Venue: Meeting Room 1, Council Offices, Priory Road, Spalding
Contact: Christine Morgan 01775 764454
To sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 16 September 2015 (copy enclosed).
The minutes of the meeting held on 16 September 2015 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
The following issues were raised in relation to the minutes:
· Members asked whether the information requested under minute number 11 (Procurement) was available. The Democratic Services Officer advised that the information had been forwarded to Panel members on 13 October 2015, and agreed that this information would be recirculated.
· Crime and Disorder Update (minute number 13) – The Chairman reminded the Panel that at its last meeting, Councillors had raised concerns about the lack of data showing the number of arrests, convictions etc. linked to information gathered from CCTV, and that this information should be provided to demonstrate that the cameras were producing results. He advised that when it had been agreed to replace the CCTV system, one of the pre-conditions had been that feedback would be provided on how it was helping the Police. It was therefore an accepted principle that feedback would be provided as a matter of course, and not purely at the request of Councillors.
a) That the minutes of the Performance Monitoring Panel meeting held on 16 September 2015 be signed by the Chairman as a correct record;
b) That the procurement information requested at the meeting on 16 September 2015 be recirculated to Councillors; and
c) That it be noted that feedback from the Police on how CCTV was assisting them was a pre-condition of the agreement to replace the system, and that the Panel would therefore expect this information when it was requested.
Declaration of Interests.
(Councillors are reminded that under the Code of Conduct they are not to participate in the whole of an agenda item to which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest. In the interests of transparency, councillors may also wish to declare any other interests that they have, in relation to an agenda item, that supports the Nolan principles detailed within the Code of Conduct.)
There were none.
Questions asked under Council Procedure Rule 10.3.
There were none.
Tracking of Recommendations
To consider responses of the Cabinet to reports of the Panel.
There were none.
Items referred from the Policy Development Panel.
There were none.
To note the current Key Decision Plan, issued 9 November 2015 (copy enclosed).
Consideration was given to the Key Decision Plan issued on 9 November 2015. The following issues were raised:
· Councillors commented that there did not appear to be many items on the Key Decision Planner and those that were seemed to be predominantly from one department. The Panel was advised that not all decisions made by the Authority would appear on the Plan as certain criteria had to be met for an item to appear on it. It was requested that further clarification on this be provided to Panel members.
· Concern was raised over the cancellation of a number of recent meetings . It was felt that this, in addition to the small number of items on the Key Decision Planner, gave the impression that the Authority was not dealing with enough business. Clarification on this issue was also sought, to be provided to Panel members.
· In relation to the item on the Key Decision Planner, to award a new roofing renewal contract for the housing stock, the Panel questioned whether the decision to re-roof properties was made following an assessment of the condition of each property, or whether properties were re-roofed as a matter of course after a particular amount of time. It was agreed that consideration should be given to which was the appropriate scrutiny panel to address this and that once ascertained, the information be provided to that Panel.
a) That the Key Decision Plan issued on 9 November 2015 be noted;
b) That the Executive Manager for Governance provide the Panel with information on the Key Decision Planner, specifically clarification on the criteria around which items should be added to it;
c) That officers consider councillors’ concerns over the cancellation of meetings and the apparent lack of items on the Key Decision Planner, which was felt to give the impression that the Council was not productive; and
d) That the policy relating to the decision to award a new roofing renewal contract for the housing stock be presented to the appropriate scrutiny panel, and that consideration be given as to whether the decision to renew was driven by condition or by time.
To provide an update on Council performance for the period 1 April 2015 to 30 September 2015 (report of the Executive Director, Strategy and Governance enclosed)
Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Director, Strategy and Governance, which provided an update on Council performance for the period 1 April 2015 to 30 September 2015.
The Quarter 2 Performance Report was attached to the covering report at Appendix A, and provided councillors and residents with information about the Council’s delivery against its Corporate Priorities, and on the Council’s Corporate Health. The covering report presented a summary of the status of the Council’s key projects and indicators.
Areas of success, where performance had improved since the last period (Quarter 1, 2015/16) were also brought to Councillors’ attention, as were areas of concern where performance was below anticipated outcomes or were worsening. These items were discussed at Performance Board on 22 October 2015 and highlighted to Executive Management Team on 23 November 2015.
The Panel considered the information provided within the report, and the following issues were raised:
· It would be useful for appendices in future reports to show previous quarter results, in order that councillors could track the trajectory of performance.
o The Corporate Improvement and Performance Manager agreed that this could be done, and was happy for councillors to provide any suggestions for improvements.
· Councillors asked what the figures in the value and target columns of the Performance Report represented.
o The Corporate Improvement and Performance Manager advised that the figures represented days. He confirmed that relevant units could be added, where appropriate, on future reports.
· The Panel had been advised that when a property became void, if there was any asbestos in it, the opportunity was taken to use the vacant period to remove it from the property. Void data had not been performing well for a while therefore, was asbestos removal the only reason for poor performance?
o The Shared Executive Director Place advised that this was the main reason for poor performance. Small, routine work was often held up by the presence of asbestos in properties, and the decision had therefore been taken to programme asbestos removal work during void periods. Unfortunately, this had impacted upon performance in this area and officers had been requested to investigate ways of speeding up the process.
· How many properties required removal of asbestos?
o The Shared Executive Director Place advised that he would obtain this information and advise Panel members.
· Were the contractors currently being used to remove asbestos taking longer than necessary to complete their work?
o The Shared Executive Director Place advised that the Authority was currently in the process of identifying a new contractor to undertake these works.
· Performance in relation to housing re-lets was poor, was there anything that the Panel could do to assist?
o The Chairman commented that it was the Panel’s job to monitor performance, and that if performance had not improved by Quarter 3, the issue should be pursued. He stated that improvement would be expected by the next quarter.
o The Shared Executive Director Place stated that performance was not satisfactory. The Authority was attempting to ... view the full minutes text for item 27.
To provide the Panel with an update on staffing levels, Development Management performance standards and Local Plan timetabling (report of the Executive Director Place enclosed)
Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Director Place, which provided the Panel with an update on staffing levels, Development Management performance standards and Local Plan timetabling.
Updates had previously been received at Panel meetings on 25 November 2014 and 3 March 2015, and a further update on the current position was provided within the report.
The recruitment of a range of permanent and temporary staff had facilitated an improvement in performance. Current statistical performance was detailed in a table within the report. Performance across the board had improved since January 2015 and continued to do so in line with a managed approach to meeting with the increasing range of performance targets set by government, as detailed in sections 1.12 and 1.13 of the report.
In relation to the emerging Local Plan, the current timetable was effectively being maintained. The Draft Joint Local Plan had been presented to the South East Lincolnshire Local Plan Steering Group, and the formal Joint Committee for final approval. The Draft Local Plan would be subject to a six week public consultation exercise, beginning in early January 2016.
The Panel considered the information within the report, and the following issues were raised:
· Councillors asked why the role of Planning and Building Control Manager was still vacant.
o The Shared Executive Director Place advised that the Authority was finding it difficult to recruit to this position. It was looking at potential interim solutions, such as working with neighbouring authorities.
· Was salary an issue with regard to recruitment? Was the salary being offered for this position on a par with other authorities?
o Salary was a factor, but this was not the only issue. The difficulty in recruitment was not unusual, as many other authorities around the country were having similar difficulties in recruiting to similar vacancies. More planners were now choosing to work in the private sector, rather than with local authorities.
· How was the vacancy affecting the department?
o The Shared Executive Director Place advised that the Place Manager (who was the former Planning Manager) was providing support for the interim period, but this was not a long-term solution.
· Was the department benefiting from the input of the Place Manager? Was his main role suffering as a result?
o The Shared Executive Director Place advised that the department was benefiting however, his role was as Place Manager and this was being affected somewhat by his assistance in the Planning Department. The Place Manager could not cover the role of Planning and Building Control Manager full time and the situation was not ideal as he was filling another post. Both posts needed to be filled.
· As the Place Manager’s role was only confirmed until March 2016, could there be problems after this date if the role of Planning and Building Control Manager had not been filled by this point?
o The Shared Executive Director Place advised that the permanent position of Planning and Building Control Manager was currently being advertised. In the interim, the ... view the full minutes text for item 28.
To provide an update to Councillors on progress with the new CCTV system (report of the Executive Director Place enclosed)
Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Director Place, which provided an update to councillors on progress with the new CCTV system, as requested at the last meeting of the Panel on 16 September 2015. At this meeting, councillors had considered whether it would be appropriate to reconvene the Effectiveness of CCTV Task Group as there were concerns over the delay in implementing the scheme, why some Parish Councils had decided not to have the cameras, and why CCTV data was still not available.
The report provided information on the current position of how many cameras were installed, which towns and villages were included in the scheme, and issues around signal strength and lines of sight between locations and how these were being resolved.
Consideration was given to the report and the following issues were raised:
· Would records be kept of information obtained from CCTV coverage, such as details of arrests? This type of information should be fed back to the Authority.
o The Executive Director Place commented that the Authority would communicate this information better in the future and ensure that it was recorded and the information shared.
· It was apparent that there had been issues with the wireless connection between the control centre in Boston and some of the towns to be covered by CCTV. The possibility that this would prove problematic had been raised early in the process.
· There were issues with the wireless connection to Crowland. Alternative wireless solutions were being looked at.
· Long Sutton and Sutton Bridge had withdrawn from the scheme because of a number of issues.
o The Executive Director Place advised that a resolution to problems in particular areas was being worked on. Once these were overcome, an attempt would be made to promote the system again to Long Sutton and Sutton Bridge.
· While connection issues were being resolved and cameras could not be monitored, was the Authority paying the monitoring centre in Boston?
o The Executive Director Place confirmed that they were not being paid.
· The monitoring centre in Boston was currently monitoring for four Authorities. Was there an optimum number of Authorities that could be effectively viewed?
o The Executive Director Place replied that the Authority was satisfied that the South Holland cameras could be monitored as expected.
· There appeared to have been a number of concerns with one contract in particular - were there any performance issues arising from this?
o The Executive Director Place commented that the initial mistake had been in the survey of the delivery solution, and that the contractor was bearing the cost of this.
· Was the Authority getting value for money? Was CCTV being used effectively?
o The Executive Director Place responded that CCTV did provide a deterrent, that there was a live feed between the town and the control centre, and that the Police used evidence gained from CCTV in prosecutions.
It was agreed that progress on issues encountered relating to the new CCTV system be reported to the ... view the full minutes text for item 29.
To set out the Work Programme of the Performance Monitoring Panel (report of the Shared Executive Manager, Governance enclosed)
In addition to the report, the Panel will also consider the following items:
· The Panel to consider inviting a representative of Network Rail to a future meeting to discuss a number of issues
· The Panel to consider whether it wishes to set up a Task Group to address issues relating to the swimming pool in Spalding, and if so, to agree on a scope and membership for the Task Group.
Consideration was given to the report of the Shared Executive Manager Governance, which set out the Work Programme of the Performance Monitoring Panel. The Work Programme consisted of two separate sections, the first setting out the dates of the future Panel meetings along with proposed items for consideration, and the second setting out the Task Groups that had been identified by the Panel.
Consideration was given to the report, and the following issues were raised:
· With regard to the scheduled Crime and Disorder update to the April 2016 meeting, it was reported that some concern had been raised over the reduced support by the Police with regard to attendance at Neighbourhood Panels and Spalding Town Forum and support for the Street Pastor scheme.
· Councillor Carter raised concerns relating to how health provision was being dealt with in light of large housing developments - Councillor Carter was advised that these issues had been considered at the September meeting of the Policy Development Panel and that a copy of these minutes would be circulated.
· As Leisure formed part of the Transformation programme, could the work of the original Task Group be revived?
· The issue of Leisure had to be addressed, and the Task Group should be able to be reconstituted in order to finish its work.
· Leisure was an issue for people moving into the area, and investment in this sector was needed.
· The Chairman asked how the issue could be moved on?
o The Executive Director Place advised that the issue of leisure would be moved forward in the long term through its inclusion in the transformation programme. Its position within the programme had been moved forward.
· The Chairman responded that the Transformation Programme should not ignore work undertaken by the Leisure Task Group, and it was requested that at its next meeting, the Panel be informed of where leisure was being considered within the Transformation Programme in order to ascertain how the work of the Leisure Task Group would fit into the timeline.
Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field Task Group
· Councillor Dark confirmed that the arrangements between the Authority and the Football Club had now been resolved. He also advised that a small Open Day had been held at the Playing Field earlier in the year, that lessons had been learned and another event would be held Easter 2016.
· Councillors asked what the situation was with regard to the painting of the gates.
o The Executive Director Place advised that he would find out the situation and report back to Panel members.
· Councillor McLean questioned whether there was any scope for the Panel to look at concerns relating to Network Rail, such as traffic issues/barrier issues/waste on land.
· The best approach could be to invite a representative to a Panel meeting and question them on a specific topic on behalf of the whole Council.
· A number of Panel members commented that they had tried to contact Network Rail on a variety of issues, received confirmation emails ... view the full minutes text for item 30.
Any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent
NOTE: No other business is permitted unless by reason of special circumstances, which shall be specified in the minutes, the Chairman is of the opinion that the item(s) should be considered as a matter of urgency.
There were none.