Community Select November 2012

Monday evening saw the latest meeting of the community select committee, which on this occasion was taking place in the Pavilion Garden’s in Buxton.

First up on the agenda was an opportunity for members to put questions and queries to the North West Ambulance Service. They started off with a general review of how the service is running across Glossopdale with a commentary that at least in the bulk of the town centre etc they are meeting the expected response times.

The commentary then moved on to their views on how the proposals that the East Midlands Ambulance Service is putting forward that will see ambulance stations in Buxton and New Mills close.

At current they were working to get a better understanding of the proposals and how they will work, because they didn’t want to see proposals that would impact on the existing area that they cover, and with cross border trips already occurring about 20 times a month, it will be interesting to hear from EMAS how there proposals wouldn’t increase the number of cross border trips.

The comments moved on to consideration of the future of Glossop Ambulance Station especially with the proposals around the privatisation of the patient transport service bit of the ambulance service across Greater Manchester.

The response was that the proposals for the future, in the NWAS area are still being developed but will be subject to consultation both before the final proposal are drawn up and once there are firm proposals and to that end there will be some sort of Stakeholder event looking at options for the future in mid December.

Other comments of note in relation to Glossopdale were around consideration been given to looking at how / if there is some joint work they can do with mountain rescue and first responders in terms of enhancing the Glossopdale service.

Next up was a review of the councillor’s initiative fund, which if you’ve not heard mention of it, is a scheme by which each borough councillor has a pot of £1000 available for spending in there ward on initiatives that fit under one or more of the three headings of community safety, environmental improvement or community initiative.

You can view the councillor initative fund report here which shows that in In the first year (as detailed in the appendix of the report) 8 schemes were approved spending just over £4000 with so far to date 22 schemes been approved with £10989 been spent with a number of other initiative under consideration.

The report also includes a copy of the form, that is used for considering / making bids and across Glossopdale the fund has been used in a variety of ways supporting in Hadfield a gardening together scheme, the bare necessities food bank, community resources for Glossop Junior Cricket Club and additional / mobile CCTV equipment.

In terms of issues with the ‘fund’ which was the purpose of the item on Monday night, there were concerns around whether the criteria for bids is completely right and is it been evenly applied across all bids, are there delays in getting the funds out once approved, along with comments around streamlining the process for bids that are supported by multiple councillors.

Publicity for the scheme was also raised with there been a mixed view from the members present as to whether the council should publicise the scheme more or whether the current level of publicity is right with details been available on the council’s website and it been highlighted at relevant events.

Last up was an update report on how the council’s waste and recycling service is doing since the major changes which saw the introduction of the third bin and the start of plastic collection from the kerbside earlier this year.

The first part of the report details the arrangements that are in place for properties across the borough in terms of what is collected and how with slightly alternative arrangements in terms of containers etc been in place to ensure that rural properties now have access to the full recycling service.

The report also detailed the arrangements that are in place with regards to properties on assisted collection or those that have choosen for one reason or another to move to a different sized bin – along with detailing some current further work that is ongoing with regards to properties that have communal arrangements (like flats etc) – with the hope been that all residents will be on the service by Christmas.

In terms of performance the national performance indicators that cover ‘bin’ services are numbered 191 and 192 and our result to date in terms of waste recycled, composted or reused is now up to 46.20%, which is ahead of the government target for 2015 which is 45%

The report also detailed complaints about the service which as expected rose significantly with the intro of the new service but are now reducing to a much lower level in a similar way to missed collections which again spiked highly with the introduction of the new service and are now going back to a lower level but still a little high for my liking at current.

The report highlighted some the promotional work which was completed over the summer along with the ongoing work that is still taking place to try and encourage people to recycle things as much as possible.

The report also considered what effect the new service has had with regards to bring sites like at the back of the Co-op in Glossop, which as expected has seen a significant reduction in the quantaties been collected as more can be picked up at the kirbside and it is intended that after Christmas the council’s sub group that looked at the new recycling proposals back towards the end of last year and the beginning of next will be called back together to consider if we there are any of these sites that are no longer needed and can be closed.

Finally the report considered the cost of the service and what the new bins had cost, with the final cost been higher than expected due to increase oil prices at the time we purchased the bins, however the expected savings from the new service are still in line with predictions, along with the details that with recycling collections been higher we are getting back from the county council more in recycling credits.