Venue: Havering Town Hall, Main Road, Romford
Contact: Richard Cursons 01708 432430 Email: richard.cursons@oneSource.co.uk
DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS
Members are invited to disclose any interest in any of the items on the agenda at this point of the meeting.
Members may still disclose any interest in an item at any time prior to the consideration of the matter.
There were no disclosures of interest.
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meetings of the Board held on 6 September, 9 October and 18 October 2018 and to authorise the Chairman to sign them.
The minutes of the meeting held on 6 September 2018, 9 October 2018 and the 18 October 2018 were agreed as correct records and signed by the Chairman.
The report before Members set out the Quarter 2 performance information as requested by the Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Committees.
In 2017/18, the Board decided to scrutinise a selection of more operational performance indicators, determined by the six Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Committees. These indicators had been carried forward into 2018/19 and the report provided an overview of how the Council was performing against them.
Appended to the report was the full Quarter 2 performance report. Members requested that the report be circulated in a timely manner to allow for sufficient time to scrutinise the data.
Concern was raised that the Sub-Committees had not had the opportunity to determine which performance indicators were to be presented to the Board. It was explained that the indicators selected for reporting to the Overview and Scrutiny Board were in the remit of the individual Sub-Committees and it was agreed that discussion be had with each Sub-Committee on which indicators should be reported to the Board and where the focus should be.
80 of the 88 Stage 1 complaints that missed target were from Housing Services. Members highlighted the need for an improvement in resources to ensure substantive responses were provided. The percentage of missed targets in this area was partly due to the loss of staff, however this should be resolved by a recent recruitment drive. Members requested that an officer be made available for those urgent cases which could result in a person becoming homeless.
Members challenged the data surrounding the response to calls by the police. It was explained that the police were unable to present data in the format requested due to their systems being unable to differentiate between the tri-boroughs.
i) The Sub-Committee reviewed the performance set out in the appendix and the corrective action that was being taken to improve this where necessary.
ii) The individual Sub-Committees agree the performance indicators to be presented to the Board.
Members received a report which provided an update on the Medium Term Financial Strategy for the period 2019/20 to 2022/23 that would be developed to deliver the Council’s objectives and priorities whilst maintaining tight financial control and ensuring prudent levels of reserves and balances were maintained.
Since 2014/15, the Council had made £77m of savings and a further £14.6m savings were proposed in the 2019/20 budget. Children and Adult Services expenditure had been protected (£81m in 2012 to £83m in 2018); weekly refuse collection would be retained whilst other councils had moved to fortnightly; the proposal to dim street lights would not be progressed; and a significant road and pavement investment programme was proposed.
The Board discussed the capital programme, in particular road and pavement maintenance improvements and resident parking, and the implications of expanding the existing Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ) through a large-scale CPZ covering a 1km radius around commuter hubs, subject to consultation. £3.2m was being spent in 2018/19 on improving the borough’s roads and pavements and an additional £10m per annum was to be added into the Highways investment programme in 2019/20 and 2020/21 funded from the additional traffic and parking income proposed in the Improving Traffic Flows Strategy. The Horizon system would determine the roads most in need of resurfacing, by using algorisms, and parking verges would be considered where suitable. A report on ‘Keeping the Borough Moving’ would be presented in the future.
It was proposed to reduce the 30 minute period of free parking to 20 minutes in local areas and remove free parking in Hornchurch Town Centre, Hornchurch Station Area, Upminster Town Centre and Elm Park, to provide fair and consistent parking charges across all the main shopping areas in Havering. Furthermore, the proposal was to reduce the number of pay and display parking machines in the borough, by replacing them with machines that took contactless payment only. Revenue raised from parking would be ring-fenced for highways and infrastructure.
The main areas of overspend in 2018/19 were Children’s Services (£1.9m) and Housing (£0.7m), and the services were taking action to reduce the over spends in order to return a balanced position at year end. The Medium Term Financial Strategy included pressures in respect of projected ongoing increased demand in relation to Adults’ and Children’s demographics and the position would continue to be reviewed and if necessary, updated before the formal setting of the budget in February 2019.
Members discussed the benefits of the River Rom as part of the regeneration programme, in particular the creation of residential properties alongside the River, a percentage of which would be affordable housing and shared ownership, and the creation of green space inside the ring road and noted that this would be funded as part of the Joint Venture Programme.
That the Board noted the contents of the Cabinet report detailing the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy.
The report before Members invited Overview & Scrutiny Sub-Committee Chairmen to verbally update Board members on the current work of their Sub-Committees and associated topic groups.
Health Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Committee
Members were advised that the Sub-Committee had scrutinised the issue of gender pay at the Hospitals trust and held discussions with senior BHRUT officers on the subject. As part of a wider scrutiny of the current financial situation at the Trust, the Sub-Committee had scrutinised health tourism and how the Trust recovers the revenue.
The Sub-Committee had looked at the issue of GP recruitment; and Clinical Commissioning Group representatives had explained their plans to address this and other challenges. Five Havering GP practices had recently been rated as ‘requiring improvement’ and the Sub-Committee hoped to scrutinise this in more detail.
The Sub-Committee had received, in line with legal requirements, the annual report of Healthwatch Havering and a report on their work on local services for people with visual impairments.
At a regional level, the Joint Committee had scrutinised in detail proposals to change local cancer services and concentrate the delivery of chemotherapy at Queen’s Hospital. The changes had been implemented by the Hospital’s Trust and the Committee would continue to monitor the impact.
The Joint Committee had scrutinised the use and availability of Health Based Places of Safety for people with mental health needs and received input from commissioners and representatives of the Police and the London Ambulance Service.
Crime and Disorder Sub-Committee
The Sub-Committee had received performance information principally on police resourcing, response times and anti-social behaviour relating to traveller incursions. There was currently a shortage of police officers and a disproportionate number of non-deployable staff in Havering, however this was being addressed by a recruitment drive.
The Sub-Committee agreed the terms of reference for the Serious Group Violence and Knife Crime in Havering topic group.
Members had received an update on the Traveller Injunction by the Local Authority and the Policing of Traveller Incursions by the Metropolitan Police, during which they were taken through the legislation that applied to traveller incursions. The Police Authority and the Local Authority were working closely together to ensure that the Court had the evidence needed to make an informed decision on whether to grant the Traveller Injunction.
The Sub-Committee had received a report which outlined hate crime in the borough. Havering was carrying out a number of wide-ranging community engagement events around Hate Crime with different communities. The level of Hate Crime in Havering compared to other boroughs was relatively low. Members were encouraged to talk to residents and provide them with reporting information.
Children’s Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Committee
The Sub-Committee was currently considering items from the work programme, giving equal weight to Children Services and Learning & Achievement. The Chairman had offered members of the Sub-Committee the opportunity to contribute items to the work programme.
During the municipal year, the Sub-Committee had received reports on the Virtual School, Fostering and Innovation, Academically Abled Pupils, an outline of how Participation supported Young People ... view the full minutes text for item 16.