Decision details

Scrutiny of Cabinet Member Portfolio Responsibilities.

Decision Maker: Scrutiny Programme Committee

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


Litter and Community Cleansing


The Cabinet Member for Environment Enhancement & Infrastructure Management and Officers were present for the consideration of the report on Litter and Community Cleansing.


The Cabinet Member highlighted the impact of the pandemic on both the service and staff and thanked all staff for their continued work and effort during such a tough period. There had been an unprecedented amount of litter as well as the restrictions on the amount of staff that could travel in a vehicle together. There was still some catch up ongoing and 15 extra staff had been employed.


The Committee acknowledged that the work of staff had been exemplary during the pandemic, and also praised the work of individual members helping to tackle litter in their wards.


Questions and Discussions focussed on the following: -


·                Performance and Trends in respect of Local Environmental Audit & Management System (LEAMS) – this was a monitoring method of grading the cleanliness of streets which was checked and verified independently

·                Use of Community Councillor budgets for cleansing services – costing and level of service provided

·                Service response to litter and community cleansing issues– the service aimed to deal with urgent requests within 1 day and standard requests within 5 days

·                Fly-tipping – resources to tackle fly tipping and comparisons to neighbouring authorities. Process of dealing with repeat offenders of fly tipping and unlicensed waste carriers – noted a recent joint operation with South Wales Police the results of which were due to be published shortly

·                Dog fouling – the Council adopted an approach of engagement, education then enforcement as a final resort, the difficulties of enforcing and catching offenders were highlighted

·                Enforcement – discussion around publicising fixed penalty notices as a deterrent as well as consideration of public messaging e.g. warnings of prosecution on Council vehicles. Noted that the ‘Don’t be a Tosser’ campaign had got people’s attention.

·                Litter & Drainage - cleaning top of drain covers – currently being incorporated into routine check for the street cleansing team to free up gulley teams for blocked drains – an enhanced service was provided for about 3 months during the leaf fall season

·                Improvement – heard that service is currently working on a project of digital solutions for cleansing which will link fly-tipping, bulky waste collections etc.

·                Effect of littering on wildlife – discussed possibility of greater public awareness raising of the effect of littering on wildlife

·                Beach litter picking – told of very high levels of litter picking especially during the summer season particularly during the last 2 summers during the pandemic with numerous parties on beaches – discussion on possibility of litter picking at an earlier time so the beaches were clean for the early morning swimmers

·                Neighbourhood Environmental Action Team (NEAT) – no plan to restart at present, but it was very popular and all were very keen to restart once Social Services could confirm it was possible and safe to do so


Energy Policy incl. Generation, Supply & District Heating


The Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Service Transformation and Officers were present for the consideration of the report on Litter and the Energy Strategy


Councillor Lewis thanked the team for their work in this area, they were a small team who she stated were doing extraordinary things.


Questions and Discussions focussed on the following: -


·                Governance - membership and governance of Climate Change Programme Board and the Climate Change Steering Group

·                Council’s Gas Supply - Clarification of green gas, the difference between green gas and natural gas and the extent to which it is being used

·                Future of the grid and power sources such as hydrogen, green gases etc. – ever evolving area with constantly advancing technology 

·                Proposal, being led by the University, for a hydrogen fuelling station on Fabian Way

·                Mini Hydro turbines in docks area, and looking at possibilities of using weir’s of rivers

·                Progress on Tidal Lagoon – The Council was committed to Dragon Energy Island and a bid had recently been submitted to the UK Government  Community Generation Fund to help prepare an outline business case

·                Use of £1.3 Million for a Re:fit Cymru (Energy Efficiency) Phase 1 project – upgrade LED lighting, building insulation, solar panels on roofs etc.

·                Progress on Solar Farm – it was anticipated that the planning application would be presented around January 2022

·                Possibility of re-introduction of subsidy on low energy light bulbs

·                What Local Authorities could do to support the climate change crisis further and what resources, funding and powers they would need to do more – role for members to promote the agenda in the community i.e. supporting businesses to get grants etc.


The Chair thanked the Cabinet Members and Officers


Resolved that the Chair of the Scrutiny Programme Committee write to the Cabinet Members, reflecting the discussions and sharing the views of the Committee.

Publication date: 11/10/2021

Date of decision: 14/09/2021

Decided at meeting: 14/09/2021 - Scrutiny Programme Committee

Accompanying Documents: