Venue: Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR
Contact: Rob Clayton (0113 37 88790) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Appeals Against Refusal of Inspection of Documents
To consider any appeals in accordance with Procedure Rule 25* of the Access to Information Procedure Rules (in the event of an Appeal the press and public will be excluded).
(* In accordance with Procedure Rule 25, notice of an appeal must be received in writing by the Head of Governance Services at least 24 hours before the meeting).
There were no appeals against refusal of inspection of documents.
Exempt Information - Possible Exclusion of the Press and Public
1 To highlight reports or appendices which officers have identified as containing exempt information, and where officers consider that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information, for the reasons outlined in the report.
2 To consider whether or not to accept the officers recommendation in respect of the above information.
3 If so, to formally pass the following resolution:-
RESOLVED – That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following parts of the agenda designated as containing exempt information on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information, as follows:
No exempt items have been identified.
There were no exempt items.
To identify items which have been admitted to the agenda by the Chair for consideration.
(The special circumstances shall be specified in the minutes.)
There were no formal late items. However, there was supplementary information circulated to Members in relation to Agenda Item 7 – Future Waste Strategy Inquiry – Finance, Contracts and Recycling.
Declaration of Interests
To disclose or draw attention to any interests in accordance with Leeds City Council’s ‘Councillor Code of Conduct’.
No declarations of interest were made at the meeting.
Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitutes
To receive any apologies for absence and notification of substitutes.
Apologies were received from Cllrs Heselwood, Chapman, and Firth.
Cllr Jenkins attended the meeting as substitute for Cllr Heselwood, Cllr Hart-Brooke attended the meeting as substitute for Cllr Chapman and Cllr Wadsworth attended the meeting as substitute for Cllr Firth.
It was also noted at this point that Cllr Ragan was attending the meeting as representative of Environment, Housing and Communities Scrutiny Board, in relation to the joint inquiry on the Future Waste Strategy. It was noted that Cllr B Anderson had been intending to also join the meeting for this item but had sent apologies.
The Chair sent Cllr B Anderson his best wishes.
To confirm as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting held on 18 October 2021
RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 18th October 2021, be approved as a correct record.
The PSA informed the Board of the following points:
· Minute 20 – Inclusion Agenda – Plans are being developed to have staff networks attend the January 2022 meeting to give their views on how the Council is responding to inclusion issues in the workforce.
· Minute 21 – Leeds 2023 – Additional information requested by the Board had now been sent to Members.
· Minute 25 – The Chair and the PSA discussing the request to bring back an item to update the Board on Devolution.
· In October members suggested an additional meeting in December. It was noted that the work programme for the Board was significant and to manage this an additional item has been added to the 13th December Working Group to deal with an initial report on the Contact Centre.
To consider a report from the Head of Democratic Services setting out the ongoing inquiry into waste strategy working with the Environment, Housing and Communities Scrutiny Board. The report provides information linked to the service in terms of tonnages of waste collected, costs of the service and contractual matters. A number of external witnesses are also expected to attend the Board from HW Martin and Veolia.
The report from the Head of Democratic Services set out the ongoing inquiry into waste strategy working with the Environment, Housing and Communities Scrutiny Board. The report provided information linked to the service in terms
of tonnages of waste collected, costs of the service and contractual matters.
In attendance for this item were:
· James Rogers – Director of Communities, Housing and Environment
· John Woolmer – Acting Chief Officer Environmental Services
· Cllr Mohammed Rafique – Executive Member for Environment and Housing
· Polly Cook – Chief Officer Sustainable Energy and Air Quality
· Jason Singh – Head of Service Environmental Action
· Kevin Mulvaney – Head of Finance Communities, Housing and Environment
· Rosie Harvey – Officer in the Contracts Team, Waste Management
· Amanda Pitt – Manager of the Veolia Contract
· Philip Turpin – Senior Business Officer Communities, Housing and Environment
· Ed Walton – Business Officer Communities Housing and Environment
· Robin Akers – Commercial Director HW Martin
· Declan Nortcliffe – HW Martin
· Scott Francis – Head of ERF Operations North – Veolia (attended via zoom link)
· Donald Macphail – Chief Operating Officer Treatment Division – Veolia (attended via zoom link)
Members were provided with a presentation in relation to Waste Managements – Key Contracts.
Members were informed of the following points:
· The RERF contract is a 25year PFI contract based on SOPC4 it is a contract only for the treatment of residual waste. It is a design build and operate contract not due to expire until 2041.
· The technical solution offered by Veolia was for a mechanical pre-treatment followed by energy recovery from waste that cannot be recycled.
· There are three key targets in the contract:
o Landfill diversion
o BMW diversion (which is tonnage allowance per year)
o Recycling. It was noted that the target for this had been reduced in April 2020 from 10% to 2% with performance for 20/21 at 2.3%. Members were advised that despite efforts made by Veolia recycling had not increased sufficiently to achieve the 10% target. Therefore, with agreement of DEFRA the targets had been reduced for the next seven years. The Board noted that metals are currently the only materials being recycled for a significant compensation payment made by Veolia
· Members were informed of benefits provided by the RERF either by recycling or creating of energy.
· Members noted that the facility also provides a range of other benefits including, up to 11 mega-watts of electricity to the National Grid, provides heat to the Council’s District Heating network and has a visitor centre.
· DEFRA support the work at the facility, this is monitored with monthly meetings and quarterly meetings with all PFI contract management teams.
· It was noted that the facility has saved 40,000 tonnes of carbon per year compared to landfill, which was the equivalent to taking 19,500 cars off the road, produced 11MW electricity – enough to power 22,000 homes.
· Over the life of the contract, it is expected to save £7m per annum compared to previous solutions.
Members were provided with a contract overview which ... view the full minutes text for item 34.
To receive a further update report on the Board’s ongoing work looking at agile working, developing new ways of working and estate realisation. This report from the Director of City Development provides an update following consideration of matters related to the Council’s estate in February and also provides a further update on staff satisfaction following a request from Board members at the September meeting.
The report from the Director of City Development provided a further update on the Board’s ongoing work looking at agile working, developing new ways of working and estate realisation as well as employee wellbeing.
In attendance for this item were:
· Cllr Debra Coupar – Executive Member for Resources
· Mark Mills – Head of Asset Management
· Graham Sephton – Head of HR
The Board were informed of the following points:
· The pandemic had accelerated service change to a more digital focus, with staff forced to work from home, more hybrid approaches to working arrangements and service delivery.
· Work on estate realisation has been ongoing for 5 years. The Council has reduced its estate in the city centre from 17 buildings to 3. The Council’s buildings currently have front facing services and the aim is to make the customer experience better and easier.
· Feedback from the staff survey shows that staff are supportive of the new ways of working including the flexibility to work from home and the way workspace has been set out. The way in which the Council works has been changed through engagement with staff, trade unions and Members.
· 4 employee wellbeing surveys have been undertaken with results for the latest undertaken in August 2021, within the submitted report. It was noted that since the survey of October 2020 there had been some improvement in how staff were feeling. Support has been offered to staff who need it.
Cllr Coupar advised the Board that work on the estate was still ongoing and had been for many years this was not as an impact of the pandemic. The changing the workplace programme had recognised improvements in digital working and this has been progressed. Much of the Council’s estate is ageing and in need of refurbishment to bring it up to date and to ensure that it has the best carbon footprint that it can. Cllr Coupar reassured the Board that there would be consultation on any proposals.
In response to questions from the Members the Board were provided with the following information:
· Consideration would be given to converting buildings to housing. The Housing Growth Team are provided with those buildings which are to be put up for sale or lease to assess potential for housing.
· Any listed buildings which are to be sold would be done only in consultation with the community and local ward members. The Council has a large number of heritage buildings and recognises that it is not always the best custodian of such buildings. It does not wish to see some of these buildings left to become derelict and decayed. Appropriate consideration is given to heritage buildings some taking years for a decision to be made.
· Community Asset Transfers are considered with Bramley Baths and Yeadon Town Hall a demonstration of where this has been successful.
· It was recognised that Community Hubs have been a valuable resource for staff to work instead of working from home or travelling into the city centre. They have also provided ... view the full minutes text for item 35.
To receive a report from the Chief Officer Human Resources on agency staffing at Leeds City Council covering costs, overtime, value for money, the recent Early leavers Initiative (ELI), the impact on financial strategies and links to inclusive growth.
The Chief Officer Human Resources submitted a report on agency staffing at Leeds City Council covering costs, overtime, value for money, the recent Early leavers Initiative (ELI), the impact on financial strategies and links to inclusive growth.
Alex Watson – Head of HR attended for this item.
The Board were informed of the following points:
· This report was a follow up to the report submitted in July 2021. It provided an update on services and work done and the effects of the pandemic.
· Spend for the service is the same as last year at this midway point.
· Highlights from the report were noted as:
o IDS who had shown a reliance on agency staff and were now bringing this back in house through permanent staffing on the structure
o Assistance was being given to support managers on sickness and attendance issues
o Leave was still an issue and the team were looking at how this can be better managed including the booking of leave and ensuring sufficient staff cover
o ELI - this initiative had saved money and was sustainable.
Responding to questions from Members the Board were informed of the following:
· It was acknowledged that sickness levels were increasing. This was a concern with work ongoing to assess this.
· Overtime was paid in relation to responsive services. It was difficult to clarify spend in relation to agency spend and overtime spend as this was often seasonal. More work would be undertaken to provide details and ensure that rotas were robust enough.
· The team would look at the use of a wider pool of staffing that could be used in place of agency staffing, key problems could ensuring those staff do have full time roles and also past experience at other Councils where a pool approach had not fully worked.
· Sickness in the main seemed to relate to stress, muscular skeletal issues and mental health issues. The figures do take into consideration staff with long Covid. The officer offered to clarify if the figures included Covid.
The Board requested information in relation to the retention of Social Workers.
RESOLVED - To
a) Note the current position regarding the use of agency workers and overtime
b) Note the ongoing demands that different services are facing
c) Note the resourcing solutions that have been achieved and options being proposed to further develop and apply these.
d) Consider the need for further updates and progress reports
To consider the Scrutiny Board’s work schedule for the 2021/22 municipal year.
The report of the Head of Democratic Services presented the Scrutiny Board’s work schedule for the 2021/22 municipal year.
The Principal Scrutiny Adviser informed the Board that the working group scheduled for 13th December had now been expanding to include an initial report on the Contact Centre.
It was noted that Appendix 1 provided the work schedule for the Board. The Board also noted that the PSA and the Chair were working on economic income and spend as a possible future work item.
The Board requested the following:
· An update on Welcome to Yorkshire which the Board had worked on last year.
· An item on quality of services to the public. The PSA and the Chair to check if this comes under the remit of the Board.
RESOLVED – To note the content of the report.
Date and Time of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Board is Monday 24th January 2022 at 10.00 am (Pre-meeting for all Board Members at 9.45 am).
RESOLVED – That the next meeting of the Board will be Monday 24th January 2022 at 10.00 am (Pre-meeting for all Board Members at 9.45 am).
The meeting concluded at 13:15