Venue: Committee Room 1, City Hall
Contact: Democratic Services - 01522 873619
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 13 March 2017 be confirmed.
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.
No declarations of interest were received.
Lincoln Tenants Panel Members updated committee of their upcoming events:
· Newark District Council Visit.
· 3 – 5 July Trafford Hall Training Session.
· 11 July Radio Interview.
LTP members raised concern of the safety of the Lincoln tower blocks following on from the Grenfell Tower incident and asked whether any of the Lincoln tower blocks had been clad in similar materials.
Bob Ledger, Director of Housing and Regeneration replied with the following statement.
That there was 3 tower blocks within the City of Lincoln boundary. Jarvis House, Shuttleworth House and Trent View. The tower blocks in Lincoln and the rest of the country were designed to deal with fires by a method known as compartmentalisation and the ‘stay put’ policy. This meant that if one area of a tower block caught fire it would be contained within one area, and although there had been fires and in some instances loss of life within these the tower blocks had successfully compartmentalised the fire and it had not spread to other areas. A fire such as the one at the Grenfell Tower disaster had never been seen in this country before.
In Lincoln two of the towers did not have any external cladding in the way Grenfell did and the third block had a mineral Rockwool cladding which did not burn and was highly fire resistant. The tower block tenants had been notified of this. The City of Lincoln Council was committed to keeping their tenants safe and regularly met with Lincolnshire Fire Brigade to ensure fire and safety regulations were being adhered to regularly. However, in instances such as these there was no such thing as being too careful and as an authority there was no place for complacency.
Karen Talbot, Assistant Director (Housing):
a. presented the end of quarter report on Performance for the fourth quarter of the year 2016/17 (January 2017 and March 2017).
advised that in total there were 23 measures and of these 6 had not
referred to paragraph 4 of the report and highlighted the following
· Rent Arrears – stood at 2.20% which exceeded the target of 2.25%
· Average Re-Let Period – stood at 23.3 days which exceeded the target of 25 days.
· Non-Decent Homes – Percentage of non-decent homes at year end stood at 0.04%. The committee were further informed that the reason for this percentage of non-decent homes was down to complications securing gas safety certificates for two dwellings and procedures had to be followed to gain entry to the properties.
· Percentage of offers accepted first time – performance remained below target but had improved following the previous quarter and stood at 87.76%. This was mainly due to refusals based on size of property, dislike of area, personal circumstances for tenants and property was unsuitable for the needs of the tenant.
· Percentage of ASB cases closed which were resolved – This area was difficult to predict and set targets for. This was down to each case being taken on a case by case basis, however regular monitoring of cases continued to take place and would only be considered closed and resolved in agreement with their managers.
· Complaints – The complaints system had been reviewed and an amended version of the procedures had been distributed to all staff that handled complaints
RESOLVED that the contents of the report be noted.
Post Implementation Review of Servitor
Bob Ledger, Director of Housing and Regeneration:
a. informed that Servitor was a repair job ordering and billing system that interacted in real time with tradesmen allowing on-line live information exchange.
b. reported that the implementation project commenced in July 2012 and took three years to complete to the stage where the system was fully operational.
c. highlighted that the Council was assured by Civica that Servitor was a fully tried and tested system in a live environment, however some areas of the software required further development whilst live.
d. advised that during this live testing period key officers left the Council, including the senior officers leading the service, and the project manager of the implementation project.
e. further advised that from this point other officers were then left to step in and take on the project part way through implementation without having been involved initially or understanding why some of the previous decisions had been made.
f. explained that there were still a number of additional issues that needed to be resolved in order ensure overall repair ordering system worked efficiently but these shouldn’t be confused with the software implementation project.
g. further explained that the remaining issues were primarily about operator error and the fragility of the hand held devices.
h. informed that the Council had changed mobile network services in late 2015. Up to this point frustrations felt by staff against Servitor mobile app were in actual fact down to poor network connectivity issues offered by the previous network supplier and this change remedied some of the issues.
i. reported that the app for residents to check repairs schedules remotely had now been put in place.
Bob Ledger, Director of Housing and Regeneration thanked the staff involved on the Servitor project team for their hard work during the live testing phase, whilst maintaining a professional service and ensuring there was no detrimental impact to the public.
LTP members questioned what back-up the Council had in place if the Servitor software stopped working or if a cyber-attack was launched against the Council. Bob Ledger confirmed that the Servitor software sat on the mainframe servers in City Hall and therefore was backed up in line with all the Council’s other data.
RESOLVED that the report, post implementation review of the Servitor project and members comments be noted.
The Democratic Services Officer
a. presented the work programme for the Housing Scrutiny Sub Committee for 2017/18 as detailed at appendix A of the report.
b. advised that this was an opportunity for the committee to suggest other items to be included within the work programme.
Members of the committee suggested the following topics to the be reviewed at a future meeting:
· Review of Fire Proofing in High Rise Properties across the City.
· Review of New Build Properties.
RESOLVED that the contents of the report and members suggestions be noted.