Agenda, decisions and minutes

Place Committee
Thursday 8 July 2021 7:30 pm

You can view the individual reports for this meeting by selecting the headings from the numbered list of items at the bottom of this page. Alternatively you can view the entire agenda by selecting 'Agenda Reports Pack' below.

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Venue: Guildhall, Kingston, KT1 1EU (Proceedings can be viewed online here: https://kingston.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/570600)

Contact: 020 8547 5846  Email: henry.yellop@kingston.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Public Questions

A period of up to 30 minutes during which any resident of the Borough or representative of organisations operating within the Borough (other than members of the Council) may ask questions on matters relevant to the Committee.

 

Questions must be submitted in writing to democratic.services@kingston.gov.uk by 10am on the working day prior to the meeting (Wednesday 7 July 2021)

Minutes:

There were no public questions.

2.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Councillors David Cunningham, Liz Green and Yogan Yoganathan sent their apologies. Councillor Ian George substituted for Councillor Cunningham.

3.

Declarations of Interest

Members are invited to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests and any other non pecuniary interests (personal interests) relevant to items on this agenda.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

4.

Petitions

To receive petitions submitted by Councillors or members of the public who live, work or study in the Borough. The petition must contains at least 20 signatures*, and notice of the intention to submit the petition is given in writing to democratic.services@kingston.gov.uk by 10am on the last working day prior to the meeting.

Minutes:

No petitions were submitted.

5.

Landlord Services response to Independent Housing Ombudsman determination pdf icon PDF 61 KB

The Committee is asked to comply with the Independent Housing Ombudsman’s determination made in April 2020 and note the recommendations made against Kingston Council. The determination follows a complaint from a housing customer, made in November 2018, about the Council’s handling of a petition regarding Thames Water charges.

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

1.    The report and actions taken following the determination by the Housing Ombudsman in April 2020 were noted.

 

 

Minutes:

The Committee received and considered an information item report in order to comply with the Independent Housing Ombudsman’s determination from April 2020. The determination followed a complaint from a housing customer, made in November 2018, about the Council’s handling of a petition regarding excess water charges from Thames Water.

 

Members of the Committee expressed their apologies for the way the initial situation arose, developed and handled overall. It was confirmed that all existing tenants had received their entitled refunds with interest included. It was also stressed that any previous tenant who had not yet received their refund for the excess water charges and felt that they were entitled to remuneration should contact the Council as soon as possible.

 

RESOLVED that:

1.    The report and actions taken following the determination by the Housing Ombudsman in April 2020 were noted.

 

Voting: Unanimous

 

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
Landlord Services response to Independent Housing Ombudsman determination Resolution Carried
  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 6.

    Approval of the Air Quality Action Plan pdf icon PDF 78 KB

    The Committee is asked to approve and adopt the Air Quality Action Plan 2021 - 2026 for publication by 31st July 2021.

    Additional documents:

    Decision:

    RESOLVED that:

     

    1.    The Air Quality Action Plan, given at Annex 1, subject to any amendments made at the meeting, be approved and adopted for implementation with effect from 31st July 2021.

     

     

    Minutes:

    The report on the Air Quality Action Plan was considered by the Committee and sought to set out the steps for the Council to take in order to improve Air Quality throughout the Borough. The Plan had been developed with input originating from a Citizens Assembly in autumn 2018. The issue of air quality was cited as a vital aspect of public health which disproportionately affects the more vulnerable in society. The report stated that the entire borough has been designated as an ‘Air Quality Management Area’ which permitted the creation of a 5 year action plan. The plan broke down the sources of various types of emissions in the borough as well a wide variety of proposals to help improve overall air quality.

     

    The ambition to adopt a floating model of car club was queried by the Committee, whereby the benefit of the scheme was explained as a more flexible model which has been extensively used in other areas of London. Rather than the conventional process of picking up and returning a car in a specified location, vehicles would be dropped off and picked up anywhere as long as they were legally parked.

     

    Queries were also raised over the imposition of a proposed surcharge on diesel vehicles and the expansion on the Euro 6 standard. It was clarified that the imposition of a surcharge on diesel vehicles was reflected in the GLA Air Quality Action matrix which all boroughs in London have to take into account when setting their own air quality direction. Officers stressed that the proposed policies within the plan would be subject to consultation with residents and were not an immediate policy decision.

     

    Queries were made by the Committee in terms of whether the more challenging targets were feasible. It was clarified that the language within the plan was deliberately made to be more realistic and prescriptive. Some ambitious targets in particular were set, with no. 26 (adopting BREEAM target policies in Q4 2023) and no. 31 (smoke control zones to be fully promoted and enforced by end of October 2021) provided as examples.

     

    In response to calls for more up to date data after 2016, the Committee were informed that the London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory is published periodically every few years. The 2016 data model had taken 3 years to analyse/map the collected data until it was ready to publish in 2019 . It was unfortunately not known when the next set of data would be published but based on the previous timeframe and the data having been collected in 2019, it was anticipated that the new set of data reports would be published in 2021/22.

     

    The Committee wished to understand what primary factors that have made improvements to air quality in Kingston were and what would be needed in the future. The growth of sustainable transport, cycle schemes and general improvement in making vehicles more efficient were attributed as some of the various contributors to improving air quality. It was stressed that there was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

    Recorded Vote
    TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
    Approval of the Air Quality Action Plan Motion Carried
  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 7.

    Food and Green Waste Composting Services pdf icon PDF 137 KB

    The report recommends the Committee award four contracts for the handling,

    haulage and treatment of food and green garden wastes produced by residents in the four South London Waste Partnership boroughs: RB Kingston, and LBs Croydon, Merton and Sutton Services.

    Additional documents:

    Decision:

    RESOLVED that:

     

    1.    The following award recommendations are approved by the committee: Following the procurement process set out below, and subject to approvals through the relevant governance processes in LBs Croydon, Merton, and Sutton, the Council should award Lot 1 to Bidder A, Lot 3.1 to Bidder B, Lot 3.2 to Bidder C, and Lots 5.1 and 5.2 to Bidder D - refer to Part B Confidential Annexe Food and Green Waste for Bidder names.

    2.    If approved, the contracts would be for an initial period of 4 years and 7 months commencing on 1 September 2022, with possible extensions up to 31 March 2030 for a total contract value of £16m for the full term.

    Minutes:

    The Committee received and considered a report which sought to recommend the award of four contracts to confidential bidders for the handling, haulage and treatment of food and green garden wastes produced by residents in the four South London Waste Partnership boroughs: RB Kingston, and LBs Croydon, Merton and Sutton Services. In response to queries regarding the Council’s home-composting campaign, it was clarified that a scheme is still available to provide home-composting at a reduced cost in order to encourage reducing home food and green waste.

     

    Concerns were raised by the Committee over the limited number of bids received for contracts and whether more could be done to encourage greater competition in the future. It was explained that there is already an inherent lack of competition among suitable waste transfer facilities in the borough which prompted the creation of a 9 lot system (2 lots allocated for Kingston) for the procurement process.

     

    Members of the Committee requested information on what the Council would do to encourage best practice among residents to reduce food waste. The National Recycling Week (September 22nd – 29th) was highlighted as one of the key opportunities to promote more effective food and green waste recycling. Furthermore, further attempts would be made to try and find new sources of food waste, particularly from those who had not previously been contributing.

     

    RESOLVED that:

     

    1.    The following award recommendations are approved by the committee: Following the procurement process set out below, and subject to approvals through the relevant governance processes in LBs Croydon, Merton, and Sutton, the Council should award Lot 1 to Bidder A, Lot 3.1 to Bidder B, Lot 3.2 to Bidder C, and Lots 5.1 and 5.2 to Bidder D - refer to Part B Confidential Annexe Food and Green Waste for Bidder names.

    2.    If approved, the contracts would be for an initial period of 4 years and 7 months commencing on 1 September 2022, with possible extensions up to 31 March 2030 for a total contract value of £16m for the full term.

     

    Voting: Unanimous

    Recorded Vote
    TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
    Food and Green Waste Composting Services Motion Carried
  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 8.

    Greenspace Services Contract pdf icon PDF 92 KB

    The Committee is asked to approve the recommendation for award of the contract for Greenspace Services in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.

    Additional documents:

    Decision:

    RESOLVED that:

     

    1.    following a competitive dialogue process, the contract for the provision of green space services be awarded to the party named in the confidential annex for an initial period of seven years from 1 November 2021, with the option to apply one extension for a further seven years further up to a maximum period of 14 years, upon the terms detailed within this report and the associated confidential annex, subject to:

    2.    the Section 20 Stage 2 Leaseholder consultation be completed

    3.    ‘fine tuning’ discussions with the Preferred Bidder are concluded and the Executive Director of Corporate and Communities, in consultation with the Monitoring Officer, being satisfied that there are no material changes to the proposed solution or commercial terms set out in this report.

    Minutes:

    The Committee received and considered a report that sought to recommend the award the contract for Greenspace Services in the borough. The outcome of the procurement process was outlined, the services included: grass cutting, shrub maintenance on all Council-owned land, litter clearance in parks and management of playgrounds, allotments and sports pitches. Funding was being increased by £375,000 for the provision of such services in recognition of the increased importance of the borough’s green spaces. The increase in funding has consequentially meant that the payment of the London living wage can be guaranteed to all employees that provide these services. Environmental concerns have been addressed in the form of greater usage of electric vehicles, more efficient equipment and a reduced usage of chemicals for weed control. The contract was expected to be awarded on September 1st 2021, with services being introduced in November 2021.

     

    Concerns were raised by members of the Committee in regards to the usage of glyphosate, a herbicide used to combat weeds. It was clarified that the contract stipulated that glyphosate was to be used as a very last resort and the manual removal of weeds was encouraged in its place. The usage of the herbicide would be looked into further by the Council, particularly when the contract is published in order to ensure greater clarity on when and how it would be used.

     

    RESOLVED that:

     

    1.    following a competitive dialogue process, the contract for the provision of green space services be awarded to the party named in the confidential annex for an initial period of seven years from 1 November 2021, with the option to apply one extension for a further seven years further up to a maximum period of 14 years, upon the terms detailed within this report and the associated confidential annex, subject to:

    2.    the Section 20 Stage 2 Leaseholder consultation be completed

    3.    ‘fine tuning’ discussions with the Preferred Bidder are concluded and the Executive Director of Corporate and Communities, in consultation with the Monitoring Officer, being satisfied that there are no material changes to the proposed solution or commercial terms set out in this report.

     

    Voting: Unanimous

    Recorded Vote
    TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
    Greenspace Services Contract Motion Carried
  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 9.

    Greenspaces Re-Commissioning - Contract for the Provision of Arboricultural Services pdf icon PDF 100 KB

    The Committee is asked to approve the recommendation for award of the contract for Arboricultural Services in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.

    Additional documents:

    Decision:

    RESOLVED that:

     

    1.    Following an open tender process, the contract for the provision of arboricultural services be awarded to the party named in the Part B Confidential Annex for an initial period of seven years from 1 November 2021, with the option to apply one extension for a further seven years further up to a maximum period of 14 years, upon the terms detailed within this report and the associated confidential annex, subject to:

    2.    The Section 20 Stage 2 Leaseholder consultation is completed.

    Minutes:

    The Committee considered a report which sought the award of the contract for Arboricultural Services in the borough which covered the arrangements for both routine and active tree maintenance. The instruction of all work was to be given by qualified Council officers, except in emergency out-of-hours circumstances. New technology would be introduced to allow for real-time updates and monitoring of the contractor’s work. Carbon emissions would also be reduced through the introduction of electric vehicles and more efficient equipment. Five bids were received, with the winning bidder having satisfied all requirements as well as providing the lowest price for the service. The contract was predicted to be awarded in September 2021 following statutory consultation processes and would commence in November 2021.

     

    Concerns were raised by members with regards to the yearly reoccurrences of oak processionary moth infestations on oak trees and whether the next contract will ensure that they can be properly dealt with going forward. The explanation made reference to the Council’s previous responses being primarily reactive to the infestations when they arose whereas the implementation of the new contract would mean that more proactive steps could be taken. Engagement with private landowners and a revision of policy in order to prioritise the removal of nests when nearer to schools/residential properties were provided as examples of the proactive steps.

     

    Clarification was sought my members with regards to whether the new contract would ensure that tree works could continue to take place during nesting season for birds. It was explained that the majority of planned works would take place over the winter under the new contract when trees are not in leaf, although there would always be a potential need to undertake some works in other parts of the year. There would be strict protocols and requirements in place for nests before any works are carried out in line with ongoing consultation with the Council’s biodiversity officer. 

     

    RESOLVED that:

     

    1.    Following an open tender process, the contract for the provision of arboricultural services be awarded to the party named in the Part B Confidential Annex for an initial period of seven years from 1 November 2021, with the option to apply one extension for a further seven years further up to a maximum period of 14 years, upon the terms detailed within this report and the associated confidential annex, subject to:

    2.    The Section 20 Stage 2 Leaseholder consultation is completed.

     

    Voting: Unanimous

    Recorded Vote
    TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
    Greenspaces Re-Commissioning - Contract for the Provision of Arboricultural Services Motion Carried
  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 10.

    Exclusion of the Press and Public

    The following resolution is included as a standard item which will only be relevant if any exempt matter is to be considered at the meeting for which the Committee wish to resolve to exclude the press and public: 4 To exclude the public from the meeting under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that it is likely that exempt information, as defined in paragraph x of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Act, would be disclosed and the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

    Minutes:

    This item was not required.

    11.

    Urgent Items Authorised by the Chair

    Minutes:

    There were no urgent items.