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Agenda and minutes

The Former Cabinet Member for Housing and Environmental Services - Oct 2000 to May 2005
Monday, 28th June, 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

1.

Quarter 4 Performance Monitoring 2003/04 pdf icon PDF 17 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Housing Services submitted the Programme Area’s performance report for the year end 2003/04.

 

At the end of the year, 77% of the indicators had been achieved or had exceeded the year end target.  This was a substantial improvement from the previous year where 50% of indicators had met the outturn targets.  The results signified a “sea change” in performance management and customer focus within the Programme Area.

 

87.5% of the indicators were in the top and upper middle quartiles when compared to all England figures.  Since the end of 2003/04, 3 indicators had moved up 2 quartile places, 4 had moved up 1 and 9 had remained static.  During 2003/04 none had dropped a quartile place.  The shift in performance through the quartile positions represented significant “step change” at national and sub-regional levels.

 

The improvement in the Programme Area’s customer care results had also been recognised by 2 different inspections during the year.

 

Discussion ensued on the report with various issues raised.  Further clarification was sought on:-

 

-           the actual numbers that had used bed and breakfast accommodation

-           whether the Blue Bag Scheme was included in HES88 (number of collections missed)

-           a breakdown of the Councillor  surgeries received by the Housing Management Service area

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the report and progress made be noted.

 

(2)  That a report be submitted to a future meeting with the information requested above.

 

(3)  That a “video diary” feedback of a tenant’s experiences be submitted to a future meeting.

2.

Representation on Outside Bodies pdf icon PDF 9 KB

- report of Democratic Services Manager

Minutes:

Resolved:-  (1)  That attendance of the Council on other Bodies be as follows:-

 

Yorkshire and Humberside                            4 representatives from Environment

National Society for Clean Air                        Scrutiny Panel and Councillor Wyatt

 

Orgreave Opencast Development                  The Mayor, Councillor F. Wright

and Land Reclamation Liaison Meeting

 

Recycling Group                                              Councillors Ellis and Senior

                                                                        Substitute – Councillor Hamilton

                                                                        1 representative from Environment

                                                                        Scrutiny Panel

 

Regional Environment Protection                   Councillor N. Hamilton

Advisory Committee

 

Rotherham Pub and Club Watch                   Councillor Senior

Doormen/Women Registration and(Chair of Licensing Board)

Discipline Committee

 

Rotherham Rent Bond Guarantee                 Councillor Ellis

Scheme                                                           Substitute:- The Mayor,

                                                                        Councillor F. Wright

 

RUSH House                                                  The Mayor, Councillor F. Wright

 

Safety Kleen Liaison                                       Councillor Davies

 

Social Concerns Committee                          1 representative from Environment

Churches together in Rotherham                  Scrutiny Panel

 

South Yorkshire Environment Group              Councillor N. Hamilton

 

South Yorkshire Housing Association           Councillor Kaye

 

South Yorkshire Trading Standards               Councillors Ellis and Jack

Executive Committee

 

South Yorkshire Trading Standards               1 representative from Environment

Sub-Group                                                       Scrutiny Panel

 

Yorkshire and Humberside Pollution             Councillors N. Hamilton and Senior

and Advisory Council                                      plus 2 representatives from

                                                                        Environment Scrutiny Panel

 

Women’s Refuge                                            1 representative from Environment

                                                                        Scrutiny Panel

 

Members’ Sustainable Development             Councillor Kaye

Action Group

 

South Yorkshire Housing Renewal                Councillor Ellis

Pathfinder

 

South Yorkshire Strategic Housing               Councillor Ellis

Partnership

 

Decent Homes Partnership                           2 representatives from Environment

                                                                        Scrutiny Panel

 

Rotherham Health and Local Authority         Councillor Ellis

Partnership Board                                          1 representative from Environment

                                                                        Scrutiny Panel

3.

Petition - St. Edmunds Avenue, Thurcroft pdf icon PDF 16 KB

- report of Head of Housing Services.

Minutes:

In accordance with Minute No. 263 of 10th May, 2004, the Head of Housing Services reported on action that had been taken in response to the petition alleging anti-social behaviour.

 

The Area Housing Office had worked closely with the local community and Social Services.  Action would be taken if further nuisance was reported which may include the serving of Acceptable Behaviour Contracts upon the children concerned.

 

Home visits to the tenants of St. Edmunds Avenue had and would continue to be made to resolve the issue of unkempt gardens.  Monitoring sheets had been left with complainants but to date the sheets had not been returned and no further incidents reported.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the report be received and the action taken be noted.

 

(2)  That the petitioners be contacted to ascertain that there had been no further incidents in light of no monitoring sheets having been returned.

4.

Consumer Direct pdf icon PDF 17 KB

- report of Head of Environmental Health

Minutes:

In accordance with Minute No. 234 of 25th November, 2002, the Head of Environmental Health submitted a report outlining the current situation and future plans for the implementation of Consumer Direct in the Yorkshire and the Humber region.

 

Consumer Direct would be operated in partnership with local authorities and consumer support network members including Trading Standards and other advice agencies.  It would be the first point of call for consumers, delivering first tier advice on a range of consumer matters, including advice before shopping, information on consumer rights and practical guidance on individual problems and how to resolve them.

 

There was likely to be an increased demand in existing Trading Standards advice services resulting in referrals which would often involve cases of a complex nature and may well require extensive skills or knowledge to resolve.

 

Yorkshire and the Humber was one of 4 pathfinder regions which had been selected by the DTI.  A Regional Management Board had been established consisting of representation from each local authority Trading Standards service in the region.  The Board had met on a monthly basis since March, 2004, and was working closely with DTI representatives to oversee such matters as staff recruitment and training, call transfers from local authorities to the call centre, data transfer from the call centre to local authorities and referral protocols.

 

In Rotherham arrangements were underway to automatically transfer calls intended from the consumer advice centre to the call centre in Morley where the trained advisers would offer first step (and if appropriate) further advice.  Agreed criteria would assist the adviser as to whether to refer the complaint to Rotherham’s own Trading Standards Service and in-house advisers.   By this method criminal, urgent or complex matters would continue to be dealt with by Rotherham based staff.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the report be noted and, at the appropriate time, full participation in publicity for the pathfinder project be encouraged.

 

(2)  That the Cabinet Member’s thanks and appreciation be placed on record for David Palmer, Principal Trading Standards Officer’s work on behalf of the Programme Area and best wishes in his new employment.

5.

Declaration of Air Quality Management Area pdf icon PDF 16 KB

- report of Head of Environmental Health

Minutes:

The Head of Environmental Health submitted a report on the completed detailed assessment of air quality in Rotherham which had identified new areas of poor air quality along Fitzwilliam Road, Wellgate, and Wortley Road, Kimberworth.

 

The Department of Food, Environment and Rural Affairs had recently accepted the Council’s findings of the detailed assessment of air quality which had been completed by the 30th April, 2004 deadline.  A 3 month consultation period was allowed for determining the most appropriate boundaries.  Environmental Services would be consulting with Planning and Transportation Services as the major source of the pollution was road traffic on Local Authority controlled roads.  Newly elected Ward Members for BostonCastle, Rotherham East and Rotherham West would be consulted.

 

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

 

(2)  That four Air Quality Management Areas be declared as follows:-

 

(a)        Fitzwilliam Road from St. Ann’s roundabout to the Mushroom roundabout for the pollutant nitrogen dioxide (annual average);

 

(b)        Fitzwilliam road from St. Ann’s roundabout to the Mushroom roundabout for the pollutant PM10 (fine particles) 24 hour mean;

 

(c)        Wellgate from the junction with Badsley Moor Lane to the junction with Mansfield Road;

 

(d)        Wortley Road, Kimberworth, from the junction with Wilton Gardens to the junction with Old Wortley Road.

6.

Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 pdf icon PDF 51 KB

- report of Head of Environmental Health

Minutes:

The Head of Environmental Health submitted a report on the new powers given to Local Authorities by the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003.

 

Part 6 of the above Act had come into force on 31st March, 2004, including temporary closure of licensed premises by Environmental Health Officers, powers to stop and search vehicles suspected of being unregistered waste carriers, fixed penalty notices for graffiti and fly posting.  There was also an amendment to existing laws on night time noise offences.

 

The new powers had been discussed with the Licensing Section, Anti-Social Behaviour Unit, Streetpride and the Neighbourhood Wardens.

 

The powers granted in the Act could be used immediately, however, there would be a short delay to allow the compilation of policies, procedures and training.  The powers for closure of Council licensed premises would not be effective until mid-2005, when changes brought about by the Licensing Act 2003 would take effect.

 

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

 

(2)  That the Cabinet be asked to recommend to Council the delegation of powers in respect of Sections 40-42 (noise provisions), Sections 43-47 (graffiti), Sections 55 and 56 (extension of powers to investigate fly tipping) of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, and any Orders, Regulations, Statutory Instruments or Statutory Codes of Practice made thereunder and any future modifications, enlargements or amendments thereof, to the Head of Environmental Health and his successor from time to time.  The said powers conferred include those specified via the Councils’ Delegation of Powers.

7.

East Herringthorpe Burglary Reduction Project pdf icon PDF 20 KB

- report of Head of Housing Services

Minutes:

The Head of Housing Services submitted a report on the proposed Burglary Reduction Project.

 

Housing Services, in partnership with South Yorkshire Police and the Valley Community Partnership, has been asked to project manage and deliver a burglar alarm installation project at East Herringthorpe.  Capital funding had been secured, in principle, for the installation of intruder alarms, but the proposed project required a revenue funding element to sustain the existing project and fund future installation programmes.

 

The proposed project had the active support of the Acquisitive Crime Task Group of the Safer Rotherham Partnership.  Consultation had not yet been conducted with residents within the target area as it was envisaged that residents would buy into the scheme as it was rolled out.  However, a pilot scheme to provide intruder alarms introduced by South Yorkshire Police had received a very high take up.

 

It was proposed to levy a competitive one-off installation charge to owner-occupiers and registered social landlords and a rent added element to Council tenants.

 

The scheme needed to be fully operational by July, 2004, in order to meet PSA and SRB5 funding targets.  Failure to achieve the project date may result in the withdrawal of £58,000 SRB money and the re-profiling of PSA funding from the Valley.  There was unlikely to be any further funding from the Home Office and as such it was crucial that the scheme generated funding to sustain further project work as existing resources would not be sufficient to target all properties.  At a project unit cost of £364 it would initially deliver alarm systems to 320 properties although this could increase with economies of scale.  It was intended that 80% of the funding be targeted at Council properties with the remaining 20% targeted to private sector properties.  The latter would generate further capital funding as private sector occupiers would be asked to contribute towards 50% of the cost.  It was proposed that a £2.00 per week rent added service charge be applied to Council tenancies benefiting from an alarm system.

 

It had been confirmed that the full rent added charge would be covered by Housing Benefit.  The charge would be levied on the next debit date following completion of the alarm installation work.  It was anticipated that the new charges would begin to be applied from late July/August when the first installations were likely to have been completed.

 

The project would be administered by Housing Services which would result in administrative costs in terms of staff time and resources, consultation costs, amending rent accounts, rent recovery work and recovering private sector contributions.  The cost would be met from existing budgets.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the proposed project be piloted in the East Herringthorpe area and a rent added charge of £2.00 per week be levied to sustain current and future project work.

 

(2)  That a further report be submitted in September/October, 2004, when the Government definition of “Decent Home” was known.

8.

"Going Local" Housing and Repairs Pilot Update pdf icon PDF 15 KB

- report of Head of Housing Services

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with Minute No. 261 of 10th May, 2004, the Head of Housing Services submitted a progress report on the “Going Local” pilot in the Greasbrough and KimberworthPark area particularly focusing on key performance indicators.

 

The pilot had gone live in May, 2003 initially for a trial 6 months period, however, it had been decided that it would continue until the time of the restructure of the whole Service.

 

Contained within the report submitted were tables showing the pilot’s success, or otherwise, against various BVPIs.  A number of initiatives had been introduced, such as the void performance clinic which met on a regular basis, which produced outcomes but not outputs which were very difficult to measure. 

 

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

 

(2)  That a further report be submitted clearly showing the aspects of the pilot that had worked and which could be rolled out across the Programme Area and the things that had not worked.

 

9.

Draft Municipal Waste Management Strategy and Initial Options Appraisal pdf icon PDF 19 KB

- report of Head of Environmental Health

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Environmental Health submitted the draft Municipal Waste Management Strategy and initial options appraisal.

 

A major change in the way waste was managed was required to exceed the statutory recycling targets and to reduce biodegradable waste sent to landfill.  The Strategy would plan waste management for the next 16 years, 2004-2020, and comply with the Environmental Protection Act (1990) Recycling Plan.

 

In May, 2004, consultants had been commissioned by the Service to set out the key policy objectives and regulatory targets for waste management in Rotherham and to detail the key stages for the implementation of the changes.  Accordingly a series of options had been developed with some assessment of each to highlight the likely success and cost and the associated risks.

 

The next stage would be to enter into a formal consultation process with all key stakeholders over a 4 month period and to undertake a rigorous assessment of the options in the context of Rotherham.  Recommendations would then be submitted to Council for consideration in February/March, 2004.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the Draft Waste Strategy be approved as the document for wider consultation.

 

(2)  That at the present time the preferred options be those containing high recycling rates.

 

(3)  That a small steering group be established to develop a consultation plan and to overview the consultation and options appraisal process and reporting on progress.  Full terms of reference for the steering group are to be developed.

10.

Waste Management Service Improvement Plan

- report to follow

Minutes:

This item was deferred to a future meeting.

11.

Partnership - Creation Recycling Ltd.

Minutes:

The Head of Environmental Health submitted a report outlining proposed formal agreements to be developed with Creation Recycling, the social enterprise organisation that was entering into a partnership arrangement with the Council to develop a kerbside collection service and processing facilities within the Borough.

 

The company had recently opened premises and now accepted recycled materials from the Council’s kerbside collection service.  It was also intended to pilot the delivery of a “weekly” blue box collection within the company to 10,000 premises to assess the impact upon collection tonnages and participation rates.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the use of Creation Recycling Ltd.’s depot at Eastwood pending formal contractual agreement being reached be noted.

 

(2)  That formal contractual arrangements be agreed within 6 months and a further report be submitted.

12.

Exclusion of the press and public

The following items are likely to be considered in the absence of the press and public as being exempt under 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.

13.

Decent Homes - Wath Regeneration - Progress Report

(Exempt under Paragraphs 8 and 9 of the Act – expenditure to be incurred/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 setting out the current financial position, from September, 2002 to May, 2004, with regard to the Decent Homes Scheme.

 

The report compared the proposed final accounts and current estimated final costs which had been received from each of the construction partners of the various phases of work at Canklow, Thrybergh, Wath upon Dearne, Henley, Masbrough and East Herringthorpe, against their respective original Target Costs and Guaranteed Maximum Prices (GMP) negotiated for the phases and accepted through various tender reports previously submitted.

 

The savings generated by the final accounts amounted to approximately £63,000 against the GMP despite the incorporation of an additional property into the scheme.  This would enable further properties to be brought up to a Decent Homes Standard and thereby helping to meet the Government target.

 

Also the savings generated by the forecast final account on the workload currently being undertaken at Canklow, Thrybergh, Wath upon Dearne and other areas, when compared to the original Target Costs and GMP, currently amounted to approximately £1,800,000 and £3,700,00 respectively.  This took into account the fact that 45 fewer properties had been completed than anticipated.  These savings would be included in the next strategy review.

 

Resolved:-  That the report be received as an interim progress statement of the financial situation on the Decent Homes and that individual schemes continue to be negotiated with the current partners, Bramall and Wates, on the basis that the work being carried out is providing the Council and tenants with value for money.

 

(Exempt under Paragraphs 8 and 9 of the Act – expenditure to be incurred/contractual information)

14.

Petitions

(a)       Charges for the use of Sheltered Accommodation facilities by Guests.

(b)       Drainage Problems, Swallownest

(c)        Anti-Social Behaviour, Kimberworth Park

(Exempt under Paragraphs 3, 4 and 8 of the Act – accommodation provided by the Council/services provided by the Council/supply of services)

Minutes:

The Democratic Services Manager reported receipt of the following 3 petitions:-

 

1.         Sheltered Accommodation Charges

A petition has been received requesting that there be no charges made for the use of sheltered accommodation facilities for tenants’ friends/guests/visitors.

 

Resolved:-  (a)  That the petition be received.

 

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

 

2.         Drainage Problems, Swallownest

A petition, containing 12 signatures, had been received from residents of Wharton Avenue, Swallownest, regarding problems being experienced with waterlogged gardens and flooding outside their front gates.  There was no suitable draining areas for the rainwater to run into.

 

Resolved:-  (a)  That the petition be received.

 

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

 

3.         Anti-Social Behaviour

A petition, containing 13 signatures, had been received from residents of Simmonite Road regarding the difficulties they were experiencing caused by anti-social behaviour.

 

Resolved:-  (a)  That the petition be received.

 

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

 

(Exempt under Paragraphs 3, 8 and 9 of the Act – accommodation provided by the Authority/services provided by the Council/supply of services)

15.

Recruitment of Consultants to assist with the establishment of the ALMO

(Exempt under Paragraphs 8 and 9 of the Act – accommodation provided by the Council/supply of services/negotiation of terms)

Minutes:

The Head of Housing Services submitted a report seeking approval to waive Standing Order No. 35 in relation to the commissioning of consultants to provide advice and assistance during the establishment of the ALMO and to consider the 3 written proposals submitted for the provision of legal advice.

 

The establishment of the ALMO would require informed information and advice in respect of financial matters, independent tenant advice, governance arrangements and investment planning.  Timescales associated with this required that robust information was in place by 1st December, 2004.  Normal tendering procedures would result in the timescale not being met.

 

Legal Services did not feel they currently had sufficient expertise to draw up the type of contract and management agreement needed for the ALMO, neither did the Authority have the knowledge or skills internally to carry out a detailed investment planning programme.

 

The proposal to use consultants to assist in the above elements of the work programme would enable the capacity of officers to be developed sufficiently to support the ALMO once it was established.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the proposal submitted by Trowers and Hamlins, for the development of the model management agreement, be approved.

 

(2)  That Standing Order No. 35 be waived in relation to the recruitment of consultants to provide advice and assistance with the establishment of the ALMO.

 

(Exempt under Paragraphs 3, 8 and 9 of the Act – accommodation provided by the Authority/services provided by the Authority/negotiation of terms)