Agenda and draft minutes

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Contact: Harry Mayo, Democracy Officer  01242 264 211

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr. Fifield.

2.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

There were none.

3.

Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 300 KB

Minutes of meeting held on 6th June.

Minutes:

The minutes of the 6th June meeting were approved and signed as a correct record.

4.

Public and Member questions, calls for actions and petitions

Minutes:

There were none.

5.

Cabinet briefing

Briefing from Councillor Hay, Leader (if she has an update, or if O&S Members have questions for her)

 

Objective: An update from the Cabinet on key issues for Cabinet Members which may be of interest to Overview and Scrutiny and may inform the work plan

Minutes:

The Leader had a number of issues to brief the committee on, but they were not yet in the public domain. The Chair agreed that they would work out how best to do this outside of the meeting.

The Leader added that she had attended the Local Government Association’s annual conference last week, and through conversations with other councillors from around the country had learned of a number of good practices that could bring benefits to this council. This could form the basis of a future briefing.

6.

Matters referred to committee

Minutes:

There were none.

7.

Solace pdf icon PDF 733 KB

Objective: To update Members on the performance of this service

 

Bernadette Reed (Senior Environmental Health Officer), Solace Police Officer and Case Officer

Minutes:

Bernadette Reed, Senior Environmental Health Officer, summarised her discussion paper, which sought to explain the structure and objectives of Solace and gave an overview of its performance across the last year. Solace was a multi-agency team operating across Gloucestershire that primarily aimed to reduce repeat incidents of antisocial behaviour (ASB). CBC had signed up to the partnership in 2018, originally as a three year commitment, which was extended for another year due to Covid. In February 2022, its partners agreed to make it a permanent arrangement and to provide permanent funding.

Each council had a case officer (CBC’s being Lisa Jones), a police officer and community support officer seconded from the police. Each team had an overarching team leader, with Cheltenham’s having been recently recruited. They worked closely with officers whose portfolios overlapped with antisocial behaviour, including public protection, the neighbourhood team and environmental protection. The partnership was constantly evolving and seeking improvement, focusing on a number of shared priorities, the most important of which was cases that posed a high risk to the victim and had a high impact on people and the community. Part of their current work was building data to back up solid decision-making, and responding to the rise in cases since the end of lockdown, which was to be expected.

The team had various different powers which naturally differed from those afforded to the police and neighbourhood team. These powers were flexible to try and ensure the best possible outcomes, with enforcement only pursued out when there was persistent and continuing ASB, or when people refused to engage. The paper outlined the specific options and sanctions available to officers, though the majority of cases were dealt with through advice and engagement. They were also pursuing a number of civil injunctions and closure orders, and had recourse to use the Community Trigger if necessary.

At the moment, only Cheltenham and Gloucester were incorporated into Solace, but they were involved in positive conversations with other districts like Tewkesbury, the Forest of Dean and Cotswold District Council with regard to joining the partnership. Any further development of the partnership would be subject to the approval of the governance board.

One Member queried the number of unreported incidents. They had recently met with the Police and Crime Commissioner to discuss ASB, and noted that only 18 cases of public urination had been reported in Pittville Park in the last year, which was clearly an underestimate. They were also conscious of particular areas like hate crime where many cases were not reported. Which crime figures were being used to underpin their data? Another Member asked how extensive the data collected on perpetrators was. The Senior Environmental Health Officer responded that it was certainly a work in progress tackling a complicated overall picture, and not every incident would be captured, but their figures were based on police data. She would be happy to provide Members with the specific data they wanted captured

One Member asked how long the team leader  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

UBICO annual report pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Objective: To consider the annual report, where Ubico are performing well, what risks are they facing and how they are mitigating them

 

Presentation from Karen Watson (Environmental Partnerships Manager), Cllr. Iain Dobie (Cabinet Member Waste, Recycling and Street Services)

Minutes:

Marvin Langston, Ubico Head of Operations, delivered a presentation recapping Ubico’s progress over the last year. The key challenges faced had been the effects of self-isolation rules on day-to-day operational planning and a national shortage of drivers. Despite these issues, they had continued to operate as normal, avoiding any drop in kerbside or grounds maintenance and ensuring that CBC met all its waste and recycling statutory obligations.

In order to combat the driver shortage, they had worked to upskill existing staff, such as through the HGV fast-track, which ensured CBC had a high number of internally trained drivers. He credited the supervisory team at the Swindon Road depot in particular for this. They had also reconsidered Ubico’s structure to build resilience, tweaking their apprenticeship routes to upskill staff. Retiring staff provided guidance and training to those who would take over their job afterwards, alongside getting formal qualifications.

He acknowledged that the number of missed bins had spiked at the start of the year, largely due to staffing issues caused by self-isolation, and new crews not knowing rounds. This trend had now dropped due to their constant focus. Food waste was the most difficult area, seeing a high turnover of staff. He highlighted that out of 6.7 million kerbside collections, 5,333 had been missed in total – a success rate of 99.92, well above their target of 99%. They would continue to monitor this, with in-cab technology expected to improve the figure further.

The presentation further covered bin requests, yearly tonnages, household waste, garden waste subscriptions, grounds maintenance and overweight tickets. He was pleased with the work CBC was doing to increase recycling rates, with more containers leading directly to better figures. Annual tonnages had plateaued, but soft plastics collection was coming in which would boost this. Residents were clearly keen to recycle garden waste, while landscaping requests were on the increase. He noted that overweight tickets were a serious issue where they did occur, and were followed up with education for drivers as well as the threat of disciplinary action. Safety issues, such as the ‘lasagne effect’ where broken glass was covered by paper or other harmless materials, were closely monitored. Any employee could submit safety concerns which the management team investigated, using CCTV where necessary.

 

One Member thanked the officers for their presentation and Ubico staff for doing unpleasant and vital work. They were pleased with the presentation but noted that recycling rates had plateaued since March 2021, and asked what the strategy was to get this back up to 60% again. Karen Watson, Environmental Partnerships Manager, clarified that CBC was responsible for strategy and policy while Ubico was the service provider. The recycling rate had plateaued nationwide since last year, and they were involved in various projects including a bin audit and broadening public engagement and education in order to boost it. It was tough to increase engagement when their budget was limited, so they trying to automate processes as much as possible. She stressed that recycling was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Feedback from other scrutiny meetings attended

The Gloucestershire Health O&S Committee, Economic Growth O&S Committee and Police and Crime Panel have not met since the last O&S meeting.

 

Minutes:

There were none.

10.

Updates from scrutiny task groups pdf icon PDF 180 KB

Update from Scrutiny Task Group on Tackling Multiple Deprivation

 

Harry Mayo (Democracy Officer)

Minutes:

The task group update was taken as read. The Democracy Officer added that since the note had been circulated, the membership of the group had been confirmed and would consist of Cllrs. Flynn, Payne, Seacome, Williams and Willingham. Members had been contacted about possible dates for the induction meeting, which would ideally take place before the next O&S meeting on 1st August.

11.

Review of scrutiny workplan pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Minutes:

The workplan was noted and there were no comments.

12.

Date of next meeting

1st August 2022

Minutes:

1st August.

13.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972 - EXEMPT INFORMATION

The committee is recommended to approve the following resolution:-

 

“That in accordance with Section 100A(4) Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the remaining agenda items as it is likely that, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, if members of the public are present there will be disclosed to them exempt information as defined in paragraph 3, Part (1) Schedule (12A) Local Government Act 1972, namely:

 

Paragraph 3; Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular

person (including the authority holding that information).

Minutes:

Members resolved to move into exempt session.

14.

Exempt minutes

Exempt minutes of 6th June meeting.

Minutes:

The exempt minutes of the 6th June meeting were approved and signed as a correct record.