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Overview & Scrutiny Committee (Place) Minutes    

Date: Tuesday 14 June 2022       Time: 06:00 PM       Location: Council Chamber       Contact:

Attendance Details

Present:Councillor Brian Lohan, Councillor Philip Shields, Councillor Sue Swinscoe, Councillor Stuart Wallace, Councillor Martin Wright
In AttendanceAttendees
In Attendance:Sarah Troman, Ryan Oliff, Julie Snowdon, Andrew Chambers, Paul Tebbitt, Gabriella Wright
ItemDescriptionBackground InformationDecision

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Saunders, Councillor Coxhead and Councillor Hopewell.

There were no Declarations of Interest.

Councillor Shields proposed Councillor Wright to be nominated as Vice Chair. This was seconded by Councillor Lohan. The motion was carried by the Committee. Councillor Wright was elected Vice Chair unopposed.
That Councillor Martin Wright be appointed Vice Chair of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee (Place).

There were no questions received from members of the public.

The Minutes of the last meeting were proposed as a true record of the meeting by Councillor Lohan this was seconded by Councillor Shields. The motion was carried by show of hands by the Committee.

Minutes of the meeting held on 12 April 2022
That the Minutes of the last meeting were a true record of the meeting.

The Chair informed the Committee that the Draft Work Programme for 2022-2023 was within Appendix 1. The Member advised that the Draft Work Programme was a full programme, with additional items to be added as illustrated in the programme. The Chair asked if there were any other topics that were to be added to the Draft Work Programme.

Councillor Wright queried if other topics could be added to the Work Programme once approved.

The Chair confirmed that they could.

The Chair advised the recommendations that the attached Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Place) work programme for 2022/2023 (Appendix 1) be approved. Councillor Lohan approved the recommendation for acceptance of the Work Programme 2022-2023 and Councillor Wright seconded the motion.

The motion was carried by the Committee.

Report of the Chair of Overview & Scrutiny (Place)

Updated Draft Work Programme 2022-2023
That the attached Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Place) work programme for 2022/2023 (Appendix 1) be approved, with future topics to be considered if submitted at a later date.

The Waste and Recycling Manager provided a summary of the report to the Committee. The Committee was informed that in the year 2021/2022 there had been an average contamination rate of 15.7% which was above the 5% target. However, this was in line with other authority contamination rates for the period. There had been no load rejections by Veolia for over a year and this was a good indication that the quality was acceptable.
The Members were informed that Garden Waste collections had commenced, there had been a change in fees for this year to incentivise early sign up onto the scheme. The rate was discounted down to £26, however since 1 May 2022 was at £31. The Members were advised that there were currently 19,170 customers to date.
The Waste and Recycling Manager advised that glass collections were going well. The Members were advised a new contractor was in place as from 1 April 2022. Which had resulted in an increase in revenue.
The Committee was informed that there were four main bottle banks in place at supermarkets.
The Waste and Recycling Manager advised that the number of missed bins was under the 0.1% target which was good.
The Council were looking at options to collect food waste in anticipation of changes to legislation concerning the collection of food waste.
The Officer advised that a contract had been awarded for the In Cab Software and was now being processed by the Legal Department. The Members were made aware that there was a process in place of updating all records to ensure that accurate and up to date would be available for transference to the In Cab Software.
The Officer was pleased to advise that the two vacant driver vacancies had been filled. The new drivers would be starting in the next few weeks.
Councillor Shields queried how many of the 19,170 customers had taken advantage of the reduced fee, and queried if this had a financial impact. The Member queried if this was sustainable.
The Waste and Recycling Manager did not have that data available but would report back to the Committee with the update. It was felt that the majority had signed up at the discounted rates, however there were still new customers signing up.
The Head of Neighbourhoods advised the Committee that the discount was to compensate for the lack of service from the year before and felt that there would not be a significant impact on revenue.
Councillor Lohan raised an issue with waste in the Town Centre related to a business premises. The Member had advised that this should be reported to the Town Centre Manager.
The Town Centre Manager advised that the issue had not been reported as far as the Officer was aware but would looked into this.
The Head of Neighbourhoods advised felt it would be worthwhile ascertaining which trade waste supplier serviced the premises.
The Town Centre Manager thought that there may be some domestic properties in the area and that this was a communal bin.
The Waste and Recycling Manager advised that he would look into this.
The Chair queried the removal of the glass bins at Tesco on Chesterfield Road and asked why the bin had been removed and if this was likely to be reinstated.
The Officer advised that the weights per bin/location were supplied by the contractor, it was calculated from this data that 85% of the glass that was collected was from the four main supermarkets. The tonnage collected from the Tesco site was not as significant as the other sites. Due to there only being one vehicle to service the district over an 8 week period, it was not deemed cost effective to service more sites. However, this would be reviewed when resources were available or if the demand increased.
The Chair noted within the report at 3.5 that there continued to be a push from the communications team to encourage people to sign up for bin reminders. The Member queried if there was a promotional jpeg that could be sent to all Members that Members could add to their Facebook page.
The Officer advised that he felt that there was and would look into this.
Councillor Swinscoe queried if people had not requested a Glass Bin initially when the glass bins was on supply free of charge, if they could still get one now and if there would be a charge. The Member also queried how they would do this.
Head of Neighbourhoods responded that they would be able to get a glass bin without charge and that the forms to be able to order one were online.
The report was accepted for noting by the Committee by show of hands.

Briefing Paper
That the report to be noted.

The Parks Development Manager provided a brief summary of the report to the Committee.
The Members were advised that the Council’s Tree Officer had left the authority at the end of March 2022, and that the arboreal service was under review to determine the best model to take forward. In the interim period contractors were being used to support the work in this area.
The Members were informed that six agency works were supporting the area teams with grass cutting. This had replaced the traditional seasonal recruiting.
A part time Park’s attendant post had been approved, the attendant would run the kiosk at King George V Park at weekends.
The Committee was informed that the summer season was now in progress with the mowing schedule well under way and the weed spraying programme in place. The first round of weed control district wide was nearing completion. The second application was scheduled to take place in July 2022.
The Officer informed Members that the Council had completed the final drafts for the full business case for Berry Hill Park, the next step was for it to be sent to the Place Board and external assurance partner for review before sign off.
Applications have been submitted for 7 existing Green Flag Parks for the 2022/2023 Awards, results will be due for announcement in September 2022.
The Members received an update on the Urban Greening that the Sherwood Forest Trust tree planting project plans had been agreed district wide.
The Officer advised that the Walkden Street Pocket Park, Plans and Planting Designs had been prepared, within an anticipated planting to take place in late October early November.
The Members were advised that Foot/Disc Golf and Foot Golf Equipment was on order for King George V Park. It was anticipated that the additional footfall and income from fees and charges for these activities would increase income.
Councillor Wright felt that Weed spraying was not taking place on the Abbot Lea Estate and Town Road Drive, or if it was the weed killer was not very effective.
The Parks Development Manager advised that he would check the mapping to see if the area was on the map.
Councillor Shields queried the timeline for the review of Tree Officer Role and the restructure being completed.
The Head of Neighbourhoods that regarding the Arboreal Officer, that it was anticipated to take a year. Members were advised that there was a procurement process in place for the completion of Tree Surveys. Once the surveys had been completed the Council would be able to provide a better assessment, to inform works required going forward.
The Officer advised that with regards to the restructure measures had been put into place for the Street Cleansing and Parks this would be in place for a six month period. The restructure would be launched within the six month period.
Councillor Shields further queried if the plan for the Arboreal Officer was to use the Agency with a view to getting Council employed Tree Officers in place.
The Head of Neighbourhoods advised that this was under review to see if this was fit for purpose, and then to review the resources needed either in house or externally. This was yet to be determined.
Councillor Shields queried what process was place for a damaged tree that had become unsafe.
The Parks Development Manager advised that if any concerns were raised regarding a tree being dangerous a Tree Surgeon contractor would be called in, three Tree Surgeons are available for such calls.
The Chair asked for clarification of the timescales.
The Head of Service clarified that for the trees the timescale was a year and for the restructure the timescale was six months.
Councillor Shields queried who had decided on the areas for the Urban Greening planting.
The Parks Development Manager advised that the locations had not been finalised and welcomed any suggestions from the Members.
The Head of Neighbourhoods advised that a long list of location was given to Sherwood Forest Trust, who selected the locations based on the type of ground and access for watering.
The Parks Development Manager advised that Sherwood Forest Trust were committed to planting, finding staff and groups of volunteers to be involved. The Trust was also committed to 15 years maintenance.
Councillor Shields queried if the trees would be established.
The Officer advised that this was unknown to be advised, but could be any combination.
The report was accepted for noting by the Committee by show of hands.

Briefing Paper
That the report to be noted.

The Town Centre Manager provided a summary of the report to the Committee. The Members were advised that market income was down 52% when compared to pre-Covid
The Town Centre Manager found that it was increasingly difficult to encourage new traders to the Market despite several marketing promotions.
The Officer advised that even when the Market had been offered on a free rent basis for the month of May 2022. Only 23 enquires had been received and only 3 traders had taken up the offer. This was despite responding very quickly to each enquiry. The Towns Promotion and Events Officer would be contacting each enquirer to find out the reason for the offer not being taken up.
The Head of Neighbourhoods advised that some success had been achieved with the Vegan Market despite the weather being poor on that day.
The Town Centre Manager felt that Specialist Markets were the way forward to supplement the main market offer and encourage visitors to the town centre.
The Members were advised that Car Parking revenue was still down. The Members were informed that the Walkden Street Car Park had re-opened. This was being video marketed.
The Town Centre Manager informed the Committee that Virtual Permits were being issued to all Staff who currently had Car Park Permits this was being administered by the Facilities Team.
The Members were informed that the Off Street Parking Order 2022 was out for consultation, which was due to end on the 15th June. To date no submissions had been received.
The Shopmobility Scheme had seen a reduction in income due to having to relocate to the Four Seasons Centre despite the staff being very supportive in assisting the public. Shopmobility has now moved back into the Walkden Street Car Park and hopefully this would improve usage and therefore income. The Team were looking to promote Shopmobility for use on the Market.
The Officer thanked the Four Seasons shopping centre for their support during the closure of Walkden Street car park by allowing Shop Mobility to operate from one of their units and thus being able to continue to provide a vital service to customers.
The income from Public toilets had been reduced which was due to a lack of footfall and an issue with the ladies toilets which had resulted in them still being free of charge until fully operational again.
Members were provided with an update on the Welcome Back Fund, Urban Greening Project and Walkden Street Pocket Park. Members were given an update on Public Art. The Committee was advised that a new Asset Manager had been appointed who would be completing Surveys of the Public Art, as well as ensuring compliance, commissioning repairs and organising maintenance for all Neighbourhood Services assets.
The Committee was given an update on staffing that advised that staff were working at reduced capacity due to sickness and a retirement.
Councillor Lohan queried if the free Market Stalls in May was for all traders.
The Town Centre Manager advised that it was for new traders to the Market, to encourage them to try the market and build a customer base, but that I had been run in conjunction with Love Your Local Market during which regular traders operating on A & B stalls receive a £5.00 per stall discount.
The Member was concerned that there were no change machines outside the public conveniences.
The Officer advised that it had not been an issue previously raised, but that this would be reviewed to assess the feasibility and identify cost of installation.
Councillor Shields queried why all Members did not receive a Virtual Parking Permit.
The Town Centre Manager advised that this was administered by Facilities. The Officer thought it may be because Members could claim car parking fees back on their expenses.
Councillor Wright asked if the Memorial Gardens would have CCTV coverage.
The Town Centre Manager advised that it would have CCTV coverage.
The Member advised that he had received complaints regarding the lack of public conveniences in the Town Hall and asked the reason that these were not included as part of the refurbishment of the Town Hall.
The Town Centre Manager advised that this was an issue that was raised with the Architect at the time however, due to the design of the building no provision had been provided. It was noted that there was no statutory duty to provide public conveniences.
The Head of Neighbourhoods advised that there would be an upgrade to the public conveniences in the Four Seasons as part of the Changing Place Project. This would upgrade the Disabled facilities and include the addition of a Breastfeeding Room and a Quiet Room.
A Members agreed that the Four Seasons was a long way from the Market Place and that facilities were needed in the Market area particularly as a lot of the people using the Market were elderly or disabled.
The Head of Neighbourhoods advised that a discussion would be had with Design Services to discuss the possibility of putting additional toilets in the Old Town Hall that would be in service whilst the Town Hall was open. However, this may not be possible due to the Budget.
The Chair was disappointed that out of 23 enquiries regarding the Market that only 3 had taken up the offer. The Chair was pleased that this would be evaluated to find out the reasons for the lack of interest.
The Town Centre Manager directed Members to the Street Cleansing section within the report. The Members were informed that from 23 May 2022 Julie Snowdon had returned to HLD as the Interim Street Cleansing Manager in addition to some of the current Town Centre Manager duties. Whilst the Neighbourhood Services restructure takes place.
The Members were directed to the Street Cleansing Data within the report. The decrease in collections of street sweepings was the result in staffing shortages and down time of the sweepers.
The Interim Street Cleansing Manager advised that since taking over the service on 23 May 2022 it had become apparent that there were improvements to be made in the service delivery, staff training and procurement of litter bins and down time of sweepers (to review the reasons for the downtime, i.e. age of the sweepers, maintenance or accidental damage).
The Committee was advised that once the key foundations were in place and vacancies filled that there should be a significant improvement in the levels of street cleanliness. The procurement of litter bins should also have a positive impact on the amount of litter that would be deposited on the streets.
Councillor queried the sweepers down time from break down to return to operational service.
The Interim Street Cleansing Manager advised that this was already being reviewed.
The Members were advised that there had been an issue with JADU resulting in the Fly Tipping figures being skewed. The Interim Street Cleansing Manager was in the process of inputting all of the data into a Spreadsheet so that the hotspots and main areas of concern were identified.
The Interim Street Cleansing Manager had also requested a meeting with the Neighbourhood Wardens to review the system that was in place with them.
Councillor Swinscoe queried how the Interim Street Cleansing Manager envisaged working with the Neighbourhood Wardens team regarding Fly Tipping.
The Officer responded that by identifying hotspots and types of fly tipping, they would work with the Neighbourhood Wardens and Marketing & Communications implementing to deliver targeted enforcement or public campaigns.
Councillor Swinscoe advised that within the report no Statutory Notices were issued.
The Officer advised that this was the remit of the Neighbourhood Wardens, but this could be discussed as part of the meeting.
Councillor Shields stated that with regards to Fly Tipping October to March it had cost the Council £28,256 and the income from this was £330 from 8 FPN. No income had been received from fines and no fines were showing in the report.
The Officer advised that if Fines had gone through then it would be on the report. It would identify what had been applied for from the Court. This would be something that would be mentioned in the meeting. The Officer advised that there would always be a disproportionate amount of cost against income and that the costs were standard costs provided by DEFRA for the purposes of Fly Capture and monitoring. In order for a case to be taken to court there has to be robust evidence.
The Officer advised that a lot of fly tipping comes from rogue traders collecting from households
Councillor Shields queried if free bulky waste collections would result in less fly tipping.
The Officer advised that it would potentially have a small impact but not as much as would be anticipated as a lot of the fly tipped waste would be that collected by unregistered waste carriers and tipped illegally. Also some people even when bulky waste collections were free would not call to arrange the collection.
The Chair added that on the Fly Tipping there had only been 9 white good items collected and 131 bags of waste so it can be seen where the issues are.
Councillor Swinscoe queried if the bagged waste could be attributed to houses of multiple occupancy that do not have sufficient bins.
Councillor Shields felt that it could be unlicensed HMOs.
The Head of Neighbourhoods advised that if a non-licensed HMO was identified this could be reported to the Private Sector Housing Team. The Officer also advised that a free Bulky Waste Collection would be taking place for all priority neighbourhoods as the Council is aware that they do not always get free slots. This will still need to be booked in for collection and would hopefully be going ahead in September 2022.
The report was accepted for noting by the Committee.

Briefing Paper

Appendix 1

Appendix 2
That the report to be noted.

The Interim Planning Policy Team Leader informed the Committee that the report was to inform the Members about the Draft Sustainable Drainage Systems Supplementary Planning Document and to seek any Members views.
The Members were advised that a drainage specialist from Severn Trent Water Authority had been consulted, and also the County Council were the lead flood authority and had helped in the preparation of the document.
The Committee was given a brief overview of the sustainable drainage systems, that the sustainable drainage systems were a way of draining surface water to the ground rather than to the combined sewer.
The Officer acknowledged that the document was lengthy and technical but it was mainly designed to encourage developers to design and submit effective drainage systems. It would not generally be used by the general public. It applied to both large and smaller developments. The document encouraged developers to access the funds from the Green Recovery Programme in the short term and in the long term set out design guidance.
The Officer summarised for the Committee the benefits of SUDS which were to primarily reduce flooding, encourage biodiversity, create green infrastructure, reduce water pollution and would help to provide resilience to climate change.
The Members were informed that there were 19 guidance sections within the document. The Officer summarised the contents by highlighting some of the guidance within the document that included advice to developers on how to access funding for Severn Trent Water, and also all the different types of SUDs that could be used to maximise environmental benefits. The document also identified the long-term management required.
The Interim Planning Policy Team Leader outlined the process to be followed after the Overview & Scrutiny Place Meeting, which was that any forthcoming comments would be built into the document, it would then go to the Portfolio Holder for sign off and then would go out to consultation for a period of six weeks mainly with key stakeholders and statutory consultees. It was under consideration for the document to be sent out to all people on the planning database which included about 3000 people. As well as the SUD document being uploaded on to the Mansfield District Council website and press releases that would be sent out. The Officer called for Members views on sending out the document to all persons on the Planning database.
Following the consultation a Statement of Consultation would be prepared that summarised all of the consultation responses, then the Council would seek approval to adopt the document.
The Chair informed the Committee of the recommendations prior to asking for comments.
Councillor Lohan asked the Officer if any new developers to Mansfield would be advised of the SUDs.

The Officer informed the Committee that there were frequent Developer Forums, and one would be arranged either in advance or during the consultation process. This would inform the Developers the approach to be taken. A Policy was already included in the Local Plan document that advises developers to go for sustainable drainage. The developers would be informed that Severn Trent and the Lead local flood authority would be happy to offer any advice needed.

The Members were informed that this would go out to consultation as soon as possible after sign off by the Portfolio Holder. Everything was in place ready to go, there would therefore only be a short period of time before this goes live for consultation. The Officer advised that if in the interim period there were any enquiries the Members were directed to pass on the Interim Planning Team Leaders contact details.

Councillor Wright asked if it would be possible following the consultation and any amendments that were likely to be added that the Draft SUD report come back to Committee with marked changes to clearly highlight any changes.

The Officer responded that this could be done.

Councillor Shields felt that it would be beneficial to get the document out to as many people in email format.

The report was accepted for noting.

Briefing Paper

Appendix A
That the report be accepted for noting.
Published 20/06/2022 09:09:21