UPDATE 13 FEBRUARY 2024 – DECISION WITHDRAWN
The proposed decision initially published on the forward plan in December 2023 set out a provisional plan to extend existing arrangements as part of maintaining the status quo, pending the implementation of new legislation expected in 2025.
The existing agreements and payment arrangements under consideration were due to expire at the end of March 2024 in the case of the Gravesham Borough Council Inter Authority Agreement, or on 21 April 2024 for the agreement with the Mid Kent Waste Partnership. Taking account of the challenging financial circumstances facing Kent County Council and following consideration of the recommendation made by the Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee, the decision-maker has opted to not progress the published proposals. Related key considerations include the lack of statutory obligation on KCC to maintain the payments and arrangements and the absence of existing commitments to extend the agreements with the relevant District Councils.
As a consequence of this approach, the existing agreements will expire and payments to Districts will cease as of the end of March and 21 April 2024 respectively.
ORIGINAL CONTENT – published December 2023
It is proposed to extend the existing agreements to make enabling payments to Gravesham, Swale, Maidstone & Ashford Borough provided by Kent County Council to support and maintain service improvements in levels of recycling, which minimises cost to the County as the statutory Waste Disposal Authority specifically to approve continued payments to the Waste Collection Authorities limited to a maximum of two years with discretion to end earlier should Government introduce new legislation during this period that would make separation and recycling mandatory.
Reason for the decision
o KCC Waste Management operates in a two-tier system. KCC is the statutory Waste Disposal Authority (WDA), responsible for the receipt at Waste Transfer Stations (WTSs) and onward processing / disposal of household waste which is collected by the District and Borough councils as the Waste Collection Authorities (WCAs).
o The Mid Kent Waste Partnership covers Swale, Maidstone & Ashford Borough Councils and this agreement ends on 21st April 2024. The Gravesham Borough Council Inter Authority Agreement ends on 31st March 2024.
oThe Mid Kent Authorities receive fixed enabling payments which it is proposed remain for up to two years, these payments were agreed in 2012 and represent the contribution from the Disposal Authority to support the preferred collection method.
oThe enabling payments provided by KCC have supported service improvements delivering significant performance improvements in recycling rates across the three Mid Kent Authorities.
oNot to renew the contracts however this does not support KCC objectives to promote and support collection authorities to increase levels of kerbside recycling, to support improving environmental outcomes, to meet resident expectation that also serve to reduce waste disposal costs.
oTo extend the contracts by more than two years or to have an extension option. However it is expected these arrangements will be superseded by fundamental legislative changes planned to be introduced in 2025/26 as part of the Resources and Waste strategy which is integral to delivering the targets within the Environment Act 2021.
How the proposed decision supports Framing Kent’s Future 2022-2026:
Priority 3: Environmental step change. Our commitment is to consider Kent’s environment as a core asset that is valued, strengthened and protected.
How the proposed decision supports Securing Kent’ Future
The budget for this work is covered within existing budgets and will not be an additional financial burden to KCC.
Increased levels of recycling performance minimises the cost to KCC as the Waste Disposal Authority resulting in less expenditure at the Allington Energy from Waste Plant.
Decision type: Key
Decision status: Withdrawn
Notice of proposed decision first published: 19/12/2023
Decision due: Not before 17th Jan 2024 by Leader of the Council
Reason: To allow 28 day notice period required under Exeuctive Decision regulations
Lead member: Leader of the Council
Lead director: Matthew Smyth
Department: Growth, Environment & Transport
Updated – 13 February 2024:
The proposed decision was being considered by members of Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee at their meeting on 11 January 2024.
Members of the Cabinet Committee voted by majority decision to recommend to the Cabinet Member that:
(i) the funds shown in paragraph 5.1 on page 296 of the agenda are not paid to the four two-tier local authorities and
(ii) not to make any delegations to enter into new contracts or other legal agreements The Cabinet Committee endorsed the recommendation that the Director for Environment and Circular Economy to bring new policy arrangements to this Committee within two years, should new legislation be implemented as planned by DEFRA
Financial implications: The payments below are within the budgeted expenditure and will be reviewed when the new funding streams are introduced because of new legislation as described above. - Gravesham BC £400,000 p.a - Ashford BC £272,000 p.a - Maidstone BC £333,900 p.a - Swale BC £297,900 p.a The budget plan assumes that levels of recycling performance is maintained by Waste Collection Authorities.
Legal implications: The requirement of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 S.45a requires that these agreements should be renewed as all Collection Authorities still provide waste collection services that are more comprehensive than the required two types of separate recycling as per the EPA 1990. Environmental Protection (Waste Recycling Payments) Regulations 2006 requires that the payments to be made by a WDA under section 52(1) or (3) of the EPA shall consist of such amounts representing the authority’s net saving of expenditure on the disposal of the waste as are determined in accordance with these Regulations.
Equalities implications: Equalities implications: An Equality Impact Assessment has been carried out and as this is not a public facing service there is no potential for discrimination, this is a business-to-business proposal. Data Protection implications: There is no personal data collected or exchanged and no implications under GDPR.