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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Merton Civic Centre

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Anderson (with Cllr Christie substituting).



Declarations of pecuniary interest


There were no declarations of pecuniary interest.



Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 94 KB


The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as a true and accurate record.


Matters arising:

1.    It was noted that the planning enforcement update and Panel member data request is included in the new work programme for 2018/2019; and

2.    Officers offered to provide a further update on ANPR during the coming year.



Update report: rollout of the new waste service (with a focus on communication) pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Scott Edgell, General Manager of Veolia Environmental Services UK, will attend the Panel.

Additional documents:


Cllr Brunt, Cabinet Member for Environment and Street Cleanliness, introduced the item. He highlighted that increasing recycling of food waste is key to the success of the new service that will be rolled out from 1 October 2018. Currently, only around a third of Merton’s households are recycling food waste. On average around 3kg of food waste per household per month is recycled in Merton. This is much lower than the borough’s surrounding neighbours (ie: Croydon 4.7kg a month, Sutton 7.5 kg and Kingston 6kg). The new service will collect food waste every week.


The new service will be innovative as it will offer kerbside collections of textiles and household batteries once a fortnight. The change in the service aims to increase recycling, save money through switching to residual waste collections every fortnight and make Merton’s streets cleaner by using wheeled bins to solve the issue of refuse not currently being contained.


Will Graham, Business Support Manager, Veolia, provided the meeting with a presentation on the communication to Merton’s residents of the rollout of the new waste service. This highlighted:

·         Residual waste will be collected 26 times a year (from wheeled bins), garden waste 26 times a year, dry mixed paper 26 times a year and food waste 52 times year;

·         As a result of the amount of change to the service, 75% of residents will have a change to the day of their collection;

·         Collection of both textiles and batteries from the kerbside will be added to the service;

·         There will be three lines of communication to residents: a welcome to the new service leaflet including differentiation for those that will not be part of the standard service, a service information pack which will include stickers for bins and notification of the new day for collections and visits to all houses of multiple occupation to undertake audits of containers to ensure all are being correctly used;

·         The initial welcome to the new service leaflet will be distributed from 9 to 20 July 2018. This will include communication to those using blue and purple sacks, for whom there will be no change to their current service. This needs to be carefully communicated as well as information to those for whom there will be a service change;

·         A pictorial approach is being taken in communications to support those for whom English is an additional language or who have an additional learning need;

·         The communications to residents in flats will be different, reflecting their service is not changing and focusing on the issue of reducing contamination;

·         A schedule of roadshows that will take place over the summer has been published. These will focus on explaining the service change to residents face-to-face. A range of other channels will also be used with focus on the issue of contamination; and

·         Wheeled bins will be delivered to homes between 30 July 2018 and 28 September 2018 along with the service information pack.


In response to member questions, the following clarification was provided:

·         (Cllr  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Cabinet Member priorities

·         Cllr Mike Brunt, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Street Cleanliness;

·         Cllr Nick Draper, Cabinet Member for Community and Culture; and

·         Cllr Martin Whelton, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Housing and Transport


Cabinet Members took it in turn to highlight their priorities and answer member questions.


Cllr Brunt, Cabinet Member for Environment and Street Cleanliness: excited about his new role and making a difference for the community. In addition to establishing a successful food recycling system his focus is on Merton’s streets needing to be cleaner. Once the new service is introduced, this will decrease the waste on streets, as this will just be as a result of people dropping litter and fly tipping. On the latter, he aims to improve the functionality of the website for reporting to make this less clunky and more user friendly. However, these reports do go straight into Veolia’s vehicles with tips being addressed within hours. Highlighted the need for tips to be reported quickly and addressed before they attract further rubbish. Noted that he is working on the faster removal of Veolia’s green street sweeping bags as these can attract further waste to be dumped.


In response to member questions, Cllr Brunt clarified:

·         The enhanced call centre supporting the rollout of the new waste service is key. This will be supported with additional resource once the communication of the new service begins;

·         Noted that there is a role for ward councillors in supporting the rollout of the new service. They can use their local knowledge to help officers. For example, notifying where there is no front garden for storage of wheeled bins. This will be the key criteria for determining whether a household will be expected to use a wheeled bin;

·         Those in flats and shops will not be expected to use wheeled bins. Highlighted that the service provided will fit with need;

·         Ward councillors will be provided with a bank of frequently asked questions; and

·         Confirmed he is willing to go out on visits with councillors to look at the environment and street cleaning in their wards.


Cllr Draper, Cabinet Member for Community and Culture: focused on looking at support for those with disabilities and inclusion:

·         Dementia: Working to make the borough dementia friendly. Library and leisure centre staff have been provided with dementia friendly training. The aim is to provide support that is discrete and effective. Looking at how this might also be applied to Merton’s parks;

·         Learning disabled: just awarded the contract to deliver training through Merton’s libraries including life skills, travel training and work skills. Working for Merton to become a disabled confident employer;

·         Diabetes: noted that more advanced cases of diabetes can result in considerable health impacts and disability. Funding has therefore been allocated for a programme across all Merton’s green spaces to encourage healthier lifestyles as a way to prevent and treat Type 2;

·         Mental health: supporting outdoor therapies and support offered through Merton’s libraries; and

·         Physical disabilities: seeking to offer access to sports for those with disabilities including those that are hidden (and for example, may be linked to age). Examples include walking football and water sports. These are not known  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Performance monitoring: departmental data set review pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Additional documents:


Steve Langley, Head of Housing Needs, introduced the performance monitoring report for the Community and Housing Department:

·         CRP059/no of people accessing Merton’s libraries: noted this as particularly high performing and probably the best in London; and

·         CRP061/SP009/no of households in temporary accommodation: this is the lowest number of households in temporary accommodation in London apart from the City of London. There are approximately 80,000 households in temporary accommodation in England, 53,000 of which are in London with only tiny numbers in Merton. Highlighted the support offered to those as risk of homelessness to help with their finances and work done to encourage others to remain within the family home. Noted the new Housing Reduction Act and that the Department remains unsure of how this will affect the service.


In response to a member question, it was agreed to take clarification outside of the meeting on the difference between CRP 059 (the number of people accessing the libraries) and SP480 (library visitor figures).


Chris Lee, Director, Environment & Regeneration, introduced the performance monitoring report for his Department:

·         Highlighted that as this is data for April 2018, it is missing both quarterly and annual figures. He also noted that the monthly target figures  might not be as accurate as required as this is still to be calibrated and properly profiled in some cases. Suggested it would be better to look at the data in detail in September 2018;

·         Noted that on waste and street cleaning, the weekly reports to Councillors are shortly to be reinstated. Also that this service remains under constant focus by officers;

·         Performance on the processing of major (CRP 051), minor (CRP 052) and other (CRP 053) planning applications is all above target. Closure of enforcement cases is still below target (SP 113) but the new approach is bearing fruit; and

·         SP 414/the volume of planning applications is seen as an indicative measure of the rate of regeneration in the borough. Whilst this is down against target and the short-term trend is down, the longer-term trend is up.


In response to a member question, Chris Lee clarified that on CRP 094/SP 485/the number of fly tips, this is above target but outside the control of the contractor (Veolia). In relation to fly tips, the contractor’s performance is judged on how quickly they are removed. The contractor’s records of fly tips is improving  with improved accuracy contributing to the increased number of reported incidents. The volume of fly tips will only be addressed by changing resident behaviour.


RESOLVED: To appoint Cllr McClean as performance monitoring lead for the Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Panel.



Setting the work programme for 2018/2019 pdf icon PDF 312 KB

·         Consider the work programme for 2018/19 – agree items for inclusion;

·         Consider the methods to be used;

·         Consider the use of visits and external experts;

·         Identify a lead member for performance monitoring;

·         Identify a lead member for budget scrutiny;

·         Agree a task group topic;

·         Consider the appointment of co-opted members (Panel/task group); and

·         Identify the training/support needs of the Panel.



1.    To accept the work programme for the Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Panel as presented;

2.    To undertake a task group on reducing the use of single use plastics in Merton; and

3.    To receive information about opportunities for scrutiny training from the Centre for Public Scrutiny and the Local Government Association.