Agenda and minutes

Environment and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 6 September 2018 2.00 pm

Venue: Sparkenhoe Committee Room, County Hall, Glenfield. View directions

Contact: Miss C Tuohy (0116 305 5483).  Email:

No. Item


A webcast of the meeting can be viewed at


In attendance.

Mr. B. Pain CC, Cabinet Lead Member for Environment and Transport.

Mrs. Radford CC, Cabinet Support Member for Environmental and Transport.



Minutes. pdf icon PDF 102 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 28 June 2018 were taken as read, confirmed and signed.


Question Time.


The following question, received under Standing Order 35, was put to the Chairman of the Environment and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee:


Question by Mr Terry Kirby


With rising congestion on our roads it is in all our interests to encourage increased use of public transport by providing accurate, reliable information for passengers. However, the Real Time Information System for bus users introduced a few years ago often fails to give accurate and reliable information.


Could the Chairman advise me of the cost of introducing the Real Time Information System and of any plans to improve the reliability of information to bus passengers?



Reply by the Chairman


“The Real Time Information (RTI) system and signage was supplied by VIX and cost approximately £1.5M. The implementation costs were jointly funded by the City and County Council’s along with funds provided by the Department for Transport (DfT). Ongoing management and maintenance is jointly funded by both Council’s. There are 186 signs across the City (101) and County (85) of varying types and the County Council fund around £50,000 towards the maintenance of its signs and £38,000 towards the management of the server. The RTI system is complex and relies on many components being in place to ensure that the information displayed on the signs is correct and accurate e.g. correct driver logging of journeys, linkages between bus operator servers and ticket machines and then to the VIX server, signal strength in low reception areas etc. Both authorities work closely with VIX to ensure the signs are well maintained and the information through the server is as accurate as possible and will continue to do so. Any problems with the RTI signs in the County should be reported through the mailbox or the County Council’s customer service centre on 0116 30 50001.

Finally, the Department for Transport is currently seeking views on ways to improve information for bus passengers through the Bus Services Act 2017 and open data legislation . The DfT want to make it easier for bus passengers to plan their journeys through access to routes and timetables data, fares and tickets data, and real time information. The County Council will be responding to this consultation, which closes on 16th September”



Mr Terry Kirby asked the following supplementary question:


“How will this information be distributed to members of the public, could signs be put on bus stops to inform them?”


The Director of Environment and Transport, on behalf of the Chairman replied as follows:


To report any issues members of the public could use the above contact details. The Department would look into whether there were ways to increase awareness including publicity at bus stops.


Questions asked by members under Standing Order 7(3) and 7(5).


The Chief Executive reported that questions had been received under Standing Order 7(3) and 7(5).


Questions by Mr. M. J. Hunt CC


At our meeting in June, both the Lead Member and senior Officer referred to the authority as being “technology neutral” on the question of waste disposal.


a)    When did the authority approve this policy and where can it be accessed?

b)    What does “technology neutral” mean in this context?


Reply by the Chairman


a) The Leicestershire Municipal Waste Management Strategy (LMWMS) 2006 (approved by the County Council on 12 July 2006, took a technology neutral approach to waste treatment.  A full range of treatment technologies was considered in the context of meeting the Council’s commitments under the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme.  The LMWMS Update 2011 (approved by the County Council on 23 May 2012, remained consistent with the aims and objectives of the 2006 Strategy.  For example, Objective 6 is the same in both versions of the Strategy:

Objective 6: Aim to manage residual waste within the County where this is consistent with the proximity principle and to manage all other waste at the nearest appropriate facility by the most appropriate method or technology.


b)    In the context of waste disposal, technology neutral means that the Council would consider a range of waste treatment technologies (both established and emerging) when carrying out commissioning activities and select the one(s) that best met the Councils requirements (e.g. in relation to cost, diversion from landfill, recycling rate, tonnage availability etc).  No individual technologies would be ruled in or out in advance. “



Urgent Items.


There were no urgent items for consideration.


Declarations of interest.


The Chairman invited members who wished to do so to declare any interest in respect of items on the agenda for the meeting. No declarations were made.


Declarations of the Party Whip.


There were no declarations of the party whip.


Presentation of Petitions under Standing Order 36.


The Chief Executive reported that no petitions had been received under Standing Order 36.


Waste Disposal Authority Plan. pdf icon PDF 94 KB

Additional documents:


The The Committee considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport which provided an overview of the Council’s Waste Disposal Authority plan. A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 8’ is filed with these minutes.


The Assistant Director for Environment & Waste explained that the Waste Disposal Authority plan provided Leicestershire County Council with an updated strategic basis up to 2030 ensuring the Council’s Waste Disposal Authority functions continued to be delivered effectively ahead of a full review of the Leicestershire Municipal Waste Management Strategy, and greater clarity from government regarding future strategy and legislation.  


Arising from discussion it was noted that:-


i)     A more detailed report would be going to the Environment and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 11 October 2018 regarding recycling performance across Leicestershire.


ii)    When 13 Recycling & Household Waste Sites went under the County Council’s control intensive training was undertaken by site staff that is refreshed annually. Regular ‘tool box’ talks are undertaken at the sites to refresh any issues that may have been flagged.


iii)  The County Council continued to work closely on communication regarding waste disposal, reminding members that household waste disposal was free and fly tipping a criminal act.


Members thanked operatives at Waste Sites who did very good work on behalf of Leicestershire County Council in the face of abuse from a small minority of people.




That members note the report.



Review of Highway Gully Cleansing. pdf icon PDF 126 KB


The Committee considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport which provided Members with an update on Leicestershire County Council’s current gully cleansing operation and the changes to gully emptying to be introduced. A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 9’ is filed with these minutes.


Arising from the discussion was the following:-


i)     The reactive gully team would remain in house so if members of the public flagged any issues these could be dealt with quickly. This would ensure a far more cost effective service than paying external contractors for adhoc work.


ii)    The trial found that external contractors typically out-performed County Council operatives by up to 60 per cent. This was due to external contractors being able to offer bonuses and that LCC operatives tended to spend longer in trying to deal with difficult issues by jetting the system. Members raised concerns whether the bonus would encourage external contractors to cut corners rather than spend more time on an issue that could be resolved, thereby passing costs on to the Council.


iii)  The County Council was focusing on digital technology to help build a better understanding of the issues with gullys in different areas. Further investigation was underway on how members of the public could be informed automatically on the gully cleansing programme of works.


iv)  Gully emptying crews refilled tankers at depots across the County but the frequency depended on how many issues crews faced in a day.


v)    Gullys were not routinely cleansed after surface dressing had been undertaken. However, when roads are swept as part of the surface dressing works if a lot of loose grit was noted this would be reported to central control for action.


vi)  If the County Council was required to take action on an issue caused by a developer then the cost would be recharged back to the developer.





That the Committee note the report.



Performance Report Quarter 1. pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a joint report of the Director of Environment and Transport and the Chief Executive on performance in Quarter 1 of 2018/19. A copy of the report is marked ‘Agenda Item 10’.


The performance indicators were measured against a set of targets outlined in the new Environment and Transport performance plan and the new Environment Strategy 2018-2030. Of the 21 performance indicators 11 had been updated this quarter.


From the discussion, the following points arose:


i)     ‘Local bus passenger journeys originating in the authority area’ numbers had increased for the first time since December 2016 from 13million to 13.2million for quarter 4. It was still rated as Amber however as the County Council is in the fourth quartile compared to other authorities.


ii)    The indicator for percentage of staff who say LCC is doing enough to reduce its environmental impact was measured by staff who completed the mandatory e-learning. Members raised whether this was more an indicator of communication rather than performance. Officers informed members it was useful to have a temperature gauge of staff opinion.


iii)  There was no indicator regarding air quality, as this was a district council duty. Where levels were high and transport related the County Council would work with the relevant district.


iv)  The ‘percentage of businesses citing concerns about traffic congestion’ had been measured by a Leicester and Leicestershire Business telephone survey of 1121 establishments, 28% of those responded. Supporting business is  important to the Council so this is one source of  data they have available to them to help understand the views of the business sector on highway matters.


v)    ‘Tonnes of waste produced from LCC sites’ declined to 466, thus meeting the interim target for the first time.


Members were reminded if they felt any indicator was not included that may be useful then to let the Department know so its inclusion could be considered.




That the update on departmental performance at the end of quarter 1 of 2018/19 be noted.




Dates of future meetings.

Future meetings of the Committee are scheduled to take place on the following dates:


11 October 2018 at 2.00pm.

8 November at 11.00am

17 Jan 2019 at 2.00pm

7 March 2019 at 2.00pm

6 June 2019 at 2.00pm

5 September 2019 at 2.00pm

7 November 2019 at 2.00pm




It was noted that future meetings of the Committee would be held on the following dates:


11 October 2018 at 2.00pm

8 November at 11.00am

17 January 2019 at 2.00pm

7 March 2019 at 2.00pm

6 June 2019 at 2.00pm

5 September 2019 at 2.00pm

7 November 2019 at 2.00pm