REPORT OF THE
EXECUTIVE MEMBER FOR ENVIRONMENT
AMENDMENT TO TRADE WASTE CONTROLS PERMIT SCHEME
1. The Executive Member has recently undertaken a review of the trade waste controls at household waste recycling centres introduced in February 2008. The review, which was planned from the outset to be undertaken six months after implementation, included direct feedback from service users affected by the recent changes. The scheme controls were introduced in response to evidence that substantial amounts of commercial and trade waste were being deposited at these sites, which are intended for the disposal of household waste only. If left unchecked, the cost of trade waste disposal was set to rise to some £1m per year, partly because of steep increases in landfill tax.
2. As part of the original control measures, any householder with access to a car as well as a van, was not able to apply for a permit to access the site in their van or commercial vehicle. The review concluded that, irrespective of car ownership, the scheme should be amended to allow any member of the public with access to a van to be able to apply for a permit and use the site up to 12 times a year in order to deposit bulky household items e.g. wardrobes/sofas or large quantities of green waste. There is also discretion to make suitable arrangements for short-term hire agreements covering vans and other commercial type vehicles, to enable them to use household waste recycling centres for two to three days, for example, over the weekend. These changes were introduced from 1 October 2008, which coincided with the reduced winter opening hours for household waste recycling centres.
3. There has been a programme of clear and effective communications with site staff, users and residents to ensure that all understand the permit system and the changes now introduced. There is also a series of checks to ensure that use of commercial type vans or trailers does not become excessive, and to verify that householders are depositing genuine household or garden waste, not commercial or trade waste. The aim is to achieve improved quality of service at the household waste recycling centres which should now be able to concentrate on their main role of providing an easy and convenient means for residents to dispose of their household or garden waste and for the majority of it to be recycled. From figures so far, it is not expected that there will be an increase in fly-tipping as a result, but it is proposed to keep a close watch on this. While there are costs in introducing and administering the amended scheme, the savings generated in terms of diverting trade and commercial waste from household waste recycling centres will more than cover these costs.
4. The revised scheme fits in with all three of the County Council's corporate priorities, and it has been endorsed by the Environment and Transportation Select Committee. The Executive Member intends to keep the trade waste controls permit scheme, and any further customer feedback arising from it, under close review.
5. This report arises from consideration of the report by the Executive Member for Environment on 15 September 2008, which is on Hantsweb at: http://www.hants.gov.uk/decisions/decisions-docs/080915-execmb-R0908145601.html
POLICY AND PROTOCOL STATEMENT ON GATING ORDERS
1. Recent legislation allows for gating orders to be imposed on appropriate parts of the highway network, in particular areas which have been the subject of extensive crime or antisocial incidents. Requests for such orders would normally be made through the relevant Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership, District or Borough Council and at present the County Council does not have a policy for considering and responding to such requests. The Executive Member has therefore approved a formal policy and protocol, which is set out as an Appendix to this report.
2. The policy and protocol set out clear criteria against which requests for gating orders should be judged, and outlines a procedure including public consultation which would be followed. The Executive Member has made it clear that the normal situation should be for highways to be kept open and passable to the public, and a gating order should be considered only as a last resort, if all other alternative measures have proved unsuccessful, the evidence justifies closure and there is community support. It is in any event possible that a gating order in respect of one area could simply displace the problem of crime or antisocial behaviour to another area.
3. The policy and protocol set out in the Appendix will therefore be used in future in response to any requests from promoting bodies for a gating order to be imposed. It therefore fits in with the County Council's corporate policy of making Hampshire safer and more secure for all.
4. This report arises from consideration of the report by the Executive Member for Environment on 15 September 2008, which is on Hantsweb at: http://www.hants.gov.uk/decisions/decisions-docs/080915-execmb-R0908145551.html
Executive Member for Environment
POLICY STATEMENT AND PROTOCOL ON GATING ORDERS
The County Council's statutory duty as the Highway Authority is to keep the highway passable and safe. The Council also has duties under the Traffic Management Act 2004 to prevent unnecessary disruption of traffic.
Section 2 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 introduced new powers for County Councils to make gating orders to restrict public rights of way in respect of a highway that is facilitating high and persistent levels of crime and anti-social behaviour.
These powers were inserted into the Highways Act 1980 (Section 129A) with effect from 1 April 2006.
Under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 the County Council has a duty to embed crime and disorder prevention into service planning, delivery and decision making and so reduce crime and the fear of crime in all our communities.
Highways provide accessibility between destinations and a gating order may restrict access for highway users, often pedestrians, at all times or for such times during part of a day that may be specified in the order. It is therefore necessary to weigh the inconvenience to highway users and those properties accessed from the highway that would be caused by the closure against the potential reduction in crime and the fear of crime. Consideration may also be given to the dispersal of crime and anti-social behaviour to adjoining areas if a gating order is made.
The County Council has to consider what other measures have been implemented or discounted to try and reduce levels of crime and anti-social behaviour before a gating order can be progressed.
The promoting body will need to provide the necessary data to demonstrate that gating is justified and an analysis of the likely impacts for the areas to be gated as well as the surrounding area.
The County Council requires the promoting body to provide an analysis of crime and anti-social behaviour incidents, both in the area to be gated, the adjoining area and the background levels of crime in the area. This information needs to include an analysis of types of crime and time of day at which the crimes occur. Where possible, trend data should be included. The request should contain an assessment of why closing the street or footpath is expected to reduce the incidence of crime and what alternative measures have been considered and rejected.
The promoting body will normally be the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP). Where the CDRP is not the promoting body, the Partnership should be used to consider the crime analysis for the location and a copy of its advice should be included with the submission.
Information should be provided on the use of the routes and what properties or services they link, eg shops, schools, bus stops and what alternative routes are available to the public. The County Council will assess the accessibility implications, if the crime analysis suggests that a gating order would have a significant benefit in reducing crime and the fear of crime.
If there is a demonstrable case for a gating order the County Council will then hold a meeting with the promoting body to discuss funding and management arrangements, including:
(i) public consultation and scheme promotion costs;
(ii) capital costs of the gates and their installation;
(iii) maintenance costs and responsibilities;
(iv) operational responsibilities; and
(v) public liability.
In order for a scheme to progress, the support of the community must be demonstrated at all consultation stages. A minimum support level of 66% will normally be required. This will give the County Council reassurance that there is a reasonable level of public support for gating.
If there is a strong case for a gating order being made, the Council will contribute on a 50/50 basis to the scheme promotion costs and, if the scheme goes ahead, 50% of the capital cost of the gates. All other costs, liabilities and operational arrangements, eg long term maintenance, opening and closing of gates, must be met by the local promoting body. An appropriate agreement will be drawn up for signature by the responsible body.