Agenda item

Cabinet Member Interview - Councillor Barrie Hargrove - Transport, Environment and Recycling

Themes for the Cabinet Member are as follows:-


1) Parking
2) Carbon-neutral council
3) Cycling
4) Fly tipping
5) Dulwich Park artwork
6) Progress towards new transport infrastructure



5.1  The chair welcomed the cabinet member for Transport, Environment and Recycling, Councillor Barrie Hargrove to the meeting and asked the member to highlight events over the past year before taking questions from the sub-committee.


5.2  The cabinet member highlighted the following areas:


·  SELCHP facility – providing cleaner energy to 5  estates – reducing bills for tenants

·  Improving road safety training

·  BMX track

·  Secured £3.4 million for Herne Hill Flood alleviation scheme

·  17 Green flags for Southwark Parks

·  Saved £1.5 million as a result of  parking tendering process


In the last quarter:


·  Recycling increased from under 31% to 35%

·  Street cleaning standards maintained

·  Litter reduced by 7%

·  Dog fouling reduced by 8%


5.3  A member asked where was the reduction in dog fouling? The cabinet member reported that inspections were undertaken 3 times a year throughout the borough and a reduction had been recorded - this information could be passed on to members.


5.4  The cabinet member further informed the sub-committee that a great deal of work had done to encourage irresponsible dog owners to pick up their pets’ mess.


5.5  In response to a member’s question regarding cycling improvements, the cabinet member reported that a number of initiatives were under way. The council is presently working with Transport for London (TfL) to produce cycling grids and cycling super highways through the city, and bringing in a network of roads through central London straight through to the northern part of the borough.


5.6  £250k had been raised for the Safer Cycle Routes to school in Dulwich and a programme is being rolled out to sites in Peckham and Bermondsey, as well as a cycle training course for adults and children.


5.7  The sub-committee were informed that 9 Trixi mirrors were placed on junctions and another 5 would be ready to roll out elsewhere in the borough, all with the aim of making roads safer in Southwark.


5.8  The chair asked about the statistics of cycling fatalities in the borough - were they on the increase? The cabinet member reported that over the longer term there had been an increase in cyclists being killed or seriously injured, and this followed a trend across much of London.


5.9  A member of the sub-committee asked if it was compulsory to have lights on a bike. The cabinet member stated as far as he is aware it is illegal to ride a bike on the roads after sunset with no rear lights.


5.10  A member stated that pedestrians seemed to be forgotten in all the plans,  crossing the road seemed to take a long time especially at New Kent Road.  There was talk of getting rid of the subways at the Elephant and Castle -  surely pedestrians need to be considered in all plan for the future? The cabinet member reported that officers were in discussion with TfL regarding the regeneration of Camberwell to improve quality for pedestrians and agreed that a complete pedestrian phase was required. He further reported that Boris Johnson was so concerned with smoothing traffic that it had almost become dangerous for pedestrians cross via traffic lights.


5.11  A member asked what had happened regarding school travel plans. The cabinet member reported that two officers had now been recruited to post to increase the number of schools with up to date travel plans.


5.12  It was also reported that reducing traffic around schools had reduced pollution in that area. The sub-committee were informed that the clean air for schools scheme had been in operation for a year and 6 schools had been involved and funding had been secured for a further year.


5.13  A member asked if there were to be cuts to lollipop people outside schools? The cabinet member reported there were no planned cuts to the service, but stressed that the service was operating under a very tight budget, so savings are always being looked at, as was the case with the school crossing patrol reduction.


5.14  A member asked about the SELCHP cleaner energy to homes scheme. The cabinet member reported that 2,600 homes would benefit from this scheme with cleaner cheaper energy and assured members that there would be discussions with Veolia to roll out this scheme to more estates in the borough.


5.15  A member asked how recycling across the borough was progressing between owner occupiers and estates? The cabinet member reported that houses’ recycling rate was presently at 54%.


5.16  Officers are attending Tenant Management Organisation meetings to offer advice and visits to homes that are not recycling. The estate rates are more difficult to improve, door step monitoring was still being undertaken along with the education programme of letters and leaflets. Targets have not been set for this area specifically


5.17  There has also been a pilot scheme regarding food waste recycling on  estates but there were problems with contamination. Food waste had been included with recycling which therefore ends up as landfill.


5.18  The chair stated that this sub-committee would look into estate recycling as a future item for scrutiny.


5.19  A member asked how fly tipping was being addressed in the borough? The cabinet member reported that we collected 2nd highest in the country, but reported tipping from the public had been greatly reduced. 97% of reported  tipping was cleared within 24 hours. The Head of Sustainable Services added that the number of calls for this request has fallen in recent time.



5.20  A member of the sub-committee asked what is being done to catch these fly tippers? The cabinet member explained that it takes a long time to put together a case and it is costly. However the council has issued 55 fixed penalties since April 2013. Officers also reported that they were currently prosecuting 3 cases as these individuals were persistent offenders in the borough.


5.21  A member asked are a majority of parking tickets issued to people parking here to get into London or local residents? The cabinet member reported that 80% of the tickets issued were to people who came from outside the borough with 20% issued to people with Southwark addresses.


5.22  A member asked about an audit of environmental performance within council buildings? The cabinet member reported that since July 2010 recycling in 160 Tooley Street and across the council had increased from 3% to 53%.  Carbon emissions have been reduced by 20.6% over the last 3 years. The figures are produced annually for central government as part of the carbon reduction commitment.


5.23  A member asked if there were any further targets? The cabinet member reported that there were interim targets up to 2025, and the carbon reduction target for 2050 was 80%.


5.24  The chair thanked councillor Hargrove for attending this evening’s meeting and answering members’ questions. 



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