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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 5, Guildhall, Swansea. View directions

Contact: Liz Jordan01792 637314 

Items
No. Item

1.

Disclosure of Personal and Prejudicial Interests

Minutes:

No disclosures of interest were made.

2.

Environmental Enforcement Report pdf icon PDF 223 KB

Councillor Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure Management

Chris Howell, Head of Waste Management, Parks and Cleansing

Stuart Davies, Head of Highways and Transportation

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure Management, Chris Howell, Head of Waste Management, Parks and Cleansing and Frances Williams, Team Leader Enforcement attended to brief the Working Group and answer questions.

 

The following main issues were discussed:

 

·       This is a challenging area for the Authority. 

·       Prevention is very important, want to see instances reduce.  Enforcement is the final step. 

·       Fly tipping costs the Authority money which could be used for other things.  Need to get this message out.  Press releases are put out periodically.

·       Number of fly tipping incidents on council land reduced by 39% over last 2 years.  Working Group thinks very impressive and Authority should be publicising this

·       3GS given contract in 2013 to reduce littering in the city centre.  3GS is responsible for enforcement for littering and dog fouling.  The service was not previously provided.  It is cost neutral to the Authority.  3GS receives a percentage of receipts from issue of FPN’s.  Working Group would like detailed financial information– how many FPNs issued, costs of prosecutions etc and would like to see the criteria for the contract with 3GS

·       Landowners responsible for removal of fly tipping from private land.  The Authority supports this but does not remove it.

·       When Members report an issue they want to be informed about what has happened as a result.  It should be part of the process to notify Members/public of what is being done.

·       Authority is allowed to carry out 2 types of surveillance – CCTV and covert surveillance.  They are subject to different legislation.  Relies on community buy in to identify people. 

·       Dashcam footage can be used as evidence for littering prosecutions but person providing evidence may have to go to court.

·       Photographic evidence on social media can be useful but have to be very careful as subject to a lot of legislation.

·       FPNs are most effective way to deal with most persistent offenders of littering. 

·       Need to reinforce with teams that when collecting black bags that have been dumped, they should pick up litter that has come out of bags at same time so they do not have to come back again, as waste of resource

·       Elastic bands are dropped on roads and pavements by post men/women.  Cabinet Member agreed to send letter to Post Office to request post me/women do not drop them.

·       There needs to be careful monitoring of chewing gum being dropped on pavements, especially new pavements in city centre.  3GS can be requested to change their focus to check new pavements on Kingsway etc

·       If dog fouling is reported, the Authority will come and clear it up but it is not a priority, it will wait until a cleansing crew is in the area

·       Public need to be made aware that they can dispose of dog fouling in their own black bags at home.  This needs to be publicised.

·       There is a total beach ban for dogs during the summer.  There is a fixed penalty for it and if owners do not pay and go to court they will pay £2000.  Would be good to see figures on how often beach ban is enforced

·       If horse fouling of pavements is reported, the Authority will look to clean it up when a cleansing team is in the area

·       A map of all waste bins/dog bins is available.  It would be useful for this to be sent out to all Members.  Working Group would like the Authority to revisit where dog bins are located

·       Working Group disappointed at number of prosecutions for dog fouling in Swansea.  It is extremely low compared to other authorities.  Informed it depends on the authorities’ focus.

·       3GS is responsible for enforcing dog fouling.  The Authority can request they focus on certain areas as incidences get reported.  Working Group feels enforcement of dog fouling should be more of a priority.

·       Pavement parking is a huge issue for everyone.  When there are no yellow lines it is a police responsibility.  Working Group feels there is a significant issue about pavement being for people.  Parking on the pavement is not an offence unless it is causing an obstruction and the police have to witness this obstruction as it is happening.  Only way to resolve it is for police and local authority to work together. 

·       Working Group suggested investigating the use of community wardens in areas of Swansea, who would be responsible for highlighting all enforcement issues in the area.

·       What is striking to the Working Group is the legislative confusion.  The Authority should be considering lobbying for review and clarification of legislation with whoever is responsible – Welsh Government or national government.

·       Proposed addition to bylaw (point 18.2 of report) – Working Group would like clarification on what this could potentially allow the Authority to do.

·       There is confusion over bylaws concerning highways and tracks and what the Authority enforces.  Need to clarify what the Authority can and cannot do with regards enforcement so the public can be informed what we are responsible for and who to contact if we are not. 

·       Members not had good experience of Authority dealing with reports of overhanging branches.  Many not responded to and have not received feedback

·       Cabinet Member advised Members to contact their local area supervisor if have certain hotspots in their wards – fly tipping, littering etc – as they are best placed to deal with the issues.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.

Discussion and Conclusions

Councillors are asked to discuss conclusions arising from this session

for inclusion in the Convener’s letter to the Cabinet Member:

 

a) What do you want to say about this issue to the Cabinet Member in

the Convener’s letter (what are your conclusions arising from this

session?)

 

b) Do you have any recommendations for the Cabinet Member arising

from this session?

 

c) Are there any further issues you wish to highlight to the Scrutiny

Programme Committee arising from this session?

 

Minutes:

The Working Group discussed progress and made the following conclusions:

 

1.     We would like to commend the team for the good work that they are doing.

2.     We feel there are a number of issues the Authority needs to publicise more to get the message out:

a)    How much fly tipping costs the Authority, money which could be used for other things

b)    That dog fouling can be disposed of in own black bags at home

c)     Positive news stories such as the big reduction in the number of fly tipping incidents on council land during last two years.

3.     We would like to see detailed financial information on enforcement, for example how many FPN’s are issued, costs of prosecutions etc

4.     It would be useful for the Working Group to see the criteria for the contract with 3GS

5.     We recommend a change to procedures so that when Members/Public report issues they are automatically notified of what happens as a result

6.     We would like to take up the Cabinet Member’s offer of sending a letter to the Post Office requesting post men/women do not drop elastic bands on pavements whilst out delivering mail

7.     We would like to see figures on how often the beach ban for dogs during the summer is enforced, as we have not seen much evidence of enforcement.

8.     We would like to request that the map of all waste bins/dog bins is sent to all members as this is useful information for them to disseminate in their wards

9.     We are disappointed at the number of convictions for dog fouling in Swansea and feel strongly that the enforcement of dog fouling needs to be made more of a priority.

10. We would like to see the Authority investigate the use of community wardens in areas of Swansea, who would be responsible for highlighting all enforcement issues in the area.

11. We would like to express our concern about the confusion around legislation concerning highways and tracks.  We feel the Authority should be lobbying for review and clarification of legislation with whoever is responsible – Welsh Government or national government.

12. We feel the Authority needs to inform the public of what it is responsible for with regards enforcement and who to contact if the Authority is not responsible. We suggest this information is shown on the website

13. We would like clarification on what the proposed addition of a bylaw, under the West Glamorgan Act, could potentially allow the Authority to do in terms of taking action against motorists who consistently park on and obstruct footways and verges.

 

Following on from this meeting:

 

  • A letter will be written from the Convener of the Working Group to the Cabinet Member, summarising the discussion and outlining the Working Group’s thoughts and recommendations.

 

 

Convener's letter to Cabinet Member 5 February 2019 pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Response from Cabinet Member (5 February 2019 meeting) pdf icon PDF 307 KB

 

Contacts:
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Civic Centre, Oystermouth Road, Swansea. SA1 3SN. Tel: 01792 636000 Fax: 01792 636340