The following documents are attached:
a) Notice invoking the Call-in
b) Record of the Cabinet Decision taken on 19 February 2015
c) Report submitted to Cabinet on 19 February 2015
The Sub-Committee received the papers in respect of the call-in notice submitted by 7 Members of Council in relation to the decision made by Cabinet on the Environment and Enterprise Medium Term Financial Strategy Implementation Plan.
The Chair advised the Sub-Committee on the suggested order of proceedings and reminded Members of the timings allowed for submissions and questions. He invited the representative of the signatories to present their reasons for the call-in.
The representative of the signatories commented on attendance by members of the public, and said this demonstrated that the issue was important to residents. She added that while the decision was appalling and unpopular, the call-in related to the lack of due process and the absence of sound evidence on which to base the decision. She believed the decision had not been properly thought through, that no business case had been presented, and that the supporting documentation was insufficient to justify the decision. She posed the following questions:
· How was the predicted take-up rate of 40% arrived at?
· How would concessions be determined and administered?
· Had the cost of concessions been factored in to projected savings?
· How would fluctuations in eligibility for concessions be managed?
· How would assisted collections be managed?
· Would there be an increased need for pest control?
· Would there be an increase in illegal bonfires and how would this potential nuisance be addressed?
· Would fly-tipping increase?
· How would surplus brown bins be disposed of, and at what cost?
· The rate for disposing of residual waste was considerably higher than recycled waste – had the probability of cross-contamination been calculated, and what would be the cost of monitoring and correcting this?
· Which vehicles would be used to meet the change in collection methods?
In conclusion, she re-iterated her point that the decision had not been fully thought through, that there was insufficient evidence in the documentation to support the assumptions made, and that residents were entitled to have the cost of waste collection met through their council tax contributions, which were among the highest in London.
The Portfolio Holder for Environment, Crime & Community Safety, stated that savings of £83m would be needed over the next 4 years, and this decision was one of many contributory measures; savings were based on the scheme running from October 2015 to March 2017. The 40% take-up rate was arrived at by the professional judgement of officers, using current collection rates, benchmarking with other authorities, and the results of consultation. Of the 40%, it was anticipated that 18% would be in receipt of concessionary rates, and this was factored into the predicted savings. A comprehensive promotional campaign was planned to increase awareness and understanding on the part of residents in respect of waste collection. A decision on vehicles would be made in April. In conclusion, the report and its recommendations had been signed off by the Section 151 Officer, and was therefore deemed to be financially sound.
The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Major Contracts commented that the decision had ... view the full minutes text for item 11
Report of the Corporate Director of Environment and Enterprise.
Having considered the report in conjunction with the main budget report it was
(1) the outcome of the public consultation on the Environment and Enterprise proposals be noted;
(2) subject to the approval of the related budgetary proposals by full Council, the Environment and Enterprise proposals summarised at paragraph 7 of the report and detailed elsewhere in the report be approved and the Corporate Director for Environment and Enterprise be authorised to take all necessary steps to implement the proposals.
Reason for Decision: To consider additional information regarding the key proposals within the Environment and Enterprise Medium Term Financial Strategy required to help meet the budgetary pressures facing the Council.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected: As set out in the report.
Conflict of Interest relating to the matter declared by Cabinet Member / Dispensation Granted: None.