Agenda and draft minutes

Tenant Scrutiny Board
Friday, 21st February, 2020 1.00 pm

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

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

Items
No. Item

52.

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.

53.

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.

54.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Rita Ighade, Denise Linley

 

55.

Minutes - 29 November 2019

To confirm as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting held on 29 November 2019

Minutes:

RESOLVED – The minutes of the previous meeting held on 29th November 2019 were passed as a true record.

 

56.

Matters arising

To clarify following previous meeting presentation on Estate Walkabouts, Board support for the suggestion of reducing the requirement for walkabouts to a minimum of 2 per year to be relayed to those involved in the current review.

 

Minutes:

The Chair updated the board on the estate walkabout review, noting that recommendations for improvement had been made previously that are currently not being followed. The Chair suggested sending an updated recommendation of fewer estate walkabouts each year, per estate to encourage attendance, with a further suggestion that they be undertaken around April and September to address the challenges of the changing seasons. This recommendation was supported by all members present.

 

57.

Chair's Update pdf icon PDF 195 KB

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

 

Approved minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 17th October 2019 and draft minutes of the meetings held on Tuesday 3rd December 2019 and on Thursday 9th January 2020

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the Environment, Housing, and Communities board have been included in the pack, topics of interest to the TSB were highlighted, including;

 

·  Waste management and accessibility to collection services.

·  The number of Universal Credit claims across the city and available support especially out of hours.

·  Discussion regarding the use of green space, car parking, and nuisance fireworks.

·  Void properties and the rethinking repairs review.

 

The Chair updated the board on his attendance at the Tenant Scrutiny conference in December which was attended by many housing associations and was very informative, with much of the focus being around new ways of working as previously discussed by the board last summer.

The Chair also attended VITAL in February to update them on the decisions made by the board regarding a new enquiry.

 

58.

CCTV Update pdf icon PDF 210 KB

Following on from the ASB inquiry and the recommendations relating to CCTV (both of which were deemed to be achieved), an update has been requested with regards to CCTV coverage linked directly to LeedsWatch and progress against the longer term objective of moving over to fibre.

 

Minutes:

ST updated the board about the work to upgrade all high rise blocks in the city to a digital solution for transferring camera images to Leeds Watch. The project has been ongoing for two years with 26 blocks currently connected via digital fibre to Leeds Watch out of a total of 116 blocks. There had been a significant delay to the upgrade process due to the requirement to procure a new fibre supplier to meet all Leeds’ requirements in addition to this project. There will be a contract in place by the end of March, and should enable acceleration to progress for the camera upgrade.

 

The Chair questioned that the board had previously been told the upgrade would take two years and in that timeframe should have been complete by now, ST responded that initially that was the case, however the securing of a fibre supplier had a significant impact on the initial schedule. CF explained the new supplier contract is important as it covers other digital needs such as internet, Wi-Fi, and communications infrastructure as well as the camera feeds.

 

SB asked if there will be preference given to any blocks that still use the older CCTV system, ST responded that all blocks that are currently due to be upgraded will be, but the order they are completed will be designated by the work program.

 

The Chair asked about the viability of some older systems until the digital fibre is installed, for example rooftop signal transmission. ST replied that all blocks currently have a mixture of solutions that are all viable, but the goal is to unify the method. The rooftop signal can be affected by range, weather, and line of sight. Some blocks still have an on-site hard drive recording method that can be accessed by engineers. The drives record 31 days’ worth of footage after which it over-writes the oldest data unless it is requested by police or other appropriate authorities.

 

The Chair asked if there any blocks with no CCTV at all, CF responded that all blocks have some form of coverage as far as Leeds Watch are aware, and that all blocks in West Leeds are on the digital system. The Chair asked what the camera coverage is like for the digital blocks, ST responded that coverage is full for the ground floor entrances and exits, as well as the lifts. SB commented that the cameras in some block lifts do not appear to have been upgraded despite signs from Leeds Watch communicating that all cameras have been upgraded. ST confirmed that all cameras are upgraded when the work takes place, and the signs and communications are the responsibility of the contractors when work goes ahead, and any enquiries should be made to planned works.

 

KM reminded the board that there is a programme of tenant engagement sessions taking place at all high rise blocks in the city, beginning with those where there are indications of lower satisfaction. Officers are attending the sessions to hear  ...  view the full minutes text for item 58.

59.

Next Inquiry pdf icon PDF 208 KB

Further discussion on suggestions made for the next inquiry and an update regarding work that has been underway to implement new ways of working.

 

Minutes:

The Chair explained the delay in choosing the next topic of inquiry. Whilst a topic had been voted upon in November, it was agreed it did not encompass or embrace the new ways of working agreed upon by the board, so it was decided to circulate a survey to involved tenants to seek their views. Unfortunately an objection was received regarding the proposed survey which led to a meeting between the Chair and Councillor Coupar to discuss the issues that had been raised. It was noted that Cllr Coupar had acknowledged that the Council supported the independence of the board at every stage, however there were different views about the appropriateness of the survey being sent in light of other citywide surveys and a discussion about the scope of topics needing to focus on housing services and functions they were responsible for. During the meeting Councillor Coupar asked if she could make her own suggestion regarding a future inquiry and she suggested “Tenant Engagement” the Chair said this would be put before members but reminded her the final decision is up to the board. There have been future meetings set up between the Chair and Councillor Coupar to ensure closer ties between councillors and the board.

 

In light of this further suggestion and there being no immediate way forward the chair felt it timely to remind the board of the full list of possible inquiry topics, these being:

 

·  Housing Advisory Panels

·  The repairs strategy

·  Estate walkabouts

·  Fly tipping

·  Car parking

·  The contact centre

·  Out of hours repairs

·  Tenant engagement

 

The Chair gave a brief reminder of each topic and some of the possibilities and issues that were attached to each. KM was then asked to outline the role of tenant engagement to TSB members and explained that it is best thought of in three strands; Tenant involvement (referring to those formal  groups that are involved in shaping the service and providing input on policy, procedures and key activities); Tenant Engagement (being the more direct participation of tenants in HAPs and any other community projects that impact on tenants or schemes within their community); and community development (whereby the service helps tenants to shape their communities positively with their own resources and build their capacity to do so). KM gave a brief insight into some of the current issues faced by the service including attracting tenant members (particularly younger members and those from diverse backgrounds), and new ways of engaging with tenants more digitally to enable easier access to information and improve services.

 

The Chair noted that tenants also used to be consulted about procurement however that does not seem to be the case, MH replied that there is a procurement strategy group that is consulted about procurement issues. KM confirmed he was aware of the group but it was not a group facilitated by the Tenant Engagement Team.

 

The Chair explained to the board that Tenant Engagement was something that had been suggested during previous year’s discussion’s about possible inquiries  ...  view the full minutes text for item 59.

60.

Tenant Scrutiny Board workplan pdf icon PDF 311 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:

The Chair suggested that a work plan cannot be set until it is known for certain that the inquiry topic is viable, but once it is then a full plan will be drafted.

 

March will see the beginning of a new election cycle for the board, and so preparations will be put in place for an election.

 

The Chair informed the board he will be uncontactable until the 4th of March.

 

61.

Date and Time of Next Meeting

1.00pm Friday 20th March 2020, Committee rooms 6/7 Civic Hall

Minutes:

 

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

 

 

THE MEETING CLOSED AT 3:00 PM