Agenda and minutes

Environment Committee - Thursday 14th July 2022 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Arun Civic Centre, Maltravers Road, Littlehampton, BN17 5LF. View directions

Contact: Helen Burt 

Media

Items
No. Item

135.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Edwards and Pendleton.

 

136.

Declarations of Interest

Members and Officers are invited to make any declaration 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 items or as soon as the interest becomes apparent.

 

Members and Officers should make their declaration by stating:

 

a)             the item they have the interest in

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

c)             the nature of the interest

 

Minutes:

Councillor Goodheart declared a Personal Interest in Agenda Items 7, 8 and 10 as a Member of Bognor Regis Town Council.

 

Councillor Needs declared a Personal Interest in Agenda Items 8 and 10 as a Member of Bognor Regis Town Council.

 

Councillor Warr declared a Personal Interest in Agenda Items 10 as a Member of the Bognor Regis Beach Access Team.

 

137.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 144 KB

The Committee will be asked to approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Environment Committee held on 19 May 2022.

 

Minutes:

          The Minutes of the meeting held on 19 May 2022 were approved by the Committee. These would be signed at the end of the meeting.

 

138.

ITEMS NOT ON THE AGENDA THAT THE CHAIRMAN OF THE MEETING IS OF THE OPINION SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS A MATTER OF URGENCY BY REASON OF SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

Minutes:

          The Chair confirmed that there were no urgent matters for this meeting.

 

139.

Public Question Time

To receive questions from the public (for a period of up to 15 minutes)

 

Minutes:

The Chair confirmed that no questions had been submitted for this meeting.

 

140.

Outside Bodies

Minutes:

There were no updates from Members regarding Outside Bodies.

 

141.

Exit Strategy for withdrawal of the 1-2-3 Food Waste & Absorbent Hygiene Products (AHP) Collections pdf icon PDF 162 KB

The Environment Committee resolved on 19th May 2022 to retain, for the time being, a weekly residual service from black sacks until such time that the Government mandates food waste collections to all households.  In view of this West Sussex County Council (WSCC) through the Joint Project Board, questioned the added value of continuing the 1-2-3 collections in the trial area.  WSCC concluded that continuing the collections in the trial area would not represent the best use of their Recycling Improvement Fund. This report proposes an exit strategy for early closure of the 1-2-3 collection scheme.

[20 Minutes]

Minutes:

          Upon the invitation of the Chair, the Environmental Services & Strategy Manager presented the report to the Committee. He explained the report sought Committee approval on the timing of the early withdrawal from the 1-2-3 Food Waste Collection Trial, due to the discontinuation of funding from West Sussex County Council (WSCC). Following the Committee decision at the last meeting, which had been to retain a weekly residual service from black sacks until such time that the Government mandated food waste collections to all household, WSCC through the Joint Project Board had questioned the added value of continuing the 1-2-3 collections in the trial area and had concluded that continuing the collections in the trial area would not present the best use of their Recycling Improvement Fund.

 

          It was recommended that the trial continue until the end of September which would allow a coordinated exit strategy and appropriate resident communications. There was a financial implication which was noted in the report.

 

          The Environmental Services & Strategy Manager stated that the trial had provided some significant learning and data which would be useful and could be applied to future roll-out of a food collection service when this was mandated in the future.

 

 

          Members then took part in a question-and-answer session and the following points were made:

·       Disappointment was expressed by Councillor Thurston, who wanted this to be recorded. Councillor Thurston felt the wrong decision had been made at the last meeting, and that this was a backwards step, she thanked the Officers for their work.

·       It was asked whether the exit strategy had been drawn up. The Environmental Services & Strategy Manager explained the exit strategy would be drawn up after the Committee had made their decision.

·       Clarification was sought around which budget the £35,000 would come from, which it was confirmed would only be required if Committee decided to retain the 1-2-3 trial until the end of January 2023.

·       Clarification was sought on the Absorbent Hygiene Products (AHP) collection, which the Environmental Services & Strategy Manager confirmed was part of the trial and would be stopping.

·       Further disappointment was expressed.

·       Questions were asked regarding electric vehicles and seagull proof bags, which the Environmental Services & Strategy Manager would circulate information about outside of the meeting.

·       It was stated the Council should press on with 1-2-3 collection as soon as possible.

 

 

          The recommendations were Proposed by Councillor English and Seconded by Councillor Bicknell.

 

         

          The Committee

 

RESOLVED – That

 

1.   The withdrawal of the 1-2-3 collections to residents from the end of September 2022 be approved.

2. Approval be given to fund the remaining collection costs until the point from existing Neighbourhoods Group budgets.

 

 

142.

Options for Introducing Further Controls on the Quality of Houses in Multiple Occupation pdf icon PDF 289 KB

At the Housing and Customer Services Working Group meeting on 5 November 2020 Members recommended to Cabinet to continue to research and gather further evidence to help establish whether additional House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licensing or selective licensing of the private rented sector was justified.

This decision was approved by Cabinet on 14 December 2020 and officers instigated the process of procuring the services of a company to undertake the required additional research and provision of a supporting report.

 

This report provides a summary of the findings from the research undertaken and sets out recommendations for additional controls that could be implemented to manage the quality of houses in multiple occupation.

[20 Minutes]

Additional documents:

Minutes:

[Councillor English left the meeting during discussion of this Item]

 

          Upon the invitation of the Chair, the Group Head of Technical Services presented the report to the Committee. He explained that at Full Council in February 2020 a Motion asked Officers to investigate means of improving the quality and standard of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) within the District. At the Housing and Customer Services Working Group meeting on 5 November 2020 Members recommended to Cabinet to continue to research and gather further evidence to help establish whether additional HMO licensing or Selective Licensing of the private rented sector was justified. This decision was approved by Cabinet on 14 December 2020 and Officers instigated the process of procuring the services of a company to undertake the required additional research and provision of a supporting report.

 

          This report provided a summary of the findings from the research undertaken and set out recommendations for additional controls that could be implemented to manage the quality of HMOs. The research supported the ability of the Council to introduce additional HMO licencing or Selective Licencing in three wards, which were Marine, River and Hotham. Data suggested there were issues of disrepair of houses, anti-social behaviour and deprivation in those wards. Selective Licensing would apply to the whole of the private rented sector, requiring landlords to obtain tenant references as the aim was to reduce anti-social behaviour. Additional HMO licensing would allow properties comprised of 2 or more households and 3 or 4 people to be licenced. In addition, any self-contained flats which were not fully building regulation compliant and in blocks where less than two thirds were owner-occupied would also fall within the additional HMO licencing regime. The benefits of introducing additional HMO licensing in the three Wards would be the requirement of certain amenity standards; to enable a fit and proper person check to be carried out on the Landlord; and to enable the council to undertake proactive inspections, a proportion of which were cost-recoverable under licensing fees. Introducing additional HMO licensing fit within the council’s Vision. The recommendations were then explained to the Committee.

 

          Members then took part in a question-and-answer session and the following points were made:

·       Clarification was sought on the data, which was provided by the Group Head of Technical Services

·       It was asked what would be considered ‘appropriate action’ in paragraph 1.19. The Senior Environmental Health Officer for Private Sector Housing explained the council already had detailed standards which sat behind the summarised sentence, which were not appended to the report but were available.

·       Was additional HMO licencing expected to resolve issues of disrepair, deprivation and anti-social behaviour? The Group Head of Technical Services explained that the purpose of the licence was to increase the standard of HMOs within the District.

·       It was asked whether the Committee would hear the result of the consultation, which it was confirmed they would.

·       Clarification was requested regarding funding the additional staff and ongoing costs which was provided by the Group  ...  view the full minutes text for item 142.

143.

Potential Increase in the Number of Designated Bathing Waters in Arun District pdf icon PDF 160 KB

The report seeks authority to undertake the necessary investigation and survey work and then if appropriate to make representation to the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs to increase the number of designated Bathing Waters in Arun District.

[10 Minutes]

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

          Upon the invitation of the Chair, the Engineering Services Manager presented this report to the Committee. He explained that since the report had been written the role of Director of Services had now been re-titled Director of Environment and Communities, so the recommendation was now slightly amended to reflect this change. The report sought authority to undertake the necessary investigation and survey work and then if appropriate to make representation to the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), to increase the number of designated Bathing Waters in Arun District. The water sampling would be carried out by the Environment Agency (EA), so there would be no cost to Arun, and it would show the bathing water qualities at more points across the District, not just the six existing designated bathing water areas.

 

          Members then took part in a question-and-answer session and the following points were made:

·       Potential location of any new designated bathing waters. The Engineering Services Manager explained they were looking at West of the River Arun, potentially West Beach. The areas being looked at would be feasible in terms of facilities for users and landowners’ agreement.

·       It was felt important the EA sample the water for a broader picture.

·       It was requested that a copy of the water sampling points be circulated to Members of the Committee, which the Engineering Services Manager agreed to do after the meeting.

 

 

          The recommendations were Proposed by Councillor Worne and Seconded by Councillor Huntley.

 

         

          The Committee

 

RESOLVED – That

 

1. Investigations, survey work and public consultation to ascertain whether or not any targeted beaches of the Arun District Council coastline, anticipated to meet the criteria for designating Bathing Waters, warrant a request to Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), to designate them as Bathing Waters under the Bathing Waters Regulation 2013, be approved.

 

2. The Director of Environment and Communities be authorised, in liaison with the Chair of Environment Committee to request that Defra considers designating any beaches found under 1 above to be suitable for designation.

 

144.

Keystone Youth Centre Update pdf icon PDF 169 KB

The Keystone Centre is a long-established centre for a range of youth provision services situated in the deprived ward of Wick Littlehampton.  Approval was provided by the Arun District Council (ADC) Cabinet in November 2018 to provide funding and make land available via a lease to Littlehampton Town Council to replace the existing run-down facility at an adjacent area of land. Improvements also include the outdoor facilities that will accompany the new community building.

 

This report provides an update, next steps, and program for the delivery of these facilities.

[20 Minutes]

Additional documents:

Minutes:

          Upon the invitation of the Chair, the Group Head of Environment and Climate Change explained that the report was for the information of the Committee. He confirmed that the tenders had come in and were higher than budgeted for, so Littlehampton Town Council were examining options on that.

 

          The Chair updated that it would be discussed at a Littlehampton Town Council Extraordinary Full Council Meeting next Thursday.

 

          Members then took part in a question-and-answer session and the following points were made:

·       It was asked where the additional funding would come from, which it was explained, would be for the Littlehampton Town Council to determine.

·       Support was offered for this and it was hoped Arun would continue to support other youth projects around the District.

 

145.

Bognor Regis Beach Access Working Party - 06 July 2022

The Chair of the Bognor Regis Beach Access Working Party, Councillor Worne, will provide a brief update of the meeting held on 06 July 2022.

 

Minutes:

          The Chair of the Bognor Regis Beach Access Working Party gave an update to the Committee. She explained that the survey results had been received, and there had been a great response to this. 588 people had completed the survey, and 4 members of the public had attended the second meeting of the Working Party to give verbal submissions. The evidence was now being looked at by Members of the Working Party and the Officers and a final report was due to come back to Environment Committee on November 17 2022.

 

          It was asked where the location of the potential access would be. The Chair of the Bognor Regis Beach Access Working Party explained that there was no fixed idea of location yet as the evidence was still being assessed.

 

146.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 99 KB

The Committee is required to note the Work Programme for 2022/23.

 

Minutes:

Upon the invitation of the Chair, the Group Head of Environment and Climate Change introduced the Work Programme.

 

An update regarding the electricity supply at Place St Maur was requested. The Group Head of Environment and Climate Change explained that they were waiting for the electricity supply to be connected, as the supplier were yet to provide the meter. Daily updates were being requested from the supplier. It was asked whether an update could be provided on whether this would be sufficient to power the ice rink. This would be circulated after the meeting.

 

It was asked whether an update on tree planting could be provided at the next meeting. The Group Head of Environment and Climate Change explained that September would be too early for a tree planting update as it was too early in the season, but they would look at the November meeting.

 

The Work Programme was noted.