Agenda and minutes

Service Delivery Committee
Tuesday, 17th January, 2017 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Council Offices. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Email: democratic.services@oadby-wigston.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

30.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor Dr T K Khong.

31.

Appointment of Substitutes

To appoint substitute Members in accordance with Rule 4 of Part 4 of the Constitution.

Minutes:

Councillor R E Fahey substituted for Councillor Dr T K Khong.

32.

Declarations of Interest

Members are reminded that any declaration of interest should be made having regard to the Members’ Code of Conduct. In particular, Members must make clear the nature of the interest and whether it is 'pecuniary' or ‘non-pecuniary'.

Minutes:

None.

33.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 11 October 2016 pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To read, confirm and sign the minutes of the previous meeting in accordance with Rule 17 of Part 4 of the Constitution.

Minutes:

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The minutes of the previous meeting of the Committee held on 11 October 2016 be taken as read, confirmed and signed.

34.

Action List Arising from the Meeting held on 11 October 2016 DOCX 31 KB

Minutes:

The Chair enquired as to whether the necessary discussions and actions had taken place in respect the feasibility of developing the open space at Wigston Road, Oadby for additional car parking provision (Minute Reference 8 – Leisure Services Update).

 

The Director of Services / Monitoring Officer advised that Planning Officers were due to attend the site in question during week-ending 19 January to assess the same.

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The Action List be noted by Members.

35.

Petitions and Deputations

To receive any Petitions and, or, Deputations in accordance with Rule 24 of Part 4 of the Constitution.

35a

Modernise the Hill Field Play-Area in Oadby Grange e-Petition pdf icon PDF 243 KB

Minutes:

Mr Sanjay Mistry presented and spoke upon the e-Petition at agenda item 6a.

 

The Petitioner stated that the existing play-area was outdated, its configuration did not fully utilise the space available and the play-equipment installed was limited during inclement weather, ambiguous as to its use and, or, was not disability-friendly. With reference to a document tabled at the meeting entitled ‘Modernise Florence Wragg Play Area’, Mr Mistry cited a number of costed proposals that sought to better optimise the space available, to modernise the play-equipment and to improve the security and hygiene of the enclosure. The proposed modernisation was said to want to provide local children and their families with a safer, more accessible and inclusive play-area and to further promote the exercise and well-being of young children.

 

Councillors G A Gamble and J Kaufman commended the e-Petition and the pro-active approach taken by the local community in addressing a community need. 

 

Councillor Miss A R Bond suggested that the necessary funding could be sought from funds available to the Oadby Residents’ Forum or by residents’ donations.

 

Councillor J W Boyce stated that the e-Petition was to be duly noted and he was confident that some of the modernisation requested was possible through the Capital Programme. He advised that any action(s) to be taken was to be progressed in the new financial year with an anticipated completion date by the following year (2018).

36.

Committee Revised Financial Position 2016/17 and Draft Budget 2017/18 DOCX 118 KB

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report (at pages 14 - 17) as delivered and summarised by the Interim Finance and Accountancy Manager which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

Councillor J W Boyce moved the recommendations en bloc as set out at paragraph 2 of the report (at page 14).

 

Councillor K J Loydall seconded the recommendations.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

(i)     The revised General Fund Revenue Budget position for 2016/17 (as set out at paragraph 4.1. of report) be considered;

(ii)    The Committee’s draft General Fund Revenue Budget for 2017/18 (as set out at paragraph 4.2. of report) be recommend to the Policy, Finance and Development Committee.

37.

Housing Finance Update DOCX 95 KB

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report (at pages 18 - 19) as delivered and summarised by the Interim Finance and Accountancy Manager which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Chair moved the recommendation as set out at paragraph 2 of the report (at page 18).

 

The Vice-Chair seconded the recommendation.

 

Councillor Mrs L M Broadley acknowledged the benefit to be enjoyed by social tenants in respect of the 1% rent reductions on dwellings for 2017/18. She further noted that there was an ever-increasing and significant disparity between social and private-sector tenants as a result of the Government’s inaction to regulate the high rental rates for dwellings within the private-sector which, in conjunction with insufficient levels of housing stock, forced prospective renters out of the market.

 

Councillor K J Loydall commended the bringing-up of the Council’s housing stock to the Decent Homes Standard under the Capital Programme. He further noted the lack of comparable standards enforceable against private-sector dwellings, reiterating the same concerns raised by Councillor Mrs L M Broadley, and called upon the Local Government Association to advocate the re-introduction of private-rent regulations. The Member expressed his cynicism towards private-sector influence(s) upon public-sector services, as promoted by the Government, and wished to see self-regulatory powers returned to local government so to give effect to principles of localism.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

(i)     The report be noted by Members; and

(ii)    The new levels of rent and service charges (as set out at paragraphs 4 and 5 of the report) be recommended to the Policy Finance and Development Committee.

 

Votes For                   10

Votes Against            0

Abstentions               3

38.

Community Services Update DOCX 86 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report and appendix (at pages 20 - 31) as delivered and summarised by the Interim Community Services Manager which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Interim Community Services Manager added that:

 

(i)     Access had since been gained to one of the two outstanding properties where the gas safety certificate had expired and that the gas supply to the other property had since been capped-off due to inoccupation and the improbability of the tenant returning. A 100% compliance rate was, therefore, reported; and

(ii)    A total of 12 initial expressions of interests had been received in respect of the Borough Wide Cleaning Contract (BWCC) from which, and subject to Members’ approval, a shortlist of 6 companies would be compiled to invite to tender.

 

Councillor J W Boyce moved the recommendations en bloc set out at paragraphs 2.1 to 2.3 of the report (at page 20).

 

Councillor D M Carter seconded the recommendations.

 

Councillor K J Loydall seconded the recommendations.

 

Councillor L A Bentley enquired as to: (a) why the second property had been capped-off; and (b) whether the existing cleaning staff were protected under the BWCC tendering process. He stated that there was insufficient information contained in the report regarding dog fouling and fly-tipping to make a full assessment. The Member suggested that the Council ought to make better use of its prosecutorial powers towards irresponsible dog-owners, explore feasible methods to identify dog-owners and introduce a singular means for the public to report dog-fouling incidents.

 

The Interim Community Services Manager advised that the tenant of the second property had been admitted to the Bradgate Mental Health Unit, Leicester and that the gas-supply unit was capped in accordance with gas safety regulations. He confirmed that the existing cleaning staff had been informed of the BWCC tendering process and were to be employed by any external contractor upon the same terms and conditions. He stated a full report regarding dog-fouling and fly-tipping would be brought to the next meeting of the Committee.

 

 Councillor L M Broadley commended the prospect of a BWCC in-house bid. The Member denounced the decision taken by Leicestershire County Council (LCC) to top-slice the 2016-17 funding for Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG’s) to whom responsibility for any service delay/failures ought to be imputed. The year-on-year discretionary top-up funding provided by this Council, although laudable, was said to be unnecessarily diverting resources from other essential projects in the Borough.

 

Councillor Mrs S Z Haq enquired as to the approximate timescale of a CPO approval.

 

The Director of Services / Monitoring Officer advised that, subject to the Secretary of State’s approval, the process could take between 6-18 months due to its complexity.

 

Councillor K J Loydall stated that there was an online reporting procedure for dog-fouling via the Community Safety Partnership page(s) and suggested that a record of all reported incidents ought to be collated to indentify problem-areas. In respect of the BWCC, he noted the historical failures of awarding  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.

39.

Proposed Works at Elizabeth Court, Wigston DOCX 68 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report and appendix (at pages 32 - 45) as delivered and summarised by the Interim Community Services Manager which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Interim Community Services Manager added that there were some lifestyle issues contributing to the causes of the dampness, mould-growth and condensation and, therefore, as part of the works project, the Council was to run an education programme for tenants on ways to mitigate the potential causes of the same. It was further noted that Low Carbon Exchange (LCE) was one of only a limited number of companies accredited and experienced to carry out cavity wall extraction.

 

Councillor Mrs L M Broadley moved the recommendations en bloc set out at paragraphs 2.1 to 2.3 of the report (at page 32).

 

Councillor K J Loydall seconded the recommendations.

 

Members collectively commended the report on behalf of affected residents.

 

Councillor L A Bentley asked whether the proposed works were to be funded through the Housing Revenue Account (HRA). He stated that the best value-for-money and quality was essential due to the significant investment required and requested that all future reports to be brought to this Committee be fully-costed accordingly.

 

The Interim Community Services Manager answered affirmatively, reiterating that the majority of the proposed works were to be funded either party or wholly by underspend on the External Wall Insulation (EWI) contract. He assured Members’ that the proposed works were to be tendered competitively.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

(i)        The remedial solutions (as outlined in Option 2 of the report) be approved subject to carrying out a more detailed and in depth technical survey;

(ii)       The existing windows be replaced and financed by bringing forward expenditure from future provision contained in the 30 year business plan; and

(iii)      The cost of the works to be partly or wholly funded through the under spend on the External Wall Insulation (EWI) Contract and the works to be procured by a variation to the existing EWI contract.

40.

Contract Completion Report - Boulter Crescent, Wigston DOCX 65 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report and appendix (at pages 46 - 53) as delivered and summarised by the Interim Community Services Manager which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

Councillor K J Loydall moved the recommendation set out at paragraph 2 of the report (at page 46).

 

The Chair seconded the recommendation.

 

Councillor K J Loydall commended the success of the Community Flat and enquired as to whether there were plans for its inclusion for weekend use.

 

The Interim Community Services Manager advised there was some sporadic weekend use. It was said that the long-term plan was to continue to work closely with residents’ groups and the community with a view to handing over responsibility.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The contents of the report be noted by Members.

41.

Fixed-Term Tenancies DOCX 70 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report and appendix (at pages 54 - 60) as delivered and summarised by the Housing Services Manager which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Housing Services Manager added that the report reflected the mandatory imposition of regulatory governance on behalf of the Government. He stated that by granting the maximum 10-year term, it would provide all tenants with a greater sense of belongingness and would assist in continuing to strengthen community cohesion.

 

Councillor Mrs L M Broadley moved the recommendations en bloc set out at paragraph 2.1 and 2.2 of the report (at page 54).

 

Councillor D M Carter seconded the recommendations.

 

Councillor Mrs L M Broadley denounced the Government’s decision stating that there were other means to achieving the same objectives intended by the legislation. She noted the importance attached to social housing by tenants as being considered as a “home”. She asked that the matter continue to be reviewed with a view to extend.

 

Councillors J W Boyce asked whether the legislation removed tenants’ rights under the Right to Buy (RTB) scheme. He stated that if tenants’ rights subsisted, it would worsen the situation in respect of the depletion of the Council’s housing stock.

 

The Housing Services Manager advised that qualifying tenants would continue to enjoy the right(s) granted to them under the RTB scheme.

 

Councillor Mrs S Z Haq enquired as to the effect(s) of any tenancy changes upon the calculation of any discount awarded under the RTB scheme.

 

The Housing Services Manager advised that the discount would be calculated over the aggregate term spent in Council-owned/Housing Association accommodation.

 

Councillor K J Loydall asked whether tenancies could be extended in perpetuity.

 

The Housing Services Manager advised a final decision regarding tenancy extensions was awaited, however believed that such was to be the case.

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

(i)     The latest position in terms of Fixed-Term Tenancies be noted by Members; and

(ii)    The maximum 10-year term for all lettings affected by the changes be agreed.

42.

Homelessness Reduction Bill Update DOCX 70 KB

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report (at pages 61 - 63) as delivered and summarised by the Housing Services Manager which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Housing Services Manager added that the Bill introduced a myriad of obligations incumbent upon the Council requiring additional resources to facilitate. The additional funding to be provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) was said to likely be insufficient to cover the added-costs. He stated that a renewed emphasis was to be placed upon preventative work to ensure that the necessary action was taken to reduce homelessness in a cost-effective manner.

 

The Chair moved the recommendations en bloc set out at paragraph 2.1 and 2.2 of the report (at page 61).

 

Councillor Mrs L M Broadley seconded the recommendations.

 

Councillor Mrs L M Broadley noted the intimate relationship between this agenda item and the foregoing agenda item insofar as the risk of homelessness as consequence of a tenancy terminating. She commended the report as means to securing the necessary objectives notwithstanding the additional burdens.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

(i)        The implications of the Homeless Reduction Bill be noted; and

(ii)       The impact on the Housing Options Team due to the increased level of homelessness (as outlined in paragraph 4 of the report) be noted.

43.

Oadby and Wigston Tree Strategy - Public Consultation Draft pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report and appendices (at pages 64 - 120) as delivered and summarised by the Director of Services / Monitoring Officer which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

Councillor J W Boyce moved the recommendations en bloc set out at paragraphs 2.1.1 to 2.1.4 of the report (at page 64).

 

Councillor K J Loydall seconded the recommendation.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

(i)        The report be noted by Members;

(ii)       A programme of public consultations regarding the current draft document be authorised;

(iii)      The Planning, Development and Regeneration Manager be authorised to make any further minor changes to the draft text that might arise from those intended consultations; and

(iv)      The Planning, Development and Regeneration Manager be instructed to report further to this Committee to authorise formal adoption of the finished document.

44.

Leisure Services Update DOCX 132 KB

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report (at pages 121 - 127) as delivered and summarised by the Director of Services / Monitoring Officer which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

Councillor Mrs L M Broadley moved the recommendation as set out at paragraph 2 of the report (at page 121).

 

The Chair seconded the recommendation.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The progress in relation to Leisure Services be noted by Members.

45.

Facilities Services Update DOCX 71 KB

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report (at pages 128 - 130) as delivered and summarised by the Director of Services / Monitoring Officer which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Director of Services / Monitoring Officer added that:

 

(i)     The cost of fitting new coin mechanisms to existing car park ticket machines was reported to be £500 and was to be met from the current car park budget; and

(ii)    The new bench/bin for the area outside the HSBC bank on The Parade, Oadby was on order and due to be installed by February together with new pavement.

 

Councillor J W Boyce moved the recommendation asset out at paragraph 2 of the report (at page 128).

 

The Chair seconded the recommendation.

 

Councillor Mrs L M Broadley advocated the uniform introduction of car parking charges and time restrictions across all car parks in the Borough, including the introduction of the same at Kirkdale Road and Countesthorpe Road, South Wigston.

 

Councillor L A Bentley commended the progress made at Ervins Lock Footbridge however expressed reservations as to the lengthy-protraction of the project and the potential dissipation and inadequacy of the contributions secured under the section 106 Agreement to fully realise the costs thereof. He emphasised that a means of crossing the waterway was urgently needed. The Member raised a concern as to the works recently undertaken to 21 trees sited at Wigston Cemetery. He further requested information regarding the car parks in South Wigston to ascertain the problems perceived before application of the same restrictions were considered.

 

The Chair requested a full viability study to be commissioned across all car parks in the Borough to explore the feasibility and suitability of parking regulations and restrictions vis-a-vis the parking requirements between the three town centres.

 

The Chair further noted the impact of Leicestershire County Council’s plans to charge for on-street parking provision across Leicestershire in the near future.

 

Councillor K J Loydall suggested that the viability study should form part of the ongoing Strategic Asset Management work being undertaken by the Chief Finance Officer under the remit of the Change Management Committee.

 

Councillors A R Bond and R E Fahey supported the introduction of uniform car parking charges and time restrictions across all car parks in the Borough.

 

Councillor J W Boyce requested that a separate report be brought back to a subsequent meeting of this Committee in respect of the car parks at Kirkdale Road and Countesthorpe Road, South Wigston. It was said that this report was then to be subsequently fed into the Strategic Asset Management Plan.

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The information in the report be noted by Members.

 

Votes For                   12

Votes Against            0

Abstentions               1

46.

Operations Services Update DOCX 65 KB

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report (at pages 131 - 132) as delivered and summarised by the Director of Services / Monitoring Officer which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Chair moved the recommendation as set out at paragraph 2 of the report (at page 131).

 

The Vice-Chair seconded the recommendation.

 

Councillor Ms K M Chalk left the Chamber at 8.48 pm.

 

The Chair commended this Council’s performance in being recognised as the seventh lowest household waste-generating authority (281.2 kg/pp) in the country for 2015/16 and being in the top-performing quartile in respect of the reuse, recycling and composting of household waste (48.84%) across all the Leicestershire District and Borough Councils for 2014/15.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The information provided within the report be noted by Members.

47.

Customer Services Transformation Update DOCX 62 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report and appendix (at pages 133 - 135) as delivered and summarised by the Director of Services / Monitoring Officer which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

Councillor J W Boyce moved the recommendation as set out at paragraph 2 of the report (at page 133).

 

The Chair seconded the recommendation.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The information provided within the report be noted by Members.