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Contact: Committee Section
Apologies for Absence
No apologies for absence were
Minutes PDF 152 KB
The minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday, 7
February 2023 were signed by the Chair.
Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of
Annual Review of the Licensing Shared Service PDF 220 KB
The Committee were presented
with the Annual Review of the
Licensing Shared Service. The purpose of this report was to provide
Members with a copy of the annual review that had been conducted in
respect of the Licensing Shared Service with Medway
Council. The report was for information
The Regulatory Services Manager informed the
Committee that the shared service with Medway had been in place
since 2019 and was the only Gravesham led shared
The Regulatory Services Manager highlighted
key points from the report:
- The Licencing Department now had a
full complement of staff for the first time. There had been an evaluation of the needs of the
service, which resulted in a temporary staffing
restructure. The reallocation of staff
has contributed to the successful collection of unpaid annual fees
amounting to £27K and rising.
- The Licencing team had worked
closely with Digital and IT in delivering an enhanced digital
service by creating more online forms, which had been of benefit to
both the service user and staff alike.
One of the newly created forms linked vehicle licensing services
with Rosherville Servicing Ltd, offering an efficient online end to
end service, which had proved a great success.
The Chair gave his thanks for the report and
expressed how it was a really positive reflection of how the shared
service was developing.
The Committee were invited to make comments
and ask questions;
- Members agreed it was a very
encouraging report. They queried what
challenges had been faced with the new online format, in respect to
engaging the taxi licence holders regarding inspection
reminders. It was also asked if further
improvements were to be made. The
Regulatory Services Manager explained that there had been no issues
and the process had run very smoothly, with the Rosherville
operatives being very flexible with inspection
appointments. The Assistant Director
(Operations) added that since the new service was offered back in
October 2022, after each inspection, questionnaires had been
provided to the licence holders. The
feedback from these had been very positive, commending the easy
booking system and seamless operation.
Services Manager alluded that taxi drivers were requested to
undertake a safety and standards inspection and pre-licence
inspection around the same time, which could prove onerous for the
driver, so to improve the service further, this may be looked
- Members queried what area of
licencing the collection of unpaid invoices amounting to £27K
related to. The Regulatory Services
Manager advised this figure was for fees collected for premises
licences. He explained the reason this
only related to premises licences was because all other licence
fees, (such as taxi licences) had to be paid in advance, in order
to obtain their licence. Premises
licence fees were payable annually and therefore often needed to be
chased and collected.
The Chair commended the work of the Licensing
department and expressed how they were an example of a shared
service that had worked very well.
The Committee noted the report.
Air Quality Annual Status Report PDF 224 KB
The Committee were presented
with the Air Quality Annual Status Report. The report was for information only, to update
Members on the Air Quality Annual Status and to inform them of
the direct links that air quality had with climate
The Environmental Protection
Team Leader explained that the report was submitted to Defra in
June and was a good summary of what had been achieved and what was
planned for the coming year.
Environmental Protection Team Leader
highlighted key points from the report:
- Members were informed that two types
of monitoring occurred within Gravesham to measure the levels of
Nitrogen Dioxide. Continuous monitoring of Nitrogen Dioxide
occurred using air quality analysers.
These were required for areas deemed by Defra to be Air Quality
Management Areas (AQMAs). These were located close to the A2 trunk
road and the Northfleet industrial area. For areas within the borough with heavy traffic
flows, background levels of pollutants and or where property
development was likely, there were 71 passive diffusions tubes
located to monitor nitrogen dioxide.
- It was noted that there had been an
improvement in air quality during Covid19, but this was due to the
reduction in travel. The current
figures although higher, were in line with pre-pandemic
- The Committee were informed that
moving forward The Council would continue to use the passive
monitoring network to determine whether AQMAs needed amending or
whether there are any new areas of concern.
- The Council would continue to work
with partners KCC and National Highways to improve air
quality. The Environmental Protection
Team Leader informed Members that a new action plan was being
drafted, which would require input from the Committee in due
The Chair noted that air quality was a
national issue and queried whether the air quality and subsequent
health, was poorer in areas of deprivation. The Environmental Protection Team Leader advised
that although some areas such as London fitted this model,
Gravesham did not follow that trend.
The areas of poor air quality in Gravesham were not limited to
The Committee were invited to make comment and
to have their questions answered:
- Members queried whether the odours
from Northfleet Sewage Works fell under the remit of air
quality. They were
advised that whilst complaints of this nature could be investigated
under nuisance powers, it was mainly a planning consideration in
not approving developments in the vicinity of such
sites. She went on to say that GBC
worked with the sewages works, giving them dates and time of any
complaints to pinpoint the issue.
- The Committee had
concerns about air pollution impacting the health of the large
proportion of residents living in the urban areas of Gravesham,
especially with new developments being approved around the town
centre and ring road. The Environmental Protection
Team leader informed Members that both the statistic modelling
and air monitoring undertaken, were stipulated by Defra and were
very accurate in their findings. She assured the Committee that
pollution levels in the town did ...
view the full minutes text for item 25.
Corporate Performance Update: Quarter Three 2022-23 PDF 217 KB
The Committee were presented
with the Corporate Performance Update: Quarter Three
2022-23. The purpose of this report was
to update against the Performance Management Framework, as
introduced within the Council’s Corporate Plan, for Quarter
Three 2022-23 (October to December 2022). Members were advised the report was for
The Regulatory Services
Manager highlighted key areas of the report and Members had their
- Members attention was
drawn to PI.3 which indicated the total number of reported Health
& Safety incidents. This showed
that although there were 8 incidents in quarter 3, this was still
considered low, as was a figure relating to the entire
- The chair raised a
query regarding PI.4 and whether the 95.7% of establishments who
were compliant in the last quarter related to only those inspected
during that quarter. The Regulatory
Services Manager informed Members that this figure reflects the
level of compliance across all registered food businesses, in that
688 of the 719 registered food business in Gravesham were
compliant. Of the remaining 33
premises, 27 were newly registered and were yet to have their
inspection. He went on to say that as
new businesses joined the register, they were placed on a waiting
list to have an inspection. During the
interim period the Council could not be satisfied that these
establishments complied until they had been inspected and therefore
it was normal to be marked as non-compliant.
- The Committee were
referred to PI.5 which showed the percentage of environmental
health service requests that received a first response within 5
working days. The Regulatory Service
Manager highlighted that figures had remained high and informed the
committee that the team had been piloting a mobile
application to assist in nuisance investigations and to modernise
the service. This new approach would enable the public to register
a noise complaint online.
The Assistant Director (Operations)
highlighted key points from the report and Members had their
- The Committee were
given an update on waste and recycling.
They were informed that in the last quarter during the period of
adverse weather, some properties were not accessible for
collection, however extra collections were carried out to those
properties before the Christmas period.
The Chair was appreciative of the hard work by the team during the
heavy snow fall and asked that his thanks be passed
- Reference was made to
P1.9 which outlined the total volume of residual waste per
household. It was noted that residual
waste had continued to fall. Members
were informed that there was also a reduction in recycling, which
may have been due to the cost of living crisis with possibly less
food being purchased and so less wastage.
- Members were informed
that Gravesham now had 500 Street Champions who were currently
undertaking The Great British Spring Clean.
- The Committee were
advised that Gravesham had secured funding to clear the shopping
parades throughout the borough of chewing gum, which has helped
improve the street scene. Members queried if areas such as Painters
view the full minutes text for item 26.