Venue: Committee Rooms 1-2, City Hall. View directions
Contact: Clare Stait, Democratic Services Officer 01522 873292
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 8 December 2022 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.
Councillor Donald Nannestad, Portfolio Holder for Quality Housing:
a) presented a report to Performance Scrutiny Committee Covering the following main areas:
- Tenancy Services
- Housing Repairs
- Housing Investment
- New Build
- Private Sector Housing
b) invited members comments and questions.
Question: Members asked what needed to be changed in Tower Blocks to get them up to an acceptable standard.
Response: A lot of information had been gathered, such as who needed help in an event of an evacuation. A full fire door review had taken place and fire doors had been upgraded. Work had taken place with Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue and fire procedures needed to be continuously checked and rehearsed in order for residents and the Fire Brigade to understand what needed to be done in an emergency.
Question: A record was kept of who the tenants were in flats and members asked how rescue teams would know who was in each flat at a time of emergency as some residents work etc.
Response: Rescue teams would not know who was in each flat at what time and it would be difficult to find out.
Comment: Cllr Smalley commented that she attended the fire exercise at Shuttleworth House and found that the information provided by Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue was good, but the number of tenants that got involved was disappointing.
Question: Members asked if there needed to be more rules as to what was left in communal areas, such as mobility scooters.
Response: Mobility scooters were a problem in high/low rise areas. There was an update to the mobility scooter policy which was being presented at the next Housing Scrutiny Sub Committee Meeting.
Question: Members asked why when a repair is reported, the job gets registered as completed when though the work hadn’t been completed.
Response: There were incidents where an operative had completed most of a job and then went back to finish it off but couldn’t gain access to a property. There is work that needed to be done regarding this as there were issues with the IT system used as it was very old. Appointments were being re-booked without tenants being contacted which was unacceptable and needed to be changed. There were incidences of jobs being attended but the job was not what was on the list so took longer to mend but other jobs were missed in the meantime. Officers were looking at extending hours/shifts to try and accommodate tenants more.
Comment: Members commented that it would be good if tenants could be contacted to say when the operatives were on their way which may save time and journey costs etc.
Question: Members asked if a job number was created when jobs were logged.
Response: Officers were not sure and would feed this back to the committee.
Question: Members asked how repairs got reported.
Response: Most of the repairs were reported through tenants calling Customer Services and then a repair was booked.
Question: ... view the full minutes text for item 55.
Councillor Sue Burke, Portfolio Holder for Reducing Inequality:
a) presented a report to Performance Scrutiny Committee covering the following main areas:
- Welfare and Benefits Advice
- Welfare Reform, Covid 19 and Cost of Living Support
- Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support
- Discretionary Rate Relief Policy
- Financial Inclusion
- Skills and Training (Including Adult Learning and The Network)
- Homelessness and Rough Sleeping
- Asylum Seekers and Refugees
- Neighbourhood Working
- Public Protection and Anti-Social Behaviour Team
- CCTV Service
- Lincoln Community Lottery
- Lincoln Social Responsibility Charter
- Holocaust Memorial Day
b) Invited members comments and questions.
Questions: Members asked how the £200k was spent on neighbourhood working and was it justified.
Response: Investing in neighbourhood working was different to running a business as its as much about building community capacity as it is about delivering projects. A questionnaire had been sent out to try and gather data in the area on the impact of the initiative.
Question: Members asked why so little legal enforcement action was being taken for PPASB.
Response: A lot of action was taken in the form of engagement first. Warnings were issued to offenders before formal enforcement was actioned. A lot of investigation needed to take place before a fixed penalty notice was issued.
Question: Members asked if PPASB were being proactive regarding fly-tipping.
Response: The PPASB team were part of a wider team run by the Environment Agency to help tackle fly-tipping, but with limited resources within the team, each case had to be prioritised against other work demands.
Question: Members asked what engagement had taken place to try and stop fly-tipping.
Response: There had been engagement in hot spot areas in the past which proved effective. Leaflets had been handed out. There were some re-source issues, but the team were trying to be persistent.
Question: Members asked what the staff morale was like for dealing with complaints.
Response: Staff morale was fairly good and staff had received training on how to deal with difficult customers.
Question: Members asked if temporary accommodation was in the city.
Response: Temporary accommodation was spread around the city and the type of accommodation would depend on what was needed. There were arrangements in place with landlords to keep properties empty in case they were needed.
Question: Members asked whether staff and members were up to date with regards to safeguarding knowledge/training.
Response: There was a detailed training path which was tiered down staff depending on the customers that they dealt with.
Question: Members asked if there were any plans to extend CCTV coverage.
Response: This would depend on funding as a lot of the expansions that had taken place was due to external funding that was received. There were in excess of 500 cameras in the system now.
Question: Fifteen out of twenty-one actions had been completed on Equality and Diversity, with six being carried over into the following year. Members asked whether this had an effect on the 2022/23 workload.
Response: Some actions ... view the full minutes text for item 56.
Clare Stait, Democratic Services Officer:
a) presented the draft work programme for 2022/23 as detailed at Appendix A of her report
b) 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
c) 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
d) requested any relevant comments or changes to the proposed work programme for 2022/23.
RESOLVED that the work programme for 2022/23 be noted.