Agenda and minutes

Lewes District Council Policy and Performance Advisory Committee - Tuesday, 31st May, 2022 2.30 pm

Venue: Ditchling and Telscombe Rooms - Southover House, Southover Road, Lewes, BN7 1AB (TBC)

Contact: Committee Services on 01273 471600 

No. Item


Minutes of the previous meeting dated 17 March 2022 pdf icon PDF 254 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 31 May 2022 were submitted and the Chair was authorised to sign them as a correct record.


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Ross and Brett.


Declarations of Interest

Disclosure by councillors of personal interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the councillor regards the interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct.


There were none.


Urgent Items

Items not on the agenda which the Chair of the meeting is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency by reason of special circumstances as defined in Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972. A Supplementary Report will be circulated at the meeting to update the main Reports with any late information.


There were none.


Written Questions from Councillors

To deal with written questions from councillors pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 12.3 (page D8 of the Constitution).


There were none.


Requested reports due for consideration by the Cabinet on 9 June 2022


The Chair, Councillor Boorman, advised that, as there were only two substantive items on the agenda, the call-over process was not required.


Housing development update pdf icon PDF 268 KB

Additional documents:


Nathan Haffenden, Head of Development, Investment and Delivery, supported by Marc Stephens, Capital Delivery Lead, presented the report which provided an update on the progress of the Council’s Housing Delivery Programme.


During discussion the following points were highlighted:


·       The sites identified in the Programme were those that were expected to come through the soonest. However, the list was not exhaustive and other sites would be explored. The Housing Revenue Account had some limitations but there could be opportunities from the General Fund for non-housing sites.


·       Although not precisely identified, it was considered that there were other areas in the District where sites had potential.


·       Funding for rough-sleeper accommodation had been secured in the last year. The difficulty was finding property that was affordable for the Council to purchase using the funding initially allocated. The capacity for the funding had now been increased with more flexibility to include new-build development.


RESOLVED to support the officer recommendations in the Cabinet report in full.


Waste and recycling services - fleet replacement strategy pdf icon PDF 297 KB

Additional documents:


The Head of Environment First, Sean Towey, introduced the report which sought to introduce and seek approval for the replacement strategy for the waste and recycling fleet to circa 2035, which was set against a backdrop of new and emerging technologies; alternative fuels and energy vectors; the council’s ageing vehicles and net zero 2030 ambition.


·       Investigations on the use of Avis Way as a waste and recycling depot or the repurposing of Robinson Road had not yet been concluded. Whichever site is eventually chosen would be future proofed in terms of infrastructure, and the needs of the service and the vehicle fleet. Concern was expressed by Members that a resolution had not yet been reached.


·       The Environment Act 2021 mandated that by 2025 food waste would be collected. The aim of the strategy was to be as efficient as possible in terms of the vehicles purchased and optimise their use. As a result, the proposals included obtaining dedicated food waste vehicles. The Reduce, Reuse, Recycle bulletin went to approximately 15,000 email addresses in the district and included tips on how to reduce food waste, thereby seeking to maximise resident participation.


·       The continuation of collecting food waste via pod on refuse vehicles was avoided due to risks of contamination. The purchase of smaller, dedicated food waste vehicles meant that HGV licences would not be required for driving operatives. Using the same vehicles for the collection of food waste and refuse would reduce the volume of recycling collected and necessitate an increase in the number of vehicles on routes, especially with any future take up by residents as a result of the government mandating collections in 2025. Harmonisation of the fleet would require fewer service vehicles as a same specification fleet meant that they could be “swapped out” between different collection activities with ease (subject to being cleaned out fully between such transitions).


·       The option of being able to use renewable and conventional diesel allowed for greater flexibility if price or supply issues arose. Due diligence would be undertaken when sourcing the renewable diesel.


·        It was confirmed that collections of food waste would take place on the same day as refuse collection.


Resolved to support the officer recommendations in the Cabinet report subject to the following additional recommendation being considered by the Cabinet:


8)    That an alternative option be considered in respect of food waste collection. This would be composed of two dedicated EV food waste vehicles to be used on routes with larger amounts of food waste and the fitting of food waste pods to general refuse collection vehicles to be used on the other routes as per the current practise.


Exclusion of the public

The Chief Executive considers that discussion of the following items is likely to disclose exempt information as defined in Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 and may therefore need to take place in private session. The exempt information reasons are shown beneath the items listed below. Furthermore, in relation to paragraph 10 of Schedule 12A, it is considered that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information. (The requisite notices having been given under regulation 5 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.)



Resolved to exclude the press and public whilst discussing the exempt appendix at item 7 on the agenda as otherwise there was a likelihood of disclosure of exempt information as defined in schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, paragraph 3 – Information relating to the financial and business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).


Waste and recycling services - fleet - Exempt Appendix 3


Olo Owolabi, Deputy Chief Finance Officer, presented the exempt appendix to Members.


Forward Plan of Decisions pdf icon PDF 251 KB

To receive the Forward Plan of the Cabinet.


The Chair, Councillor Boorman, introduced the Forward Plan of Cabinet decisions. Members requested that the following items be considered at the next meeting of the Committee:


·       Portfolio progress and performance report quarter 4 - 2021-2022


·       Revenue & Capital Outturn - 2021/22


·       Annual treasury management report


·       Community Infrastructure Levy Recommendations for spending


·       Introduction of Planning Obligation Monitoring Fees


·       Reimagining Newhaven - Project Update


·       Homes First Repairs Service: Re-design and Development


Resolved to note the Forward Plan of Cabinet decisions.


Policy and Performance Advisory Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 38 KB

To receive the Policy and Performance Advisory Committee Work Programme.


The Chair, Councillor Boorman, introduced the Committee’s work programme.


·       Members were advised that a motion presented to and agreed at the Annual Full Council, on the 23 May 2022, included a request that the Policy and Performance Advisory Committee invite the Chief Executive of Southern Water, plus senior representatives from the Environment Agency and Natural England, to attend a Lewes District Council Policy and Performance Committee meeting to answer questions on the current levels of sewage discharge in the District. Members agreed that this invitation should be sent.


·       Members also requested a future update on the waste and recycling depot options for Avis Way and Robinson Road, Newhaven at a future meeting.


Resolved to note the Committee’s work programme.