Agenda and minutes

Performance Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 23rd August 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, City Hall

Contact: Democratic Services - 01522 873387 

Items
No. Item

19.

Confirmation of Minutes - 12 July 2018 pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 12 July 2018 be confirmed.

20.

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:

Councillor Ronald Hills declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest with regard to the agenda item titled 'City of Lincoln Council Annual Report 2017/18'. Reason: His property was located within the vicinity of the Western Growth Corridor. He left the room during the discussion of this item.

 

21.

City of Lincoln Council Annual Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Jay Wilkinson, Strategic Development Project Manager:

 

a)    presented the City of Lincoln Council Annual Report 2017/18 for consideration by Performance Scrutiny Committee

 

b)    explained that the Annual Report 2017/18 was a backward looking document that highlighted the authorities key activities and outcomes over the past year

 

c)    stated that this ambitious strategic plan set out the authority’s strategic priorities and aspirations for both the city and the council

 

d)    invited members questions and comments.

 

Question: Within the report it explained that the Transport Hub had opened, what was the current position in relation to the top floor of the central car park?

 

Response: Further testing was being carried out in the upcoming weeks. By then a completion date would be known.

 

Question: Members queried the Lincoln City Electoral Wards and stated that they were the old boundaries.

 

Response: Officers advised that these would be changed to the current ward boundaries.

 

Cllr Ron Hills left the room during a discussion regarding the Western Growth Corridor.

 

Question: Members queried that nothing had been mentioned about when last year’s consultation period closed for the Western Growth Corridor.

 

Response: Officers advised that information would be added once a date had been confirmed for it.

 

Cllr Ron Hills returned to the meeting once the discussion on the Western Growth Corridor had ended.

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted.

22.

Income and Arrears Monitoring pdf icon PDF 94 KB

Minutes:

Martin Walmsley, Head of Shared Revenues and Benefits:

 

a)    presented an update to Members on the position with regard to amounts of monies owed to the City Council as at 1 April 2018

 

b)    explained that the report summarised the in-year collection of Council Tax, Business Rates, the Business Improvement District (BID) levy, Housing Rents, Former Tenant Rent Arrears, Sundry Debtors and Housing Benefit Overpayments to 31 March 2018

 

c)    highlighted that the Council Tax net collectable debit for 2017/18 after Council Tax Support, discount and exemptions had been granted was £38,639,453

 

d)    stated that the net Housing Rent debit for 2017/18 (collectable rent) excluding Housing Benefits and other adjustments was £15,422,836 of which 98.4% was collected, this was a reduction of 0.77% on 2016/17 collection of 99.25%

 

e)    referred to the business rates collections as outlined in 5.1 of the report

 

f)     invited members questions and comments.

 

RESOLVED that the content of the report be noted.

23.

Revenues and Benefits Performance Update pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Minutes:

Martin Walmsley, Head of Shared Revenues and Benefits:

 

a)    provided members with an update on the performance in the Revenues and Benefits shared service

 

b)    explained that the performance for both City of Lincoln Council and North Kesteven was monitored by the Revenues and Benefits Joint Committee on a quarterly basis

 

c)    updated members on additional performance details including:

 

·         As at the end of Quarter 1 2018/19, in-year collection for the City of Lincoln Council was 0.09% higher than as at the same point in the previous financial year

 

·         Compared to the same point in 2017/18, as at the end of Quarter 1 2018/19 in-year Business Rates collection was up by 0.03% enquiries outstanding.

 

·         The number of outstanding Revenues Customers as the end of quarter 1 2018/19 showed an increase since 31 March 2018. This was due to reduced numbers of staffing within the team during this quarter

 

·         Total Housing Benefit overpayments at 31 May 2018 were £4,180,532, this had now reduced to £4,122,320

 

·         The roll out of Universal Credit full service had a significant impact on the processing performance, with the section receiving 5,585 Universal Credit documents since 1 April 2018

 

·         The average number of days for processing Housing Benefit new claims and change of circumstances had increased from 29.44 in 2016/17 to 30.13 in 2017/18

 

·         In Quarter 1 a total of 13,122 changes were processed, compared to 10,873 in the same quarter in 2017/18. Of these, 5,582 were Universal Credit changes

 

·         With regards to the financial accuracy of processing, a total of 41 claims were checked during Quarter 1. In July, a total of 48 claims were checked with 45 of these being correct which resulted in an accuracy rate of 93.75%.

 

d)    invited members comments and questions.

 

Question: With regards to outstanding benefits customer enquiries, why had the Council taken on more staff for 4 weeks from 28th July?

 

Response: The summer holidays had been tricky with regards to staffing but once people returned to work in the next few weeks normal workload would resume.

 

RESOLVED that the content of the report be noted.

24.

Financial Performance- Quarterly Monitoring pdf icon PDF 166 KB

Minutes:

Rob Baxter, Financial Services Manager:

 

a)    presented the Financial Performance Quarterly Monitoring report for the second quarter (up to 31stDecember) which covered the following main areas:

·         General Fund

·         Housing Revenue Account

·         Housing Repairs Service

·         Capital Programmes

 

b)    advised that for 2018/19 the Council’s net General Fund revenue budget was set at £14,276,460, including a planned contribution to balances £288,360 (resulting in an estimated level of general balances at the year-end of £1,897,724)

 

c)    explained that given the scale of the shortfall in car parking income targets, CMT had accelerated the implementation of the car parking income generation strategy which focused on the following 5 key strands:

 

·         Car Park improvements

·         Promotion of the City as a destination

·         Maximisation of car parking stock

·         Permit parking

·         Residents parking

 

d)    detailed the earmarked reserves and their forecast balance as at 21st March 2019 as outlined in Appendix G of the report

 

e)    Invited members comments and questions.

 

Question: with regards to residents parking, had the timescales been considered with regards to income?

 

Response: A report was being submitted to Executive in September to expand residents parking and the scheme would look to commence from October 2019 but it was all dependent on how the residents voted.

 

Question: Was there any funding available for interactive signs outside the car parks and also on way into the city to let people know how many spaces were available?

 

Response: Typically towns and cities were moving away from this expensive technology towards mobile phone applications that would give members of the public access to that information via their sat nav. Physical interactive signs unfortunately were very costly to install and maintain so it was doubtful that there would be funding for them.

 

Question: Why did St Botolphs receive new fire doors after major renovations took place there last year? Why weren’t they installed then?

 

Response: Since the Grenfell disaster, many things have changed, and continue to do so.  The City Council is responding very proactively to the emerging picture from Grenfell and continually reviewing our own housing stock in the light of this.

 

Question: The prices that people were expected to pay for parking had gone up. Had this been looked into? Could this be the reason for loss of income?

 

Response: Income was increasing each year apart from the year when the car parks were undertaken. Once the Cornhill development had finished there would be more demand around the city centre and therefore car parks would be filled the majority of the time. Taking April-July as a snapshot period, over the last 4 years the income generated was as follows:

 

·         2015/16 – 1.39m

·         2016/17 – 1.54m

·         2017/18 – 1.362m

·         2018/19 – £1.66m

 

Question: What were the risks to the MTFS if this continued?

 

Response: It would affect a significant part of the budget which was why the 5 strands of income generation from car parking had been introduced. There was also the anticipation that car park usage would continue to increase over the next  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.

25.

Strategic Risk Register- Quarterly Review pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Rob Baxter, Financial Services Manager:

 

a)    updated members with a status report of the revised Strategic Risk Register as at the end of the first quarter 2018-19

 

b)    explained that since reporting to Performance Scrutiny Committee in May 2018, the Strategic Risk Register had been reviewed and updated by the relevant Assistant Directors, this review had identified that there had been some positive movement in the Risk Register

 

c)    outlined a number of further control actions that had been progressed or completed and the key movements as highlighted in 3.1 of the report

 

d)    highlighted the revised Risk Register outlined in Appendix A of the report

 

e)    invited comments and questions on the content of the report.

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted by the Performance Scrutiny Committee.

26.

Q1 2018-19 Operational Performance Report pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Pat Jukes, Corporate Policy Business Manager:

 

a)    presented a summary of the operational performance position for quarter one of the financial year 2018/19 (from April 2018 to June 2018) to Performance Scrutiny Committee

 

b)    advised that regular monitoring of the Council’s operational performance was a key component of the Local Performance Management Framework, this report covered key service performance measures identified by Members and CMT as of Strategic importance

 

c)    outlined the four corporate measures:

·         Sickness – split by long and short term

·         Corporate complaints including Ombudsman rulings

·         Employee FTE headcount, vacancies and turnover

·         Staff appraisals completed

 

d)    explained that the number of face to face enquiries in Customer Services had dropped by 7,336 compared to quarter one last year.

 

e)    highlighted that the overall sickness data as at the end of June was 2.9 days per FTE (excl. apprentices). This was 0.21 days less per FTE compared to the same point last year

 

f)     further highlighted key performance areas in Chief Executive’s:

·         the number of apprentices that moved into education, employment or training had increased back to 100% (6/6)

·         the average time taken to answer a call to customer services had increased by six seconds on quarter 4, at 110 seconds

·         the in-year collection rate for Lincoln Business Rates remained above its target of 30.53% with a figure of 35.86%

 

g)    invited members questions and comments.

 

Question: Would the investigation into telephone responses take into account the nature of the calls?

 

Response: Yes, it would look into service areas that the calls were going to.

 

Question: Was there any feedback provided with regards to customer satisfaction?

 

Response: The feedback of responses were calculated as an average. Officers agreed to provide further information with regards to how the feedback was collated.

 

Question: How many tickets were sold for the Community Lottery?

 

Response: 1,207 tickets were sold and a total of 589 people had purchased a ticket. Officers were going to enhance prices every quarter to increase interest.

 

Question: With regards to logging in remotely, what device do people use?

 

Response: The terminals in DWP were for multiple use. Officers agreed that they would look into the types of devices used.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1)    Further information regarding the method of collation of feedback on customer satisfaction be provided to members

 

2)    The issues and future concerns for this quarter be noted.

 

3)    The report be referred to Executive to ensure relevant portfolio holders were placing a local focus on those highlighted areas showing deteriorating performance.

27.

Work Programme for 2018/19 - Update pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Jess Cullen, Democratic Services Officer:

 

  1. presented the draft work programme for 2018/19 as detailed at Appendix A of her report

 

  1. advised that the work programme for the Performance Scrutiny Committee was put forward annually for approval by Council; the work programme was then regularly updated throughout the year in consultation with the Performance Scrutiny Committee and its Chair

 

  1. reported that items had been scheduled in accordance with the existing work programme and officers’ guidance regarding the meetings at which the most up-to-date information could be reported to the committee; the work programme also included the list of portfolio holders under scrutiny

 

  1. requested any relevant comments or changes to the proposed work programme for 2018/19.

 

RESOLVED that the work programme 2018/19 as detailed at Appendix A to the report be noted, subject to the following revisions:

 

a)    an update on the Introduction of the new Homelessness Act be presented at Performance Scrutiny at the end of the financial year 2018/19.