Agenda, decisions and minutes

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No. Item




Apologies of absence were received from Cllr Ruth Martin, Cllr Alan Ridgers and Cllr John Caller. The substitutions were Cllr Nirmal Khabra, Cllr Les Hoskins and Cllr Tony Rana.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 87 KB


A Member noticed a typographical error on page 2 and the Chair requested that it be amended.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 09 July 2019 were signed by the Chair.



Declarations of Interest


No declarations of interest were made.   



Minutes Silence for Cllr Ruth Martin


The Chair asked for the Committee to hold a minutes silence to remember their fellow Committee Member Cllr Ruth Martin who sadly passed away recently.



Introduction to New Waste Management Back Office System pdf icon PDF 1 MB


The Committee received a presentation from the Assistant Director (Operations) advising them on the processes and work carried out by the new Waste Management Back Office System (please see supplementary).


Following the conclusion of the presentation, the Assistant Director (Operations) fielded questions from Members and explained that:


  • The workforce and unions were fully consulted before the new system was implemented; the workforce were given extensive training on how to use the new system as well as ample opportunity to ask their questions and become comfortable with the hardware
  • The rule that missed bins may only be reported up to two working days after the missed date was implemented to cover the 99% of normal cases, any exceptions such as when a resident is on holiday and misses that two day period will be dealt with on a case by case basis
  • The Digital Team will be contacted to see if they can add in any further shortcuts on the website links to reduce the amount of clicks to get to the intended destination
  • Due to the amount of work that has to be input into the system, it is not currently known when street cleansing, which will include litter bin emptying and flytipping, will be added to the new system.
  • The reissuing of missing wheelie bins to residents was 3%-5% per year. It wasn’t just new dwellings that accounted for the high percentage of residents being given new bins; many people who moved houses in the Borough ended up taking their wheelie bins with them resulting in the new owners having to be reissued with new bins
  • Residents aren’t currently charged for new waste collection bins as there was a concern that that many residents wouldn’t replace them due to the cost and then leave black sacks out on the street or fly tip


Several Members of the Committee voiced their support of the new system  and praised the ‘check my bin service’ link on the Council website for being very easy to use and understand. They felt it  is  beneficial to the public and allow for all residents to easily inquire when their various bins would be collected especially during bank holidays when the collection dates could be different.


In response to the positive feedback, the Assistant Director (Operations) explained that the Digital Team played a big role in the development of the online service and its website links; the coding behind all of the work was very complex and their hard work allowed the online service to come to fruition.


The Chair added that he had had seen the new system in action and found it very easy to understand; with the Committee’s agreement he asked that the Assistant Director (Operations) organise a short training session at Brookvale for all Members to attend. During the visit, Members could see the new system in operation to better understand it which can be conveyed over to their constituents. At a Members request, recycling and what happens to Gravesham’s waste will  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.


Waste Collection Planning Guidance for Developers pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Additional documents:


The Assistant Director (Operations) provided Members with a copy of the draft Planning Guidance on Waste Collection Requirements for Gravesham Borough Council for consideration and adoption.


The Assistant Director (Operations) informed the Committee that a recommendation from the Service Review Process was to introduce a charging policy for developers to enable the council to recover the cost of installing wheeled bins in new developments. The anticipated annual saving from this recommendation was £6,400. To support the recommendation and to assist both the Council’s planning team and developers, a guidance document covering the waste and recycling collection requirements had been produced and attached at appendix 2.


The guidance document provided details of the size of the relevant containers so that sufficient and suitable storage areas can be provided within new developments. The guidance also provided information to ensure that due consideration was given to the dimensions of the collection vehicles so that appropriate access and vehicle manoeuvring information was included as part of an application. Additionally other aspects will be considered as part of the application such as the number of bins per flat, the drag distance for the bins to the refuse vehicle, secure bin communal area locks, slopes, dropped curbs and overall aesthetic design.


Guidance was also included on commercial waste.  Waste collection from commercial premises is not covered under the payment of business rates so it is essential that sufficient storage is provided especially in the town centre or a joint business/residential development..


The Assistant Director (Planning) further added that the document had been discussed for a long time as it enabled developers plenty of time to plan on where the waste for their developments would be stored, how it was stored and how waste collection vehicles would be able to access it.


Other local authorities have already adopted a similar guidance document including Medway Council although their guidance was more complicated than that being brought to Members. Gravesham’s waste collection guidance could be renamed as ‘standing advice’ as it is an informal guide only and not included under Gravesham’s core strategy planning policy framework.


The Assistant Director (Planning) responded to a Members question regarding enforceability under planning conditions advising that current HMO’s will not follow the guidance, as they wouldn’t have related conditions on their permissions, but all new applications to turn a property into a HMO will. The developer has to make sufficient provision for waste recycling and collection and as long as they have, it gives them a degree of flexibility as the guidance is not definitive. For instance, the guidance specifies that waste must be collected from the front of a property but with some residences it might only be possible to collect from the back of a property. There will be exceptions to the norm however previously some planning applications have been refused on the basis of insufficient waste provision as insufficient regard had been given to these issues by applicants.


The Assistant Director (Operations) explained that the Planning Team were very good  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.