To receive an update from the Head of Finance on the current position and progress on the re-location of the Waste Services operation.
The Group had before it and NOTED a briefing paper * from the Head of Finance updating it regarding progress on the relocation of the Waste Service operation.
The Officer explained in late January 2016 the authority had been given notice from the landlord of Unit 16, Foundry Estate (the current Recycling depot). This notice period would effectively end in mid-June 2016.
Due to the short/medium term tenure of this premise the Property Services Manager, Waste & Transport Manager and the Head of Finance had for the past 12-18 months been investigating other suitable locations within the District. However, due to the very specific requirements of the operation, a site that would ideally suit all the technical, size, staffing and location demands had proved to be a significant challenge.
When Unit 3, Carlu Close, Hitchcock’s Business Park, Uffculme was considered, due to the location and size of this unit , it was possible to consider whether to simply re-locate the Recycling part of the Waste service, or make a more strategic decision to merge all of the Waste/Street-Scene operations under one roof. After a number of meetings to consider these operational issues, officers felt that the advantages of providing a totally joined-up service would be far more beneficial in the medium/long term.
The Officer explained that Unit 3, Carlu Close was a large industrial unit with a significant concrete parking area. From an operational perspective it was effectively a “blank canvas” that would require a complete “fit out” in order to continue existing operations. This would require the re-location of operating equipment such as the bailer system, dog kennels, the fuel tanks, the bays (these were designed in such a way to make re-location relatively straightforward), the transfer of circa 90 operational staff from waste, recycling, cleansing and the District officers. In addition 9 porta cabins would be required to house all the staff and provide offices, washroom facilities, meeting space, dog kennels, etc.
The Head of Finance informed the Group that the total fit out costs were currently estimated at circa £310k and that Members should note that an estimate of £100k had been included in the 2016/17 revenue budget as a provision for the costs of a potential recycling depot move.
Operational service delivery would not be affected during the move and it was intended to commence operations from the new location from mid-June 2016.
The Officer concluded that entering into a 15 year lease to co-locate all of the Council’s Street Scene operations under “one roof” was a crucial and long term strategic decision which would provide not only long term security of tenure for this key frontline service but would also help provide other operational and financial benefits to the service. Operating from one central base would allow for better supervision, a greater uniformity of operation, the ability to re-deploy resources more effectively and create a closer “team” culture.
Discussion took place regarding:
· Consultation that had taken place with staff;
· The official opening which would take place on Friday 8th July;
· Shared savings with Devon County Council;
· The rent was set for 5 years and would then be by annual review.
Members congratulated officers on the successful implementation on the new waste and recycling scheme.
Note:- Briefing paper * previously circulated and attached to Minutes.