Agenda item

Environmental Services performance update Q3


This item was moved to item 6 on the Agenda


C. Thorpe presented the Q3 Performance and provided an update on the key projects.  Many of the projects have been completed but also many were put on hold.

Waste Services Operation – a number of improvements have been carried out with regard to Covid measures at Cupid Green.  There have been a number of staff off but there were still 180-190 members of staff still coming into work every day so a lot of safety measures were put in place.  Two audits were undertaken by the H&S Executive who gave a clean bill of health and were very complimentary on the measures put in place.  DBC Corporate H&S have also undertaken a couple of audits and also gave a clean bill of health.  LGV Licence training for a number of staff was put on hold but this should now be completed in May.

Some improvements works at Windmill Road Allotments have been done with the help of Cllr England which has meant that the majority of plots are now in full use.

The draft Trees and Woodlands Policy which was brought to the last OSC meeting has now been endorsed.  Tree planting continued through Q3 and has been completed for this year.  CT is happy to circulate details if required.

Food Waste Recycling roll out to flats is now complete with the exception of flats above High Streets which cause a problem with regard to the dwellers’ ability to contain their waste but this is only 2-3% of the flat dwelling population.

The Clothes Swap event had to be postponed and has been re-scheduled for Sunday, 16th May.  Also reported at the last OSC meeting was the vehicles that have been ordered and were in-build. These have now been received with just over half the new refuse vehicles being fully operational.

Performance Indicators – the only ones that may give Members some concern are the Missed Bins and Missed Assisted Collections, bearing in mind this is Q3 and there were a number of staff off shielding, isolating or who had actually contracted Covid, this meant there were staff shortages and a number of temping agency staff were used which has given a slightly over target figure. However, the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable are now back at work and CT expects this figure to reduce in line with targets.  There is now no one self-isolating but there are still three members of staff off with Covid.

Cllr Silwal asked CT which Clean Safe and Green projects have been put on hold due to staff levels CT replied that the Splash Park hasn’t opened yet and the educational awareness events around the clothes swaps and compost give away were postponed.

Cllr Ransley asked if there was a narrow vehicle for use in streets in Tring and elsewhere within the Borough being delivered.  CT replied that there isn’t one within the initial 14 ordered, but there are 2 or 3 smaller operational vehicles for use in roads that are narrow due to parked cars and an additional hire vehicle has been bought.  There are still 2 small vehicles to purchase in the next ordering process.  Cllr Ransley asked if lakes were included as part of CT’s remit with regard to Woodlands as Dundale Woods in Tring has a lake.  CT said that he had spoken to Luke Johnson regarding this some time ago and it was thought to be private. However, Cllr Ransley reported that this does belong to DBC and CT said he would enquire with Trees and Woodlands but could confirm that his Service is not responsible in terms of maintenance.

Action Point: CT will circulate which projects on Clean Safe and Green have been delayed due to Covid.

Cllr Timmis asked if there has been any progress on the reduction of fly tips. 

Cllr Birnie thought that this item should be put on the “to do list”. 

Action Point: include Fly Tipping on the Work Programme

Cllr Timmis also asked about the regularity of the grass verges cutting etc in view of Climate Change and wildlife preservation.  CT responded advising that there are a number of sub-groups set up now to discuss Climate Change and Biodiversity and discussions are taking place with HCC and land owners to establish which areas can be left to wild meadow.  There will be a lot more areas that are left to wild meadow and these will be publicised on the website so that residents are aware of why they are being left uncut.

Cllr Beauchamp asked CT about the three members of staff that are off with Covid and if they have been supplemented with replacements?  CT advised that they have been replaced with agency staff temporarily.  One member of staff returned last week on a phased return basis, one remains in hospital and one still off.  Cllr Beauchamp also talked about the problems with rubbish collections from flats above High Streets in particular the Old High Street as a meeting had taken place last week and the problems have been resolved and he thanked CT and his staff for their help with this issue.

Cllr Birnie asked if discussions had taken place yet with HCC regarding an increase in budget for tree works.  CT advised that a meeting to discuss the agency agreement had been arranged.

Cllr Birnie also asked about the compost give away and the issue regarding people bringing their own bags.  CT advised that this practice has been changed and staff are now going to bag up the compost and put it in the boots of people’s vehicles as it was thought to be safer for people to stay in their cars.

Cllr Bhinder asked about the state of shopping centres and in particular the waste bins and whether there was a way to make the public aware that some bins are not DBC’s responsibility. CT responded that one of the projects that the Operations Manager at Clean Safe and Green is going to be undertaking is mapping all of the bins that are DBC’s responsibility.  But in terms of litter generally, CT’s Service is going to take over the Street Champions which is a group of volunteers.  Cllr Bhinder talked about the state of litter nationally and that he wishes to organise a litter picking group in his area but seeks some guidance regarding how to carry this out practically in view of the Covid restrictions.  CT advised that he would get a member of staff to contact Cllr Bhinder to advise on the process.

Action Point:  CT to ask a member of staff to contact Cllr Bhinder regarding setting up a litter picking group.

Cllr Riddick asked about item 5 on page 43 of the Park Opens Spaces Trees and Woodlands Policy and the meeting with representatives of the Herts and Middlesex Badger Group confirming a Set and asked if CT could enlighten the meeting regarding this matter.  CT is unable to answer this matter currently but assumes that it is because of some tree work that cannot take place because the badger set is there, but CT will make enquiries and circulate the findings Cllr Riddick asked if it was a new set but CT will have to check with the Trees and Woodlands Officer.

Action Point:  CT to make enquiries regarding the Badger set and circulate findings to LF for circulation.

The report was noted.


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