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Contact: Charles Hungwe
Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from the following Members:
Councillor Lynda Piper;
Councillor Parson, substituted by Councillor Messenger.
Declaration of Interests
To receive any declarations of interest. Members are advised to consider the advice contained within the Declaration of Interest form attached at the back of this agenda. If a Member declares an interest, they should complete that form and hand it to the officer clerking the meeting and then take the prescribed course of action.
There were no declarations of interest made at the meeting.
To approve the Minutes of the Finance, Budget & Performance Scrutiny Panel meeting held on 24 January 2019, copy attached.
A member of the public spoke on the Ramsgate Port as a matter arising from the minutes under the Council procedure that permits public speaking.
The Panel agreed to remove the following comments from the minutes:
“One Member suggested that the £2 million being proposed as Council’s contribution to the Parkway Station project (to complement the £25 million being contributed by KCC) should be allocated to other uses. Another Member urged the Panel not to be critical of the much needed infrastructure investment that was coming into the district.”
Subject to the above amendments, Councillor Stuart Piper proposed, Councillor Connor seconded and Members agreed the minutes as a correct record of the meeting that was held on 24 January 2019.
Hannah Thorpe, Head of Communications & Digital introduced the report and gave some highlights of the corporate performance for the various services. The key comments made are detailed below:
A Clean and Welcoming Environment
Members were advised that performance in this area was encouraging, with some performance highs in this quarter. This included the percentage of Environmental Service requests responded to on time, the percentage of household waste sent for recycling and the levels of graffiti being maintained at a low level. The council was now issuing more notices for graffiti and also offering services to private properties thereby attracting an income.
Although missed bins had dropped below the council’s target, members were asked to note that performance was very close to the ambitious target of 0.15% at 0.16%. This figure equated to 50 missed bins out of 18,000 daily collections which compares positively at a national level. It was pointed out that this target will be reviewed for the next set of Corporate Priorities as the figure currently includes bins which had not been put out by residents and contaminated waste.
Although the level of detritus was above target, littering was below target and was a result of increased litter being dropped. Officers provided assurance that four new machines would be purchased in 2019-20 to help address this problem, along with increased messaging to the public about the shared responsibility.
Members were informed that the measure monitored on empty properties was another performance high this quarter, with 143 properties being brought back into use over the past 12 months. Likewise, the rolling 12 month figure for homeless cases prevented by the Council was also a record high due to access to discretionary housing payments and piloting a dedicated landlord liaison officer.
Although the average figures for the time taken to make homelessness decisions and average days in hotel accommodation remained below target, members were asked to note the actual figures (the grey line in the graph) which showed a significant improvement which was expected to reflect positively in the annual figure soon.
Other than customer satisfaction with repairs, the East Kent Housing measures were below target. However Members were reminded that Cabinet had adopted an improvement plan to monitor and assist with this performance.
Promoting Inward Investment and Job Creation
Major planning application figure had gone down in the period under review and was now red. Thus was in part due to a significant rise in the number of major applications. Members were reminded that the Council’s performance of 73% was still above the national target of 70%, and was a reflection of the ambitious targets set by the Council.
Generally speaking it was an improving picture with six measures now at or exceeding target and one less red target. Positives also included the measure around complaints improving and moving from red to amber, with the figure of 89% this quarter now very close to the target of 90%.
Although sickness and Freedom of Information requests ... view the full minutes text for item 39.
One Member requested detailed information regarding the conditions set out in the Ramsgate Port lease between the Council and Bretts. The Member sought to get a clearer understanding of the tenant and landlord legal obligations in maintaining and or developing the Port.
Another Member offered to take up the query with the Leader of Council at a planned one to one session in the coming days and share the response with Panel members.
Councillor Martin proposed, Councillor Messenger seconded and Members agreed the following that:
The Leader of Council be invited to the next meeting of the Panel to present the independent legal information on the contract terms between the Council and Bretts.
Councillor Campbell proposed, Councillor Piper seconded and the Panel agreed that:
Councillor Ashbee, Cabinet Member for Corporate Governance & Coastal Development be invited to the next meeting of the Panel to make a presentation on ‘Regeneration, economic development and the management of foreshores.’