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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 24/07/2006
Minutes





MINUTES of the MEETING of the ENVIRONMENT AND LEISURE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE held on 24TH JULY 2006


(To be read in conjunction with the Agenda for the Meeting)

*Mr J R Sandy (Chairman)Mrs L S R Hodgson
*Mrs M V M Hunt (Vice Chairman) Mrs S R Jacobs
* Mr M H W Band Mrs D M James
*Dr J F A Blowers *Mrs P N Mitchell
Mr M W Byham *Mr J M Savage
Mr M A Edgington *Mrs J A Slyfield
*Mr R D FrostMs M Taylor
Mr P D HarmerMr A E B Taylor-Smith
*Mrs P Hibbert
*Present


25. INFORMAL PUBLIC QUESTION TIME

There were no informal questions from members of the public.

26. MINUTES

The minutes of the meeting held on 20th June were agreed.

27. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS
28. DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS

29. QUESTIONS BY MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC


There were no formal questions from members of the public. 30. SURREY WASTE PLAN SUBMISSION DRAFT
[Wards Affected: All]
.
Members of the Committee were reminded that the Surrey Waste Plan had been considered by the Council at the ‘preferred options’ stage in December 2005. At that stage, a letter had been sent to the County Council setting out all the comments raised. In February, three waste disposal sites were proposed for potential development. The three sites were at Runfold, Ewhurst Brickworks and Petworth Road, Witley. All three had been opposed by the Council and the first two had subsequently been removed. However, the Witley site remained a proposal for upgrading.

Officers said that there were three important and related pieces of work to consider. Firstly, the Surrey Waste Plan, which was under discussion, secondly, the Joint Municipal Waste Strategy and thirdly, the Council’s Action Plan for delivering targets in the Strategy. Members were also reminded that both Surrey County Council and its District Councils had targets for recycling and that because the County Council collected a variety of recyclables from its Civic Amenity Sites, it made a large contribution to Waverley’s recycling targets for domestic waste. The Director of Environment and Leisure also confirmed that he had spoken to Surrey County Council and had been assured that the proposals for development at Witley were to upgrade the facilities and to expand the range of materials collected, rather than to enlarge the size of the present site.

Officers confirmed that the purpose of the meeting was to ask Members if they wished to restate previous comments and also to add any new comments about planning issues at the Witley site. Before discussing the report, Members were told there were two errors in the report to be aware of. Under Paragraph 2, the emboldened title should read ‘ to which the Plan has not been changed’ and there should be no reference to the Waste Management SIG at Paragraph 20. Members made several comments on each of the areas:

Thermal Treatment of Waste
It was asked why the County Council had not taken on board comments made previously, particularly on thermal treatment of waste. Officers said that there were two different and strongly held views on thermal treatment and the issue was complex given the different types of thermal treatment, which included incineration. Officers confirmed that Waverley’s policy was that incineration should only be considered as a last resort. The Committee felt Surrey County Council should therefore justify its position on thermal treatment of waste.

Sites for recycling, storage transfer, materials recovery and processing (excluding thermal treatment)
Members agreed that Paragraphs 9 and 18 on Education and Training should be linked together.

Sustainable Development
It was agreed that the position should be restated.

Packaging Waste
Members agreed to urge Surrey County Council to take a proactive role on reducing packaging waste and in particular to discourage supermarkets from providing free plastic carrier bags for customers.

Prescriptive Instruments
It was agreed that the position should be restated.

Contaminated Land Waste
Members discussed the ‘proximity principle’ i.e. that waste should be disposed of near to where it has been created. It was agreed this principle should be supported, even though Members appreciated that it could raise difficult issues in future, in particular about use of sites for disposal of waste in the Borough. There was a discussion about whether the County Council currently accepted waste from elsewhere and it was confirmed that this was the case. Again, Members felt, for this reason, the proximity principle should be supported. It was further agreed that rather than contaminated land waste, such waste should more accurately be referred to as ‘Hazardous Waste’.

Research & Development
Members agreed that there was no need for the County Council to necessarily ‘lead‘ on research and development but that it should make good use of research from the UK and elsewhere.

Witley Civic Amenity Site
Members discussed the proposals for the upgrade of the Civic Amenity Site at Witley. The key issue was the scale of any change, given the narrow access road. There was a question about what the ‘internal improvements’ might involve and it was confirmed it was likely to be redesign of the layout and increasing the range of recyclables collected. Members agreed that the County Council needed to look carefully at traffic congestion and whether alternative arrangements would be made for those wishing to recycle whilst the site was out of use. Members also said that whilst the improvements at Witley were welcome, it was important to upgrade the Borough’s other Civic Amenity Sites as well.

Mr Scrivens, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Leisure had given notice to speak but agreed to make his comments at the Executive meeting, which would immediately follow.

RESOLVED that the Committee endorse all of the points in the report, with the addition of the following points:

1) This plan is a separate but related exercise to a) the Joint Municipal Waste Strategy for Surrey, and b) Waverley’s Action Plan to achieve the Strategy. There should be much clearer links with these documents, the Local Development Framework and the Surrey Minerals Plan; 2) To reiterate and strengthen the points made earlier, especially with regard to using incineration only as a last resort, and that should Surrey choose to pursue incineration it should provide a specific justification for this;

3) Welcome the investment in Witley but urge Surrey to upgrade the other Civic Amenity Sites in the Borough;

4) Link the two paragraphs on education and training at 9 and 18;

The meeting concluded at 8.30 pm

bureau/comms/O&S3 /06-07/116.doc