Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2 - Deanes
Contact: Democratic Services Team
Link: Video Recording
Apologies for absence and substitutions
Apologies were received from Cllr Miller.
Declarations of interest
There were no declarations of interest.
To consider any items of business, other than those shown on this agenda and which, by reason of special circumstances to be stated at the meeting, in the opinion of the Chairman, should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.
There were no urgent items.
Minutes of the meeting held on 17 September 2019
The minutes of the meeting held on 17 September 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
Contact Officer: Carol Lake
The committee is asked to note the minutes of the Performance Panel meeting of 30th September and the quarterly status report on corporate performance measurements.
The Chair of the Performance Panel presented the Performance Panel update.
It was reported that the panel had received a comprehensive report on grant funding and was looking forward to receiving an Anvil specific update the following year.
It was noted that complaints handling had again been discussed by the panel and was suggested that this may be a future subject for review by the full committee. The Chair of the panel reported that the performance and service planning officer had agreed to undertake a review into the logging, reporting and analysis of service requests (as opposed to complaints), as a tool for informing and improving service delivery.
It was noted that there was ongoing discussion in relation to indicators being fit for purpose, particularly in relation to climate change, and that this was being reviewed as part of the broader revision to the Council Plan and service planning.
It was queried whether the overall percentage of 10% red KPIs for 2019/20 was a true reflection of the predicted total. It was clarified that the total was more likely to be a lower value, in line with the 3% of previous years.
It was reported that the January agenda would include items on waste contamination and its impact on recycling rate, and regeneration strategy.
Resolved: the Committee note the report.
Contact Officer: John Elson
The purpose of the report is to update members on the joint waste contract and changes to the round schedules that were implemented in the summer of 2019.
The report provides an overview of the procurement process, work undertaken following the appointment of Serco and prior to contract commencement, information on management and performance of the contract, the need for and work undertaken to optimise the round structure. The report also sets out expectations for the future service delivery and the benefits delivered.
The report will be supported with a presentation at committee.
The Chair commented that at the previous meeting the committee had requested a recommendation of a suitable independent body to review the waste contract with Serco.
The Portfolio Holder for Environment and Enforcement introduced the report and thanked the committee for the opportunity to attend the meeting.
It was explained that the recently entered into waste collection contract with Serco was one of the largest contracts that the council had. It was acknowledged that whilst there had been initial difficulties, the contract was for an 8 year term and the team were confident that the new arrangement provided sufficient oversight of the process to prevent any future issues.
It was further reported that awarding the contract to Serco had generated two major changes; namely the transfer from one contractor to another, followed by the introduction of round changes which affected every resident.
The Chair invited visiting councillors, Gary Watts and Janet Westbrook to address the committee.
Cllr Watts drew attention to the following issues in South Ham:-
· St Luke’s Close communal flats had not had a collection for 6 weeks (although it was acknowledged that this was partly the fault of Sovereign Housing Association);
· Recycling bins had not been collected from properties in South Ham Road, St Peter’s Road and West Ham Close. It was suggested that bins should be labelled if they had been missed due to contamination; and
· A resident in Brackley Way had 3 out of 5 rounds missed and complained each time but had the complaint recorded as only one issue.
The Head of Environment and Technical Services acknowledged that the team were aware of the issue relating to Sovereign Housing Association and commented that steps were being taken to address it.
It was stated that logging multiple separate complaints as one issue was an error and would be duly investigated.
Cllr Westbrook highlighted a number of issues relating to communal bins in Popley:-
· Continued use of slave bins, leading to the loss of some bins;
· Communal bins being left in the road rather than returned to stores; and
· Communal bins incorrectly returned to stores rendering them inaccessible.
The Portfolio Holder for Environment and Enforcement commented that waste collection from flatted developments was a known issue. Work was being undertaken to review and improve the process and a new initiative was due to be launched in early 2020.
It was clarified that extra waste collection vehicles had been hired to assist with the initial handover of the contract and it was these vehicles which had broken down rather than the new fleet of lorries.
It was advised that training and supervision would be key to eliminating crews’ use of slave bins.
The following subjects were discussed following committee queries:
Whitespace – it was explained that all crews, and the contact centre were now using the electronic real-time system Whitespace. It was encouraged that any complaints should be directed to the contact centre or logged via the website in order to create accurate records and ensure ... view the full minutes text for item 30/19
Contact Officer: Sally Boxall
The purpose of the report is to present draft proposals for the council plan outlining the council’s policy priorities for 2020 to 2024.
Consultation period will be from 13 November until 1 January 2020.
Final proposals for the council plan are due for consideration by Cabinet on 4 February and to council for decision on 27 February 2020.
The Leader of the council introduced the report which outlined draft proposals for the council plan and detailed policy priorities for 2020-2024.
It was noted that the plan would be out for consultation between November and January, with a final report to Cabinet in February.
The Research and Data Officer stated that the animated presentation and supporting information would be available on the main council website and disseminated to residents by the communications team via press releases and social media. It was also suggested that officers would be willing to attend and present at parish council and community meetings.
Committee members made the following comments:-
· All agreed that the ‘Priorities on a Page’ format of presenting the plan was effective and clear;
· The feasibility of becoming a zero carbon council by 2025, and carbon neutral borough by 2030 was questioned, particularly given the apparent opposing priority from residents to improve parking facilities;
· It was noted that the consultation provided an opportunity for members and officers to meet with local communities and groups to share and leverage expertise, particularly in relation to environmental issues and climate change;
· It was suggested that too much emphasis had been placed on home ownership, and that there should be additional emphasis on rented, socially rented and private sector housing options, including HMOs;
· The aim of improving health and mental wellbeing was welcomed and it was suggested that the plan contain further detail as to how the council would champion a strong and vibrant voluntary sector, for example, by the provision of direct support and education;
· The inclusion of real targets within the plan, for example, a defined objective for improved air quality and biodiversity; and
· The ambition of introducing a Mass Rapid Transport system was supported.
Resolved: the Committee note the content of the proposals and request that the Leader consider the above comments when finalising the Council Plan.
Contact Officer: Phillip Hood
The report presents an updated medium term financial strategy and the Cabinet’s budget strategy proposals for addressing the budget gap in 2020/21 and an update on the longer term view to 2023/24 for consultation as part of the annual reporting on the Policy and Budget Framework required under the Local Government Act 2000.
The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Service Improvement introduced the report outlining the budget proposals for 2020/21 and updates to the council’s medium term financial strategy.
It was reported that there was a proposal to increase council tax and a 3% increase in fees and charges (as in previous years), to reflect increasing costs in the provision of services.
Committee members raised the following matters:
· A proposed 10% increase to the charge for bulky household waste collections was queried, on the basis that all other proposed increases were by approximately 3%. It was suggested that this would encourage fly tipping;
· Concern was raised at proposed parking increases and extension of parking charges. It was queried whether there was a maximum charge which could conversely lead drivers to revert to on-street parking;
· It was clarified that the proposed £108,000 councillor community grants was less that the current unallocated grant budget; and
· It was clarified that parking income was generally paid into a designated parking account, separate to the revenue account, which in the main was then allocated back to parking related expenditure. The Executive Director of Finance and Resources agreed to circulate full figures relating to parking income and expenditure for 2018/19.
Resolved: the Committee
· Note the draft proposals for the 2021 Budget and Revised Medium Term Financial Strategy for 2020/21 to 2023/24;
· Request that the above comments are taken into consideration; and
· Request details of parking revenue income and expenditure for 2018-19.
Review of Work Programme
The Committee reviewed and agreed its work programme with the following comments:-
· The Chair undertook to discuss the need for a January meeting with the Executive Director of Finance and Resources and to update the committee accordingly;
· The Chair commented that there was a continuing need for overview and scrutiny of the waste management contract which may require a further report or update in March; and
· It was noted that there would be an update from the s106 Task & Finish group in March.