Meeting documents

South London Waste Partnership Joint Committee
Wednesday, 9th March, 2016

South London Waste Partnership Joint Committee Minutes

Wednesday 9th March 2016
Room F10, Croydon Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0

Attendance Details


London Borough of Croydon

Councillor Stuart Collins - Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Clean Green Croydon (Chair)

Councillor Stuart King


Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames

Councillor Ian George - Lead Member - Resident Services

London Borough of Merton

Councillor Judy Saunders - Cabinet Member for Environmental Cleanliness and Parking


London Borough of Sutton

Councillor Nighat Piracha – Vice-Chair of the Environment & Neighbourhood Committee

Councillor Jill Whitehead - Chair of the Environment and Neighbourhood Committee

Also present:
Annie Baker (SLWP Strategic Partnership Manager, LB Merton), Charles Baker (Strategy and Commissioning Manager, LB Merton), Matt Clubb (Executive Head of Environment Commissioning, LB Sutton), Deborah Flintoff (Service Manager - Waste, RB Kingston), John Haynes (SLWP Communications Advisor, RB Kingston), Steve Iles (Director of Streets, LB Croydon), Andrea Keys (SLWP Contract Manager, RB Kingston), Rachel Lewis (Head of Environment, RB Kingston), Michael Mackie (Head of Finance Business Data & Reporting, LB Sutton), Jo Negrini (Executive Director of Place, LB Croydon)
Councillors Kathy Bee, Terry Paton and Andrew Judge and Cormac Stokes (Head of Street Scene & Waste, LB Merton)
Apologies for absence:
Councillors Kathy Bee, Terry Paton and Andrew Judge and Cormac Stokes (Head of Street Scene & Waste, LB Merton)

Item Item/Resolution

There were no disclosures of pecuniary interest not already published on the websites of the four boroughs.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 10 December 2015 were agreed as a correct record.


Andrea Keys (Contract Manager, Royal Borough of Kingston) summarised the main points of the report:

  • Contact 1 - Transport and Residual Waste Management - no operational issues
  • Contract 2 - HRRC (Household Reuse and Recycling Centres) services:
    • Fisher's Farm performance only 58% for December 2015
    • Issues for rigid plastics and mattresses so suspending, due to the difficulty of finding outlets - the cost of fuel is currently very low
  • Contract 3 - Marketing of recyclates and treatment of green and food waste - no operational issues
  • The redevelopment of Garth Road site has been brought forward


The following issues were raised:

  • Councils are under pressure from the media about recycling rates.  How is this being addressed?  Is there a method for putting out the statistics?

Response:  The figures can be put together.  There was a good article in the press a week ago about the plastics issues.  We can pull together industry press and facts and figures.


  • Recycling is down or static across London - it is not just south London.  A recycling campaign has been running in Sutton for several months and is proving successful.  Complaints have gone up but is this due to the reorganisation and new layout? 
  • Is it possible to make the charts clearer?

Response:  It will be easier to judge the analysis when we have a full year's statistics.  There have been comments about the steps increasing from 4 up to 8 and also about other elements of the new layout.  We will look at trying to make the information more accessible.


  • We need to get positive communications out to explain why the rates are down.
  • Are Veolia not accepting rigid plastics and mattresses now?  Does that explain the drop?

Response:  Rigid plastics do come in but only a very small element can be recycled.  They are still accepted but there is no market for them.

  • What is the impact on residual waste?

Response: It only accounts for 2% of overall recycling.  There is a financial implication for Contract 1 but it is a very small proportion.

Changes to services can impact on material types the partnership receives.  Reduction has a knock on effect to the HRRC.  Communication messages are industry wide but there are also some local ones and some might be borough specific.

  • Is there a market for mattresses?

Response:  They are broken down into component parts - metal coils, textiles and filling.  The textiles market has dropped.  It is all done by hand, which is expensive, so we are looking at a mechanical solution which would be cheaper. 


The Committee NOTED the report.


Michael Mackie (Finance Lead - Head of Finance Business Data & Reporting, LB Merton) presented the report:

  • Budget for core activities - underspend £89k
  • The partnership is currently undertaking one  project - HRRC - estimated to cost £116k - underspend of £57k
  • Forecast total underspend for all activites of £146k or £36k per authority. 

The Committee enquired how it is intended to use the underspend.  There had previously been mention of additional communications.

Officers explained that it is for individual boroughs to decide.  The underspend may be used to cover overspend in other services.  Also the committee's jurisdiction covers waste disposal but the partnership is involved in an Environmental Services procurement which includes waste collection. This means authorities have to take into account all activities they are involved in, and funds may move between the disposal element and this project.  However, all the boroughs need to agree.  The decision will need to be based on the budget for the year.


Communications will be considering more generic awareness campaigns and looking at how to track funding.


The Committee NOTED the contents of the report.


Annie Baker (Strategic Partnership Manager, LB Merton) gave a brief summary of the report:

  •  Legal risk number 7.7 (LEG 7), relating to the risk of a legal challenge is now closed and has been removed

As there are a lot of risks, it was requested that the list be clarified, so it is easier to understand.


The Committee NOTED the key developments on the Risk Register and the mitigation of these risks.


The date of the next meeting is Tuesday 7 June 2016 at 5:30pm in Room F10 at Croydon Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX.


There was to have been a workshop after the meeting but it was cancelled.  It was suggested that it should take place later in the year, possibly July,, once the individual boroughs have assessed their needs, rather than having a 'one size fits all' approach.  A report for endorsement will come to the next meeting, with each borough having its own decision making process.

The meeting ended at 5:59pm