Venue: Meeting Room 1, Council Offices, Priory Road, Spalding
Contact: Christine Morgan 01775 764454
Declarations of Interest.
(Members are no longer required to declare personal or prejudicial interests but are to declare any new Disclosable Pecuniary Interests that are not currently included in their Register of Interests.
Members 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, members 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.
To update on progress of the purchase of a new asset management system (report of the CSU and Property General Manager enclosed).
With the agreement of the Chairman, it was decided to move this item, followed by the ICT Summary Update, up the agenda, to be considered prior to the Portfolio Holder update.
Consideration was given to the report of the CSU and Property General Manager, which updated the Panel on progress of the purchase of a new asset management system.
The new system would enable the property team to keep suitable records of completed and planned work undertaken on the housing stock. It would provide the necessary information to assist with future financial planning, as well as removing duplication of data for various maintenance and legislative purposes (including asbestos, servicing of gas appliances and Energy Performance Certificates). The new system would replace a number of existing systems to ensure information was not duplicated, but could be integrated with other systems, including the CSU and Housing Management Team’s systems.
A procurement exercise had been conducted by the Housing Property Services team, and was nearing completion. The CSU and Property General Manager advised that a supplier had now been selected, and that the contract would be awarded shortly. Implementation of the new system would take a number of months, but should be fully completed by late summer/early autumn of 2015.
Members considered the report and the following questions were asked:
· Would improvements be seen with the introduction of the new system?
o Yes, it would bring all aspects of the service into one area. Compliance would be achieved, it would make the Asset Management Plan more streamlined, would provide better forecasting and modelling and make the unit more efficient.
· Who would have access to use the system?
o It would not be restricted by licenses, so anybody could use it. Customer Services would be able to access the system.
· Would the system ultimately provide a greater depth to knowledge to operatives?
o Training had to be undertaken. Implementation would take six to nine months, data would be provided to the suppliers for input, it would be ensured that the data input was correct, and roll out would then follow.
· How would improvement in performance, as a result of the new system, be measured?
o The Executive Director (Place) responded that some performance indicators were needed to show the measurable differences the system made e.g. with regard to efficiency and savings. The CSU and Property General Manager would receive support in this from the management team.
· Would the new system have any effect on the time taken to turn around void properties?
o It was hoped that the system would enable more flexibility around stock condition, and work could be planned on a more realistic basis.
· Had sickness figures improved?
o In the past, there had been concerns regarding sickness levels however, real progress was being made in significantly reducing the average number of days lost to sickness. Sickness levels within the department were now comparable to other sections within the Authority.
Members stated that they were extremely happy to hear that sickness levels ... view the full minutes text for item 42.
To update members on ICT (report of the Executive Director – Commissioning and Governance)
Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Director (Commissioning and Governance) which provided members with an update on ICT.
Detailed as an appendix to the report was a list of current ICT (Information and Communications Technology) issues. The Panel was advised that the Members’ IT refresh was currently on track. iPads had been recommended as the preferred technology by the IT Working Group. Phones and printers had not been requested. Budget figures to release funds were being included in the finance report being presented to Cabinet on 17 February 2015.
Members considered this information and the following issues were raised:
· Had any consultation been undertaken prior to the decision being made to recommend iPads?
o The sub-group had met, and iPads had been given to Councillors G Taylor and S Wilkinson to trial, and they had used them successfully.
· Councillor Alcock commented that this trial was limited. He also asked whether Microsoft Word and Excel could be used on the iPads, and also whether it was possible to print from them?
o Officers responded that Breckland Council and Lincolnshire County Council members used iPads successfully. Microsoft Word and Excel could be used on them. Training for members on the functions of the iPad would be needed, and this was being drawn together. It was possible to print from iPads
· Had the IT Working Group made any recommendations as to what applications could be added to the iPad and what it should be used for?
o The Interim ICT Manager advised that this issue needed to be addressed.
· When would roll-out of the new equipment take place?
o Roll-out would commence on Monday 11 May 2015, new members would receive their equipment first, followed be re-elected members. All iPads would be loaded identically, and configured before the election, in readiness for roll-out. In addition to roll-out of the equipment, training was being arranged, and policies were being reviewed.
· Councillor Aley (Vice-Chairman of the Working Group) commented that he had been very impressed with the iPad, its ease of use, and compatibility with existing systems and wireless printers (if these were to be used).
That the report of the Executive Director (Commissioning and Governance) be noted.
(The Interim ICT Manager and the ICT Manager left the meeting at 7.10pm, following discussion of the above item).
Portfolio Holder update
The Portfolio Holder for Community Assets, Member Services and Special Projects will be in attendance to provide an update on his Portfolio in general. Particular issue for consideration to be IT equipment to be provided to members following the District Council Elections in May 2015.
At a meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel on 8 April 2014, it had been agreed ‘that Portfolio Holders, including the Leader of the Council, be invited to attend Panel meetings, to provide updates on the work that their departments were undertaking, and that financial issues should also be included in the updates’.
At the last meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel, it was agreed that the Panel wished to speak to the Portfolio Holder responsible for IT, in particular the equipment to be provided to members following the District Council Elections in May 2015. Alongside this, they also requested an update on his portfolio in general, and the current position. To this end, the Portfolio Holder for Community Assets, Members Services and Special Projects attended to provide the update requested. The following updates were provided:
· IT issues were on track, and the work undertaken by members of the Working Group had been comprehensive.
· The economy was currently the most important issue for South Holland and the ‘Grants 4 Growth’ scheme was an integral part of helping it to expand. There had been a very positive take-up for grants from small businesses.
· A strategic overview of markets and car parks was in the process of being undertaken.
· The Portfolio Holder understood that progress was being made with regard to the Rail Freight Hub.
· Sport and Arts Development – Sport and art activities were in place to address anti-social behaviour; a Lincolnshire Sports Officer had been employed; funding for Sport-i-vate had been received via Lincs Sports; the Summer Fun Brochure detailing activities during the school holiday was being produced.
With regard to Section106 monies, members asked for an update on progress with regard to the bandstand and aviary at Ayscoughfee Gardens, a project which had had Section 106 monies allocated to it. The Portfolio Holder advised that the current estimate for the work was over-budget. Panel members were adamant that no more public money should be spent on the project, and that it be completed within the original budget allocated to it. The Executive Director (Place) advised that the Assistant Director Community was dealing with the issue, and suggested to the Panel that he attend the next meeting to provide an update on the situation. The Panel responded that the Portfolio Holder should speak with the Assistant Director Community to consider the Panel’s discussions and to ensure that the project was completed within the budget and timescale. They also requested that a report be made to the next Panel meeting covering the issues raised, a report on progress, and how it would move forward within the anticipated timeframe.
With regard to sports funding, members questioned how this was publicised. The Portfolio Holder responded that information was available on the South Holland District Council website. Members responded that it was very difficult to find the information on the website, and that communication issues in this respect were not good. This issue around communications would be raised by the Panel ... view the full minutes text for item 44.
To sign as a correct record the minutes of the following meetings:
The minutes from the following meetings were signed by the Chairman as a correct record:
· 25 November 2014 – Performance Monitoring Panel;
· 3 December 2014 – Special joint meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel and the Policy Development Panel;
· 12 January 2015 – Special joint meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel and the Policy Development Panel
During discussion of the minutes of 25 November 2014, the following issues were raised:
· Minute 4 (a)(ii) (CCTV update) and minute 5 (b) (Crime and Disorder update) - Was this information available, and had it been circulated to members? Officers advised they would enquire and advise members of the outcome.
· Minutes 7(b) – Members were advised that the Business Plan looking at Leisure Services would be discussed at the meeting of the Corporate Management Team on 2 February 2015. Members commented that the Task Group was still available to pick up anything arising from this, although the Panel should discuss it first.
· Minute 9 (b) – With regard to the proposed Gypsy and Traveller site in Spalding, members advised that they had received the information requested and were satisfied with the response. However, they wanted to know why the issue with the road had not been resolved with the County Council before the planning application had been made. The Executive Director (Place) replied that the background to the issue would be clarified, and reported back to members of the Panel.
a) That the minutes of the following meetings be agreed as a correct record:
i. 25 November 2014 – Performance Monitoring Panel;
ii. 3 December 2014 – Special joint meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel and the Policy Development Panel; and
iii. 12 January 2015 – Special joint meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel and the Policy Development Panel
b) That the following issues arising from the minutes of 25 November 2014 be addressed:
i. That the information requested in minute 4 (a) (ii) (CCTV update) and minute 5 (b) (Crime and Disorder update) be circulated to members;
ii. That issues arising from the discussion of the Business Plan looking at Leisure Services, by the Corporate Management Team on 2 February 2015, be considered further by the Panel; and
iii. That with regard to the proposed Gypsy and Traveller site in Spalding, the background to the issues with the road be clarified and reported back to members of the Panel.
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, published 9 December 2014 (copy enclosed).
Consideration was given to the Key Decision Plan issued on 9 December 2014.
It was noted that a decision would be made between 23 March 2015 and 10 April 2014 to award a new roofing renewal contract for the housing stock. Members questioned whether, when awarding the contract, consideration was given to the programme of work i.e. were all houses in an area re-roofed, regardless of what condition they were in, or was a judgement made on a house-by-house basis? If a contractor was appointed first on the basis of re-roofing a specific number of properties, it would not allow for a judgement to be made as to which ones should have work undertaken on them. The Executive Director (Place) responded that she would confirm the basis on which the contract was awarded.
a) That the Key Decision Plan be noted; and
b) That the basis on which the re-roofing contract was awarded be ascertained i.e. was consideration given to the programme of work, and which houses were to be re-roofed, prior to the contract being awarded.
To set out the Work Programme of the Performance Monitoring Panel (report of the Democratic Services and Legal Manager enclosed).
Consideration was given to the report of the Democratic Services and Legal Manager 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.
The following issues were raised:
· Portfolio Holder updates – Members agreed that future updates from Portfolio Holders should be more structured. It was agreed that the update be time limited to 15 minutes, followed by questions from members of the Panel. This new structure should be in place when the Portfolio Holder for Internal Services, Performance and Business Development attended the next meeting of the Panel.
· Portfolio Holder update/Communications – The issue of communications was raised earlier in the meeting during the Portfolio Holder update, with regard to sports funding and how it was publicised. Members felt that there were issues regarding the Authority’s website and agreed that this should be raised with the Portfolio Holder for Internal Services, Performance and Business Development when he attended the next meeting of the Panel to provide a briefing.
· That the report covering the issues raised earlier in meeting during the Portfolio Holder update, relating to the bandstand and aviary at Ayscoughfee Gardens, details of progress, and how the project would move forward within the anticipated timeframe, be added to the Panel’s Work Programme.
· The Panel wished to thank the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field Task Group for its work.
· No further Task Groups were to be set up until after the District Elections in May 2015.
a) That both sections of the Panel’s Work Programme, as set out in the report of the Democratic Services and Legal Manager, be noted;
b) That future Portfolio Holder updates be structured, allowing 15 minutes for the update, followed by questions from the Panel, and that this structure be used when the Portfolio Holder for Internal Services, Performance and Business Development attend the next Panel meeting on 3 March 2015;
c) That the issue of communications, particularly around the South Holland District Council website, be raised with the Portfolio Holder for Internal Services, Performance and Business Development, when he attended the next meeting of the Panel to provide an update; and
d) That the report covering the issues raised earlier in meeting during the Portfolio Holder update, relating to the bandstand and aviary at Ayscoughfee Gardens, details of progress, and how the project would move forward within the anticipated timeframe, be added to the Panel’s Work Programme.