Venue: MS Teams
Contact: Alison Atherton Tel: 07825 726493, E-mail: email@example.com
Apologies for absence
There were no apologies for absence.
The Chair welcomed Councillor Eddie Lavery to his first meeting of the Authority.
Declarations of interest
RESOLVED: To note that there were no declarations of interests made by Members.
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 22 January 2021 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.
Members received a report which provided details of the Authority’s Business Plan for the years 2020-2025. It also provided a list of the key activities which used the strength of the Environment Directors Board, the West London Treasurers and the Borough Partnership to shape the Authority’s approach to deliver the joint strategy.
Peter Tilston, Projects Director, introduced the report and advised that the Plan was for the years 2020-2025. The report set out the progress made in 2020/21 and new areas for development. Motoko Doolan, Carbon Manager, reported on the Carbon Reduction Plan and Circular Economy Plan.
A Member questioned the baseline data which had been taken from 2019/20 but understood that 2020/21 had been both a difficult and different year for the Authority. There might also be lessons to be learnt from 2020/21 and stated that the terminology used was really important as well as tackling the gap in residents understanding in relation to waste/rubbish. These views were endorsed by other Members and also that the Authority should lead by example.
In response to the views expressed, the Projects Director stated that there had been some invaluable lessons learnt during the last twelve months with some actions/ projects delivered more quickly. In relation to terminology, everyone had a part to play in delivering a better environment.
The Chair commented that this was an ambitious plan and that the Environment Bill would be coming forward this year. The Authority was responsible for waste and its disposal but one of the duties was also to receive and recycle.
RESOLVED: That (1) the Business Plan updates be approved and the progress made in 2020, as set out in Appendix 1 to the officer report, be noted;
(2) the Carbon Reduction Plan, as set out in Appendix 2 to the officer report, be approved;
(3) the Strategy on a Page set out in Appendix 3 to the officer report be approved;
(4) the creation and launch of a Circular Economy Team be approved.
Members received a report which provided an update on the 2020 progress of the new Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy for the Authority and the Boroughs of Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow and Richmond upon Thames for the years 2020-2035.
Emma Beal, Managing Director, introduced the report and the Authority’s 15 year strategy. She advised that the targets set out in section 4 of the report were challenging and she emphasised the role of the Authority to promote and facilitate change.
A Member questioned the metrics which she felt could be confusing due to the focus on weight and asked whether this would be changed so as to have improved measurement. The Managing Director advised that two of the three expected government consultations had been received that week and that she would be looking to see if this issue had been addressed, that is, a move away from weight based targets.
In response to a question in relation the Skills Plan set out in Appendix 5 of the report, the Managing Director explained that the Authority’s officers were learning new and different skills to enable them to work through and across supply chains. As these officers learnt, there would be the opportunity to invite others to learn new skills and she added that secondments provided good opportunities for learning.
RESOLVED: That (1) the strategic objectives detailed in section 5 of the officer report and set in 2019 by West London Waste Authority Members be confirmed;
(2) the 2020 Outcomes, as set out in Appendix 2 to the officer report, be noted;
(3) the 2021 West London Waste Authority Plan, as set out in Appendix 3 to the officer report, be approved and the draft 2021 Joint Plan be noted for discussion with the Environment Directors Board;
(4) the key messages relating to where the Authority would want to be in the future, as detailed in Appendix 4 to the officer report, be approved.
Members received a report which provided an update on the Authority’s various waste treatment arrangements and procurements.
Tom Beagan, Head of Service Delivery, introduced the report and advised that only relatively small quantities of waste were being sent to landfill. He reported that some waste might be sent to landfill this month because of the SERC shutdown, but Suez was working to minimise this as far as possible.
In response to a Member’s question in relation to lessons to be learnt from the Hammersmith and Fulham food waste trial, the Head of Service Delivery advised that this was a helpful example of partnership working. He confirmed that there was sufficient capacity at the Plant to manage the volume of food waste.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.
Members received a report which provided details of the Authority’s Annual Procurement Strategy for the year 2021/22.
RESOLVED: That the Annual Procurement Plan 2021/22 be approved.
Members received a report which provided an update on financial and operational matters.
Jay Patel, Finance Director, outlined the content of the report and sought views on remunerating the Independent Member of the Audit Committee as this could potentially increase the pool of candidates. Members were supportive of offering a modest remuneration package to the successful candidate, with the amount to be determined by the Chair of the Audit Committee and Treasurer.
RESOLVED:That (1) the current financial position, forecast for 2020/21 be noted;
(2)the Key Performance Indicators be noted;
(3) the financial decisions taken under the Scheme of Delegation to Officers be noted;
(4) the closure of 2019/20 external audit and proposed additional fees be noted;
(5) the external audit planning report for the 2020/21 accounts be noted;
(6) the recruitment, selection and remuneration of the Independent Audit Committee member be delegated to the Chair of Audit Committee and Treasurer.
Any other urgent business
The Chair reported that both Councillor Mik Sabiers and Paul Walker, Technical Advisor, were attending what would be their last meeting of the Authority. He thanked Councillor Sabiers, Vice Chair of the Authority, for his contribution to the Authority and acknowledged that he would be supporting his replacement Councillor Jasbir Anand.
The Chair advised that Paul Walker had brought a cohesiveness across Councils and that his role in chairing the Board had allowed projects to be progressed. The Chair added that he was in discussion with the Managing Director in terms of Paul’s replacement.
The Authority expressed both their gratitude and good wishes to Councillor Sabiers and Paul Walker.
EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC
RESOLVED: That in accordance with Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item for the reasons set out below:
Contracts and Operations Residual Waste Contract Proposal
Members received a confidential report which recommended some key principles for the Authority to consider in relation to the contracts and operations residual waste contract proposal.
Tom Beagan, Head of Service Delivery, outlined the content of the report and responded to Members questions and concerns in relation to the contract proposal. In addition, Members indicated that their concerns regarding reduced competitiveness of the waste market should be forwarded to the Government and requested that the Managing Director prepare a paper for discussion at the Authority’s next fortnightly meeting.
RESOLVED: That the recommended principles set out in paragraph 4 of the officer report be approved.