Contact your Parish Council
MAIDSTONE BOROUGH COUNCIL
Overview & Scrutiny Committee
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON Thursday 6 October 2022
Councillors English (Chairman), Cannon, Mrs Blackmore, Cleator, Conyard, Garten, Jeffery, Knatchbull, McKenna, T Wilkinson, Brindle and Springett
Apologies were received from Councillors Brice, Hastie and Hinder.
Councillor Brindle was present as Substitute for Councillor Brice.
Councillor Springett was present as Substitute for Councillor Hinder.
There were no urgent items, however the list of working group nominees received from Group Leaders had been circulated separately to the Committee and would be considered alongside Item 14 Ė Water Management Cycle Ė Update Report.
There were no Visiting Members.
There were no disclosures by Members and Officers.
There were no disclosures of lobbying.
RESOLVED: That all items be taken in public as proposed.
RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 19 July 2022 be agreed as a correct record and signed.
There were no petitions.
There were no questions from Local Residents.
There were no questions from Members.
RESOLVED: That the Committee Work Programme be noted.
The Democratic Services Officer introduced the report and stated a review into the Councilís Performance against the Waste Strategy, with a focus on the waste contractís re-procurement, would not be beneficial as the re-procurement process had progressed into the advanced stages.
The alternative options contained within points 3.1 and 3.2 of the report were outlined, which included reviewing the Waste Strategy ahead of its refresh in 2023.
The Head of Environmental Services and Public Realm explained the link between the Waste Strategy and the Waste Contract; the former had contributed to many service changes, including the introduction of weekly food bin collections, adoption of the waste hierarchy and waste production communications. The latter provided for how those services were delivered.
The Councilís previous Communities, Housing and Environment Committee had agreed that the contract specification would remain unchanged, and that the Council would remain within the Mid Kent Waste Partnership (MKWP). The procurement process had commenced ten-months ago, with the final decision on the contractís award expected in December 2022. Therefore, it would be difficult for the review to focus on the contractís re-procurement, which if amended would require consideration by the MKWP.
In considering the reviewís lines of enquiry attached at Appendix 1 to the report, the Committee felt that the communications used to improve recycling rates should be considered within the second line of enquiry. The importance of reducing waste, alongside increasing recycling rates, was questioned, with the Head of Environmental Services and Public Realm stating that whilst important, reuse of items and the overall reduction in specific waste, such as good waste, was difficult to measure. However, waste reduction methods and the diversion of waste could be considered as part of the review. The Head of Environmental Services and Public Realm further stated that Kent County Council could be consulted, as the relevant waste authority, on where the Councilís recycling was distributed to.†
The Committee expressed support for reviewing the Councilís Performance against the Waste Strategy, as it was felt that positive improvements could be made ahead of the documentís refresh in 2023.
The Committee would prefer for the review to take place in the evening to better suit Memberís availability.†
1. The contents of the report be noted; and
2. Option 3.1 of the report, to hold a review into the Councilís Performance against the Waste Strategy, be agreed.
The Democratic Services Officer introduced the report, highlighting the positive responses received from the external stakeholders to be consulted as part of the review.† The Councilís Political Group Leaders were asked to put forward up to two Non-Executive Members and one reserve Member, to be considered for the working groupís membership. The list of nominees had been circulated to the Committee.
During the debate, it was noted that an odd membership number would have been preferred. An additional reserve Member was drawn from the Committee, and it was felt that all reserve Members should be able to attend any meeting of the group. The reserve Members would be able to exercise informal voting rights only when a full Member of the Working Group from their political group was unable to attend.
In response to questions, the Democratic Services Officer confirmed that the Working Group was not subject to the political balance rules as it was not a formal body of the Council. The external stakeholders consulted had confirmed that they would like to partake in the review and were waiting for the group to be appointed, and its meetingís scheduled.
RESOLVED: That the following Members be appointed to the Water Management Cycle Working Group:
Councillors Brice, Cleator, English, Garten, Harwood and Jeffery.
Councillors Conyard, Springett and D Wilkinson.
6.30 p.m. to 7.05 p.m.