Executive Member for Environment Minutes

Executive Member for Environment Minutes

Date:
Friday 4 September 2015
Time:
1:30 p.m.
Place:
Oberhausen Room,Town Hall, Middlesbrough
 

Attendance Details

Present:
Councillor T Harvey (Chair)0
Observers:
Councillor T Higgins.
Officers:
Ken Sherwood, Keith Garland, Geoff Field, Luke Henman, Angus Hoy and Sharron Brown
Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
15/1 KERBSIDE RECYCLING SERVICE - FUTURE OPTIONS.

The Executive Director of Commercial and Corporate Services submitted a report that sought a view on the most appropriate option for the future delivery of the Council's kerbside recycling service following a major collapse in the global market for the resale of recycled materials.

 

The current contract for the Council’s kerbside recycling collections had been in place for almost five years and was scheduled to run until April 2017.

 

The new system had proven extremely popular with residents. Over recent months, the end commodity market for the re-processed materials had suffered a significant collapse.

 

The current contractor had fallen into dispute with their local materials re-processor and as a result had indicated that the contract was now unsustainable and was attempting to pass on the increased cost to the Council.

 

The contractor had also implemented a policy of pre inspection of bins prior to collection, which had resulted in up to 800 bins being left uncollected in a single day. This caused the Council significant reputational damage and embarrassment, with many hundreds of residents complaining about the service and significant media interest being generated.

 

The contractor had offered the Council a revised financial proposal for the continuation of the existing arrangement, with an alternative proposal to work with the Council to transfer the service in house, should the Council prefer to do so.

 

The report outlined in further detail that there were two options available:

  1. Option 1 - Accept the revised proposal and continue with the current collection arrangements; and
  2. Option 2 - Bring the service in house (This is the recommended option).

ORDERED

 

That the decision to end the relationship with the existing contractor and that the kerbside recycling contract be brought in house be approved.

 

REASON

 

The decision was supported by the following reason:

 

Bringing the service in house is the option which provides the most cost effective solution for the Council, whilst ensuring continuity of customer service and protection against reputational damage and risk.

15/2 HEADSTONE POLICY - TESTING, REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE

The Executive Director Communities and Corporate Services submitted a report that sought approval for an updated policy for the testing, repair and maintenance of headstones within cemeteries and closed churchyards.

 

Headstone safety came to prominence some years ago due to a fatality in a graveyard due to a falling headstone. This resulted in national recommendations that all headstones and similar memorials should be safety tested on a regular cycle to minimise risk to those entering cemeteries.

 

The Council, (following best practice guidelines) needed to move towards a risk managed approach. In essence if the policy was adopted, headstones would be tested and then given one of three grades, with only those headstones which were considered to be dangerous and likely to cause significant injury or death being made safe, and those posing a lower risk being managed through a revised inspection regime.

 

The report outlined in further detail that the test result grading and actions to be taken were as follows:

  • Grade 1 - Fail - Considered dangerous with potential to cause serious or fatal injuries;
  • Grade 2 - Fail - Considered reasonably safe, and unlikely to cause injury; and
  • Grade 3 - Pass - Considered safe.

The outlined that there were two options available:

  1. Option 1 - Do nothing. The current policy was out of date and did not provide for any assessment of risk to be applied to the testing procedure. The policy needed to be updated to take account of ICCM guidance in order to minimise the potential risk to the Council; and
  2. Option 2 - Adopt the revised Policy.  (Recommended). The revised policy took account of ICCM guidance and offered an element of risk management to be applied to future headstone management. This would ensure that the Council was meeting it’s legal and public liability obligations, and minimising the risk of injuries or fatalities within its cemeteries and churchyards in the most efficient and cost effective manner.

ORDERED

 

That the revised Headstone Testing, Repair and Maintenance Policy attached at Appendix 1 of the report be approved.

 

REASON

 

The decision was supported by the following reason:

 

To ensure that the Council is meeting it’s legal and public liability obligations, and minimising the risk of injuries or fatalities within its cemeteries and churchyards in the most efficient and cost effective manner.

Agenda Item 1 will come into force with immediate effect and is not subject to scrutiny call-in procedures and Agenda Item 2 will come into force after five working days following the day the decision was published unless the decision becomes subject to the call in procedures.
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