle and its crew would be approximately £70,000 per annum. 

 

The report also highlighted the concessions that would apply for bulky collections for householders in receipt of Income Support, Housing Benefit, Pensions Credit or Council Tax Benefit.  This was noted in paragraph 21 of the report and not paragraph 24 as referred to in paragraph 13 of the report.  To date comments had been received regarding the rationing of the food bags with Members being advised that in general there were approximately 1 - 3 bags per week being used.  Every additional bag would be at a cost of 4p, it being noted however that the food waste itself that was being placed for recycling was actually more value in monetary value  than the 4p cost for a bag.

 

In response to Members concerns regarding how the charges would be communicated to residents the Director advised that additional links had been added to Facebook and Twitter in order for members of the public to be informed and in order for the Council to be able to receive their views.

 

A Member queried the collection of services from premises such as sheltered accommodation with the Director advising that these were being looked at separately in view of the clientele involved although it was confirmed that the Council itself did not actually go into people’s properties to pick up waste.  The Director further stated that he was currently working with the Head of Service for Housing to consider ways of addressing this issue, although he reiterated that there were no major concerns at this time.

 

With regard to van and trailer permits a number of Members sought advice from the Director on the issue as some stated they had witnessed people taking commercial waste to the sites in vans and trailers who had not been asked for their permits.  However, the Director advised that no CCTV arrangements currently existed but the Department was considering the use of either CCTV or number plate recognition technology and would be discussing the issue with Biffa to ensure that appropriate checks are made.  Reference was also made to the provision at Llandow, with the Director advising that new agents had been appointed for the land owners and to assist with upgrading the access road the Council had issued the landowners with a price for undertaking work on the potholes on the road. 

In response to a query as to whether waste caddies could be lined with newspaper.  The Director confirmed that this was indeed correct.  In referring to the issue of concessions the Director acknowledged that this may prove difficult on occasions and that a pilot project would be undertaken in the first instance. In referring to fly tipping and the incidents of high fly tipping being recorded it was acknowledged that fly tipping was not as high as the data for 2014/15 had advised due to an interpretation error with the data and the definition had now been made clearer and records were more accurate.

 

Members were also keen to ensure that enforcement was a key component of the process and that sufficient consideration was given to ensuring the proposed changes were communicated effectively to residents. The Director informed Members that he was waiting for this Scrutiny Committee to consider the report following which he would then be undertaking to ensure that an advert was placed in the press and the Council’s website. It was further suggested that any new contract include a clause with regard to enforcement. 

 

Members took the opportunity to also congratulate the Director on the standards at the Atlantic Trading site following which it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1) T H A T the proposals to charge householders for Waste Management services as stated within the report be endorsed.

 

(2) T H A T further consideration by Cabinet be given to establishing CCTV cameras on the Council’s remaining collection sites and that clauses in contracts be considered for enforcement as outlined above.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)  To assist in meeting the budgetary challenges in the Waste Management and Cleansing division of Visible Services.

 

(2)  To ensure compliance.”

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