Council meetings

Agenda item

Street environment services


That the report be noted. The Committee also agreed to take part in policy development workshops for the service.


5.1    Nathan Vear introduced the report – and gave a presentation providing an update on the performance, finances and current objectives of the environment service.


5.2    Nathan Vear responded to questions from the Committee – the following key points were noted:

·         The Head of Commercial Operations (Seamus Adams) was responsible for markets, car boot sales and commercial waste. He would be asked to provide updates for members on the proportion of the borough’s commercial waste collected by the Council and progress on setting up reuse and recycling events.

·         The Head of Commercial Operations was also delivering the fly-tipping enforcement programme.

·         He would give further consideration to the issues raised by the Committee in its referral at the 30 June meeting.

·         A written response had been provided to the executive member on the Council’s motion on ‘community skip days’.

·         Many authorities had trialled community skip days and had decided against them. This was because they were difficult to control and may promote fly-tipping. Additionally, waste that was collected could not be recycled.

·         Local authorities had been providing waste education for many years – but it was an ongoing process.

·         Once the waste strategy was agreed a waste communications plan would be developed.

·         Consideration was being given to additional options for focused engagement and education.

·         There were opportunities to reset and restate service standard in future – in order to provide clarity to residents.

·         Consideration could be given to expanding the provision of bulky waste services.

·         A waste composition analysis had been carried out – which indicated that 27 percent of recycling was contaminated. This issue required consistent communication because it was expensive to dispose of contaminated recycling loads.

·         About a third of the contamination was made up of non-recyclable plastic. This was a nationwide issue.

·         Consideration had been given to different approaches to composting and disposal of bio-degradable waste. A trial was currently taking place with Lewisham Homes on food waste collection on estates.

·         One of the things that needed consideration was the variety of different ways that residents engaged with services.

·         Options for the management and control of weeds were being explored.


5.3       In Committee discussions the following key points were also noted:

·         Members had produced their own materials for educating residents about fly-tipping.

·         It was important to engage with the community to improve the delivery of waste services.

·         It was important to ensure that work was taking place to improve streets and environment services in advance of Lewisham’s year as borough of culture.

·         Members welcomed the work that had taken place to control overspending and financial pressures.

·         Lewisham should aim to be ‘best in class’ in terms of the cleanliness of its streets.

·         Further information was required about how the waste strategy would be implemented and the types of investment it would require.

·         Members were supportive of the idea of working on the development of policy for the service.

·         There should be close alignment between the environment service and planning – to ensure that new developments supported the implementation of the Council’s waste strategy.


5.4    Councillor Patrick Codd addressed the Committee welcoming members’ input and highlighting the importance of waste services – as well as acknowledging the need for further transformation.


5.5    Resolved: that the report be noted. The Committee also agreed to take part in policy development workshops for the service.


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