Venue: VIRTUAL MEETING
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The Sub-Committee noted the protocol on the operation of meetings during the Covid 19 pandemic restrictions.
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 1 December 2020 and authorise the Chairman to sign them.
The minutes of the meeting held on 1 December 2020 were agreed as a correct record and would be signed by the Chairman at a later date.
The Sub-Committee to agree the scope of the Climate Change Topic Group.
The Sub-Committee considered a report that detailed the scope of the Climate Change Topic Group.
The report was further to a recent decision to establish a Climate Change topic group. The scope of the topic group was required under the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules to be presented to the Sub-Committee for approval.
The Sub-Committee approved the following scope for the Topic Group:
· To recommend what should the Council Policy be on Carbon Emissions in light of tackling change.
· That in view of other Councils having declared a Climate Emergency, to consider what action, if any, Havering should take in light of this trend.
· To consider if the Cabinet should have a lead portfolio holder for climate change or if should it be added to an existing portfolio or be part of every Cabinet Member role.
· To recommend what Council policies may need to be reviewed and refreshed.
· To investigate whether the themes of the overall Sustainability and Efficiency Policy correct or in anything should be added and to consider if the proposed actions under each theme are robust and measureable.
· To consider how the Council can develop a narrative with the community on the actions being taken by Havering Council to tackle climate change.
· To review any other related issues that may emerge as a result of the topic group’s scrutiny.
Report and presentation attached.
The Sub-Committee received the quarter three performance indicators (PIs) update. The PIs are the standards by which performance of services are measured within the Council.
Five Performance Indicators had previously been selected to be monitored by the Sub-Committee. A Red-Amber-Green (RAG) rating was only available for one indicator (Response rate for PCN Challenges and Representations) which was rated Green.
It was noted that the air quality data showed a dramatic decrease in Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) levels across the borough with significant drops in areas of concern, normally with readings markedly above the annual objective 40ug/m3).
It was explained that service delivery and performance was still being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members were informed that the house in multiple occupation (HMO) license application issued during quarter 3 remained low as the majority of compliant landlords have already contacted the Council. It was stated that due to Covid, the number of enforcement operations had been significantly reduced which was reflected in the performance the quarter.
It was explained that the total Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) issued in a month dropped significantly due to Covid Tiers restricting motorists to essential travel and the provision of free parking in Council car parks December 2020.
The Sub-Committee noted that due to lower issuance of PCNs, staff were able to respond to challenges and representations quicker which had resulted in improved responses and more individuals paying.
The report provided the following highlights areas of strong performance and potential areas for improvement:
During Quarter 3, there had been progress in the Air Quality Action Plan in a number of areas, including:
• The Council was exploring opportunities on spending on air quality monitoring as a permanent monitoring station would be too expensive to maintain given the amount of S106 funding available. Officer stated that further clarity was expected.
• The “Theatre in Education” programme took place in schools in November via online and virtual sessions with 20 schools participating.
• In late October, surveys were sent out to schools to monitor the modal shifts in transport. Results are expected soon.
• The Local Plan and the Supplementary Planning Guidance document on air quality would be issued during the last quarter. It was explained that the guidance document would deal with air quality neutrality, green spaces and combined heat and power.
• Members noted that a decision about the Town Hall electric vehicle charging point scheme was due soon. External funding was to be provided by OZEV (Office for Zero Emission Vehicles) starting from next financial year.
• In October 2020, the School Streets were introduced in four schools in three locations: Squirrels Heath Infant & Junior School, Branfil Primary School, Hylands Primary School. There are no current plans for expanding the scheme, although a significant amount of schools have expressed an interests in participating should external funding become available.
In response to the three school street scheme CCTV initiative, officers explained that there were still plans to implement the project in the new financial year.
At the request of Members, the Head of Highways, Traffic & Parking presented the Parking Tariffs 2020 to the sub-committee.
It was explained that during the financial year April 2020 to March 2021, the council had experienced changes to parking due to the Covid pandemic.
It was stated that parking enforcement, fees and charges were suspended between April 2020 and September 2020.
The Sub-Committee was informed that in August 2020, fees and charges were reintroduced with pragmatic Covid 19 measures to support the local community and enforcement was reintroduced in September 2020.
Officer stated that enforcement of traffic contravention, obstructive and dangerous parking continued during the pandemic between April and September 2020.
It was explained that before the reintroduction of parking fees and enforcement the Council made the following changes due to the Covid pandemic:
• An Havering Hero Permit – this was for key workers such as carers and NHS staff and supports vulnerable residents to receive services at home
• One hour free parking on street
• A 20% discount in council car parks
• A better cashless parking service with Ringo
A member requested that the service consider the type of cashless parking machines that a installed during the replacement programme. It was suggested that a higher specification machine that was solar powered be considered.
A Member was of the view that the Ringo parking machines be adapted to support one hour free parking given the high proportion of elderly residents making trips across the borough. In response to pay and display, members were informed that there were no plans to phase out the pay and display system of payment.
The Sub-Committee noted the presentation.
The Sub-Committee received a report that outlined the current and future potential waste and recycling provision in Havering.
The presentation delivered by the Waste & External Contracts Manager and Group Manager Public Realm, Environment covered the following areas:
· Havering’s current position, including Covid-19 impacts on recycling and waste generation.
· The addition of more materials to the recycling stream and other methods of material capture for recycling.
· Upcoming legislation that may impact on waste collection in Havering.
· Future service planning.
The Sub-Committee was informed that the service and East London Waste Authority responded to the draft Environment Bill published to include measures laid out in the Resources and Waste Strategy 2019. A further consultation was due in the spring with the following likely changes:
· Mandated separate weekly food waste collections by 2023
· Consistent set of materials for recycling
· Producer pay / compliance schemes / possible funding of collections
· Deposit return schemes introduced
· Introduction of a plastic tax
· Free garden waste collections being considered
It was explained that Havering was leading the way in the ELWA Waste Prevention Planning. The officer stated that more engagement were planned between Boroughs to consider ways to maximise reuse in the region, as well as focus on waste prevention activities.
In response to a question on the plan by ELWA to add more materials to kerbside collection including glass, it was stated that ELWA would need to review the current bags and its safe collection.
The Sub-Committee noted the presentation.