Agenda item

Questions for the Portfolio Holder for Cleaner & Greener

The Portfolio Holder for Cleaner & Greener will be in attendance to answer questions relating to her portfolio.


The Chairman welcomed the Portfolio Holder for Cleaner & Greener to the meeting and she summarised her areas of responsibility, as well as areas of success and some future challenges within the three main areas of Direct Services, Environmental Health and Licensing. Some of the key successes included the new collection round which had reduced fuel consumption by 11%, lottery funding for Bradbourne Lakes, and being the first local authority to be trained in heritage crime. Concerns included waste levels and staffing and vehicles.


She further advised that in regards to Environmental Health, the new XL Bully legislation could be an area of focus, depending on if there were any breaches. There was an increase of food safety inspections and a number of climate change initiatives taking place.


In response to questions regarding the future of waste collection, the Portfolio Holder invited the Head of Direct Services to provide further information regarding refuse sacks, who informed Members that it was proposed as part of the budget setting process regarding the ending of ‘free’ sacks. However, should it be agreed then it was proposed that every household would receive a ‘bag for life’ which was a 200L animal proof bag. The system was already in place with 130 other Councils and assisted collections would continue to be offered to residents who required assistance.


In response to further questions regarding refuse, Members were advised that a comprehensive report would be going through the Advisory Committee, before being considered by Cabinet. She advised that lessons had been learnt regarding the Christmas waste collection but that there had been a significant increase of waste to be collected over the Christmas period and this required the refuse trucks tipping more regularly. The amount of savings in fuel, due to the new rounds was around £75,000 and this was expected to increase.


The Chairman moved from the Chair that the meeting be extended past 10.30pm to finish the business of the meeting.


Resolved: That the meeting continue past 10.30pm to finish the business of the meeting


In response to questions regarding climate change and EV parking. Members were advised that regular reports came to the Joint Transportation Board regarding charging points as the highways were the responsibility of Kent County Council. Sevenoaks were responsible for our car parks and had delivered EV charging for taxis.


Action: For Members to be provided additional information regarding payment methods for EV charging at the Council Offices  


In response to further questions, the CCTV played a vital part in its contributions to tackling crime.


Further questions focused on waste recycling and it was possible that emptying the waste in the recycling bags could slow down collection time slightly. However, many other Council’s already used this method of collection.  In regards to enforcement there were 270 live criminal cases and the team had been very successful in their prosecution of fly tipping and would continue to do so where possible. The enforcement team worked closely with the waste team and all had training on looking for evidence and bagging it up correctly.


Kent County Council were the waste authority and so set the rules of the waste and recycling requirements. It was expected that the new legislation would make waste and recycling easier for many.


In regards to a question on markets, the Portfolio Holder advised that they were open to new sites which wished for a market to run but it could be hard to find providers.


The Chairman thanked the Portfolio Holder for Cleaner & Greener for attending.



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