To receive any questions relating to items on the Agenda from members of the public and replies thereto.
Note: A maximum of 30 minutes is allowed for this item.
Mr B Warren, Chairman of Willand Parish Council stated that this question relates to item 8 (Street Cleansing review) on your agenda but of necessity consists of a number of elements as it is dealing with a complex document. It is appreciated that in some areas generalised comments have been made but my questions relate to that which happens in or affects Willand.
Will Members please note that in relation to paragraph 6.2 and recommendation 7 that Willand Parish Council employ a part time litter picker who does the whole of the village, including MDDC and DCC areas and verges? This costs the Parish in excess of £300 per month. MDDC do currently empty bins and remove bags of litter left at agreed spots by the litter picker. This activity is a saving for MDDC and gives a better service than that currently given or planned by MDDC. We do not get any hand sweeping other than when the operator of the small sweeper does around the centre island.
In relation to 6.3 and recommendation 8 one has to ask what is the purpose of this Group discussing this when according to an entry on Twitter and the Crediton Gazette the Council Leader is pictured depositing litter in a bin and reporting that the decision had already been made.
In paragraph 10.2 it refers to each new bin installed being a financial commitment for the District Council.
(a) What is the figure placed on the supply and fitting of a new litter bin?
(b) What is the cost placed on the supply and fitting of a new dog bin?
(c) What figure is placed on the commitment of emptying if the Parish Council supply and fit the new or replacement bin?
(d) If bins are located where a Parish Council through local knowledge and consultation know they are needed and most effective what criteria is used for the District Council to decide that a bin is at an unsuitable location for collection?
Paragraph 10.6 refers to maps and consultations. In February 2016, in spite of there being no policy, certain officers refused to empty two new bins supplied by the Parish. This issue was resolved by Mr Noyce and Willand Parish Council sent in two schedules as to where all the bins in Willand were situated as the result of two Parish Councillors surveying the village. When the consultation was carried out in September 2016 a map was supplied with the letter and questionnaire showing the bins in Willand. It was inaccurate and did not reflect the information provided earlier in the year. It even fails to record a number of litter bins placed in MDDC managed play areas. The impression given in the report is that Parishes were at fault for not responding. Will officers please accept that in relation to Willand the fault would appear to lie within systems or procedures at MDDC?
Paragraph 13 refers to service recharges to other departments. Why is it necessary to incur administrative charges by paying staff to move money around within MDDC?
Paragraph 14.15 is misleading in that the wrong impression is given, certainly as far as the Willand response is concerned. Our concern was that our 9 fenced play areas for small children have litter bins in them and we were concerned/opposed to dog mess being put into these bins as dogs are banned but some could be accessed by leaning over the fence. Small children are encouraged and do use the litter bins and so could have their hands contaminated by dog mess. Will more thought be given to this point before deciding policy please?
Mr K Grantham from Willand Parish Council said that these questions related to Item 8 on the Agenda and in particular Appendix ‘D’.
In the third paragraph of 1.1 it states that new bins will only be located in areas where it can be demonstrated that there is a genuine need for one. If the Parish Council has decided that there is a need as the result of local observation and reports from the ‘litter picker’ who will have visited the site at least once per week:
Requests for new or replacement bins have to be made to MDDC who will take 3 months to survey the need.
Currently Council Tax Payers pay DCC regarding waste disposal, MDDC charge for collection and because their service does not come up to expectations the Parish employ a litter picker who is likely to have his work increased if bins are removed. We have been unable to get any enforcement visits as the officers seem to be concentrated on the towns and car parking where income can be more easily generated.
Who will be making the decisions at MDDC and what right of appeal or redress will Town or Parish Councils have and to whom?
Willand Parish Council have leased two play areas and an area of public green open space and are offering to take on a third. This was done to save them from closure and/or to improve their maintenance to make them more useable. This saves MDDC money.
Will Members please take time to really question the detail of the proposed policy as at present it looks more dictatorial rather than meaningful consultation with Town and Parish Councils?
The Chairman informed Cllrs Warren and Grantham that their questions would be answered at the agenda item.