Agenda and minutes

Environment Scrutiny Committee - Monday 15 March 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Remote Meeting

Contact: Kieran Robinson  01952 382061


No. Item


Declarations of Interest




Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 134 KB


RESOLVED - that the minutes of the meeting held on 17 December 2020 be confirmed and signed by the Chair.


Nomination of a Vice Chair


RESOLVED – that Councillor C Cassar be elected as Vice-Chair for the remainder of the municipal year.


Grounds and Cleansing Contract Monitoring pdf icon PDF 137 KB

To receive the report of Councillor L D Carter (Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood, Commercial Services and Regeneration).

Dean Sargeant (Director: Neighbourhood & Enforcement Services) and Debbie Germany (Strategic Waste & Neighbourhood Services Performance SDM) will also attend for this item.



The Chair invited the Director: Neighbourhood & Enforcement Services and the Strategic Waste & Neighbourhood Services Performance Service Delivery Manager to make their presentation.


Members received a presentation on the environmental aspects of the Council’s grounds and cleansing contract with Idverde. The contract entered into force in April 2019 and was worth £4.2m. Idverde operated from Granville House, a Council owned depot, which was shared with Balfour Beatty. One hundred people were employed on the contract and these were mostly local workers. The contract was performance based but how standards were met was the prerogative of Idverde.


The contract covered such areas as grounds, playing fields, amenity grass cuts, verges, all areas in the public realm. Idverde managed hedges, pruning programmes, sports pitches, trees and woodland. There was a set amount of money that was for trees and woodland that the contractor was asked to perform its duties within. They were also responsible for cleansing, this included litter, street sweeping, and fly tipping, among other responsibilities.


The Authority had examined how to make its operation more efficient and part of the contract meant that new vehicles that were procured would be more efficient. These vehicles would also be equipped with trackers to monitor idling and efficiency to aid the reduction of the Borough’s carbon impact.


Other climate-oriented policies included all of Idverde’s operatives receiving environment management training, the monitoring of fuel consumption, and an expectation that Idverde would seek to buy local to pursue carbon reduction in procurement.


Future actions that were planned included a review of vehicle and route efficiencies, trials of electric vehicles, environmental awareness training, and a number of other initiatives.


There were also social aspects to the environmental policies, such as seeking to make operations quieter and cleaner to improve the local environment. There was also funding for community groups through the contract, Idverde would support projects and training for groups as well as providing equipment.


The Authority was looking to maximise waste value, to do so all green waste was composted, bulky wood was sent to biomass as opposed to waste, the Council was also investigating the possibility of woodchips to re-use and at a wood transfer station to store wood before it is moved on for biomass. 


The Committee also heard that the Council was seeking to maximise recycling within the Borough. There was an investigation into how litter-picking operations could be managed in a way that could recycle litter. The Committee was praised for its recommendation to Cabinet on dual-use recycling bins.


A discussion followed with Members posing a number of questions for officers:

What happened to the compost that was being generated?

Any green waste that was collected curbside or by Idverde was taken to a green waste processor and then processed into compost. The Council did not own the compost generated. It was possible that the Council could look at composting through Idverde’s operations.


Could the Borough reduce the spraying of glysophates and replace them with another control method?

The  ...  view the full minutes text for item ENVSC25


Local Plan Working Group Update

The Chair will update Members on the work of the joint working group.


The Chair updated the Committee on the work of the Local Plan Working Group.


Members heard that alongside the Communities Scrutiny Committee, a series of meetings had been held to examine bio-diversity net gain and urban greening in the Local Plan. The Group held a number of meetings throughout February 2021 identifying best practice and had now produced a report, which would be sent to Cabinet in the coming months.  


Chair's Update


The Chair noted that the Committee’s recommendation to Cabinet would be received at the upcoming Cabinet meeting; Members were invited to watch the meeting stream.


This meeting of the Committee would be the last meeting of the municipal year but it was expected that workshop sessions would be held in April.