Agenda item

Residual Waste Treatment and Waste Transfer Update

Minutes:

46.1     Wayne Lewis, Head of Joint Waste Team, presented the report and explained that the county council, as Waste Disposal Authority, will complete a cost evaluation exercise to determine whether transfer arrangements or direct delivery of waste to Javelin Park should be implemented for Cheltenham Borough Council (CBC) and Tewkesbury Borough Council (TBC) and that the report would be received by the Cabinet on 10 October 2018.

 

46.2     There was a robust debate on the issue of direct transfer of waste to Javelin Park. This issue particularly impacted on CBC and TBC as they did not have access to a waste transfer station, and were a greater distance from Javelin Park than their current tipping location at Wingmoor Farm landfill. There was a shared view from the majority of committee members that no council should be placed at a disadvantage, and the process going forward should be fair and equitable to all the district councils.

 

46.3     It was questioned how much of the identified savings of Javelin Park would be shared with the district councils, as the waste collection authorities? It was stated that as far as officers were aware none of this money was earmarked for the district councils. The Head of the Joint Waste Team took the opportunity to remind the committee that a report on the issues relating to waste transfer options had been shared with the committee in 2015 (post meeting note 13 October 2015), but that no further reports or agreements had followed.

 

46.4     Cllr Coleman, CBC Cabinet Member Clean and Green Environment, stated that he had asked the Joint Waste Team for advice regarding the potential for there to be a waste transfer station accessible to CBC during the redesign of the CBC waste collection service. He stated that he had been assured that there would be a transfer station and had therefore purchased vehicles for the fleet based on that premise. If there was instead to be direct transfer these would not be fit for purpose.

 

46.5     It was also questioned how the Joint Waste Team (JWT) could be advocating for both the waste disposal authority and the waste collection authorities. The Head of the Joint Waste Team explained that officer roles within the JWT had been divided up so as to reflect this position, with certain officers assigned to support the borough councils and others the county council in this matter. He also emphasised that the JWT aimed to support all partners within the joint waste committee and their primary objective was to represent the interests of the residents of Gloucestershire and ensure that they received value for money.

 

46.6     Concern was also expressed with regard to the environmental (carbon auditing) cost of direct transfer, and whether this would mean that some councils would be in breach of the climate change commitments. The committee was clear that the cost to the tax payer should be clear, and some members also felt that any costs should be shared fairly across the Gloucestershire Waste Partnership.

 

46.7     At the invitation of the Chairperson, Gareth Edmundson, Managing Director Ubico Ltd, shared the risks and challenges of direct delivery from Ubico’s perspective. He explained that with vehicles travelling further there would be more wear and tear on the vehicle and the overall life span of the vehicle would decrease. With vehicles travelling further, and the current workforce challenges, the potential for service disruption was significant. Additional vehicles would be needed, and there was then the question of where these would be housed. The service was close to the operational capacity at the Swindon Road (Cheltenham) site already, and vehicle parking and site congestion was already a problem. He emphasised that this was a multi-faceted and complex issue and it would be important to capture the wider potential risks and costs in the current evaluation.

 

46.8     Cllr Jim Mason, TBC Portfolio Holder Clean and Green Environment, reiterated the concerns expressed by Cllr Coleman and Mr Edmundson. He asked the committee to consider supporting a motion (seconded by Cllr Mark Williams TBC) that: -

GCC take into account the total cost to the taxpayer of direct delivery transfer of waste to Javelin Park versus the use of a waste transfer station and bulk delivery to Javelin Park and that a decision is not just based on the impact to GCC budgets.

We would also like GCC to have consideration for the non-financial impacts of the direct delivery option in making their final decision.

 

46.9     Cllr Mason also detailed the potential costs to both TBC and CBC should direct transfer be decided as the preferred option. It was also stated that it was important that the committee had a clear understanding of the wider costs involved.

 

46.10   In response to a request the Chairperson agreed to adjourn the meeting for 10 minutes to enable TBC and CBC to discuss the wording of the motion.

 

46.11   On reconvening the meeting the Chairperson was informed by Cllr Mason that he was withdrawing his motion. Cllr Coleman informed the committee that CBC and TBC members had agreed on the wording of a new motion. This was proposed by Cllr Coleman and seconded by Cllr Mason. The motion stated that: -

Having received the report from the Joint Waste Team the Joint Waste Committee agree that the direct delivery of waste from Tewkesbury Borough and Cheltenham Borough Councils to Javelin Park is not a viable option either financially, practically or environmentally.

 

We recommend that Gloucestershire County Council ensure that all districts have appropriate waste transfer arrangements in place for each district in advance of the hot commissioning of Javelin Park.

 

46.12   The Chairperson reminded the committee that at this stage the committee had not received all the information that would be needed before the GCC Cabinet made its decision in October 2018.

 

46.13   Cllr Nigel Moor, GCC Cabinet Member Fire Planning and Infrastructure, stated that he thought it regrettable that this motion was being put forward before the evidence was finalised, and it seemed rather perverse to come to a decision in advance of the evidence. Cllr Ray Theodoulou, GCC Cabinet Member for Finance and Change, supported Cllr Moor.

 

46.14   On being put to the vote the motion was carried and the committee therefore resolved that:

Having received the report from the Joint Waste Team the Joint Waste Committee agree that the direct delivery of waste from Tewkesbury Borough and Cheltenham Borough Councils to Javelin Park is not a viable option either financially, practically or environmentally.

 

We recommend that Gloucestershire County Council ensure that all districts have appropriate waste transfer arrangements in place for each district in advance of the hot commissioning of Javelin Park.

 

46.15   It was agreed that a report outlining the committee’s concerns and the motion be sent to the GCC Cabinet Member for his consideration and to inform the Cabinet decision. (Post meeting note: the report was agreed by the committee in an email discussion and sent to the GCC Cabinet Member on 23 July 2018. The report would be included in the minute book.)

 


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