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Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Mold CH7 6NA

Contact: Janet Kelly 01352 702301  Email: janet_kelly@flintshire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

29.

Declarations of Interest (Including Whipping Declarations)

To receive any Declarations and advise Members accordingly.

Decision:

No declarations of interest were made.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

30.

Consideration of a matter referred to the Committee pursuant to the Call In Arrangements pdf icon PDF 158 KB

A decision of the Cabinet meeting on 24 July relating to the Fees & Charges  has been called in.  Attached is a copy of the procedure for dealing with a called in item.

Decision:

The Chair indicated that he would not be accepting proposals for any of the four options until Members had heard the cases put by both the initiators and decision makers and Members had had an opportunity to ask questions of both.

Minutes:

            The Democratic Services Manager explained why the call in was being considered by Corporate Resources rather than Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee. This was because the call in was not about the principle of green waste collection or charging for it. The call in was challenging the efficacy and justification for the recommended increase in the annual charge for green waste collection.  This was one element of the newly adopted corporate fees and charges policy – a financial rather than a service provision or delivery issue.

 

            The officer then gave an overview of the procedure for the call in of a Cabinet Decision, as detailed in the supporting document. The Cabinet had considered a report on the Fees and Charges report at its meeting on the 16th July 2019.The decision (Record of Decision 3673) had been called in by Councillors Mike Peers, Patrick Heesom, Chris Dolphin, Helen Brown, George Hardcastle, Veronica Gay and Richard Jones. Copies of the Cabinet report, the Record of Decision and Call in Notice, which identified seven reasons for the call in, were included with the agenda papers for the meeting.

            The Chair indicated that he would not be accepting proposals for any of the four options until Members had heard the cases put by both the initiators and decision makers and Members had had an opportunity to ask questions of both.

31.

Fees and Charges pdf icon PDF 260 KB

To assist Members, the following documents are attached:-

 

·         Copy of the report of the Chief Officer (Streetscene and Transport) – Fees and Charges

·         Appendix A to the Fees and Charges Report

·         Appendix B to the Fees and Charges Report

·         Copy of the Record of Decision

·         Copy of the Call In Notice

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the Committee is satisfied with the explanations which it has received, and that the decision be now implemented.

Minutes:

            As initiators of the Call in, Councillors Mike Peers, Patrick Heesom, Chris Dolphin, and Helen Brown, were invited to address the Committee first.

 

            Councillor Mike Peers thanked the Chair and Committee and outlined the reasons for the call in, also referring back to the previous call in on green waste collection which had been held in January 2018.

            He explained the concerns that the take up of green waste collection permits had decreased by 23% following the increase in the Council Tax.  When the review of the first year of the service was carried out, the report contained incorrect figures: the number of permits sold was not 33,871. Breaking this down to 29,021 for single bin, 5,292 for second and 558 for third, this totalled to 39,279 permits. With the cost of £30 per permit, there had been a surplus in the first year meaning the increased charge was unnecessary.  With the Council Tax increases it was unfair to add further cost to Flintshire residents.

            Councillor Chris Dolphin raised a number of issues: - where the surplus money had been spent; that this was a bad deal for customers; that 140 litre bins were too small compared to those provided by other authorities and that the 6.6% rise or 16% if customers paid £35 was not reasonable.  He reiterated that charges needed to be fair.  He referred to 1.10 in the Cabinet report, which stated the increased charges may be seen as unfair and may impact on take up.  This together with the increase in Council Tax had been evidenced by the 23% drop in take up.

            Councillor Patrick Heesom commented that Members understood the Council’s role to generate income but that this way was not appropriate.  It needed to be fair and acceptable and commented the figures in the Cabinet reports indicated a surplus. This could appear to be a double taxation policy and the Income Generation Policy should be reconsidered. Whilst Members understood that the Council was under funded and needed to look at other ways to raise income, this was not the right way, it had to be fair to all.

            Councillor Helen Brown referred to the 1.07 in the January Cabinet report on the review of Green Waste Charges in Flintshire when the first year was reviewed.  33,871 permits were issued and there were no concerns with regard to rising costs yet 7 months later in the July report there were proposals to increase charges.  It was difficult to understand the figures presented.  Also in the report, it stated a reduction in the number of permits issued compared to year one.  She asked where information on the surplus money was provided and said there was no justification for the increase.

 

Responses from the decision makers

            The Chief Executive welcomed the call in as a rigorous test of the policy and how it was to be applied. Corporate Resources had reviewed the policy and recommended it for adoption the previous month.  He countered Councillor Peers’ points on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

Members of the Press and Public in Attendance

Decision:

          There were one member of the public and one member of the press in attendance.

 

Minutes:

          There were one member of the public and one member of the press in attendance.

 

 

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