Questions to the Leader or the Chair of a Committee submitted under Part 4, Council Procedure Rules, paragraph 10.4 of the Constitution.
The following questions were submitted in advance of the meeting and responses provided by the Leader were circulated separately:
(a) Question to Councillor Worden from Councillor York “Recycling Education - I have concerns that there is not enough importance or emphasis placed on educating the public on how to recycle more and reduce their waste. Please could you let me know what education is currently taking place? How much resource is being invested, in terms of money and staff time? Could plans for an improved programme of education be devised (along with resource requirements) and added to the relevant Service Plan? [Perhaps OS W&R #02 17/18 (‘Recycle More Project’)] Has the education of residents in trial areas for 3-weekly bin collections been extended to new residents, so that the trial is maintaining its effectiveness?” Councillor Worden’s response “We are part of the Devon wide Waste Partnership and so have run a number of campaigns under the Recycle Devon banner. We also run our own campaigns in an effort to increase recycling and more importantly, reduce waste. When the trial was started, we employed Recycle Officers to provide advice directly on the ground. These were temporary contracts however and have since expired. The trial itself was deemed a success at the time as the amount of recycling collected did increase in the chosen area. The intention was that a decision would be made to roll out the trial across the district but in order to do that, we need to have the necessary infrastructure to be able to deal with the increased material. The vehicle leasing contract has just commenced and we are now looking at ways to improve the process hall plant. The recent DEFRA consultations may also impact on what is collected kerbside. We suspended school and group visits to BEC as a result of the pandemic and will keep that under review.” In response to a supplementary question, Councillor Worden advised that along with Councillor Pearson would look at ways in which education could be linked to the upgrade of the process hall.
(b) Question to Councillor Worden from Councillor York. “Seagulls - I have recently encountered problems with seagulls tearing open rubbish bags in Gloster Road, Newport, Barnstaple. It is rumoured that the development of Anchorwood Bank has displaced seagull colonies. After speaking to Customer Services, I was able to purchase and collect a gull-proof bag from Lynton House for £5. Please could gull-proof bags be added to the list of bags, bins and caddies which can be purchased online? Could gull-proof bags be given free to residents in the narrow streets of Barnstaple where wheelie bins cannot be used? What would the cost implications of this measure be?” Councillor Worden’s response “In some areas where waste is collected in black bags and where seagulls or other creatures are a problem, gull guards have been provided free of charge. In other areas, where problems are not as severe, customers may purchase bags through the customer service team. The bags are not available to purchase online as we wouldn’t want customers that live in areas that are provided with the guards free of charge to purchase their own. We prefer customers to use bins rather than gull guards, so would prefer to limit the use of gull guards where possible in favour of actual bins.” In response to a supplementary question, Councillor Worden advised that information regarding the provision of seagull bags could be included on the Councils website.