Agenda and minutes

Special Meeting, Performance Monitoring Panel - Tuesday, 19th October, 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: Function Room, South Holland Centre, Market Place, Spalding, Lincolnshire, PE11 1SS

Contact: Democratic Services  01775 764454

No. Item


Declaration of Interests.

Where a Councillor has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest the Councillor must declare the interest to the meeting and leave the room 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.


Although not a member of the Panel, Councillor Newton advised that she did not have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, but in the interests of transparency, declared that in relation to agenda item 5, she was a member of the PSPS board.



Attendance by Superintendent Mark Housley

Following a request by Performance Monitoring Panel at its meeting on 27 January 2021, Superintendent Mark Housley will be in attendance to answer members questions.



Following the Crime and Disorder Partnership update to the Performance Monitoring Panel on 27 January 2021, Superintendent (Supt.) Mark Housley attended to answer Members’ questions.


Supt. Housley thanked members for the invitation to the meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel, and gave an overview of policing and crime figures in the area which included:

  • Confirmation of the Command Team relevant to South Holland: the local leader and operational contact was Nick Waters; the Chief Inspector for Boston and South Holland was Amy Whiffen; the Superintendent across the East was Mark Housley. 
  • Demand for emergency calls had increased.
  • Crime had decreased by 3.9% in South Holland due to impact of Covid which had forced the closures of town centre shops and night-time economies.
  • Violence had increased, particularly domestic abuse. The Supt. would investigate the reasons for the increase so issues could be dealt with earlier. Feedback would be given to the Panel when figures and trends were known.
  • The busiest times for police had been during the rush hour, around 5pm – not late evening as had often been perceived.
  • The response target time of twenty minutes had been considered reasonable for a rural area.
  • Stop searches were few and only carried out where intelligence had been received, not random.
  • Anti-social behaviour reports had reduced but it was acknowledged that this had been dependent on tolerance levels which was not controllable.
  • Theft of motor vehicles and vans had been linked to two ATM thefts in the area.
  • Burglaries had decreased.
  • Data relating to suspects under warrant and individuals bailed was shared.
  • The Supt. acknowledged that communication with victims of crime needed to improve.
  • Demographic data, such as unemployment statistics and population ages, had been considered when crime prevention strategies were planned. This had included work to protect residents from fraud and rogue trader activity. High unemployment rates were linked to crime, but these were low in both Holbeach and Spalding at 6% and 4.8% respectively. Areas of deprivation were challenging and demanded a higher proportion of resources.
  • The police strategy needed to be compatible with local ambitions.
  • A review of resources included: PCSO numbers; the instigation of a Rural Crime Action Team; Roads Policing Team; 30 additional officers.


Members thanked the Superintendent for the update and made the following comments:

  • Members questioned employment retention of police and whether the 20,000 recruited nationally would have made a positive impact.
    • Supt Housley replied that retention had been good and that leaver numbers were low outside of retirement. A benefit had been seen from the 1220 recruitments in the area.


  • Members commented that feedback from Parish Councils had highlighted there had been a lack of engagement from PCSOs in rural communities which impeded intelligence gathering and the exchange of information. PCSOs priorities were misplaced and had not been community based. How could this have been improved?
    • Supt. Housley acknowledged that engagement could have been improved. Strategies had been imposed rather than drawn from local needs which had been driven by measures to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.


Northgate system

Members will receive a demonstration by Officers on the capabilities of the Council’s Housing System, Northgate.



Following the Digital Work Programme update to the Performance Monitoring Panel on 18 March 2021, the Housing Project Manager and Housing Project Officer attended to demonstrate the capabilities of the Council’s Housing system.


Officers introduced the system with a presentation, which included the following points:

  • a dedicated resource need had been identified to improve the management of both customers and assets;
  • an innovative approach had been taken. Officers had secured secondments to concentrate on the Northgate project so that greater effectiveness and efficiencies could be achieved. Throughout the project, officers had worked with PSPS colleagues in ICT, Customer Services and the Digital Team. The officers had also worked with Northgate which had created a new job schedule module; 
  • A 360 View had been adopted which had recorded and maintained holistic details of every property, this included: customer contact; customer applications; customer advice and support cases; tenancy management; property repairs; void works; planned maintenance programmes and contracts. The 360 view had also been used by Customer Services who raised and appointed jobs through the system;
  • Further development was planned to enable customer online access.


Officers stated that whilst the presentation had given an overview of the Northgate system, members had also been invited to shadow the team to obtain a greater understanding of its capabilities.


Members thanked officers for the presentation and confirmed that the implementation of the system had been much welcomed. The following questions were raised:

  • Members asked whether the system had the facility to send reminder notifications of planned work to residents.
    • Officers confirmed that a new piece of work was planned around notifications for residents, which had included the facility for SMS and email messaging.


  • Members asked whether the online system had been accessible for all residents.
    • Officers responded that contact had currently been restricted to telephone calls and the online system had not yet been implemented.


  • Members asked whether the diary management system had raised any scheduling issues, such as missed appointments, and had the job allocation process taken longer.
    • Officers stated that the Customer Contact Centre had been connected to a shared diary system which had been easier to use than the previous spreadsheet process.


  • As the system required a wider description of each potential task, members questioned whether the input process had been longer. Had time been saved?

o   Officers confirmed that the input process had reduced from five minutes to one minute and that workers had given positive feedback. Considerable time saving efficiencies had been experienced.


  • Members asked if workers had been able to complete jobs which were not as originally reported.
    • Officers confirmed that engineers had been able to update incorrect details on the system which enabled the completion of each job.


  • Members asked whether the Northgate system recorded all aspects of the property.
    • The officers confirmed this was the case and stated that over 4.8 million data lines relating to properties and assets had been programmed. All elements had been itemised, and details included install dates and repair condition.



ICT and Digital Work Programme 2019-2022 Progress Update pdf icon PDF 169 KB

To provide an update to Performance Monitoring Panel on the progress of the Council’s ICT and Digital Programme (report of the Portfolio Holder Corporate and Communications enclosed).

Additional documents:


Following the Digital Work Programme update to the Performance Monitoring Panel on 18 March 2021, the Portfolio Holder for Corporate and Communications, the Programme Manager – Commercialisation, the Communications Manager and the Head of ICT and Digital (PSPS) attended to present an update on the ICT and Digital Work Programme and answer questions.


The Portfolio Holder for Corporate and Communications gave a short introduction and confirmed that the programme had been signed off in 2019. The request by the Performance Monitoring Panel to review the work programme had been a useful exercise and the strategy would be reviewed further as part of his Portfolio Holder responsibilities.


Officers introduced the report and confirmed it had been written from a Programme and Project Management perspective, and included commentary which related to:

  • SHDC and PSPS staff resources. The officer noted that there had been a nine-month delay between the proposed start date and the achievement of agreed South Holland staff resources to undertake the work;
  • the Covid pandemic and associated response from both the South Holland resource and the shared strategic resource which had championed the programme of work;
  • the place-based resilience forum approach taken by Breckland District Council and South Holland District Council. The strategic working process became fully Breckland-focussed and had been place-based at Breckland;
  • an analytical report from South Holland’s perspective of the Programme and Project Management approach taken which reflected the separation of the strategic partnership with Breckland in 2021, which had not been anticipated at the outset.
  • a summary of financial information. The officer noted that the South Holland team had been seconded to the Digital team as part of the interim South Holland management’s formalised approach in response to the pandemic;
  • South Holland’s resourcing challenges: the digital skill set had not existed within the council and there had not been a post in South Holland’s establishment to fulfil project delivery or day to day functionality;
  • an exploration of what ‘digital’ meant to South Holland;
  • commentary on the impact of Covid;
  • an analysis of the programme’s delivery approach. A fully scoped programme of activity from SHDC, which included resources, had not been robust enough which had a negative impact on the programme;
  • The officer highlighted that sections 10.5 and 10.7 of the report had related to South Holland and not PSPS;
  • The report noted areas for consideration and reflection, such as section 10.11, which the Portfolio Holder needed to take forward.


Members considered the presentation and made the following comments:

  • the original programme had been drafted at a high strategic level without an accompanying detailed business case or scoping exercise which had negatively affected its delivery;
  • the complexity and resource requirements had not been fully appreciated at the outset;
  • Members expressed disappointment that allocated funds for the digital post had been inadequate, and in addition that the budget had been spent. Investigations were needed to understand why a monitoring process had not been in place. It was appreciated some achievements had been made and that the unforeseen  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.