Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3 - Civic Centre, St Peter's Square, Wolverhampton WV1 1SH

Contact: Dereck Francis  Tel: 01902 555835 or Email: dereck.francis@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillor Sandra Samuels OBE.

2.

Declarations of interests

Minutes:

No declarations of interests were made.

3.

Minutes of the previous meeting - 17 September 2018 pdf icon PDF 75 KB

[For approval]

Minutes:

Resolved:

That the minutes of the meeting held on 17 September 2018 be approved as a correct record and signed by Chair.

4.

Matters arising

[To consider any matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting]

Minutes:

There were no matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting.

5.

Housing Managing Agents Performance Monitoring Report - Quarter Two, July to September 2018 pdf icon PDF 65 KB

[To review and comment on the performance and key areas for improvement]

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Anthony Walker, Homeless Strategy and External Relationships Manager presented the report on an evaluation of the performance of Wolverhampton Homes and the Tenant Management Organisations (TMOs) in managing and maintaining council owned dwellings during quarter two of the 2018-2019 financial year.

 

During the ensuing discussion the Panel discussed the impact Universal Credit was having across the city.  Councillor Peter Bilson reported that the problems were not specific to Wolverhampton. Nationally, councils were writing to the Government with their concerns regarding increased difficulties being faced with the transition of one system onto the Universal Credit system.  Wolverhampton was providing a lot of good support to tenants through its multi-agency approach.  He also reported that in terms of homelessness within the city, the Homelessness Reduction Act that came into force in April 2018 was starting to have an impact.  The Council’s ability to keep on top of providing support to anyone presenting themselves as homeless, irrespective of their priority need status, had contributed to a visible increase in the numbers of rough sleepers. Part of the Council’s response had been to become part of the National Housing First programme, an approach to offer permanent, affordable housing as quickly as possible for individual families experiencing homelessness and then to provide the supportive services and connections to the community based support that people need to keep their housing and avoid returning to homelessness. Councillor Peter Bilson also reported that the Council had been commended and applauded as a high performing council for its work on tackling homelessness. 

 

Councillor John Reynolds reported that from his involvement on the city’s Housing Support and Social Inclusion Board, there was evidence that some people were falling through the gaps because they do not have the support to access the services they need to be independent and remain independent. This in turn could lead to them using food banks.

 

The Chair placed on record her thanks and congratulations to Wolverhampton Homes and partners across the city for their work on stopping people spiralling into debt and from being made homeless.

 

Councillor Lynne Moran commented on the performance against the indicator ‘56 days allowed to make a homelessness decision’. The Homeless Strategy and External Relationships Manager reported that performance was good and it was taking less time to make a homeless decision that the 56 days allowed under the Act.  He added that a major factor in the homelessness issue was private landlords.  They were the largest reason for homelessness because of their unwillingness to take on tenants in receipt of Universal Credit.

 

Members of the Panel also asked about the number of rough sleepers in the city and how the figure compared with comparably sized local authorities. The Homeless Strategy and External Relationships Manager reported that it currently stood at 16 and the numbers were reducing.  The Council’s approach of working together with partners had made a massive difference. It was difficult to compare this figure with other local authorities as the data had not been published.  However, the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Information Governance Quarter Two Performance and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Update Report pdf icon PDF 85 KB

[To review and comment on the Information Governance quarter two performance and GDPR update]

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Martyn Sargeant, Head of Public Service Reform presented the report on the performance of Information Governance for quarter two (July to September) of 2018/2919. The Council continued to have nationally leading performance in its response to Freedom of Information/ Environmental Information (FOI) requests.  The Council was also maintaining levels in its response to Subject Access Requests (SARs).

 

The Chair reported that with the launch of WV Insight, the open data platform it was envisaged that the number of FOI requests would reduce. She had asked for this to be monitored.  The Chair also placed on record her thanks to the Information Governance team for ensuring that the Council continued to maintain the high response rates for FOI and SARs requests.

 

Councillor John Reynolds suggested that the Council contact Wolverhampton University and the Colleges, the media, and other local councils, highlighting the potential benefits for their work and research from using WV Insight compared to them seeking the information through FOI requests to the Council.  Ian Fegan, Head of Communications would be working with the colleges in the new year to make them aware of the platform and its capabilities. 

 

Resolved:

1.    That the quarterly progress update on the General Data Protection Regulation be noted.

 

2.    That the quarter two performance for Information Governance be noted.

7.

Quarter Two Corporate Top-25 indicators (1 July - 30 September 2018) and WV Insight Progress Update pdf icon PDF 94 KB

[To receive an update on performance against the Council’s top 25 corporate indicators in quarter two (July to September 2018) and on the implementation of WV Insight and planned developments]

Minutes:

Ian Fegan, Head of Communications gave a brief introduction to the report on performance against the Council’s top 25 corporate indicators during quarter two (July to September) of 2018/2019 and on the implementation of WV Insight, the open data platform, and on planned developments.

 

On the corporate indicators, six were demonstrating improving performance, 14 were stable, one was an area for improvement, two were annual indicators and two were under review. The indicator for the area of improvement was ‘the number of fly-tipping incidents on public land’.  Geoff Simpson, Business Intelligence Manager reported that the upward trend Wolverhampton was experiencing mirrored the national trend with England fly tipping rates increasing year on year from 2012 to present. Within the Black Country, Wolverhampton’s yearly returns showed the Council to be the second lowest overall. Discussions with Environmental Services to understand the steps being taken to tackle the issue had highlighted that the Council was currently developing a new enforcement and public information approach to target offenders and better engage communities to tackle the problem. The service also advised that:

 

1.    Insourcing of waste services offered greater potential to be more flexible and responsive to the demand.

 

2.    Areas where there are specific issues are currently being targeted with enforcement action.

 

3.    A new City-wide enforcement and public information campaign was currently being finalised for launch in January 2019 which targets offenders based on intelligence and enlists the public and rewards them for their support.

 

Councillor Steve Evans reported that fly tipping was a national issue but in 2019 improvements would be seen in the City following the launch of the campaign. The vast majority of fly tipping was being perpetrated by a small number of rouge operators and the Council would tackle them.  The message going out would be that the Council would be seeking custodial sentences for offenders convicted of fly tipping. 

 

Councillor Val Gibson queried whether the bulky collection service was having any effect on levels fly tipping.  Councillor Steve Evans replied that one of the benefits of insourcing waste services was that the Council now had the capacity and flexibility to respond to calls on the bulky goods service.

 

Councillor Lynne Moran reported that she welcomed the improving performance on the number of 18-65-year-old residents supported into work.

 

Resolved:

1.    That the Council’s performance against its top 25 performance indicators in quarter two (July to September) of 2018/2019 be noted.

 

2.    That progress made in rolling out the WV Insight open data platform and on the phase two development plan be noted.