To consider the latest trends, priorities and pressures in terms of departmental performance as reported in the Quarterly Service Report for the second quarter of 2018/19 (July to September) relating to Environment, Culture and Communities. An update on key issues relating to the second quarter will be provided at the meeting.
Panel members are asked to give advance notice to the Overview and Scrutiny Team of any questions relating to the Quarterly Service Report where possible
Gill Vickers, Interim Director: Delivery gave an overview of quarter two which included the second chapel opening at Easthampstead Crematorium on 1 November; extension of the waste collection contract and sale of Easthampstead Conference Centre.
Damian James informed members that new waste vehicles had been ordered to work under the new contract from 1 April 2019. The implementation of collection of additional materials with kerbside recycling went very well and the number of residents joining the recycling incentive scheme continues to increase with many local good causes supported and another competition held to win an IPad by using up reward points . The waste electrical and textile roadshow at BLC in September was again popular with residents dropping off 1.32 tonnes of small electrical items and 720 kgs of clothing.
In the Autumn Budget Statement the Borough was awarded an additional highway maintenance grant of £754,000 from the Department for Transport's, "pothole repair fund". To date the Council had spent approximately £561,600 of this grant re-surfacing sections of Berkshire Way, Old Wokingham Road and Maidenhead Road. The grant had been used to re-surface important roads, rather than to merely 'repair potholes', in order to prevent the future formation of potholes. Further works are now planned for March - weather permitting.
Cllr Dorothy Hayes MBE, Executive Member for Economic Development and Regeneration noted residents had taken on the challenge of recycling and segregating as had been seen over the Christmas period and further projects were underway.
Cllr Iain McCracken, Executive Member for Culture, Resources and Public Protection thanked the Council’s rangers and staff for enabling the Council to retain all six green flags.
Gill Vickers, Interim Director: Delivery responded to a question from members regarding self service technology rollout and confirmed it was live in all libraries now. Open plus technology was being tested at Binfield then would be rolled out further.
Andrew Hunter, Director: Place, Planning & Regeneration provided an update to members on Quarter 3 including
· The improved land supply position and the change of assessed housing need (to be kept under review).
· The Council’s CIL target had been reached in Quarter 2.
· Work was continuing on the London road scheme and would be finished by end of February 2019. Night closures would be coming up to enable final resurfacing. Previously it had been noted there was a dip in performance on planning applications but this had picked up again.
· Some planning appeals decisions were still being overturned and this required further investigation.
Members asked if there was an update on a permanent market place in Bracknell Town Centre and were informed they were talking to market traders about opening on an additional day of the market and that planning permission would need to be refreshed to allow it to remain outside Princess Square. Members asked if the Martins Heron roundabout works were on track to finish in February 2019 and it was confirmed they were. Members welcomed A3095 improvement scheme and the first communication which went out to residents.
· Andrew Hunter to keep members up to date on the calculation for assessed housing need.