Agenda and draft minutes

Reconvened from 14 Sept 2022, Performance Monitoring Panel - Wednesday, 19th October, 2022 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Priory Road, Spalding

Contact: Democratic Services  01775 764693

Items
No. Item

20.

Minutes

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the minutes of the Performance Monitoring Panel meeting held on 19 October 2022.

 

AGREED:

 

That the minutes be signed as a correct record.

21.

Actions

21a)

Actions: updated responses

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the actions which arose at the 15 June 2022  Performance Monitoring Panel meeting, and the tracking of previous outstanding actions.

 

Members requested further responses for the following actions:

·       Action 8c: a formal response was requested regarding Housing Repairs Team resources;

·       Action 10a: members asked for clarification of current ownership of the public toilets situated near the Crowland water tower;

o   The Democratic Services Officer would approach officers for further updates.

·       Action 10c: the results of the heavy duty timer lock trial were requested.

o   The Holbeach ward member confirmed that the trial had been successful and there were no issues with the heavy duty locks

·       Action 13a: Members asked whether the planned recruitment had taken place.

o   The Assistant Director – Leisure and Culture confirmed that the positions had been filled.

 

AGREED:

 

That the actions be noted.

21b)

Actions: Spalding Recycling Centre

Minutes:

During the Performance Monitoring Panel meeting held on 15 June 2022, members had requested that the responsible Lincolnshire County Council (L.C.C.) Portfolio Holder attend a future meeting to answer questions regarding performance of Spalding Recycling Centre. The L.C.C Portfolio Holder was unable to attend the current meeting but had requested that questions be forwarded for a response after the meeting.

 

Members were disappointed that the Lincolnshire County Council Portfolio Holder had not been able to attend. There were no further questions from the Panel at this stage.

22.

Declaration of Interests.

Minutes:

There were none.

23.

Questions asked under Standing Order 6

Minutes:

There were none.

24.

Tracking of Recommendations

24a)

South Holland Centre Task Group Tracking of Recommendations

Minutes:

Members considered responses of the Cabinet to reports of the Panel, relating to the recommendations of the South Holland Centre Task Group.

 

The Chairman introduced the item which at Appendix A laid out the Task Group’s recommendations, and the Cabinet’s response to them at meetings held on  7 June 2022 and 19 July 2022.  The Chairman commented that he was unhappy with the amendment to the original Cabinet recommendations on 7 June 2022 as he felt that this  had altered the emphasis of the report. He also commented that he did not believe that the recommendations of the South Holland Centre Task Group had been followed and also stated that the Chairman of the Task Group had not received a progress report. A written progress report had therefore been requested to come forward to the current meeting, at agenda item 6b, however the report had not been available for the adjourned meeting on 14 September 2022 and would come forward to a future meeting.

 

Members considered the Chairman’s comments and made the following comments:

 

  • Members were disappointed that the requested report regarding progress of the South Holland Centre Task Group recommendations had not been available for the 14 September 2022 Performance Monitoring Panel meeting and had not come forward to the current reconvened meeting on 19 October 2022.
    • The Chairman clarified that the requested progress report could not come forward to the current meeting as it had not been available for the 14 September 2022 meeting. Whilst this had been disappointing, it was not permissible to change the agenda of a reconvened meeting. The report would be required to come forward to the 29 November 2022 Performance Monitoring Panel meeting.

 

AGREED:

 

That the update of the South Holland Task Group Tracking of Recommendations be noted.

 

25a)

South Holland Centre Task Group progress report on recommendations

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Communities and Facilities attended the meeting to update the Panel on progress of the South Holland Centre Task Group recommendations:

 

The Chairman welcomed the verbal update by the Portfolio Holder for Communities and Facilities but reiterated that a written report would need to come forward.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Communities and Facilities introduced the update by giving a brief timeline of events:

  • the South Holland Centre had reopened in July 2021 after the Covid-19 pause in operations;
  • the revised staffing structure had been approved at Full Council;
  • a Task Group had been established which had provided 26 recommendations and the work of the Task Group had been appreciated;
  • the recommendations went forward to Cabinet in June 2022;
  • due to the passage of time, some of the recommendations had already been delivered and the Portfolio Holder for Communities and Facilities was therefore requested to lead a Cabinet sub-group to work through the recommendations; the work of the Cabinet sub-group concluded on 8 August 2022.

 

The following outcomes had resulted from the investigations of the Cabinet sub-group and the upcoming report included:

  • an updated response to the South Holland Centre Task Group recommendations;
  • key industry updates: investigations had shown that the entertainment industry continued to face challenges in a post Covid environment; and
  • the creation of an action plan to be presented to Cabinet on 15 November 2022. The following four key themes of the action plan had aligned with the South Holland Centre Task Group report:
    • commercial activity and opportunity;
    • marketing, promotion and programming;
    • building and operations; and
    • the long-term development and future of the South Holland Centre.

 

Progress had included:

  • the appointment of a South Holland Centre Manager:
  • a catering contractor was in place; and
  • the achievement of capacity sales at several live shows; and some film titles had also performed well.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Communities and Facilities completed the update by thanking all members and interviewees of the South Holland Centre Task Group for their input.

 

  • Members thanked the Portfolio Holder for the update but stated that the joint South Holland Centre Task Group would have welcomed an earlier opportunity to understand which of the recommendations had been/were being implemented. The South Holland Centre Task Group would need to reconvene after the 15 November 2022 Cabinet meeting to establish whether the essence of the original recommendations had been sustained and an explanation would be sought should this not be the case.
    • The Portfolio Holder stated that any questions directly posed to him would have received a response and an apology was offered for any misunderstanding on the matter. The Chairman of the Performance Monitoring Panel had the opportunity to raise questions at the 15 November 2022 Cabinet meeting.

 

Members referred to recommendation 1b on the South Holland Centre Task Group Tracking document, and asked whether the Business Plan going forward to Cabinet had been extended through to September 2023.

26.

Items referred from the Policy Development Panel.

Minutes:

There were none.

27.

Key Decision Plan

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Key Decision Plan dated 30 May 2022.

 

·       Members referred to the ‘Acquisition of S106 affordable homes in Gosberton, from a developer’ and requested that all three ward members be consulted individually.

 

  • Members queried the wording of the ‘Consultees and Method of Consultation’ column and suggested that ‘ward members will be informed’ be replaced with ‘ward members will be consulted’. Members should be given the opportunity to convey their opinion.
    • The Portfolio Holder for HRA and Private Sector Housing responded that the preference would be for ward members to be consulted.
    • The Democratic Services Officer would check the agreed wording with relevant officers.

 

AGREED:

 

That the Key Decision Plan be noted.

 

28.

Performance Report Q1 2022/2023

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Assistant Director – Corporate which provided an update on how the Council had performed from the period 1 April 2022 to 30 June 2022.

 

The Assistant Director – Wellbeing and Community Leadership introduced the report on behalf of the Senior Change and Performance Business Partner, by stating that the following items were below target:

  • Customer Contact; and
  • Homelessness prevention

Both areas had been impacted by complex cases. Q2 data, to be reported to the Panel at the next meeting, would show that progress had been made however further improvements were required. The Head of Customer Contact (PSPS) and the Homelessness Reduction and Private Sector Improvement Manager were in attendance to update the Panel on progress and to answer member questions.

 

The Head of Customer Contact (PSPS) gave the following update:

  • Positive results had been reported to the Panel at the 15 June 2022 Performance Monitoring Panel meeting which followed the implementation of the Services Performance and Recovery Improvement Plan in April 2022. Improvements were demonstrated in May and June 2022 during a time of continued performance pressures;
  • The service had been resourced to respond to planned initiatives throughout the year however additional pressures had been experienced in Q2 due to government initiatives such as the Household Support Scheme and the £150 energy rebate scheme. The latter had created more than 35,000 additional calls to the Contact Centre in Q2, of which 12,500 related to SHDC.
  • Additional resources were drafted but had been insufficient to deal with the sheer volumes which were presented;
  • An elevated customer need had continued to increase both volume and duration of contact to unprecedented levels  Average call duration had increased by 100 seconds compared to the pre-Covid era; and comparisons of year-on-year Q2 contact data had evidenced the following incremental shifts in demand:
    • 39150 contacts in 2020/21
    • 43202 contacts in 2021/22; and
    • 58408 contacts in 2022/23
  • Q3 performance had started positively with significant forecasted increases in Key Performance Indicators (KPI); however the following pressures were anticipated:
    • 11,500 letters were to be sent to customers where a £150 energy rebate claim had not been made, generating further high contact levels; and
    • delivery of the Discretionary Scheme to support over 25,000 residents across the S&ELCP which had been imminent.

 

A general update on the service had included the following points:  

  • an updated infrastructure was to be implemented in October 2022;
  • delays in the implementation of the new contact centre had provided additional challenges which had been beyond the control of the service;
  • high levels of demand existed in areas not monitored by formal KPIs, such as: external email, post, administration and footfall;
  • to protect the customer experience, mitigations against unplanned initiatives were being prepared;
  • there needed to be an understanding that the balance of a static baseline resource, increased demand, alongside the need to operate within the confines of a commercial contract, brought with it the need for services to actively reduce unnecessary and avoidable demand into the Centre  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.

29.

Animal Welfare Inspections

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Public Protection to update the Panel on the current position as regards the inspection of animal activities licenced under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.

 

The Public Protection Manager introduced the report by stating that the update had been requested at the Licensing Committee held on 29 June 2022. The report detailed the inspection regime under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.

 

The Public Protection Manager referred to the figures at point 2.12 of the report and stated that the 15 renewal inspections were due up until the end of July: this was the figure at the time the report was written, with 24 being due in total in 2022.  Inspections due to date had now been undertaken. Regarding point 2.15, the number of applications processed by the team had further increased in 2021/2022, and a greater complexity of cases had been presented. A new member of staff had been recruited and was developing well into the role. Any fluctuations in volume impacted on workflow and a growth bid for extra resources was being considered. 

 

 

Members considered the report and made the following comments:

 

  • Members stated that the request for the report to come forward to the Panel had been due to the slippage of inspections and queried whether this had been a result of staffing levels or budget. Members welcomed the new member of staff into the team and queried whether the need for vets to accompany certain inspections had any financial implications for the council.
    • The Public Protection Manager stated that the slippage had been caused by the following combination of factors:
      • The availability of vets to attend inspections had been challenging. A vet who had regularly accompanied the team on inspections had recently retired and the practice was unable to provide a replacement due to their own recruitment issues. It was clarified that vets fees were recharged to applicants/licence holders and represented a zero net cost to the council; and
      • the capacity within the team to carry out animal inspections was limited. The regulations stated that Animal Welfare inspections could only be carried out by Licencing Officers who were suitably qualified for the activity, and this currently applied to just one member of the team. The new Licencing Assistant would be trained when a course became available.

 

·         Members asked if any potential risks to the Council, and individuals, had been considered where inspections were not undertaken.

o   The Public Protection Manager stated that delayed re-inspections for licence renewals could render the published inspection star rating inaccurate – reductions and improvements in performance would not be recognised.

o   Delays in the processing of new licences could impact business activities leading to complaints and reputational damage.

 

Members were grateful for the update which had assisted their understanding of the underlying issues.

 

AGREED:

 

That the contents of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.

30.

Swimming Pool and Leisure Facilities Task Group update Q1 2022/2023

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Assistant Director – Leisure and Culture to provide the Panel with an update on leisure provision.

 

The report provided the Panel with an update on the 2022/23 Quarter 1 position for the provision of leisure and the development of the future options and opportunities for leisure provision in South Holland.

 

Members considered the update and made the following comments:

 

  • Members referred to the increased cost of utilities and suggested that proactive conversations were undertaken with Parkwood Leisure regarding potential impact. Members expressed concern that the cost of leisure could become prohibitive and affect access.
    • The Assistant Director - Leisure and Culture confirmed that the cost of utilities was monitored by both officers and Cabinet and a potential risk had been identified from April 2023 when the energy price cap was due to be lifted. The impact of increased energy prices had been experienced industrywide: some pools had closed while others had reduced pool temperatures, but the Spalding facility, contractually, had not yet been affected. Monthly discussions with Parkwood Leisure had taken place and additional council support had not been requested. Parkwood Leisure were in the process of monitoring fees and charges of leisure providers in neighbouring authorities and were due to submit proposals in the coming weeks.

 

  • Members referred to section 4.1 of the report and asked whether an alternative leisure facilities plan had been prepared in the event of an unsuccessful Government Levelling Up funding bid.
    • the Assistant Director – Leisure and Culture responded that:
      • the process was managed by the Economic Development team who would put forward alternative proposals should the bid be unsuccessful;
      • the current leisure contract was valid until 2026 and it included break clauses; and
      • the Partnership Annual Delivery Plan included a review of the leisure and culture offer across the partnership and this had been underway. A report of options as a collective could be considered.

 

 

  • Members asked whether the council had ensured that Parkwood Leisure were fulfilling the terms of the contract.
    • The Assistant Director – Leisure and Culture confirmed that the contract was being well managed by the new Contract Manager and recent issues had been resolved. The Principal Leisure Officer had also supported this process. Feedback had been received that complaints had been well-handled.

 

AGREED:

 

a)    That members noted the 2022/23 Quarter 1 performance outcomes detailed within the report; and

 

b)    That members noted the approach being taken to develop the future options and opportunities for leisure provision in South Holland.

31.

Performance Monitoring Panel Work Programme

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Interim Assistant Director – 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 date 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 Democratic Services Officer outlined the following updates to the Work Programme.

 

Regarding Appendix A: 

  • Items added to the 29 November 2022 meeting included:
    •  Intermittent IT issues affecting all council/PSPS services from 20 to 26 September 2022 as requested by the Chairman; and
    • the South Holland Centre Cabinet sub-group report.
  • The Review of Implemented Planning Decisions had been arranged for 27 October 2022 and a report would subsequently come forward.

 

Regarding Appendix B:

  • The annual update of the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field Task Group would come forward to the 29 November 2022 meeting.

 

AGREED:

 

That the Work Programme of the Performance Monitoring Panel be noted.

32.

Any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent

Minutes:

There were none.