Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 9th July, 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: Conference Room, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA. View directions

Contact: Stacey Gilmour 

Items
No. Item

115.

APPOINTMENT OF CHAIR FOR THIS CALL-IN MEETING

To Elect a Chair for this meeting only, due to the absence of the current Chair and Vice-Chair.

Minutes:

Councillor Levy was elected as Chair for the meeting.

 

116.

WELCOME & APOLOGIES

Minutes:

Councillor Levy welcomed all attendees to the meeting.

Apologies had been received from Councillors Erbil, Lappage, and Georgiou.  - Councillor Bond was substituting for Councillor Erbil.  Councillor Pite was substituting for Councillor Lappage and Councillor Levy was substituting for Councillor Georgiou.

117.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Members of the Council are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests relevant to the items on the agenda.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

118.

CALL IN: FUTURE OF THE RESPONSIVE REPAIRS SERVICE pdf icon PDF 143 KB

To receive and consider a report from the Director of Law and Governance outlining details of a call-in received on the Cabinet Decision taken on the Future of Responsive Repairs Service (Report No 53).

 

The decision that has been called in was a Cabinet Decision taken on 12 June 2019 and included on the Publication of Decision List No 8/19-20 (List Ref:4/8/19-20) issued on 14 June 2019.

 

It is proposed that consideration of the call-in be structured as follows:

·         Brief outline of the reasons for the call-in by representative (s) of the members who have called in the decision

·         Response to the reasons provided for the Call-in by a Cabinet Member responsible for taking the decision

·         Debate by Overview and Scrutiny Committee and agreement of action to be taken.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from the Director of Law and Governance outlining details of a call-in received on the Cabinet decision taken on-

The Future of the Responsive Repairs Service (Report No:53).

 

Councillor Levy reminded everyone that discussion on the call-in should not be a political debate. An argument would need to be made to persuade members to revert the Cabinet decision back for their reconsideration, or the decision should stand.

 

Councillor Smith was invited to outline the reasons for call-in.

 

Councillor Smith thanked officers for the helpful answers he had received in response to the reasons he had given for call-in.  He said there were two main reasons why he had called-in the decision.   Firstly, because it was not clear that in-sourcing the management of elements of the housing repairs service would lead to the required improvements in the service, and secondly because there appears to be substantial financial and other risks involved that do not justify making the changes proposed.

 

He highlighted the following:

  1. Improvements that are required to the day to day responsive repairs service could be made without the need to bring the service back ‘in house’.
  2. The changes suggested may lead to a deterioration in the current service
  3. Officers have stated that improvements to the service would happen as investments are made to the housing stock with an increase in replacement rather than repairs.  However, this should already be provided for under a planned maintenance programme.  The Council can use information they possess to help in service provision for example to help vulnerable residents.
  4. Changes to the in-house model would require agreement of trade unions and this may not be forthcoming
  5. The service may deteriorate because there would be no competition and no penalties in place for inadequate/ sub-standard work.
  6. The new changes would require additional responsibilities for officers and Cabinet members when they already face many challenges, it may be more appropriate to focus attention on improving the existing service.
  7. The report has stated that the additional cost of bringing the housing repairs service in-house will be approximately £1.2m over two years and running costs would be kept within the current budget of £4.8m. However, this may be an underestimate as a range of assumptions have been made, for example that the number of repairs would be reduced. Additional costs may apply in respect of labour costs.  It is noted that only a 2% rate in inflation costs has been given. Also, if TUPE applies some people may not wish to cross over and new staff would have to be employed with a risk of higher pay.
  8. An assumption has been made that the number of repairs would be reduced as a result of improvements to the housing stock. However, this was not apparent in the past when improvements had been made as part of an extensive programme to improve bathrooms and kitchens in our properties.      

 

In conclusion, Councillor Smith was of the opinion, that the risks involved in the decision to in-source  ...  view the full minutes text for item 118.

119.

CALL-IN: LED CONVERSION PROJECT 2019 FOR HIGHWAY STREET LIGHTING pdf icon PDF 143 KB

To receive and consider a report from the Director of Law and Governance outlining details of a call-in received on the Cabinet decision taken on LED Conversion Project 2019 for Highway Street Lighting (Report No. 54)

 

The decision that has been called in was a Cabinet Decision taken on 12 June 2019 and included on the Publication of Decision List No: 8/19-20 (List Ref: 3/8/19-20) issued on 14 June 2019.

 

It is proposed that consideration of the call-in be structured as follows:

·         Brief outline of the reasons for the call-in by representative (s) of the members who have called in the decision.

·         Response to the reasons provided for the Call-in by a Cabinet Member responsible for taking the decision.

·         Debate by Overview and Scrutiny Committee and agreement of action to be taken.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from the Director of Law and Governance outlining details of a call-in received on the Cabinet decision taken on – LED Conversion Project 2019 for Highway Street Lighting. (Report No:54).

 

Councillor Levy referred to the absence of Councillor Dogan, Cabinet Member of Environment and Sustainability who had been expected to attend the meeting.  Councillor Barnes and Jewell were in the audience and were asked, as Members of the Cabinet (who would have been involved in discussions at Cabinet and active parties to the decision being called in), if they wished to participate in the discussion of this item but they refrained from doing so.

 

Councillor Anderson was invited to outline the reasons for call-in.  He said he was disappointed that Councillor Dogan was not in attendance.  He had received responses to his reasons for call-in and drew attention to five key reasons of concern –

 

  1. Original estimated net savings given were for £250K in 2019/20, however it is stated that there could be a shortfall against this, and any shortfall could be dealt with within existing Environment and Operations budgets.  For this to be achieved it would require budget re-profiling. If the budget is not achieved, it is not clear where savings would come from.
  2. The annual savings are said to be £760K per annum and £15.2m over a 20-year period.  This is assuming the equipment remains good for this time period. It may be that technology becomes obsolete as changes occur very rapidly. It is also not clear what would happen if lights fail during this period and who would be liable to pay for replacements.  The PFI contract is due to expire in 2031 but costings run to 2039, it is not clear what would happen during this 8-year gap.
  3. The estimated cost of the project is given as being £6.375m, to be covered between an interest free 5-year loan of £4.1m and Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) borrowing of £2.3m. However, the financial costings for this are not clear to see as the £4.1m stated is a loan and would need to be accounted for.
  4. No mention had been made in the report with regards to the environmental impact of removing the 21,000, street light stock of SON Units, which are in good working order.  Although an answer had been provided, that it was unlikely the units would be thrown away and end up in landfill sites, no evidence is provided on this. He asked if there was evidence of what has been done for other Local Authorities.
  5. As a result of the existing PFI contract, a decision was taken to relocate lamp columns away from the kerb line. This will restrict our ability to provide usage of lamp columns via electric charge points, in the future. Other councils are utilising this technology and it is in line with the Mayor of London’s policy to increase the number of electric charging points and the Governments’ intention to remove petrol/ diesel vehicles by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 119.

120.

MINUTES OF THE MEETINGS HELD ON THE 1 MAY 2019 AND 22 MAY 2019 pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To agree the minutes of the meetings held on the 1 May 2019 and 22 May 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Noted that the Minutes had previously been agreed.

121.

DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS

To note the dates of future meetings as follows:

 

Business meetings of OSC

·         Tuesday 23 July 2019

·         Wednesday 4 September 2019

·         Thursday 7 November 2019

·         Wednesday 15 January 2020

·         Thursday 13 February 2020

·         Thursday 2 April 2020

 

Provisional Call-In dates

·         Thursday 8 August 2019

·         Thursday 19 September 2019

·         Thursday 31 October 2019

·         Thursday 28 November 2019

·         Thursday 19 December 2019

·         Thursday 30 January 2020

·         Thursday 6 February 2020

·         Wednesday 4 March 2020

·         Thursday 26 March 2020

·         Tuesday 28 April 2020

Minutes:

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