Agenda item

Budget 2019/20 Stage 2 proposals


(a)       That the Committee endorsed the portfolio pressures and investments; and


(b)       That the Committee endorsed the portfolio efficiency options.


                        The Chief Officer (Streetscene and Transportation) introduced a report on the stage 2 budget proposals for Streetscene and Transportation Portfolio and part of the Planning, Environment & Economy Portfolio for 2019/20.  He provided background information and referred to the workshop held on 11 October, which had provided Members with the opportunity to understand portfolio budgets in more detail and the risks and resilience levels of service areas.  The Chief Officer reported on the portfolio pressures and investments and Portfolio business planning efficiencies as detailed in the report concerning Streetscene and Transportation. 


Councillor Paul Shotton referred to the reduction in income from waste recycling.  The Chief Officer explained that the income from recycling waste, and cited plastic, card and paper as an example, had dropped significantly due to the loss of international markets and referred to the initiatives which were taking place to sustain the market.


In response to a question from Cllr Paul Shotton regarding the potential to use plastic as a replacement for Bitumen to repair road surfaces and potholes, the Chief Officer Streetscene and Transportation advised that discussion was taking place with a local company regarding this and it was intended that a sample batch of material would be provided for trial in the near future.  Members would be invited to visit the company to look at the product and when further information was available a report would submitted to scrutiny on the findings.


Councillor Mike Peers raised a number of queries.  He referred to the income from external works (Fleet Workshop) which was recorded as £0.010m in the report, and said on page 3 of the resilience statement it was stated as £10.00.  He also asked for clarification as to whether 3 weekly waste collections were part of the proposals at the current time.  Councillor Peers referred to the saving for 2015/16 of £30k on the closure of the information centre at Mold bus station, and said that it appeared the money was being spent processing the grant funding.  The Chief Officer confirmed that the bus station grant was from the Welsh Government and that the £30k referred to was a revenue saving from closure of the small Information centre at Mold Bus Station. 


Councillor Carolyn Thomas advised that a decision had not been made yet regarding a 3 weekly waste collection service but commented that due to the latest budget settlement and further reductions in funding it was not possible to rule out as a potential budget saving at the present time.  She added that changing to a 3 weekly waste collection service could realise a saving of £800k.


In response to a question from Councillor Owen Thomas regarding side waste, the Chief Officer referred to the procedures used to address the problem of side waste which was left for collection.  He advised that 1,400 warning letters had been issued to residents and businesses and said that only 30-40 cases had progressed to the second stage to warn of a notice being issued.  The Chief Officer reported that no Fixed Penalty Notices had been issued and said that the aim was to engage with and encourage people to improve their recycling of waste products.  He commented on the cost and low resale value of recycled waste and the need to find an alternative sustainable use for the benefit of the environment.


In response to a question from Councillor Mike Peers regarding access costs which had been raised at the budget workshop, the Chief Officer (Planning, Environment and Economy), confirmed that the figures referred to 20 full time posts. .  Councillor Carolyn Thomas added that some of the work was mandatory.  The Chief Officer advised that a report would be provided to a future meeting of the Committee with further detail on the mandatory services provided.


Councillor David Evans requested a report on the advantages and disadvantages of moving to a 3 or 4 weekly waste collection service with information included regarding the experiences of authorities who had introduced 3 or 4 weekly collections. 


Councillor Cindy Hinds asked if plastic waste was sorted at recycling centres.  The Chief Officer (Streetscene and Transportation) explained that mixed plastic was collected and then sold as mixed plastic.  Separated plastic had a slightly higher value but a cost was incurred in separating the plastic.  He reported that work was being undertaken to look at the business case for separation of plastic, however he felt it was important not to make recycling more complicated for residents which may effect recycling rates.   The Chief Officer advised that the Authority was consistent with other local authorities in Wales in selling mixed plastic.  Councillor Carolyn Thomas explained that the Authority currently accepted everything except black plastic and film. 


Councillor Owen Thomas said that the volume of waste materials to be collected was increasing and asked if the Authority held records to show data on waste collected over the last five years.  He referred to the waste materials produced by supermarkets and other retail and fast food outlets and said that although the Authority was working to achieve savings the amount of waste to be collected was increasing.   


Councillor Carolyn Thomas explained that she was lobbying the WG and the UK to reduce the amount of plastic and waste produced and said that the WG was keen to work with supermarkets to encourage responsibility and reduce use of plastic material.   In response to a further question from Councillor Owen Thomas, the Chief Officer (Streetscene and Transportation),  advised that waste was one of the most regulated industries and advised that data/statistics on waste and recycling collection  was available and was regularly reported on recycling and residual waste. He added that the WG were reviewing their targets with a view to increasing recycling targets from 70% to 80%.


 Chair commented on the issue of litter discarded around fast food outlets and the ‘blight’ it caused on surrounding areas and asked if the Authority had raised the problem with local businesses.  The Chief Officer confirmed that he had written to fast-food outlets in Flintshire to outline the Committee’s concerns and had received a response which he would circulate to the Committee.  Councillor Carolyn Thomas agreed to raise the matter during her meeting with the Minister for Environment the following day.




(a)       That the Committee endorsed the portfolio pressures and investments; and


(b)       That the Committee endorsed the portfolio efficiency options.

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