Agenda and minutes

Transport, Economy, Environment and Enterprise Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 19th October, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Brierley Room, County Hall, Northallerton, DL7 8AD

Contact: Will Baines, Principal Democratic Services and Scrutiny Officer  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Caroline Goodrick, with Councillor George Jabbour attending as substitute.


Minutes of the Meeting held on 10 and 26 July 2023 pdf icon PDF 346 KB

Additional documents:


A minor amendment to the minutes of the meeting held on 10 July 2023 meeting was suggested.


Resolved –


Subject to a minor amendment, the minutes of the meeting held on the 10 and 26 July 2023, having been printed and circulated, be taken as read and confirmed by the Chair as a correct record.


Declarations of Interest

All Members are invited to declare at this point any interests they have in items appearing on this agenda, including the nature of those interests.


There were no declarations of interest.


Public Participation

Members of the public may ask questions or make statements at this meeting if they have given notice (to include the text of the question/statement) to Will Baines, Principal Democratic Services and Scrutiny Officer (contact details below) no later than midday on Monday 16 October. Each speaker should limit themselves to 3 minutes on any item.  Members of the public who have given notice will be invited to speak:-


·       At this point in the meeting if their questions/statements relate to matters which are not otherwise on the Agenda (subject to an overall time limit of 30 minutes);


·       When the relevant Agenda item is being considered if they wish to speak on a matter which is on the Agenda for this meeting.


If you are exercising your right to speak at this meeting, but do not wish to be recorded, please inform the Chair who will instruct those taking a recording to cease while you speak.



There were no public questions or statements.


Notice of Motion on improvements in water quality for improvements in health, wildlife, biodiversity and economy pdf icon PDF 577 KB

Additional documents:


Considered – Report of the Assistant Chief Executive (Legal and Democratic Services) presenting information to support the consideration of a motion regarding water quality for improvements in health, wildlife, biodiversity and economy.


In introducing the item, Hugh Clear Hill, Principal Environmental Policy Officer, addressed the committee, noting:


·       Water quality is a national issue of serious concern.


·       North Yorkshire Council is already involved in a number of projects and initiatives concerning the improvement of water quality.


·       Whilst the motion has a focus on the freshwater, the Council recently brought together stakeholders and partners for a water summit to look at the specific challenges with poor water quality in South Bay, Scarborough. This is one of a number of designated bathing water sites in the county. However, there are currently no designated bathing sites for freshwater in North Yorkshire, but there is pressure to increase the number of these.


·       The Leader of the Council recently wrote to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in support of a bathing water application for the River Nidd in Knaresborough.


·       There is a lot of positive activity ongoing, some of it already involving the water companies, such as at the River Foss and the River Leven to improve water quality by reducing the impact of sewage works.


·       A piece of work is ongoing to see what can be done about private sewage treatment, such as the use of septic tanks.


·       On the west of the county, work is taking place with partners to improve the River Ribble.


·       The position of North Yorkshire Council in complementing the ongoing activity to improve water quality and leading in areas where it can is key.


·       Although water policy is currently in a state of flux, there are potentially some very important steps coming forward, such as the ‘Plan for Water’ announced by the Government in April 2023, which promoted the use of a catchment approach to managing the water system and proposes unlimited fines for water companies, that would be earmarked specifically for a river restoration fund. Things are uncertain but are beginning to take shape.


·       As part of the development of a Local Nature Recovery Strategy, North Yorkshire Council, as the responsible authority, is working with seven other adjoining authorities. The existing river catchment partnerships are an important part of this.


·       A duty is coming in from January 2024 to report on all areas of council services to show we are at least protecting if not enhancing biodiversity.


Rachael Balmer, Planning Policy Team Leader (Ryedale), added:


·       As part of the ongoing local plan making process for North Yorkshire, there will be robust engagement with water companies on how we can properly address the impact of new development allocations on watercourses.


·       There is the concept of betterment, where a development is only required to mitigate the impact that it generates. When dealing with allocations, it is important to properly deal with all of the potential impacts regarding water usage, responding to climate change, public health  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Rural Connectivity Report pdf icon PDF 382 KB


This item was deferred.


York & North Yorkshire LEP Capital Investment Programme and Delivery Plan Review pdf icon PDF 299 KB

Additional documents:


This item was deferred.


Allerton Waste Recovery Park Performance Update pdf icon PDF 474 KB


Considered – Report of the Corporate Director – Environment with an update on Allerton Waste Recovery Park (AWRP) contractual performance since services commenced in 2018 and options for future decarbonisation.


Some of the key points highlighted in the report and presentation are as summarised below:


·       AWRP has been operational since 1 March 2018 and consists of a Mechanical Treatment (MT) plant, an Anaerobic Digester (AD) and Energy from Waste (EfW) facility to receive and treat residual waste from across York and North Yorkshire. Offices and a visitor centre is also on site. The facility can process up to 320,000 tonnes of waste per annum as per the planning permission.


At the end of 2022, HMT published draft legislation on the Electricity Generator Levy relating to a tax on exceptional profits. The EfW sector has been included as an industry that would be in scope.


·         Following a consultation exercise in March 2022, on 3 July 2023, the UK Government released a consultation response which looks to include Energy from Waste facilities in the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) from 2028.  It is proposed there will be a 2 year lead in period from 2026.  Further consultation is expected later in 2023.


·         The annual contract target is to recycle or compost a minimum of 5% of Contract Waste and to divert a minimum of 70% Contract Waste away from landfill.


·         The diversion of contract waste from landfill in 2022-23 was 92.64%. AWRP has performed well since services commenced and improved landfill diversion performance year on year. Currently two planned maintenance outages take place each year but AWRP is looking to move to annual maintenance shutdowns from 2025.


·         2022-23 recycling performance is the best since service commencement, although at 2.02% is still short of the 5% authority requirements. It is felt that Covid-19 and the energy crisis have resulted in difficult market conditions.


·         The recycling/composting performance for NYC for 2022-23 was 43.6% which is slightly above the mean derived from 26 other Waste Disposal Authorities.


·         Since operations commenced, AWRP has been operating just below forecast levels by circa 400 tonnes by working to ensure maximising inputs. Thalia/Yorwaste are working to secure more treatment capacity rather than sending to landfill when AWRP is not available.


·         Incineration of waste emits 25 times less greenhouse gasses than landfill, however as with a number of other industrial processes, does emit CO2 when treating waste. Since operations commenced, AWRP has treated over 1.5m tonnes of waste and saved over 330,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.


·         The waste team undertook a soft market testing exercise at the end of 2022 and had a number of responses from companies interested in responding to a tender to produce a feasibility study looking at options to decarbonise AWRP in the future.


Following this, comments and questions raised by the committee included:


·       How long do the scheduled closedown periods at Allerton Waste Recovery Park last and what happens to the waste delivered to the site during this period?


·       What arrangements are in place  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 264 KB

Additional documents:


Considered -


Report setting out the Committee Work Programme.


Resolved -


i)            That the current work programme be noted.

ii)          That updates on recycling harmonisation and PROWs be noted on the work programme as items for a future meeting.



Any other items

Any other items which the Chair agrees should be considered as a matter of urgency because of special circumstances.


There were no urgent items to be considered.