To agree the minutes of the previous
The minutes of the Strategic
Planning and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting
held on 20 March 2018 were confirmed by the members present and
signed by the Chairman.
Apologies for Absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from
Councillor C Wyatt-Lowe and Councillor Harden.
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of interest.
There were no declarations of
There was no public
Consideration of any matter referred to the Committee in relation to Call-In
Budget Monitoring Q4 PDF 128 KB
Jump introduced the report to members and ran through the
The provisional outturn for 2017/18 is subject to the external
audit process and the report has been to Cabinet, Audit and the
other overview and scrutiny committees.
In relation to capital programme, there is a slippage of £1.2
million and an underspend of £111k.
Under employees, there is a £36k overspend with a pressure of
£150k in Building Control due to resource issues but this is
offset by savings of £120k in Clean, Safe and Green were
performance has been maintained despite recruitment issues.
There is an overachievement of income of £264k due to an
increase in planning applications submitted and the increase in the
set national fees has produced an overachievement of £240k.
An additional income of £190k has come from an incentive
payment from the Alternative Financial Model. There has been a
reduction in income of £125k in commercial waste because of
an on-going loss of customers.
F Jump referred to section 6 of the report and explained that
slippage is expenditure that was expected in 2017/18 but will be
spent in 2018/19. Variance is expenditure occurred that is more or
less than what was planned for.
Councillor Bateman asked F Jump to provide more information and
background to the commercial waste problems.
D Austin said the department has carried out some analysis on this
topic. Most of the lost customers are businesses that have
relocated or have stopped operating. Larger waste management
companies have been able to undercut the council but the department
is actively looking to resolve the issue.
Councillor Timmis asked why there is so much effort put into
residential recycling but it is not the same for businesses. For
example, there is no food waste recycling for bars and
D Austin said it was a fair comment and it has been looked at and a
previous scheme provided a limited paper and cardboard collection.
There needs to be a strategy and it needs to be properly costed and
funded. The issue is that the income from recycling is
Councillor Timmis asked if the decision by China to no longer
accept recycling from Europe has affected the market.
D Austin said that China was a large market particularly for
plastic recycling. The ban started on 1st January 2018
but it has had a bigger impact on mixed paper recycling. The paper
collected in Dacorum is exported to India. It used to be £80
a tonne but this has now dropped to £10.
Councillor Timmis said that as we become more aware of the dangers
of plastic, paper is becoming a popular solution.
Councillor Ransley asked about the recycling cost of
D Austin said it had been poor for some time but it is important to
look at it in relation to the disposal costs. Current landfill cost
is £100 per tonne. It is still economically beneficial to
Councillor Hicks asked why glass can’t be recycled from
view the full minutes text for item 60.
Environmental Services Q4 Performance Report PDF 99 KB
Austin introduced the report to members and ran through the
The waste service has been busy, with garden collections restarting
for the summer months and also having to work around the industrial
action. He highlighted an error in the report which should be
corrected to highlight that a member of staff had achieved with
seven years services without any sick days.
The environmental awareness team have done some good work with the
Great British Spring Clean and have lead on a project with the
Hertfordshire Waste Partnership which have carried out a high
profile fly tipping campaign.
In Clean, Safe and Green, their hard work in the Water Gardens as
lead to a nomination for being awarded a Green Flag.
The performance indicators in the report are good, there is one red
indicator under garden waste but this is because the denominator
needs to be profiled.
An update on flats recycling – a food waste trial will begin
in July to collect food waste from 1,600 properties in three parts
of the borough: Berkhamsted, Grovehill and Leverstock Green. The
comingled recycling will start in September on a phased basis.
There are 663 blocks of flats in the borough that have no access to
Councillor Bateman asked if the member of staff with seven
years’ service had been recognised in any way. Recognition
might give other staff something to aspire too.
D Austin said he received a certificate from the Chief
Councillor Timmis congratulated officers on some of their work.
She was concerned about fly tipping which she believed had
increased in her ward. One resident drove down one of the lanes and
counted 25 instances of fly tipping. She had attended the Herts
Show and approached Herts County Council who had a stand and asked
about enforcement of fly tipping. It is extremely difficult to
prove who has committed the offence; CCTV cameras are not suitable
in a rural location. It is becoming a huge problem and there needs
to be a solution to make a difference.
Councillor Timmis expressed her concerned about sickness levels
which she thought looked quite high. Finally, she asked about grass
cutting and whether the team could cut around the edges to
highlight the site lines but leave the wild flowers to grow.
D Austin said he would be happy to work with Councillor Timmis and
E Walker to come up with some solutions about how to try and solve
fly tipping. There has been a publicity leaflet delivered to all
homes in the borough with the Council Tax bill so people are aware
of their responsibility. He said he would be happy to arrange a
site visit with Councillor Timmis to go and have a look at the
In relation to sickness, it was high in January but overall there
are not any major trends appearing. Considering these are front
line staff, the sickness levels are the best the department has
seen in 12-18 months.
S Coultas said that ...
view the full minutes text for item 61.
Environmental and Community Protection Q4 Performance Report PDF 102 KB
Walker introduced the report and ran through the highlights. She
said that Q4 was concentrated on the restructuring of the new
department which includes the following teams: Environmental
Health, Operations and Public Health, Corporate Health, Safety and
Resilience and Anti-Social Behaviour and Environmental
The high risk food inspection rate was 91.4% for Q4 and across the
year, it has hit 98.3% which is above target.
The department’s trainee officers are doing well and achieved
top grades in their first year of study.
There has been a successful prosecution for fly tipping, the
offender was made to pay £1,197 in fines.
The Operations and Public Health team have introduced a Term of
Permission for animals, which will limit residents number of dogs
per plot and try and reduce the number of strays.
Councillor Riddick referred to the interviews for a team leader in
the report and asked if they were successful.
E Walker confirmed they were successful and the new team leader
will be starting in August.
Councillor Birnie asked why there was nothing about air quality
in the report.
E Walker said they were having staffing issues and have recruited a
temporary officer for three days a week.
Councillor Birnie asked if any new initiatives were going to be
E Walker said they are tied to the plan which is controlled by
Herts Highways. The council are due to review the Air Quality
Action Plan this year but the staffing issues need to be solved
Councillor Hicks asked if the readings from the air quality
stations were automatic.
E Walker said one station was automatic but the others have to
manually be collected and sent off for analysis every
That the Strategic Planning and Environment Overview and
Scrutiny Committee approve the report.
Planning, Development and Regeneration Q4 Performance Report
Deferred to next meeting.
Street nameplates PDF 69 KB
S Coultas gave a presentation to members on the
street nameplate policy:
There is a policy that gives streets with no plate
present, plates that are not legible or are damaged priority to be
fixed. There is currently no waiting list as the backlog has been
cleared so this policy is currently not in use.
After proof reading the plates, it takes 3-4 weeks
to be manufactured and installed.
The department carries out three surveys every
financial year and approximately, 150 new street nameplates are
One plate costs £150 which includes the
survey, proof reading, manufacture and installation. This price is
only given when a batch of 50 are bought together.
All the street nameplates are made from recycled
Councillors Hicks asked what the life expectancy of these signs
S Coultas said approximately 15-20 years. The only plates the
department are having to replace are those that have been
vandalised or damaged in a car accident.
Councillor Timmis said some of the nameplates in her ward were
weather damaged and had mould growing. Also, she asked if
apostrophes are used.
S Coultas said yes they are used if they are in the original street
Councillor Timmis asked if they were cleaned.
S Coultas said they were. Cleaning street nameplates was part of
the winter rota.
Councillor Anderson asked about the policy on the colour of the
street nameplates. The council’s planning policy states that,
because of its historical past, the nameplates in Kings Langley
should be royal blue with white writing.
S Coultas said he was unaware of this policy but would be happy to
change the colour for Kings Langley. There is no difference in
That the Strategic Planning and Environment Overview and
Scrutiny Committee approve the report
Parking Standards PDF 67 KB
Doe introduced the item and his colleagues Rebecca Williams
(Assistant Team Leader, Strategic Planning and Regeneration),
Trevor Saunders (Interim Team Leader – Strategic Planning)
and Jenny Baker (Markides Associates) to the committee. J Doe
explained that the technical report being discussed is an important
part of the evidential base to set a revised policy in future for
car parking standards. He referred to paragraph 32-40 of the report
which highlighted the next steps and the proposal to develop a new
supplementary planning document in respect of car parking, taking
account of the conclusions of the Markides technical evidence and
Baker from Markides Associates gave a presentation and confirmed
that the technical report should be viewed as a starting point to
develop a policy. Key points to note included:
Average car ownership per ward is based on the 2011
Recommendations for potential car parking standards
set out in the technical report suggested that any standards should
be a broad requirement rather than a maximum standard.
The report recommended two
‘accessibility’ zones in future where parking
requirement could be lowered. These were based on walking distances
from central Hemel (800m and 1600m) and central Berkhamsted
Outside of the ‘accessibility zones’ a
degree of flexibility could be warranted but the applicant must prove the case that they cannot
provide those spaces or there is no parking stress in surrounding
roads through a Parking Stress Survey.
Garages should not count as a car parking space
unless they are big enough to park a car in and open the doors to
get in and out.
Evidence suggests that lower standards could be
applied to affordable and sheltered housing developments where car
ownership is evidenced to be less.
Councillor Ransley referred to the idea of Parking Stress
surveys. She asked if there was a set standard for these surveys
that developers must follow. She noted that many roads have parking
both sides which would not fit an emergency vehicle down.
J Baker said there is a standard method for surveying parking
stress. Parking Stress is generally measured 200m walking distance
from the development proposed and at times of the day which are
relevant. For example, if it is a residential development then a
survey should be carried out between 12 midnight – 5am and
then again at 10am.
Councillor Timmis said she was concerned about restricting
parking in central Berkhamsted and the potential for reduced car
parking to serve any new development in the central area adding to
existing pressures in trying to find a parking space to visit local
shops and businesses. Also, Councillor Timmis also queried whether
applying lower car parking standards for affordable housing was
appropriate if those homes were not well served by a bus route and
further queried whether allowance standard of 1.5 spaces for a
two-bed house was appropriate, given the possibility of some of
those household owning two cars.
J Doe clarified that any car parking standards applied to new
developments only and ... view
the full minutes text for item 65.
Work programme PDF 113 KB
The committee agreed the work programme for the 2018/19 year.
Councillor Anderson asked members to submit any suggestions for the
work programme to himself or K Mogan. The Planning, Development and
Regeneration Q4 Performance report had been deferred to the July