Agenda and minutes

Service Delivery Committee
Tuesday, 20th November, 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

29.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillors E R Barr, Miss A R Bond and Mrs K M Chalk.

 

30.

Appointment of Substitutes

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

Minutes:

None.

31.

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.

32.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 86 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 meeting of the previous Committee held on 11 September 2018 be taken as read, confirmed and signed.

 

33.

Action List Arising from the Previous Meeting DOCX 129 KB

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

Minutes:

By affirmation of the meeting, it was

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The Action List arising from the meeting of the previous Committee held on 11 September 2018 be read, confirmed and noted.

 

In accordance with Rule 7.3 of Part 4 of the Constitution, the Chair moved for the order of business to be altered and taken in the order as reflected in the minutes.

 

By affirmation of the meeting, it was

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The order of business be altered accordingly.

34.

Review of Scale of Fees & Charges (2019/20) DOCX 295 KB

Report of the Head of Finance, Revenues and Benefits

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the report (as set out on pages 10 - 25) which asked it to recommend the proposed Scale of Fees and Charges for 2019/20 (“the proposed Scale”) to the Policy, Finance and Development Committee for approval together with a Scheme of Delegation.

 

With regards to paragraph 2.3, it was confirmed to Members that there was no recommended increase for the Garden Waste Collection Scheme.

 

Members raised concerns regarding how cost effective the Council’s Pavilion facilities currently were for the Authority and whether sufficient provisions were in place to ensure that they produce a viable income stream. Officers assured the Committee that further information regarding hiring availability and fees for the premises on Saturdays evenings would be provided to the Members outside the meeting.

 

The Committee welcomed recommendation B and accepted the importance of delegation and flexibility with regards to charging charges to encourage a more commercial approach. It was agreed that the recommendation should also include a reference to maximising community usage.

 

It was moved by Councillor J W Boyce, seconded by Councillor K J Loydall and

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

(i)       The proposed Scale of Fees and Charges for 2019/20 (as set out in Appendix 1) be recommended to the Policy, Finance and Development Committee for approval; and

(ii)     Delegated authority be given to the Director of Finance and Transformation to allow flexibility to charging charges to encourage a more commercial approach to maximising income and community usage.

35.

Petitions and Deputations

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

35a

Petition Against Pinnacle Cleaners

“We, the undersigned, are concerned citizens who urge our Oadby and Wigston (Borough) Council to act now.” (39 signatories)

 

“We are not happy with the poor and or lack of cleaning being provided.” (26 signatories)

 

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

Minutes:

The Committee received petitions that stood referred to it by Full Council at its meeting on 02 October 2018. The petitions requested action from the Authority to improve service delivery by the Council’s cleaning contractor Pinnacle. Copies of the petitions were available at the meeting for Members to view.

 

By affirmation of the meeting, it was:

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The receipt of the petitions be noted by Members and the item be deferred to a subsequent meeting of the Committee for consideration.

36.

Corporate Performance Update (Q2 2018/19) DOCX 344 KB

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

Minutes:

The Committee received the report (as set out on pages 26 - 33) which asked it to note the performance of the Council against its Corporate Objectives during the second quarter of 2018/19.

 

It was reported that the at the end of the second quarter, of the 96 performances measured 74 were green, 12 were amber and 10 had red status. Quarter two Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) were also highlighted to Members, showing that out of the 6 completed, 5 were green and 1 red.

 

Members requested that going forward, a more consistent method of measurement was required regarding Supersonic Boom. The Committee requested that the Council set a long term target for the project.

 

Officers indicated to Members that with regards to planning targets, they were set as Government Performance requirements however through negotiation with developers, an extension of time was allocated in the majority of applications made to the Council. It was suggested by the Committee that targets should show prevalent averages to show a more accurate representation of whether a target was being met. 

 

Regarding Table 3, Exception Reporting (at page 30), Officers acknowledged that the figures at ESP16 could be misleading, however the Committee was advised that moving forward, the target would be set against the national average of 11% as opposed to the current target. Regarding ESP29, it was acknowledged that the set collection rate for Council Tax had not been achieved in previous years due to the challenges faced from the introduction of the Council Tax Support Scheme. The Committee requested that targets for collections rates needed to expressly be reported going forward, together with an appropriate action plan if targets were not being met.

 

A Member of the Committee queried whether it would be feasible to introduce monitoring of planning enforcement targets and devise a reporting mechanism to ensure satisfactory levels of performance. The Director of Finance and Transformation undertook to look at the feasability of incorporating this into the scheme.

 

By affirmation of the meeting, it was

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

That the contents of the report and appendix be noted.

 

 

37.

Community Services Update (Q2 2018/19) DOCX 295 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 - 40) which asked it to note the progress made in delivering community services during the second quarter of 2018/19.

 

Due to the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, it was reported that there has been an increase in the number of homeless applications made in the Borough. The Committee suggested that Officers produce statistical tracking for the various stages of the Personal Housing Plans (PHPs) to show clarity on the pressures that the service is experiencing. The Committee were notified that the Council had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with a local homelessness organisation to provide support on receiving referrals, as well as receiving a grant of £5,000 through the Government’s Cold Weather Fund. It was confirmed that both these developments would assist the Council in tackling homelessness in the Borough.

 

Members were advised that with regards to the Lightbulb Project, the total Disability Facilities Grant for 2018/19 was £376,000. As of November 2018, the project had committed to 71 projects in the Borough with a total spend of £215,000. 

 

With reference to paragraph 7.1, Members disagreed with the sentiment of the information provided due to the differing structure of the Council in comparison to Lightbulb. It was confirmed to Members that the specification of the organisation was different and the scheme was now controlled under one assessment, as opposed to being a two tiered assessment control. With reference to paragraph 8.2, it was confirmed that the restricted parking scheme was set to be introduced before the end of the month at Churchill Close car park.

 

The Committee was provided with the Capital Programme (CP) 2018/19 – Quarter Two Budget Outturn. Members requested that an addition be made to Appendix 1 to show the projected outcome of Capital Programmes in order to obtain a clearer view of budgets. Officers advised that additional resources and personnel had also been put in place in order to progress the delivery of and better forecast the CP going forward.

 

By affirmation of the meeting, it was

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

That the contents of the report and appendix be noted.

38.

Revenues & Benefits Update (Q2 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 41- 45) which asked it to note the activity within the Revenues and Benefits service area during the second quarter of 2018/19 and the progress of Universal Credit implementation.

 

It was highlighted to Members that due to staffing issues, there had been a slight decline in the collection rate for council tax, however Officers assured the Committee that plans were in place to bring this back under control. In contrast to this, the Benefits section was shown to have continued to perform strongly with an average process time of 14.45 days for new claims.

 

Members were advised that with regards to Universal Credit, activity surrounding the service had increased. In addition to the recruitment of a second Rent Income Officer, the service was designating further resources on the “Welfare” aspect of the service through the re-design of a job post within the department.

 

In addition to this, Members queried the legality of the Council’s ability for it to access information from other service departments to determine whether an individual met the requirements of managed payments. It was confirmed by the Head of Law and Governance that, as advised by the Information Commissioner’s guidance, information can be obtained through extracting data from internal data systems, so long as the collated information stays with the Council and there was a secondary lawful basis for doing so.

 

By affirmation of the meeting, it was

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

That the contents of the report be noted.

39.

Health, Wellbeing & Leisure Services Update (Q2 2018/19) DOCX 895 KB

Report of the Head of Leisure& Wellbeing Services

Minutes:

The Committee received the report (as set out on pages 46 – 52) which asked it to note the progress achieved across a variety of projects within the Borough. An update regarding the Council’s leisure contract was also provided.

 

It was reported to Members that the Council’s pre-procurement figures for the Council’s Leisure services had tripled over the last full year.

 

Members reiterated their concerns regarding the Brocks Hill Café. The Head of Leisure and Wellbeing Services addressed the concerns by responding with a detailed response from the Council’s leisure provider, Sports and Leisure Management Ltd (SLM). The response included information regarding the review that was undertaken of the SLM’s procedures and policies. Training had been provided to staff to ensure that all employees were working in accordance with SLM’s standards. Members were also advised that the pricing was benchmarked to a competitive level, with both hot and cold food being made available at the Café. The Committee requested that continued updates be provided to Members with regard to Brocks Hill Café, in order to monitor improvement going forward.

 

A Member proposed that the current reward scheme, which allows subscribers of the ‘Everyone Active’ and ‘Pride of the Borough’ membership cards up to 20% discount at all SLM-run establishments, should be amended to also include discounts for Armed Forces employees. Officers informed the Committee that they would consult with the leisure provider and update Members at the next Committee.

 

By affirmation of the meeting, it was

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

That the contents of the report be noted.

40.

Greening of the Borough and Operational Services Update (Q2 2018/19) DOCX 309 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 53 – 59) which asked it to note the update on the Borough’s green and natural spaces and the work undertaken by Operational Services throughout the second quarter of 2018/19.

 

The Committee commended the efforts of staff and welcomed the increase in mixed dry recycling during quarter two, as well as the decrease in refuse collected. It was requested that consideration should be given to merging the data provided within the two graphs for 2017 and 2018 into a single presentable graph, to enable comparison that would highlight the significant progress made in a more prevalent manner.

 

It was noted by Members that volunteering levels had declined in recent years. Officers advised that this was relevant to the reduction of staffing for projects. The Committee reiterated the importance of the Borough’s volunteering programme and requested an action plan be created to increase the support and development of volunteers.

 

A Member advised the Committee that they had consulted with Oadby & Wigston Lions Club and confirmed they would be willing to offer help in terms of volunteers for any projects that the Borough may have. In addition to this, it was confirmed to Members that the new Volunteering Policy is on course for completion at the end of December 2018.

 

By affirmation of the meeting, it was

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

That the contents of the report be noted.

41.

Facilities Services Update (Q2 2018/19) DOCX 295 KB

Report of the Facilities & Administration Team Leader

Minutes:

The Committee received the report (as set out on pages 60 - 63) which asked it to note the details of the work completed by the Facilities section within the second quarter of the year 2018/19.

 

Members were advised of the completion of the Garden of Remembrance at Oadby Cemetery.  In addition, it was hoped that a saving of £4,000 would be achievable with regards to the damaged equipment located at Brocks Hill Play Area, depending on whether the supplier was able to repair the item, as opposed to it being replaced.

 

In response to Member queries, the Committee was advised that works regarding the Horsewell Lane Pavilion would start shortly after the scheduled ‘Ground Breaking’ Event, which would be taking place on 03 December 2018.

 

In regards to Ervins Lock Footbridge, it was confirmed that Officers are currently in the process of developing an agreement between the Council and the Canal and River Trust. In response to the Committee raising concerns over potential time delays and challenges regarding the funding of the works, Officers assured Members that all actions were being taken to expedite the project.  However, further confirmation regarding the need for a stoppage period to be set before works could begin was still required from the Canal and River Trust. A funding package was said to be in place, which needed to be reviewed periodically to ensure it was sufficient.

 

The Committee requested that quarterly updates regarding Horsewell Lane Pavilion and Ervins Lock Footbridge should be provided as part of the Facilities Service updates to give details of the projects as they progress.

 

Members requested that Officers should aim to produce a strategy enabling better co-ordination between Brocks Hill Visitor Centre, Brocks Hill Café and the Play Area at Parklands Leisure Centre. The Committee stated that going forward, more focus ought to be made on the capital and income investment of the sites as a whole, rather than being viewed as single outlets.

 

By affirmation of the meeting, it was

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

That the contents of the report noted.

42.

Customer Service and Transformation Update (Q2 2018/19) DOCX 298 KB

Report of the Head of Customer Services & Business Transformation

Minutes:

The Committee received the report (as set out on pages 64 – 67) which asked it to note the activity within the Customer Service & Transformation section during the second quarter of 2018/19.

The Committee reiterated the importance of the Council taking into account the current trends of how customers interact with the Council. A Member of the Committee enquired whether the facility to pay by Direct Debit could be extended across a wider range of Council services. Officers confirmed that there were risks and difficulties associated with this approach, largely in relation to customers potentially cancelling Direct Debits therefore impacting on income streams.

Members requested that Officers continue to provide an update on the Investors in People Action Plan. If the status remained as ‘amber’ by the next reporting period, the Committee requested that action should be taken to address this.

By affirmation of the meeting, it was

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

That the contents of the report be noted.