Agenda and minutes

Special, Thriving Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 21st March, 2023 1.30 pm

Venue: Hybrid - Neuadd Cyngor Ceredigion, Penmorfa, Aberaeron / remotely via video conferrence

Contact: Lisa Evans 

No. Item




Councillor Bryan Davies, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Democratic Services, Policy, Performance and People and Organisation apologised for his inability to attend the meeting.


Disclosures of personal interest (including whipping declarations) Members are reminded of their personal responsibility to declare any personal and prejudicial interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act 2000, the Council’s Constitution and the Members Code of Conduct. In addition, Members must declare any prohibited party whip which the Member has been given in relation to the meeting as per the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011.


There were no disclosures of Personal and Prejudicial Interests (including whipping declarations) from Committee Members.


Waste Collection Service pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Additional documents:


The Chair explained that the purpose of the meeting was to listen to the reasons why the disruption to the Waste Collection Service occurred in December 2022, and to try and find a way forward to resolve the issues impacting the service.


Eifion Evans, Chief Executive thanked the Chair and the Committee for their patience in allowing officers to focus on the budget before arranging today’s meeting. It was acknowledged there had been a disruption to the service in December 2022, which created a sense of disagreement among the public. The Waste Collection Service provided an excellent service, and the staff were praised for their willingness to continue to collect waste during the Covid-19 outbreak. Several factors contributed to the disruption in December 2022 and the context of what happened would be outlined in due course along with several options to try and resolve the issues, but it was important to note that staff were not at fault. Officers have been challenged consistently by elected members, who have been challenged by members of the public regarding the matter and several discussions have taken place between officers and political party leaders.


In terms of the Waste Collection Service, approximately 28 staff were employed at each of the 2 operational depots, and due to the nature of their contracts, a maximum of 4 members of staff would be allowed to be on leave at any one time, not taking staff sickness into account. As Bank and ‘company’ holidays (three fixed leave days between Christmas and New Year) were currently worked on a voluntary overtime basis, officers had been  unable to adequately cover the service during these periods. Historically, there was greater resilience in the service but in the past decade, there had been a loss of £72 million of core funding from the Welsh Government (WG) and 750 jobs across Council services. When there were no issues, the service ran effectively and efficiently with a very high level of reliability, but the ability to respond to emergencies proved challenging. Senior Officers emphasised continually that unless an individual had the appropriate training, qualifications and experience, a member of staff could not undertake a role such as driving or loading a Refuse Collection Vehicle (RCV).


Barry Rees, Corporate Director explained that three separate episodes accounted for the disruption in December 2022:


1.      The severe weather, where officers prioritised the gritting as opposed to the waste collection in order to ensure the health and safety of the public. At the same time, support was provided to Welsh Water to distribute water during the water outage, particularly in the south of the County.

2.      Collections during Christmas/ New Year's were impacted due to the nature of contracts in place and 3 fixed leave days to which staff were entitled, resulting in staff shortage.

3.      The third episode of disruption was again due to the impact of the severe weather.


Although it was possible to plan for poor weather, it was not possible to foresee when it  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


To confirm the Minutes of the previous Meeting and to consider any matters arising from those Minutes pdf icon PDF 78 KB


It was agreed to confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 10 February 2023.


Matters arising: None.