Venue: Conference Room, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA. View directions
Contact: Email: Democracy@enfield.gov.uk
Welcome and Apologies
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Ozer (Chair) and Cllr James (Vice-Chair). Cllr Aksanoglu, substituting for Cllr James, nominated himself to Chair the meeting. This was seconded, and it was AGREED that Cllr Aksanoglu would Chair the meeting in the absence of the Chair.
Declarations of Interest
Members of the Council are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests relevant to the items on the agenda.
There were no declarations of interest received regarding any items on the agenda.
To receive and agree the minutes of the previous meeting held on Tuesday 17 January 2023.
AGREED the minutes of the previous meeting held on 17 January 2023.
The Environment and Climate Action Scrutiny Panel are asked to note the report of officers reviewing the implementation of School Streets.
Richard Eason, Healthy Streets Programme Director introduced some of the key points in the report, which reviewed the implementation of School Streets.
In response, members commented as follows:
1. Cllr Laban asked if a safety assessment had been completed, looking into the impact of moving from a volunteer-based scheme to using AMPR cameras. Officers responded that most schools had initially used marshals, and one still did, but that this was not sustainable for the majority of them, thus they had to adapt to use AMPR cameras. Whilst this was perhaps not as safe as having a physical barrier on the site, it still proved effective at reducing traffic and was far safer than having the School Streets scheme rescinded at these various locations.
2. Cllr Laban queried specifically about Worcester’s School, citing that residents around the area felt they had been somewhat cut off by the School Street there; the Cllr questioned what engagement had taken place with residents, and how the diversions put in place matched with the Council’s air quality objectives. Officers replied that the scheme had been met with broad support; they accepted the programme had posed some issues for a minority of residents but stressed that there was always some alternative means of access. It was pointed out that while the scheme initially imposed set blanket times; schools had now reduced these to make them more specific/ targeted, thus alleviating some of the inconvenience. Officers reiterated that each location has its own challenges and the scheme, like any other, was a balancing act between trying to extrapolate the maximum benefit whilst also aiming to reduce the inconvenience to residents. It was stressed that feedback was always monitored, and modifications could be made.
3. Cllr Yuruk asked whether Prince of Wales Primary School would be included in the scheme. Officers responded that the school was part of the STARS programme, and an expression of interest had been received, thus they met the criteria, and would be considered as a candidate in future rounds.
4. Cllr Alexandrou queried whether inset days were considered by the School Streets programme; if Wren Academy had applied; and whether more advanced signage could be placed by the School Street located off Cannon Hill. Officers replied that signage on Cannon Hill would be investigated. ACTION for Richard Eason. They explained that typically School Streets covered term time, as inset days were difficult to take account of, because each school does them differently; they emphasised that schools individually managed when the scheme was in operation. They confirmed Wren Academy was a part of the STARS scheme and had expressed interest in becoming a School Street, but that challenges such as it being situated on a bus route to the hospital, meant that alternatives, like improvements to pedestrian crossings, may have to be considered instead.
5. Cllr Stevens asked about the problems with the rollout at Hazelwood School and queried what lessons had been learned for the future. Officers apologised for the issues, assured members ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
To receive a presentation on Waste Recycling Management Performance.
Jon Sharkey, Head of Public Realm Services gave a presentation and highlighted some of the key points and updates with regards to Waste Recycling Management Performance.
In response, members commented as follows:
1. Cllr Fallart asked what measures the Council was taking to prevent fly-tippers from targeting communal bins. Officers responded that with communal bins, it was hard to assign blame to parties who were not disposing of their waste properly, thus taking action and educating those guilty of it, was difficult. They expressed the Council were trialling new communal bin locations away from main roads where they are less likely to be targeted by fly-tippers, but that it was difficult to find such convenient locations where collection teams could still empty them regularly. Officers assured members that the Council employs Waste Enforcement Teams who are dedicated to housing, and that this and other similar issues were being monitored.
2. Cllr Yuruk queried whether the Council was still providing refuse bins to residents free of charge; what the Council’s position was on collecting bins that were overfilled, and if more public bins could be added to Ordnance Road. Officers replied that bins were provided free of charge, but additional criteria had to be met for residents wanting a larger black bin. They explained that the collection of overfilled bins was at the discretion of Officers, and that while they do usually collect them, the Council website makes clear that bins should not be overfilled; and if this becomes a routine problem it would be recorded, and they may not be collected. Officers stressed that when refuse is not collected, due to bins being overfilled, this is not down to Officers being awkward, but instead because the mechanism on refuse collection trucks is designed for bins that are closed, and open lids could catch, thus represent a safety risk. ACTION for Jon Sharkey - to look at the potential for adding more bins to Ordnance Road.
3. Cllr Laban highlighted that the percentage of refuse being recycled in the borough had fallen since 2019 and questioned whether Officers felt the move to fortnightly collections had been a mistake. Officers explained that the Covid-19 pandemic had significantly impacted on residents’ behaviour and meant they did not have an opportunity to embed their new practices, thus felt a straight comparison of these figures without context was unreflective. They stressed that compared to other Local Authorities, Enfield’s recycling statistics were fairly good, and that they would continue to drive their waste management strategy forwards.
4. Cllr Laban asked what impact the change in contractor from Biffa to NLWA, who were more generous with their rejection threshold, would have on waste performance statistics. Officers confirmed that they hoped this would mean a greater quantity of refuse would be recognised and treated as recycling, thus reducing unnecessary waste.
5. Cllr Laban then queried whether it would be possible to get waste performance statistics on a ward-by-ward basis for comparisons. Officers responded that collection rounds were optimised ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
To receive a presentation on the Air Quality Action Plan.
Ned Johnson, Principal Officer for Health, Safety & Pollution, gave an update on some of the key points in the Air Quality Action Plan.
In response, members commented as follows:
1. Cllr Laban queried why the Council had not challenged the Mayor of London over the expansion of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone which she described; came with a cost of £250m, would hurt the poorest residents in the borough and would have a negligible impact on air quality. Cllr Laban argued the Council should instead invest in schemes like zero emission bus routes. Cllr Jewell responded that the statistics suggest the ULEZ expansion will have the desired impact on air quality, that the Council had engaged with and asked questions of the Mayor of London regarding the scheme, and that they had not opposed it because it fits with the Council’s environmental objectives.
2. Cllr Laban reiterated her concerns regarding the ULEZ expansion before moving on to question the Council’s approach on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, which forced more cars onto already polluted roads. Officers replied that the objective of LTNs was to direct traffic out of residential streets and onto roads that were designed to deal with a greater volume of vehicles, in turn encouraging people to switch the modes of transport they choose to take, which is what they were seeing happen.
3. Cllr Alexandrou highlighted the increases in traffic on several roads, before moving on to query if the Council would hold another anti-idling campaign; and enquired if air quality could be measured just outside of LTNs, on busy roads and outside schools. Officers responded that the anti-idling campaign for London had ended last year but the Council were keen to continue it in the borough; in particular, they were keen for this to partner its engagement with schools, as that is where it had been most effective. They explained the monitoring of air quality could take place in more specific locations but that without previous comparisons the data would not be as useful.
4. Cllr Stevens asked about the green wall outside Bowes School, and whether something similar could be adopted along the A10 and A406. Officers replied that the ivy wall outside Bowes School, which had been attached with nitrogen dioxide analysers, had resulted in a 22% reduction in emissions. However, they expressed that green walls would not work everywhere, that they required a lot of maintenance, and that the A406 was only part controlled by Enfield, thus was a difficult site to do much with.
5. Cllr Stevens enquired what contribution the waste incinerator was having, to which Officers expressed they did not have these figures to hand.
6. Cllr Alexandrou asked how the Council were protecting poorer residents in the borough from the incinerator’s emissions. Officers responded that the facility was one of the cleanest in Europe, with strict environmental regulations attached to its operations, which it would more than meet. They asked that members be careful with the language they use to describe the ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
To note the completion of the Work Programme for 2022/23 and that the Environment and Climate Action Scrutiny Panel Work Programme for 2023/24 will be discussed at the first meeting of the new municipal year.
NOTED the completion of the Work Programme for 2022/23 and that the Environment & Climate Action Scrutiny Panel Work Programme for 2023/24 will be discussed at the first meeting of the new municipal year.
Date of Next Meeting
To note the dates of the future meetings will be confirmed following Annual Council on Wednesday 10 May 2023.
NOTED the dates of future meetings for the Environment & Climate Action Scrutiny Panel will be confirmed following Annual Council on Wednesday 10 May 2023.
The Chair thanked everyone for their time and brought the meeting to a close.