The Committee considered a joint report of the Chief Executive and Director of Environment and Transport which set out performance of environment and waste to December 2021. A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 9’ is filed with these minutes.
The Director set out the report and highlighted the twelve indicators that had been updated as at December 2021, with six having improved, two declined and four remained the same as previously updated.
Arising from the discussion the following points arose:
i. Total fly-tipping incidents per 1,000 population had increased from 5.5 to 8.86 during 2020/2021, the Committee recognised from previous discussions that factors were complex, and that enforcement was key to reduce incidents. It was noted that the Council remained in the second quartile for performance in comparison to other councils.
ii. A Member questioned whether the County Council monitored hybrid vehicles, given the indicators related to Electric Vehicle (EV) ownership and charging locations. The Director of Environment and Transport confirmed that the Authority did not monitor the number of hybrid vehicles, but that the outcome and impact would be reflected in emission data included within the report.
iii. A Member questioned the availability of EV charging for those within terrace housing or without assigned parking. The Director informed the Committee that the Council was in the process of updating its Highway Design Guide to take into account the best options to enable home charging as part of its policy. It was anticipated that residents would need to seek approval from the County Council for permission to use a cable over a footway. Arising from a further question the Director informed the Committee that there was no intention to allow charging from street lighting.
iv. The Director added that it was important for the County Council to take into account installation of EV charging points, as energy companies looked to provide rapid charging stations in petrol stations. It was recognised that the Council should augment the provision by private sector providers to ensure any infrastructure was as comprehensive as could be
v. A Member questioned whether the County Council was too narrow minded in its focus on EV’s, given other technologies and the cost of EV’s and insurance. The Member further highlighted that Harborough District Council had looked at Electric Vehicle charging points but found difficulty in rural areas as it appeared that the infrastructure could not support it. In response the Lead Member assured Members that the County Council was technologically neutral and that it was not bound to specific solutions, highlighting its transition of some of its fleet to Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil for fuel. Members were assured that as a public authority the County Council was pragmatic with its working processes and any technology solutions.
vi. In reference to the ‘annual percentage of municipal waste sent to landfill’ it was questioned how the Authority intended to reach Government’s recycling targets by 2025, given performance remained within the fourth quartile. The Director informed the Committee that the completion of the ongoing waste procurement exercise would allow for a step change in its disposal with creation of alternative disposal points to reduce the waste sent to landfill.
vii. A Member questioned the two indicators for Leicestershire rivers which had not been updated. The Director informed the Committee that data was expected in the next six months from the Environment Agency. In response Committee requested, that an invite be extended to the Environment Agency, as well as Severn Trent and Anglian Water to understand information related to river water quality, storm overflows and what they were doing to achieve Government’s objective of all rivers being in good quality status by 2027. The Committee agreed to share questions in advance with the organisations
a. That the report be noted.
b. That the Environment Agency, Severn Trent Water and Anglian Water be invited to a future meeting to discuss issues related to river quality.