Agenda and draft minutes

Scrutiny Board (Environment, Housing and Communities)
Thursday, 11th July, 2019 10.30 am

Venue: Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR

Contact: Sandra Pentelow (0113 37 88655)  Email: Sandra.Pentelow@leeds.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

15.

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).

Minutes:

There were no appeals against refusal of inspection of documents.

 

16.

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:

There was no exempt information.

17.

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:

There were no late items.

 

18.

Declaration of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

To disclose or draw attention to any disclosable pecuniary interests for the purposes of Section 31 of the Localism Act 2011 and paragraphs 13-16 of the Members’ Code of Conduct.

Minutes:

No declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests were made.

 

19.

Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitutes

To receive any apologies for absence and notification of substitutes.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor A Gabriel. Councillor D Ragan attended as substitute.

 

20.

Minutes - 13 June 2019 pdf icon PDF 160 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 13 June 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held 13th June 2019, be agreed as a correct record.

 

Chairs Comment

The Chair thanked Sandra Pentelow, Principal Scrutiny Adviser, for all of her work and wished her well in her new post.

 

21.

Scrutiny Inquiry into Kerbside Collection and Recycling of Domestic Waste - Directors Response and Draft Waste Strategy for Leeds pdf icon PDF 571 KB

To receive the report from the Director of Communities and Environment which sets out the response to the recommendations stated in the Scrutiny inquiry report with regard to kerbside collection of recycling of domestic waste. The report also provides the draft waste strategy for Leeds for the Boards consideration.

Minutes:

The report of the Director of Communities and Environment set out the responses to the recommendations of the Scrutiny Board (Environment, Housing and Communities) inquiry into the kerbside collection of recycling and domestic waste.

 

A copy of the draft waste strategy for Leeds was appended to the report.

 

The following were in attendance:

o  James Rogers, Director Communities and Environment

o  Councillor Rafique, Executive Member for Environment and Active Lifestyles

o  John Woolmer, Deputy Chief Officer Waste Management

o  Polly Cooke, Executive Programme Manager

o  Amy Dickinson, Service Manager Environmental Services

o  Laura Driver, Customer Access Development Manager

 

Members’ attention was brought to the recommendations which were outlined in the submitted report.

 

In addition, the Service Manager Environmental Services and Customer Access Development Manager, provided the Board with a presentation detailing work which had taken place between the Refuse Service and Customer Access, to produce information which would be accessible on the Council website when it goes live. Members were provided with a demonstration on how residents would view bin collection issues.

 

The Scrutiny Board considered the responses to the recommendations, and discussion focused on issues including the following:

 

Recommendation 1

·  Clarity was sought regarding community waste disposal and storage systems. Officers confirmed that any community facilities would be implemented in full consultation with ward members to ensure the best solution is provided.

 

Recommendation 3

·  A query was raised in relation to council departments being aware of the timescales for receiving the money for resources from the government. Members noted that upon implementation of the waste strategy, officers intended to lobby the government.

 

Recommendation 4

·  A Member expressed that the context of the draft waste strategy was to state an ambition rather than outline a strategy for change. The Board was advised that the strategy provided a 2 year proposal; the Director of Communities and Environment clarified that although funding streams were somewhat unclear at present, the draft strategy outlines the proposed direction.

·  Clarity was sought in regard to the conversion of gas supply from methane to hydrogen. Officers confirmed this has been subject to testing nationally and is deemed to be a safe alternative.

·  In response to a query in regard to the ‘city conversation’ and for clarity regarding those who have been consulted with. The Board was advised that the conversation is in its early states. Officers confirmed this specific information listing consultees so far will be provided to the Board. The Board suggested consultation through Community Committees, with community forums in addition to the wider public.

·  The Board questioned the extent of focus on waste prevention, with particular reference to reducing food waste. The Board acknowledged that this waste stream in Leeds does not go to landfill unlike some other authorities and welcomes the focus on programmed waste prevention education so far.

 

Recommendation 6

·  Clarity was sought on the new Crew Chargehand post; officers confirmed that recruitment was soon to take place following approval of the post. Those staff would receive the relevant in-cab training.

 

Recommendation 8  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Leeds Anti Social Behaviour Team Review pdf icon PDF 233 KB

To receive a report from the Director of Communities and Environment which sets out the progress with the LASBT review following consultation with board members in December 2018 and February 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Director of Communities and Environment set out the progress with the LASBT review, and the recommendations agreed at the Executive Board meeting held 26th June 2019.

 

A copy of the Executive Board report 26 June 2019, and the ASB strategy was appended to the Agenda.

 

The following were in attendance:

o  James Rogers, Director Communities and Environment

o  Paul Money, Chief Officer, Safer Leeds

o  Harvinder Saimbhi, Head of Operational Delivery ASB & Scrutiny Services

o  David Longthorpe, Head of Housing Management

o  Councillor Coupar, Executive Member for Communities

 

The Executive Member for Communities, thanked the Board for their work in terms of LASBT arrangements.

 

The following was discussed:

·  Community MARAC’S. Members queried the involvement of elected members due to the GDPR aspects relating to tasking meetings. The Executive Member for Communities, agreed to raise the issue of Member involvement, and would look at arrangements in how information is shared between the police and ward members.

·  Triage of referrals. Members requested that contact details be provided to elected members.

·  Graffiti. The Board was advised of the focus in the Anti-Social Behaviour Strategy on environmental harm which includes graffiti and vandalism. 

·  Mediation. Members noted this service would be free of cost to those who are deemed to require the use of mediation intervention by LASBT.

 

Members commended Officers for their work, prompt responses and service.

 

RESOLVED – The Scrutiny Board (Environment, Housing and Communities):

 

a)  Noted the progress made since the initial consultation with the Board

b)  Noted the information contained within the submitted report, and the appended ASB Strategy and Executive Board report

c)  Requested that the information outlined in the minutes, be provided as requested

 

23.

Financial Health - Out-Turn Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 220 KB

To receive the report of the Head of Democratic Services which provides specific financial information relating to the budget out-turn for 2018/19.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Head of Democratic Services provided the Board with financial information relating to the budget out-turn for 2019/20.

 

An adapted copy of the Executive Board Report 26 June 2019, was appended to the report.

 

The following were in attendance:

o  Neil Evans, Director Resources and Housing

o  James Rogers, Director of Communities and Environment

o  Michael Everitt, Head of Finance

o  Kevin Mulvaney, Head of Finance

o  Bhupinder Chana, Head of Finance

 

The Director of Resources and Housing noted an overspend of 600k in relation to the cost of maintenance of council buildings. The Director of Communities and Environment added there was a directorate underspend of 400k.

 

Members discussed a number of matters including:

·  Disrepair cases. In response to a query in regard to overspending, Members heard there are a number of active litigation agencies in the city centre. Improving speed in responding and dealing with back-logged cases remains a focus.

·  Universal Credit (UC). Members sought clarity on how UC is impacting rental income, and were informed financial provision had been pre-planned. Resources have also been allocated to support tenants with the transition to managing their own rent payment.

 

RESOLVED – The Scrutiny Board (Environment, Housing and Communities):

 

Noted the outturn summary for the financial year 2018/19

 

24.

Work Schedule pdf icon PDF 152 KB

To consider the Scrutiny Board’s work schedule for the 2019/20 municipal year.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Governance and Scrutiny Support submitted a report which invited Members to consider the Board’s schedule for the 2019/20 municipal year. Copies of the draft work schedule and the minutes of the Executive Board meeting held 16th May 2019 and 26 June 2019 were appended to the report.

 

Members discussed the items scheduled for September meeting.

 

 

RESOLVED – The Scrutiny Board (Environment, Housing and Communities):

 

a)  Noted the matters outlined in the report and raised during the meeting

b)  Noted the Executive Board minutes

c)  Agreed the overall work schedule

 

25.

Date and Time of Next Meeting

Thursday 12 September 2019 at 10:30am (pre-meeting for all Board Members at 10:00am)

Minutes:

RESOLVED – To note the date and time of the next meeting as Thursday 12th September 2019 at 10.30 am (with a pre-meeting for all Board members at 10.00 am)