Agenda and draft minutes

Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 12th March, 2024 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre

Contact: Email: governance@harlow.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

124.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

Minutes:

None.

125.

Declarations of Interest

To receive Councillors’ declarations of interest (if any) in relation to any matters on the agenda.

Minutes:

Councillor Saggers declared a pecuniary interest in item 9 as a council appointed director of HTS (Property and Environment) Ltd.

126.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 6 February 2024.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 6 February 2024 are agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

127.

Matters arising

Minutes:

None.

128.

Written questions from members of the public

To receive any questions from members of the public in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10.

Minutes:

None.

129.

Written questions from Councillors

To receive any questions from Councillors in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10.

Minutes:

None.

130.

Responses of the Cabinet to Reports of the Scrutiny Committee

To consider responses (if any) of the Cabinet to reports and recommendations from the Committee.

Minutes:

None.

131.

Councillor Enquiry System - Report pdf icon PDF 153 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report on the Councillor Enquiry System.

 

The Committee requested that:

 

     i)        Methods of monitoring how data on enquiries could be measured and reported be explored;

 

    ii)        Definitions on what is deemed urgent and non-urgent were developed intime for the September meeting;

 

   iii)        Resourcing implications were explored to enable a reduction in response times to 5 working days.

 

RESOLVED that the Committee:

 

A    Considered the progress on the review.

 

B    Requested that the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Governance implement the following changes as set out in greater detail in paragraph 18 of the report:

 

                i)          To introduce another stage proposed as the ‘follow up work’ stage to identify if a members request has been added to a separate work programme;

 

               ii)          To explore if existing enquiries can be re-opened on the system once closed;

 

              iii)          That response emails be adjusted to include the original enquiry, which will give greater clarity to the enquiry details and make the target date clearer;

 

              iv)          That a triage system be introduced where ‘Urgent’ or ‘Standard’ is selected by the Corporate and Governance Support Team when the enquiry is submitted;

 

               v)          Further training on the Councillor Portal be provided to members;

 

              vi)          That a further review of a more visual use of address mapping and potential improvements to the address lookup;

 

C    Requested an update report be brought back to the Committee in September 2024.

132.

Roofing and Major Repairs to Council Houses - Progress Update pdf icon PDF 236 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received a report on roofing and major repairs to council houses.

 

The Committee requested that it was:

 

     i)        Given monitoring information on group jobs;

 

    ii)        Provided with a trade by trade breakdown of jobs;

 

   iii)        Provided with a breakdown of what post inspections highlight the need for further works;

 

   iv)        Requested that Councillors were sent quarterly information on repairs.

 

RESOLVED that the Committee noted:

 

A    Improvements to the business process, following the review of both the major works and the roofing referral processes (Major Works - Cabinet report 30November 2023).

 

B    The continued improved performance against the backlog of responsive repairs works and clearance of the backlog of street property roofing projects.

133.

Support for Victims of Domestic Abuse and Sexual Harassment - Progress Update pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received a progress report on its review of support for victims of domestic abuse and sexual harassment.

 

The Committee requested that relevant information was brought back to a future meeting of the Committee, along with a further update report.

 

The Committee would consider a review on safe places for women.

 

RESOLVED that the Committee noted to report.

134.

Work Plan pdf icon PDF 109 KB

To review the Committee’s work plan for the current year.

Minutes:

The Committee received a report summarising its work plan.

 

RESOLVED that the work plan be noted.

135.

References from Other Committees

Minutes:

None.

136.

Matters of Urgent Business

Such other business which, in the opinion of the Chair, should be received as a matter of urgency by reason of special circumstances to be specified in the minutes.

Minutes:

None.