Agenda item

Public Question Time

An opportunity for members of the public to raise points or questions about local issues that are not already on the agenda for this meeting.  If it is not possible to answer the question at the meeting, a written response will be issued.  Please submit your questions to:



A local resident living near Woodcote Green commented on the capacity of the recycling boxes. She believed these were not sufficient in size and too heavy to carry to the property boundary when full. Scott Edgell, General Manager, Veolia, confirmed that he would ensure a recycling advisor discuss what can be done for her particular circumstances. He advised the issue of providing more boxes is being looked at and where more boxes have been requested by residents these will start to be delivered from early the following week.


A resident from Park Hill advised that his bins had still not been emptied.  He suggested boxes should just be used for paper and card and green wheelie bins should be used for plastic and tin recycling due to capacity. The Veolia Manager apologised for issues with collections. He confirmed that Veolia are reviewing number of boxes residents need for recycling, and advised that at the current time Veolia are looking for residents to continue to use boxes rather than swapping to use additional wheelie bins.  He advised the boxes are stackable.  


A resident from Langley Park Road, Sutton (outside the local committee area), asked if there had been a breach of contract with Veolia, and also if collection of waste is a statutory service that should be provided by the Council. She further questioned who the other bidders were when this contact was awarded to Veolia. Matt Clubb, Executive Head of Environment Commissioning confirmed that there had not been a breach of contract.  He advised who the other bidders in this contract process were:  Amey and Serco. It was confirmed there is a statutory obligation regarding the provision of domestic waste services by the council.


A resident asked if waste was being ‘taken to France’ and if the Council had control over what was agreed in the contracts. The Executive Head of Environment Commissioning confirmed that waste is not being transported to France, and advised that it is distributed to a number of locations in the UK.


A local resident commented he had seen on the council website that if residents already have two green bins can they use one of these for plastic, cans and bottles and asked why more publicity was not given to that. It was confirmed that is correct. The Executive Head of Environment Commissioning advised that as the majority of residents only have one green bin therefore the generic messaging was aimed at these residents.


Mr. Carl Brown spoke about the Veolia presentation at the last meeting where the new service was described as a ”tried and tested system”. He queried why households were only given a 55 litre box for recycling, which is not large enough.  The Veolia General Manager advised that bigger boxes could not be used as they would be too heavy when full, hence he suggested that local residents have more than one recycling box where required and that their boxes be stacked. He highlighted the reason for using the existing wheelie bin for paper and card was to protect the paper and card from getting wet as dry materials had a greater economic worth.


A resident requested feedback from the Council on whether recycling by residents is increasing. The Executive Head of Environment Commissioning confirmed that statistics will be reviewed from recycling and food waste after the first month.


A resident highlighted that they are still waiting on their garden waste collection. The General Manager Veolia apologised and spoke about the work ongoing to cover missed collections.


Councillor Tim Crowley asked for confirmation on the “closed lid policy”. He also asked if the trucks purchased for this contract are wider than previous trucks.  The Executive Head of Environment Commissioning confirmed there is a closed lid policy which was agreed by Environment & Neighbourhood Committee in November 2015.  The General Manager Veolia confirmed vehicles are approximately 200mm wider, than the previous vehicles, and that testing had taken place in a number of the narrow roads successfully. He confirmed there are a number of sites where a narrow access vehicle is being used from this week.


Councillor Moira Butt highlighted that some residents who have assisted collections had no collections over the Easter period. The Veolia General Manager advised that arrangements had been made to cover missed collections.


Councillor David Hicks from Belmont ward asked if the cost of additional recycling boxes is within the cost of existing contract or is this coming from council. He further asked what the price difference is between the cost of wheelie bins and the current recycling boxes. It was confirmed that there is currently budget within the contract to provide additional boxes.


A resident from Stanley Park Road shared her concerns at the state of the area where people are taking recycling to local litter bins and car park bins and fly tipping has increased. Veolia confirmed that crews are monitoring areas and are working on a solution to clear overflowing waste bins and improve cleanliness of the area.

A resident in Pine Walk noticed that signs saying the whole road will be closed to replace a gas main the full length of Pine Walk on both sides of the road. He advised that no prior notice had been given of this.  Victoria Jeffrey, Head of Local Place and Engagement will arrange for this to be looked into and a response will be provided following this meeting.