Agenda and minutes

Environment Sub Committee - Tuesday, 10th September, 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:

No. Item


Appointment of Substitute Members

To be notified of the appointment of any Substitute Members.


There were no substitute members reported.


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 dispensation 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.


There were no declarations of interest or dispensations reported.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 67 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 9 July 2019.


Resolved that the minutes of the meeting held on 9 July 2019 be confirmed and signed by the Chair.



Scope of the Sub Committee

To give consideration to a presentation which provides an overview of the various services provided by the Authority which fall within the remit of the Sub Committee.


Consideration was given to a presentation which set out in detail the services provided by the Authority to enhance and protect the environment of the borough.  It was explained that these services fell within a number of distinct areas including:


·         Horticulture and Parks;

·         Street Cleansing and Enforcement;

·         Waste Management;

·         Fleet and Winter Road Maintenance;

·         Bereavement Services; and

·         Biodiversity.  


It was explained that the horticulture service was responsible for cutting over 13 million square metres of grass every cycle as well as maintaining almost 100 roundabouts, over 70 biodiversity areas and 140,000 trees across the borough.  On an annual basis the team arranged for the planting of around 325,000 plants and bulbs and maintained over 140 miles of Waggonway and Public Rights of Way. 

The parks department was responsible for the maintenance of 26 parks in the borough.  Over the course of the past year there had been over 1.3 million individual visits as well as almost 11,000 educational visits to North Tyneside Parks.  A number of parks had received 6 Green Flag Awards.    


It was explained that the street cleansing service was responsible for the mechanical sweeping of 647 kilometres of roads in the borough and the maintenance of 2500 litter and dog waste bins.  In addition the service was responsible for the removal of graffiti, the collection and disposal of discarded needles and sharps along with the collection and disposal of dead animals found in the streets.  The teams had also carried out 66 estate clean-ups every year. 


The waste management team had responsibility for the collection of waste and recycling via the green/grey/brown bin scheme.  It was explained that the team carried out around 6.5 million bin collections each year along with 8,500 bulky waste collections.  In 2018/19 there had been 94,136 tonnes of waste collected which was 9,000 tonnes down on the previous year.  36.27% of the waste had been recycled, 52.93% had been sent to the energy from waste plant at Haverton Hill on Teesside and 10.80% had been sent to landfill.


The fleet team were responsible for the provision of vehicles for the authority and its partners.  It was responsible for servicing and repairing over 450 vehicles as well as testing over 2100 hackney carriage and private hire vehicles each year. In addition the team also dealt with an average of 280 reported abandoned vehicles each year.  It was also explained that 80% of the fleet had been updated over the past 5 years with 10 zero emission electric vans recently added to fleet. 


The winter maintenance team was responsible for a fleet of 12 winter maintenance vehicles which operated from October until the end of April each year.  The team covered 240 miles of priority network roads each treatment and had 5,000 tonnes of salt in stock.


The multi cultural bereavement service had responsibility for the operation of 2 crematoria, 7 cemeteries and 6 closed church yards.  The team carried out approximately 2000 cremations and around 500 burials each year and it had retained  ...  view the full minutes text for item E9/19


Single Use Plastics

To receive a presentation on the steps taken by the Authority to reduce the use of single use plastics in the delivery of its services.  The presentation will also identify further works which can be undertaken in the medium and long term to reduce the reliance on single use plastics.


The Sub-committee received a presentation which provided an update on the work undertaken by the Authority to reduce the amount of plastics used in the delivery of its services.  The Sub-committee had previously been presented with the North Tyneside Council Action Plan which had been developed to address the problem of single use plastics in the borough.  It was explained that the Authority had started to make inroads in to the medium term elements of the action plan.  A number of videos which demonstrated the progress which had been made were shown at the meeting.  Reference was also made to the work being undertaken with the North East Procurement Organisation to influence tenderers for the Authority’s contracts to consider removing single use plastics from their tenders.


It was explained that the Authority was influenced by emerging government policy on the topic.  Central Government had issued a number of updates and consultations including “Our Waste, Our Resources: A Strategy for England” in December 2018.  Details of three consultation documents were outlined along with the number of consultation responses received:


·         Consultation on introducing a deposit return scheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA));

·         Tackling the plastic problem: Using the tax system or charges to address single use plastic waste (HM Treasury);

·         Consultation on proposals to ban the distribution and/or sale of plastic straws, plastic stemmed cotton buds and plastic drink stirrers in England (DEFRA) 


Reference was also made to the development of an action plan following the decision of the Council to declare a climate emergency in July 2019.  A climate change board, made up of elected members and officers, had been convened to progress the Authority’s response.


The chair thanked the officers for their presentation


It was agreed that the presentation be received and a further update be provided to a future meeting.