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Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Chamber - City Hall, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR

Contact: Lucy Fleming 

Link: Watch Live Webcast

No. Item


Welcome, Introductions and Safety Information pdf icon PDF 103 KB


The Chair welcomed attendees to the meeting and drew attention to the emergency evacuation procedure.



Apologies for absence.


It was noted that apologies had been received from Cllrs Geoffrey Gollop, Graham Morris, Barry Parsons and Steve Pearce.



Declarations of Interest

To note any declarations of interest from the Councillors.  They are asked to indicate the relevant agenda item, the nature of the interest and in particular whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest.


Any declarations of interest made at the meeting which is not on the register of interests should be notified to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion.






Minutes of the previous meeting. pdf icon PDF 267 KB

Minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board meeting held on 14th February to follow.


It was noted that as the previous meeting had taken place on 14 February, the minutes would be considered for approval as a correct record at the next OSMB meeting.



Chair's Business

To note any announcements from the Chair


The Chair commented that the purpose of this meeting was to scrutinise the Bristol Waste Business Plan.  It had, however, been brought to his attention that there were reports regarding allegations of fraud and other inappropriate activity relating to Bristol Waste’s operations.  He had been informed by the Chief Executive that some of these allegations were still being investigated and some had been passed to the police and were now the subject of an investigation which was being supported by both the Council and Bristol Waste.  Until the investigation was completed, it would be inappropriate for OSMB members to discuss the matter further, but it was his expectation that OSMB members would be kept informed of the situation given the importance of Bristol Waste’s operations to the organisation and to residents.


The Chief Executive added that Bristol Waste would provide a comprehensive assurance statement to the Audit Committee in July; OSMB members would be welcome to either include this item within their work programme or attend the July Audit Committee meeting.  He also advised that, in previous years, Bristol Holding Limited had provided assurance, on behalf of all the Council owned companies, through an annual review of the (Bristol Holding) audit & risk committee; the annual review report considered at the Bristol City Council Audit Committee in July 2022 had contained reference to the alleged fraud that was subject to the ongoing investigation.



Public Forum pdf icon PDF 154 KB

Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item


Any member of the public or Councillor may participate in Public Forum.  The detailed arrangements for so doing are set out in the Public Information Sheet at the back of this agenda.  Public Forum items should be emailed to and please note that the following deadlines will apply in relation to this meeting:-


Questions - Written questions must be received 3 clear working days prior to the meeting.  For this meeting, this means that your question(s) must be received in this office at the latest by 5 pm on Monday 27th February.


Petitions and Statements - Petitions and statements must be received on the working day prior to the meeting.  For this meeting this means that your submission must be received in this office at the latest by 12.00 noon on Thursday 2nd March




It was noted that 6 questions had been submitted by Cllr Gollop in relation to agenda item 7 - Company Business Plans - Bristol Waste.


The questions and replies are set out below, together with the details of supplementary questions asked by Cllr Eddy on Cllr Gollop’s behalf, and the replies given at the meeting:


Questions from Cllr Gollop:

Preamble: I received notification on Friday 10February from Companies House that the interim Managing Director ceased to be a director of Bristol Waste on 12 January 2023. Given that this departure was in the middle of the business planning process for 23/24 my questions are as follows:


Q1. What date were OSMB members notified of the delay in receiving the Bristol Waste Business plan?


Written response:

The Chair of OSMB and Democratic Services were notified of the expected delay on 26 January, when it was agreed the item would be rescheduled and OSMB members notified.


Q2. Why were we not advised at the time of the departure of the interim Managing Director?


Written response:

OSMB members would not usually be notified at the time of a change in Board membership; however, the Chair of OSMB was advised on 12 January at the joint quarterly briefing with the Chair of Audit. The matter was also reported to the Shareholder group (which the Chair of OSMB attends as observer) on the 16 January.


Supplementary question from Cllr Eddy:

Why was an exempt briefing for key relevant members not arranged about the Managing Director change?


Response from Chair, Board of Directors, Bristol Waste:

The Shareholder was briefed; this was an internal Bristol Waste matter. In these circumstances, OSMB has not usually been briefed; correct governance procedure was followed to brief the Council via the Shareholder route.


Q3. What management arrangements are now in place?


Written response:

The current management arrangements are an Interim MD (an Independent NED has stepped into the role whilst a permanent MD is recruited), and 5 other directors.


Supplementary question from Cllr Eddy:

What is the expected timetable for the permanent appointment of a MD?


Response from Chair, Board of Directors, Bristol Waste:

Recruitment was started in mid-December; the process will be followed through and it is anticipated that an MD will be in place in the summer. Until then, one of the Non- Executive Directors, with extensive waste and facilities management experience, has stepped into the MD role.


Q4. Will the Business Plan be available for scrutiny and for Cabinet approval in line with the revised timetable?


Written response:

The Cabinet approval date remains 7 March. The OSMB date for review has been moved to 3 March to ensure that the public and members have the full amount of time to review the papers.


Q5. Am I right in understanding that Bristol Waste has had three Managing Directors since it was incorporated?


Written response:

There have been four, including the current post-holder.


Supplementary question from Cllr Eddy:

Does the Chair agree that to lose one MD is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Companies Business Plans: Bristol Waste pdf icon PDF 233 KB

Additional documents:


The Board reviewed the Bristol Waste Company Limited Business Plan 2023/24.


The Chair, Board of Directors, Bristol Waste and the Finance Director, Bristol Waste presented the Business Plan with reference to a slide presentation that was included in the published agenda papers.

It was noted that key points highlighted via the presentation included:

- Successes over the last 12 months, including the new Hartcliffe Way household reuse and recycling centre (HRRC), a new HRRC booking system, improved recycling and a 13% reduction in household waste, and implementation of the ‘village’ approach to recycling.

- Corporate governance and stewardship improvements.

- An outline of the one-year plan for the next financial year, covering municipal waste, workplace services and commercial waste.

- A summary of the 2023/24 company position.


Points raised/noted in OSMB member questioning of Bristol Waste representatives:


1. Details of the 2021/22 audited statutory accounts had been sent to members in advance of the meeting.  In response to questions, it was noted that these accounts did not impact on the viability of the one-year Business Plan that would be taken forward from 1 April 2023.   In response to further questioning, the Bristol Waste Finance Director stated that the company was currently financially resilient and would remain so provided that the company could meet the challenges ahead (including inflationary pressures) and make the efficiencies and changes required for next year and beyond.  Cash reserves at the end of the current financial year were estimated at £5.5million with an estimated operating profit for 2023/24 of £433,000.   The Bristol Holding Ltd Group Finance Director commented that, in his view, the one-year Business Plan was robust and achievable.

2. Whilst noting the process followed in relation to communications around the recent departure of the Bristol Waste interim Managing Director and establishment of new interim company management arrangements, members nevertheless felt it would have been appropriate for clear information to have been communicated to the full OSMB membership on this matter at an earlier point.  Members noted that the recruitment process for a permanent Managing Director was underway and that it was anticipated that the new appointee would be in post by the summer.


3. Members noted that the one-year Business Plan was a departure from the usual five-year period.  Some member concerns were expressed about the impact this could have on local residents due to uncertainty about services they would receive in the future.  Members felt there was insufficient early communication with them about the issues that led to the production of a one-year plan.  


4. Members also felt that it was difficult to reconcile a one-year Business Plan with the recognised need to take forward longer term improvements, including plans for workforce development so that the company maintained and developed further the skills and expertise needed to operate effectively as a ‘Teckal’ company.


5. Members noted and welcomed a commitment given by Bristol Waste representatives to move forward as quickly as possible with the development of the longer-term Business Plan,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Exclusion of Press and Public

That under s.100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item(s) of business on the grounds that it (they) involve(s) the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of schedule 12A of the Act.



That under section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of schedule 12A of the Act.



Companies Business Plan: Bristol Waste - EXEMPT


During the exempt session of this meeting, a number of questions were asked of Bristol Waste representatives, and were responded, to in connection with risk issues and also to clarify some points of financial detail.



At the conclusion of the meeting, it was noted that the Chair would submit a summary of OSMB members’ comments to the 7 March Cabinet meeting.