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

27.

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.

28.

Minutes of the meeting held on 19 September 2014 pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 29 September 2014 were confirmed.

29.

Matters arising from the minutes

Minutes:

(a)      Annual Health and Safety Review (minute 22 refers)

 

Jim Brennan, Director, reported that the internal audit of health and safety was now complete.  It had found a reasonable level of assurance.  There were some recommendations which would be reported to the January meeting of the Audit Committee.

 

(b)      Use of Wood Chippings (minute 26 refers)

 

Jim Brennan reported that wood chippings cannot be used as mulch or animal bedding as they contain contaminants such as glue, paint and other chemicals.

30.

Budget Monitoring Report Period 7 (2014-15) pdf icon PDF 205 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

See report of the Treasurer and Director (agenda item 5).

 

Jay Patel introduced the report.  He referred to the fact that there was a forecast £1.4 million surplus once financing charges had been stripped out from the fixed cost levy.  The pattern of expenditure remained similar to the last reporting period.  Tonnage levels remained high but the costs were almost entirely recovered from the PAYT levy income.  He referred to three performance indicators which were not currently on green.  Performance on debtor payments should improve when the new IT system was implemented from early 2015.

 

Resolved -

 

That the current financial position in 2014/2015 to period 7 and the Key Performance Indicators be noted.

31.

Update on the Waste Prevention Action Plan for 2014/15 and proposed 2015/16 Action Plan pdf icon PDF 142 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

See report of the Director and Chief Technical Advisor (agenda item 6).

 

Sarah Ellis, Waste Minimisation Officer, presented the report.  She described some of the initiatives and successes in 2014/2015 so far.  Councillor Parmar reported that the London Borough of Harrow was quite active through its recycling officers in supporting waste prevention initiatives.

 

Sarah Ellis then summarised the proposed Waste Prevention Action Plan for 2015/2016.  Some areas received greater emphasis such as home composting while fewer resources were being allocated to previous campaigns such as the Rubbish Diet Initiative, disposable nappies, etc..  The budget for 2015/2016 had been reduced by one third. She would continue to look for external funding to support events and activities.  Events provided a good opportunity to engage with the public on waste prevention.  Member attendance of events was very welcome.

 

Councillor Fleming was interested in promoting recycling in school kitchens in Richmond Borough and she would talk directly to Sarah Ellis regarding opportunities which might be available.

 

Resolved -

 

(a)      That the progress of activities so far in 2014/2015 as set out in appendix 1 be noted.

 

(b)      That the proposed Waste Prevention Action Plan for 2015/2016 as set out at appendix 2 be agreed.

32.

Budget 2015/2016 - for Consultation pdf icon PDF 250 KB

Minutes:

See report of the Treasurer and Director (agenda item 7).

 

Jay Patel, Head of Finance and Performance, introduced the report.  He stated that there was growth in costs of 9% (or £5 million).  The increases were largely due to disposal cost increases on large contracts. An element was also due to landfill tax.  This was mitigated in part by corporate savings of £500,000.  Financing costs had also been stripped out from the revenue budget.  Interest on financing had been capitalised after taking advice from Price Waterhouse Cooper.  This was a normal accounting practice and a more detailed report would be made to the January meeting.

 

Detailed consultation had taken place in November with officers in constituent boroughs on the budget proposals.  Authority now sought to consult formally with Finance Directors.  The report proposed an indicative levy figure based on a balanced budget.  There was no planned over or underspend.  The level of reserves was low compared to other waste disposal Authorities however it was regarded as reasonable.  Keith Townsend, Chief Technical Advisor, reported on behalf of the Treasurer (who had been delayed and was not able to attend) that the level of reserves were set at a sensible and prudent level to minimise the risk of the need to issue a supplementary levy.

 

Members wished to thank officers for their hard work and effective approach to preparation of the budget proposals.

 

Resolved -

 

(a)      That the 2015/2016 draft budget proposal for consultation with constituent Boroughs be agreed.

 

(b)      That the indicative levies and charges for 2015/2016 be noted.

 

(c)      That the proposed level of reserves of £5.8 million to act as a buffer for managing risks and avoiding supplementary levies be noted.

33.

Joint Waste Management Strategy Contracts Update pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Minutes:

See Report of the Director and Chief Technical Advisor (agenda item 8).

 

Ken Lawson introduced the report.  The residual waste contract was progressing well.  Works had started at Victoria Road waste transfer station.  There had been some delay but this would not impact on the full service start date.  There had been a weather delay in Bristol.  However the delay caused by this had reduced and work was expected to be back on programme in early 2015.  The capital contribution to date was £21 million. 

 

Barry Lister, Assistant Director, summarised the details concerning other waste service contracts.  Officers undertook to provide more information on the health and safety performance of contractors.

 

Resolved -

 

(a)      That the current position with the contracts as set out in the report be noted.

 

(b)      That progress with the wood and mattress tenders be noted.

34.

Corporate Governance – Appointment of Audit Committee Member and Independent Persons, Implementation of Transparency Code pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

See report of the Director and Clerk (agenda item 9).

 

Resolved -

 

(a)      That Councillor Parmar be appointed to the Audit Committee.

 

(b)      That the role of the Independent Persons be noted.

 

(c)      That a panel of two Members (nominated by the clerk depending upon availability) interview and appoint the Independent Persons.

 

(b)      That the Authority's actions to address the requirements of the Transparency Code be noted.

35.

West London Waste Plan Proposed Main Modifications pdf icon PDF 196 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

See report of the Director and Chief Technical Advisor (agenda item 10).

 

Jim Brennan, Director, referred to an additional key development criterion which was being proposed for the Twyford site.  There was concern that this extra requirement could increase the cost, complexity or even prevent the redevelopment of this site for waste use in future.  The proposed response did challenge this point.

 

Resolved -

 

(a)      That the proposed main modifications to the West London Waste Plan be noted.

 

(b)      That the Authority response to these modifications attached at appendix 1 to the report be agreed.

36.

Urgent business

Any other items which the Chair accepts for consideration on the grounds of urgency.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business

37.

Exclusion of Press and Public

 

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.

Minutes:

Resolved -

 

That the public and press be asked to leave the meeting during discussion of the following items 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.

38.

Joint Waste Management Strategy Contracts Update - confidential appendices to item 8

Minutes:

The confidential appendix was noted.

39.

Directors Delegated Decision - Contract Arrangements for Waste Wood

Minutes:

See report of the Director and Chief Technical Advisor (agenda item 14).

 

Resolved -

 

That the decision by the Director, in consultation with the Clerk, Treasurer and Chief Technical Advisor under the scheme of Officer delegation to amend the agreement with Stobart Biomass Products Ltd be noted.