Agenda item - City Environment Modernisation Update
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City Environment Modernisation Update
- Meeting of Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee, Tuesday, 21st January, 2020 4.00pm (Item 66.)
- View the background to item 66.
Report of the Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture
1) That the Committee notes the progress made through the City Environment Modernisation Programme.
66.1 The Committee considered a report of the Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture that provided a progress update on the City Environment Modernisation programme.
66.2 Councillor Wares noted that the Modernisation programme had begun in July 2018 and at the time, the committee were informed that it would take two years to resolve the issues identified. Councillor Wares stated that 18 months on, many big issues were incomplete, and it was not acceptable for the service to be at a perpetual amber rating. Councillor Wares asked if the Operator’s License was still in special measures and what actions could be undertaken to convert health and safety to a green rating given its critical importance. Furthermore, Councillor Wares asked why data collection on communal bins was rated as poor when the council were the holders of that information, when the correct paint would be available for community clean ups and what action was being taken with Sussex Police to ensure prosecutions for graffiti were proportionate. Councillor Wares asked for an update on the current status of the proposed round restructure and gave details of an instance in his ward where a resident on an assisted collection service was not having their rubbish collected. Furthermore, Councillor Wares stated that there appeared to have been no benefit to bringing the environmental enforcement service in-house as enforcement activity was down and staff levels remained static.
66.3 The Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture stated that the City Environment management team had undertaken a great deal of good work laying the foundation for improvement and in managing change, new issues had arisen that required priority action meaning the modernisation programme had evolved. In relation to the Operator’s License, the Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture stated that there was a need for vigilance until there was complete satisfaction that the council was compliant, and the progress made over the past 18 months had been very positive. With regard to health and safety, the Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture noted that there were many risks associated with operation of the service that meant that similarly, there was a need for absolute assurance that the council was fully compliant. The Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture explained that capacity within the health and safety team had been increased and a new governance structure within the Directorate where he chaired the Health & Safety Board. The Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture stated that the service would continue to tackle the issues in this area. With regard to fleet, the Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture noted that the committee had recently agreed to develop a Fleet Strategy and progress was being made.
66.4 The Head of Business Support & Projects explained that the scope of the modernisation programme had increased as new issues had been found undertaking the programme. One such issue related the query raised on communal bin data where it had been found that no such data existed, and extensive work was required to gather that data. In relation to feedback provided to Sussex Police and the individual case relating to assisted collection raised by Councillor Wares, the Head of Business Support & Projects stated that an update could be provided directly after the meeting. The Head of Business Support & Projects explained that the round restructure was going well and there would be an update provided to the March meeting of the committee. Feedback would be provided to the environment enforcement team in relation to the concerns raised on staffing levels however, these were difficult posts to recruit to.
66.5 Councillor Wares stated that it was important that the modernisation updates continued to be clear and candid however, it was important also that if there was some slippage in the modernisation programme then the committee members be reappraised of that.
66.6 Councillor West stated that there may be some benefit in presenting the modernisation update in the form of a performance management report, similar to those presented to the Audit & Standards Committee.
66.7 The Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture stated that it was unusual to report a modernisation update to a committee and he would be happy to speak to the committee members if potential changes to the report format would be required and beneficial.
66.8 RESOLVED- That the Committee notes the progress made through the City Environment Modernisation Programme.