Agenda and minutes

Adults and Safer City Scrutiny Panel
Tuesday, 26th March, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 3 - 3rd Floor - Civic Centre

Contact: Earl Piggott Smith  01902 551251 email: earl.piggott-smith@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies were received from the following:

 

Cllr Sue Roberts MBE

Cllr Rupinderjit Kaur

2.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Cllrs Zee Russell and Linda Leah declared a non pecuniary interest in agenda 5 – Update on Blue Badge scheme

 

3.

Minutes of previous meetings (29.1.19) pdf icon PDF 467 KB

Minutes:

The minutes were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

 

 

 

 

4.

Matters arising

Minutes:

Item 7 Serious Violence and Exploitation Strategy 2019-22 Consultation

 

Earl Piggott-Smith, Scrutiny Officer, reminded the panel that a final draft of the document will be sent when it has been considered by Cabinet at the meeting on 10 April 2019.

5.

Update on the Blue Badge scheme pdf icon PDF 379 KB

[Cherry Doyle, Customer Services Business Process Lead, and Lisa Powell,Team Leader, to present brieifng on the administration and performance of the Blue Badge scheme in Wolverhampton.]

Minutes:

Lisa Taylor, Head of Customer Services, advised the panel that she had recently taken responsibility for the local administration of Blue Badge scheme. The Head of Customer Service introduced Cherry Doyle, Business Process Lead, and Lisa Powell, Duty Manager to the panel.

 

The Head of Customer Service advised the panel that the administration of the Blue Badge scheme had been transferred to the Customer Services team in 2015. The panel were advised that City of Wolverhampton Council administers the national Blue Badge scheme on behalf of the Department of Transport.

 

The Head of Customer Services gave a brief overview of the scheme and changes made to the national contract in 2019. The changes to the scheme had created difficulties for local authorities and locally it has been used to review the operation of the scheme. The Head of Customer Services advised the panel of the current application and assessment process and the performance of the service. The Head of Customer Services advised the panel that on average 400 applications are received monthly and the processing times have increased. The average time to process an application in 2018 was 10 weeks. There are no figures currently available for 2019 but will be provided at a future meeting date.

 

The Head of Customer Services advised the panel the online application process is managed by Department for Transport. Local authorities have more discretion about the content of the paper application and the panel were advised that discussions were ongoing to make changes to paper form easier to complete. The changes are intended to reduce delays in the process and improve performance.

 

The panel were advised that it is not possible to provide analysis of the applications as they move through each stage of the assessment process to better understand the causes of delays or where extra resources are needed to manage the demand.

 

The Head of Customer Services added that work is being done to make the process more efficient and the easier for the public. The panel were advised that extra resources across the service can be brought in where needed and work is being done to create a larger dedicated team to process the applications.  There are currently two dedicated employees responsible for processing Blue Badge applications within the team. The Head of Customer Services suggested that a progress report on the performance of the service be presented in six-months to the panel. The report will include details of any changes to scheme following the recent national public consultation where the Govt has invited views on extending the eligibility criteria scheme to include other groups. This particular change, if adopted, will require a review of the current working arrangements in order to manage the expected increase in the number of applications and also communicate any changes to the public.

 

 

The Head of Customer Services commented on the low number of complaints received and explained that a proportion of the contacts are dealt within as service requests within the team. Many of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Adults and Safer City Scrutiny Panel 2019/20 Future Work Programme pdf icon PDF 356 KB

[Earl Piggott-Smith, Scrutiny Officer, to present report]

Minutes:

Earl Piggott-Smith, Scrutiny Officer, presented the draft work programme for information and comment. The panel agreed to add a future report on the Blue Badge scheme to the work programme.

 

The panel discussed the provision of care services aimed at helping people to remain independent in their own home. The panel discussed the range of preventative services and the role of the voluntary sector in helping people to stay independent. The panel discussed the support given to voluntary sector groups and links to other community support. The panel agreed to add this issue to panel work programme.

 

Resolved:

The panel agreed to the update the work programme and include a report on the administration of the Blue Badge scheme and community support available to residents to help support their independence, as a future agenda items.