To consider a referral to the Scrutiny Board in the name of Cllr Paul Wadsworth.
The Head of Governance and Scrutiny Support submitted a report that presented a request for scrutiny, alongside some background information to help inform the Board’s consideration.
The following were in attendance for this item:
o Councillor Wadsworth
o Councillor M Rafique, Executive Member for Environment and Active Lifestyles
o James Rogers, Director of Communities and Environment
o John Woolmer, Deputy Chief Officer Waste Management
The request for Scrutiny was submitted as follows:
To consider an inquiry into ‘the reasons for continued problems with collections, the issue of fly tipping, and continued delays to the route rationalisation process, data and information management and the overall effectiveness of leadership and management structures within the service’.
Councillor Wadsworth presented the request for Scrutiny to the Board, informing Members of the continued missed collections, particularly in the summer months, which ultimately affects all of the wards across Leeds being a city wide issue. It was highlighted that the reporting of those streets that are missed is of concern, and the report which is produced at the end of the day, doesn’t include all of the streets that have been missed. It was requested that a working group be set up, to hear from the signatures on the referral letter and their concerns.
Additionally, the Chair added that John Woolmer has proposed that he will be visiting each of the Community Committees, to discuss an array of proposals which are being worked on. It was suggested that a working group be held on the 11th November for the signatures on the referral attend, and in December, the Inquiry on Kerbside Collection and Recycling would be brought forward, and a report be prepared for this meeting with an update on the recommendations.
In response, the Executive Member for Environment and Active Lifestyles, explained that:
· The issues surrounding the end of day report would be addressed in the coming months;
· The use of the term “route failure” would be looked into in further detail with future end of day reports been clearer on the specific reasons for the failure;
· It has been identified there are annual challenges around the summer school holiday period, and further detail in regard to staffing issues would be looked into;
· Whilst in-cab technology is now been used, we are still in the process of training drivers to use the system appropriately and fully.
The Director of Communities and Environment added that the service collects somewhere in the region of 60,000 bins per day and there are a number of factors contributing to failed collections, most notably access issues which are a major factor. A full review of the service is currently being undertaken which aims to address many of the issues referred to in the request for scrutiny. The end of day report is being considered and some improvements have already been made but other changes are also needed to make it much more meaningful to members.
Members agreed that they understood the concerns raised by those referring the matter to scrutiny and as such decided further detailed discussion at a working group was unnecessary. It was noted that officers were due to report back on last year’s scrutiny inquiry into waste management issues in January 2020 but at the request of the Scrutiny Board officers agreed to bring this forward to December’s meeting. Additionally, it was agreed that a response would be sent to those signatures on the referral letter, confirming what the directorate’s report would be include on the agenda for the December meeting.
RESOLVED – The Scrutiny Board (Environment, Housing and Communities):
a) That the contents of the report, along with Members comments, be noted;
b) That a response be written to the signatures detailed within the referral to Scrutiny, to provide some scope on the Inquiry on Kerbside Collection and Recycling report, which is intended to come before the Scrutiny Board, at the meeting to be held on 2nd December 2019.