To consider the attached report and note the progress of project delivery against Q1 milestones.
Maryvonne Hassall the ICT Manager introduced the corporate performance reporting against the Q4 milestones and noted that some KPI Q1 data was not available at the time of this report. She went through the corporate projects on an exceptions basis only commenting on any amber issues. She noted that quite a lot of list were highlighted in blue, indicating that the projects had been completed.
Councillor Janet Whitehouse raised concerns about museum collection rationalisation project, although it was highlighted as green. She asked what was the roles of the Parish and Town councils in this, were they being consulted? M Hassall said that she would investigate and get back to her. The Chairman asked that something be added to the minutes on the involvement of the local councils.
· Post meeting update on the ‘Museum Collection Rationalisation’:
“The update is that all items that are stored at the North Weald storage location have been reviewed and 44 out of the 55 have been agreed to be outside the museum’s collecting policy – these have been signed off by the steering committee and the PH decision process. The museum is currently exploring new homes for these items – so far 10 have been transferred to local community allotment projects to be used by the community.
In terms of local council involvement – it was extremely unlikely that the museum will be removing any items that have a local story to tell. If items from specific local areas are being considered the relevant local town or parish council will be consulted. It is likely these items will be paper documentation which will need to be transferred to the Essex Record Office which is responsible for paper archives and therefore will still very much be within the public domain.
It has been confirmed that the parish and town councils were consulted.”
The item ‘Reprovision of Hostel’ was showing as amber as a proposal document was being brought to Governance group for discussion. Councillor Jon Whitehouse asked which hostel this was referring to. He was told that they did not have that information there and would provide a written response. Councillor Neville commented that the committee did not want generic titles that did not tell them anything. Could officers be more specific.
· Post meeting update on ‘Reprovision of Hostel’:
“Temporary housing for homeless People:
The provision of temporary housing for homeless people is one of the most important services provided by Epping Forest District Council. There are many reasons why someone may become homeless and the deficiencies of temporary Bed and Breakfast accommodation are well-known. We have a long and positive track record of helping people in need. For many years Epping Forest District Council has therefore provided dedicated hostel accommodation with on-site support staff and communal facilities to help people back on to their feet and into permanent housing. Currently we have no one in B&B. Everyone is provided for within our dedicated schemes.
Around 80% of our dedicated temporary accommodation is currently based on one site. While it provides a very good service, our locations are relatively remote. Access to good local services such as schools, healthcare, public transport and employment often play key roles in helping people back into permanent housing. Easy access to the support of close family and friends can also play vital role.
In recent years we have been innovative - delivering modular units for single homeless people in an environment where they can get the support they require. However, we cannot stand still, and further innovations have the potential to make more improvements. We are therefore starting a new process of considering how to best meet the housing needs of residents who find themselves homeless in the future. Those considerations are at a very early stage and we will share more information as soon as we are able.”
A Small noted that officers were refreshing projects at present and Councillor Lion added that service plans had been raised with Mr Dawe asking that they be presented to the select committees. A Small replied that was why they were going through the service plans so they could be presented to the select committee in due course. Councillor Lion noted that there was a time constraint here and that the select committees needed to design their work programmes around the service plans. In the past there had been too many verbal reports that were too late to scrutinise.
The Chairman said that this would be something to discuss at the next joint chairman’s meeting.
Councillor Jon Whitehouse asked about the item on ‘Digital Member Journey’. He was told that this was a focused activity to ensure members were not having issues and how they could be helped. There was still a long way to go on this. Councillor Lion noted that as a customer he was far from happy with the service at present. He had problems with his iPad which was taking a long time to fix. He would like to examine the KPIs attached to this.
The Chairman said that it was unfortunate that this had disappeared from the scrutiny programme as a lot of members were having problems. He was told that this was about continuous improvement and was not finished yet. Councillor Lion asked if there was a closure report on this project and was told that officers had not seen a final report on this.
· Post meeting update on Digital Member Journey:
“Update: A working group was set up to address Members Digital issues. Key trends and issues were identified and have been worked on by Customer Service & ICT. A full closure report and recommendations on actions going forward including one to one coaching and support sessions for Members will be provided in due course, the Officer working on this is currently off sick. In the meantime Members are encouraged to raise any ongoing ICT issues in the usual manner so that they can be logged and tracked for a timely resolution and any major issues identified.”
Councillor Janet Whitehouse asked about the Council Portal where no progress was indicated. It was some time since we had a report on this though she appreciated that no real progress had been made. What was frustrating was the things that we used to have such as the yearbook that had information that was not available elsewhere and was told it would be on the Council Portal. Had there been any progress on this item? M Hassall said that no work on this had been carried out so far as there had been other priorities. Councillor S Kane noted that the yearbook was on the Modern.Gov system, he would see if a link from the website could be made for this. He noted that both he and Councillor Patel wanted this to this happen but there was always the question of priorities as we had a lot of big projects to carry out in the last few years, so this had slipped in the queue. The key point was the turnaround time, how long it took to fix a problem for members or any other customers.
Councillor H Kane said that this committee would like some information and history on this. It was important to have a report. Councillor Lion commented that it was important that projects that were closed had a closure report as it was vital for scrutiny. Councillor S Kane said he would ask for reports to be completed.
· Post meeting update on Council Portal project and Yearbook:
“Update: A full review, project brief and business case is to be completed to ensure we are clear on the expected outcomes and benefits a portal may deliver, this review will be completed 22/23.
Update: The Year Book has not been produced for two years now and was increasingly downsized for several years before that as it was deemed not in keeping with our paperless digital ways of working. It was very expensive to produce in both time and physical printing costs and was considered out of date the moment it was produced whilst the information is readily available and up to date electronically. This was previously agreed with Councillors by Simon Hill. All information is available via Councillors iPads, for any help or assistance please use Members Contact.
All projects are to have closure reports.”
Councillor S Neville noting the Engagement and Wellbeing project wondered if the training mentioned would be opened up to Members as well as staff. J Budden said that officers would need to look at this and come back to him.
M Hassall then took the meeting to the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). She noted that it was a very tight timescale to get the end statistics from the end of the last quarter to this meeting. She did have some of the finished figures here and could if wanted, go through them. However, the complete set of figures would also be reported at the next quarters report. The timings of the meetings will have to be looked at to help with this.
Councillor Neville was disappointed that there were no figures to go with the KPIs, it would be very helpful if the KPIs had some figures to go with them. It would be nice if we could synchronise everything up to have the figures in a full report so we could scrutinise it.
The Chairman added that it would be difficult to go through them all without having a complete report but asked if members had anything they wanted to highlight for the full report for the next meeting.
Councillor Lion commented that with some of the other actions such as the Local Plan Delivery, there seemed to be a lot of overlap between the select committees. There was a need to clarify who did what. He would also like the air quality around schools to be looked at. The Chairman said this would be something for the Chairs of the Select Committees to discuss when they next met as they had agreed to review this after a year’s trial, which was now up. M Hassall noted that all the KPIs for all the committees was to come to a single place and put all the KPIs into a single document.
Councillor S Kane noted that this was, as just pointed out, an amalgamated report covering all projects and all Select Committees, but it might be helpful if an extra column was added to indicate which scrutiny committee each item would be going to. M Hassell said that it was in the report, but they had missed that column out to make it easier to read.
Councillor Lion noted that at the start of the report it highlighted some of the exception projects and wondered if some of these should form part of the work programme, such as ‘climate action plan’ ‘the green infrastructure’ and ‘customer services: telephony solutions’.
Councillor Janet Whitehouse said that she had mentioned the Green Action Plan at the last Overview and Scrutiny Committee that used to go to the Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee, but she was not sure to which Committee it should go to. The Chairman said that this would also be something to debate at the joint Chairman’s meeting.
That the committee reviewed and noted the progress of project delivery against Q4 milestones.