Agenda and minutes

Housing Scrutiny Sub-Committee - Monday, 22nd June 2015 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, City Hall

Contact: Democratic Services - 01522 873619 

Items
No. Item

1.

Confirmation of Minutes - 9 March 2015 pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 9 March 2015 be confirmed.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Please note that, in accordance with the Members' Code of Conduct, when declaring interests members must disclose the existence and nature of the interest, and whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) or personal and/or pecuniary.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received.

3.

LTP Matters

Minutes:

Eric Jenkinson advised of the following LTP matters:

 

  • informed there had been no problems carrying out the void property visits between 13 April 2015 and 1 June 2015.

 

  • reported that LTP work groups were progressing well.

 

  • updated members of the housing visit to take place on 23 June 2015.

 

  • advised that LTP were interested in attending a Welfare Benefits event at Trafford Hall in July 2015.

4.

Performance Monitoring Report 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Bob Ledger, Director of Housing and Community Services (DHCS):

 

  1. presented the report “Performance Monitoring Report 2014/15”.

 

  1. advised that in total there were 22 measures and of these 10 were on or exceeding targets for the year and 11 measures had not met the targets set.  There was 1 measure where we did not have any data available.

 

  1. gave an overview of the background of the report as detailed at paragraph 3 of the report.

 

  1. referred to Appendix A of the report and summarised the performance targets and actual achievements; for comparison purposes each indicator showed performance for the last year, target for current year and (where applicable) progress made in the current year by quarter for the following areas:

o   voids average regarding re-let periods

o   repairs

o   complaints and MP letters responded to in time

o   average days to resolve Anti-social behaviour

o   expenditure against target set for year – responsive maintenance.

o   percentage of calls answered on time

 

  1. invited members questions and comments.

 

Members made the following questions and comments and received the relevant response.

 

Question How much more work would be required for the Servitor system to be operational?

Answer Work was still required to embed the Servitor system across the authority and ensure that the correct information was input. The appointment to the temporary post would oversee the vast majority of this work.

 

Members of the committee discussed the difficulties when raising complaints on behalf of constituents. Members raised concern over the lack of feedback received from officers, although the query had usually been resolved members were not made aware of this, or the outcome. Bob Ledger (DHCS) agreed that this was unacceptable and more had to be done to improve the communication between officers and elected members. Officers also needed to ensure they were ensuring they were keeping members of the public up to date with their enquires. Bob Ledger (DHCS) informed members that a corporate benchmarking target would be set for ‘people management’.

 

Members discussed how the corporate complaints procedure worked, the timescales that should be expected and how these effected the performance targets.

Members raised concern over the repairs performance targets. Bob Ledger (DHCS) reported that low performance targets where due largely to a number of problems on the system were jobs had been kept ‘live’ and a number of repeat appointments had been logged as individual jobs. The Servitor project would make a big difference to these figures when operating.

 

Question Do we notify tenants if repairs are going to be delayed?

Answer When we know there will be delays, or need for repeat appointment we would notify our tenants.

 

Question Would the ‘Lincoln Standard’ be complied with to ensure quality on repair works?

Answer Yes, we are proposing adoption of a new Lincoln Standard. Part of the proposal would to include electric showers in every Council property along with other improvements.

 

Question Could we implement a text service to residents to let them know of the status of repairs appointments?

Answer  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Performance Targets Report 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Bob Ledger, Director of Housing and Community Services:

 

  1. presented the report “Performance Targets Report 2015/16”.

 

  1. advised that this report set the performance indicators for 2015/2016 in relation to the Council’s Landlord services. These were set out in appendix A of the report.

 

  1. highlighted that the voids average re-let period for all dwellings should be shown as; Actual 2014/15: 42 days, Target 2015/16: 28 days.

 

  1. reported that these targets had already been taken through the Lincoln Tenants Panel (LTP).

 

  1. invited members questions and comments.

 

RESOLVED that the contents of the be noted.

6.

Complaints - 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 202 KB

Minutes:

Bob Ledger, Director of Housing and Community Services:

 

  1. presented the report “Complaints – 2014/15”.

 

  1. advised that paragraph 4.1 of the report showed the total number of complaints that had been received by Housing throughout 2014/15.

 

  1. informed that 4.2 showed which service areas had received complaints.

 

  1. further informed that 4.3 showed what types of complaint had been received.

 

  1. reported that 4.5 showed the complaint decision outcomes. Over 50% of which the Council upheld the complaint.

 

  1. highlighted that an evaluation survey was sent anyone following a complaint submission. The satisfaction results of these surveys were shown in paragraph 4.6.

 

  1. invited members questions and comments.

 

Members made the following questions and comments and received the relevant response.

 

Question Should we now begin to see a downward trend in the number of complaints we receive?

Answer Bob Ledger (DHCS) advised that the his PA was the nominated officer to deal with Housing complaints giving a centralised service that could keep the director up to date, whilst ensuring complaints were dealt with in a timely manner.

 

Question Brian Botham (LTP) inquired what the ‘inconclusive’ category meant, with regards to complaint outcomes in 4.5 of the report?

Answer This category was introduced within the last financial year and should only be used as a last resort for complex and time consuming issues when an outcome would not be known within the 10 days to answer the complaint.

 

RESOLVED that the contents of the report and members comments be noted.

7.

Tenancy Fraud Strategy Progress Update pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Andrew Staton, Tenancy Services Manager:

 

  1. presented the report “Tenancy Fraud Strategy Progress Update”.

 

  1. informed that the tenancy fraud strategy had been approved by the Executive in December 2013 and was scheduled to be fully implemented by the end of 2016.

 

  1. reminded members of the most common types of tenancy fraud and the problems the Council faces locally in Lincoln.

 

  1. advised that recent legislation had been passed that meant sub-letting a property without living there would be against the law. Further advised that the Council’s tenancy policies would be updated to reflect this.

 

  1. drew members attention to point 6 of preventing tenancy fraud from the attached appendix. Highlighted that it had been agreed by the Executive for the Director of Housing and Community Services to have delegated powers over “Tenancy Verification Services”.

 

  1. reported that there had been a delay implementing the Tenancy Fraud Strategy, due to increased priority place on collection of rent arrears and some staffing resource issues.

 

  1. invited members questions and comments.

 

Members made the following questions and comments and received the relevant response.

 

Question If a Lincoln resident was registered on our housing waiting list but then decided to move to a private rented flat, would their details be destroyed and removed from the system.

Answer Yes, all details would be removed from the system.

 

RESOLVED that the contents of the report and members comments be noted.

8.

Draft Work Programme 2015-16 pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ben Culling, Democratic Services Officer:

 

  1. presented the draft work programme for the Housing Scrutiny Committee for 2015/16 as detailed at Appendix A of the report.

  2. advised that this was an opportunity for the committee to suggest other items be included within the work programme.

 

The committee agreed to include the following to be scrutinised on the meeting due to be held on 10 August 2015:

 

·         Tenant involvement and empowerment strategy update.

·         LTP half-yearly report.

 

The committee agreed that the “Shortfall of the St Botolph’s Modernisation Project” be bought to a future meeting when a report had been prepared. 

 

RESOLVED that:

 

      i.    the work programme be noted and updated to include the above.

 

    ii.    that a report be prepared to discuss the “Shortfall of the St Botolph’s Modernisation Project” and be scheduled on the work programme at a future meeting.