Hounslow Council


Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Ian Duke, telephone 020 8583 2191, e-mail  ian.duke@hounslow.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

9.

Welcome and Introductions

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Cllr Mayne and Victoria Lawson who will be presenting to Item 5 of the agenda. The Chair also welcomed Cllrs Dennison, Dunne and Mann, plus Mary Harpley, Peter Large, Andrew Baker, Dave Ward, Paul Ryder and Barbara Richardson for Item 6 of the agenda.

10.

Apologies for absence, declarations of interest or any other communications from Members

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllrs Carey, Ellar, Saeed and Thompson.

 

The Chair informed the Committee that Cllr Mitchell had stepped down from the Committee and that processes would begin to replace him.

 

Cllrs Collins and Khan declared that they were part of the FM 360 working group. Cllr Bath declared that she was using the services of Lampton 360’s Design & Consultancy Services.

 

The Chair reminded the Committee that it was no longer clerked. The notes taken would therefore contain less narrative than previously. If members had a point they wish to be noted in the minutes, please make this clear.

 

11.

Minutes of the meeting held on 16 June 2016 pdf icon PDF 10 KB

Minutes:

The minutes were agreed as a correct record.

 

12.

Matters arising from the minutes

Minutes:

Referring to Item 4 the Chair informed the Committee that no response had been received from Cllr Dennison despite further contact on this matter. A meeting would be arranged to follow this up.

 

Action: Ian Duke to arrange a meeting between Cllrs Chatt and Dennison.

 

13.

Corporate Performance Approach and Review of Quarter 4 Performance pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Mayne made a presentation to the Committee that had been published and distributed ahead of the meeting, answering the questions that followed with the support of Victoria Lawson.

 

The first part of the presentation set out an overview of performance highlighting those categorised as Amber or Red. The second part set out some of the weaknesses in the way performance is currently managed and plans to introduce a new approach to create a new single system, with greater flexibility and automation, providing data in a more timely and accessible fashion, and with the ability to drill down to understanding underlying problems.

 

The approach was welcomed by the Committee, which shared concerns over the current system, but it was pointed out that a new system doesn’t address and improve under-performance. Cllr Mayne responded that because of the delay in current report, performance data was already out of date by the time it is reported making performance more difficult. Other points discussed included the role of incentives and addressing cultural resistance. Cllr Mayne stated it was also his intention to review the performance indicators to ensure they are the right ones.

 

A system had been identified with procurement expected to be finalised in the next week or so. Cllr Mayne confirmed that the new system would be able to pull together existing systems. The timetable was for the new system to be operational half way through the year. There would be a phased implementation starting with Housing.

 

Action: Cllr Mayne to confirm timetable for Housing pilot.

 

The Committee addressed the areas of under-performance. It was noted that Customer Complaints would be considered in detail at the next meeting. The Committee also sought assurance that where under-performance related to the Council’s safeguarding duties that care was taken to ensure Action Plans were robust.

 

Action: Cllr Mayne to provide assurance.

 

The Chair thanked Cllr Mayne and Victoria Lawson on behalf of the Committee.

 

Resolved:

  • The report and presentation were noted and comments provided
  • It was agreed to receive an update on Corporate Complaints at the September meeting

14.

Lampton 360 pdf icon PDF 250 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received two presentations on Lampton 360. The first was provided by Peter Large and covered the Governance arrangements for Lampton 360 and its subsidiaries and was followed by questions. The model chosen allows for the services to act commercially whilst retaining Council control to protect the investment of public funds; to ensure appropriate social and financial returns on investment can be secured; and that operations are conducted in accordance with the values of the Council.

 

Peter Large highlighted the tension involved and that RSM (external advisors) had advised the Council ensures its policies were consistent with commercial activity. However the Council had decided to err on the side of caution, ensuring tighter control until such time as services were operating well.

 

Governance arrangements had been improved in recent months. The new arrangements ensure separation between the Council as shareholders and the Board of Lampton 360. This has included removing the Leader and Deputy Leader from the Board to ensure separation. RSM has suggested adding a back bench member to the Board. The Cabinet has decided not to accept this recommendation at this point, but to continue with the Board arrangements already approved.

 

The Committee was keen that the lessons from other arm’s length organisations such as CIP and Hounslow Homes had been learned. This was one of the reasons for ensuring separation in the governance arrangements. There had been an explicit discussion about learning from Hounslow Homes and a paper produced that could be made available to the Committee.

 

Action: Mary Harpley to provide the paper.

 

The Cabinet will act as the Shareholder on behalf of the Council. It will directly influence Lampton 360 not only contractually but as the sole shareholder, including appointment of Directors, approval of business plans, creation of subsidiaries, approving contracts over £250k, and preventing changes to employee terms and conditions outside of Council HR policies.

 

The Teckal is the status through which the services will be contracted to Lampton 360 and its subsidiaries without competitive tendering. It is an EU status and the impact of Brexit upon this in the future is unknown, although it is assumed a similar procurement framework will replace it. Lampton 360 and its subsidiaries is VAT registered, and this does not affect the Council’s VAT status.

 

In terms of performance, the Council would be unlikely to apply financial penalties given the arm’s length nature of Lampton 360. Instead it would look to use other levers, including those as a shareholder that include appointments to the Board and agreeing annual business plans. This Committee raised this as an area of concern given wider experience of managing performance and contracts. The Council is much improved in terms of setting measures and key performance indicators within contracts, and this has been a key lesson learned from earlier contracts. For instance the Housing restructure includes the creation of a dedicated team for the monitoring of the FM 360 contract.

 

Dave Ward and Andrew Baker then made the second presentation relating to Recycle  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Scrutiny Work Programme 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 452 KB

This document will be published as a Supplementary Report following the Children & Young People’s Scrutiny Panel meeting on 20 July 2016.

Minutes:

The Committee considered an email received from Dominic West requesting that the Scrutiny Work Programme considers the maintenance of the borough’s parks. Representations have been made previously to both the Hounslow Central and Brentford & Isleworth Area Forums. It noted that this was a subject area for the Housing & Environment Scrutiny Panel, and a discussion would need to be had with Cllr Ellar as Chair of that Panel, who had given his apologies for this meeting.

 

Action: Cllr Collins to write a response to Dominic West. Ian Duke to arrange a meeting between Cllrs Chatt, Collins and Ellar to discuss the way forward.

16.

Forward Plan

A link to the electronic version is listed here:

http://www.hounslow.gov.uk/index/council_and_democracy/forward_plan.htm

An A3 size hard copy will be circulated separately to Members of the Committee

Minutes:

The Committee noted the Single Member Decision relating to Parking Charges. It was noted that the Leader at the work planning workshop had stated this would be put on hold as part of his request for scrutiny to look into this area.

 

Action: The Chair to write to the Leader to seek clarification.

 

17.

Monitoring Information - Decisions taken under urgency arrangements

Minutes:

No decisions had been taken under urgency arrangements since the last meeting.

 

18.

Any other matters that the Chair considers urgent

Minutes:

None.

19.

Date and time of next meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for 22 September 2016 at6 7pm

Minutes:

The Committee was informed that Cllr Mayne had asked whether it would be possible to move the date of the September meeting to allow him to attend.

 

Action: Ian Duke to work with the Chair to consider alternatives.