Agenda item


To receive announcements and business brought forward by the Mayor, Leader, and Members of the Cabinet or the Chief Executive.


4.1       By the Mayor:


4.2       By the Chief Executive:


4.3       By the Group Leaders:  Any apologies for absence


4.4       Council Leader and Members of the Cabinet:


Councillor Williams            Leader of the Council

Councillor Elliot                  Finance & Resources

Councillor Mrs Griffiths     Housing

Councillor D Collins           Corporate & Contracted Services

Councillor Harden             Community & Regulatory Services

Councillor G Sutton           Planning and Infrastructure

Councillor Marshall            Environmental Services



1.      By the Mayor:


There were no announcements from the Mayor.


2.      By the Chief Executive:


There were no announcements from the Chief Executive.


3.      By the Group Leaders:


Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Clark, Conway, Fethney, Mclean, Ransley, Taylor and Whitman and apologies for the late arrival of Councillor Imarni.


4.    By the  Leader and Members of the Cabinet:


(Full details are in the minutes under Announcements of the Leader and Cabinet).



4.1       By the Mayor:


4.2       By the Chief Executive:




4.3       By the Group Leaders:

Cllr Williams confirmed that apologies had been received from Councillors Clark, Conway, Mclean, Taylor and Whitman and apologies for the late arrival of Councillor Imarni.


Cllr Tindall advised that apologies had been received from Councillor Ransley.


Cllr Fisher offered apologies for Councillor Fethney



4.4       Council Leader and Members of the Cabinet:


Councillor Williams, Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Community Leadership


Cllr Williams confirmed there was nothing to report on this item of the agenda but was happy to take questions.


Cllr Pringle mentioned that Cllr Williams at the last meeting commented that Dacorum Borough Council didn’t need to make any plans for the possibility of a chaotic no deal Brexit, because we are not Kent.  Cllr Pringle said that Cabinet has arranged to discuss this on the 19th of March, just 10 days before we could crash out without any deal, and asked Cllr Williams if this was too little too late and can he explain the preparations that will be put in place to advise and support local businesses affected by this and also our EU27 residents who are tenants or Dacorum Borough Council employees and our neighbours. 


Cllr Williams said that at the last meeting he advised it was very difficult for us to make arrangements for circumstance which we can’t possibly forsee, and unlike some of Kent areas and port areas where there may be particular difficulties, where you may be expected to make explicit arrangements.  Subsequent to that the Government has announced funding for each district Council in the UK of £35k over two years, to support Brexit preparations and therefore it seemed appropriate for Cabinet to put this onto the next agenda to look at the issues that may be relevant to the Council in relation to Brexit. 


Cllr Williams said that in regards to the workforce a study was undertaken and there were very few EU nationals working within the organisation, but clearly there is no statutory requirement for them to declare their nationality, so that information is based on those who were willing to respond. 


Cllr Williams advised that given the status of the UK Governments standing for EU nationals, that he didn’t believe any EU national living in the UK has anything to fear from Brexit and will retain the right to reside here.


Cllr England asked if Council agreed that the £60k per year – 5 year contract since the market moved away from Market Square was done to facilitate improvements but has not come to fruition.  Cllr England thinks it was unfortunate that the tender process produced only two bidders and one fell away leaving the incumbent free to name his price, resulting in a £40k pressure to the budget.  


Cllr Williams queried what he was being asked to agree.


Cllr England said that he is asking for agreement that it was unfortunate.


Cllr Williams confirmed that any loss of income is unfortunate but it is a reflection of two things, particularly the challenge for market operators to successfully operate markets given the competition from poundshops and other similar outlets which have undermined the traditional market place.  There was only one tenderer the last time the contract was let five years ago and similarly we only have one tenderer now.  We know without going into the financial arrangements with the operator in the past, that running a market is financially challenging and we have to accept if we want a market that’s appropriate there will be a smaller fee and we can work with the operator to improve the quality on offer.  Having a good market in the town centre is more important than maximising the accounts of the authority.


Cllr England asked what the plans were for Market Square.


Cllr Williams replied that there are no specific plans for Market Square.  There were arrangements in plan for a number of sites in the Town Centre including this and the site next door, those arrangement have now concluded and Market Square is back wholly under the control of this Council.  At the moment we are looking at options but we are not pursuing any particular option at this stage.


Councillor Elliot, Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources


The Portfolio Holder presented his update as follows:


Revenues, Benefits and Fraud


For the second year in a row the revenue and benefits service have achieved exceptional internal audit assessments. The revenues service in relation to business rates collection and the benefits service in relation to housing benefit processes, have received the highest level of assurance from internal audit.


This is very good news and demonstrates both that there are appropriate controls in place, and the hard work put in by the teams to ensure that the collection of council tax and business rates, and the payment of housing benefit and council tax support are carried out effectively.


The Audit committee were extremely impressed with the outcome of the internal audits for the revenues and benefits services, especially given that this service is responsible for collecting in excess of £200m per year.


The teams have started in earnest to prepare to issue next year’s council tax bills, to ensure that the council can proceed with billing of the new financial year in a very timely fashion, following the approval by Council tonight of the budget.


Financial Services


Budget and Council Tax setting for 2019/20 was the central focus for Financial Services during January. The draft budget proposals and council tax requirement for 2019/20 were presented for a second round of challenge by all Overview and Scrutiny Committees and these were subsequently agreed by Cabinet on the 12th February.  The Council Tax declaration for 2019/20 is to be presented at this Full Council meeting for ratification and this includes all the major preceptors such as Hertfordshire county council and Dacorum Parish councils.


The service saw new post holders take up their roles during January following a successful round of recruitment to posts across the team. The service is now fully staffed with permanent employees and is well placed as it heads towards the end of the financial year and the creation of the financial statements of accounts.


Commercial Assets and Property Development


Ex Civic Centre

Work continues with UKPN and Affinity Water on timeframes to begin Phase 2 which will involve the diversion and relocation of utilities followed by demolition of the remaining building structures.


In January, trenching and ducting works for the relocation of 2 UKPN substations continued and will be followed by the construction of the new substation housing in Dacorum Way.  In addition, we are liaising with Bellway Homes, who bought part of the West Herts college site for development at the western end of Dacorum Way, to resolve positioning of their site entrance so as not to impact on the proposed location of the new substation.


The utility infrastructure referred to supplies large areas of Hemel Hempstead and has to be treated appropriately. As part of this process the Environment Agency are monitoring the site closely to ensure that approved development plans and future development of these sites do not have an adverse environmental impact.


Whilst it is too early to confirm the precise date that the relocation work will be complete, it is likely to be within the next 6-9 months. This has no impact on the cost to the Council, nor will it delay the development of the site as the relocation process will run concurrently with the design and feasibility work of the proposed development, currently underway. Development plans for the old civic centre are expected to be submitted and approved in this calendar year.


Garage Disposals

The sales of underutilised garages to release a capital receipts for future developments are continuing with one garage site under offer at £300k to a private developer and legal work between respective solicitors is being finalised.


The next phase of the Garage Disposal Strategy has commenced and 18 sites have been reviewed by Housing Associations to assess viability of the sites for purchase. Once a garage disposal timetable is finalised members will be informed of the schedule of sales.


Bunkers Park

We have received construction partner tender submissions bids for the creation of a new cemetery at Bunkers park which once completed will meet the requirements of the Borough for the next 50 years, and more specifically will replace the Woodwells cemetery in 2020, once it reaches capacity.


Together with our appointed Cemetery development consultant, we will be interviewing the bidders in February and will be awarding the contract in March 2019.


The Portfolio Holder invited questions.




Cllr Birnie mentioned that our council tax is 34% less than our neighbouring council Watford, which is run by Lib Dem, and would you agree with me that as long as we have a Conservative Council setting the budget that our residents are always likely to be better off. 


Cllr Elliot confirmed that yes it probably demonstrates the prudent approach to the financing of the Council, improving the Borough, protecting front line services without being prolific with our residents money and giving value for money.


Cllr Anderson asked what stage local Ward Members will be advised on what’s happening on garage sites.


Cllr Elliot advised that the sites are actively being considered and once they are identified Ward Members will be informed, but there is no timetable yet that would enable us to speak to individual Ward Members.  Once they are decided we will consult.


Councillor Griffiths, Portfolio Holder for Housing


The Portfolio Holder presented her update as follows;


Tenant & Leaseholder Services




The appointment of a dedicated UC officer has meant that we are building a body of expertise and  also been able to start to build a network of contacts to smooth communication with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and JobCentre Plus (JCP) and to share best practice with other Local Authorities and Social Landlords.  Due to this appointment and to the hard work of the rest of the team our arrears performance is holding up well.


We are continuing to chase other forms of debt due to the Housing Service, in particular, rechargeable works debts, and our Empty Homes Team are identifying increasing numbers of repairs and clearances to be charged to the tenants rather than being borne by the HRA.  We hope that this will result in more tenants taking greater responsibility for leaving the property to our Empty Homes Standard – we are already seeing some evidence for this and people are certainly becoming more aware of their responsibilities.


Tenancy sustainment


The TS Team are currently supporting 257 households, this is made up of 101 vulnerable tenants in General Needs Accommodation, 107 in Temporary Accommodation, 46 in Introductory Tenancies who have been previously Homeless and 6 Refugee households who have been resettled as part of the governments Syrian Refugee Resettlement Program.  We are about to start using a new Case Management System and training is now underway.  Officers are working really hard to cover for a vacant post and an officer off on long term sick, we currently have a waiting list of 9 assessed cases


Supported Housing


The supported housing, tenancy sustainment and welfare teams are currently working on the implementation of the new housing support system. The new system will allow us to support individuals to achieve outcomes, to monitor progress and to use data to proactively respond to service demands. The implementation has been challenging due to the short timescales for completion but the teams have worked hard to ensure that it is being delivered on time.  


We have experienced a challenging time with the provider of the council’s community alarm monitoring and response contract, where performance has dipped below the acceptable level. Work continues to ensure that the impact on customers is kept to a minimum.




We are in the process of filling a number of posts in the team and have new starters joining the council at the end of this month. Those currently in post are working extremely hard to ensure that the vacancies have little impact upon our tenants. The completion of Kylna Court has meant there have been a significant amount of new tenant visits required to ensure that tenants are settling into the properties.


Strategic Housing


Strategic Housing Service has several staffing pressures due to vacancies in key areas, recruitment is ongoing and agency staff are also being recruited


There are ongoing challenges in relation to allocation and letting of some of our homes, which take significantly longer than others to let and impact on performance.  A number of proposals are currently being considered.


The team have not yet seen an influx of HMO licence applications, which may be an early indication that after the 6 month initial period of regulation change we will need to increase or efforts to detect and potentially enforce against unlicensed landlords.


Housing Development


Kylna Court – Handed over and residents moving in.


Swing Gate Lane (Corn Mill Court) – Completion March 2019.


Martindale, Stationers Place, Northend and Westerdale all in the process of starting on site. Groundbreaking events held for Martindale and Stationers - Magenta Court.


Pipeline Schemes - St Margaret’s Way, Gaddesden Row, Coniston Road, Bulbourne and Eastwick Row – All commencing due diligence work, surveys and in some cases working up designs


Paradise Fields – Homes England have agreed to sell the site to us, unlikely to complete purchase this financial year


Resource – Campaign to secure a new Senior Project Manager was not successful, new plan coming through.


Property & Place


Our current re-roofing programme is drawing to a close this year and a full programme for 2019 / 20 has been identified and is being reviewed ready to commence early in the new financial year.


Our external wall insulation programme has identified 28 Homes that in the planning stages for works, with work on site set to start in the spring.


The Portfolio Holder invited questions.




Cllr England enquired about the activity on Council flat rentals where other authorities are housing some of their residents in the Dacorum area.


Cllr Griffiths advised she didn’t have any specific information but she was aware that Brent were buying properties in this area about  two or three years ago and this had been raised at Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  She said she was aware that other authorities were doing the same, Watford included.  There’s nothing we can do to stop it, effectively everybody is moving further out although she has no anticipation of us moving into Bedfordshire or Bucks but never say never.  Other authorities should inform us if they are putting anyone in our area, especially if they are of a vulnerable nature, but what they should do and what they necessarily do are two different things.


Councillor D Collins, Portfolio Holder for Corporate and Contracted Services


The Portfolio Holder presented his update as follows;



On the 13th February 2019 at St Albans Magistrates Council Mr Ased Ashfaq food business operator of Flamingo’s Grill, Gossoms End, Berkhamsted, was found guilty of 21 food hygiene offences.

The prosecution was taken by the Council due to a failure of the business to act on advice from Environmental Health Officers. The premises were voluntarily closed on the 30th January 2018 due to poor hygienic conditions and an infestation of rats. After improvements the business was permitted to re-open.

However following a revisit 22 February 2018 to ensure that conditions had been maintained, Officers found that conditions had deteriorated to the extent that the business needed to be formally closed as it presented a health risk condition. St Albans Magistrates agreed with the action taken by the Council Officers an imposed a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order.

Mr Ashfaq was found guilty of 21 food hygiene offences receiving a total fine of £15,750, with costs of £9,281.25 and victim surcharge of £ 75.00 the total amount payable to the Court was £25,106.

The Council secured a one year injunction against a man who was abusive towards a council employee and sets an example that the Council will not tolerate abuse towards its staff.

The Council achieved PSN Compliance (in January) for another year. The PSN compliance is where the Council submit our security framework to the Cabinet Office for approval and it means our technical and organisational security are in accordance with the required standards set by the Cabinet Office.


Berkhamsted Multi-Storey Car Park - Work continues with the utility providers (Electric/Gas/Water   to divert services before the substantial construction works commence.  The temporary car park on the Moor has been temporarily closed due to adverse weather conditions which have caused the site to become uneven and muddy.
The Council has consulted with contractors to agree the best solution to enable the car park to re-open as soon as possible. We are in discussion with providers to lay an additional surface using Euromats. They provide a temporary surface that protects soft ground and are weatherproof, water resistant and environmentally friendly. I have also arranged for more postings and other communications to keep the public and businesses up to date.

Tring school swimming pool works – Works are progressing well on site with a projected completion date of the end of March.  The Council is working with Tring School to agree an opening date for the new facility

Electoral Registration:

Preparations for the local elections in May are well underway. All staffing availability letters have been issued and around 80% of roles have been appointed to.

Leisure Contract


Customer feedback is positive with a 99.5 + approval rating, well within the KPI target.  Membership continues to grow with.  The membership attrition rate is now 4%, compared with a national industry average of 6%.  No major accidents have been reported.  Everyone Active has appointed an Area Maintenance Manager and is promoting community engagement. Hemel Storm is attracting more support and has expressed its satisfaction with the working relationship with EA.  EA has agreed sponsorship for Berkhamsted Half Marathon and plans are in progress for a Hemel Triathlon.  This contract remains on target to deliver for users and rate payers.


The Portfolio Holder invited questions.




Cllr Pringle queried the conditions of the temporary car park in Berkhamsted which she looked at today and it was a quagmire.  Cllr Pringle said that we have not had any adverse weather conditions for this time of the year that wouldn’t be normally expected, and asked if the Portfolio Holder could inform the Council of what compensation has been sought from the contractor, because the temporary car park was not built fit for purpose.


Cllr Collins did not want to argue about the weather but wanted to assure Council that we have had some substantial rain and snow.  Cllr Collins advised he was currently focussing on putting it right, because it is more important to get it back up and running.


Cllr Pringle did not feel these were unforeseeable weather conditions and asked if the Council had taken any action to assess the total loss of revenue that would have been expected from the use of the car park and also quantified the loss of the facility to the local residents who have no-where to park.  The residents do expect the Council to behave financially prudently with such an investment.


Cllr Collins clarified that the Council is always financially prudent and with regards to loss of revenue, yes there had been some loss, which can’t be denied, but equally a number of people who were against the temporary car park, said it wouldn’t be used.  There is regret for what has happened but there are measures being put into place that will enable us to re-open the car park, hopefully before the end of the month.


Cllr England mentioned that he had heard that many residents are writing to Everyone Active about large increases in their fees and people paying more for lessons than in other areas.  Cllr England asked how the Portfolio Holder felt about the Direct Debits rising by as much as 50% from £20.40 to £32.50 per month.


Cllr Collins confirmed that Dacorum Sports Trust had a variety of different prices throughout their organisation and didn’t seem to have any co-ordination or culpability on how their prices were set, which did result in some members paying less and some paying a lot more than they should have done.  The policy of Everyone Active has been to try and implement a pricing structure that is coordinated and it is benchmarked throughout the Country.  Cllr Collins advised that since EA took on the contract all new customers paid a fixed price £7.61 per lesson, which has now been increased by 2.5%.  There are also two different options for lessons, one a 51 week per year or term time 38 weeks per year, again they are the same throughout the week as they do in all their centres.  So they will be moving to 50 weeks per year.  Cllr Collins was aware that there are one or two cases that because of previous arrangements the price has gone up, but overall the price increase is 2.5%, which I think you’ll find is less than our council tax proposal.


Cllr England asked if the Portfolio Holder could be more specific about the one or two cases and also that Everyone Active Direct Debits will be going out on the 1st March.


Cllr Collins advised he was aware of some but that he can only be aware when he’s been informed, with regards to Direct Debits, I think that’s a financial matter for Everyone Active.


Cllr England said we are talking about a 12 months moratorium as part of the contract so it the Direct Debits are indeed going up in March that’s inappropriate.


Cllr Collins said he had been informed they are not going out in March and as far as he is aware the contract has been let.  No price increases have taken place for the first 12 months. 


Cllr Williams wanted to clarify that Direct Debits are increasing on 1st March because fees are taken a month in advance, so this will be for April lessons.


Cllr Tindall said that given the additional information provided by the Leader of the Council would the Portfolio Holder confirm what is the contractual clauses between us and Everyone Active which determines the increases they are allowed to put on individuals.  The 2.5% increase overall seems minimal however some individuals are getting a 50% increase which is substantial for some people on a tight budget.  Cllr Tindall would be happy to see information at this meeting on the contractual clauses which govern such increases. 


Cllr Collins will come back to Cllr Tindall with that information.

Action: Cllr Collins


Councillor Harden, Portfolio Holder for Community and Regulatory Services


The Portfolio Holder presented his update as follows:


Environmental & Community Protection


On 13th February at St Albans Magistrates Council Mr Ased Ashfaq food business operator of Flamingo’s Grill was found guilty of 21 food hygiene offences.


The Court took into account Mr Ashfaq’s guilty plea and discounted the penalty by a third. This still resulted in a fine of £15,750 (21 x £750), with over £9K costs awarded to the Council and victim surcharge the total amount payable was £25,201.25p.


The reason that the Council decided to prosecute Flamingo’s:

·         The standards at the business on the 30/1/18 were so bad largely due to an infestation of rats and filthy premises that officers closed the business on a voluntary basis. After improvements the business was allowed to re-open

·         On the 22/2/18 a further visit was made to ensure compliance had been maintained, unfortunately it had not. Cleaning was again very poor and there was again an infestation of rats at the premises.

·         A Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice (HEPN) being served by the Council Officers.

·         The HEPN was confirmed by St Albans Magistrates that the officers were correct to formally close the business.

·         The failure of the business to act on advice from the Council, the blatant disregard of the law and the protection of the public were the reasons that the prosecution was taken together with the number of offences 21 in total.


Our longest running ASB case of 5 years was won at High Court after numerous appeals for drug dealing/ASB in Marnham Rise. Costs have been recovered.


Operation Tip Stop


On Monday, 18 February in Maylands Avenue, Hemel Hempstead, Dacorum Borough Council joined forces with officers from the Police’s Safer Neighbourhood Team to deliver its first Operation Tip Stop.


As part of a major crackdown on fly-tipping officers took part in roadside checks of suspect vehicles to ensure that waste was being carried lawfully and that correct documentation was being kept.


During the two-hour period, officers stopped and checked 26 vehicles to see if they werecarrying waste and were licensed to do so.


·         4 drivers given limited time for them to produce the correct documents in line with waste carrying regulations

·         1 licence inspected at the roadside to ensure it was current and correct 


The Council and police have been working closely together to help crack down on unlicensed waste carriers, reduce the amount of fly-tipping in the borough and to inform residents that if they pay an unlicensed carrier to remove their waste and it is fly-tipped, they will be held legally responsible and liable for prosecution. 


The information and intelligence garnered will be shared with the Herts Fly Tipping group which works across the county with neighbouring local authorities.  The group is a multi-agency taskforce which has come together to improve how Hertfordshire responds to fly tipping. 


People Group                                                           


Community Safety and Children Services


·         APGs – S106 bids have been submitted for some new play structures. New party offer to be launched April 2019. (Branding completed, card payment, food ordering, staff structure, marketing).

·         PCC Bids – Submitted and awaiting results 22 February 2019.

·         Safeguarding – Audit still ongoing, has been extended to Mid-February 2019.



Community partnerships and Leisure


·         Sports and Physical Activity Strategy – The draft of the action plan will be discussed at the its project board made up of our key sports stakeholders.

·         Armed Forces Day 2019 – project set up and acts are being booked.

·         Community Grants Awards 2019 – Work underway to arrange event.  12 March 2019. Of which all members are welcome.


The Portfolio Holder invited questions.





Cllr Tindall, with his hat on as Chair of the Domestic Abuse Forum and involved in the bid to the PCC along with Youth Connections and the Council, asked if we had any potential dates or are we awaiting the gentlemans decision.


Cllr Harden replied that there are a lot of bids across the County going in at the same time and it’s the first time we’ve submitted bids and we have three bids, we are positive we’ll be successful but we’ll have to wait and see.


Cllr Birnie was delighted to hear about the tip stop operation and asked if there was any idea when we would be likely to get the results from the four who are expected to present their documentation at a later date and if we haven’t got it please could you let me know afterwards as there are many residents who are very concerned.


Cllr Harden said that he would certainly update Members, but it’s a bit informative in the sense that they’ve got to produce their documents that they are legitimate waste carriers and he will ask Officers to come back to a later Council meeting.

Action: Cllr Harden


Cllr England asked how the project board for the sports and activity plan is constituted. 


Cllr Harden replied that the first meeting will be at the end of the month and he will be attending.  It is made up of sports related stakeholders, naming a few like Everyone Active, Herts Sports Partnership, Dacorum Sports Trust, Dacorum Sports Network, Dacorum Schools Sports Network and Public Health Hertfordshire possibly, but he may have missed off one or two.  Cllr Harden said he was very encouraged that they are all very keen to work with the Council with the development of the Sports Strategy.  He advised he had seen the action plan and Members will see that action plan in the future, he added that he was very excited that the Council is being very proactive, not only about the sports element of it, but the whole idea of how we engage people more in thinking about being physically active. 


Councillor G Sutton, Portfolio Holder for Planning & Infrastructure


The Portfolio Holder presented his update as follows;


First tenants moved into the new Maylands Business Centre



Our satellite extension to the Maylands Business Centre at Kylna Court is now open and we have welcomed our first three business occupants. The Centre provides much needed further business space in Maylands and builds on the great successes of the Business Centre which we opened in 2013. Alongside the new council flats that are now filling up, the completion of the Kylna Court development marks an important stage in the regeneration of the Heart of Maylands.


This afternoon I had the pleasure and privilege visiting the new offices in Kylna Court and meeting the three companies who had just moved in. They could not speak highly enough of the new facilities and saw the move to high quality offices in the Heart of Maylands as being a boost to their business.


The Council must be justifiably proud of itself in providing these amazing facilities and confirms the Boroughs commitment to being a champion of business.


Development at Tring takes an important step forward


Members will be aware that our planning Core Strategy of 2013 identified a major housing development to the west of Tring, which is commonly known as site LA5.


This site, along with others in the Core Strategy will provide an important supply of new homes in the Borough for a number of years to come.


This site at Tring took an important step forward to being delivered when the Development Management Committee agreed to support the proposals at its meeting on 31 January. The scheme will deliver 226 new homes, of which 40% (90 units) will be provided on an affordable basis. It provides for an extension of the Icknield Way business area extending to 0.75 hectare (about an acre and three quarters), an extension to Tring Cemetery and 6.76 ha (over 16 and a half acres) of new public open space.


Officers will now arrange for the final details of the s106 agreement to accompany the planning application.


The Portfolio Holder invited questions.




Cllr Tindall apologised to Cllr Sutton for the late notice on this question as he had only been asked it himself about an hour ago.  Cllr Tindall said that there was a resident who is very concerned about the budget line where there is £25k to support a one off costs for feasibility in Strategic Planning funded from the Planning and Regeneration Project Reserve.  Cllr Tindall advised he would be happy to have a written response following the meeting.


Cllr Sutton advised he would need to come back to you with a definitive answer.

Action: Cllr Sutton


Councillor Marshall, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services


The Portfolio Holder presented her update as follows: 


The programme of installing dry recycling facilities for blocks of flats in the Borough which hitherto had no such facilities is going to plan.  Only Grovehill, Woodhall Farm and Markyate left now to do under the scheme - their bins should be installed next month.  Once completed, and subject to the approval of the budget this evening, Cupid Green will then immediately turn to the task of rolling out the collection of food waste from flats.  Can I thank the Task & Finish group (Cllrs Adshead, Banks, Birnie, Howard, Imarni and Tindall) and Strategic Planning & Environment OSC for their work and help in supporting this venture.


Permits are being sought to have another A41 litter pick at the end of March.  At about the same time, new anti-littering signs will be erected.


The Great British Spring Clean – the national litter picking campaign will run 22 March to 23 April – aim to highlight litter and to encourage volunteers – individuals and groups – to litter pick.  Cupid Green will provide advice together with bags and litter pick sticks and will, by arrangement, pick up the filled bags.  I should add that Cupid Green is always ready and willing to help in this manner throughout the year, not just in March/April. Last year, despite the Beast from the East, 30 groups of 700+ volunteers took part collecting over 200 bags of recycling and 200 bags of litter.


A reminder that Garden Waste collections start again at the end of February.  Householders can have additional garden waste bins collected for a seasonal subscription fee of £55.  Additional green wheelie bins can also be purchased at £25 each. 

An outdoor fitness gym is being installed in Gadebridge Park courtesy of Hemel Hempstead based Henkel – the gym uses aluminium elements from Right Guard aerosols.  It is only the 2nd gym of its kind in the country – the first being in the Olympic Park.  The gym will have a variety of fitness equipment including exercise bikes weights and cross trainers


The Portfolio Holder invited questions.




Cllr England offered congratulations to the Portfolio Holder on the dry recycling and food waste.  Cllr England visited the recycling centre with a couple of Members, he was most impressed that the Manager said he could tell when a lorry comes in from Harpenden as they have washed their recycling and it’s easier and cheaper to deal with.  Cllr England queried whether we can compete with Harpenden. 


Cllr Marshall replied that it seems strange that only Harpenden does it and not the local authority as a whole.  Cllr Marshall added that Dacorum’s contamination rate is one of the lowest in this country.


Cllr Fisher mentioned that some residents still seem concerned about recycling and asked the Portfolio Holder to confirm if any of their recycling end up in landfill and also assuming it is actually recycled, is it done in this country or is it abroad.


Cllr Marshall confirmed that if the recyclable materials are very heavily contaminated they would regrettably be treated as residual waste, otherwise the recyclable materials are disposed of by Pearce on the markets for recycled material.  In that sense residents should not be concerned that there mostly clean plastic bottles are ending up in a hole in the ground. 


Cllr Griffiths asked if the Portfolio Holder would agree that there is a balance to be struck between recycling and cleaning everything that uses an awful lot of energy and resources to get it nice and clean so it can be recycled.


Cllr Marshall said it was a question of degrees and with respect it was an impossible question to answer.