Venue: Committee Room, Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston, PE21 8QR
Contact: Janette Collier, Senior Democratic Services Officer Tel. no: 01205 314227 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To sign and confirm the minutes of the last meeting, held on 21st March 2019.
The minutes of the Committee’s last meeting, held on 21st March 2019, were agreed as a correct record by those Members in attendance at that meeting and were signed by the Chairman.
(A report presented by Andy Fisher, Head of Regulatory Services – Lead Officer for the Corporate and Community Committee)
The Head of Regulatory Services presented a report, the purpose of which was to enable Members to familiarise themselves with the Committee’s remit and ways of working.
The report also provided an opportunity for the Committee to consider its workload for the current year and throughout Committee Members’ four-year term of office, to ensure that a robust schedule of reporting was pre-planned where possible.
The report included several appendices to help Members recognise the Committee’s role and obligations in scrutinising both internal and external services and areas.
The Committee’s Terms of Reference and Scrutiny Protocol identified the Corporate Priorities from the Council’s Corporate Plan to which the Committee’s remit was aligned, along with the Protocol for Scrutiny and Policy Development. It was noted that a review of the Corporate Plan was forthcoming and, therefore, the Committee’s remit might change as a result. The Scrutiny Committees’ role of policy development was very important in terms of its potential impact across the community.
The Summary of Quarter 4 Performance Monitoring Information relevant to the Committee was appended. This information was produced in full and sent directly to all Members every quarter. It highlighted that food safety performance had been dramatically improved with the Council in the top five in the country.
In response to questions, it was explained that benefit processing time was above target. Some targets were national, but they could still be lowered. It was important to consider performance in the overall context along with cost and quality. The Committee might wish to ask managers to attend meetings to account for performance and consider making recommendations to Cabinet.
Performance with respect to Improving Housing Standards was below target. The target was linked to the Controlling Migration Fund (CMF) project target, which focused on Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and was arrived at from census information, though this did not identify where the HMOs were. Proactive work was ongoing, but difficulties in recruitment and retention of Housing Standards Officers had had a significant impact on delivery; there was an extremely short supply of people with the appropriate qualifications and competency for this complex work. The Council currently only had one officer working two days a week. Performance figures were also affected by the time taken by landlords to undertake work following informal advice or notice, which could be lengthy.
Collection of business rates was below target due to the impact of the winding up a large local business.
Sickness absence had been well managed and performance figures were now the best in Lincolnshire. In response to questions, it was explained that the Council had a robust sickness absence policy incorporating return to work interviews and short-term sickness was closely monitored. Staff were not paid for the first two days of sickness absence and staff on longer-term sickness absence were supported to return to work with solutions including home working, mobile working and assistance from occupational health.
In response to concern about positive strategies to assist with emotional health, it was reported ... view the full minutes text for item 2.