Agenda and draft minutes

Environment & Leisure Working Group
Thursday 27th February 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Blue & Pink - Blue & Pink. View directions

Contact: Carley Lavender (Ext 37547) 

Items
No. Item

13.

Declarations of Interest

            Members and Officers are reminded to make any declarations of pecuniary, personal and/or prejudicial interests that they may have in relation to items on this agenda and are reminded that they should re-declare their interest before consideration of the item or as soon as the interest becomes apparent.

 

            Members and officer should make their declaration by stating :

a) the application they have the interest in

b) whether it is a pecuniary, personal and/or prejudicial

c) the nature of the interest

d) if it is a prejudicial or pecuniary interest, whether they will be exercising their right to speak to the application

 

Minutes:

            Councillor Brooks declared a Personal Interest in item 6 [Cemeteries Regulations & Procedures] as he personally knows one of the Cemetery Managers.

14.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 142 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Environment & Leisure Working Group  held on 7 November 2019.

Minutes:

            The minutes of the last meeting held on 7 November 2019 were approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

15.

Local Community Network Update pdf icon PDF 395 KB

This report informs members of the progress made by the Arun District LCNs and development of the LCN model.Members are requested to note the report.

Minutes:

            In agreement with the Chairman the Working Group agreed that due to a late apology received from the NHS representative that this item should be deferred to the next meeting of the Working Group to allow for a more meaningful discussion to be had.

 

            The Working Group

           

                        RESOLVED – That

 

1)    this report be deferred to the next meeting of the Working Group

 

16.

Cemeteries Policy pdf icon PDF 478 KB

Cemeteries are a statutory service provided by the Council acting as a Burial Authority. To ensure that the service continues to provide the highest possible standards, the Council commissioned a service review by the Institute of Cemetery & Crematorium Management (ICCM) in August 2018. In line with the recommendations from this review and to ensure that the Council is following industry best practice together with meeting its statutory obligations, the Council’s regulations and procedures for the management and maintenance of its cemeteries have been updated.

 

The Working Group are asked to recommend to Cabinet that;

 

a)    From 1 April 2020 Arun District Council does adopt the proposed Cemeteries Regulations and all procedures as outlined in this report.

b)    The new associated fees & charges as outlined in the report are approved for implementation from April 2020.

c)    The service enhancements & projects identified within the report are endorsed and where appropriate, delivery will be considered as part of the Council’s future annual budget setting

d)    Future changes and amendments to the regulations, procedures and fees & charges, can be made in consultation with the Cabinet Member with delegated responsibility for Cemeteries.

e)    Within 12 months following the Councils adoption of these regulations, the Cemeteries Service shall submit to the ICCM a request for Arun, as a burial authority, to become a member of the Charter for the Bereaved, which further enhances the Council’s reputation as a modern, compassionate, lawfully and legally compliant Cemeteries Service provider.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Environmental Services and Strategy Manager drew Members attention to section 1.4 of the report where he summarised that the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) was commissioned in 2018 to undertake a review of its services. In the main review it confirmed that the service was operating well with effective systems and compliance. It did highlight the following:

 

§  Staffing was lower than expected in respect of the size and responsibilities of the service

§  There was a need to update and review service regulations and procedures

 

As well as the above and to further inform the review of the regulations, procedures, fees and charges, the Parks and Cemeteries Manager had completed benchmarking against other local and neighbouring authorities.

 

The Parks and Cemeteries Manager then drew Members attention to the following:

 

§  Encouraging biodiversity within cemeteries with the introduction of wild flower areas

§  Grave allocation & ownership, regulations now define how and when out of rotation purchases of graves may be undertaken at additional cost

§  New regulations for Lawn sections

§  Scattering of ashes to be allowed at designated places at Council cemeteries

§  The proposal that specific areas are set aside and suitably landscaped to provide an appropriate location for deceased children

§  New regulations relating to memorials and memorial installation, requirements that monumental masons provide:

§  Membership of a trade body

§  Copies of testing certificates evidencing compliance for ground anchor systems

§  Copies and receipt of public liability insurance held

§  Copies of guarantee provided to memorial and/or grave owner

 

A full debate took place with Members raising the following points:

 

§  In relation to section 1.5.7 of the report a number of questions and concerns were raised, officers gave assurances that the ICCM had agreed that ADC’s proposed measures in relation to memorial safety were ‘entirely reasonable and went further than most’. It was agreed that a meeting would be arranged with Members who wanted to attend with Officers to discuss these concerns in more detail

§  Concerns in relation to why there had been an increase in fees were raised. It was explained that on completing the benchmarking exercise it was highlighted that the Councils fees were significantly lower that other local authorities and with the Council’s desire to make the improvements that had been detailed within the report it was felt that the increases were justified.

§  A question was asked in relation to the cost of the work needed at Bognor Regis Chapel. It was explained that this question would require an answer from the Properties & Estates Team. The Working Group agreed to accept a written response at a later date.

 

 

            The Working Group

           

            RECOMMEND to Cabinet – That

           

a)    From 1 April 2020 Arun District Council does adopt the proposed Cemeteries Regulations and all procedures as outlined in this report.

b)    The new associated fees & charges as outlined in the report are approved for implementation from April 2020.

c)    The service enhancements & projects identified within the report are endorsed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Enforcement Contract Update pdf icon PDF 164 KB

Since May 2017 Arun District Council has provided environmental enforcement services through an agency agreement with East Hampshire District Council. Previous reports through the E&LWG have outlined the detail of the service arrangements with recommendations to approve the agreement.

 

This report provides Members with an update on the agreement and seeks a recommendation to Cabinet for an extension until 14 May 2022.

 

Minutes:

            The Environmental Services & Strategy Manager advised Members that since 2017 Arun District Council (ADC) had provided environmental enforcement services through an agency agreement with East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) and that the report was seeking a recommendation to Cabinet to extend the agreement for a further 2 years from 15 May 2020 to 14 May 2022.

 

            He went on to advise that throughout the one-year trail agreed in May 2017, the delegation of enforcement powers given to EHDC to enable their officers to undertake littering enforcement across the district with a focus on Town Centres was an immediate success and subsequently extended in December 2017 for further two-year period up until 15 May 2020. He also drew Members attention to the fact that neighbouring authority Chichester District Council also commenced the scheme in November 2017 with EHDC.

 

            The Cleansing Services Manager drew Members attention to the current statistics section of the report (2.0), he advised that the contract was efficient, that EH Commercial Services Ltd are recognised as a good performer given their 100% prosecution rate and highlighted that they are also recognised by the courts as the lead for best practice for Single Justice Procedure. He further highlighted the work the officers complete regarding education for under 18’s, vulnerable adults and non-UK residents where tickets could have been issued and that they have been shortlisted for an award in the Public Service category at the 2020 LGC awards.

 

            The Environmental Services & Strategy Manager confirmed that in extending the agreement for a further two-years, EHDC had offered a share on any income beyond the point at which operating costs are covered. This money would then be ringfenced for reinvestment in targeted additional enforcement and educational patrols against dog fouling, breaches of dog controls and other littering offences.

 

            Members took part in a full debate and asked a number of questions of which have been summarised below;

 

§  A request to see some benchmarking in future reports for comparison purposes was made

§  Confirmation of the cost of the agreement was sought, this was confirmed as zero cost to ADC

§  Overflowing bins at fast food outlets was a concern highlighted, it was advised to Members that ADC do have a Street Scene Enforcement Officer who they should report incidents like this to and a visit to the premises would be made, however this was confirmed as a separate service to the EHDC agreement

§  Concerns regarding dog fouling were also raised and addressed

§  A question was raised at how much income this agreement could approximately bring in, it was confirmed that it was expected to be approximately £12,000 and this would be ringfenced for use within the programme as explained previously

 

            The Working Group

           

                        RECOMMEND to Cabinet – That

           

1)    the agency agreement with East Hampshire District Council is extended for a further two years from 15 May 2020 until 14 May 2022.

2)    the charging model of the agreement is amended, as outlined in the report. This is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Report back from Cabinet/Full Council

There will be an update on the Climate Change recommendation [Minute number 12] made to Cabinet and Full Council at the meeting on 7 November 2019. This will be updated after the Full Council Meeting on 15 January 2020.

Minutes:

            The Chairman confirmed that the previous recommendations made at the last meeting on 7 November 2019 to Cabinet and Full Council for consideration were;

 

1)    Minute 9 [Urgent Item – Bognor Regis Disc Parking Scheme] had been withdrawn as this had been superseded by the resolution made at the last Full Council meeting held on 13 November 2019 [Minute 300 – Bognor Regis Regeneration Sub-Committee of 28 October 2019 referred].

 

2)    Minute 12 – Climate Change – Cabinet agreed with and resolved the recommendation.

 

19.

Work Programme 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 12 KB

To review and consider any changes needed to the approved work programme for 2019/20.

Minutes:

            The Committee Manager advised Members that as this meeting was the last for this municipal year, that officers would present a draft work programme at the first meeting in the new municipal year for their review.

 

            The Chairman agreed that Members could present suggestions for the new work programme for her to collate and pass on to officers ahead of the next meeting.