3rd August 2020 Town Council Report 7.2

REPORT TO TOWN COUNCIL – AUGUST 2020

Disposal of land st Lakeside

There was aa very disappointing decision by Sedgemoor to dispose of land at lakeside.  The original decision was ‘called in’ by the Community Scrutiny committee who referred the decision back to the Executive, which declined to change their vote.  On both occasions I spoke against the recommendation but could not vote as I had a predetermined position, having spoken against it previously in 2016.  Another member of the Executive was also excluded from the vote because of a conflict of interest.

Somerset Waste Partnership

This year the contract for rubbish and recycling collection was changed.  The new company is Suez and you may have noticed the different lorries, larger, more colourful and with more compartments.  The Suez staff have worked throughout the lockdown period even though they have had staff reductions because of individual shielding and/or quarantine issues and a letter of thanks will be sent to the Suez teams thanking them for their commitment and hard work.

The Somerset Waste Partnership continues to see strong demand from UK-based re-processors for the high quality materials collected.  Between January and March over 90% of our waste materials stayed in the UK, although the amount that was reprocessed in Somerset fell to just over 39%. This was mainly as a result of a drop in the amount of garden waste processed, due to suspension of kerbside garden waste collections and the closure of recycling sites at the tail end of the quarter. The popularity of the plastic pots, tubs and trays (and plastic bottle) banks at recycling centres continued to grow, with January providing another big month, with 29.66 tonnes collected.

There was a continued decrease in missed collections and this will continue to be monitored to see if improvements can continue to be made and whether the new ‘in-cab’ technology helps to reduce numbers further.

Food waste:  The campaign exceeded its aim of increasing the tonnage of food waste collected by 16%. Before Covid-19 forced the suspension of the campaign, it had reached 210,000 homes (around 80% of the County).

Homeless persons & rough sleepers

As required by Government, rough sleepers had to be accommodated wherever possible in order to help prevent the spread of the virus.  Sedgemoor’s team have achieved the following:

Accommodated (at peak)                                27

Persons who refused to engage                       6

Persons evicted (various reasons)                   4

Moved on                                                        9

Joint working with other districts across the county a Homelessness Cell was formed and has recently taken stock of the Covid rough sleeper response and is preparing a report for consideration by the Community Resilience Cell. Some of the emerging themes are as follows:

  • To recognise the complexity of housing related work
  • The revolving door (clients continually in and out of a range of services) – how do we stop this?
  • Thresholds and dual diagnosis – linked to the ‘revolving door’
  • Patient or homeless person? Are we viewing people correctly?
  • Equality of access to support across Somerset
  • The importance of tenancy support – how do we maintain delivery?

Pressures

  • Economic impacts
  • Pressures on families
  • Another Covid spike?
  • Lack of move on accommodation
  • Need to decant clients in to self contained accommodation
  • Move away from hostel provision
  • Hub approach
  • Integration of housing with health / care (joint commissioning)
  • Employment, skills and training

Janet Keen

August 3rd  2020

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