Agenda and minutes

Council - Tuesday, 18th July, 2023 5.00 pm

Venue: Council Chambers - Civic Centre

Contact: Anne Jenkins  Governance Team Leader


No. Item



        i.           To receive any apologies for absence.

      ii.           To receive any declarations of interest.

     iii.           To receive any announcements by the Presiding Member.

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The Presiding Member requested that Council observe a minute silence to remember former Mayoress Helen Truman, who sadly passed away last month.


Before commencing with Council business, the Presiding Member was pleased to announce that Newport City Council had recently received a number of honours and awards. 


Rhys Thomas, Food Safety and Public Health Manager received honorary recognition by the Faculty of Public Health, part of the Royal College of Physicians. Rhys was acclaimed as a Member of Distinction due to the work he carried out in public health work and on Covid between 2020 to 2022.  


Richard Drew, of Ysgol Bryn Derw was awarded Head Teacher of the Year at the Schools and Education Awards, as mentioned in the South Wales Argus recently.


The Presiding Member introduced two Accolades Project Videos for Oaklands and Newport Community Connectors Service, and praised Sally-Ann Jenkins, Strategic Director, for the dedication of the social services staff for their achievements.


The Presiding Member also introduced Mike Wallbank, Assistant Head of Legal Services who was recently appointed and was standing in for the Head of Law and Standards.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 172 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the previous meetings: 25 April and 16 May (AGM).

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Minutes of the previous meetings: 25 April and the Annual General Meeting 16 May 2023.


Councillor Evans hoped that the Minutes would be sent out in a timely manner and not when the agenda was circulated.


The Minutes of 25 April:


Item 5 – Notice of Motion: City of Sanctuary, Councillor Evans referred to the UK statistics and not Newport, when he mentioned that over 450,000 people had been offered sanctuary since 2015.


Item 5 – Notice of Motion: City of Sanctuary, Councillor Clarke also referred to the debate where Councillor Routley had said that the Leader’s statement was misleading and the Leader had requested an apology.


The Minutes of 16 May:


Item 5 – Appointments to Committees, Councillor Evans mentioned the change to Standards Committee, Councillor Fouweather was replaced by Councillor Routley. 


Item 5 – Appointments to Committees, Councillor Whitehead also mentioned that for the Chair of Performance and Scrutiny Committee – Place and Corporate, Cllr Cleverly was replaced by Cllr Mark Howells.


Item 3 – Appointments to Leader of Council and Cabinet, Councillor Marshall’s name misspelt, (only one ‘l’).


Appointments pdf icon PDF 96 KB

To consider any proposed appointments.

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To consider the proposed appointments set out in the report.


Councillor Clarke moved the appointments set out in the Report, as agreed by the Business managers, subject to the additional appointments set out below and requested that Jackie Littlejohns be removed from Jubilee Park School.


Councillor Evans requested that Councillor Reeks be nominated to be LEA Governor for Jubilee Park School.  Councillor Clarke agreed that this would be taken back to Education Services for confirmation, and it would therefore be reported at the next meeting.


Councillor Reeks seconded the report.


Resolved: That the following appointments be agreed.


Governing Body Appointments


Governing Body

No of Vacancies /


Nominations Received

Glasllwch Primary School


Gilliam Hyland

Malpas Court Primary School


David Mayer

Malpas Park Primary School


William Langsford

Ringland Primary School


Laura Lacey

Langstone Primary School


Ray Mogford



Police Issues

30 minutes is allocated for questions to the Gwent Police representative.

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The Presiding Member introduced Chief Superintendent Dr Carl Williams of Gwent Police, who provided council members with an update on police issues within East, West, and Central Newport.


The Presiding Member invited the Leader to address Chief Superintendent Dr Williams.


The Leader mentioned the potential challenges in communities over the summer holidays and confirmed that there were diversionary activities underway with partner agencies.  The Leader asked for assurances from the police that the concerns of citizens would be acted upon, regarding the reporting and tackling of fires, and that the police would be working closely with South Wales Fire Service.


The Chief Superintendent agreed that this is a challenge, and fires were more likely to occur when land was dry. The Chief Superintendent considered that this is also an educational exercise in order to make sure people are aware of the risks. The police are working with South Wales Fire Service and will act on any intelligence received. The Chief Superintendent assured the Council that residents can call anonymously through Crimestoppers. 


Questions to the Police raised by Councillors:


§  Councillor Evans referred to the use of e-bikes, quad bikes on roads. Councillor Evans had witnessed these proceeding through two sets of red lights and speeding on Queensway.  Councillor Evans said he observed that there was a police van on the opposite side of the road that did not appear to take any action. Councillor Evans went on to say that he appreciated the sensitivities around this, and asked if the Chief Superintendent could explain why it was not as easy to stop these bikes in some cases.  The Chief Superintendent agreed that it was not as simple as stopping a car or other licensed vehicles. The Chief Superintendent added that whilst the police had to act proportionately, this did not excuse people to break the law. The Chief Superintendent went on to say that there are specialist trained officers to deal with these matters and whilst residents may not see police pursuing a vehicle, there are specific operations in place. The police take the strongest preventative approach to seize the vehicles and prevent these vehicles from being on the road in the first place.


§  Councillor Harvey referred to additional CSOs coming to Always Ward and asked when there would be more police officers, as CSOs did not have the same powers as police officers. The Chief Superintendent felt it was important to have the right mix of staff in terms of CSOs and police officers to support the community. Police regularly look at the demand and deploy staff appropriately.  This includes traffic police, armed response officers and dog teams.


§  Councillor Lacey mentioned that as LGBTQ+ Champion she had some concerns raised by the community.  Councillor Lacey asked if information could be provided on measures taken by the police to ensure that the LGBTQ+ community feel safe, and how Gwent Police addressed online harassment.  The Chief Superintendent said that he was Chair of the LGBTQ+ network and it was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


2022/23 Treasury Management Year End Report pdf icon PDF 264 KB

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The Presiding Member invited the Leader to introduce the report.


The Leader gave an outline of the Council’s treasury management activity for 2022/23 and treasury activities to confirm compliance with the Treasury Strategy previously considered and set by Members.


The report compared activity with the year-end position for 2021/22 and detailed the movement, and the reasons for those movements, throughout 2022-23. This is the second of two reports that Council received on treasury management during the year.


The Report on the Treasury Management Outturn Report, 2022/23 presented the following information:


o   Reminder of the treasury strategy agreed.

o   Details of borrowing and investment activity throughout the year.

o   Wider economic considerations e.g., pandemic, economic climate.

o   An update to the International Treasury code on commercial investment funding.

o   A medium to long term outlook for borrowing need.

o   An examination of activity against prudential indicators, confirming compliance.

o   The report also confirms that the Council invested in three covered bonds within the year 2022-23, totalling £10m, in line with the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy.


The report was presented to Governance and Audit Committee in May and was endorsed by the committee prior to the report being considered by Cabinet in June. The Governance and Audit Committee also received a training session delivered by the Council’s treasury management advisors, Arlingclose, which was well received.


The key highlights included the level of borrowing, which as of 31 March 2023, decreased by £3.5m in comparison to 2021-22 outturn levels, at £138.6m.  This decrease was in relation to a number of loans which were repaid in instalments over the life of the loan and the redemption of a small PWLB maturity loan at the end of September, which did not need to be re-financed.


The level of investments also decreased by £11m to £47.2m, by using up internal resources as a more cost-effective alternative to arranging new external borrowing. 


This approach is a cornerstone of effective internal borrowing, and even in an environment of increasing interest rates, the cost of new borrowing is still more expensive than any increasing returns on investments, so it continued to make sense to use the existing surplus cash balances as an alternative to arranging new borrowing.


As previously mentioned, towards the end of the financial year, the Authority invested in three covered bonds totalling £10m, to comply with the MiFID II (Markets in Financial Instruments and Derivatives Directive) minimum investment balance requirement and to retain professional client status. The report detailed the benefits of having covered bonds within the investment portfolio – first and foremost that they provide a high level of security, whilst providing a good level of yield.


Within the report was a forward-looking indicator called the Liability Benchmark, which provided a graphical illustration of the Council’s existing and future borrowing requirement. Going forward, this would be shared with Council on a more regular basis following recent changes in guidance.


This is an important indicator to understand as it demonstrates the impact that decisions taken in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Welsh Language Annual Report pdf icon PDF 132 KB

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The Presiding Member invited the Leader to introduce the annual report, which detailed the Council’s progress in complying with the Welsh Language Standards as part of the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011.


The report provided an overview of the Council’s progress in meeting the Standards, included information required to be published on an annual basis, a summary of key achievements during the year, and highlighted priority areas for future work.


The Leader hoped that Council colleagues agreed with the positive comments made at Cabinet last week.


Whilst this is a Newport City Council report, engagement, development, and co-production is at the heart of all activities and events. Da iawn pawb.


Members noted the key highlights from the year including:


§  The significant increase in delivery of Welsh Language Awareness sessions for the Council’s workforce with 99 members of staff being trained.


§  The adoption of the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (WESP) 2022-2032 by Council which was then approved by Welsh Government.


§  The launch of the Council’s Welsh Language Skills Policy demonstrating the Council’s commitment to the Welsh language through recruitment and training.


The report also identified key priorities for 2023-24 including:


§  Building on the creative partnership arrangements developed outside the public and voluntary sector to better raise the profile of the Welsh language across Newport with opportunities at the Dragons RFC and Newport County AFC.


§  Delivering a cohesive approach to Welsh language skills development across OneNewport partners through the Right Skills Board.


§  An even greater focus on recruitment, retention, and development of Welsh speakers across all services areas within the council, and


§  Facilitating and supporting events throughout the year and looking at the cross-cutting themes around equality, diversity, and inclusion.


The Leader thanked Cabinet Member for Organisational Transformation and lead for Equalities and Welsh Language, and thanked Councillor John Harris for supporting the work in his role as Welsh Language Champion.  Diolch yn fawr iawn.




That Council approved the final monitoring report published on the Council’s website, in accordance with statutory deadlines.


Director of Social Services Annual Report pdf icon PDF 161 KB

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The Presiding Member informed colleagues that the Leader would present the Annual Report of the Director of Social Services.


The Leader informed Council that the Strategic Director, as the designated Director for Social Services, had a statutory duty under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 and as amended by the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016 to produce an annual report to the Council.


The report must set out the personal assessment of the Director of Social Services of the performance of Social Services in delivering its social care functions during the preceding 12 months.


The report covered the period of 2022/2023. Guidance on the format of the report was currently a matter of consultation with Welsh Government. This year, the Director used a combination of case studies and examples from staff to demonstrate the work of Social Services.


During this period, the restructured Senior Management team became established. The delivery of social care during 2022/2023 was profoundly impacted firstly by the work to recover from the pandemic, followed by the cost-of-living crisis.


Despite the significant issues and challenges of 2022/2023, the Director of Social Services was satisfied that the Council continued to comply with its statutory duties.


The Leader was pleased to note that despite the difficulties of 2022/2023, Social Services staff were able to look beyond the day-to-day demands and delivered innovation, continued their development of services, and strove for excellence.  The Leader emphasised the effort that Social Services staff make, and the importance of understanding the exceptional service provided.


The statutory annual report reflected the Director’s personal assessment of the performance of Social Services and was, therefore, being presented to Council for information purposes.


Throughout the report, the Director of Social Services emphasised the commitment, enthusiasm, and determination of staff to deliver the best possible services. The Leader thanked all staff for their outstanding work and commitment during this period and their continued efforts to deliver quality social care for our residents across the city.


Comments from Councillors:


§  Councillor M Evans echoed the comments of the Leader and added that the report was clear and concise.  Councillor Evans also requested that future reports provide percentages to contextualise the figures.


§  Councillor Drewett mentioned that he had seen the hard work put into the report in Performance Scrutiny Committee – People and knew the in-depth quality of the excellent work that the Social Services team provided for Newport and congratulated the Director of Social Services on her report.


§  Councillor Hughes thanked the Strategic Director - Social Services for producing the report and all those who have made contributions to its completion, including scrutiny committee. Councillor Hughes reflected that this was a challenging year for Social Care as society continued to deal with the repercussions of Covid. Demands on services increased at a time when the Council faced unprecedented budgetary and workforce challenges nationally as well as the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.


Councillor Hughes noted that Newport continued to comply with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Annual Safeguarding Report pdf icon PDF 144 KB

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The next item introduced by the Presiding Member was the interim Annual Report for Safeguarding.


The Leader was invited to present the report, which was the Head of Corporate Safeguarding’s evaluation of 2022/23 performance for the Local Authority.


This is an interim report because of changes in Welsh Government guidance and Newport synchronising its reporting cycle., Therefore a full report will be presented to Full Council early in the new year.


Safeguarding and protecting both children and vulnerable adults is absolutely of the highest priority for Newport City Council.


The Corporate Safeguarding Policy set out the Council’s duty and commitment to safeguard and promote the health, well-being and human rights of adults and children at risk.


The report assessed the Council’s proactive actions and responses to safeguarding.


The report was presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee in June and the Leader was pleased that there was a constructive and helpful discussion on the content of the report.


The report noted the challenges across the Council in respect of safeguarding due to the pressures brought about by Covid and the restrictions of the pandemic. Unfortunately, this still has an impact across Social Services and indeed across all areas of work.


Despite the pressures, the outcome of the safeguarding self-assessment for all areas of the Council demonstrated a very high level of compliance with statutory requirements and a determination to continue to place the highest priority on safeguarding for all our citizens.


The Council is continuously evaluating Corporate Safeguarding and ensuring that the governance and reporting structures are robust and fit for purpose with the premise that Safeguarding is everyone’s business in Newport City Council.


The challenges of ensuring all staff, volunteers and Members are accessing and engaged with training for all areas of safeguarding is noted in the report and continues to evolve both within Newport and more regionally and nationally.


The Council was working to ensure that safeguarding was maintained in all areas of service and over the coming year, would work with the revised guidance for Corporate Safeguarding to ensure continued compliance.


Comments from Councillors:


§  Councillor M Evans referred to the compliance targets suggesting that access to training should be made easier for Members and officers to attend, as safeguarding is important.


§  Councillor Hourahine mentioned that this had already been addressed with the Leader and a response had been given by officers through Scrutiny.


§  Councillor M Evans responded by saying that he had not yet received a response.




That Council received the Annual Safeguarding Report (interim) by the Head of Corporate Safeguarding.


Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) Annual Report pdf icon PDF 112 KB

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The Presiding Member invited the Leader to present the report.


The report set out the Members Scheme of Allowances for 2023/24 as set out in the annual report of the Independent Remuneration Committee.


The Council was required to adopt and publish a scheme of allowances for Members for the current municipal year, based on the salaries prescribed by the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales, known as “the IRP”. 


The IRP is the statutory body set up by Welsh Government to determine the appropriate level of remuneration paid to elected members in Wales.


The IRP published its Annual Report in February of this year, and Council is required to formally adopt their recommendations and approve the allowances for 2023/24.


There is no discretion regarding the amount of the salaries as they are fixed by the IRP.


The IRP determined that the basic annual salaries for elected members for 2022/23 should be re-based at £17,600 to take account of inflationary increases and to ensure that remuneration is linked to average salary levels. Senior salaries were also increased and re-set in line with relevant comparators.


The increases in basic salaries would take effect as from 1 April 2023 and backdated payments would be made to Members. Any changes to additional remuneration for senior salaries would be payable as from the date of appointment of the post-holders at the Council AGM on 16 May 2023.


Comments from Councillors:


§  Councillor Cleverly mentioned that her name was misspelt in the report.




That Council approved and adopted the Members Schedule of Remuneration 2023/24 as set out in Appendix 1 of the report.


Review of Standing Orders pdf icon PDF 111 KB

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The Presiding Member invited Councillor Mogford, the Chair of Democratic Services Committee to present the report.


Councillor Mogford presented to Council the recommendations of the Democratic Services Committee regarding Standing Orders under Part 4: Rules of Procedure of the Constitution regarding Questions at Council to the Leader of the Council. Whilst Councillor Mogford was the current Chair of Democratic Services Committee, this item was considered by the Committee before his appointment at the AGM in May.


Council was requested to approve and adopt the amended Standing Orders under Part 4: Rules of Procedure of the Constitution.


At the Council meeting on 24 January 2023, it was resolved that Democratic Services Committee consider Standing Orders in place under Part 4: Rules of Procedure of the Constitution, regarding Questions at Council to the Leader of the Council.


The current Standing Orders under Part 4: Rules of Procedure do not reference any specific provision regarding the role of the Deputy Leader in Leader’s questions, including Leader’s announcements, on such occasions when the Deputy Leader is deputising in the Leader’s absence at Full Council meetings.


Clarification of the requirements of the Deputy Leader when deputising for the Leader in full Council requires a new Standing Order to confirm the correct rules of procedure concerning Leader’s announcements and Leader’s questions.


In addition, at their meeting on 27 January 2023, members of the Democratic Services Committee wished to debate the time limit for Leader’s questions under the same Standing Order 4.2, as they felt that the time allotted did not afford a sufficient opportunity for Opposition members to ask questions of the Leader in Council.


The Democratic Services Committee debated potential options and proposed that the Standing Orders make provision for the Deputy Leader to make Leader’s announcements as part of their deputisation duties at Council.


The Committee also recommended that the deputisation role for the Deputy Leader at Council did not require answering Leader’s questions at Council, citing the existing provision in the Standing Orders for submitting questions to be answered by the Leader outside of the Council meeting; for example, through Standing Order 4.8 Formal Questions at any other time.


When considering Questions to the Leader, the Committee recognised that Newport City Council took a unique approach to Leader’s questions at Council meetings whereby questions did not have to be submitted in writing in advance like other Local Authorities in Wales.


The Committee recommended that some elements of Questions to the Leader remained the same; questions could still be asked of the Leader at Council without submitting the full question in writing beforehand, and the total time for Leader’s questions remained at 15 minutes.


The Committee recommended that the Standing Orders be amended to state that supplementary questions to the Leader should be submitted in writing following Council, instead of being asked verbally at the meeting as a follow-up.


The Committee considered that this would provide a fairer opportunity for more Councillors to submit questions that would be addressed by the Leader in Council.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Questions to the Leader of the Council

To provide an opportunity for Councillors to ask questions to the Leader of the Council in accordance with the Council’s Standing Orders.



No more than 15 minutes will be allocated at the Council meeting for questions to the Leader of the Council.


The question must be addressed through the Mayor or the person presiding at the meeting and not directly to the person being questioned.

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Before commencement with questions, the Leader made the following announcements:




·        Last month, we announced that Newport is one of six flagship locations across the UK which will be working with the Royal Foundation’s Homewards programme to end homelessness.


·        The five-year, locally-led programme aims to demonstrate that through partnership working, it is possible to end homelessness, making it rare, brief, and unrepeated.


·        Homewards will support local partners to form and grow locally led coalitions of committed individuals, organisations, and businesses who will work together to create and deliver a tailored plan to prevent homelessness in their areas – based on local needs and local expertise.


·        At the end of the five-year programme, the aim is for the towns and cities involved to be on a path to ending homelessness for good and to create a tried and tested model that can be scaled across the UK and beyond.


·        As part of the launch, His Royal Highness Prince William visited Maindee Primary School and Linc Cymru’s Hill Street development.


·        We were honoured to welcome Prince William to Newport, to hear first-hand accounts from tenants about the difference that the support and housing available at Hill Street has made to them.


·        We have a clear commitment in Newport to transform services and end homelessness. This is already demonstrated by excellent local partnership working, and harnessing the opportunities that the Homewards programme is offering, gives us the chance to take this work to another level.


·        Homelessness is not simply a housing issue. We need partners from across all sectors to work together to deliver real change, and we believe that the Homewards programme will help to accelerate this change and in preventing homelessness.




Wales National Armed Forces Day


·        Last month, I was filled with pride to see Newport host this year’s Wales National Armed Forces Day event.  It was great to see so many people out in the city centre to join in with the celebrations for everything that our armed forces do, and to show our gratitude to service personnel and veterans.


·        HMS Severn, Newport’s affiliated Ship was also welcomed back to Newport and was available for members of the public to visit.


·        There were so many engaging activities and displays that took place, from the military parade to start the day, the Red Arrows flypast, to the concert at Rodney Parade, and it was great to see such a buzz about the city throughout the day’s proceedings.


·        Large scale events such as Armed Forces Day help showcase the city to a wider audience, and I’d therefore like to express my utmost thanks to everyone who helped organise the day and for making it such a special occasion. The Leader added that the cross-party support was tremendous and thanked Councillor Evans who was in attendance for events throughout the day as well as colleagues from other political parties.


·        I was also honoured to be able to re-sign the Armed Forces Covenant on behalf of the Council. The Council is a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.


Questions to the Cabinet Members

To provide an opportunity to pose questions to Cabinet Members in line with Standing Orders.



No more than 10 minutes will be allocated at the Council meeting for questions to each Cabinet Member.


Members must submit their proposed questions in writing in advance in accordance with Standing Orders.  If members are unable to ask their question orally within the allocated time, remaining questions will be answered in writing.  The question and response will be appended to the minutes.


The question must be addressed through the Mayor or the person presiding at the meeting and not directly to the person being questioned.


Questions will be posed to Cabinet Members in the following order:


        i.           Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Education and Early Years

      ii.           Cabinet Member for Community and Wellbeing

     iii.           Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, Regulation and Housing

    iv.           Cabinet Member for Social Services

      v.           Cabinet Member for Organisational Transformation

    vi.           Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Bio-Diversity

   vii.           Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Assets

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There was one written question to the Cabinet Members:


Question 1 – Cabinet Member: Climate Change and Biodiversity


Councillor Chris Reeks:

With Newport City Council currently falling short of its recycling targets would it not be a prudent move to boost these targets and to help encourage the younger generation about the need to recycle more by offering free recycling services to all schools within Newport?


At present schools are classed as a business and would have to pay Newport City Council to take their recycling away, with some schools potentially choosing not to recycle their waste.

Would the Cabinet Member agree with me that by offering this service it would demonstrate to the community that the Council is committed to meeting its targets and helping to educate children about the benefits of recycling and not just using this as a money-raising exercise?


Response from Councillor Forsey:

There is a legal requirement for all who produce, keep, or dispose of waste of any type to comply with the various regulations and the Duty of Care under Environmental Protection legislation. Waste generated at schools is classed as commercial waste by virtue of the Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012, and as such is not free at the point of delivery.


Schools need to meet all legal requirements, and since 2015 there is an obligation to segregate cardboard, paper, plastic, metal, and glass separately from the non-recyclable waste, so all schools should have recycling collections already in place. From April 2024, legal requirements will change to include the need to separate at source all those elements for recycling (until now there was an option for all recyclable materials to be collected mixed together) and to recycle food waste if more than 5kg are produced per week.


Schools receive funding to cover the cost of their waste collections via the DSB. While they don’t have to use the Council trade waste collection services for their collections, the waste department offer a flexible, inexpensive alternative to private commercial operators, and they already collect waste from 48 out of 57 schools in Newport, with 42 of them benefiting from recycling collections via our partners Wastesavers. Recycling collections are cheaper than residual waste collections, meaning that the incentive and arrangements to recycle are already there. The waste department will fully engage with schools and encourage them to recycle as much as possible ahead of the legislative changes in 2024.



If 48 out of 57 schools were using Council services, how could we encourage the remaining nine schools to use these services.


Response from Councillor Forsey:

Councillor Forsey attended a school’s conference earlier today regarding recycling organised by Chartwells at St Joseph’s Primary School, which was extremely interesting and was happy to see all the very enthusiastic young children there. Councillor Forsey did not think that it would increase the recycling rate, there would be more recycling and more residual waste.  It was therefore not going to change behaviour.  Councillor Forsey looked forward to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.


Date of the Next Meeting

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The next meeting would take place on 16 September 2023 at 5pm.


The Presiding also took the opportunity to thanked both Sally-Ann Jenkins and once again, Mike Wallbank for standing in for the Chief Executive and the Head of Law and Standards respectively.