Agenda and minutes

Environment Sub Committee - Tuesday, 9th July, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: 0.01 Chamber - Quadrant, The Silverlink North, Cobalt Business Park, North Tyneside, NE27 0BY. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Email: Democratic.support@northtyneside.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

E1/19

Appointment of Substitute Members

To be notified of the appointment of any Substitute Members

Minutes:

There were no substitute members reported.

E2/19

Declaration of Interests and Dispensations

You are invited to declare any registerable and/or non-registerable interests in matters appearing on the agenda, and the nature of that interest.

 

You are also invited to disclose any dispensations in relation to any registerable and/or non-registerable interests that have been granted to you in respect of any matters appearing on the agenda.

 

Please complete the Declarations of Interests card available at the meeting and return it to the Democratic Services Officer before leaving the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest or dispensations reported.

 

E3/19

Minutes pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 26 February 2019

Minutes:

Resolved that the minutes of the meeting held on 26 February 2019 be confirmed and signed by the Chair.

 

E4/19

Biodiversity Action Plan Report Update 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To give consideration to a report which sets out the progress made in respect of the Newcastle and North Tyneside Joint Biodiversity Action Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report and presentation which outlined the progress made over the past year in relation to the Newcastle and North Tyneside Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP). 

It was explained that over the course of the year a number of wildflower meadows had been created and maintained at various locations across the Borough.  Fruit trees, hedge plants and bulbs had been planted in a number of locations across North Tyneside.

 

In addition to the work associated with the BAP it was explained that a significant amount of work was undertaken in relation to applications for development to maintain or improve the biodiversity of the area.  An example given was the Nexus development on the former Howdon landfill site to create a marshalling yard.  The site had been identified as a habitat for the Dingy Skipper Butterfly and officers had worked with the developer to ensure the creation of butterfly banks and additional habitat planting to provide a suitable replacement habitat for the Dingy Skipper Butterfly whilst allowing the development to go ahead.

 

Reference was also made to the works in relation to the Killingworth Flood Scheme where additional floating islands had been installed along with some additional marginal planting.

 

Members sought clarification on what could be done in relation to the targets which had not been delivered in the BAP.  Reference was made to the production of best practice guidelines for rail side land management to minimise disturbance to wildlife which had not been completed.  It was explained that the land was outside the control of the Authority.  Members suggested that it might be possible for the Authority’s representatives to raise this with those responsible for the maintenance of the rail banks.

 

Reference was also made to the target to assess the status of invasive, non-native species in ponds and lakes and to implement a strategy for their eradication.  Clarification was sought on whether the Authority was keeping on top of the issue.  It was explained that, for example, the Authority had developed a GIS Map of Japanese Knotweed in the Borough.  Treatment of Japanese Knotweed was carried out on an annual basis on the Authority’s land but the Authority could not treat the problem on other peoples land.

 

Members also questioned the targets in relation to water voles.  It was explained that there had only been one recent sighting of a water vole in North Tyneside.  Reference was made to having a suitable environment in place for water voles and it was explained that work would need to be undertaken to address the problem of isolation of small pockets of water vole friendly environments rather than just creating suitable environments at a number of discrete locations across the Borough.      

 

Reference was made to the lack of suitable resources to undertake specific environmental surveys.  It was suggested that it might be possible to contact the Universities to see if some PHD students might be able to carry out surveys as part of their studies.  It was also suggested  ...  view the full minutes text for item E4/19

E5/19

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 60 KB

To give consideration to a report which invites members to identify topics for inclusion in the Environment Sub Committee’s work programme for 2019/20.

Minutes:

The Sub-committee received a report which presented Members with potential topics for inclusion in the 2019/20 work programme.  As part of the process for establishing the 2019/20 Overview and Scrutiny Work Programme, suggestions had been sought for potential topics that the Sub-committee could look at.  As in previous years, the focus of overview and scrutiny would be on policy development.

 

Following discussions with the Chair and Deputy Chair of Environment Sub-committee, the Cabinet Member for Environment and senior officers, the following topics had been identified as possible areas for the Sub-committee to consider over the coming year:

 

·         The Authority’s waste strategy including waste collection, recycling and flytipping;

·         Environmental enforcement;

·         Air Quality Strategy;

·         Water quality along the coast;

·         Climate change emergency.

 

Members were given the opportunity to raise other topics relevant to the remit of the Sub-committee for inclusion in the work programme. The following suggestions were put forward:

 

·         The Authority’s carbon footprint and the steps in place to reduce it;

·         The work to reduce the reliance on single use plastics within the Authority;

·         Flytipping

 

The report highlighted that the Sub-committee was able to establish a sub-group to carry out an in-depth investigation into a particular area but that due to resource constraints only one sub-group could operate at any one time.

 

It was agreed that the following be added to the Sub-committee’s work programme for the 2019/20 municipal year:

 

1.    Carbon Footprint

2.    Flytipping

3.    Single use plastics.