Agenda and draft minutes

This meeting will be held virtually via Zoom and streamed live. The link for this can be found by clicking on the meeting date, Performance Monitoring Panel - Thursday, 18th March, 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: This will be a meeting held in line with The Local Authorities & Police & Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority & Police & Crime Panel Meetings) (England & Wales) Regulations 2020

Contact: Democratic Services  01775 764454

Link: View Facebook Livestream of the meeting

Items
No. Item

56.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Notification had been received that Councillor A M Newton was replacing Councillor C J T H Brewis for this meeting only.

57.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 191 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the minutes of the meetings of the Performance Monitoring Panel held on 27 January 2021 and 9 February 2021 and the meetings of the Joint Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel held on 21 January 2021 and 9 February 2021.

 

AGREED:

 

a)    That the minutes of the meeting of Performance Monitoring Panel held on 27 January 2021 be signed by the Chairman as a correct record;

 

b)    That the minutes of the meeting of Performance Monitoring Panel held on 9 February 2021 be signed by the Chairman as a correct record;

 

c)    That the minutes of the meeting of the Joint Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel held on 21 January 2021 be signed by the Chairman as a correct record; and

 

d)    That the minutes of the meeting of the Joint Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel held on 9 February 2021 be signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

58.

Declaration of Interests.

Where a Councillor has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest the Councillor must declare the interest and leave the meeting without participating in any discussion or making a statement on the item, except where a councillor is permitted to remain as a result of a grant of dispensation.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interests.

59.

Questions asked under Standing Order 6

Minutes:

There were no questions arising.

60.

Tracking of Recommendations

To consider responses of the Cabinet to reports of the Panel.

Minutes:

There were no responses.

61.

Items referred from the Policy Development Panel.

Minutes:

There were no items referred.

62.

Key Decision Plan pdf icon PDF 260 KB

To note the current Key Decision Plan

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Key Decision Plan issued on 4 March 2021.

 

·         Members questioned around the funding made available for energy improvements for homes within South Holland, and asked where the funding would come from, and how much it would be.

o   The Housing Landlord Services Manager reported that there had been success in a grant application to the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Phase 1B (GHG LAD Phase 1B) and that funding had been received for energy efficiency works .There would also be an element of matched funding from the Capital Programme, from the HRA reserves.  It would be a maximum of £5,000 of grant funding per individual property.  There would be an initial grant of £255,000 with any works being carried out matched to a third, equating to approximately £85,000 from the Capital Programme. This funding would be available for tenants of the Council’s own housing stock.

 

AGREED:

That the Key Decision Plan issued on 4 March 2021 be noted.

63.

Property acquisition to support the Next Steps Accommodation Programme (Portfolio Holder Decision) pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To allow the Panel to question the Portfolio Holder on the reasons for proceeding with the decision, in view of the issues raised during pre-decision scrutiny (report of the Executive Manager Governance (Deputy Monitoring Officer) enclosed.

 

(Please note that Appendix B to this report is not for publication by virtue of Paragraph 2 (Information which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual) and Paragraph 3 (Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)) in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, and is therefore attached to this agenda as item 13).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Manager Governance, which provided members with a summary of issues relating to the recent Portfolio Holder Decision ‘Property acquisition to support the Next Steps Accommodation Programme’.

 

At a special meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel held on 9 February 2021, pre-decision scrutiny had been undertaken on a decision to be made by the Portfolio Holder for Assets and Planning relating to ‘Property acquisition to support the Next Steps Accommodation Programme’.  The Panel had raised a number of issues, detailed within the report, and had requested that the Portfolio Holder be notified in writing that the property in question should not be purchased, and that he should consider a more suitable property, with no chain, and that did not require so much work.

 

On 22 February 2021, the Portfolio Holder for Assets and Planning made his decision, as detailed within the report.  Attached at Appendix A was the report that had accompanied the decision, and this included a summary of the comments from the Performance Monitoring Panel, together with the Portfolio Holder’s responses to each point, and an assessment of whether there was a justification for proceeding to acquire the property.

 

The Panel had requested that the Portfolio Holder attend this meeting to provide a fuller response to the objections raised at the meeting on 9 February 2021.  The report clarified that, whilst the Panel could question the Portfolio Holder further on the matter, a final decision had been made and was in the process of implementation.

 

Prior to discussion, the Chairman made it clear that the purpose of the meeting was not to revisit the discussion on this item, as it had been considered at the meeting on 9 February - the Portfolio Holder had been present at that meeting and would have been aware of the strength of feeling expressed, and the overwhelming support for the recommendations. The Chairman continued that, following on from the meeting on 9 February, the Portfolio Holder had received a further report from officers - with the benefit of that report, and taking into account the comments and recommendations of members of the Panel, the Portfolio Holder had proceeded to make his decision in line with the original recommendation.

 

The following issues were raised:

 

·         Members asked for clarification as to why it had been necessary to take the decision urgently, when it had been stated during the discussion at the meeting in February, and within the report, that an extension period had been requested to provide more time for the decision to be made, and that within 10 days, that extension had been agreed.

  • The Portfolio Holder responded that the matter had been considered by the Council on 25 November 2020 where it had been agreed to pursue the Next Steps Programme. The Housing Team had contacted himself, as the Portfolio Holder for Assets and Planning, the Portfolio Holder for Finance, Strategy and Partnerships and the Portfolio Holder for HRA and Private Sector Housing, and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.

64.

Digital Work Programme

The Panel will receive a presentation from the Communications Manager on the progress of the Council’s Digital Work Programme.

Minutes:

The Panel was advised that it would receive two updates, the first on the Northgate system, and the second an update on the current situation with regard to the Digital Work Programme.

 

Northgate System

 

The Housing and Landlord Services Manager provided the Panel with a presentation on the Northgate System, used by the Housing Team.

 

·         Prior to the introduction of the Northgate system, the Housing Department had used at least 7 different systems that each stood alone and were not interlinked. The solution was therefore to have one system that served all areas that the Housing Department dealt with, which both officers and customers could use, and which did everything required in a more user-friendly, easy-to-access way.

·         One of the first improvements was a task summary facility for the officers and managers which prioritised the tasks that needed to be dealt with, enabling them to be actioned effectively.

·         With regard to Private Sector Housing, improvements had been made to the customer facing side of the system, relating to applications for HMO licences.  This had previously been a paper- based task, which had been dealt with by officers.  With the new system, all necessary information could be uploaded by the customer in real time, along with supporting documents and payment. The application would then move into a processing queue for officers to deal with.

·         With regard to the Repairs service, improvements had been made by combining the two systems previously used into the one area, which could be updated in real time, and which could also be used by customers. A new pictorial guide to repairs had been created which asked the necessary questions to ascertain the type and severity of the problem. If the job was automatically diagnosed to be an emergency, notification would immediately be sent to the PDA device of the officer on call, to be dealt with as an emergency repair. Ultimately, the customer would be able to book their repair appointment via an online appointment system – work on this stage of the process was still underway.

·         Members were advised that officers were currently halfway through the project timeline.

 

Members considered the information and the following issues were raised:

 

·         Members commented that the pictorial side of the system for reporting repairs was very useful, particularly for people with learning difficulties.  However, would residents who did not wish to use the on-line system still be able to access the previous method of reporting via direct contact with an officer?

  • The Housing and Landlord Services Manger confirmed that the system was an enhancement, not a replacement, and that the direct contact system would still remain in place.

 

·         In terms of the customer experience, how would it be confirmed that any repair work had been undertaken, and that the customer experience had been completed? 

  • With regard to customer satisfaction, the system would generate housing dashboards that would break down jobs by trade, showing the satisfaction achieved for the customer.

 

·         Could members assist their own residents in completing the information  ...  view the full minutes text for item 64.

65.

Performance Monitoring Panel Work Programme pdf icon PDF 143 KB

To set out the Work Programme of the Performance Monitoring Panel (report of the Executive Manager – Governance (Deputy Monitoring Officer) enclosed.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the 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 propose items for consideration, and the second setting out the Task Groups that had been identified by the Panel.

 

AGREED:


That the report be noted.

66.

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.

Minutes:

There were none.