Agenda and draft minutes

Tenant Scrutiny Board
Friday, 29th November, 2019 1.00 pm, MOVED

Venue: Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR. View directions

Contact: Keith Mack 0113 3783330  Email: keith.mack@leeds.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

44.

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.

Minutes:

None.

45.

Late 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.)

Minutes:

None.

46.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Rita Ighade, Denise Linley

47.

Minutes - 25 October 2019 pdf icon PDF 317 KB

To confirm as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting held on Friday 25th October 2019

Minutes:

RESOLVED – The minutes of the previous meeting held on 25th October 2019 were passed as a true record.

 

48.

Chairs Update pdf icon PDF 359 KB

To receive an update from the Chair on scrutiny activity, not specifically included on this agenda, since the previous Board meeting.

Minutes:

JG expressed thanks on behalf of the board to Simon Costigan ahead of his retirement.

 

JG told the board that he will be attending the TPAS National Tenant Scrutiny Conference in Birmingham on the 11th of December, and will provide an update at the next meeting.

 

The minutes of the Environment, Housing, and Communities board is included with the meeting pack, it is true that there was a rejected bid for funding to assist with the cost of sprinklers in high rise blocks, but the funding was for blocks that use the same cladding as Grenfell Tower, which blocks in Leeds do not use.

 

KM pointed out that a discussion was had about the procurement of repairs services for Leeds, noting these conversations are being held at the executive level also.

 

SB asked if the board can be provided with an update of which blocks are due to get sprinklers, JG replied that all blocks are eventually going to be fitted, with enhanced blocks being of a higher priority. SB asked if the board can be provided with an up to date list of the enhanced blocks as they can change over time. KM responded that he can produce a list for members. KM briefly explained the four models of high rise blocks – Enhanced, Standard, Retirement, and Family. The enhanced blocks are generally those which historically have had more issues with repairs and ASB. Retirement blocks are generally more adapted for use by older tenants, for example having storage areas for mobility scooters. MH told the board of her experience as a Housing Manager overseeing Retirement blocks, and added that properties are adaptable according to need such as lowered kitchens, and priority access for fire. Wardens visit the block daily to check in with the residents and report any issues. KM told the board that members of the High Rise Strategy Group had recently undertaken an inspection of one of the Retirement blocks and noted that it was of a very high standard.

 

49.

Estate Walkabouts pdf icon PDF 209 KB

Discussion around current practices and pending changes to consider the effectiveness of Estate Walkabouts.

Minutes:

Area Manager John Ogilvie and Housing Manager Michelle Honey introduced themselves to the board ahead of the discussion regarding estate walkabouts.

 

JO explained that there has recently been an audit taken of estate walkabouts and the processes followed in carrying them out. The current processes were developed in 2014, and board previously made recommendations in 2016. According to the audit, most estate walkabouts were still carried out in line with the policies, however there were some inconsistencies highlighted. It was noted that councillors now had a relatively low attendance across walkabouts, and there was low input also from external partners, though with more than 800 walkabouts taking place across the city each year it is practically impossible for all to be attended by every relevant individual.

 

JO explained a further issue that IT systems that had previously been set up to communicate with each other no longer do, mainly because different departments had upgraded to new systems at different times rendering the systems incompatible, though there are developments in place to rectify this issue. JG commented that in previous recommendations the harmonisation of systems was raised as an issue to resolve, JO agreed but the systems are continuously changing and it can be hard to implement solutions. MH added that the IT issues primarily affect how problems raised on walkabouts are logged and raised and how that information is sent to tenants, however the offices have developed their own methods of solving this issue. This means tenants are not impacted as badly as they could be, but the different processes do impact the offices as they are not always following set procedure. Walkabout dates are booked quarterly and should be advertised in multiple places well in advance so tenants know about them, though there are times that walkabouts are booked during the average working day and are inaccessible to tenants that are working, and are only attended by the same individuals every time. Attendance at walkabouts is often driven by grievances, so once an issue is fixed the tenants will stop turning up, and that can impact the numbers from event to event. MH suggested that to resolve the issue a full review with tenants’ input would be required, along with an update to the systems that would allow for processes to be harmonised across all relevant departments. JG responded that across multiple reviews, the common point of complaint usually concerns IT systems. MH agreed that it is an issue, but that the processes also need reviewing as the two work hand-in-hand.

JG asked what the process is for officers following a walkabout, MH replied that the process should be to input the raised issues on Caseworks, which filters any issues and repairs to the appropriate person, however that system has been overtaken by 360 and there is no clear guidance. Some housing offices are emailing individuals directly instead, which leads to slower response times, as well as an increased possibility that repairs are missed. JO added that the three  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.

50.

Tenant Scrutiny Board Workplan pdf icon PDF 312 KB

Confirmation of dates of meetings for the forthcoming year and the future workplan (which will be dependent on what investigation the board wishes to undertake)

 

Minutes:

JG reminded board members that the investigation topic has not yet been confirmed as there was an agreement with VITAL that they would be consulted before a decision was made. JG asked if VITAL could be informed that if a member had any suggestions, to let Peter Greenwood know by the 15th of December. SBa and SBu agreed to attend the next VITAL meeting as TSB representatives.

51.

Date and Time of Next Meeting

Minutes:

The next meeting will take place at the Civic Hall on Friday the 20th of December, from 1pm - 3pm.

 

 

THE MEETING CLOSED AT 3:00 PM