Agenda and minutes

Virtual Meeting, Customer Focus Scrutiny Committee - Thursday 3rd December 2020 5.30 pm

Venue: Legislation has been passed that allows Council's to conduct Committee meetings remotely

Contact: Howard Bassett, Democratic Services Officer  Telephone 01392 265107 or email

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 505 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the Customer Focus Scrutiny Committee held on 8 October 2020.




The minutes of the meeting of the Customer Focus Scrutiny Committee held on 8 October 2020 were taken as read, approved as correct, for signing by the Chair at the earliest possible convenience.



Declarations of Interest

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 interest were made by Members.



Questions from the Public under Standing Order No. 19

For details about how to speak at Committee, please click the following link -


Questions must be submitted by 10am three working days before the meeting.  For example, if the meeting is being held on a Thursday, questions must be submitted by 10am on the Monday before the meeting, in this case Monday 30 November 2020.



No questions from members of the public were received.



Questions from Members on Covid-19 Recovery reports from Portfolio Holders and Answers pdf icon PDF 278 KB

Portfolio Holder briefing notes attached.


Portfolio Holder for City Management - Councillor Harvey

Portfolio Holder for Communities and Culture - Councillor Ghusain


Details of questions from Members relating to the two Portfolios above on Covid-19 recovery issues only should be notified to the Corporate Manager Democratic and Civic Support by 10.00am the Monday before the meeting – Monday 30 November 2020.


Additional documents:


The Chair invited the two Portfolio Holders to present their respective briefing notes.


Questions from Members submitted in advance of the meeting with the answers given at the meeting together with the supplementary questions and answers made at the meeting are set out below for each Portfolio.


Portfolio Holder for City Management - Councillor Harvey - in presenting his briefing note highlighted the following:-


·                     the focus was on maintaining services through flexible staff levels to ensure that the more vulnerable areas are covered with many measures having been put in place before the Covid-19 pandemic; and

·                     Government guidelines have been adhered to, for example by closing and re-opening play and skate parks with staff responding to public queries.


Questions from Members of the Committee


1          Councillor K. Mitchell - Thank you for the update within the report regarding COVID measures implemented within the Waste, Recycling and Fleet service. Can the Portfolio Holder or an officer please confirm similar COVID measures have occurred within the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) e.g. social distancing, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), ensuring adequate ventilation and adequate COVID safe break facilities/increased drinks breaks due to the presumed use of masks?


Similar measures were completed in the MRF including but not limited to, face masks and PPE, social distancing, increased hand washing facilities, staggering of break times to enable social distancing.  These were all in line with Government guidance on factories and a Covid-19 safe risk assessment was produced in conjunction with our health and safety teams and Unison. 


2          Councillor K. Mitchell – Can the Portfolio Holder or an officer update the Committee on how the pandemic has impacted upon the revenue we receive from our recyclables and whether any contracts have changed meaning our recyclables are being sent elsewhere?


Revenue has gone down as the global demand for recyclable materials dropped but we are still using our usual processors and no changes have been made.


Only those processors who can provide an audit trail on the use of the materials are used. One example of a recent change has been the dispatch of cardboard for re-cycling to France rather than China.


Supplementary question and answer.


Will Brexit impact on the ability to send material for re-cycling to Europe?


We are not expecting an impact on the ability to send recyclable materials to Europe. We send very little to Europe as we mostly use UK based re-processors. A few items such as fishnets collected through the Ocean Recovery Project from ports and beach cleans go to Europe (in this case to Denmark) but we are working with UK companies to encourage them to enhance their facilities to accept this materials.


Devon Local Authorities work together through the Devon Waste Partnership and Government has been lobbied to support locally based re-cycling plants.


3          Councillor K. Mitchell - Can the Portfolio Holder or an officer update the Committee on the progress or any delays with regard to the planned implementation of food and glass doorstep collections, which was originally  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.