Venue: Council Chamber - Council Offices, Thorpe Road, Weeley, CO16 9AJ. View directions
Contact: Janey Nice
Apologies for Absence and Substitutions
The Committee is asked to note any apologies for absence and substitutions received from Members.
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Fowler, Miles (with Councillor Amos substituting) and Yallop (with Councillor Chapman substituting).
Apologies were also submitted on behalf of Councillor G V Guglielmi (Enforcement and Community Safety Portfolio Holder) who had been invited to attend the meeting in relation to the matters discussed under Minute 24 below but who had been unable to attend due to a prior parish council commitment.
To confirm and sign as a correct record, the minutes of the last meeting of the Committee, held on Monday 19 September 2016.
The minutes of the last meeting of the Committee held on Monday 19 September 2016 were signed as a correct record by the Chairman.
Declarations of Interest
Councillors are invited to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, or other interests, and the nature of it, in relation to any item on the Agenda.
Councillor V E Guglielmi declared an interest in respect of the update on Spendalls House and Honeycroft insofar as she was a next door neighbour to Honeycroft and also a local Ward Member.
Councillor Baker also declared an interest insofar as he was a local Ward Member for Honeycroft.
Spendalls House and Honeycroft - Update
The Council’s Head of Housing (Tim R Clarke) will give an update on the progress towards the creation of a feasibility study and consultation piece on Spendalls House and Honeycroft.
Councillor V E Guglielmi had earlier declared an interest in respect of the update on Spendalls House and Honeycroft insofar as she was a next door neighbour to Honeycroft and also a local Ward Member.
Councillor Baker had also earlier declared an interest insofar as he was a local Ward Member for Honeycroft.
The Council’s Head of Housing (Tim R. Clarke) gave a presentation which updated the Committee on progress towards the creation of a feasibility study and consultation piece on Spendalls House and Honeycroft.
The presentation covered the following areas:
(1) What stage are we at;
(2) The six Options available to the Council
(i) No Change;
(ii) Increase the range of occupancy (lower the age range);
(iii) Close both units and sell off the land;
(iv) Convert into flats;
(v) Demolish and replace with bungalows or almshouses for older persons; and
(vi) Transfer the units to another provider (such as Essex County Council);
(3) The consultation events undertaken at Honeycroft and Spendalls House;
(4) Feedback from those consultations;
(5) Sheltered Support Satisfaction Survey; and
(6) What have we learnt?
(i) General support for doing something different;
(ii) Closure and/or Transfer options were only supported by Spendalls House residents; [Explanatory Note: Following the meeting the Head of Housing Services informed the Committee by email that some figures had been transposed during the initial data analysis and that actually the closure and transfer options were not supported by residents of either scheme]
(iii) Good, general support for all the other options.
The Head of Housing then answered questions raised by Members on various issues which included:
(a) The financial costs to the Council of implementing any of the six options;
(b) The contents of the final report to Cabinet;
(c) Why it had taken the Council so long to reach this point;
(d) Why were so many residents of Spendalls House in favour of its closure [see explanatory note above]; and
(e) The location of these units.
With the permission of the Chairman, the Housing Portfolio Holder (Councillor Honeywood) and Councillors Baker and Poonian contributed to the discussion of this item.
At the invitation of the Chairman, Mr Brian Jones, representing the tenants of Honeycroft, addressed the Committee and outlined the community experiences of living at Honeycroft. He also informed the Committee that the favoured option for the tenants of Honeycroft was to convert the building into self-contained flats.
During the general discussion of this item it was agreed that there should be a further consultation with the local Ward Members and the residents of Honeycroft and Spendalls House on the contents of the Head of Housing’s draft final report.
The Chairman reminded Members that the Head of Housing’s final report was due to be submitted to the Committee at its next meeting on 25 November 2016. However, in view of the additional pieces of work that the Committee had asked the Head of Housing to undertake he accepted that this may now not be possible. ... view the full minutes text for item 23.
Impact of the £1.5 million 3 year Strategic Investment Strategy
The Committee will receive a presentation from the Council’s Head of IT and Corporate Resilience (John Higgins) on the above-mentioned item.
The Committee received a presentation from the Council’s Head of IT & Corporate Resilience (John Higgins) on the impact on the Council of the £1.5 million, three year strategic investment strategy.
The presentation covered the following areas:
(1) New computer storage area network (SAN) investment;
(2) Replacement Cisco based Council network (Voice & Data);
(3) Strategic Operational Investments;
(4) Strategic Communications Investments; and
(5) Strategic IT Investment Programme Financial Analysis.
During the discussion of this matter the Head of IT & Corporate Resilience undertook to email all Members with regard to the availability of Council laptops etc. together with the Council’s conditions of use of the Council’s IT hardware.
The Committee RESOLVED that the Head of IT & Corporate Resilience be required to attend a further meeting of the Committee in twelve months’ time to give a practical demonstration of the Council’s new IT systems in operation such as Microsoft Skype for Business.
The Committee further RESOLVED that CABINET be requested to consider the RECOMMENDATION of the Service Development and Delivery Committee that the Head of IT & Corporate Resilience arrange an IT Surgery for Members over the course of an afternoon and evening together with an ongoing schedule of IT training for Members.
Review of the In-house Public Convenience Cleaning Contract and Working Arrangements
The Committee is invited to discuss the new arrangements for the Council’s Public Conveniences.
The Committee discussed the new in-house public convenience cleaning contract and working arrangements and other issues such as safety and anti-social behaviour at Magdalen Green and Holland Haven public conveniences.
At the request of the Chairman, the Commercialisation Portfolio Holder (Councillor Turner) addressed the Committee and outlined the contractual and other (e.g. vandalism) issues that the Council had faced in recent years with regard to cleaning the District’s public conveniences. He was pleased to report that this function was now back “in-house” with a dedicated team of Council staff. Councillor Turner also reported that it was his intention to close the public conveniences at Magdalen Green and Holland Haven.
The Council’s Head of Public Realm (Ian Taylor) provided further detail on the history of this matter together with information on how the new in-house arrangements had been implemented.
The Chairman thanked and congratulated Councillor Turner, Mr Taylor and his Team for the excellent turnaround of this issue and he further thanked Mr Taylor for providing him with useful information with regard to lone-working.
The Committee RESOLVED that the Corporate Management Committee be requested to investigate and confirm that there are robust procedures in place to ensure that the contractual terms of all future contracts entered into by the Council are sound and fully protect this Council’s interests.