Hounslow Council


Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Mike Smith, tel 020 8583 2069, e-mail  mike.smith@hounslow.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

20.

Declarations of interest

Members are reminded that if they have a pecuniary interest in any matter being discussed at the meeting they must declare the interest.  They may not take part in any discussion or vote on a matter in which they have a pecuniary interest.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

21.

Exclusion of Press and Public

Please note that the public and press may need to leave the meeting temporarily at this point while the confidential item 13 is discussed.  A decision is required on this item before the Authority can go on to decide upon the budget and levy for 2014/2015. It is therefore recommended:

 

That the public and press be asked to leave the meeting during discussion of item 13 because exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 is likely to be made known.

Minutes:

Resolved -

 

That the public and press be asked to leave the meeting during discussion of the following item because exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 is likely to be made known.

22.

Procurement of Organic Waste Treatment and Transport Services

Minutes:

See report of the Director and Chief Technical Adviser (agenda item 13).

 

It was confirmed that there were quality standards for compost (PAS 100 and PAS110) produced from organic waste treatment.  The quality tended to be better where there was separation of waste materials at source.  Compost produced was generally used in agriculture rather than domestic supply.

 

There was some concern expressed by members that the PAS accreditation requirements were restricting the ability of new organic waste treatment companies to enter the market.  Companies were required to build up a track record before accreditation could be awarded and therefore had a disadvantage in tendering for contracts from waste authorities which were obliged to require PAS compliance as part of the tender criteria.  Jim Brennan, Director, reported that this issue has been raised as part of the dialogue with government.  It was felt that accreditation should be a more managed process which enabled companies seeking accreditation to bid for contracts.  He undertook to check progress of discussions with DEFRA regarding the adverse impact on market competition of expected PAS accreditation requirements.  The Chair also undertook to raise these concerns at a forthcoming meeting with other London Waste Disposal Authority Chairs in March 2014.

 

Jim Brennan, Director, stated that it would be helpful for the Authority to be kept briefed of the constituent boroughs future intentions regarding organic waste collection and treatment in order that the Authority could plan its own provision effectively.

 

Resolved -

 

(a)      That the contractors listed in recommendation of the report be appointed for the organic waste treatment services indicated in each case.

 

(b)      That an inter-authority agreement be established with the London Borough of Brent for the provision of bulking facilities for co-mingled kitchen/food and green garden waste.

 

(c)      That the contractors listed in recommendation 4 be appointed to provide transport services for waste and other materials arising at HRRC and associated sites.

 

(d)      That officers be authorised to enter into ad hoc arrangements as identified in the report with the contractors listed in recommendation 5.

23.

Minutes of the meeting held on 13 December 2013 pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 13 December 2013 were confirmed.

24.

Report of the Audit Committee pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Minutes:

See report of the Chair of the Audit Committee (agenda item 5).

 

Councillor Ellar stated that there was a considerable amount of work being undertaken to ensure that the Authority was robustly addressing finance and governance issues.  The reserves of the Authority were now being rebuilt.  The Audit Committee was benefiting from the constructive challenge of the very proficient Independent member.

 

Ian O'Donnell, Treasurer, stated that the Audit Committee had considered the annual audit letter and two audit reviews.  One of the audit reviews concerned contract management.  Many of those contracts would now be included in the new contracts for residual waste, organics and transport.  Considerable progress was being made on corporate governance issues.  Consideration had been given to the risk register.

 

There was a need to fill the vacancy on the Audit Committee from amongst the Conservative Group members of the Authority.

 

Resolved -

 

(a)      That the matters discussed and agreed at the Audit Committee meeting be noted.

 

(b)      That nominations be sought to fill the vacancy on the Audit Committee.

25.

Budget Monitoring Report - Period 8 (2013-14) pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Minutes:

See report of the Treasurer (agenda item 6).

 

Diane Makepeace, Interim Head of Finance and Performance, provided members with an update on the financial position of the Authority at the end of period eight of the financial year as set out in the report. 

 

There was a projected underspend in the region of £2 million.  However there was a degree of uncertainty created by the transition to significantly different arrangements under the new residual waste contract. 

 

A review was being undertaken of Key Performance Indicators particularly to take account of the new contract arrangements.  At the request of Members, officers undertook to report upon the proposed Key Performance Indicators to the next meeting of the Authority.  The need to maintain continuity in the use of the indicators where possible was noted.  Performance on payment of invoices within 30 days was below target in percentage terms, however this related to a very low number of invoices.  Income from chargeable DIY waste had dropped over Christmas as would be expected.  The target income for the whole year was likely to be achieved.

 

Resolved -

 

(a)      That the current financial position (as set out in appendix 1 of the report) which showed an underspend of £1.8 million be noted.

 

(b)      That performance to date measured against the Key Performance Indicators for 2013/2014 (as set out in appendix 2 of the report) be noted.

 

(c)      That the current position of reserves be noted.

 

(d)      That progress on implementing Finance, HR and ICT systems and infrastructure be noted.

26.

2014-15 Budget and Medium Term Financial Plan, Fixed Cost Levy and Pay as you Throw Rates pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Minutes:

See report of the Treasurer (agenda item 8).

 

Ian O'Donnell, Treasurer, highlighted the key issues from the report concerning the setting of the Authority's budget for 2014 to 2015.  There was expected to be an overall reduction in operating costs of £3.373 million due to the procurement exercise and other savings.  The Fixed Cost Levy (FCL) had reduced substantially from the previous year.  However the Pay As You Throw rates had increased as a result of costs transferred from the FCL and landfill tax increases.  The Authority had managed to rebuild its reserves which stood at £4 million.  He recommended that the Authority should maintain reserves of 5% or approximately £3 million.  His also recommended that members should consider paying back the loan from Harrow Council with any reserves available in excess of that figure.  The actual amount of reserves available for loan repayment would depend on the final end of year position.  Consideration could also be given to refinancing any remaining part of the loan at a considerably cheaper rate.  Councillor Colin Ellar felt that the Authority should act with prudence and not let its reserves fall below £3 million.

 

Jim Brennan, Director, confirmed that negotiations with the London Borough of Hillingdon to take over the HRRC site at Victoria Road were continuing.  Members were keen to ensure as a point of principle that free use of the site at the point of access, by residents of the whole West Waste area, was maintained as part of any agreement negotiated.

 

Resolved -

 

(a)      That the consultation responses received from the boroughs attached as appendices to the report he noted.

 

(b)      That the Fixed Cost Levy for 2014-15 be set at £11,944,000.

 

(c)      That the Fixed Cost Levy savings targets set out at paragraphs 14 to 16 of the report be agreed.

 

(d)      That the Pay as you Throw (PAYT) charges set out at paragraphs 17 and 18 of the report be agreed and that officers be authorised to revise rates during the year should the market change or anticipated rises are higher than budget where fixed rates are not in place e.g. wood, soil, rubble, mattresses and carpets.

 

(e)      That the trade waste price increases for 2014-15 as set out in paragraph 19 of the report be agreed.

 

(f)       That the Capital budget set out at paragraphs 20 to 23 of the report be agreed.

 

(g)      That the Authority’s revised PAYT Medium Term Financial Strategy for 2014-15 to 2016-17 based on the latest cost estimates and tonnage projections as set out in paragraph 24 of the report be agreed.

 

(h)      That the contribution to General Reserves of £425,000 as set out at paragraph 25 of the report be agreed.

 

(i)       That a contingency budget of £1,000,000 as set out in paragraph 31 of the report be agreed.

 

(j)       That officers be authorised to make arrangements to pay off all or part of the loan to Harrow Council subject to maintaining balances of £3 million.

 

(k)      That any formal lease  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.

27.

Joint Waste Management Strategy Procurement Update pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Minutes:

See report of the Director and Chief Technical Adviser (agenda item 9).

 

Jim Brennan, Director, provided an update on the start of the West London residual waste services contract with the SITA Consortium.  There had been a few teething problems on the first day of the transfer but systems were now working well for the delivery of waste to the transfer stations.  Construction had started on the treatment plant in Bristol.  A potential issue had arisen regarding access arrangements for construction of the HS2 rail link which was going under the Victoria Road site in tunnel.  A right of access for construction purposes was being sought which cut across the corner of the waste transfer station site.  Officers were in discussions regarding the proposal.  It was not felt to be a significant issue at this stage.

 

The project board would continue in existence through the mobilisation stage.  The spend on external advisers exceeded the original tenders by a significant margin as there had been additional work, that whilst foreseen, was not quantifiable at tender stage, required at various stages in the procurement process.  However Councillor Bassam Mahfouz reflected that this had been a wise investment which had led to delivery of the procurement on time and under budget.

 

Resolved -

 

That the commencement of the West London residual waste services contract with the SITA Consortium be noted.

28.

Making local councils more transparent and accountable to local people – Action Plan pdf icon PDF 119 KB

Minutes:

See report of the Director and Clerk (agenda item 10).

 

Resolved -

 

That the Authority's action plan to address the requirements of the Government's proposals "Making local councils more transparent and accountable to local people" be noted.

29.

Dates of future meetings

All meetings are on a Friday at 2pm at Hounslow Civic Centre.

 

It is proposed to changed the meeting scheduled  for 25 April 2014 to Friday 28 March 2014

 

27 June 2014

19 September 2014

12 December 2014

Minutes:

Resolved -

 

That the date of the next meeting scheduled for 25 April 2014 be changed to 14 March 2014 at 2pm.