Agenda and minutes

Service Delivery Committee
Tuesday, 27th June, 2017 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Offices, Station Road, Wigston. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Tel: (0116) 257 2643 Email: democratic.services@oadby-wigston.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillors G S Atwal and Miss M V Chamberlain.

2.

Appointment of Substitutes

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

Minutes:

None.

3.

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.

4.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 21 March 2017 pdf icon PDF 118 KB

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

Minutes:

Councillor K J Loydall stated that no answer had been received to his question put to the meeting of the Committee held on 05 July 2016 in respect of the £1m start-up grant awarded to the Lightbulb Project (LbP) (Min. Ref. 55 at para. 7, page 5).

 

The Interim Head of Community Services advised that the £1m start-up grant amounted to a transformation budget to investigate the feasibility of setting-up the LbP. It was said that details as to the spending of that budget and its remaining balance would be reported back to a subsequent meeting of the Committee.

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The minutes of the previous meeting of the Committee held on 21 March 2017 to be taken as read, confirmed and signed.

5.

Action List Arising from the Meeting held on 21 March 2017 DOCX 36 KB

To read, confirm and note the Action List arising from the previous meeting.

Minutes:

In respect of the action points marked ‘Community Services Update’ (Min. Ref. 54), the Interim Head of Community Services advised that an update detailing the collection of former tenant arrears in monetary terms and a gas safety compliance policy was to be presented to the next meeting of the Committee.

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The Action List be noted by Members.

6.

Petitions and Deputations

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

Minutes:

None.

7.

Provisional Committee Outturn Report (2016/17) DOCX 75 KB

Report of, and to be presented by, the Interim Chief Finance Officer / Section 151 Officer.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report and appendices (at pages 12 - 20) as delivered and summarised by the Interim Finance and Accountancy Manager (“the Service Manager”) which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Service Manager provided Members with a further explanatory narrative to clarify the position(s) in respect of particular service heads at Appendix 1 - Provisional Outturn Summary (General Fund) for 2016/17 (at pages 15 - 16).

 

The Committee was further advised that the service heads marked ‘20206 Brocks Hill Events’ and ‘20205 Greening the Borough’ should be inversed. This was said to be an administrative mistake thus nullifying the variances as stated in error in the report.

 

The misspelling of the service heads marked ‘20004 Wigston Fields (Frier Centre)’ and ‘20009 Water Charges Day Centre’ were also noted for future correction.

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

(i)       The reported outturn positions for 2016/17 be noted; and

(ii)     The requested revenue carry forward(s) be noted.

8.

Community Services Update DOCX 84 KB

Report of, and to be presented by, the Interim Head of Community Services.

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report and appendix (at pages 21 - 26) as delivered and summarised by the Interim Head of Community Services (“the Head of Service”) which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

A debate thereon was had by Members whereby the report on balance was commended. The Committee raised a number of points summarised as follows.

 

In respect of the Borough Wide Cleaning Contract (at para 3.11), the Committee enquired as to whether the contract and, or, appointed contractor: was to pay the National Living Wage (NLW), sickness and holiday pay; operated zero-hour contracts; was contracted on a daily, weekday basis; was subject to any break clause provision(s); and was subject to any general financial controls, most notably in concerning the contractor’s costs being absorbed into the contract’s function costs. A concern was also raised in respect of the self-monitoring mechanism of the contract and if all Council-owned residential properties had Residents’ Associations who could monitor and report back on standards of cleanliness (due to be) delivered.

 

The Head of Service advised that the contractor was to pay the NWL, sickness and holiday pay, did not operate zero-hour contracts and was contracted to clean in accordance with the cleaning schedule (incorporated as part of the specification) which varied depending on buildings’ use and requirements. The contract was said to have no break clause however could be terminated at any time if the specification was not met and that all financial controls mentioned had been dealt with in accordance with the contract’s obtaining procedures and protocols. Periodic estate walkabouts were said to be undertaken to ensure standards of cleanliness were to be met to which the contractor, residents, officers and Members were to be invited.

 

The Committee further: sought clarification as to the position of gas safety compliance as of 30 June (at para. 3.7); requested assurances that action was to be taken to address paint peeling from the exterior of Chartwell House, Oadby; and enquired as to whether the Council’s costs associated with previously serving Untidy Land Notices (under Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act) upon 114 Uplands Road, Oadby would be recovered once the property was sold (para. 3.8).

 

The Head of Service advised that a 100% compliance rate for gas safety was on target for 30 June. The cause of the paint peeling at Chartwell House was said to be due to isolated incidences of water damage that had since been corrected and that action was being taken to monitor the affected areas. It was said that Council would seek to recover its associated costs regarding 114 Uplands Road.

 

It was moved by the Chair, seconded by Councillor D M Carter and

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

(i)       The contents of the report be noted;

(ii)     The current rent arrears target of 2% of the annual rent debit for 2017/18 be approved;

(iii)   The former tenant arrears target of 2.5% of the annual rent debit for 2017/18 be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Fire Safety in the Borough (Verbal Update)

Verbal update to be provided by the Interim Head of Community Services.

Minutes:

The Committee received the following verbal update in respect of fire safety in the Borough as delivered by the Interim Head of Community Services:

 

“Following the fire at Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, London the Council thought it prudent to review its fire safety arrangements and is able to report that the Council does not have any major issues. 

         

Officers have visited and reviewed all 92 Fire Risk Assessments (FRA’s) for offices and residential buildings with communal areas. This has established there are no red or urgent action actions outstanding and has ensured that arrangements are in place for actions that can be carried out on a planned basis. The next round of independent professional FRA’s have been arranged and these started yesterday.

         

The Elizabeth Court insulation project in Wigston has since been reviewed and the specified material to insulate the solid wall areas is a non-combustible mineral wool. The data for the insulation recently filled to solid wall properties in the EWI program has been rechecked and the material used complies with all the fire safety standards and is not the same product used in the Grenfell Tower.

         

A precautionary check is also currently being made that all houses that received external insulation have working hard-wired smoke alarms.  A review of the stay put policy for general needs houses has commenced so as not to encourage neighbouring residents to stay put if they have a safe means of escape when fire first breaks out. A review of personal evacuation arrangements for residents in sheltered housing has also commenced. This will include consultation with the Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service. 

         

The Council has responded to a number of requests for information from Central Government. These mainly relate to whether the Council has residential buildings above six stories. I can confirm that none of the Council’s properties are above six stories: Chartwell House in Oadby is its tallest building and is 6 stories. The Council has also responded to a number of related Freedom of Information requests and has started to look at policy implications in view of the fast moving situation.”   

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The verbal update be noted by Members.

10.

Housing Options for Former Asylum Seekers DOCX 87 KB

Report of the Housing Services Manager.

To be presented by the Interim Head of Community Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report and appendix (at pages 27 - 31) as delivered and summarised by the Interim Head of Community Services which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

A debate thereon was had whereby the majority of Members believed that the concerns over re-housing options were County-wide as opposed to a Borough-only problem for which the latter was being asked to accept responsibility as a result of Leicestershire County Council’s (LCC) indecision. The main problem therein was said to be asylum seekers being denied access to general homelessness provision across Leicestershire by virtue of LCC’s decision not to accept that those who have received a positive decision automatically have a “local connection” to the Housing Register.

 

It was moved by the Chair, seconded by the Vice-Chair and

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

(i)       The contents of the report be noted by Members; and

(ii)     The Housing Allocations Policy be reviewed, in consultation with the policies as may be adopted by the other Borough and District Council in Leicester/shire, and brought back to the Committee in six-months.

11.

Review of Pest Control Service Update DOCX 87 KB

Report of, and to be presented by, the Interim Head of Community Services.

 

The report and appendices will follow in an Agenda update issued ahead of the meeting of the Committee in due course.

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report (at pages 1 - 4 of the agenda update) as delivered and summarised by the Interim Head of Community Services which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

A debate thereon was had whereby Members commended the report and the progress made towards retaining and expanding an in-house pest control service. It was requested that a balance sheet detailing the balance of income and expenditure be compiled and brought back to the next meeting of the Committee.

 

It was moved by the Chair, seconded by the Vice Chair and

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

(i)       The contents of the report be noted by Members; and

(ii)     The revised Scale of Fees and Charges to come into effect on 01 July 2017 be approved.

12.

Corporate Enforcement Update DOCX 77 KB

Report of the Environmental Health and Licensing Team Leader.

To be presented by the Interim Head of Community Services.

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report (at pages 32 - 35) as delivered and summarised by the Interim Head of Community Services (“the Head of Service”) which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

A debate thereon was had by Members whereby a number of points were raised.

 

In respect of the abandoned vehicles (AV’s) (at para 3.4), the Committee enquired as to whether removal, storage and disposal costs of AV’s were incurred to the Council and, if so, whether a recharge mechanism was in place to claim back such costs or if a claim could be made by the Council to any “scrappage fee” collected. The Committee further enquired as to the period of time an AV Notice (AVN) was to be affixed to a vehicle for before enforcement action could be taken; and if checks were made as to a vehicles’ roadworthiness before being deemed abandoned.

 

The Head of Service stated that such costs were incurred and although these could be recharged, this could not practically be done as the majority of vehicles’ owners could not be identified and, when removing AV’s from occupied land, occupiers could not be charged. The collection of any “scrappage fee” was said to require further investigation. The Committee was advised that all local authorities must undertake an assessment of suspected AV’s which include, but are not limited to, making enquires on the DVLA’s databases as to vehicles’ roadworthiness. It was said that vehicle owners must be given 7 days’ written notice before vehicles can disposed of and landowners or occupiers be given 15 days’ notice of any proposed removal.

 

In respect of the Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO’s) (at para 3.7), the Committee enquired as whether a PSPO was to be applied Borough-wide and, or, to a specific public-area within the Borough. All PSPO’s were requested to be brought back to the Committee for its information and to be accompanied by a robust publicity campaign to meet all statutory requirements and instil a deterrence effect.

 

The Head of Service advised that PSPO’s need not be self-confined to any specific public-area so long as it is known by the public where any given PSPO may or may not be in place (e.g. if dogs are not allowed in a park, there must be signs saying so).

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The contents of the report be noted by Members.

 

In accordance with Rule 7.3 of Part 4 of the Constitution, it was moved by the Chair, second by the Vice Chair and

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The order of business be altered and taken in the order as reflected in the minutes, accordingly.

13.

Service Performance Management Framework DOCX 77 KB

Report of the Communications and Business Performance Management Officer.

To be presented by the Director of Services / Monitoring Officer.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report and appendices (at pages 57 - 78) and supplementary visual presentation as delivered and summarised by the Communications and Business Performance Management Officer which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

A debate thereon was had by Members whereby it was decided that the Service Performance Reports (SPR’s) were to be reported bi-annually to the Committee. It was agreed that each ‘Performance Indicator’ (PI) and ‘Team Health Indicator’ (THI) required further narrative in more simple, explanatory terms to optimise end-users’ understanding.  It was said that the SPR’s ought to aspire to become a “live” point of reference in measuring the Council’s monthly performance targets and to be easily accessible by the public within three working days of each month end.

 

The Committee requested that the supplementary presentation and the revised Service Performance Management Framework (SPRF) incorporating the aforementioned points be circulated to Members, once finalised, in due course.

 

It was moved by Councillor J W Boyce, seconded by Councillor R E Fahey and

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

(i)   The performance of the services (as set out in Appendix A) be noted by Members; and

(ii)  The content, format and frequency of the report(s) (as set out in the foregoing minutes) be agreed.

14.

Leisure Services Update DOCX 84 KB

Report of the Health and Leisure Services Manager.

To be presented by the Director of Services / Monitoring Officer.

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report (at pages 36 - 41) as delivered and summarised by the Director of Services / Monitoring Officer (“the Director”) which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

A debate thereon was had by Members whereby the report on balance was commended. The Committee raised a number of points summarised as follows.

 

In respect of the path at Tendring Drive, Oadby (at para. 4), Members broadly welcomed the progress made to provide easier access to disabled and disadvantaged residents and visitors however emphasised that due consideration should be given to balance the reasonableness of cost vis-à-vis compliance with the (former) Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) requirements. The Director advised that further clarification was to be sought as to when temporary planning permission was to begin.

 

In respect of the car park extension at and footpath to the Parklands Leisure Centre (“Parklands”) (at para. 5), Members acknowledged that an improved car parking provision of a reported 200 - 250 more spaces was needed to accommodate the ever-increasing uptake of the Council’s leisure offer. For both practical and financial reasons, this was said to be best achieved by bringing forward a combined-scheme. This was to include a comprehensive evidence-base to future-proof the site, proper car park lighting, a car park management plan and a footpath, the latter of which some Members said was long overdue. It was agreed that a planning application was to be prepared and submitted within the next three months. The Director advised that, as the proposed combined-scheme sought the Committee’s approval in principle only at this stage only, no Member currently sitting on both this Committee and the Development Control Committee would be compromised by voting thereon.

 

In respect of the redundant children’s play equipment at Brocks Hill (at para. 6), Members requested that detailed explanations framed in health and safety terms should be given to rationalise any removal of any play equipment. As such, the Committee heard that the decision was taken upon the considered recommendations of the Council’s Health and Safety Officer who had previously condemned the sand play unit due to faecal-contamination and that a recent incident had uncovered that the zip wire posed an immediate impact risk relative to the amphitheatre’s entrance.

 

It was moved by Councillor J W Boyce, seconded by the Chair and

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

(i)       The information provided within the report be noted and the range of opportunities to the wider audience (as set out in paragraph 3) be endorsed and promoted by Members;

(ii)     The proposed car park extension at Parklands Leisure Centre (as set out at paragraph 4) be approved in principle;

(iii)   The position on progressing appropriate access into Brocks Hill Country Park from the Tendring Drive Path (as set out at paragraph 5) be noted; and

(iv)    The removal of two pieces of play equipment from Brocks Hill Country Park for health and safety reasons (as set out at paragraph 6) be noted.

15.

Facilities Services Update DOCX 76 KB

Report of the Facilities and Administration Team Leader.

To be presented by the Director of Services / Monitoring Officer.

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report (at pages 49 - 50) as delivered and summarised by the Director of Services / Monitoring Officer which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

In respect of Ervins Bridge Footbridge (at para. 3.1) although the Committee acknowledged the comments made by the Canal and River Trust (CaRT) it was reiterated by Members that rather a simple and cost-effective means of crossing the waterway was an urgent priority. The CaRT’s proposals were said to be unnecessarily increasing costs and rendering the project more difficult to ultimately realise.

 

In respect of cemeteries (at para. 5.2.), it was requested that a report be brought back to the next meeting of Committee to address the increasingly limited capacity of burial spaces at Oadby Cemetery over the next 12 - 18 months.

 

In respect of bus shelters (at para. 3.2), some Members denounced locally-operating bus companies’ decision(s) not to invest in the refurbishment of shelters particularly in view of the recent profit increases enjoyed by such companies.

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The contents of the report be noted by Members.

 

16.

Play Areas - Rolling Programme of Refurbishment DOCX 78 KB

Report of the Facilities and Administration Team Leader.

To be presented by the Director of Services / Monitoring Officer.

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report (at pages 49 - 50) as delivered and summarised by the Director of Services / Monitoring Officer (“the Director”) which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

It was added that the refurbishment at Florence Wragg Way, Oadby was to go ahead in consultation with Ward Members and the recently concerned petitioner.

 

It was moved by the Chair, seconded by the Vice-Chair and

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

(i)       The priority order (as set out in the table at paragraph 3.5) with the exception that new equipment for Ellis Park, Oadby is deferred until a final decision is made on the former Oadby Pool Site is approved;

(ii)     The play area at Florence Wragg Way, Oadby be re-furbished as a priority using s106 monies; and

(iii)   A single item of equipment (a climbing unit) is purchased and installed at Cleveland Road Open Space (Grittar Close), Wigston using the 2017/18 Capital Budget to replace the see-saw that was removed for health and safety reasons.

17.

Operational Services Update DOCX 69 KB

Report of the Operations Manager.

To be presented by the Director of Services / Monitoring Officer.

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report (at pages 49 - 50) as delivered and summarised by the Director of Services / Monitoring Officer (“the Director”) which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Director added that, in addition to the six grass verge cuts contracted to Blaby District Council (BDC) and funded by Leicestershire County Council, BDC had agreed to carry out a further grass verge cut in 2017/18 at 50% of the original cost which was to be met from the Borough Council’s existing and agreed budgetary provision.

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The contents of the report be noted by Members.

 

18.

Customer Service Transformation Update DOCX 78 KB

Report of the Welfare and Taxation Manager.

To be presented by the Director of Services / Monitoring Officer.

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report (at pages 51 - 52) as delivered and summarised by the Director of Services / Monitoring Officer which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The contents of the report be noted by Members.

19.

Greening of the Borough Update DOCX 78 KB

Joint report of the Health and Leisure Services Manager, Operations Manager and Facilities and Administration Team Leader.

To be presented by the Director of Services / Monitoring Officer.

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report (at pages 53 - 56) as delivered and summarised by the Director of Services / Monitoring Officer  (“the Director”) which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Director added that the judging of the annual East Midlands in Bloom (EMiB) competition by the EMiB Regional Committee was to take place week commencing 3 July.

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The contents of the report be noted by Members.