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SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION)

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 17th April, 2013.

 

Present: Councillor Mrs. M.R. Wilkinson (Chairman); Councillor Mrs. C.L. Curtis (Vice-Chairman); Councillors R.J. Bertin, Mrs. A.J. Moore, Ms. R.F. Probert, R.P. Thomas and E. Williams.

 

Also present: Messrs G. Amos, J. Farrington, B. Fisher and Mrs. D. Hill (Tenant Working Group).

 

Officers in Attendance: Ms. H. Selway, M. Ingram, S. Davies (Housing and Building Services); Messrs. A. Arnold and M. Lewis (Property Services) and A. Billinghurst (Public Protection).

 

1078   APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE -

 

These were received from Councillors J. Drysdale, Mrs. V.M. Hartrey and A.C. Williams.

 

 

1079   MINUTES -

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 13th March, 2013 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

1080   DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

1081   HOUSING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMME – PROGRESS UPDATE (DVSH) –

 

The report had been submitted in response to Members’ concerns raised at the last meeting in regard to progress made in delivering the Council’s Housing Improvement Programme. 

 

As reported at the last meeting of the Committee, all Contractors had formally commenced on site on 17th September 2012 following a mobilisation lead-in period of three months (with Lovells commencing on site 17th September 2012).  The Housing Improvement Programme (HIP) represented a significant refurbishment programme across the county in which all 3,946 Council homes would be upgraded to the WHQS standard by April 2017.   Property Services currently manage the contract on behalf of the Housing and Building Department.

 

In order that the HIP was delivered in a timely way, a number of key performance indicators (KPIs) had been established to monitor the performance of all Contractors.  The KPIs were split into the following subject areas:

 

·         overall performance

·         quality of service

·         community impact

·         environmental impact

·         a considerate contractor

·         financial accountability.

 

In total there were 16 KPIs to measure the performance of all contractors including the Council’s Building Services division.  Set out in Appendix 1 to the report was the performance for the first quarter period, September to December 2012.  Committee noted that in future KPI reports would be based on quarterly cycles i.e. January to March, April to June, July to September and October to December. 

 

During the first quarter monitoring period the total number of Council homes upgraded were as follows:

 

Contract Area

Contractor

No. Upgraded

Western Vale and Rural Areas

Lovell Partnership Ltd

23

Barry Area 1

Ian Williams Ltd

18

Barry Area 2

Apollo Property Services Ltd

44

Penarth and Dinas Powys

SMK Building and Maintenance Ltd

35

Sheltered Housing

Building Services

23

TOTAL

 

143

 

The Scrutiny Committee noted that the above figures outlined actual works completed for the period and did not include those properties where the work continued into the new year.  It was further noted that the housing and improvement works would vary from house to house and would be dependant on what was required to meet the WHQS. 

 

The report also referred to matters considered at the previous meeting of the Scrutiny Committee in relation to those works actually determined under the six week validation survey with tenants, that external work such as new roofs would be programmed for the Spring and Summer months of each year, that the Council had previously agreed to undertake “whole house” approach for internal works which included new kitchens, new bathroom, new heating systems / boilers and new electrics with the requirement that Contractors were to complete all internal works within 15 working days.  Reference was also made to other options which were considered if tenants were unable to proceed with the whole house approach, such as vulnerable and elderly tenants and this included providing the works on a room by room basis or an elemental approach over time.  It had been noted that there had been a small number of refusals to date, mostly from elderly tenants (7 full refusals for the first quarter period).

 

Set out at Appendix 1 to the report was the KPI report in respect of Contractors’ performance.  In summary, overall 85.2% of tenants were satisfied with the quality of works carried out.  The service provided by the Contractors equated to an average of 70.3% whilst the standard of care and cleanliness equated to 75.1%.

 

In terms of the satisfaction of the works from a Council perspective (Housing Improvement Supervisor), the quality of the service provided equated to an average of 67.2% for all the Contractors (KPI 2b) whilst the health and safety on the project was 73.5% which was below the target of 90% and accordingly further initiatives would be put in place to reach the agreed target.  The percentage of properties completed right first time (average quality score) equated to 87.7% however it was recognised that whilst the quality of work was reasonably good there was room for improvement as the Contractors were not meeting the 15 day timescale for completing internal works (KPI  4 – percentage of properties completed on time).  This equated to an average of 43.4% for all Contractors although significantly lower for Lovell Partnership Ltd. (21.7%), Ian Williams Ltd. (5.6%) and Apollo Property Services Ltd. (13.6%).  The Head of Housing and Building Services acknowledged that this was disappointing from the Council’s perspective as the longer timescales would equate to longer disruption periods for tenants.  

 

Members were advised by the Property Section’s representatives of their intention to undertake a review of the contract management processes they were currently employing on the WHQS contracts. The review proposed to include examination of procedures being adopted, resources being deployed, existing lines of communication, clarity of information being provided to/by relevant parties, etc. The objective of this exercise was to assess the suitability of current arrangements and identify potential areas of improvement with a view to enhancing overall service delivery.

 

As for void properties, these had been in the main assigned to Vale Building Services with the quality of work undertaken classified as very good i.e. 85.6% of properties were completed right first time (average quality score).  The timescale for completing voids was disappointing however, with only 4.7% meeting the agreed timescales for this period i.e. 51 void properties were completed by all Contractors and 43 of these by Building Services.  The reason for the delays related to the following issues:

 

·         mobilisation issues from the start of the contract

·         volume of voids

·         insufficient resources

·         a much higher quality specification required to void properties from that previously known. 

 

In addition, there were also other issues which affected void return dates, namely:

 

·         major works required to some void properties including structural and damp issues (these were additional works found after commencement of the works)

·         drying times to plastering due to installation of “Sitex” metal screens and cold weather. 

 

Some properties required detailed sustainability reports i.e. considered “hard to treat” properties.  One property had been held in abeyance due to “off-gas” issues.

 

The report also referred to the number of outstanding voids as at 19th February 2013 which equated to 76 properties, details of which were set out in paragraph 20 of the report. 

 

The Scrutiny Committee was informed that the current number of voids was significant at any one time, particularly when considering that all WHQS work had to be completed at the same time.  It was noted that there had been 20 void properties since 4th February 2013 which represented an above average figure for the period of the year.  It was acknowledged that this was not an ideal situation, particularly when rental income was lost for those overdue properties.  Building Services also acknowledged that there had been issues, particularly with the volume of voids from the outset and to address the issues identified within the report additional resources had now been put in place to improve on their performance.

 

As part of the overall delivery of the WHQS programme the Welsh Government required social landlords to maximise community regeneration and benefits to the local environment so that local people benefitted from such initiatives.  Community benefit / impact KPIs had been developed to maximise this investment to the local area i.e. £82m. that would be spent on meeting the WHQS by 2017.  The report set out an indication of the overarching benefits delivered to date and these were set out in paragraph 23 of the report.  The report also made reference to Contractors sourcing their materials for delivering the improvement programme locally which had a knock on affect and positive impact into the local economy.  The success of this initiative had been demonstrated by one of the WHQS contractors (Ian Williams Ltd.) who had secured one of their supply chain to establish a retail shop at Cardiff Road, Barry (Robert Price Builders). 

 

The Tenants Quality and Design Forum (QDF) had been established to assist in the tender process with all Contractors required to attend the Tenants and QDF to report on progress in delivering the HIP and to be scrutinised from a tenant’s perspective on their performance.  The first of such meetings had been held in February 2013 with all Contractors in attendance, Council officers and the five QDF members.  At this meeting, each Contractor provided a presentation on their performance, the lessons learned and the way forward.  The main learning points from the presentations were set out in paragraph 26 of the report. 

 

In summing up, the Head of Service indicated the first quarter performance statistics relating to the tenants’ experience and the time taken to complete the work was disappointing, however there existed higher levels of satisfaction with the completed work i.e. the finished kitchens and bathrooms.  Ongoing issues in the main related to the completion of works within 15 days timescale and Contractors needed to significantly improve their performance in this area (apart from SMK Building and Maintenance Ltd.).  It was acknowledged that work to tenants’ homes had been extremely disruptive where the two most important rooms were being refurbished in their entirety.  The impact of the HIP within the county would continue to be monitored via the community impact KPIs and officers would continue to maximise the benefits and promote the benefits as much as possible during the programme and after the works were complete to leave a lasting legacy in the Vale of Glamorgan. 

 

At this juncture there was a brief adjournment to allow the WHQS Contractors to be seated.  The Contractors had been invited to attend the meeting to respond to questions regarding their current performance.

 

Having taken their seats, the Chairman welcomed the representatives of the five Contractors to the meeting.

 

Contractor

Representative

Apollo Property Services Ltd.

Ms. Charlie Zennadi Mr. Sebastian Lee

Vale of Glamorgan Council Building Services

Mr. Jeff Jenkins

Ian Williams Ltd.

Ms. Sinead O’Neil Mr. Richard Williams

Lovell Partnerships

Mr. Jonathan Dobbs Mr. Chris Rees

SMK Building & Maintenance Ltd.

Mr. Tony Nash

 

The following questions were raised by the Scrutiny Committee in respect of the Contractors’ performance:

 

Questions

Responses

Considering your performance over the last six months, what do you intend to bring properties within agreed timescales / improve communication with tenants?

Lovells –

·        Tenants would be contacted every morning unless there was no work to take place, which would inform the tenant that they would have a free working day.

·        Validation survey and documents improved to ensure that the process was more robust and for greater programming continuity purposes. This would allow all works to be identified.

·        A scoping tool had been introduced.

 

Apollo –

·        It had been acknowledged that the job initiation process had not been well developed and there had been communication problems.

·        The sequencing / programming of works had not been sufficiently effective.

·        Improvements had been made to their own direct labour workforce with more time proved contractors engaged.

·        Local contractors used but had acknowledged that there had been some issues with the standard of workmanship.

·        The validation survey process had been improved and made more robust to take account of sequencing.

·        There was a need to improve communications when delays were identified and extension to work required.

·        There was a greater need to manage tenants’ expectations in relation to the improvements to their properties and tenant liaison officers would be utilised to relay information via the introduction of “property boards”.

 

Ian Williams –

·        It had been acknowledged that there had been communication issues and work streams had been improved to make these more robust introducing greater accountability and better management.

·        There was a need for further liaison with tenants and the recent introduction of team changes would see improvements regarding greater accountability to tenants with responsibility to close each property as soon as possible. 

·        A separate team had been introduced to undertake voids work so as not to impair other HIP contract work and tenant liaison officers would be working on a five day basis to assess work and dedicated to undertaking satisfaction surveys.

·        It was acknowledged that they needed to build on lessons learned.

Vale Building Services –

·          Improved communication arrangements had been introduced.

·          There had been an acknowledgement that there had been issues regarding the processing of void properties and joint surveys had been implemented with the client department to identify all works required to be undertaken to each property.  It was hoped that these improvements would see improved performance over the next quarter.

 

SMK –

·          They were content with progress to date and that tenant satisfaction feedback and communication had been good.

·          SMK DLO allowed greater control over the work programme being undertaken and there were no sub-contractors being used.

·          Programming of work entailed the opening of 15 properties at any one time to allow works to be co-ordinated and completed within agreed timescales.

·          It was acknowledged that some improvements could be made in terms of overall tenant satisfaction regarding work undertaken.

 

SMK – Your performance has been stronger in completing to time set.  What processes have you used to mostly keep to the completion date target agreed with Council’s officers and secondly, to communicate effectively with tenants?

·          Project initiation had been clear from the outset with comprehensive information provided by the Council.

·          The pilot had allowed operatives to get up to speed regarding the standard of work required.

·          Overall the tenants’ experience had been good based on feedback.

·          There had been well established relationships with Council officers which had been good.

·          Tenant liaison officers were requested to pass realistic information to tenants regarding works to be undertaken within individual properties in order to manage their expectations appropriately.

·          There had been flexibility in terms of the work planned to be undertaken by teams and they could be moved around the geographical area to manage peaks in work.

·          There were clear communication arrangements with tenants.

Vale Building Services – What do you intend to do to ensure that timescales are met for getting empty properties completed in order that they can be left swiftly?

·          Better liaison and communication arrangements had been introduced with the client department.

·          Since January 2013 there was a better understanding of the detail of work required to void properties.

·          Works to void properties had been significantly challenging given the adverse weather conditions, particularly the cold weather as this delayed drying periods in regard to plastering and painting work.

·          Discussions were ongoing with utility providers to provide power into void properties to assist in improving drying periods.

·          At least 60% of void properties had Sitex installed on windows and doors which exacerbated the ability to vent and dry properties whilst work was being undertaken. 

·          The current use of Sitex on void properties was currently being reviewed.

What factors did you take into account during the three month lead in period?  What issues were identified and were any of these of concern to you?

 

Lovells –

·          Due to their operative only taking responsibility for the contract recently, he was unable to comment.

 

Apollo –

·          During the initial three month lead in period suitable site set up had been undertaken.

·          Pilot initiation work had been carried out.

·          Validation survey of properties had been undertaken.

·          The flow of information had not been sufficiently robust and well developed.

·          Validation surveys of each property had posed significant problems in terms of structural works to be undertaken within each property.

 

Ian Williams –

·          The initial site team had not been the best fit.

·          During the first three months validation survey work had been undertaken, site set up work carried out

·          Communication with tenants had been developed.

·          Similar difficulties had been experienced to Apollo in that the validation surveys had not been straightforward and greater structural work was required to properties.

·          Improved accountability had been introduced amongst teams for completion of properties on time.

 

SMK –

·          Project initiation had been good with right team members deployed within the contract area who were also motivated.

·          A good working relationship had been established between the Council.

·          Their own work force was in place so no requirement to engage sub-contractors.

 

Vale Building Services –

·          Work had been centralised around sheltered accommodation.

·          Open days had been held which had been well received by tenants.

·          Customer Care Clinics had been established on site.

·          Visits had been arranged to inform tenants of planned repairs to properties.

·          Void work programming had been changed to make more challenging with ad hoc work and programming adjusted as new properties were received.

·          There had been a larger volume / turnover of void properties which had not been anticipated and had been unprecedented.

·          Fortnightly meetings had been programmed with the Council’s Housing officers to manage turnaround periods and completions within agreed time-scales.

What are the targets set for completed properties?  (Total number monthly / quarterly.)

 

Lovells –

·           53 properties (quarter).

 

Ian Williams –

·           128 properties (quarter).

 

Apollo –

·           126 properties (quarter).

 

SMK –

·           80 properties (quarter).

 

Vale Building Services –

·           28 properties (quarter).

Property Services – Can you explain what measures are in place to bring performance back onto target?

 

·           Contract planning was sufficiently robust and it was anticipated that all internal works to the Council’s housing stock would be completed within five years.

Vale Building Services – Can you explain how you plan to undertake additional works associated with void properties without it impairing quality, cost and time to undertake such works?

 

·           It had been acknowledged that additional works identified had had an impact. 

·           There was a need to identify additional works earlier within the programme.

·           Performance in respect of void property turnaround periods had been hampered by the adverse weather conditions i.e. longer drying periods for work undertaken within the properties.

·           The total void turnover of properties had been 200 properties to date.  These were unusual circumstances and, coupled with the adverse weather conditions, had meant that longer turnaround periods had been encountered and there was now a need to acknowledge that further time was needed to be allocated to undertake works under such conditions.

How confident are you that the revised turnaround period of 15 days will be adhered to for completion of standard works renewals / repairs?

 

Lovells –

·           Improved communications with tenants at the validation survey stage where additional works had been identified.

·           Satisfaction diaries had been introduced.

·           Improved processes introduced building on lessons learned since the commencement of the contract.

 

Apollo –

·           15 days represented a challenging period given structural works required to properties.

 

Ian Williams –

·           Increased labour / supervision had been introduced.

·           There had been problems with access to certain properties.

·           There had been issues in regard to the reliance on utility companies to support work required to be undertaken at the validation survey stage.

 

SMK –

·           There was content with the 15 day stipulation for repair work.

·           Adhering to the 15 day period would reduce disruption to tenants.

·           Management supervision ensured that teams were fully productive.

·           The need to introduce a 20 day period would be an exceptional case.

 

Vale Building Services –

·           Generally 15 days would be acceptable unless exceptional conditions arose as encountered recently with the adverse weather conditions.

·           Sheltered accommodation repairs programme overall was on target.

·           Void properties: there were two key elements to the completion of work and referred to earlier regarding drying times and the unprecedented volume of void turnovers which was greater than that normally anticipated. 

Reported at the last meeting of the Committee were issues relating to Health and Safety matters, in particular employee welfare.  What actions have you undertaken to address these concerns?

 

Lovells –

·           It had been acknowledged that no suitable welfare arrangements had been in place and since the contract commencement a welfare “pod” had been introduced and a licence had been applied for from the Council to locate it at a suitable location.  Otherwise, in the absence of a welfare pod employees had been using tenants’ facilities.

·           Safe working practices were in operation and compliant with health and safety requirements, including appropriate accident arrangement reporting procedures and the use of appropriate personal protective equipment.

 

Apollo –

·           No welfare arrangements were in place for employees.

·           A welfare “pod” would be introduced shortly and a licence was being applied for from the Council to locate at an appropriate site.

·           Initially compliant with health and safety legislation, however as work moved out of the geographical contract area a welfare pod was now required.

·           Appropriate arrangements were on site to ensure tenants’ safety.

·           Appropriate accident report arrangements were in place and an on site introduction implemented for all operatives.

·           It had been acknowledged that there had been a high accident rate, however improved management controls for sub-contractors had been introduced on site.

 

Ian Williams –

·           A void property had been utilised to provide welfare facilities for employees. 

·           Scored highly on considerate contractor criteria.

·           Sub-contractors offered appropriate training at no cost to the sub-contractor.

·           Shared learning experiences introduced for managers who moved around the various contract sites.

 

SMK –

·           Initial teething problems had been encountered however a welfare unit had been introduced. 

·           Health and safety undertaken and CSCES cards required before contractors allowed on site.  Safe practices introduced particularly the awareness of small children and pets within properties.

 

Vale Building Services –

·           Comprehensive welfare facility provided on site from the start to the finish of all contract works.

·           Fully compliant with all health and safety requirements.

Property Services – Is the estimated time specific for each job realistic?  If not, what do they consider is?

·        It was considered that the estimated time specified for each job was realistic. 

Are you satisfied you have a qualified and competent workforce to complete the work?

Lovells –

·           Appropriate training regimes were in place e.g. manual handling and asbestos training etc.

 

Apollo –

·           CSES training was provided including manual handling and asbestos awareness training etc.

·           Appropriately qualified engineers were utilised for gas and electrical installations with qualifications being verified before commencement of work on site.

·           Teams were established with appropriate skill sets in place.

 

Ian Williams –

·           Provided similar response to the comments made by Lovell and Apollo.

·           Acknowledged problems with sub-contractors.

·           Team established and assessed and customer care training was also provided.

 

SMK –

·           No specific problems had been identified.

 

Vale Building Services –

·           All employees were suitably qualified and CRB checks undertaken.

·           All staff attended appropriate training including manual handling courses.

How are they handling dissatisfied tenants?

Lovells –

·        Satisfaction forms from tenants were completed by the Tenant Liaison Officers.

·        Introduced staged satisfaction surveys which were undertaken on completion of each element of work within the property.

 

Apollo –

·        Tenant liaison officers undertook tenant satisfaction surveys and fed back the responses.

 

Ian Williams –

·        Resident’s liaison officers had been tasked to undertake daily visits.

·        Happiness checks were undertaken to assess the satisfaction of tenants, including any trends regarding dissatisfaction.

·        Complaints recorded to identify weaknesses in current arrangements.

·        Site accountability had been introduced to teams regarding such matters.

 

SMK –

·        Feedback from tenant liaison officers had been generally good and issues that were identified had been addressed promptly.

 

Vale Building Services –

·        Site management supervision had been introduced to ensure compliance and identify any issues regarding tenant satisfaction.

·        Customer care clinics had been established on a regular basis.

How many properties are open at any one time?

Lovells –

·           21 open at current but it was anticipated 15 day completion rate subject to extensions granted

 

Apollo –

·           37 properties plus 1 void property with 15 day turnaround period subject to extensions granted.

 

Ian Williams –

·           52 properties open (however should be 32 properties) subject to extensions plus 5 void properties that were open with an expected 15 day turnaround period subject to extensions granted.

 

SMK –

·           15 properties open with a 15 day turnaround period subject to extensions granted.

 

Vale Building Services –

·           4 sheltered properties plus 65 void properties with a 15 day turnaround period for each subject to extensions granted.

 

At this juncture the Contractors withdrew from the meeting and the Chairman thanked them for their attendance.

 

Discussion ensued which centred on the responses received from the contractors, particularly in respect to welfare of employees; low satisfaction levels of certain contractors undertaking work on behalf of the Council, current arrangements in place in respect of the potential action open to the Council to remove contractors from the contract due to poor performance and the apparent inability of contractors to maintain the 15 day completion period for works undertaken to properties.  In regard to the latter point, clarification was sought from officers whether the extensions were specific to additional works or as a result of “snagging” works and this required to be quantified for the future.  It was also suggested that officers investigate the feasibility of introducing respite provisions for those tenants who were significantly affected by works.

 

Having regard to the above matters, it was

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the report and the associated actions being considered by the Housing and Building Services and the Property Section teams in relation to the Housing Improvement Programme be noted. 

 

(2)       T H A T the next quarterly monitoring report be brought forward and submitted to the next meeting of the Scrutiny Committee.

 

(3)       T H A T the findings into the review of the current contract management and communication with stakeholders be submitted to the Scrutiny Committee as soon as practicable.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       In acknowledgement of work undertaken to date.

 

(2)       To assess performance of the contractors to ensure that contract standards were being met.

 

(3)       To enable the assessment of current contract arrangements to be reviewed.

 

 

1082   UPDATE ON THE USE OF CCTV IN THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN (MD) –

 

The above matter had been subject to consideration at the Scrutiny Committee held on 10th October 2012 following the submission of a Request for Consideration of a Matter by Councillor Bertin.  Having considered the issue at that time the Scrutiny Committee subsequently requested the Operational Manager for Customer Services to submit a further progress report on the following matters:

 

·         creating a CCTV monitoring station on South Wales Police (SWP) premises

·         potential of SWP officers providing monitoring support

·         any other measures to improve service resilience.

 

Since the last meeting South Wales Police (SWP) had confirmed that they did not have sufficient resources to dedicate to monitoring activities and the cost of providing a monitoring station at Barry Police Station would be circa £12,000.  However, in order to improve service resilience SWP had proposed the use of appropriately vetted Police volunteers to undertake monitoring activities and four volunteers had been identified (two civilian Police staff and two Victim Support workers).  It was proposed that these volunteers would receive “on the job” monitoring training and Security Industry Authority (SIA) training and accreditation.  In addition, the volunteers would be required to sign up to and abide by the Code of Practice for Operation of Closed Circuit Television in the Vale of Glamorgan.  This was a Code of Practice jointly agreed by the Council and SWP and included commitments to privacy, data protection and accountability.

 

The Operational Manager indicated that vetted and trained Police volunteers would be rostered to work alongside CCTV operators and provide the service with greater resilience to cope with unplanned staff absence and holidays.  He further indicated that Customer Relations staff would complete training by graining SIA accreditation in April 2013 at a cost of £149 per trainee. 

 

Having regard to the contents of the report it was

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the current arrangements as outlined in the report to strengthen current CCTV operation in the Vale of Glamorgan be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

In acknowledgement of progress made to date.

 

 

1083   IMPROVEMENT OBJECTIVES 2013/14 (MD) –

 

The Committee’s views were sought on the proposed improvement objectives for 2013/14 as set out in Appendix 1 to the report, which also included a rationale for each improvement objective.

 

A full review of the Corporate Plan had been undertaken during 2012 following local government elections and had identified eight priority outcomes for the Council.  The proposed improvement objectives and associated actions for 2013/14 reflected the priorities as set out in the Corporate Plan and ensured that the Council was focusing on those areas in need of the most improvement.

 

Of the eight Council-wide objectives proposed for 2013/14, one fell within the remit of the Committee i.e. Objective 2 – To reduce the time take to deliver disabled facilities grants to children and young people and to adults to achieve the Welsh average performance of 2011/12 as a minimum. 

 

In commenting on the above objective the Head of Public Protection indicated that the delays in processing disabled facilities grants had been previously reported to the Scrutiny Committee including the contributory factor to those delays.  In the main, performance had been adversely affected due to the availability of occupational therapists.  However, an occupational therapist had been recently recruited and would look at working to improve performance and target priority cases.  He stressed that performance had improved year on year and a lot of good practice had been developed form those lessons learned. 

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the proposed improvement objective for 2013/14 as referred to above be endorsed.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To ensure that the Council identifies and publishes annual improvement objectives for 2013/14 in line with the requirements of the Local Government Measure (Wales) 2009.

 

 

1084   SCRUTINY DECISION TRACKING OF RECOMMENDATIONS (DR) –

 

The report detailed progress in respect of uncompleted recommendations made by the Committee for the financial year 2010/11 (Appendix A); the financial year 2011/12 (Appendix B); the second quarter July to September 2012 (Appendix C) and the fourth quarter January to March 2013 (Appendix D).

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the following actions detailed below be accepted as completed:

 

18 July 2012

Min. No. 176 - Empty Homes Strategy 2012 – 2017 (REF) – Recommended that the contents of the Empty Homes Strategy for the period 2012-2017 be endorsed and that this Scrutiny Committee receive in future six monthly monitoring reports on performance against the actions contained within the above Plan.

 

 

Report submitted to Committee on 13th February 2013 (Min. No. 863 refers).

Completed

16 January 2013

Min. No. 745 - Options Appraisal for Land in Housing Services (DVSH) – Recommended that the contents of the report be endorsed and that the matter be referred to the Cabinet for further consideration.

 

 

Cabinet, on 4th February 2013, noted the Committee’s recommendations (Min. No. C1997 refers).

Completed

Min. No. 746 - Supporting People Regional Collaborative Committee (DVSH) – Recommended that the contents of the report be noted and endorsed and be referred for Cabinet for further consideration.

 

 

Cabinet, on 4th February 2013, endorsed the Committee’s recommendations (Min. No. C1998 refers).

Completed

Min. No. 747 - Smoke Alarms and Fire Safety Provision in Blocks of Flats (DVSH) – Recommended that Cabinet be requested to give consideration to installing linked smoke alarms in Council owned flats when replacement of the existing smoke alarm systems was required.

 

 

Cabinet, on 4th February 2013, resolved that linked smoke alarms in Council owned flats be installed where replacement of the existing smoke alarm systems was required (Min. No. C1999 refers).

Completed

Min. No. 748 - Interim Review of the Homes4U Allocation Policy (DVSH) – Recommended that the proposed alterations to the Council’s Homes4U policy be endorsed and be recommended to the Cabinet for approval.

 

 

Cabinet, on 4th February 2013, approved the proposed alterations to the Council’s Homes4U Policy (Min. No. C1200 refers).

Completed

Min. No. 750 - Report on the Community Activities Conducted in 2012 Using “The Reassurance Engagement Vehicle” (TREV) (DDS) – Recommended

(1)   That the contents of the report be noted and referred to Cabinet for consideration.

 

 

 

 

 

Cabinet, on 4th February 2013, noted the report (Min. No. C1201 refers).

Completed

Min. No. 751 - Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptation of Homes of People with Impairments (DDS) – Recommended

(1)   That the Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptation of Homes of People with Impairments be endorsed and referred to Cabinet for consideration.

(2)   That, subject to the Cabinet’s approval, the Scrutiny Committee endorses the principle that the Director of Development Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety, being granted delegated power to review and make changes to the Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptation of Homes of People with Impairments document as appropriate.

 

 

 

 

(1)   Cabinet, on 4th February 2013, approved the Guidance and Priorities (Min. Nos. C1202 and 1203 refer).

Completed

 

(2)   Cabinet, on 4th February 2013, approved the Committee’s recommendation (Min. Nos. C1202 and 1203 refer).

Completed

13 February 2013

Min. No. 861 - Community Safety Performance Monitoring (DDS) – Recommended

(2)   That the draft Cardiff and Vale Substance Misuse Performance Management Framework and regional baseline data be the subject of a further report to the Scrutiny Committee as soon as it became available.

 

 

 

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

 

Min. No. 862 - Vale of Glamorgan Young Persons’ Substance Misuse Consultation Report (2011) (DDS) – Recommended

(2)   That the Head of Public Protection be requested to forward copies of the report and related information to all PACTS and Town and Community Councils in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

 

 

 

Report sent to all Town and Community Councils on 27th February 2013.  PACT co-ordinators have been requested to circulate copies of the report at future meetings.

Completed

Min. No. 863 - Update on the Implementation of the Empty Property Strategy (DDS) – Recommended

(2)   That appropriate information relating to the database of all known empty properties be subject of a further report by the Head of Public Protection to the Scrutiny Committee as soon as practicable.

(3)   That the report be referred to Cabinet for consideration.

 

 

 

 

(2)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

 

 

 

(3)   Cabinet, on 18 March 2013, agreed the Scrutiny Committee’s recommendations (Min. No. C1252 refers).

Completed

Min. No. 864 - End of Year Performance Report – National Strategic Indicators, Public Accountability Measures, Service Improvement Data (MD) – Recommended

(2)   That a further report be submitted by the Head of Public Protection and the Operational Manager (Public Housing) to the Committee as soon as practicable setting out reasons for performance in respect of each indicator identified within the report which had shown a deterioration.

(3)   That the Head of Public Protection submit a further report to the Scrutiny Committee as soon as practicable in regard to the 2013/14 Food Law Enforcement Plan (PPN/009).

(4)   That performance in relation to PSR/009A be subject of a separate report by the Head of Public Protection setting out measures undertaken to improve current performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(2)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

 

 

 

 

 

 

(3)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

 

 

 

(4)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

 

Min. No. 865 - Revenue and Capital Monitoring for the Period 1st April 2012 to 31st December 2012 (DDS and DVSH) – Recommended that the position with regard to the 2012/13 Revenue and Capital Monitoring be noted and the proposed amendment to reduce the Castleland Renewal Area capital budget to £1.26m. in 2012/13 and the carrying forward of £445,000 to 2013/14 be endorsed and referred to Cabinet and Council for approval.

 

 

 

Cabinet, at its meeting on 4 March 2013, approved the Committee’s recommendations (Min. No. C1242 refers).

Completed

 

13 March 2013

Min. No. 981 - Public Protection - Proposed Fees and Charges (DDS) – Recommended

(1)   That the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection): accepts the report and refers the matter to Cabinet for further consideration.

(2)   That the schedule of fees and charges as set out in Appendices 1, 2 and 3 of the report be accepted to take effect from 1st April, 2013 and be referred to Cabinet for further consideration.

 

 

 

(1)   Cabinet, on 18th March, endorsed the report (Min. No. C1276 refers).

Completed

 

(2)   Cabinet, on 18th March, accepted the fees as set out in the appendices to the report (Min. No. C1276 refers).

Completed

Min. No. 986 - Housing Improvement Programme - Progress Update (DVSH) – Recommended

(3)   That the Director of Visible Services and Housing be requested to invite representatives of the five contractors engaged to undertake the Council’s Housing Improvement Programme to the next meeting of the Scrutiny Committee having regard to contractor performance identified in the report.

(4)   That the Director of Visible Services and Housing be requested to submit in future accumulative quarterly performance monitoring reports to the Scrutiny Committee to appropriately advise of progress against each key performance indicators (including relevant financial information).

(5)   That the Director of Visible Services and Housing submit to the next meeting of the Scrutiny Committee financial information relating to the value of all additional repair works not identified at the validation survey stage for all properties where work had been undertaken as part of the Programme.

(6)   That the Director of Visible Services and Housing submit to the next meeting of the Scrutiny Committee a comprehensive breakdown of the additional costs to the Council incurred as a consequence of the under performance in the delivery of void properties e.g. loss of revenue from rent income / Council Tax and the increase in costs associated with the use of temporary accommodation (B&B etc.).

 

 

 

 

(3)   Arrangements made for contractors to attend meeting on 17th April 2013.

Completed

 

 

 

 

 

(4)   Report on agenda for 17th April 2013 meeting.

Completed

 

 

 

 

 

 

(5)   Report on agenda for 17th April 2013 meeting.

Completed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(6)   Report on agenda for 17th April 2013 meeting.

Completed

 

(2)       T H A T the progress against the remaining recommendations identified as ongoing as detailed in the report be noted.

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1&2)  To apprise Members of progress with Scrutiny Committee recommendations.

 

 

1085   MR. JOSEPH FARRINGTON –

 

Mr. Farrington announced that he was attending his last meeting of the Scrutiny Committee and he was stepping down as a representative of the Tenants Panel.  In response, the Chairman thanked Mr. Farrington for his contribution to the Scrutiny Committee and wished him well for the future.

 

 

 

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