Agenda item


To receive petitions, comments and questions from the public, including Grant Applicants and:


Anni Sander – Plastic Free Hitchin

James Willis – Hitchin Creatives


The Chair invited Ann Sander from Plastic Free Hitchin to give a verbal presentation for Members.


The Chair invited Haziq Patel from Hitchin Mosque to give a verbal presentation for Members.



Danny Pearson informed Members that the two grant applicants for this evening have both cancelled yesterday, in summary:


·         The Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living approached the Letchworth committee two weeks ago and were advised to get a third quote. They were hoping they would get a new quote but they haven’t so they have pulled out this evening until they hear back form the Letchworth committee and they may defer to December or the new year.

·         NCT were successful in a Tesco blue chip grant and they want to come back in December.


Councillor Ian Albert informed Members that James Willis from Hitchin Creatives was also meant to be in attendance but will hopefully come to the December meeting instead. He also reminded Members the exhibition will be open in the museum on Friday.  


Councillor Ian Albert gave a statement in support of the Plastic Free Initative which read:


North Hertfordshire Council fully supports the work Plastic Free Hitchin and other groups are doing in our local community. Over the past year both officers and councillors have supported Plastic Free Hitchin. This includes:

- Publicising and sharing of activities online and in council newsletters.

- Providing a venue for the recent Pre-loved Uniform Pop-up Shop in Bancroft Gardens.

- Collecting the waste gathered during July's litter pick on Windmill Hill

- A regular call between key councillors and officers and all waste reduction initiatives in the district, to facilitate collaboration across towns.

The council is regularly participating in communication campaigns to educate residents around the issues around waste and plastic in particular. Furthermore the council is currently reviewing it's waste collection regime to encourage residents further to reduce their waste.

North Hertfordshire Council is looking forward to continuing its work with Plastic Free Hitchin in future.


The Chair invited Ann Sander, Plastic Free Hitchin, to give a verbal presentation which included:


·         We got accredited and we have been working towards the plastic free community framework. It is a mature framework that towns, cities and neighbourhoods can enter to get accredited. We got the certificate in July so we can advertise as a plastic free community. We worked towards 5 objectives to achieve this.

·         5th objective was a steering group

·         The idea is to have bigger ideas and look at the real issues around waste and single use plastic around the town and how we can solve this

·         The key things that came up in the meeting were a deposit scheme for coffee cups and takeaway containers

·         We will meet 4 times a year

·         4th objective was to run a certain amount of events

·         We exceeded this and going forward to be considered an active plastic free community you have to run 3 events a year. We have done 10 so far and we are planning to do 12 over the next couple months.

·         We did a uniform pop up whichw as one of our biggest and most well known event. Over 1000 garments were reused and we raised over £1400 for local schools which got distributed. We want to allow more schools to participate and there has been some interest from secondary schools.

·         The next event will be the Halloween costume swap in the market square.

·         We want to do a similar thing with Christmas jumpers.

·         Eco day was really successful in the summer and we are hoping to do it next year

·         Another really successful event was the repair café. We have hosted 3 of these this year. The most restrictive factor right now is volunteers and we are looking for more repairers. We are hoping to increase numbers to run 4 or 5 events if we can find enough volunteers. The last event was booked up within 3 days and we repaired over 100 items in the last year.

·         3rd objective was community allies

·         This is any organisation, group or hub that isn’t a business.

·         We have to work with 30 allies across the town which included the library, swimming pool, brownie and guide groups and all secondary schools signed up

·         All allies have to sign a pledge that they support the cause and to look at their own use of single use plastic and to educate and participate in events

·         Some allies are more active than others

·         2nd objective was businesses

·         We had to get 12 to sign up. Currently we have 15 signed up and lots were interested

·         There are 3 that are going through the accreditation process themselves. It is harder for allies to do it. Tey have to prove they are reducing single use plastic. Once they prove this they are awarded the plastic free champion status.

·         They have recently introduced a tier system of bronze, silver and gold.

·         We are working with businesses to ger accredited to a hihgh standard. We plan to engage with at least 6 but a lot are keen to do it

·         1st objective was working with the Council

·         Plastic free Letchworth led the way and the Council passed a motion to support the plastic free framework

·         We have bi-annual meetings with Councillors and officers to talk about different plastic free initiatives and other waste initiatuves across the district and where the Council can support our work

·         This is going really well and North Herts is one of the more active Councils

·         If the Councillors could fill in the survey and provide some feedback it would be appreciated.


Councillor Judi Billing highlighted that we have been engaging more with schools about local democracy. We have found primary schools are very enthusiastic but secondary schools need longer to engage fully.


Councillor Val Bryant mentioned that herself and Councillor Dennis-Harburg are part of the plastic free initiative. She attended the repair café and it was really positive and how you can repair things yourself and continue to use them. Hopefully we can increase engagement


The Chair thanked Ann Sander for her presentation.