Agenda and minutes
- Attendance details
- Agenda frontsheet PDF 129 KB
- Agenda reports pack
- Supplement - Scrutiny Report Flood risk, Scrutiny Report River Water Pollution and Procurement of new waste contract service report PDF 1 MB
- Supplement 2 - Questions and Answers from members of the Public and Councillors / Political Group Consultation - Procurement of Waste Contract Service PDF 546 KB
- Printed minutes PDF 153 KB
Venue: Herefordshire Council Offices, Plough Lane, Hereford, HR4 0LE
Contact: Samantha Walmsley, Democratic Services Officer
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Councillor Durkin, Councillor Ivan Powell, Councillor Nick Mason, Councillor Dan Hurcomb, Councillor Pauline Crockett and Councillor Terry James.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
To receive declarations of interests in respect of Schedule 1, Schedule 2 or Other Interests from members of the committee in respect of items on the agenda.
Minutes from Cabinet meeting on 28 September 2023 to follow.
Resolved: That the minutes of the meeting held on 28 September 2023 will be considered at the Cabinet meeting on 26 October 2023.
To receive questions from members of the public.
Questions received and responses given are attached as appendix 1 to the minutes.
To receive questions from councillors.
Questions received and responses given are attached as appendix 2 to the minutes.
To receive reports from the Council’s scrutiny committees on any recommendations to the Cabinet arising from recent scrutiny committee meetings. Reports to follow.
The Chairperson of the Environment and Sustainability Scrutiny Committee presented recommendations on Flood Risk and River Water Pollution arising from the committee meeting of 25 September 2023. Six recommendations were put forward for consideration by the Cabinet. One is regarding the Flood Risk management strategy action plan and five are on the River Water Pollution.
The Cabinet member for Environment thanked the committee for their work in forming the recommendations.
It was unanimously agreed that the recommendations on the Flood Risk and River Water Pollution reports for Herefordshire, made by the Environment and Sustainability Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 25 September 2023 will be noted, and that an Executive Response to the scrutiny recommendations be prepared for consideration by Cabinet within two months.
To recommend to Council for approval the revised capital investment budget for 2023/24 onwards.
Cabinet Members considered a report setting out the revised budget for 2023/24 to recommend to Council.
The Cabinet member for Finance and Corporate Services introduced the report and highlighted:
Investments in the market towns, rural areas, deterioration and condition of the roads.
It will continue to deliver on the ambition of the Council to achieve net zero by 2030 and investment of over £20m in active travel and renewables to support this in the 2024/25 budget.
Delivery of the current Capital Programme 2023/24 is progressing well. The demonstration centre at Hillside is due to be completed this year and the program of property investment and maintenance of schools are all on target to complete during 2023 and 2024.
Six schools have benefited from installation of solar PV and retrofitting of fuel C households is ongoing. EV infrastructure is being rolled out and continued investment in wetlands.
A number of changes are proposed due to no funds being assigned to them, these are:
The passenger transport plan, Masters House phase two and the Herefordshire retrofit hub. Confirmed that should appropriate grants be made available then these projects will be reviewed.
A review took place of existing projects to free up funding these were;
- Removal of £2m funding for super hubs based on officer’s advice that community hubs are being reviewed and investment at this time would be not be appropriate.
- Removal of the development partnership activities budget which frees up £10.2m of corporate borrowing and reserves.
- The ‘my account’ budget of £0.4m was underspent in phase one and no projects have come forward for phase two, the budget will be re-allocated.
- The BT Fastershire project is coming to an end and will release £5m of corporate borrowing. It will be replaced by project ‘gigabit’ which is fully funded and run by PD UK.
£17.6m of funding has been made available and can be re-allocated. Combined with £14.2m of unallocated capital receipts, which has been unallocated for 4 years, allows £31.8m to be made available.
New projects were proposed to be added to the capital programme review;
- The Southern Link Road (SLR) for £12.3m to address congestion of A49.
- £3m for the proposal to relocate the library to the Shirehall to fund improvement works to enable the historic building to be opened.
- £0.1m to conduct the necessary works to create a care leavers base in the Shirehall annex.
- £10m to improve the road network to resurface the Highways network. This is in addition to the £2.558m pothole fund and £4.85 highway investment.
- The Cabinet member set out that they will improve the economy of Herefordshire by working with local partners and businesses. Confirmed these projects will have no effect on the capital or revenue budgets.
- Employment land and incubation space. Made up using £7.2m of existing funding and an additional £4.8m from the capital receipt balance.
The local government financial settlement allowed local authorities to use capital receipts to fund transformational expenditure, ... view the full minutes text for item 36.
Papers to follow.
Cabinet members considered a report that seeks to update on the procurement of the new waste collection service. This follows the adoption of the council’s new Waste Management Strategy in July 2021 and the subsequent Cabinet decision to adopt a new waste collection model in November 2021.
The Cabinet member for Community Services and Assets introduced the report, the principal points were raised.
That the current contract expires on 31 August 2024 and £8m was set out in the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) for the new service.
The new contract is due to start 1 September 2024 and since the procurement process commenced there have been significant cost escalations and new burdens to deliver the requirements within the Environment Act.
Highlighted that the report seeks to continue procurement for a new waste collection contract under the existing collection model to enable the phased introduction of the new waste collection service. This enables the Council to award a new contract and future proof the same.
Cabinet members discussed the report and it was noted that:
The current service is very good, there is 1% to landfill and that waste goes to an energy/waste plant. Recycling could be increased but a phased approach is required.
Noted other waste scheme are running such as repair cafes, reusable nappy schemes and recycling for flats.
Group leaders gave the views of their groups. It was positively noted that the administration remained committed to the long term vision for the new recycling and waste collection model. The phased implementation was noted as positive and the best way forward. Whilst disappointment was expressed that the weekly food waste cannot be implemented straight away, it was acknowledged this was due to the change in the amount of financial support from central government alongside disappointment that the Environment Act is delayed. It was queried how recycling rates can be increased in the interim however it was highlighted that Herefordshire recycling rates are lower as the rates don’t reflect green waste. Noted that clarity is needed regarding costs of purchasing the new refuse vehicles, if green waste collection will be included in the recycling figures from contractors and how the Council can maximise recyclability of business waste.
In response to queries it was noted that:
· The procurement process has been designed to provide the standard service and allow transition to the new service. Therefore some of the new vehicle fleet would come into effect now and when the additional aspects of the waste collection service start, the next phase of vehicles would come forward. It has been designed so the vehicle fleet will accommodate that.
· To support recycling rates for businesses, the commercial service is offered and if there are concerns regarding their waste and the contracts support is offered. It would be appropriate to have a more detailed discussion outside of this meeting.
· Confirmed there is no indication when the Environment Act will be implemented ... view the full minutes text for item 37.