Agenda and minutes

Environment Overview & Scrutiny Sub-Committee
Wednesday, 29th November, 2017 7.30 pm

Venue: Town Hall, Main Road, Romford

Contact: Richard Cursons 01708 432430  Email:

No. Item


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 124 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Sub-Committee held on 29 August 2017 and authorise the Chairman to sign them.



The minutes of the meeting held on the 29 August 2017 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



Additional documents:


The Sub-Committee considered the Corporate Performance report for Quarter 2.


The report identified where the Council was performing well (Green rating) and not so well (Red rating).  It was explained that there were no current financial implications arising directly from the report, but future pressure could result if appropriate mitigation of risk was not undertaken.  It was further explained that adverse performance against some performance indicators might have financial implications for the Council.  Whilst it was expected that targets would be delivered within existing resources, officers regularly review the level and prioritisation of resources required to achieve the targets agreed by Cabinet at the start of the year. 


There were two Performance Indicators that had been requested to be monitored by the Sub-Committee for 2017/18.  These indicators were:


·         The level of waste per head of population presented to East London Waste Authority (ELWA); and

·         Average number of days taken to investigate and remove fly-tips.


The outturn for ‘The level of waste per head of population presented to East London Waste Authority’ was available annually and would be reported at the end of the financial year.  The indicators for the average number of days taken to remove fly tips were comparable with other boroughs.


In response to concern raised regarding the ‘Red’ rag rating for the average number of days taken to remove fly-tips and questioning what action would be taken, it was explained that the performance had improved compared to the same period the previous year.  Street cleansing had been brought back in-house and there was a focus on improving the reporting of issues.  Although Red rag rated, officers were confident that the data presented was accurate.


During discussion, it was noted that in the lead up to the Christmas period that information had been delivered to residents on appropriate recycling.  There was a need for residents to be educated on contamination of recyclable items.  Officers agreed to pursue working with supermarkets to reduce non-recyclable plastics.  There was also the Love Food, Hate Waste campaign which aimed to reduce waste generally.  The main point identified was the need to educate residents on the ways to reduce waste and to encourage residents to recycle.  Various activities were taking place to encourage continued waste prevention and reuse, which included:  Love Food Hate Waste, Food Waste Challenge, Composting Workshop, Highways and Ground Maintenance Waste Review and working with the ELWA to target potential commercial waste entering the domestic waste stream at the household reuse and recycling centres.


The Sub-Committee noted the contents of the report and presentation.



Additional documents:


The Sub-Committee received a presentation on current operational service issues within their remit.  During the presentation, it was explained that there were strict legislation and governance surrounding civil parking enforcement.


During discussion, concern was expressed that there were instances of unreasonableness when issuing penalty charge notices and it was explained that individuals had the right of appeal. 


Havering was the sixth lowest issuing authority within London in 2016/17, and despite an increase in the number of enforcement officers over the past few years, the borough continued to be lower in comparison with others.  This may be due to not having enough officers on patrol, however the avoidance of saturation of the borough with enforcement officers was a consideration. 


During discussion of Moving Traffic Contraventions (MTCs), it was explained that with the exception of bus lane cameras, cameras were deployable based on evidence of non-compliance at a site.  Transport for London had reported that since the introduction of bus lane cameras in the borough, there had been a reduction in journey times and an increase in bus reliability. 


The main reasons for issuance of a penalty charge notice were parking on a single yellow line; parking on a footway when prohibited to do so; parking in a residents bay without a valid permit; parking in a loading place; and parking on a double yellow line/loading restriction.  The Sub-Committee requested that a comparison of these reasons be provided.  Members raised concern regarding overweight vehicles parking in residential areas around the borough.  This had been managed by the London scheme, and although the Council had since opted out of the scheme, this could be reviewed.


A member raised concern regarding the parking in marked bays by enforcement cars, as it was considered to be detrimental to residents.  Enforcement officers were advised to park in a safe place and where possible, to park in an unrestricted place. 


Further concern was expressed that penalty charge notices were being received by individuals when parking machines were out of order.  If a parking machine was non-operational, this would be alerted to the backup facility and officers informed of the time the machine is out of order so that penalty charge notices are not enforced during this time and when the issue had been rectified.   In-house operations have the capability to resolve minor issues with the parking machines, however external support from the supplier is sought to fix other issues as soon as possible.  It was noted that the Council were not enforcing the Pay by Phone facility.  


The Sub-Committee reviewed, and noted the information presented.



Additional documents:


The Sub-Committee received a presentation on the Houses in Multiple Occupation Additional Licensing Scheme. 


The presentation detailed the consultation process which commenced in May 2017. Following consultation and subsequent Cabinet approval, a designation was made on the 11 October 2017 for an Additional Houses in Multiple Occupation Scheme, covering twelve wards.  The scheme could not go live until at least ninety days had passed from the decision date, therefore no licences would be issued before the 10 January 2018, although applications could be made prior to this date.  Enforcement would start from 1 March 2018 and the scheme would be reviewed regularly.  An explanation as to what properties would be covered by the scheme was provided as outlined in the appendix to the report.


The scheme had been publicised widely, with public notices having been published fortnightly in local press; public notices had been displayed in all borough libraries and main Council Office buildings; direct mailings sent to external organisations; and there was a proposal for extensive publicity and post campaign commencing January 2018.


To ensure the effectiveness of the scheme, robust enforcement against those that try to avoid licensing was paramount.  The introduction of the scheme would create a financial deterrent for criminal landlords and would increase the number of licence applications and subsequently generate income for the Council.  Once licensed, the Council would be in a position whereby it could monitor properties to ensure compliance with licence conditions and could prosecute or issue civil penalty notices for breach of conditions.


Members noted the contents of the presentation and thanked officers for their time.



Additional documents:


The Sub-Committee received an update of the January 2017 Fly Tipping in Havering presentation.  It was explained that the Enforcement Group comprise of the Parks Protection Team, Neighbourhood Wardens; Anti-social Behaviour Officers, the CCTV control room and Street Scene Enforcements.  Members requested that a visit be arranged to view the Control Room.


In 2016-17, the borough recorded 4,061 actual fly-tips, ranging from a black sack to a lorry load of rubble.  During the same period, the StreetScene Enforcement Team carried out 11,748 enforcement actions.  Over the winter months of 2016-17, the StreetScene Enforcement Team undertook a cover surveillance operation in Little Gerpins Lane to target heavy commercial fly-tippers, of which four individuals were caught and were being prosecuted.  The Environment Service Highways Teams proposal to close Sunnings Lane and Little Gerpins Lane had been approved by the Highways Advisory Committee.


The StreetScene Enforcement Team were investigating new powers to seize vehicles from unlicensed waste carriers; were tackling businesses that do not hold waste transfer notes and were working with external agencies to tackle the challenges from traveller families and organised criminals. 


Members noted the contents of the presentation and took the opportunity to thank officers for their time.



Additional documents:


The Sub-Committee received a presentation on trees and foliage overhanging the highway.


The most frequent complaints received about public trees were surrounding epicormics growth, footway and property damage and fruit fall.  Where works were carried out in default, the Council recovers expenses through the County Court. Although the law requires the Council to advise recipients of the potential consequences of non-compliant, the Council’s approach was to engage, educate, encourage and enforce. 


Members noted the contents of the presentation and thanked officers for their time.