Agenda and minutes

Place Scrutiny Committee - Thursday 12th September 2019 5.30 pm

Venue: Rennes Room, Civic Centre, Paris Street, Exeter

Contact: Sharon Sissons, Democratic Services Officer (Committees)  Telephone 01392 265115 or email

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meetings held on 13 June, 18 June and 25 June 2019.


Additional documents:


The minutes of the meetings of Place Scrutiny Committee held on 13 June, 25 June 2019 were taken as read, approved and signed by the Chair as correct.


The minutes of the meeting of Place Scrutiny Committee held on 18 June 2019 were taken as read, approved and signed by the Chair as correct, subject to the following amendment:-


In Minute 36 (Towards Carbon Neutral Exeter) and a comment by Councillor D Moore should read, that the Council’s approach with ‘regard to building council houses to passive house standards should be commended’.


Reference was made to the following clarification at Council held on 23 July 2019, in respect of the statement ‘that Exeter’s Energy Recovery Facility was the largest single source of emissions’ and the opportunity to place the statement in context: being one of a small number of strategic waste treatment facilities in Devon that treated waste from a catchment area well beyond the Exeter boundary.  Incineration with energy recovery was environmentally preferable to disposing of waste to landfill. Diverting food waste, plastic and glass away from energy recovery and towards recycling, was the subject of a separate report to Place Scrutiny Committee and would reduce net carbon emissions, thus freeing up capacity at the Energy Recovery Facility to divert more of Devon’s non recycled waste away from landfill.



Declaration of Interests

Councillors are reminded of the need to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests that relate to business on the agenda and which have not already been included in the register of interests, before any discussion takes place on the item. Unless the interest is sensitive, you must also disclose the nature of the interest. In accordance with the Council's Code of Conduct, you must then leave the room and must not participate in any further discussion of the item.  Councillors requiring clarification should seek the advice of the Monitoring Officer prior to the day of the meeting.




No declarations of disclosable pecuniary interest were made.


Questions from the Public under Standing Order 19 pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Details of questions should be notified to the Corporate Manager Democratic and Civic Support at least three working days prior to the meeting.  Further information and a copy of the procedure are available from Democratic Services (Committees) (Tel: 01392 265115) and also on the Council web site -



In accordance with Standing Order 19, five members of the public submitted questions on the potential roll out of 5G in the city.


A copy of the questions had been previously circulated to Members, and these, together with the responses from Councillor Foale, Portfolio Holder City Development & Planning are appended to the minutes.



Options for Investment in Exeter's Kerbside Recycling Service pdf icon PDF 96 KB

To consider the report of the Service Manager Recycling, Waste and Fleet.

Additional documents:


The Director presented a report which provided an update on options for investment in the Council’s Materials Reclamation Facility (MRF) and kerbside recycling service following the reports to Place Scrutiny Committee on 13 June, 25 June and Executive Committee on 9 July respectively.  The cost variations which demonstrated an overall cost reduction were set out in the report.  The major changes were the improved recycling containers that would be offered across the city and a reduction in costs for the enhancement of the Materials Reclamation Facility. He also highlighted the risks and was pleased to report that the proposal to use the new triple stack system would help to eliminate some of the existing injury risks to staff when collecting and lifting the existing 45 litre recycling caddies. This was very much the start of the process of the service design and with a current lead in time of 18 months for the delivery of the specialist vehicles, there was plenty of opportunity to finalise the service.  


The Recycling Officer demonstrated the triple stacking bins, which were favoured after looking at their use by other authorities, and were designed to mirror the current footprint and height of the existing wheelie bins. The bins would be made out of recycled plastic and the main body were only available in black as the composition of the recycled material did not take any colour, although the flaps can be colour coded to make recycling easier.  One advantage is that the manufacturer used the same plastic supplier which we send our recycled plastic to for processing. Discussions were at an early stage but there was a potential for all of our existing bins to be collected, recycled and used to make the new bin system.


The Recycling Officer responded to Members’ questions:-


·      the opportunities for any pests interfering with the waste were minimised by the three interlinked sections and stacked with the lowest section taking glass as the potentially heaviest material, the middle section taking recyclables such as cans, tetrapaks, plastic containers and a range of other recyclable material and the top section with the dedicated cover to stop water ingress to the paper and cardboard. It was noted that the containers all had drainage holes.  The bins were designed to be wheeled out for collection as with the current wheelie bin collection service.


·      the food waste caddy handles would also fit over the triple stack bin to ensure one unit could be wheeled to the collection vehicle.


·      a colour coded scheme for the bins for those with disabilities was noted, but was not currently possible.


·      the whole bin could be wheeled out into place for collection and in the case of any resident having concerns over access around their property such as in the case of steep steps, the Council offered assisted collections.


·      there would be a range of different requirements and recognition that one size did not fit all and it would be necessary to ensure that individual needs were met. A  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.


InExeter Update pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To consider the report of the Growth & Commercialisation Manager.

Additional documents:


The Growth & Commercialisation Manager reported on the final year of the first InExeter term, 2015-2020, to keep Members up to date with activity delivered. She provided a copy of the BID Business Plan for the next five years and highlighted the main areas of interest:-


·      the City Council’s annual BID levy fluctuated each year, dependant on how many properties were owned by the Council that were vacant or occupied by the City Council.  The City Council paid just over £15,000 in BID levies for the period 2019-2020.

·      the City Council had a seat on the BID Board which was attended by the Portfolio Holder for Environment & City Management with support as part of her role.

·      a BID Monitoring Meeting was held every quarter, which oversaw the BID levy collection.

·      for the financial year ending 31 March 2018 total levies and other income collected had been over £500,000 which was invested back in to the business community and the city centre.   

·       a range of activities were included in an appendix to the report and the spend for 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 included:- 

o   Christmas lights switch on £73,000

o   City dressing, which included the colourful umbrellas £46,000

o   Hot wash and street cleaning £54,000

·      this year InExeter granted sponsorship to support local community groups and event organisers. Some of these included:-

o   ECC Exeter Festival £1500

o   Exeter Fringe Festival £1500

o   Historic Buildings Trust St Nicholas Priory £500

o   Big Screen in the Park £1500

o   Exeter Pride £500

o   Plastic Free Exeter £1000

o   Quirk Theatre Christmas production £600

o   WOW Festival £600

·         InExeter had recently extended its team with a new Business Engagement Officer to work with businesses within the BID area and a new Events Manager would be responsible for the delivery of a wide range of activities and events over a five year period.

·         InExeter would be going to ballot in October 2019, if there was a yes vote the BID will continue for another five years.  If there was a no vote, the BID will close on 31 March 2020.  Businesses with a Rateable Value over £7,500 in the BID area were eligible to vote, as set out in a circulated map.  This was discussed at Place Scrutiny Committee on 25 June.

·         InExeter worked with the City Council on many fronts, through Visit Exeter on joint events and marketing campaigns, through the Growth team on supporting businesses and commissioning the Cleansing team for city centre street cleaning.

The Growth & Commercialisation Manager confirmed in response to a Member’s comment that the BID area would be increased if the BID vote was successful. She also noted a comment by a Member about the challenges faced by the residents and businesses located there. In advance of the impending BID vote, the contract for the BID Welcome Team had been cancelled with a small part of their work being carried out by the Business Engagement team. 


Place Scrutiny Committee noted the report and progress made.


Building Greater Exeter Progress Report pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To consider the report of the Skills Officer.


The Skills Manager and the Building Exeter Project Manager submitted a report to update on the Building Greater Exeter initiative, which provided details of the progress since the launch, achievements and also plans for the next stages of development.


A presentation highlighted the overarching focus which was to support the construction sector across Exeter, East Devon and Teignbridge to address the skills and recruitment challenges it faced. In the South West, 27,200 new workers were expected to be needed by 2023, an annual recruitment requirement of 5,440. The initiative to inspire the future workforce and position construction as an attractive career prospect. They supported work placements locally by facilitating recruitment helped people continue their journey and upskill. There were now 28 project partners which had been achieved in little over a year and reinforced the level of commitment shown.


The Building Exeter Project Manager welcomed the level of collaboration in the construction industry, and particularly the construction companies who, whilst normally competing for business had come together to share best practice. They had been contributing towards a number of events to promote careers in the construction sector. They included the National Apprenticeship Show South West, the Apprenticeship Expo at Exeter College, Exeter City Council’s Jobs Fair, a STEM Careers Fair and the Big Bang Fair SW where they had teamed up with Building Plymouth and where it had been possible to showcase the 180 plus job roles that were available in construction. She also referred to the Schools Engagement Programme, working with project partners and schools and included talking at careers assemblies, attending careers fairs and events, and helping to organise work experience or a site visit. They had also worked with Military Service leavers and feedback from partners showed that they were a valuable resource for the construction industry with potential employees having excellent transferable skills and a great work ethic as well.


As part of the initiative, the team had been working on another major project over a three year lifespan, the Building Growth SW Project to create a legacy of a continued impact on individuals in construction.  This would focus on three areas of:-


·         Communications to improve the image and perception of construction one of our project  partners and funded opportunity for the construction industry training board and discuss in three areas;

·         Soft skills development, and

·         Pre-employment and training.


Matthew Cousins, the Commercial Director for Apex Scaffolding and Chair of the Building Greater Exeter Project was invited to recount how the project had benefited both him personally and the industry. He spoke about his experience and the benefits of attending the Big Bang event through the collaboration with Building Greater Exeter and being able to access the necessary resources. He recounted his experience of welcoming Service leavers to the industry as well as encouraging more women employees in the wider construction industry.


The Skills Manager also responded to a Member’s comment about the work in progress in relation to apprenticeships in our own community and she discussed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.


DCC Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee Minutes 9 July 2019 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To receive the minutes of the meeting of the Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee held on 9 July 2019.



The Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee minutes from the meeting held 9 July 2019 were received.


A Member commented on the Clear Channel advertising policy and suggested that some advertising may not be appropriate for young children or families, particularly in relation to the advertising of some lifestyle choices around food.  A Member advised that she had carried out some work with Clear Channel in her role as a County Councillor, and the content for family appropriate advertising had been agreed by the County Planning Committee. Clear Channel attended every Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee meeting and she welcomed information relating to any inappropriate advertising. The Portfolio Holder Environment and City Management confirmed that the City Council was also involved to some extent in the positioning of the advertising boards, and he referred to a recent report to adopt an ethical advertising framework linked to the City Council’s corporate priorities. 





Under Standing Order 18 - Progress on the Use of Single Use Plastics

Councillor Diana Moore has requested that an item be placed on the agenda regarding progress on the use of Single Use Plastics, and to seek an update on the Motion adopted by Council on 24 April 2018 – see link


and particularly to the following : -


1. The progress and actions taken to implement the Council's policy to end single use plastics,

2. Details of the barriers to implementation and the proposed steps to overcome these, and

3. Information about further steps planned to further implement the policy.




Councillor Diana Moore requested an item be placed on the agenda under Standing Order 18 regarding progress on the use of Single Use Plastics, and to receive an update on the Motion adopted by council on 24 April 2018 – see link


Councillor Sutton thanked Councillor Moore for raising this matter and reminded Members of the Council resolution and policy which was widely welcomed and supported and she was mindful of the commitment made. She undertook to address the requested information in the following terms:-


The progress and actions taken to implement the Council's policy to end single use plastics -


There had been a mix of progress with some positive changes and certainly Councillor Sutton was mindful that whilst there were a number of reusable cups in the Committee Room, the eradication of the one use cups available in the civic centre was not complete. There were areas where great progress had been made, but there was still more to do.  She welcomed the collection of tetra packs, which Councillor Moore had raised earlier in the meeting, and plastic and coffee shop paper cups which was possible at brightly coloured orange, collection banks in the city. Sometimes it was necessary to consider the way that products were used as it could actually take more energy to produce a paper bag, rather than a plastic one. Small actions such as for example, saying no more often to products like straws, may ultimately mean that less are produced, of course there was still a need for straws to offer choices particularly for people with additional needs. The Ocean Recovery Project and partnership with Keep Britain Tidy had made an impact to address some of the plastic waste on the beaches which come from the fishing industry. Bright orange containers had been placed on the harbour side at Bude and Padstow and marine plastics were being collected and brought back to the MRF in Exeter to be sorted and recycled into other products including for the construction of a stage at Glastonbury. She was proud to say that the City Council did not export any of the city’s collected recycling and that may not be the case with some authorities. 


A sustainable procurement stance at the City Council should be acknowledged, where before any procurement commenced, questions were already being asked about the procurement of the goods and services.  Although this was not entirely resolved, there was an awareness and Councillor Sutton looked forward to the launch for staff of a “”Plastic Less Fantastic” toolkit to work with suppliers towards the zero and single use plastic aim.


Details of the barriers to implementation and the proposed steps to overcome these -


Barriers did remain with some people not acknowledging that there were easy wins such as the correct disposal of their takeaway coffee cup.  A number of initiatives such as the Council’s Procurement Policy were working to overcome this.


Information about further steps planned to further implement the policy -


There  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.