Agenda and minutes

Service Delivery Committee
Tuesday, 11th September, 2018 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Democratic Services  Tel: (0116) 257 2775 Email: democratic.services@oadby-wigston.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

15.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillors E R Barr, L A Bentley, F S Broadley and Mrs L Eaton.

16.

Appointment of Substitutes

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

Minutes:

Councillor B Dave substituted for Councillor E R Barr.

17.

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.

18.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 10 July 2018 pdf icon PDF 72 KB

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

Minutes:

By affirmation of the meeting, it was

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The minutes of the previous meeting of the Committee held on 10 July 2018 to be taken as read, confirmed and signed.

19.

Action List Arising from the Meeting held on 10 July 2018 DOCX 45 KB

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

Minutes:

With regard to action no. 1, a verbal update on Oadby Grange Country Park was provided to the Committee by the Head of Planning, Development and Regeneration.

 

It was confirmed that at the current time, Officers were awaiting a response from the landowner’s solicitor, as well as a response from the Planning Inspector in respect of its assessment of the Council’s Local Plan. In terms of timescale, it was confirmed that it was not known how long a response from the solicitor might take to obtain, but that an initial response from the Planning Inspector was expected imminently. Following receipt of the Inspector’s comments and/or suggested changes, there would be a further six week consultation period, meaning that the Local Plan process should be concluded by the end of the year. The Committee expressed frustration at the lack of progress achieved over a number of years and it was suggested that once the Local Plan has been agreed the Council should consider whether enforcement action would be appropriate.

 

By affirmation of the meeting, it was

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The Action List be noted by Members. 

20.

Petitions and Deputations

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

20a

Petition for Public Toilets in Uplands Park, Oadby pdf icon PDF 3 MB

“We, the undersigned, use Uplands Park in Oadby for exercise and recreation purposes. We are concerned that the Council has not provided public toilet facilities in this park. This causes severe inconvenience to park users. We therefore urge Oadby and Wigston Borough Council to provide public toilets in Uplands Park.” (227 Signatories)

 

A copy of the petition will be available to inspect at the meeting and can also be viewed on the Council’s website by clicking here.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr J S Sahota, the lead petitioner, spoke upon the petition. A copy of his representations is attached to these printed minutes at Annex A.

 

It was proposed by the Chair of the Committee that any decision on public toilets in Uplands Park should be deferred, as the Council was still in the process of reviewing its existing public toilet facilities in the Borough with a view to determining whether closures and/or development of community schemes would be desirable. A Member of the Committee suggested that whilst as a result of this review some toilets may be put forward for closure due to lack of public demand, this did not necessarily mean that other options for public toilet provision in the Borough should be ruled out if a strong case could be made to demonstrate unmet public demand for such facilities.

 

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

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

Consideration of the petition be incorporated into the Council’s ongoing review of public toilet provision in the Borough.

21.

Corporate Performance Update (Q1 2018/19) DOCX 330 KB

Report of the Director of Finance & Transformation / Section 151 Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the report as set out on pages 7-33 of the agenda, which asked it to note the performance of the Council against its Corporate Objectives.

 

The Director of Finance & Transformation / Section 151 Officer provided the Committee with a summary of the report, which showed that at the end of the first quarter of the 2018/19 financial year, of the 94 performance measures reported, 77 were green, 13 were amber and 4 were red status.

 

Members welcomed the report as a means of seeing how the Council was performing against the Objectives agreed in May 2018, and also being able to clearly identify any areas of under-performance which required improvement.

 

A Member of the Committee expressed surprise that in respect of the Green and Safe Places (GSP) target number 7, the Council was only targeting the achievement of In Bloom ‘award winner’ status within the Borough, as opposed to setting the bar higher and aiming for a Gold award. The Director of Finance & Transformation confirmed that during the first year of measurement, a benchmark for a number of performance measures would be realised, from which future targets would evolve.

 

It was requested by Members that reporting mechanisms be put in place in time for the next meeting of the Committee, to assess the direction of travel in Quarter 2 compared to the performance achieved in Quarter 1.

 

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

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The performance of the Council against its Corporate Objectives be noted.

22.

Community Services Update (Q1 2018/19) DOCX 299 KB

Joint Report of the Housing Services Manager and Community Property Manager

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the report as set out on pages 34-41 of the agenda, which asked it to note the updates provided on the delivery of community services during the first quarter of 2018/19.

 

The Head of Planning, Development and Regeneration provided the Committee with a summary of the report. With regard to Paragraph 6.2, it was confirmed that a temporary extension of two months had now been agreed in respect of the Gas Servicing Contract due to delays in the procurement process. It was also confirmed that the car parking facilities at Churchill Close in Oadby would become open to the public on 17 September 2018.

 

The Committee noted that there had been a number of complaints relating to the quality and frequency of cleaning provided against the requirements set out in the specification of the Council’s cleaning contract. In respect of the additional monitoring which the Authority had put in place following an internal review, it was confirmed that this was being managed through reallocation of existing staff responsibilities rather than requiring additional resource. The Committee suggested that whilst additional monitoring was welcome, it should not continue indefinitely and further review should be carried out by the Council’s management if improvements were not quickly realised. It was agreed that all Members of the Service Delivery Committee should be invited to the next meeting of the Policy, Finance and Development Committee, to receive the report from the Internal Auditors on their review of the cleaning contract due to be provided at that Committee.

 

With regard to the Lightbulb project, the Committee raised a number of concerns in respect of the delivery of the service and the lack of information and communication provided to Members. It was confirmed that arrangements had been made for a Lightbulb representative to attend and deliver a presentation to Members at the next Full Council meeting on 02 October 2018, however some Members felt that this was not satisfactory and that it would be more appropriate for a representative to attend Service Delivery Committee, given that it fell within the Committee’s remit to ensure thorough scrutiny of such projects.

 

A Member of the Committee expressed concern at the figures contained in Paragraph 1 of the report, which reported a gradual increase in tenant arrears between March to July 2018. The Director of Finance & Transformation confirmed to the Committee that a reporting error had led to the inclusion of figures outside of Quarter 1, which only covers the period April to June 2018. Whilst acknowledging that the figures had risen across the period, an assurance was provided that the figures from Quarter 1 were consistent with the figures from the same period in 2017, after which there was a period of stabilisation. It was therefore anticipated that a similar stabilisation would take place during subsequent Quarters to bring the arrears back closer to the target figure of 2%.

 

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

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The contents of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

23.

Revenues & Benefits Update (Q1 2018/19) DOCX 300 KB

Report of the Head of Finance, Revenues and Benefits

Minutes:

The Committee received the report as set out on pages 42 to 47 of the agenda, which asked it to note the activity within the Revenues and Benefits service area during the first quarter of 2018/19 and the progress of Universal Credit implementation.

 

The Head of Finance, Revenues and Benefits provided the Committee with a summary of the report.

 

A Member of the Committee commented that the report contained a number of tables reporting on the volumes of casework dealt with by the Revenues and Benefits teams, however the figures lacked any context insofar as whether these figures were in accordance with expectation levels and/or previous quarterly indicators. It was therefore requested that future reports of this nature be given additional commentary.

 

The Committee noted that take up of support services to make a Universal Credit claim and receive budgeting advice had been low, therefore a Member suggested that the Council should proactively look to identify further ways of improving promotion and take up of these services, for example by offering an appointment booking service for residents.

 

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

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The contents of the report be noted.

24.

Health, Wellbeing & Leisure Services Update (Q1 2018/19) DOCX 514 KB

Report of the Head of Leisure & Wellbeing Services

Minutes:

The Committee received the report as set out on pages 48-53 of the agenda, which asked it to note the progress achieved across a range of projects taking place in the Borough, as well as an update on the Council’s leisure contract.

 

The Head of Leisure and Wellbeing Services provided the Committee with a summary of the report, which Members acknowledged contained a number of positive news stories including the continued increase in participation across the Council’s leisure offerings and £15,000 surplus from the profit share arrangement between the Council and SLM/Everyone Active for the period December 2016 to November 2017.

 

It was confirmed that the Wigston Road to Parklands Leisure Centre/Brocks Hill footpath had now been completed. A Member of the Committee stated that having campaigned for the footpath for several years they were appalled at the standard of the completed work. In addition, the Member claimed to be extremely disappointed in the quality of the materials used, which despite having been approved by the Development Control Committee, were not in accordance with the specifications originally requested during consultation with Members. It was also reported that weeds had already begun to extend across the path, the surface did not appear to be level and the width appeared to be unsuitable for users of mobility scooters. The Chair of the Committee expressed sympathy with the Member regarding the materials used to surface the footpath, but confirmed that having visited the site prior to the Committee meeting, the surface was now level and the width was approximately 1 metre which satisfied accessibility requirements.

 

Several Members of the Committee expressed concerns in relation to the customer experience at Brocks Hill Visitor Centre, stating that the price of refreshments from the café was too high and thereby likely to discourage families from repeat visits. A number of comments were made regarding an apparent lack of use of the function room, which several Members reported seemed to be empty whenever they visited and not kept in a presentable state. It was suggested that consideration should be given to light touch measures to improve the ambience and attractiveness of the facilities to give the Centre a more family friendly appearance.

 

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

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The contents of the report be noted.

25.

Facilities Services Update (Q1 2018/19) DOCX 296 KB

Report of the Facilities & Administration Team Leader

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the report as set out on pages 54-59 of the agenda, which asked it to note the details of work completed by the Facilities section between 01 April and 30 June 2018.

 

The Head of Planning, Development and Regeneration provided the Committee with a summary of the report.

 

In respect of Florence Wragg play area improvements in Oadby, the Committee commended the lead Officer for the efficiency of the consultation process and the manner in which feedback from Members was incorporated into the final design.

 

The Committee noted that a consultation was currently underway to gather the views of residents on the type of outdoor gym equipment users would like to see installed at Uplands Park. It was suggested that the petition for public toilets at Item 20a of the Committee agenda should be kept in mind when reviewing the outcomes of the consultation.

 

A Member of the Committee queried the omission of the refurbishment of Crow Mills picnic area from the report, although it was subsequently noted that an update on this project was included in the Customer Service & Transformation update at page 68 of the agenda.

 

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

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The contents of the report and Appendices be noted.

26.

Greening of the Borough and Operational Services Update (Q1 2018/19) DOCX 304 KB

Joint Report of the Head of Leisure & Wellbeing Services and Head of Operational & Street Scene Services

Minutes:

The Committee received the report as set out on pages 60-65 of the agenda, which asked it to note the update on the Borough’s green and natural spaces and the work undertaken by Operational Services.

 

The Head of Leisure and Wellbeing Services provided the Committee with a summary of the report.

 

The Committee noted that with regard to highway verges the County Council had allocated £40k towards works addressing Health and Safety issues and statutory clearances. With this project in mind, a Member of the Committee raised the issue of overhanging trees at The Oval in Oadby, which had resulted in a significant build-up of algae that presented a risk to pedestrians in winter when the surface became increasingly slippery. A request was therefore made for the area to be inspected by Officers to see if this Council considered it to be safe. A Member of the Committee also commented that the maintenance of grass verges along Aylestone Lane in Wigston was currently inhibited by the existence of stumps from previously felled trees.

 

The Committee expressed frustration at the lack of progress made regarding the footpath between Tendring Drive and Brocks Hill, which still required sign-off from the County Council. It was confirmed that at the current time there was no indication as to whether the County Council would provide the required consent, but Officers were continuing to chase a response.

 

A Member of the Committee noted from the minutes of the previous meeting that a review of the Council’s volunteering policy was to be undertaken, and asked what the timeframe was for the review. The Head of Leisure and Wellbeing confirmed that a review was scheduled as part of a Council-wide review of all policies, therefore it was not possible to confirm at the meeting where this review was positioned in the process, however this would be followed up and an answer provided following the meeting. The Committee recommended that the revised policy should be streamlined as far as possible, as an overly prescriptive policy ran the risk of deterring potential volunteers. A request was also made for the inclusion of volunteering statistics within future reports, to enable monitoring of how the pool of volunteers is being grown/maintained.

 

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

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The contents of the report be noted.

27.

Customer Service and Transformation Update (Q1 2018/19) DOCX 295 KB

Report of the Head of Customer Services & Business Transformation

Minutes:

The Committee received the report as set out on pages 66-70 of the agenda, which asked it to note the activity within the Customer Service & Transformation section during the first quarter of 2018/19.

 

The Head of Customer Service & Transformation provided the Committee with a summary of the report.

 

The Committee noted the proposed extension of payment options currently available to residents, but requested that any new options be supported by evidence to demonstrate that they will be more accessible and not result in customers incurring additional costs.

 

The Committee expressed its satisfaction with the customer-focussed nature of the projects currently being undertaken and also the informative content of the report itself.

 

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

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The contents of the report be noted.

28.

Section 106 Open Space, Sport and Recreation Contributions (March - September 2018) DOCX 294 KB

Report of the Planning Policy Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the report as set out on pages 71-79 of the agenda, which asked it to note the list of potential open space, sport and recreation infrastructure projects.

 

The Head of Planning, Development & Regeneration provided the Committee with a summary of the report. It was confirmed that the list remains a ‘live’ document, therefore Members were able to request additional items for inclusion on the list as and necessary. A Member of the Committee requested that the Pavilion at Willow Park be put forward for extension and improvement, and asked whether distance markings could be laid around the footpath to assist runners. The Head of Planning, Development and Regeneration suggested that extension and improvement of the Pavilion would sit more appropriately within the Infrastructure Delivery Plan, but undertook to liaise with the Council’s ground maintenance staff regarding the feasibility of providing distance markings and to report back to the Committee.  

 

A Member of the Committee stated that concerns had been raised at the previous meeting of Oadby Residents’ Forum regarding broken play equipment at Brocks Hill Country Park, which had been on the list of Section 106 projects for some considerable time. Another Member of the Committee also stated that similar frustration had been expressed regarding the projects for new fitness equipment, park benches and land drainage at William Gunning Park in South Wigston which were also awaiting identification of funding. The Head of Planning, Development and Regeneration suggested that if Members viewed these items a priority, they could consider progressing them through the use of Capital funding as an alternative.

 

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

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

(i)       The list of potential open space, sport and recreation infrastructure requirements (as set out in Appendix 1) be noted; and

(ii)     The projects will be progressed in line with the Council’s Capital Programme process.