In presenting the report, the Waste and Recycling Manager explained that a Councillor had requested a report addressing the points raised as they related to the work of the Panel with specific reference to waste related matters on the Promenade at Hunstanton.
The Waste and Recycling Manager outlined the key issues and options considered as set out in the report.
The Assistant Director, Property and Projects explained that the report set out terms and conditions imposed upon the Borough Council’s business tenants for kiosk operations. The Panel was informed that there were problems with policing some issues and highlighted that it was not possible to staff in place all day just in case one of the tenants did not comply with the conditions set out in their lease.
The Waste and Recycling Manager responded to questions from the Panel in relation to:
· The Borough Council’s duty of care.
· Steps taken and could be taken by the Borough Council to address the actions such as people placing waste where it should not be on Borough Council owned land.
· Borough Council’s Enforcement Policy and actions which could be taken to address any breach identified and evidenced.
In response to questions from the Chair on cigarette butts and a collaborative forum with other groups, the Waste and Recycling Manager explained that there was always discussions in various county groups who worked together, discussed such issues and a potential solution.
Under Standing Order 34, Councillor P Beal addressed the Panel and outlined the issues which had been ongoing for 3 years and highlighted the large percentage of water waste going down the drain, all pumping cleaning chemicals into the drain which directly went into the sea. Councillor Beal drew attention to page 35 – litter and that he as Ward Councillor had raised concern. Councillor Beal referred to photographs he had taken identifying issues relating to waste and added that managing these issues was difficult but that there was an easy cure, a bin was required for waste which could be collected twice weekly by the trade lorries and a bowser installed to deal with water waste.
Councillor Beal asked who currently paid the water rates on the kiosks. In response, the Assistant Director Property and Projects explained that it was unclear but outlined the work which was ongoing with Anglian Water to identify where the supply came from and the route to the kiosks. The Assistant Director undertook to meet with Councillor Beal to explore the issues raised but highlighted that disposal of waste was the responsibility of the tenant and that any potential solution would incur a cost to the kiosk operators.
In response to the issues raised by Councillor Beal, the Refuse and Recycling Manager explained that officers were always interested in evidenced photos which could identify who, where and when they were taken to identify any issues which required addressing. Councillor Beal offered the photographs he had taken to the Waste and Recycling Manager.
Councillor Long, Portfolio Holder for Corporate Services commented that as Portfolio Holder he had only actually had the resort for a short period of time. However, over the years he had had an interest in waste and recycling matters and that he was aware Councillor Beal had raised this specific issue kiosks on previous occasions and that evidence was require of any wrongdoing to enable any appropriate action to be taken. Councillor Long highlighted the importance of the resort being clean and tidy both for residents and visitors and that the council did a good job in ensuring that Hunstanton was clean and tidy on a daily basis.
Under Standing Order 34, Councillor Beal reiterated the importance of a clean resort and referred to the comments made by Councillor Long. Council Beal added that he had two shops in Hunstanton and every day visitors had passed comments on how clean the town was.
In response to questions raised by Councillor Joyce in relation to officers being on the ground and undertaking an educational role and the resource required, the Deputy Leader explained that he would take on board the points made in relation to the disposal of both solid and water waste. The Portfolio Holder for Business, Culture and Heritage added that the council could undertake an educational exercise during the winter months with regard to solid and water waste. The Panel was informed of the Enforcement Policy which was being considered by the Environment and Community Panel on 9 November 2021.
With regard to the issues raised with the disposal of water waste, the Portfolio Holder for Business, Culture and Heritage explained that this was the responsibility of the kiosk tenant and if the traders ask the Borough Council to assist to identify a solution it was noted that the council could choose to invest, for example, installation of a pump system. However, it was noted that if traders sought the assistance of the council and this level of investment was made, it would be necessary for the council to look at the current tenancy agreement and levels of rent paid and there could be a potential increase in cost.
The Chair thanked the Waste and Recycling Manager for the report and the Portfolio Holders for attending and providing input into the debate.
RECOMMENDATION: 1) The Panel noted the report and the outcomes which were compliant with the law and provided for the delivery of the Corporate Plan and Policies of the Council.
2) Councillor Beal to attend a meeting with the Assistant Director, Property and Projects to discuss the issued he had raised set out above. The chair to be informed of the outcome of the meeting and be reported back to a future meeting of the Panel.