Agenda item

Performance Monitoring

To receive an update on performance against strategic priorities for the council and city, and other performance areas relevant to the Environment, Housing & Communities Scrutiny Board.


The Chair noted that the Scrutiny Board receives an update on performance against key performance indicators in June and January each year.


Those in attendance for this item were:


·  Cllr M Harland (Executive Member, Communities)

·  Cllr M Rafique (Executive Member, Energy, Environment & Green Spaces)

·  Cllr J Lennox (Executive Member, Housing)

·  Cllr D Coupar (Executive Member, Resources)

·  James Rogers (Director, Communities, Housing & Environment)

·  Ian Strickland (Business Development Manager)

·  Paul Money (Chief Officer, Safer, Stronger Communities)

·  Lee Hemsworth (Chief Officer, Community Hubs, Welfare & Business Support)

·  John Woolmer (Chief Officer, Environmental Services)

·  John Mulcahy (Chief Officer, Elections and Regulatory)

·  Gerard Tinsdale (Chief officer, Housing)

·  Adam Crampton (Head of Property Management)


James Rogers introduced the performance update, setting out the strategic vision for the directorate and noting that the key performance indicators included in the report have been identified as relevant to achieving the ambition of that vision.


Ian Strickland outlined how performance reporting aligns to other reports received by the Board and noted that the indicators are organised according to their contribution to the three pillars of the Best City Ambition – health and well-being, zero carbon and inclusive growth. He highlighted the importance of maximising capacity within the directorate so as to deliver efficient services.


At the request of members in June 2023, the report included information about Tenant Satisfaction Measures and reflected on the experience of residents with disabilities, where applicable and/or appropriate.


It was noted that a substantial item on housing would be considered in February and as such board members agreed to consider issues relating to housing at that meeting.


Cllr Golton highlighted that several aspects of future performance will depend to some degree on digital transformation. However, he noted that the budget proposals include a reduction of FTEs within IDS. Within that context he sought reassurances that there would be capacity within IDS to support the projects the service has identified as priorities.


James Rogers reassured members that the service works closely with IDS and will continue to do so to take forward projects identified as priorities.


Lee Hemsworth added that all projects within the update are already ongoing and identified by IDS as ‘priority 1’ schemes. 


The Scrutiny Board requested that updates on the transformation projects highlighted in the performance update should be incorporated into the work programme of the 2024/25 successor board.


The Scrutiny Board welcomed action to tackle littering and fly tipping. However, it was noted that there is a concern amongst some members that new bulky waste charges could inadvertently create more fly tipping.


John Woolmer reassured members that reducing fly tipping remains a priority for the Council. He welcomed the fact that recent activity has led to a reduction in fly tipping. Government statistics have shown a reduction of 15% in Leeds for fly tipping, compared to 1% nationally.  Interventions have included the introduction of a serious environmental crime team for Leeds to focus on enforcement. This has resulted in several successful prosecutions and the crushing of a number of vehicles.


The Council has increased weekend access to Seacroft and Kirkstall waste sites for businesses and is seeking to introduce an accredited waste carrier scheme. That scheme would enable responsible waste carriers to gain accreditation from the Council to which customers will then be able to refer.


The Scrutiny Board requested a specific update on hate crime and its prevalence in the city at a future meeting. Paul Money noted that this would fit into wider development of a new hate crime strategy.


Members sought confirmation about whether universities would continue to fund DS1 – a dedicated noise nuisance service in areas with a high concentration of student residents. The work of the service has been welcomed by local residents.


It was noted that a new member visit to Newmarket House had been very informative.


Members sought clarification on the date for the implementation of new bin collection routes in the city. John Woolmer confirmed that it is anticipated that the new routes will be implemented in early March. Final routes are in the process of being signed off and communications prepared for all residents affected by a change in the date of their collections, in line with legal requirements. Once the service has a final implementation date members will be informed.


Further information about the new route review for members will include more detail about the anticipated timescales for the collection of missed bins in the weeks following the implementation of the new schedule.


Members considered the frequency of green bin collections in densely populated areas, advocating a move from monthly green bin collections to fortnightly. Recycling provision for high rise buildings was also explored.


John Woolmer confirmed that the service is working towards alternate weekly collection in more areas of the city. Members noted the challenges around this change – effectively losing a collection each month and the potential for the contamination of green bins if communities are not engaged with recycling. 


As part of the route review thousands of properties are moving to alternate weekly collections.


Members welcomed the impact of existing PSPOs and queried whether additional PSPOs might be introduced. Members noted that in combination with TROs these orders have made a significant difference to residents by reducing repeat missed bin collections where access has historically been a problem.


It was agreed that PSPOs can be very effective. However, it was noted that the associated enforcement is also extremely resource intensive. 


Consideration was given to whether extra bins can be removed to reduce obstructions on pavements for those with mobility issues. John Woolmer identified some of the logistical challenges in achieving this – such as identifying which properties have multiple bins inappropriately. However, he also informed members that this issue has been raised by bin crews as a concern.


John acknowledged the challenge of obstructed pavements for those with mobility issues. The service is exploring the development of a training video in partnership with a corporate access and equality group, which will be aimed at residents and staff to illustrate the impact of obstructing the pavement for those with mobility issues.


Members asked about the future of food and glass waste collections in light of further information having been provided about the proposed national approach to consistency of collections. Defra has provided more guidance around co-mingling. 2026 has been provided as the deadline for introducing kerbside collections for glass and food waste collections and it is anticipated that further information about revenue funding will be forthcoming shortly. This is in addition to capital funding for new equipment and infrastructure.


Options for glass remain an additional glass collection in a separate bin or co-mingling with other recycling. The second option would require further engagement with current providers.


A Board Member noted that the Neighbourhood Improvement Partnership has been very successful in Burmantofts and Richmond Hill, with a noticeable improvement in licensing arrangements. Members asked that their thanks are passed to partners.


The Scrutiny Board reflected on the number of hectares of woodland created citywide. The Scrutiny Board requested a further briefing so members can understand woodland creation on a ward-by-ward basis. It was noted that inner-city areas often have significantly depleted tree cover and members were particularly keen to understand whether proactive tree planting is improving the situation in these areas.


Members requested information about how many trees have been planted in different wards and the difference in canopy cover that has been created through tree planting schemes in recent years.


Polly Cook confirmed that further information can be provided on a ward basis, with the exception of canopy cover, which would require external measurements and would therefore incur a cost.





a)  Members noted the contents of the report and the appendices.


b)  The Principal Scrutiny Officer will liaise with the relevant service leads to schedule updates on the transformation projects within the 2024/25 work programme.


c)  An update on hate crime will be scheduled for a future Scrutiny Board meeting.


d)  Further information was requested in relation to woodland creation, including a breakdown of the number of trees planted in each ward of the city.

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