Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Windmill Street, Gravesend DA12 1AU. View directions

Contact: Committee Section 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


No apologies for absence were received.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 144 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday, 24 November 2022 were signed by the Chair.


Declarations of Interest


There we no declarations of interest



Parks & Open Space 2022 Annual Report pdf icon PDF 21 MB


The Committee were presented with the Parks and Open Spaces Annual Report (January – December 2022), which could be found on page 9 of the agenda pack.  The purpose of this report was to inform Members of the achievements and activities over the last year.  The Parks and Open Spaces Manager highlighted key areas of the report which included:


  • Work carried out throughout the borough to regenerate 15 play parks, that were identified as requiring attention and investment.  It was noted that some parks had not been updated for 20 years.  The development of the chosen sites were possible due to a successful grant funding bid.  This injection of funds had accelerated the regeneration plans and meant the project was completed within months rather than years.  Members were given an overview of the work carried out at each of the 15 play parks. Improvements varied at each site but included themed play areas, accessibility for all ages and abilities with inclusive play and sensory equipment.


  • The Parks and Open Spaces Manager updated the Committee on Gravesham’s tree planting efforts over the past year, as part of the Council’s drive to deliver a greener Gravesham.  Gravesham had planted 20 trees across the borough for the Queen’s Jubilee plus 250 native whips to create The Forest of Memories in Instead Rise, to remember those who had died during the Covid19 pandemic.  Members were advised that unfortunately due to the drought in 2022, a number of whips had died but would be replaced.


  • Following devastation caused by Storm Eunice along the Gordon Promenade, a review of the location had been carried out and in order to promote the biodiversity of the area and to enhance the annual colour, there would be mixed perennial flower beds created.  This option would also prove more cost effective.


  • Members were informed about the dedication of the Windmill Hill Association to promote the natural habitat through the Buzz Garden.  The Parks and Open Spaces Manager also advised that to promote habitats for wildlife 20 bat, bird and owl boxes had been installed in various locations throughout the borough.


  • The Committee were informed of the Mindful Moment benches that had been installed throughout the borough.   It was hoped that especially during the current economic climate, these benches would offer a place to reflect.  Individuals could be signposted for help and support via a QR code on the plaque.


  • The Parks and Open Spaces Manager informed Members of the Growing Your Community scheme that was introduced this year.  This saw the introduction of raised beds to involve the community in creating and maintaining herb and vegetable plots, which had so far been a success.


The Parks and Open Spaces Manager outlined the aspirations for 2023.


The Chair thanked the Parks and Open Spaces Manager and team for everything that had been achieved in the past year.


The Committee were invited to ask questions and make comment.


Members raised concern about future maintenance of the parks and how often they would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.


Waste Management Update Report pdf icon PDF 2 MB


The Committee were presented with the Waste Management Update Report.  The purpose of this report was to provide Members with an update on Waste Management & Street Cleansing projects & performance in the 2022 calendar year. 


The Waste Projects and Compliance Officer highlighted key areas of the report which included:


  • In November 2022 the Council’s Recycling, Refuse & Street Cleansing frontline staff were provided with a new orange uniform. The new uniform has made the staff within these services look smarter, as well as more visible on dark mornings.  Feedback from staff had been positive.


  • Members attention was drawn to p.35 section 3.1 which gave an overview of the recycling performance for 2022.  It was highlighted that if 2022 was compared to 2020/21 then there had been a slight drop in recycling, however if compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019 then this year had seen a rise in recycling of 4%.  It was noted that during 2020/21 there was a higher amount of recycling due to the increase of online ordering during the lock down periods.


The Committee were informed that in relation to food waste recycling, 2022 had seen a 19% decline.  This drop was however consistent with the rest of Kent.  The Waste Projects and Compliance officer stated that with the current economic climate, this could have been due to residents not wasting food and a reduction in consumption levels. 


  • The Waste and Projects Compliance Officer explained how contamination of waste in 2022 had improved slightly.  He advised Members that since January 2023 KCC has become more stringent with the waste they would accept and rejected 65 tonnes of recycling due to contamination, this in turn was a cost to the Council.  In order to mitigate this going forward, the crew had undertaken further training and were required to put red stickers on contaminated resident bins, that must be rejected due to contamination. There had also been an education campaign for residents.


  • Fly tipping incidents had fallen in 2022 by 8.9%.  Waste management and the Environment Enforcement team continued to work closely to combat the issue. It was noted that 2022 had seen a reduction in tonnage of 12.7%.


  • Members attention was drawn to section 3.4 of the report.  The Kent Resource Partnership (KRP) organised residual waste (black sack waste) audits to be conducted in May 2022 in all Kent districts. The findings from the audit revealed that in Gravesham, 2.8 kilograms of waste per household per week could have been recycled at the kerbside.


  • Gravesham had continued to increase the number of flats that were offered a recycling service.


  • The Street Champions initiative was awarded a Certificate of Excellence by IESE in January 2022 and Gravesham Borough Councils’ Waste Management Team were also shortlisted for two awards in the ‘Local Authority Success’ Category at the National Recycling Awards 2022


  • Members we informed that in 2022 the team had undertaken a one off project to clear alleyways which had become overgrown/suffered from fly-tipping, whether the alleys were privately- or council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.