Agenda and minutes

South Hams Council - Thursday, 17th June, 2021 2.00 pm

Venue: Chamber - Kilworthy Park. View directions

Contact: Email: 

No. Item


Chairman's Introductory Comments



The Chairman welcomed those in attendance at this Special Council Meeting and proceeded to make the following introductory comments to set out how he intended for the Meeting to be conducted:


-        It was the overriding aim of the meeting to achieve a constructive outcome that focused on resolving the performance issues associated with the waste service for the benefit of South Hams residents;

-        It was evident from the extraordinary meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 10 June 2021 that the current level of performance was not acceptable (Minute O&S.3/21 refers).  As a result, the Chairman urged the wider membership to focus on solutions and agreeing a way forward and not on re-visiting the issues that had already been raised at that Committee meeting;

-        Members were advised that FCC Environment Services (UK) Limited (“FCC”) (the Council’s Waste Service Provider) representatives would be outlining their proposals to bring about a sustained and continuous improvement in due course and Members would have the opportunity to ask questions of the representatives about these proposals;

-        At the point when the Council was to debate the FCC proposals, it was his intention to invoke Council Procedure Rule 12.4: ‘Content and Length of Speeches’ and therefore limit individual Member speeches to five minutes each.  To reinforce his point, the Chairman urged all Members to avoid repetition and be clear and succinct in making their points to the meeting.



Declarations of Interest

Members are invited to declare any personal; or disclosable pecuniary interests, including the nature and extent of such interests they may have in any items to be considered at this meeting;



Members were invited to declare any interests in the items of business to be considered during the course of the meeting, but there were none made.




Council's Waste and Recycling Service - Performance



At the invitation of the Chairman, the Deputy Chief Executive conducted a presentation to the Meeting that focused on:


-      The current status of the Recycling Collection service;

-      Historic (2016/17 to 2020/21) Performance data;

-      FCC Performance data;

-      Key issues that were identified as being:

o     The level of missed collections were unacceptable;

o     Missed collections were not getting revisited;

o     No spare capacity to manage operational issues;

o     Insufficient resources to problem solve repeat missed collections;

o     The volume of recycling; and

o     The capacity of the Ivybridge Transfer Station.

-      What the Council was doing.  Key points raised were:

o     Consulting External Advisors (including the Local Government Association);

o     Embedding senior management within FCC at both depots.  In addition, Council officers continued to supplement FCC resources and the Locality Service was shadowing the new co-mingled rounds and delivering info; and

o     Holding FCC to account through: daily reviews on previous days performance; proactive problem solving on the day; and weekly performance meeting with Executive Members.

-      The current officer view being that FCC need to implement:

o     Effective use of data and IT;

o     Proactive management and reporting of daily rounds;

o     Effective management and supervision by:

·      Communication with crews;

·      Motivation and morale of workforce;

·      Training of crews;

·      Recruitment of supervisors; and;

·      Effective administrative support;

o     Public assurance that no recycling went to landfill / incineration;

-      A summary of the FCC Plan as follows:

o     To get back to collecting recycling from every property, every week;

o     For 26,000 residents to remain on kerbside sort;

o     In the interim to:

·      Move 11,000 properties (phases 5, 6 and 7) to a weekly kerbside co-mingled service, with food waste placed in the grey (residual) bin;

·      8,500 households (phase 4) remaining on blue/clear sacks; and

o     That the long-term solution be completed by end of 2021.


In discussion on the presentation, particular reference was made to:-


(i)    the performance information not taking account of the vast numbers of residents who had simply given up reporting their missed collections; and

(ii)   phases 5, 6 and 7 of the Plan.  In reply to a request, officers agreed to circulate a copy of the areas that were included in phases 5, 6 and 7 of the FCC Plan.


At this point, the Chairman invited Mr Mark Barnfield (Head of Municipal Collections and Street Scene) and Mr Brian Ashby (Area Manager for South Hams and West Devon areas) from FCC to set out in more detail the draft Improvement Plan.  In so doing, they highlighted that:


-      on behalf of their organisation, they wished to apologise to those residents of the South Hams who have been adversely affected;

-      to overcome the current situation, the organisation were allocating extensive additional resources.  However, the representatives stated that this was not a long-term sustainable solution;

-      there was a desperate need to relieve the current pressures on the waste transfer station.  In highlighting the intention of the Plan to build up  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31/21