Agenda and minutes

Community Select Committee - Wednesday, 16th November, 2022 6.30 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Rachel Rourke Telephone: 01298 28400 ex. 2139  Email:


No. Item


Any matters referred to the Committee under the call-in procedure




Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 220 KB




That the minutes of the meeting held on 5 October 2022 be approved as a correct record.


Select Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 183 KB


An update to the Handy Van Service was requested.


A report around parking responsibilities / enforcement was also requested.




That, subject to the above, the Select Committee Work Programme be noted.




PC Refurb - Presentation


Helen Melhuish gave a presentation which outlined the work of PCrefurb, whose aim was to bridge the digital divide in High Peak and Tameside.  This was done through the refurbishment of donated IT equipment to be provided to those in need, together with teaching basic digital skills.  The service was provided through volunteer engagement and also reduced environmental waste through IT reuse and recycling.  The group was set up in 2018 through the Life Skills Project rub by The Bureau and has since being registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation and a Microsoft Refurbisher.  Equipment distribution has increased and outreach home visits begun.  In 2020 a five year grant was received from the National Lottery and the organisation was approached by T&G NHS to develop and deliver the Digital Wellbeing Project which delivers digital skills training and/or equipment to the digitally excluded in Tameside and Glossop.  Corporate and referral partnerships were also developed. This year, NHS funding has been secured for the continuation of the Digital Wellbeing Project, the organisation’s infrastructure is being strengthened and the group was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service which is the highest award for voluntary groups in the UK.  Now the organisation has a Board of Trustees, seven staff members, 70+ volunteers, 60+ referral organisations and established corporate supporters and partners.  In terms of impact, the organisation had received over 800 referral requests, distributed 1288 items of equipment and provided over 702 hours of digital skills training which had benefitted thousands of people.  Challenges included funding, premises, appropriate equipment donations and supporting clients with connectivity issues due to the cost of living.  Future plans, subject to funding, included increased digital skills training, further develop partnerships, further support job seekers.


In response to a query, members were advised that there is information on the website around which items of equipment are appropriate to donate to enable the equipment to be reused.  It was also confirmed that PCrefurb were working with Zink to support the distribution of equipment to refugees.


Opportunities for the council to link up with the charity were discussed.  The Leader made reference to work being undertaken by Customer Services around Digital Isolation, and there may be opportunity for joint work around digital training, which would be explored in the near future.  In addition, the Council’s IT strategy is due to be reviewed which would establish whether there is any surplus equipment that could be donated.  Future challenges around space and transport was discussed.


Helen was thanked for her attendance and presentation.




That the report be noted.


AES Annual Performance Review - presentation


Kevin Melling from AES, was in attendance to provide members with an overview of AES Service Delivery and performance during 21/22 and a look forward to future developments.


Regarding employees, there had been some difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff but this had not particularly impacted service delivery and the situation was now improving.  In response, to a query, measures being undertaken to address recruitment and retention of staff were set out.  A ‘Grow your own’ approach to training for Team Leaders and HGV drivers and been established to protect and create jobs.  Pressures around inflationary pressures and covid recovery issues were reported.


Services had been maintained throughout the pandemic with collections delayed rather than suspended and all fleet inspections and MOTs had been completed despite covid and supplier challenges.  Colllective in-cab technology was now live, which gives real time information, and ICT systems had been introduced to digitally record playground and open space inspections.  Work had continued within communities and schools and AES had been shortlisted for two awards.


Performance results were reported with the waste and fleet outturn performance being reported as 99.96% successful collections. The recycling outturn was 47.5% against a target of 50.5% due to changes in work patterns.  Around Street Cleansing, Grounds and Parks, over 230 community clean up campaigns and 99.6% annual playground inspections had been undertaken.  Flytipping had increased. 


Regarding finance, AES had £484,000 in retained reserves and £859,000 had been returned to the authority.  Additional management fee payments had also been agreed due to the pay award and covid 19 costs.  Total combined savings of £1,088,000 were reported to 31.3.22.


Future developments included HVO roll out during the second half of 22/23 to deliver economies of scale, carbon reduction and improved air quality.  Open space management and diversity matters continue including the #NoMowMay pilot.  Contracts and procurement work is on-going and reference was made to global supply chain pressures and on-going consideration of Resources & Waste Strategy, further information on which was awaited.  An update around the journey towards carbon neutral 203 was given.  Commercial challenges and opportunities were being investigated together with the potential for wider growth and expansion.


In response to a query regarding the trial of recycling bins, members were advised that the results of the trial showed that there was a lot of contamination, market research was being undertaken around intelligent bins and underground systems.

Regarding the lack of incentives for business recycling, it was noted that once the National Resource and Recycling Strategy was launched, all small businesses with 6 or more employees would be obliged to recycle which would provide commercial opportunities for AES.


It was queried whether the use of peat in land management could be stopped altogether, a response on which would be forwarded to members.


Discussion ensured around the use of cameras to deter flytipping and information on the particular area would be forwarded to AES direct.


Reference was made to the proposed nature walks around Hogshaw, information would be provided around how to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23/28


Private Sector Housing Update - verbal update


This item would be deferred to the next meeting.


Any questions referred to the Executive Member




Exclusion of Press and Public

To resolve that the press and public are excluded from the following item of business as there may be disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part I of Schedule 12A Local Government Act 1972




That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business as there may be disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part I of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.


Exempt minutes of the previous meeting




That the exempt minutes of the meeting held on 5 October 2022 be approved as a correct record.