Agenda and minutes

Environment and Regeneration Committee (Open)
Wednesday 16 May 2018 4.00 pm

Venue: Guildhall, Derry. View directions

Items
No. Item

ER96/18

Notice and Summons of Meeting

Minutes:

The Director of Environment and Regeneration read the Notice and Summons for the Meeting.

ER97/18

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors D Kelly and Tierney.

 

 

ER98/18

Declarations of Members' Interests

Minutes:

Councillors Hastings, C Kelly and R McHugh declared an interest in Items 12 – Litter Picking along Rural Roads, Dual Carriageway and Trunk Roads within the District

Item 14 – Blue Bin Contamination Issues

Item 19 – Refuse Collection – Update

 

Chairperson's Business

ER99/18

The Gaza Attack

Minutes:

With the permission of the Chairperson Councillor Duffy referred to the recent event which had taken place in Gaza earlier that week as an atrocity, when sixty innocent Palestinian civilians were killed and 2,500 injured.  She requested that Council show its sympathy and solidarity to the Palestinian people.  She thanked the Mayor for opening a Book of Condolence to express sympathy to the victims of this horrendous attack.

 

Subsequently Councillor Duffy

 

Proposed      that all Council facilities are lit up with the colours of the Palestinian flag as a symbol of Council’s solidarity with the Palestinian people against this attack.

 

Councillor Duffy said the Palestinian people had called for a show of solidarity across the world and she stated that if Council facilities were lit up in the colours of the Palestinian flag this could be shared on social media showing Council’s support for the Palestinian people at this time.

 

Alderman Warke referred to the number of atrocities carried out by the Palestinian terrorist group, Hamas.  He stated that the nature of the situation in the Middle East was such that Council would be powerless to effect any change.  He referred to the number of atrocities being carried out worldwide all of which were beyond the powers of Council and suggested that it was more important to address local issues.  He referred to the fact that this was Mental Health Awareness Week and suggested that Council address this issue given the increasing numbers of people suffering from this illness.  He stated rather than lighting up Council facilities in solidarity with Palestine these should be lit up to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.

 

Subsequently Alderman Warke

 

Proposed      that Council facilities be lit up to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.

 

Councillor Reilly referred to the previous speaker’s suggestion not to take steps to address issues on an international basis but rather to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, and said he did not consider these to be mutually exclusive.  He did not feel the proposal to light-up Council facilities in solidarity with the Palestinian people would detract from Alderman Warke’s proposal and stated that it would be possible to agree to both. 

 

Councillor Reilly referred to the large number of people who had attended the meeting at Free Derry Corner to commemorate the Gaza incident and its significance with Bloody Sunday and the subsequent implications for mental health which was of interest to people throughout the City and District, as was the Gaza issue.

 

Alderman Devenney suggested that if Council were to pursue the proposal to light up Council facilities in the national colours of Palestine to mark the events in Gaza this could set a precedent for other countries experiencing similar atrocities.  He referred to the importance of local issues and in particular mental health.  He opposed Councillor Duffy’s proposal to light up Council facilities in the colours of the Palestinian flag and referred to the need for Council to concentrate on local issues.

 

The Chairperson reminded Members that any proposals made at  ...  view the full minutes text for item ER99/18

ER100/18

Thanks

Minutes:

The Chairperson referred to the fact that this was the last meeting of the Committee prior to Council’s Annual Meeting and thanked both Officers and Members for their support and hard work during the last 12 months.

 

Members from all parties commended Councillor Dobbins on her excellent stewardship of the Committee over the last 12 months with comments highlighting her diligence and the effectiveness in which she had undertaken her role as Chairperson.

 

ER101/18

Confirmation of the Open Minutes of the Environment and Regeneration Committee held on Wednesday 18 April 2018 pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Minutes:

Minutes of the Environment and Regeneration Committee held on 18 April

2018 (ER70/18-ER84/18) were submitted.

 

Councillor Duffy referred to the title of Minute ER79/18 which should have read “Live Here Love Here”.

 

It was agreed that the Minutes would be amended accordingly.

 

It was subsequently agreed that Minutes of the Environment and Regeneration Committee held on 18 April 2018, as amended, be confirmed and signed by the Chairperson as correct.

 

 

Matters Arising

ER102/18

Top of the Hill- Removal of Play Area (Ref ER76/18)

Minutes:

 

 

Councillor Reilly advised that he had been contacted by a number of people in the Waterside area regarding a Play Park requiring works to be carried out.  He referred to assurances given by Council Officers that these works had been completed however this did not appear to be the case.  He requested that Officers investigate the situation. 

 

The Head of Environment referred to complaints received regarding two areas within this vicinity which required works.   One of the areas had been inspected and necessary works had been carried out.  It may however have been the second site which required an inspection and he undertook to have the matter investigated and any necessary works carried out.

 

 

ER103/18

Live Here Love Here Project Funding ( Ref 79/18

Minutes:

Alderman Duffy referred to the issue of illegal dumping which was a major and increasing problem throughout the City.  She acknowledged the various initiatives being carried out to address the problem but she felt there were a number of agencies/bodies who were neglecting their duty in this regard.  She stated that there were numerous areas affected by litter which were the responsibility of private landlords and other bodies.

 

Councillor Duffy Proposed, Councillor C Kelly Seconded

 

That                that a Seminar be arranged to include all relevant bodies/agencies together with local business people to discuss the impact of illegal dumping on the City.

 

Alderman Hussey said that the ‘Live Here Love Here’ project brought groups within the district together to carry out works.  He referred to the ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ project carried out in Killeter.  He referred to litter picking exercises carried out by a parish group from St Patrick’s Church, Strabane which had to be repeated a few days later by the Church.  He referred to the need for more education surrounding this issue.  He agreed that all those agencies concerned must become involved in addressing this problem which detracted from the beauty of the area.  He referred to the need for both a rural Seminar and a City Seminar.  He also referred to the need for greater enforcement in terms of addressing this increasing problem.

Councillor P Kelly agreed with the need for a Rural Seminar to address groups in the rural area and referred to the possibility of creating a community initiative.

 

The Head of Environment undertook to arrange these initiatives.

 

The Head of Environment advised that NIEA together with Council had carried out a further inspection of William Street and Strand Road earlier that day with regard to Mews Lanes.  He stated that NIEA were hoping to launch a major new initiative in terms of waste which it was anticipated would take place in the next few weeks.

 

The Committee subsequently

 

Recommended       that City and Rural Seminars be arranged o include all relevant bodies/agencies together with local businesses people to discuss the impact of illegal dumping on the City and district.

 

ER104/18

Update on Unadopted Road Working Group (Ref ER80/18)

Minutes:

Arising out of the above, Councillor Reilly enquired if there was any update in relation to Birch Hill development.

 

The Head of Environment confirmed that Officers had met with the developers who had indicated that they were hoping that Phase 1 of the development would be adopted shortly following which time bin collections would commence.  He stated that Council would work with TNI contractors and the developers in an effort to identify a solution to this problem.

 

ER105/18

Bicycle Recycling Schemes pdf icon PDF 29 KB

Minutes:

The Head of Environment presented the above report a copy of which had previously been circulated.  He pointed out that the purpose of the report was to advise Members of correspondence received with regard to proposals to operate 2 number bicycle recycling schemes at recycling centres and to seek approval to commence the projects.         

 

The Committee

 

Recommended       that Members endorse the Bicycle Recycling Schemes outlined above.

 

ER106/18

Bin Ovation Trial pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Minutes:

The Head of Environment presented the above report a copy of which had previously been circulated.  He advised that the purpose of the report was to update Members on the progress of the trial of the Bin Ovation App and to seek Members’ approval to extend the app for an additional year.

 

Councillor Reilly referred to the need to take whatever action was necessary to inform the public of which materials should be placed in the different coloured bins.  He said it was important that the public respected the various collections.  He stated that this was a useful app and he supported the use of technology to address such problems.  He queried if this could be extended in terms of reporting issues regarding overflowing bins.

 

Councillor Duffy echoed Councillor Reilly’s comments.  She expressed disappointment at the numbers who had downloaded the app.  She suggested that stickers being applied to contaminated bins contain information regarding the bin ovation app in order that the general public could become better educated in this regard.

 

The Committee

 

Recommended       (a) that Council approve continuing providing the Bin-Ovation app for a further 12 months on the basis that Council currently do not have a dedicated app in place to assist householders with a user friendly information system on waste and recycling; and

 

                                    (b) that stickers be applied to contaminated bins include information regarding the bin ovation app for use by the public.

 

 

ER107/18

Combination of Food and Garden Waste Collection within Parts of the Strabane District pdf icon PDF 27 KB

Minutes:

The Head of Environment presented the above report a copy of which had previously been circulated.  He pointed out that the purpose of the report was to advise and seek Members’ approval with regard to the piloting of combined food and garden waste collections for those residents in the Strabane area that currently already have separate garden and food waste collections.

 

In response to a query from Councillor P Kelly, the Head of Environment explained that it was hoped through the pilot programme to extend the role out of the brown bin scheme.  He stated that the former Strabane District Council had concentrated on green waste whilst the former Derry City Council had concentrated on food waste.  He stated that there were a limited number of crews and vehicles to complete collections and through this process it was anticipated that the combination collection, if successful, would facilitate the roll out of food waste collections to the remaining households in the area that were not yet receiving the food waste collection.

 

Alderman Hussey referred to the key issues and to the fact that previously in Strabane both food waste and garden waste were being collected simultaneously and queried if it would not prove more beneficial to carry out the pilot scheme in an area where this had not previously been the practice.

 

The Head of Environment said it was important that Council had data on the volume of green waste and food waste collected separately at present at present as part of the rationale to mix collections depended on Council demonstrating that it could collect as much food waste comingled as separately.  He stated that if the two types of waste were combined there should not be any apparent reduction in food waste.

 

Councillor Hastings referred to the significance of the environment in this regard and stated that if it were possible to reduce the number of vehicles being used whilst ultimately collecting the same amount of waste this would be commendable.

 

Alderman Warke queried the proposed timeframe for the pilot scheme.   

 

The Head of Environment advised that it would take approximately 4-8 weeks to implement the pilot scheme to ensure that all those households involved had received necessary information.  He stated that the pilot scheme would operate for eighteen months in order to accumulate sufficient information.

 

In response to a further query from Alderman Warke regarding the performance of other Councils, the Head of Environment advised that some Councils were performing extremely well.  He stated that the vast majority of Councils were using mixed food and green waste collections however, this was not suitable for all areas as some areas did not accumulate green waste.  He said it was a matter of achieving the correct balance.  He continued that there were some areas which had a high volume of combined collections and it was hoped to replicate that in this Council area.

 

 The Committee

 

Recommended       that Members approve the pilot combination of Food and Garden Waste Collection within parts of  ...  view the full minutes text for item ER107/18

ER108/18

Regional Crematorium - Preparation of an Outline Business Case pdf icon PDF 28 KB

Minutes:

The Head of Environment presented the above report a copy of which had previously been circulated.  He advised that the purpose of the report was to update Members on discussions with neighbouring Councils regarding the development of a regional crematorium and to seek approval to proceed with the procurement of consultants to prepare an Outline Business Case with regard to the project.

 

Councillor Reilly thanked the Head of Environment for the detailed report and the inclusion of the impact on Donegal and looked forward to the outcome of the business case which he anticipated would permit this facility to be constructed in the North West.

 

Councillor P Kelly also welcomed the report.

 

Alderman Hussey whilst acknowledging the close proximity of Donegal referred to the fact that there were other areas of similar closeness.  He referred to the fact that Cavan and Roselawn in Belfast were currently the two alternatives with Cavan appearing the most appropriate.  He continued that if Donegal wished to become involved they must contribute financially towards this.

 

The Committee subsequently

 

Recommended       that Members support participation in the development of a Joint Outline Business Case with Fermanagh, Omagh and Mid Ulster Councils and to allocate £10,000.00 to the production of the OBC.

 

 

ER109/18

Sandbag Protocol Flooding Schemes pdf icon PDF 27 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Environment presented the above report a copy of which had previously been circulated.  He advised that the purpose of the report was to present and seek Members’ comments with regard to a draft protocol relating to support provided by Council during flooding incidents.

 

In response to concerns expressed by Councillor P Kelly, the Head of Environment advised that consideration could be given to the need for additional sandbags in the Council’s Derry Road Offices.  He also referred to the Community Resilience Scheme which was a separate project.

 

In response to a query from Councillor C Kelly, the Head of Environment advised that the colouring contained in Appendix 1 was an in-house reference.  He stated that Council Officers would continue to monitor the weather forecast in similar situations and would place Council on a state of readiness regardless of what other bodies intended to do at any particular time.

 

Councillor C Kelly said the supply of sandbags in Council’s possession was encouraging.  He stated however, that, if required, additional sandbags could be made available from other agencies e.g Rivers Agency.  He welcomed the progress which Council had made during the past year in terms its flood response.

 

Alderman Hussey anticipated that this would be addressed again on 27 June at the Flooding Review together with the lessons learned from problems which had arisen in the past.  He welcomed the fact that Council was now part of the official response team.

 

Alderman Devenney welcomed this pro-active initiative and Council’s involvement in the official response team.  He referred to the need to ensure that there were sufficient sandbags to facilitate all Council areas and particularly those areas facing the greatest risk.

 

Alderman Warke welcomed the provision of 800 sandbags in Eglinton particularly given the extent of the damage caused in that area during the 2017 floods.  He felt that additional sandbags were required in the rural area.  He said Council had led the way in addressing this issues and acknowledged the hard work and effort involved in reaching this position.

 

The Head of Environment advised that Transport NI had approximately 8000 sandbags stored locally with additional sandbags stored in Omagh and Coleraine which could be used in times of necessity.

 

The Head of Environment advised that Council would assist DfI and TNI should a similar incident occur.  He stated that the Emergency Planning Officer was working with local communities to develop a community resilience plan in order that communities could assist themselves should a similar problem arise.  He concluded that Council were keen to lead the flooding response where appropriate.

 

In regards to a community resilience plan, Councillor R McHugh expressed concern that during the previous year’s flooding incident residents in a local community in Castlederg had been refused access to sandbags stored in that area.  He queried if discussions had taken place between Council and DfI regarding this matter.

 

The Head of Environment said he understood that discussions had taken place however, he was not aware of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item ER109/18

ER110/18

Litter Picking along Rural Roads, Dual Carriageway and Trunk Roads within the District pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Minutes:

The Head of Environment presented the above report a copy of which had previously been circulated.  He pointed out that the purpose of the report was to update and advise Members on issues relating to littering and litter clearing operations on rural roads and specifically to advise on proposals with regard to a proactive prevention strategy and resourcing required to complete this task where necessary in consideration of health and safety obligations and to ensure that Council meets its statutory obligations as required under The Litter (Northern Ireland) Order 1994.

 

The Chairperson agreed that rural roads were not being maintained to a satisfactory standard in terms of both litter and roads issues which was the responsibility of TNI.  She suggested that the installation of CCTV may be the only way to address the problem of litter and fly tipping.  She stated that this presented a most unattractive image for visitors entering the City.  

 

Councillor Hastings thanked Officers for the report which he felt was timely given in the increase in the volume of litter accumulating along rural roads. He referred to an issue which had been brought to his attention in relation to advertisements and posters appearing on trunk roads and rural roads which were proving hazardous for drivers and motorcyclists and were not being removed when the event had ended.  He queried as to who was responsible for the removal of this material. He referred to the fact that not all rural roads were safe to treat in terms of litter picking.  He stated that it was not normal Council practice to overlook necessary works and expressed his support for the proposal contained in the report.  He referred to the need for educational programmes to address the problem of littering and illegal waste. 

 

Councillor P Kelly sated that the problem was not being addressed by TNI on roads exceeding the 30mph zone.  He suggested that Council liaise with fast food operators on rural roads in an effort to tackle the ongoing litter problem and agreed that this must also be pursued through educational programmes.

 

The Head of Environment stated that the increase in dumping had resulted in some roads that were previously litter picked twice per year now required cleaning monthly.  He stated that Council was seeking to address these issues at source and had developed actions to target motorists and individuals who were responsible for littering which it was anticipated would reduce the need for street cleaning.  He advised that Council was currently working with TNI regarding the removal of unwanted advertisements/posters on main and rural roads which were causing a problem and referred to the health and safety concerns relating thereto.  He agreed that education was a key tool through which to address this problem and referred to the need to engage with a range of stakeholders to put in place a proper educational programme focusing on encouraging all road users to become more responsible in terms of littering.  In terms of fast food waste he said  ...  view the full minutes text for item ER110/18

ER111/18

CRG 11 18 Clooney Greenway pdf icon PDF 33 KB

Minutes:

The Director of Environment and Regeneration presented the above report a copy of which had previously been circulated.  She advised that the purpose of the report was to seek Members’ approval to release capital funds to deliver the Clooney Greenway project following confirmation of funding from Department for Communities (DfC).

 

Councillor Reilly welcomed the above report.  He referred to the importance of greenways on specific routes and in terms of encouraging physical exercise.  He stated that this would greatly assist in terms of the wider Clooney Master Plan which was positively awaited in due course.

 

Alderman Ramsey stated that this was a welcome report for residents of the Waterside particularly given the issue in relation to the newly opened Ebrington primary School.  He suggested that other options be considered through the Community Association.  He acknowledged the release of funding to proceed with land transfers and stated that in terms of time constraints there was no reason why Council would not be onsite within the following twelve months.

 

Councillor P Kelly sought an update on any greenway projects for Strabane.

 

The Director of Environment and Regeneration undertook to present a report thereon to a future Meeting of Committee.

 

The Committee

 

Recommended       that Members agree to the reallocation of funds of £118,179 from the previously allocated budget for the Ebrington Greenway project to enable delivery of the Clooney Greenway project following confirmation of DfC fundng.

 

 

ER112/18

Blue Bin Contamination Issues pdf icon PDF 31 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Environment presented the above report a copy of which had previously been circulated.  He advised that the purpose of the report was to update Members in relation to contamination of blue recycling bins and ongoing initiatives to address the matter.

 

Alderman Warke expressed concern at the level of blue bin contamination and the ultimate cost to Council.  He queried the total cost to Council of contaminated waste the previous year.

 

The Head of Environment advised that Council had to spend an additional £3500 on waste which had been rejected because of contamination the previous year.  Whilst acknowledging the difficulties he referred to the need to encourage those who were unsure regarding recyclables to contact Council.  He referred to the need for the public to use the recycling schemes responsibly.

 

The Chairperson referred to a meeting which she and Members of her Party had attended in Omagh which had proved most informative in terms of recyclables and blue bin contamination.  She said if one blue bin was contaminated it would contaminate an entire load.  She referred to the need for greater education regarding blue bin materials.

 

ER113/18

Brooke Park - Wheel Chair Friendly Environment pdf icon PDF 28 KB

ER114/18

Green Infrastructure Framework pdf icon PDF 45 KB

Minutes:

The Director of Environment and Regeneration presented the above report a copy of which had previously been circulated.  She advised that the purpose of the report was to update Members on the development of a Green Infrastructure Plan and the linkages between this Plan, Council’s Strategic Growth Plan and the Local Development Plan 2032.

 

Councillor Duffy welcomed the above report and looked forward to the incorporation of the various areas and a further report thereon.  She advised Member of an event which would be taking place in St Columb’s Park House on Saturday 19 May involving Zero Waste North West to highlight their ongoing work to which all Members would be welcome to attend.

 

 

ER115/18

North West Greenway Network - Project Update pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Minutes:

 

The Director of Environment and Regeneration presented the above report a copy of which had previously been circulated.  She advised that the purpose of the report was to provide an update on the North West Greenway Network project upcoming public consultation process.

 

The Chairperson welcomed the above report and suggested that the public consultation event in Hollybush Primary School on 23 May be promoted in line with Council’s Health and Wellbeing Programme.

 

Alderman Hussey referred to the importance of maintaining greenways and riverside paths.  He made reference to a riverside path in Castlederg which was ill-maintained and had become overgrown.

 

Alderman Hussey referred to the Peace 4 Programme in Castlederg through which it was hoped to develop linkage between the GAA and football pitches and requested that a report thereon be presented to a future Meeting of Committee.

 

The Director of Environment and Regeneration said it would be possible to arrange for Sustrans to give a presentation to Committee on Greenways.  She said as Members were aware Council had developed a North West Greenway Plan with Donegal County Council through which it was hoped to develop as many schemes as possible.

 

 

ER116/18

Recruitment of Additional Park Rangers pdf icon PDF 29 KB

Minutes:

The Head of Environment presented the above report a copy of which had previously been circulated.  He advised that the purpose of the report was to update Members on the recruitment of additional Park Rangers in consideration of issues associated with park usage over summer months.

 

Alderman Ramsey welcomed the above report.

 

 

ER117/18

Refuse Collection - Update pdf icon PDF 30 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Environment presented the above report a copy of which had previously been circulated.  He advised that the purpose of the report was to provide members with an update, as requested, on refuse collection arrangements across the City and District.

 

Alderman Ramsey welcomed the above report.

 

 

ER118/18

Proposed Disabled Parking Bay pdf icon PDF 25 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Environment and Regeneration presented the above report a copy of which had previously been circulated.  She pointed out that the purpose of the report was to advise Members of correspondence dated 10 and 25 April 2018 from Transport NI, Network Development Section, regarding a revised proposed disabled persons’ parking bay at Mountjoy Street, Derry and proposed bays at De Moleyn Park, Marlborough Street, Chapel Road and Marlborough Terrace.

 

Members noted the content of the report.