To receive questions from Councillors in accordance with the requirements of Standing Order 23.4(a).
The following questions were received in accordance with Standing Order 23:
1. Councillor Carpenter to Councillor Wilson:
I was very concerned to read in your report that we as a Licensing Authority seen to have no control over drivers / operators in our Borough as at present no national standards exist? In view of these grave concerns can you tell me the steps we can take to stop operators / drivers, licensed outside the Borough but being able to ply for trade within, also would he agree with me this is a Safeguarding issue that needs to be addressed urgently?
Although national standards for hackney carriage and private hire licensing do not exist, Havant does have a policy statement that imposes rigorous standards that must be met by all drivers, operators and vehicles before they are licensed by this authority. These include medical checks and DBS checks for drivers and mechanical checks for vehicles. I understand that other local authorities have similar policies.
Drivers and vehicles licensed by other licensing authorities do operate within Havant’s administrative area within certain legal limits. However, the Council’s Licensing Team will investigate and take necessary action to address any complaints or breaches of legislation that are received, as a matter of priority.
2. Councillor Carpenter to Councillor Bains
I note that during January this year 117 fixed penalty notices were issued through the Borough. Can you please tell me how this compares to the same period last year and do with have, in your opinion sufficient staff to adequately patrol the Borough and be effective? On my weekly ward walks I am still amazed at amounts of litter I witness, even allowing for the first rate work of Norse employees, throughout the Borough. It must be soul destroying for them to be presented day in day out with the mountain of litter?
The number of FPNs issued in January 2018 was 118 as with 2019 these are virtually all for cigarette ends.
Looking ahead we are currently in discussions with EHCS over the future delivery of the litter enforcement contract which will be potentially more focused and visible.
This new approach may see a reduction in the total number of FPNs issued but they may be for a greater range of rubbish.
I certainly hope that by increasing visibility on areas where there is a history of littering will reassure the community.
As for the right numbers of staff to undertake the role I think that we have got the balance about right and with a more focused approach hope to see some increased impact.
The subject of litter is being looked at through scrutiny on 5th March this year.
3. Councillor Carpenter to Councillor Bowerman:
I was pleased to read in your report some Senior Management have recently attended IOSH training. During my time during the 80s I attended Highbury College for two years to become a Health and Safety Officer also taking the IOSH qualification. Can I ask if in the future if members could also share and gain an insight into this very complex field with a view to increasing knowledge and understanding?
The Joint H&S minutes are available for members to view through mod.gov. These meetings are held quarterly and the minutes provide an overview of the work of H&S and highlight any key areas for future focus.
The Head of Service for this area welcomes any feedback and input that can be provided from staff, managers and members. H&S remains the responsibility of everyone.
4. Councillor Carpenter to Councillor Hughes:
I note from your under Waste and Recycling, over the Christmas and New Year period a ‘no quibble‘ scheme operated ? Could you inform me if this had a cost implication for the Borough and why or how this was found to be necessary at this time
We have operated this ‘no quibble’ collection scheme for a number of years, I cannot recall when or who made the decision.
As a result of collection day changes during this period we are aware that many residents get confused as to the day that their waste/recycling will be collected. In the past we have tried many different ways to convey information to residents in advance to advise of the collection day changes, but this still results in a great deal of enquiries from residents as they appear not to be aware.
In previous years the collection crews have attempted to record all addresses when no waste/recycling has been presented for collection, this resulted in reams of papers coming in at the end of each collection day. This information then had to be conveyed to the customer services team so that they could provide a response should the householder call to enquire as to why their bin(s) had not been collected. There would often be a conversation whereby customer services would advise that the collection crew had reported that the bin(s) was not presented for collection and the householder stating that they were unaware of the revised collection day.
Also households generate more waste and recycling during the Christmas period and it has been permitted for them to present an additional bag of waste for collection from alongside the bin. If, for whatever the reason, a bin is not collected then this could result in a build-up of waste and a lot of angry or frustrated residents.
I can further advise that we provide this service by utilising our existing resources. We suspend the collections of garden waste and bulky waste for a two week period, we reassign the team members and vehicles to support the waste/recycling teams.
5. Councillor Davis to Councillor Wilson:
Following the Hayling Island Transport Review, will you / have you applied to the Solent LEP for necessary funds to build another road and bridge required for Hayling Island?
This is a much needed infrastructure required to relieve the stress of bottlenecks on the A3023 and would greatly help the attractiveness of Havant's Boroughs Regeneration projects along Hayling Islands seafront and give it more chance of success.
The Council is working with all potential partners to lever in funding to address the pressures on the Borough’s infrastructure networks. This includes both Homes England and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.
The Council set out through the Regeneration Strategy and its vision that the future of the Borough would mean that “Development interest in the island prompted by the enhanced visitor offer has made the construction of a second public transport/autonomous vehicle bridge linking the island with Havant Rail Station economically viable.
The Hayling Island Transport Assessment has also looked in detail at the mitigation measures needed to accommodate new development. A second vehicular bridge would not be a practical solution to the pressure on the island’s transport network given that the A3023 continues to the south of the bridge whilst to the north it almost immediately connects to the Strategic Road Network. However the Transport Assessment has put forward a number of measures to improve the island’s transport network and further work will be undertaken by the Council moving forwards on this project.