Agenda and minutes

Special Meeting - Budget, Place Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 2nd February, 2023 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, The Rhadyr USK. View directions


No. Item


Declarations of Interest




Public Open Forum


No submissions were received.


Budget Scrutiny: Scrutiny of the Budget proposals for 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Please use this link to access the papers for this item - available as part of the 18th January 2023 Cabinet agenda.





The Cabinet Member for Resources presented to the committee the proposals for 2023-2024 (presentation available online) prior to the committee asking questions.  




What reassurance is there that the proposed reductions, especially for grounds maintenance and the community improvement team, won’t undermine the ambition for the county to be a greener place to live? What is the potential impact on rural villages?


Cabinet Member for Resources: We have committed £750k towards decarbonisation as part of this budget, which is the principal goal of reducing environmental impact in the county. We also have bio-diversity written into this budget.


Recycling Strategy Manager: In terms of the reduction in the Community Improvement Team, we did have two teams, largely recruiting prisoners from Prescoed, but it has been increasingly difficult to recruit them, so we now have one team operating. We want to channel that work into the Council’s grounds maintenance functions, so the public shouldn’t notice a reduction. Where we have reduced mowing as part of the ‘Nature isn’t Neat’ programme, we do have a little more capacity there to do more planting with community involvement. We currently mow 14 times a year but plan to reduce it to 10, but still cutting paths through green amenity spaces that are used, whilst also continuing the Nature isn’t Neat’ programme.


Is the Cabinet Member satisfied that the ‘reconfiguration of sweeping functions across the county’ won’t undermine the positive contribution to addressing the climate and nature emergency?


Recycling Strategy Manager: The reason for reconfiguring the sweeping function is to provide a greater sweeping function. Currently we have 2 part-time staff undertaking sweeping and a litter picking, but we feel that losing the two part-time posts and having a full-time mechanical sweeper which will undertake the litter picking will be more beneficial and save costs.  The town councils have also bought into the expanded town teams, and this has given us more cover in Chepstow and Abergavenny, so we have seen great improvements there and we would like to implement the approach elsewhere, backed up with more mechanical sweeping.


To what extent can the mechanical solution be applied to littering in more rural areas? Would a physical solution be more effective in this context?


Recycling Strategy Manager: There are no changes to how we manage sweeping in rural areas. We have 3 large sweepers for the rural areas and 3 small ones in the town centres and there is capacity for the smaller ones that are sometimes parked up to do more sweeping in out-of-town areas, so the intention is to increase, not reduce sweeping.


In the preceding financial year, Monmouthshire was one of only a handful of authorities to not issue a single penalty notice for litteringis there resource to pursue those, particularly given the increase in littering and fly tipping? Were budgetary allocations considered made for these and, if so, why were they discarded?


Recycling Strategy Manager:  We are not aware of a large increase in flytipping, not at a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Next Meeting


Wednesday 1st March 2023 at 10.00am.