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Overview & Scrutiny Committee (Place) Minutes    

Date: Tuesday 01 February 2022       Time: 06:00 PM       Location: Council Chamber       Contact:

Attendance Details

Present:Councillor John Coxhead, Councillor Vaughan Hopewell, Councillor Brian Lohan, Councillor Daniel Redfern, Councillor Dave Saunders, Councillor Philip Shields, Councillor Stuart Wallace, Councillor Martin Wright
In AttendanceAttendees
In Attendance:Sarah Troman, Martyn Saxton, Julie Snowdon, Ryan Oliff, Joanne Waldron, Katie Mills, Gabriella Wright, Councillor Ann Norman
ItemDescriptionBackground InformationDecision

There were no apologies received.

There were no Declarations of Interest.

There were no questions received from members of the public.

Proposed as a true record of the last meeting by Councillor Wright and seconded by Councillor Lohan.

The Minutes were accepted as a true record by the Members who attended the last meeting.

Minutes of the meeting held on 21 December 2021

That the Minutes of the last meeting be accepted as a true record.

The Chair asked the Committee if there were any questions related to the Town Centre Update.
Councillor Wright queried the opening date of the Walkden Street Car Park and queried the reasons for the delay.
The Town Centre Manager advised the Members that the anticipated opening date would be the end of February/early March. The Committee was advised that the delay in opening had been caused by the need for works to the Fire Doors and the completion of the lift servicing.
Councillor Redfern queried what publicity was planned other than adverts.
The Town Centre Manager advised that there would be a change to more commercial advertising. That more emphasis was needed on the benefits included in having a market stall in Mansfield. The Officer advised that the Marketing and Communications Team were working on a Marketing Plan. If completed by the next Overview and Scrutiny meeting this would be brought to the Committee for review.
Councillor Saunders queried the public art in Mansfield. The Member felt that when installing public art more than aesthetics should be taken into consideration. Ongoing maintenance costs etc.
The Town Centre Manager was in agreement with this, the art installations in place had been installed prior to the Town Centre Manager’s involvement. However maintenance costs would be taken into consideration for future public art installations.
Councillor Saunders queried if external markets were working and asked if the use of an internal market should be revisited.
The Officer responded that in the past this was not something that the existing stall holders wanted. That markets were struggling generally and that this was not isolated to Mansfield. This could be revisited but may result in the loss of the existing market stall holders which would then necessitate a campaign to recruit more stall holders for both the internal and external markets and during the current climate might prove difficult
Councillor Wallace queried if the existing public art had ongoing maintenance costs provision within the installation.
The Officer responded that this was not known however, to get an up to date status report of the public art in situ. Surveys had been completed to inform the authority of any repair or maintenance work required.
Councillor Wallace queried if the topic of specialised markets had been investigated.
The Officer responded that this had been passed onto the Marketing and Communications team to review. However, the team were currently focussed on key events.
The Officer advised that the idea will be discussed with the new Mansfield BID CEO and Marketing and Communications team in a meeting scheduled on 16 February 2022.
Councillor Lohan had a query related to a Decision to be taken regarding car parks on Victoria Street and Garden Road. The Member felt that the flats may have been given planning permission to be built as the car parks provided parking spaces for those residents.
The Officer advised that the car parks were not financially viable and could not support a business case to keep them. However, the Officer would speak to the Planning Team to look into this.
Councillor Wright queried the success of the Snow Globes at Christmas and asked if there had been any costs to having these. The Member further queried the meetings to be set up regarding lighting at Christmas.
The Officer responded that the Snow Globes had been successful, that there had been no cost to the authority as the funding had come from the Welcome Back Fund.
The Officer advised that there was a meeting due to take place concerning the lighting for Christmas but was yet to be arranged.
The report was accepted for noting.

Briefing Paper

Appendix 1
That the report be accepted for noting.

The Chair asked the Committee if they had questions regarding the Waste and Recycling Update Report.
Several Members had issues related to their Wards where access had not been possible to streets due to the roads being narrow, or double parked and asked what the response process was to alleviate the issue
The Waste and Recycling Manager advised the Members that where access has not been gained due to parked cars, the operatives would do their best to collect the waste, returning a second time to see if the obstruction had moved. Photos are taken to record the road being blocked. This is because the department received numerous complaints querying why collections had not taken please. The photos illustrate why the operative have been unable to collect the waste from that street. The continued return to check a street has cleared, does take a lot of resources to do this and it is not always possible. The response times do vary as this was dependant on staffing levels.
Members thanked the Waste Recycling Manager for resolving issues related to their Wards.
Councillor Coxhead asked if there was anything that could be done to resolve the issue of blocked access and asked if it was possible to work together on this.
The Waste and Recycling Manager advised that the implementation of double yellow lines permits would be costly and time consuming to implement.
Councillor Wright stated that the 16% contamination rate that Mansfield had was 3 times more than the target, and asked what was being done to resolve this. The Member also queried if the areas causing this were known.
The Waste Recycling Manager advised that every bin collected was visually checked and labels were issued with the reason that the recycling had been contaminated. The Council also use Social Media to raise awareness. The Officer advised that Mansfield were not the worst district all authorities were having similar rejections rates.
The Head of Neighbourhood Services advised the Committee that there had been an extensive project at Forest Town. An Officer went from house to house explaining recycling. This worked well until the project ceased.
The Member queried the collection of glass from businesses and asked if this had been ruled out as an option
The Waste and Recycling Manager advised that this had not been ruled out, however to do this a feasibility study would need to be implemented to review the cost of additional staffing and a vehicle against the potential gain of collecting the glass, as no recycling credits could be claimed on the collection of glass from businesses.
Councillor Saunders asked if the Waste and Recycling team wanted to know about businesses interested in having their glass collected. The Member asked if the authority had smaller freight for collections
The Waste and Recycling Manager responded that the authority had 2 smaller freight vehicles however, they were the same width and were only shorter in terms of the turning circle. The Officer advised that he would be happy to receive the names of business interested in glass collections
Councillor Saunders asked how the Brown Bin deal reduction of costs would work.
The Officer responded that the reduced cost of £26 was for everyone (existing and new customers alike) as long as this was subscribed to before the end of April 2022. After 1st May 2022 the cost would be £31.
Councillor Hopewell asked that if residents that had not initially taken up the offer of a glass bin now wanted one if they could sign up now for a bin and asked if there would be a charge for the bin.
The Officer responded that they could sign up for a glass bin collection and there would be no charge for the bin.

Briefing Paper

Appendix - Waste and Recycling -

That the report be accepted for noting.

The Chair asked the Members if they had any questions related to the Parks and Street Cleansing Update Report.
Councillor Wright queried the need for the procurement of a Weed Control Contract, as in the last report the Committee had been advised that members of the neighbourhood team were being trained to do this task. The Member felt that the external Weed Control contractors had not provided a satisfactory outcome in the past.
The Parks and Street Cleansing Manager informed the Committee that there were Weed Spraying trained operatives that did this service for the Parks and housing estates.
However, with reference to the public highway the authority were in the process of terminating a contract. A number of staff have been trained from across Neighbourhood Services to undertake weed spraying. Due to a Covid outbreak not all of these staff had completed the training. Therefore a number need to complete the second part of their training. This has resulted in there just being a small number of the Street Cleansing and Town Centre Teams who are qualified to do this. These staff would be utilised to complete spot spraying in areas that this was required i.e. the Town Centre.
To be able to complete the entire district in 3 weeks as the authority is required to do. This cannot be done with the in house resource that the authority has. A professional company is needed with the right teams and equipment to be able to complete the entire district within the required time frame. The use of an external contractor is the best value for the authority as to complete the whole district with an external contractor costs approximately £13.5K. When staff were sent out to complete remedial work last autumn it cost approximately £7.5K per fortnight to do this work as this was being achieved purely on foot. The authority does not have the equipment or resource to do this in house. Therefore it is the best value to do this with an external contractor.
The Member queried if the external contractor would be contracted to complete every street in the District.
The Officer responded that there was the expectation that all of the adopted highway would be completed, the A and B roads. If it was found that areas were being missed because they were not on the maps (new build estates). The maps would be updated and the area would be sprayed.
The contractor selected would be best value for money
The Member queried the use of quad bikes for the weed spraying as he felt that this was not an effective way of doing this and areas could be missed.
The Officer advised that the use of quad bikes was needed due to the large district area. The use of the quad bikes were the best way of getting around the district and completing the weed spraying to timescale. However, within the specification given to the Contractors are the parameters of completing the spraying process, which included keeping the speed down and taking into account weather conditions to ensure that the weed spraying would be as effective as possible.
Councillor Redfern had a query regarding the destination parks. The Member wanted to know why Berry Hill Park in particular had been chosen to receive all of the £2.9M investment.
The Officer advised that the Berry Hill Park had been chosen because it was the largest recreational park that the Council had. It had just been acquired and it needed a lot of investment to bring the park up to the required standard as a place to visit. Internal discussions took place at the authority and it was decided that Berry Hill Park was very well located in terms of it being a Destination Park. The Berry Hill Park has important links through to King George, the Bellamy Estate and through to Lindhurst. This also gives the opportunity for investment to be channelled into those areas.
The Member further queried the section on Fly Tipping and asked if the numbers were known for comparison between now and pre-Covid.
The Officer advised that these were known but were not included in the report. The Officer advised that pre-Covid it was noticed that the figures indicated a decrease in the amount of fly tipping, which was very positive. That has increased since Covid and has been prevalent nationwide.
Councillor Norman queried when there would be Bulky Waste items collected. The Member appreciated that resources were low however, it was causing issues.
The Head of Neighbourhoods advised that there was a list of people waiting for collections that would be worked through as staffing allowed.
Councillor Wright queried how the Recruitment Opening Day went.
The Officer responded that the response was not as good as they would have liked however there were a few interested people.

Briefing Paper
That the report be accepted for noting.

The Chair welcomed comments from the Committee on the Town Centre Masterplan.
Councillor Wright referred to page 10 which indicated that Mansfield were under represented with regard to food, beverage and leisure sector and stated that he did not agree with this. Mansfield has many cafés, restaurants etc. The Member could not understand why this would be said.
Councillor Redfern felt that the Masterplan was very ambitious and seemed unrealistic for the timescale involved.
Councillor Norman felt that the entrance should be at Stockwell Gate and not half way up Queen Street.
Councillor Lohan felt that a whole session was required for this.
The Head of Planning and Regeneration advised that the Masterplan had been to the Committee in September 2021 to give time for the Members to review the document for comments to be submitted at the next meeting on 1 February 2022.
The Chair agreed that the Town Centre Masterplan was a really good in-depth Master Plan. The Chair agreed with Councillor Redfern that the Masterplan was more of a wish list, an aspirational plan of where we want to be but was concerned that it was not all achievable in the timescale.
The Head of Planning and Regeneration agreed that this was a long-term aspirational plan. However, it was important that to get schemes off the ground the message needed to be sent out to the market to demonstrate that the authority wants developers to see that it wants and supports Town Centre regeneration.
The Chair stated that he had seen many Master Plans and that he was impressed with this one. The Chair congratulated the Planning and Regeneration Department on the work that had been put into the Masterplan.
Councillor Wallace referred to paragraph 3.2 of the report and queried when the report would be brought back to the Overview & Scrutiny Committee following the Consultation.
The Head of Planning and Regeneration informed the Committee that this would hopefully return to the Committee on 22 March 2022 at 6pm.

Report of the Head of Planning and Regeneration

Appendix Consultation Draft Masterplan
That the report be accepted for noting with comments noted.
Published 08/02/2022 14:23:41