Agenda and minutes

Performance Monitoring Panel - Tuesday, 28th May, 2013 6.30 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 1, Council Offices, Priory Road, Spalding

Contact: Christine Morgan  01775 764454

Items
No. Item

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 12 KB

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the following meetings:

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel held on 26 March 2013 and the special meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel held on 15 May 2013 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

4.

Key Decision Plan pdf icon PDF 105 KB

To note the current Key Decision Plan (copy enclosed)

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the current Key Decision Plan.  A copy of the most recent Plan, dated 15 May 2013 was circulated at the meeting.  The following issues were discussed:

 

Sutton Bridge Gypsy and Traveller Site – This item had been moved on the Key Decision Plan from June 2013 to October 2013.  With regard to the Holbeach Gypsy and Traveller Site and the proposed new site at Sutton Bridge,  the Housing Landlord Manager advised the following:

 

·        All outstanding issues relating to the Holbeach site, which included the financial and legal aspects, were now concluded. The travellers now owned the site on the A151 at Holbeach, and the Council now owned the Cranmore Lane site.

·        All declarations for the proposed new site, to replace the existing unauthorised site at Broad Drove, Gosberton Clough, were in place, and there were no technicalities that should delay the process.

 

Economic Development at Pinnacle Close, Crease Drove, Crowland – An issue for consideration by the Cabinet in July was the use of an amount of £265,000, ring fenced for Economic Development at Pinnacle Close, Crease Drove, Crowland, to build a unit for a start up children’s nursery business.  The Chairman raised a number of concerns regarding the proposal: he was not aware that there had been any public consultation on this issue; had the effect on the present provision run by two charitable organisations in Crowland been considered?; and had the proposed provision within the former St Guthlac’s site by Lincolnshire County Council been taken into account?

 

Members questioned whether the proposed Pinnacle Close unit would be in direct competition with the two chartable organisations and County Council facilities.  They also wished to know how the proposal had been arrived at, whether it was a proper use of money and why there had been no local consultation. It was unanimously agreed that a small group of members from the Panel should meet to look into these issues prior to consideration of the item at Cabinet on 23 July 2013.  Members clarified that it was not their intention to obstruct or delay the proposal, merely to ascertain if it would adversely affect other facilities within the town or conflict with the proposals by Lincolnshire County Council.

 

DECISION:

 

a)     That the current key decision plan be noted;

 

b)     That a small group of members meet to consider the proposal being debated at Cabinet in July regarding the use of an amount of £265,000 ring fenced from Economic Development at Pinnacle Close, Crease Drove, Crowland, to build a unit for a start up children’s nursery business;

 

c)      That the group define the areas for consideration at its first meeting, but that it include the following concerns:

 

·        Why had there been no public consultation on this issue?;

·        Had the effect on the present provision run by two charitable organisations in Crowland been considered?;

·        Had the proposed provision within the former St Guthlac’s site by Lincolnshire County Council been taken into account?; and

 

d)   That the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Recommendations made by the Red Lion Quarter Task Group and South Holland's involvement in Community Interest and other Local Authority Companies Task Group pdf icon PDF 36 KB

To update Panel members on progress concerning the actions agreed to resolve recommendations from these Task Groups (report of the Portfolio Holder for Strategic Finance and Democratic Services and the Assistant Director – Finance (Section 151) enclosed.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Portfolio Holder for Strategic Finance and Democratic Services and the Assistant Director, Finance, which updated the Panel on progress concerning the actions agreed to resolve recommendations from the Red Lion Quarter Task Group and South Holland’s involvement in Community Interest and other Local Authority Companies Task Group.

 

The original recommendations had been reported to the Panel and then to Cabinet where they had been agreed.  The Corporate Management Team (CMT) had put together a response to the recommendations, which had been agreed by the Panel on 6 November 2013, and progress on these was now considered.  Other documentation appended to the report to be considered by the Panel was a project management framework; the internal auditor’s report (which had looked into the robustness of project management within the Council); and a more detailed project management framework for new businesses.

 

Members considered the information with the Business Development Manager, and the following issues arose:

 

·        Training – The Business Development Manager advised that training and awareness raising sessions were being held on the new project management framework.  The sessions were targeting key staff involved in projects and attendance would be mandatory. 

·        Action Plan, reference 7.2.2 – “As per the framework in the appendix, CMT would consider and decide what did and did not constitute a ‘significant project’” – Members questioned what the definition of a ‘significant project’ was. Was there a trigger point?  The Business Development Manager responded that the Corporate Management Team would take a view on a project’s significance and allocate assistance where required.  There was no financial amount that would indicate whether it was a ‘significant project’.  He also advised that as yet, this had not been put into practice as there had been no major projects since the Red Lion Quarter. 

·        Action Plan, reference 7.2.4 – The Business Development Manager advised that proposals that he had put forward for a project management pool had not been successful.  Individuals had been responsive however, there had been issues with regard to line managers releasing individuals to undertake this work.  It was felt that Business Development as a corporate resource should be continued, and that professional expertise be bought in as and when required for large projects.

·        Action Plan, reference 8.11 – “Where a company has other shareholders, SHDC hold an annual meeting prior to that company’s AGM to discuss the matters mentioned above to reach a common approach for SHDC within the AGM of that company” – the action proposed for this recommendation was that the meeting of Full Council that preceded the company AGM would provide for an addition to the agenda and that the relevant portfolio holder lead this item.  Members’ questioned whether this should be the company director as the relevant portfolio holder may not always be the same, dependent on the issues for consideration.  The Business Development Manager advised that the Portfolio Holder for Internal Services, Performance and Business Development was the member responsible for this issue and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

CSU Update pdf icon PDF 32 KB

To update the Performance Monitoring Panel on progress made at the CSU (report of the CSU General Manager enclosed)

 

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the CSU General Manager which updated the Panel on progress made at the CSU.  The update provided a brief overview on the recent restructure, the vehicle contract, IT developments, KPI outcomes and the trading options available to the CSU. 

 

In response to Members’ questions, the CSU General Manager and the Housing Landlord Manager provided the following information:

 

·        The CSU still used Checkmate to measure performance.  The latest figures held were for March 2013 and the CSU sat around the mid/high quartile.  Voids was an area where it did not compare favourably as SHDC offered an enhanced specification when compared to other social housing providers.

·        Programme quality checks were still being undertaken.

·        There was improvement in customer service integration.  Both systems could now correspond with each other, and there was currently no re-keying.  Phase 2 of the integration was IT dependent, and the CSU was currently awaiting confirmation of timescales from CPBS.  It was hoped that this would be confirmed shortly with completion hoped for in six months time.

·        The contract with Jackson’s had been renewed.

·        Jackson’s had contributed to the signage on the new fleet of vehicles and this signage reflected that they were working in partnership with the CSU.  It was confirmed that this would not cause problems if for any reason the CSU had to purchase from different suppliers. 

·        Information was not yet available to show properties that had repeat repairs.  They were currently only identified if a call back was requested within the call back period.

·        A full inventory of appliances within properties was still not available to CSU as it had still not been fully integrated with the housing system.  The CSU did hold a lower level of detail with regard to  appliances in properties, but this needed to be brought up to a higher level.  Some work had been undertaken to ascertain what could be done however, cost was a factor and a business case had to be put forward to demonstrate long term savings.  

·        The CSU was not currently looking to change its name.

·        There were currently no apprentices at the CSU, however the possibility of taking on one or two in September was being considered.

 

Members commented that there had been great improvements in the performance of the CSU, and that the CSU General Manager should be congratulated.  Performance had been turned around however, this now had to be reinforced by cutting costs where possible.

 

Members requested that the CSU General Manager attend a further meeting of the Panel in six months time to provide an update, and that the Housing Landlord Manager report back on a timescale for when a full inventory of appliances within properties would be available to the CSU.

 

DECISION:

 

a)     That the report and update provided by the CSU General Manager be noted;

 

b)     That the CSU General Manager attend a meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel in six months time to provide a further update on progress; and

 

c)      That  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Quarter 4 Performance Report pdf icon PDF 27 KB

To provide Members with a report on the Performance of the Council and the Priorities set out in the Corporate Plan 2011 – 2015 (report of the Assistant Director of Democratic Services enclosed).

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Assistant Director of Democratic Services which provided Members with a report on the performance of the Council and the priorities set out in the Corporate Plan 2011–2015.

 

Attached to the report was a new style Quarterly Performance Report which had been generated by the performance management system ‘Performance Plus’, and which showed the position at the end of Quarter 4 (31 March 2013).

 

Included at the front of the report was a foreword and interpretation advice.  The main body of the report contained a summary of each priority which included: Analysis; Projects; Performance Indicators; and Risks.  Commentary was provided to give further information on the current position of each item.

 

The following issues were raised:

 

·        Members requested that the glossary of symbols, currently included within the ‘Foreword’ , be included at the foot of each page detailing Projects, Indicators and Risks.

·        Key Priority SH4 (To support our Local Economy)

o       Members were advised that the Market Town Initiative, Holland Market and Rail Freight Interchange projects were to be amalgamated into one programme of work in 2013/14 as progress was slow at present, and that at the point where any one was moving ahead, they would be separated out into an individual project.

o       The two indicators ‘Planning (Number of applications approved)’ and ‘Planning (Processing of major applications) appeared to reflect the effectiveness of how planning applications were dealt with differently. It was suggested that different criteria had been used to measure these indicators, which was not helpful in comparing performance.  The Joint Performance Team Leader explained that the criteria and definition of ‘processing of major applications’ was under review.

·        Key Priority (SH5) – To Develop Stronger Communities  

o       Cumulative Impact Assessment – Project relating to on-street drinking and associated anti-social behaviour.  Members were advised that these discussions and an assessment had taken place, that no need for a cumulative impact assessment had been deemed necessary, and that resources would be channelled into monitoring this area.  Members commented there did not appear to be many positive outcomes from multi-agency working in the past, and asked how this would be undertaken in the future.  The Joint Performance Team Leader responded that she would raise this with the service manager.

·        Members commented that there appeared to be various projects within the document that were affected by IT problems.  The Joint Performance Team Leader responded that the IT department faced a lot of challenges due to the new ways of working within the Council.  It did not appear that much progress was being made however, much research was required in order to effect permanent and stable solutions and as a result, it was difficult to provide timescales for work to be completed.

·        Members asked whether the performance of joint management arrangements had been reviewed since their introduction.  Was there any information on whether performance had improved, what savings had been made, and had the original aims of the process been realised?  Members agreed that both efficiency  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Performance Monitoring Panel Work Programme pdf icon PDF 54 KB

To set out the Work Programme of the Performance Monitoring Panel (report of the Assistant Director Democratic Services enclosed).

 

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Assistant Director (Democratic Services) 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 future Panel meetings along with proposed items for consideration and the second setting out the Task Groups that had been identified by the Panel.

 

The Panel was advised that a verbal update on the Corporate Communications Strategy had been expected at this meeting but would now be considered at the next meeting on 24 July 2013.

 

At the last meeting of the Panel, it had been agreed that the views of the Chairman of the Policy Development Panel be sought with regard to a proposed joint Task Group to look at contract performance at the leisure facilities within South Holland District Council, and that if in agreement, the Task Group should consist of members of both Panels.  This issue had been discussed at a recent meeting of the Policy Development Panel, which had been in agreement for a joint Task Group to be set up, and a number of Councillors had volunteered to be members.  Members of the Performance Monitoring Panel felt that clear objectives for the Task Group were required before proceeding, and therefore requested that a meeting between the Chairman and Vice Chairman of both Panels take place to clarify these objectives.  The outcome would be reported to the next meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel.

 

DECISION:

 

a)     That both sections of the Panel’s Work Programme, as set out in the report of the Assistant Director (Democratic Services) be noted; and

 

b)     That a meeting of the Chairman and Vice Chairman of both the Performance Monitoring Panel and the Policy Development Panel be held to clarify the objectives of a joint Task Group to look at the decision to review the position with regard to leisure facilities in two years time and whether the business plan on which the decision was based was robust, and that the outcome of these discussions be reported to the next meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel.