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Agenda and minutes

The Former Cabinet Member for Housing and Environmental Services - Oct 2000 to May 2005
Monday, 10th May, 2004 9.30 a.m.

Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham.

Contact: Dawn Mitchell, 01709 822062  Email: dawn.mitchell@rotherham.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

256.

Recycling Plan - Amendment pdf icon PDF 17 KB

to approve the implementation of the Blue Box Scheme to 100,000 premises a year ahead of schedule

Minutes:

The Acting Head of Environmental Health submitted a report proposing an amendment to the Recycling Action Plan 2003/06 to allow for the extension of the Blue Box Scheme to a further 50,000 premises.  This would replace the projected Scheme of placing 50,000 premises on a kerbside green waste collection service.  The next phase will commence in May, 2004.

 

Following discussion with a number of Councils on green waste schemes, it was considered that full evaluation of the pilot scheme was required prior to determining the future “roll out” of a kerbside collection service.  It was, therefore, proposed that, to ensure recycling rates continued to grow,  the Blue Box Scheme be extended beyond the 25,000 premises scheduled Recycling Action Plan to a total of 50,000 premises within the Borough from May, 2004.  This would allow a full evaluation exercise and further consultation to be undertaken with other Councils regarding the effects that sizeable implementation of a green waste collection service had had on waste arisings within their areas.

 

By adopting the proposal, the Scheme would serve over 95% of households across the Borough.  This would put the Council in a strong position with regard to meeting the requirements of the Household Waste Bill 2004 which required all households within an area to receive a service for the collection of at least two recyclable materials by 2010.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That amendment of the Recycling Action Plan, as contained within the report submitted, be approved to enable a Borough-wide implementation of the Blue Box Scheme to 100,000 premises a year ahead of schedule.

 

(2)  That a full evaluation of the green waste pilot area be reported after six months operation to allow implementation of roll out of the Scheme from April, 2005.

 

(3)  That a programme of visits to assess the implications of green waste collection in other local authorities operating larger scale schemes be undertaken.

 

 

257.

Regular Performance Assessment - Final Report pdf icon PDF 18 KB

To note the report and the positive statements by RPA Inspector

Minutes:

The Acting Head of Environmental Health submitted a report on the outcome of the recent Regular Performance Assessment of the “Environment Block” undertaken in conjunction with the Audit Commission.

 

In October, 2003, the Council was required by the Audit Commission to undertake a self-assessment of its Environment Block services under the terms of the Comprehensive Performance Assessment model.  The exercise was undertaken by officers with responsibility for the Transport, Planning and Waste functions of the Council.  Following a recent evaluation by an Audit Commission Inspector the Council had received a positive response that could be used to drive future improvement.

 

The report had outlined a number of areas where development was required  (the data used covered the Service’s 2002/03 year end results for the key performance indicators).  This issue had been challenged through the positive moves that had been made in the last year that showed the step change in performance.  It was accepted that further work was required to continue the momentum and benchmarking would be undertaken to compare the results and achieve top quartile status.

 

The Inspector had also highlighted issues such as working with business to promote waste reduction, targets to reduce waste, improve sickness absence and developing re-use schemes.  There was a need to include those elements within Team plans although some of the issues were being progressed at the present time, a Service Plan would focus on the key issues to be developed as priority.

 

The Inspector had recommended that there was sufficient evidence of improvement in service quality to recommend a Waste Management Inspection in 2004.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the contents of the report be noted together with the positive statements made by the RPA Inspector, including that there had been sufficient evidence of improvement in service to recommend a Waste Management Inspection in 2004.

 

(2)  That it be noted that the inspection of the Council’s Waste Management CPA block was scheduled for July, 2004.

 

(3)  That the progression of the development of a Long Term Waste Strategy via employment of consultants be recognised.

258.

South Yorkshire Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder pdf icon PDF 20 KB

- to approve the Capital Procedure 1 Form and note the procurement processes

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Development Co-ordinator, Rotherham Investment and Development Office, submitted the Capital Procedure 1 Form and the procurement process proposed for the appointment of consultants to undertake a range of preliminary works to inform the implementation of the Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder Initiative in the Rotherham Town Centre.

 

The Town Centre Area Development Framework proposed a range of preliminary work to be carried out to help inform the implementation of the programme.  Studies would be progressed to support the implementation of a housing demonstrator project, a Living Over the Shops initiative, an acquisition strategy in the Westgate area and an examination of potential delivery vehicles.  It would also allow the carrying out of a Housing Aspiration Study which would enable officers to gauge more accurately the level of interest within the development sector for mixed use/residential led schemes in the Town Centre.  The work would be funded 100% through the Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder Initiative.

 

It was noted that at a meeting with the Audit Commission the previous week, it had been proposed that the Housing Market Renewal Pathfunder funding for the Housing Study be increased from £30,000 to £60,000 to cover the cost of the work.  The outcome of the proposal would be known later that day.

 

Resolved:-  That the report and Capital Procedure 1 Form in respect of the Town Centre Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder be approved and the procurement processes, which were in accordance with Council Standing Orders and Financial Regulations, be noted.

259.

Homelessness Strategy pdf icon PDF 18 KB

To note the progress made against the action plans

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Housing Services submitted a progress report against the action plan for the Homelessness Strategy 2003-2008.

 

The Strategy’s 3 strategic objectives were as follows:-

 

-           to reduce homelessness through appropriate prevention measures

-           to ensure appropriate accommodation and support services were available

-           to improve information and service quality.

 

The prevention of homelessness had been established as a priority by the Government, recognising the impact it had on health, education, sustainable communities and social inclusion.  The number of homelessness applications had risen substantially over the last 4 years in Rotherham from 1,646 in 1998/99 to 2,180 in 2002/03.

 

The work required to prevent homelessness would need to be addressed through a partnership approach involving Social Services, health services, probation services, registered social landlords, private landlords and voluntary agencies.  It was vital that effective and committed partnerships were developed and sustained.

 

There had been difficulties with staffing resources within the Homelessness Team with reliance on temporary agency staff to maintain day-to-day  performance.  Proposals had been made to streamline the working of the Team and to improve efficiency and effectiveness and were due to be implemented in the forthcoming restructuring process.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the report be received and the progress against the action plan noted.

 

(2)  That an update be submitted to the Social Services and Scrutiny Support Scrutiny Panel to keep them informed of progress against the Strategy.

260.

Petition - Ann Rhodes Centre pdf icon PDF 17 KB

To note the report

Minutes:

In accordance with Minute No. 233 of 29th March, 2004, the Head of Housing Services submitted a report on the investigations that had taken place  into the issues raised by the residents.

 

The Decent Homes Programme was due to last until 2010, with some areas receiving works before others.  The flow of works within estates must be carried out to ensure maximum efficiency from the current funding available.  The properties within the complex were due to be surveyed within the current financial year to assess their level of decency.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the action taken be noted and the petitioners kept informed.

 

(2)  That a further report be submitted to the Cabinet Member when the survey results were available.

 

(3)  That options be considered for inclusion within the Annual Maintenance Plan given the timescale for approving the Plan.

261.

Void Property Monitoring as at 30th April, 2004 pdf icon PDF 14 KB

Report to be supplied separately

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Housing Services submitted an update on void property re-let performance and associated issues for the period 5th to 30th April, 2004.

 

The number of voids as at 30th April, 2004, had increased by 14 from the start of the period to 384.  The majority of voids, 228, were voids currently excluded from HES 68 and included properties such as those awaiting renovation.  The number of voids that met the criteria to be included within HES 68 had increased by 12 during the said period to 156.

 

Overall performance against the Indicator was 24.44 days, a deterioration on the end of year performance for 2003/04.

 

The performance on allocating open access properties had continued with 10 open access properties being let in the period.  The overall performance if all open access properties were removed from the Indicator would be 24.39 days.

 

Performance on HES 14 (average time taken to let a void from when one tenancy terminated until the next one started), which excluded all those properties that were excluded from HES 68, was 20.68 days during the period.

 

There had been 105 terminations in the period, all of which met the criteria to be included in HES 68 and 126 lettings.  The cumulative figures for the year were 105 terminations and 126 lettings.  In addition, there had been 12 new tenancies created by mutual exchanges since April, 2004.  The number of available to let properties at the start of the period was 40. 

 

The amount of rent income lost on voids up to the 30th April, 2004, had improved from the year end to 1.56%.  This level of performance, based on the 2001/02 comparative data, would continue to place the Authority in the upper quartile for Metropolitan Authorities.

 

The sustainability of tenancies (HES 5) measured the percentage of terminating tenancies in the year that had lasted longer than 12 months.  The 2003/04 target had been revised from 80% to 90% because it was not sufficiently challenging.  Performance for the 12 month period up to 30th April, 2004, was 95.82%.  This did not include tenancies terminating within 12 months due to transfer, mutual exchanges and deaths.  If those figures were included the figures would be 93.69%.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the report be received.

 

(2)  That a report be submitted on the Going Local pilot.

262.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in those paragraphs, indicated below, of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in those paragraphs indicated below of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.

263.

Petition - St. Edmunds Avenue, Thurcroft

To receive a petition submitted by residents of St. Edmund’s Avenue, Thurcroft

Minutes:

The Democratic Services Manager submitted receipt of a petition containing 28 signatures from residents of St. Edmunds Avenue, Thurcroft, regarding the increase of vandalism, abusive and nuisance behaviour by tenants of a property of the said road and vandalism to the Council-owned garages.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the report be received.

 

(2)  That investigations take place into the issues raised with a further report being submitted in 1 month’s time.

264.

Decent Homes Scheme Phase 1A at West Melton

(Exempt under Paragraphs 8 and 9 of the Act – contractual information)

Minutes:

The Acting Housing Co-ordinator, Housing and Environmental Services, and the Project and Partnership Manager, Economic and Development Services, submitted a joint report seeking authority to accept a negotiated cost tender from Bramall Construction Ltd. for the work involved in the first phase of the Decent Homes Scheme at West Melton.

 

The contract period was for 42 weeks with a start on site on 21st June, 2004.

 

Resolved:-  That the target price tender of £1,514,413.07, submitted by Bramall Construction Ltd., on 8th April, 2004, for West Melton, based on their Stage 1 tender for the Decent Homes Scheme Partnering Agreement, be accepted and a start be made subject to the conditions of contract and parent company guarantee being accepted.

 

(Exempt under Paragraphs 8 and 9 of the Act – expenditure proposed to be incurred/terms to be negotiated for the supply of goods/services)

265.

Annual Maintenance Plan 2004/05

(Exempt under Paragraphs 8 and 9 of the Act - contract negotiations/expenditure proposed to be incurred)

Minutes:

The Head of Housing Services submitted the proposed Annual Maintenance Plan for Repairs and Maintenance 2004/05 which reflected the current legislative and local changes within the Council together with the development of ‘best value’ principles.

 

The Plan was essential to map out overall budget commitment against ad hoc repairs, planned programmes of work, servicing and cyclical maintenance and capital Housing Investment Programmes.

 

Resolved:-  That the Annual Maintenance Plan for Repairs and Maintenance 2004/05 be approved.

 

(Exempt under Paragraphs 8 and 9 of the Act – contract negotiations/expenditure proposed to be incurred)

 

266.

Replacement of District Heating Main Distribution Pipes - Vale Road, Thrybergh and Mansfield Road, Aston

(Exempt under Paragraphs 8 and 9 of the Act - Expenditure to be incurred/negotiation of terms for supply of goods/services)

Minutes:

The Head of Housing Services submitted a report requesting the suspension of Standing Order No. 44 (contracts valued at £50,000 or more) in respect of the installation of pre-insulated pipework. 

 

There were only 2 manufacturers of pre-insulated pipework known each of which had appointed a single agent within the United Kingdom for the installation of their pipework.  In order to maximise the life expectancy of the pipework it was vital that approved specialists carried out the work.

 

Resolved:-  That the suspension of Standing Order No. 44 be approved for the installation of pre-insulated pipework.

 

(Exempt under Paragraph 8 of the Act – amount of expenditure proposed to be incurred by the Authority)

 

267.

Electrical Upgrade of Council Properties

(Exempt under Paragraphs 8 and 9 of the Act - Expenditure to be incurred/negotiation of terms for supply of goods/services)

 

Minutes:

The Head of Housing Services submitted a proposed list of contractors who had expressed a wish to tender for the Electrical Upgrading of Council Properties contract.

 

Resolved:-  That the proposed list of contractors be approved.

 

(Exempt under Paragraph 8 of the Act – amount of expenditure proposed to be incurred by the Authority)

 

268.

Contract - Fixed Wire Testing of Domestic Properties

(Exempt under Paragraphs 8 and 9 of the Act - Expenditure to be incurred/negotiation of terms for supply of goods/services)

 

Minutes:

The Head of Housing Services submitted a proposed list of contractors who had expressed a wish to tender for the Fixed Wire Testing of Domestic Properties Contract.

 

Resolved:-  That the proposed select list of contractors be approved.

 

(Exempt under Paragraph 8 of the Act – amount of expenditure proposed to be incurred by the Authority)