Agenda item

Chairman's Report


The Chairman provided an update to the Committee on the major developments that had taken place within the Committee’s remit since the last meeting held 16 March 2021.


Colleagues had once again supported businesses, communities and residents, to recover as quickly and as safely as possible. Officers within Environmental Health visited outdoor attractions, personal care premises, retail and hospitality venues as they were able to open.  On the first Saturday after outdoor hospitality re-opened, more than 50 pubs and restaurants were visited that evening, to ensure compliance with the rules and support businesses with any queries or help they required. This exercise was then repeated on the first weekend when indoor hospitality was able to commence once more.  Colleagues also visited premises and played a visible role in town centres during this time, positively reinforcing messages around hands, face and space and reassuring residents returning to town centres with their presence.


The proposed move to Step 4 of the Government roadmap had been delayed to 19 July, but there was now an end in sight at long last. 


Members of the Committee had been invited in May to a tour of the new swimming pool at the Dukeries Leisure Centre in Ollerton which was very impressive and was hoped to provide a big boost to the local community when opened in late June 2021, with a formal opening on 3 July.  A further Member visit to see the completed development would take place on 1 July and Members of the Committee were again invited to attend.  The new pool was arriving just at the right time as Active4Today aimed to recover from the trials and tribulations of the past 15 months. It was hoped that the pool would provide a great boost in the drive to recover lost memberships – and hopefully grow new ones.


In relation to the Council’s cleansing and grounds maintenance services, since the last meeting, the business unit had won 11 new contracts with town and parish councils for grounds works. This was in addition to bringing the housing grounds maintenance service back in-house from 1 April. Taken together, this was more good news in terms of trying to bring better consistency to making Newark and Sherwood greener.  A report would be submitted to the September Committee, setting out what scope there would be to bring in more work to the Council, particularly from town and parish councils.   In a similar vein, since the garden recycling service was brought back in house on 1 April, last year, an additional 3,000 customers had signed up to the service, representing a 24 % increase.  Whilst there was more to do, this was a fantastic achievement in a short period of time and achieved against the backdrop of the service being stretched as it was forced to change operating practices as a result of Covid.  Committee Members would be aware that the national landscape in relation to recycling may be about to change in a very significant manner.  Some of the proposals published as part of the National Waste and Resources Strategy in December 2018, were due to be wrapped up in a new Environment Bill which was due to receive Royal Assent over the Autumn.  If enacted in the form they were originally proposed, this could see garden waste being collected free of charge, as well as a common set of recyclables being collected from the kerbside across the country from 2023.  This could include glass and food waste.

The ramifications and costs would be significant, an update would therefore be provided for Committee in September, ahead of that Royal Assent date, to appraise of the latest position.


The Chairman paid tribute to the army of volunteers who gave up their time during the Great British Spring Clean week to help make Newark and Sherwood cleaner.


More than 20 litter picks took place in towns and villages across Newark and Sherwood.  These picks often took place on non-public land which meant that when they were combined with the Council’s efforts on public land, went an awful long way to making sure that we live in a clean and pleasant environment.  The Council had also recently been successful in applying for Government money to invest in additional bins across Newark and Sherwood. The £25,000 that was awarded would be spent on bins to go in laybys along major truck roads and would be yet another positive development in helping to ensure that the district remained clean and green and a place we could all be proud of.


(Councillor Mrs D Cumberlidge arrived during the Chairman’s report.)