Agenda and draft minutes

Strategic Planning & Environment Overview & Scrutiny - Wednesday, 7th July, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, The Forum. View directions

Contact: Corporate and Democratic Support  01442 228209

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes

To agree the minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

The minutes from the meeting of previous meeting were agreed by the members present to be signed by the Chairman.  There were no matters arising.

 

2.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors McDowell, with Cllr Tindall attending as a substitute and Cllr England with Cllr Freedman substituting. 

Cllr Wilkie and Cllr Hearn also submitted apologies.

Cllr Wyatt Lowe left the meeting at 8.05pm. 

 

3.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

4.

Public Participation

Minutes:

There was no Public Participation

 

5.

Consideration of any matter referred to the Committee in relation to Call-In

Minutes:

None

6.

Annual Planning Enforcement Report pdf icon PDF 647 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair advised that he would be changing the running order of the evening to consider Item 7 first in deference to external attendees.

The Chair returned to this item when Item 7 had concluded and referred to the very well written report included with the agenda and asked Members to address any questions they may have to PStanley.

PStanley briefly introduced the report, advising it sets out to achieve a position where Officers have a manageable case load by focusing on historic cases in manageable chunks and new cases based on the potential harm they may cause.

Cllr Birnie referred to Pg. 17, Para 56, specifically reference to the case load of 600 live cases which are unresolved.  In Para 4 on Pg. 1 Cllr Birnie observed that figures show the number of cases resolved in 2014-2020, suggesting that based on these figures there would be 297 unresolved cases. Therefore he was unsure where the 600 figure came from.

PStanley responded that there would have been cases left over from previous years prior to 2014, therefore the cumulative and accurate total is 600. 

Cllr Birnie referred to Pg. 12, Para 28 where it details a table of how cases are dealt with.  He asked the Officer to explain how you can have minus numbers in that table.

PStanley advised that in this situation, minus numbers are a good thing using the example that in February there were 21 fewer live cases at the end of the month versus the beginning of the month, stating that we would hope to have a minus figure at the end of each month throughout the financial year as it is a subtraction of cases left live.  If a figure is red it demonstrates that we have more cases left at end of month, if it is a green figure it represents fewer live cases.

Cllr Harden thanked  the Officer for a good and easy to follow report, going on to suggest there is an element of education required in understanding the perception of a member of the public.  Cllr Harden noted from the report a change in how members of the public are to contact the service, allowing some control in how to manage a case load and how it comes in.  Cllr Harden asked whether technology was being used to best advantage, especially in reducing the workload.

PStanley responded by confirming that education is a priority, explaining that it has been set as one of their priorities for this year.  The Officer set out that in terms of a quick resolution point; most of the complaint emails received are where someone has failed to receive a response to an earlier notification of a perceived breach. This generally happens within a 3 month period, so if we can resolve cases more quickly, we will reduce the amount of such emails. 

In terms of technology, PStanley advised that there has been investment in the system, including introducing a range of ways in which an  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Where does Dacorum's waste go

A presentation from Duncan Jones from the Hertfordshire’s Waste Partnership

Minutes:

This item was considered ahead of Item 6 due to external attendees.

LKenyon from Keep Britain Tidy attended, introducing Keep Britain Tidy as an environmental charity which is very well known for litter work but which actually has 3 main aims; to eradicate litter & reduce waste, to improve the quality of public space and to help people live more sustainably.

LKenyon stated that her area of interest is research & innovation, specialising in behavioural research to look at why people behave the way they do, for example produce too much litter, produce too much waste, fly tip.  She is interested in evidence led approaches, using those insights to make more effective interventions to get to the core triggers and barriers to behaviours.

LKenyon talked the committee through the slides as presented on screen (these will be made available following the meeting).

 

Household Fly Tipping

KBT launched a national action plan in 2016; identifing ‘fly tipping’ as a catch all term.  Research from 2016-2018 was focused particularly on household fly tipping and not criminal fly tipping.  The presentation set out a number of reports.  The 2017 report was carried out in Hertfordshire, including spending time with crews.

The report sets out why insight matters and how the public understand fly tipping, which individuals may be doing without realising their behaviour is fly tipping. 

The presentation also addressed the public expectation that fly-tips will be collected quickly and without repercussion and why perpetrators might not realise the behaviour was incorrect as they do not get that feedback when an item is just removed.

There was information on intervention and the impact of fly tipping and resident perception where people perceive fly-tipping as low impact. Focus group participants were not aware of the social, environmental and financial impact this actually has.

The presentation highlighted building new narratives around the issue of domestic fly tipping and using neighbourhood level messaging to resonate with residents.  It also covered interventions carried out in pilot areas and residents’ perception of those interventions.

Research has found that some Council policies are unintentionally driving fly tipping, such as time banded waste collections and street sweeping where litter left on the street for some time attracts illegitimate fly tipping to those spots.  There were considerations on what can be done to respond to this.

Littering

LKenyon explained that the presentation sets out what we know about littering behaviour, which is heavily influenced by lots of things, including location/context and the item being disposed of.  As with fly tipping, some behaviours are viewed as more acceptable than others.  It included information about addressing perceived acceptability such as how to engage businesses in anti-littering campaigns at the point where items are purchased or advising members of the public in how to manage their rubbish after a day out. 

The slides included various graphics and statistics around perceptions and outcomes of pilots to address these behaviours and what positive drivers can be taken forward into campaigns and interventions to address littering concerns.

LKenyon summed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Work Programme

Minutes:

There were no items for discussion