Highways & Neighbourhoods Cabinet Member – Minutes – 21 May 2014

The refuse collection service operated a fleet of vehicles to undertake the collections from households and businesses.  These were typically 26 tonne trucks, of which the council had 30 on the fleet.

On occasion, allegations of vehicle collisions and accident damage were received.  Currently, only statements from the crew and data from the vehicle tracking systems were the only way, if appropriate, to challenge the claims.

Sometimes complaints were also received of poor staff behaviour or confrontation with residents. Often, if there was no independent corroborating testimony there was no choice but to refute the allegation.  This was usually to the dissatisfaction of the complainant.  Collection crews additionally occasionally experienced confrontation with residents.  These incidents usually resulted from bins not being emptied due to contamination or where excess side waste was left.

The service wished to utilise technology to address the issues highlighted by installing four corner cameras to the refuse collection vehicles.  This was known as “360 degree vision”.  The cameras recorded video footage for the full period of the vehicle’s operation and stored it on board.  The system would allow individual cameras to be viewed over the mobile phone network, either as historical or live footage.  This would provide for either real time or stored video footage to assist the service operationally.

Resolved – That subject to budget availability, Option 2 at paragraph 3.2 of the report, for the installation of a 360 degree vision system on the refuse collection fleet, be approved.

120  (67) BEREAVEMENT SERVICES – The Director of Places submitted a report updating the Cabinet Member on progress made within Bereavement Services in the last year, and seeking support for proposed new service developments.

Bereavement Services covered all crematorium and cemetery services provided by the council.  In April 2013 the Highways and Neighbourhoods Cabinet Member approved a number of actions to develop these services.  The report gave details on the following actions:

  • 40 minute services
  • Improvements to customers 2013/14
  • Military Partnership 2014
  • Partnerships with local organisations 2013/14

Further improvements were planned throughout the coming year, which included:

  • Extending the roll out of customer improvements to other cemeteries in North Lincolnshire
  • Celebrating 50 years of service delivery at Woodlands in November 2014
  • Working with the council’s registrars to provide ceremonies and eulogies in North Lincolnshire.  This option would allow those customers who may prefer services to be held at the Register Officer rather than in a chapel to commence.

Resolved That the ongoing transformation and improvement of the council’s Bereavement Services be supported.

121  (68) 2013 AIR QUALITY PROGRESS REPORT – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking approval for the 2013 Air Quality Progress Report that had been accepted by Defra.

The council were required to carry out a review of pollution annually.  Industrial, domestic and traffic pollution had to be compared with limits for major air pollutants set by the Government.  Technical guidance LAQM.TG (09) issued by Defra in April 2009 was used to carry out the Progress Report.

The 2013 report found no new concerns.  It highlighted the ongoing issues in Scunthorpe with dust levels from the steelworks.

The council would continue to put in place the actions in the Air Quality Action Plan.  The plan aimed to reduce the impact of steel making on air quality.  Local industry and the Environment Agency would be worked with on this.

Levels of nitrogen dioxide would also continue to be measured at South Killingholme, and levels and causes of air pollution in that area would be further reported on.

Resolved That the 2013 Air Quality Progress Report be approved, and made available to the public.

122  (69) TECHNICAL OFFICER (HIGHWAY SERVICES) – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking approval for the establishment of a two year fixed term post of Technical Officer (Highway Services).

Due to increased levels of capital and revenue funding, Highway Services had an increasing workload over the next two year period.  To help ensure that the programmes were effectively delivered an additional post of Technical Officer (Highway Services) was proposed.

The postholder would provide support towards ensuring that requests for service from customers were effectively responded to, directed to appropriate officers for prompt action, monitoring and updating on progress and ensuring efficient completion.  The post would also guarantee that critical data systems were kept up to date, as well as arranging service responses to enquiries from MP’s, elected members, government departments and business and industry representatives.

Resolved (a) That the establishment of a temporary, two year, fixed term post of Technical Officer (Highways Services) be approved, and (b) that the progress of an immediate recruitment process to fill the post be approved.