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Medway Council Cabinet meeting 5 August 2008

Date: 07/08/2008           Category: Members Services / Chief Executive Office

Medway Council’s Cabinet has met and discussed issues ranging waste collection services, housing and Medway’s markets. Strategic Housing Framework Members approved a three-year plan to improve the quality and supply of housing in Medway and influence regional and sub-regional strategies. This includes maximising the supply of suitable and affordable housing and meet housing needs; enable vulnerable people to live independent lives; improve the quality and energy efficiency of housing; develop sustainable communities and promote neighbourhood renewal; promote better and fair access to housing services. Housing Assistance Policy Cabinet approved a revised private Sector Housing Assistance Policy, which includes details of how to bring all homes in Medway up to the Decent Homes Standard through energy efficiency schemes, and the introduction of repayable grants. Houses in multiple occupation policy Cabinet agreed that landlords who privately let homes of multiple occupation should be licensed and meet the requirements of the Housing Act 2004 to safeguard tenants. Fundamental Review of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Cabinet had previously agreed the scope of the review in November 2007, which identified weaknesses in current provision, which means the emotional health and wellbeing needs of children are not being met. Future commissioning should be jointly funded, based on an assessment of needs and subject to new management and governance arrangements, thereby requiring substantial change to the current position. Members have now agreed to put in place an improved 24-hour service through one point of access and develop a plan to review all finances. Rochester Airfield The long-term future of Rochester Airfield has been secured after the Cabinet delegated authority to the Assistant Director of Housing and Corporate Services, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance, to grant one or more new non-secure leases of the existing airfield for up to five years. Performance Plan Indicators Members were updated on the progress of the council’s progress during 2007/08 against its main priorities. Of the 148 indicators, 79 are performing on or above target and 39 are below target but within acceptable limits. The 29 indicators that are currently below target will be reviewed in order to improve standards and performance. Recruitment freeze Members agreed to unfreeze seven vacancies to begin the recruitment process. Options appraisal for waste collection services Cabinet discussed the options and implications of various waste services available to the council, when considering the new contract for waste services, which is due to commence in September, 2009. They agreed the following: 1. To a contract payment mechanism for the collection of refuse and recyclable materials from domestic properties being based upon the number of properties in Medway established through the council tax database. 2. Not to accept garden waste if mixed with domestic waste but accept only as part of the garden waste collection scheme. 3. To offer a second brown bin for composting garden waste at a cost to be paid by the householder. 4. That all recycling containers become the responsibility of the council to maintain and replace unless it is due to the fault of the collection contractor. 5. To adopt a policy requiring developers to pay for all waste and recycling containers for new residential properties. 6. To the incorporation of separately priced items within the street cleaning contract to cover traffic management and weed control. 7. To continue to obtain recompense from the County for imported household waste and to continue to seek redress over the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme permits rather than introduce a resident permit system to prevent use of the council’s Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRCs) by householders from outside the borough. 8. To continue with the current free bulky waste collection of one free collection every six months. 9. To combine the requirements for clinical waste with those of other councils that are interested in a joint arrangement where this is facilitated by the termination dates of their contracts. 10. To deal with refuse, recycling and garden waste collections and street cleaning as an individual contract but that the management of the HWRCs and the collection of clinical waste arrangements be separated to invite maximum interest from bidders specialising in these services. 11. To make provision for the ownership of residual waste and recycling materials collected to be retained by the Council except for certain recycling materials collected at the HWRCs that may help to incentivise the recycling opportunities at these sites. 12. The duration of the collection contracts continue to be for seven years with an allowance to extend if and where appropriate by up to a further two years. 13. 4f as the collection option for the new contract(s) taking account of the comments of the community and value for money based on weekly collection of refuse in a wheeled bin where such bins can be accommodated by the resident, if not by using a sack, a fortnightly collection of garden and kitchen waste in a wheeled bin (kitchen waste being placed in the normal refuse in intermediate weeks) and recycling collected fortnightly in a wheeled bin with glass collected at the same time. Management of Medway markets The Cabinet agreed to allow officers to let a single new contract following a procurement process. Various housing revenue account property disposals The Cabinet agreed to make the following properties surplus and available for sale: 1. Land at Wollaston Close, Rainham. 2. Land adjoining 185 Pump Lane, Twydall. 3. Land adjoining 35 High Dewar Road, Rainham. 4. Permission sought for housing on the former garage site at Woodlands Road, Gillingham. 5. Garage site at Denbigh Avenue, Twydall. 6. Land at Beechings Way, Twydall. 7. Garage site at Winchester Way, (east), Gillingham. 8. Former garage site at Winchester Way (west) be retained to provide secure car parking for residents. 9. Garages at Winchester Way, Gillingham (railway line site) 10. The Cabinet agreed that negotiations begin to acquire suitable development access to the garage site at Doddington Road, Twydall and planning permission sought for housing on the site and that upon determination, the land be declared surplus. 11. Garage site at Tangmere Close, Coplins Estate, Gillingham. 12. Garage site at Thirlmere Close, Coplins Estate, Gillingham. 13. Garage site at St Albans Close, Gillingham and adjoining amenity land be incorporated into the market brief for Fitzthorold House and Plewis House.