Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Conrad Broadley, Councillor Leslie Pearton, Councillor Gurbax Singh and Councillor Steve Thompson who were substituted by Councillors Ajaz Aslam, Harold Craske, Lyn Milner and Emma Morley respectively.


Minutes from Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 84 KB



The minutes of the meeting held on 8 June 2020 were signed by the Chair.


Declarations of Interest


No declarations of interest were made.


Litter Bin Replacement & Recycling on-the-go Trial pdf icon PDF 510 KB

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The Assistant Director (Operations) presented with a report that provided an overview of plans to replace the litter bins and trial recycling ‘on-the-go’ bins at St Andrew’s Gardens. Details were also included on proposals for the further introduction of recycling ‘on-the-go’ at the Riverside Leisure area and Woodlands Park, subject to the success of the trial.

The Waste Projects & Compliance Officer advised that the best and most viable way to implement the scheme had been considered and were set out in the report. Open areas such as parks were controlled areas and were considered to be easy to monitor. WRAP studies had suggested that typically 60% of the contents of litter bins was recyclable. Therefore, recycling ‘on-the-go’ would lower residual waste arisings and would increase recycling performance as well as helping promote and reinforce recycling behaviours at home and at work. Feedback from counterparts in seven Kent district councils had suggested that contamination of street recycling was very high, particularly in town centre locations or near to fast food establishments and this resulted in the contents being disposed of as residual waste. It was noted that the current bins at St Andrew’s Gardens were not fit for purpose and the report showed photos of the replacement recycling bins. It was hoped that following the trial, this scheme and the associated bins would be spread throughout the Borough which would also result in a consistent style of bin, with the size depending on location, being used in Gravesham.

The following points were raised on this subject:

·                     The bins are made of metal and had metal liners so fire damage would be minimal. However, it was noted that there was a very low incidence of fires in park bins.

·                     The mechanics of the Deposit Return Scheme had been set out in a Government consultation document and another was awaited. Generally it meant that, in future, the purchase price of certain items such as canned drinks and drinks in plastic bottles would include a tax for example 10 pence on a can. If the consumer returns the empty can or bottle to the shop, the item would be put through a machine and the consumer would get a money off voucher or money back in return.

·                     It was noted that the removal of bins from some areas had resulted in less litter. The officer advised that this was the case and it was hoped that bins would be placed in the appropriate site and would be the appropriate size for the area. This would be monitored to check that the capacity and location of the bin was correct.

·                     The new bins were welcomed as it was felt that old, overflowing bins sent the wrong message for residents and for visitors and larger bins were suggested for the High Street area. Members were reminded that this was the start of a review for the whole Borough and the capacity of the bin would depend on where it was sited and how busy the area  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Portfolio Performance Update - Operational Services Projects pdf icon PDF 4 MB


The Assistant Director (Operations) introduced the report which highlighted work carried out since January 2020 including a Covid-19 progress overview. Members were advised that all services were now 100% up and running and information had been passed on to staff in the last few days reiterating Government guidance on social distancing and staying safe.

In February additional investment in street cleaning had moved been progressed and there were new cleaning staff in the town centre providing coverage from 7am to 6pm seven days a week. The aim of the later working hours was to ensure the town centre was cleaned latter in the day to promote the evening economy. A Maxvac Gladiator had been purchased which steam cleans pavements including the removal of chewing gum. This machine was currently being used on the town centre but may also be able to be used in other shopping parade areas. A smaller road sweeping vehicle had been procured which enabled easier access between vehicles when cleaning the streets.

The Adopt a Street – The Street Champions initiative had been launched which encouraged the Council and the community to work together and the report set out the improvements to enable this initiative. This included a new poster design with a harder hitting message to make littering as unacceptable and unsociable things like as drink driving. Good engagement with the public had been achieved and the scheme had also been offered to the parish councils with Meopham, Luddesdown and Cobham expressing their interest.

The Assistant Director (Operations) reported that a great deal of work on fly-tipping had been undertaken in the last few months. The officer had also worked with Kent County Council with regard to the installation of covert cameras and associated signage in rural areas. Since lockdown three Fixed Penalty Notices had been issued. However, it had not been possible to prosecute the offenders because the courts were too busy as a result of the delay in trying cases during lockdown.

Members were advised that there was a new enforcement team in the Community Safety Team and the two teams would work closely together and had already identified the fly-tipping hotspots.

Officers were also working on making social media videos for the Duty of Care campaign which were designed to demonstrate that fly-tipping was not acceptable and that offenders would be caught and punished. In addition, work was being done to provide residents with the correct information about how to dispose of their rubbish.

The Bartec Waste System had continued to progress and develop digital change within the Waste Management Team with the commercial waste service mow moved onto the system.

The officer highlighted the increase in household recycling and garden waste.  In addition more black sacks were being put out by households and the service had applied a practical approach to the collection of the additional sacks during the lockdown period. Gravesham had been the first local authority to make this decision in Kent. There had also been a high level  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Corporate Performance Report: Quarter 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 85 KB

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Members were presented with an update against the Performance Management Framework as set out within the Council’s Corporate Plan, for quarter 1 2020/21 (April to June 2020).

The Chair went through the report page by page and the following comments were made:

PI12 – Percentage of areas with unacceptable levels of littering - The Committee was advised that during the lockdown no littering measurements had been taken. It was noted that a set list of 180 streets from 4 areas with different demographics were monitored each quarter, given a visual inspection and compared with a national grading system – A, B, C and D. A grading of A/B was acceptable, C meant slight littering and D meant very bad levels of litter. 95% of the inspected roads had acceptably low levels of litter.

            Resolved that the report be noted.