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

28.

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.

29.

Minutes of the meeting held on 18 September 2015 pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 18 September 2015 were confirmed.

30.

Matters arising from the minutes

Minutes:

(a)      Independent Persons (minute 18 refers)

 

It was reported that the Independent Persons had visited the waste transfer sites and had also attended training on their role and on the functions of the Standards Committee.

 

(b)      European Commission proposals for the Circular Economy (minute 23 refers)

 

Jim Brennan, Director, reported that the headline target recycling figure was now proposed to be 65% rather than 70% but this was still very stretching. Proposed changes to definitions of different categories of waste would be quite important. There was proposed to be a ban on the landfilling of food waste. The final package of EC proposals should be in place known with implementation in 2019. The London Waste and Recycling Board and the Mayor’s Office had also issued papers on the proposals. He undertook to circulate these to Members of the Authority. A further report would be made to the January meeting.

31.

Budget monitoring report Period 7 (October) pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

Jay Patel, Head of Finance and Performance, introduced the report. There was an overall favourable budget variance which was forecast to continue over the financial year. All key performance indicators were now on target including that for the recycling and diversion rate at Twyford which had been amber at the time the report was written was now green. He asked the Authority to note the delegated decisions taken by officers. He referred to the outcome of the review of the Authority’s financial policies and procedures. He referred to the fact that counter fraud policies applied to the Councillors who were members of the Authority as well as to employees.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Graham Henson he confirmed that surplus reserves would be returned to the constituent boroughs but that this would happen after the end of the financial year when exact figures including accountancy provisions and pension valuations, which could have a significant impact, were known and this would normally be in June.

 

Resolved -

 

a)       That the current financial position in 2015/16 to Period 7 and Key Performance Indicators be noted.

 

b)       That the financial decisions taken under the Scheme of Delegation to Officers be noted.

 

c)       That the updated Financial Regulations and new Anti-bribery and Counter Fraud Policy be approved.

32.

Waste Prevention – Update on the Waste Prevention Action Plan for 2015-16 and proposed 2016-17 Action Plan pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

Roger St Paul, Waste Minimisation Officer, introduced the report. He was pleased to report that the various waste minimisation initiatives were progressing well with all the major performance indicators on green. He confirmed that the Authority had now signed up to the next phase of the Courtauld Commitment. He reported that the joint bid to the European Union for funding to raise awareness of food waste and share best practice had not been successful. News was still awaited on the outcome of the bid to the Business Innovation and Skills Department to increase reuse and recycling of broken and unwanted electrical items. He reported that the team had been shortlisted for a number of awards and had won the award for the best team of the year 2015 by the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC). This was for their innovation, team ethic, transparency, results and ability to achieve value for money. The Chair and Members of the Authority wished to record their congratulations to all members of the team on their success.

 

Roger St Paul then went on to describe the proposed Waste Prevention Action Plan 2016/2017 which was appended in full to the report. The main changes from the previous year related to an increased budget for staff to attend events, the addition of food waste recycling, direct working with local furniture reuse charities, a new nappy trial pack and educational resources for the new education centre at Victoria Road waste transfer station. Home composting had been removed from the plan as it was primarily only reaching people who already knew about composting. It was proposed to scale back work on the Rubbish Diet program to give time to take stock and examine the impact of the initiatives undertaken so far. Councillor Fleming was keen to build on the food waste activities undertaken in Richmond Borough. Councillor Henson reported that the surplus food activities in Harrow had highlighted surprisingly high levels of food wastage - in the region of 8000 tonnes a year.

 

It was agreed that it would be helpful to share information across constituent boroughs about the impact of the Rubbish Diet initiative as part of the review process.

 

Resolved

 

a)       That the progress of activities so far in 2015/16 (as at appendix 1) be noted.

 

b)       That it be noted that the Authority has signed up to the Courtauld 2025 Commitment (as at appendix 2).

 

c)       That the proposed Waste Prevention Action Plan 2016/17 (as at appendix 3) be agreed.

33.

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 and 5 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.

34.

Joint Waste Management Strategy confidential contract arrangements

Minutes:

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

 

Barry Lister, Senior Assistant Director, introduced the report. He confirmed that all the existing contractors for the treatment of organic waste had been benchmarked against the market and continued to provide good value for money.

 

He reported that an interim arrangement had been put in place with a contractor to manage the abandoned vehicle service until a longer term solution could be found in consultation with the constituent boroughs. The contractor’s facilities were much closer and therefore there was expected to be a reduction in transport costs, although storage costs were greater. The overall costs were expected to be broadly similar to the previous contract arrangements but there was the potential for them to increase. Due diligence checks had been undertaken to ensure that contractors storage and depollution arrangements met required standards.

 

Resolved

 

a)       That a 2 year extension be agreed from the 1st April 2016 to the contracts for transport arrangements with J. Shorten & Sons Ltd and Ace Holdings and Investments Ltd.

 

b)       That a 2 year extension be agreed from the 1st April 2016 to the contracts for the treatment and/or transport of organic waste streams with Biogen (UK) Ltd, Countrystyle Recycling Ltd, Tamar Organics Ltd; and West London Composting Ltd.

 

c)       That a 2 year extension be agreed from the 1st April 2016 to the ad-hoc arrangement contracts for both transport and organic waste treatment services.

 

d)       That the Director be authorised to use his delegated powers to put in place interim arrangements for the abandoned vehicle service which will continue until formal arrangements, referred to recommendation e) below, are concluded and in place.

 

e)       That the Director be authorised to undertake a formal procurement process and to accept suitable arrangements offered for the management of the abandoned vehicle service in accordance with the Authority’s Standing Orders.

 

The public and press were readmitted to the meeting at this point.

35.

Draft budget 2016-2017 for consultation pdf icon PDF 199 KB

Minutes:

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

 

Jay Patel, Head of Finance and Performance, introduced the report. Budget costs were expected to fall by £4.1 million over the next year but then the levy would rise again in 2017/2018. Despite that, it would still be lower than the current levy. The main area of saving was from the significantly reduced costs arising from the West London Residual Waste Services Contract, although it had to be recognised that some of these were one-off savings.

 

Careful consideration had been given to the risks facing the Authority over the coming year which were set out in section 17 of the report. The level of reserves was set at an amount to reflect those risks prudently but not in an overcautious way. In addition, any specific contingency sums which were set aside but were ultimately unused would returned to the boroughs at the close of the 2016/2017 financial year. Any additional general reserves above the level agreed by the Authority were likely to be returned in June 2016. Ian O’Donnell, Treasurer, reported that the views of Finance Directors of constituent boroughs had been sought as to whether Boroughs might wish to see a smoothing of the movement in levies over the next 3 years. The preference however was that the levy should reflect actual costs year on year.

 

In response to a question, Jim Brennan, Director explained that the Authority would receive income from excess electricity generation at the Severn Side Energy Recovery Centre on a 60/40 basis. The Authority would also receive a similar share of income of any third-party waste coming into the plant or through its transfer stations. The potential income from these sources was not shown in this year’s budget.

 

Members wished to thank Jay Patel and the finance team for the considerable amount of work in pulling together the budget proposals.

 

Resolved -

 

a)       That the 2016/17 draft budget proposal be agreed for consultation with the constituent boroughs.

 

b)       That the indicative Pay As You Throw (PAYT) rates in section 13 of the report and the resulting PAYT levy of £45.5 million, a fall of £3.5 million from 2015/16 be noted.

 

c)       That the one off nature of some of the savings in 2016/17 in section 6 of the report which will mean levies will rise in 2017/18 and boroughs will therefore need to plan accordingly be noted.

 

d)       That it be noted that Borough Finance Directors have been asked for their views and suggestions regarding the smoothing of movement in levies.

 

e)       That the Fixed Cost Levy (FCL) of £10.6 million in section 14 of the report, £0.6 million down from 2015/16, be noted.

 

f)        That the recommended trade waste prices for 2016/17 in section 15 of the report be noted.

 

g)       That the proposed capital budget in section 16 be noted.

 

h)       That the proposed level of reserves of £4.2 million to act as a buffer for managing risks and avoiding  supplementary levies, in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

Medium and Long Term Financial Plan pdf icon PDF 380 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

See report of the Treasurer and Director (agenda item 8).

 

Jay Patel, Head of Finance and Performance, introduced the report. The medium term financial position of the Authority was strong. The residual waste management contract mitigated against the impact of inflation. The Authority had good liquidity and healthy cash balances. Managing the growth of residual waste tonnages would be the driving factor for long term costs and levies.

 

Resolved -

 

a)       That the medium and long term financial position of the Authority be noted.

 

b)       That the sensitivity analysis and impact of waste growth and inflation be noted.

37.

Joint Waste Management Strategy and contracts update pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

Jim Brennan, Director, introduced the report. He asked Members to note the change of name of the contract company for the West London Residual Waste Services Contract to West London Energy Recovery Ltd. He reported that he had visited the recovery plant the previous day. There were some minor delays which meant that currently the project was 4 weeks behind. However it was expected that the project would be brought back on time by a change to the commissioning process. The commissioning phase would be from March to July 2016. This may require waste to be transferred by road from the railhead in Avonmouth for a period. There was a possibility that if less waste was taken from the Authority during the commissioning period then waste disposal costs might be higher than expected during that time. Contingency arrangements were being put in place.

 

He reported that officers were still reviewing the business case for the proposed options put forward by Suez on behalf of West London Energy Recovery Ltd for the bulking of organic waste at Victoria Road. He asked members to note the recent announcement that the decision on whether a 3rd runway would be built at Heathrow airport was delayed which would continue the uncertainty regarding the future of the Lakeside Energy from Waste Plant in Colnbrook.

 

Resolved -

 

That the update report be noted.

38.

Exclusion of press and public

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 1 and 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 is likely to be made known.

39.

Confidential minutes of the meeting held on 18 September 2015

Minutes:

With reference to the confidential minutes, it was noted that a satisfactory negotiated settlement had been achieved in relation to the improvement works at Victoria road. The proposals concerning a pilot project on carpet recycling had been delayed until January 2016.

 

The confidential minutes of the meeting held on 18 September 2015 were confirmed.

40.

Verbal update on recruitment of new Managing Director

Minutes:

Keith Townsend, Chief Technical Adviser, updated Members of the Authority on progress on the recruitment of a new Director for the Authority.