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Agenda and minutes

With effect from 1 April 2016 Agenda and Minutes will be available in both Welsh and English. Reports are working documents and produced in English only in accordance with Welsh Language Standard 41 of this Council’s Final Compliance Notice from the Welsh Language Commissioner.

Venue: Council Chamber, Guildhall

Contact: Craig Stevens  Scrutiny Facilitator

Media

Items
No. Item

10.

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors D J Griffiths (Lead Member for Place – Housing), R Alun Jenkins and Paul Rogers.

11.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 200 KB

To sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 10 July 2019

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

AGREED – That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 10 July 2019 be signed as a correct record.

 

12.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 229 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Officer Governance and Customer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Officer for Governance and Customer submitted a report (COGC/45/19s) to assist Members in agreeing a list of potential scrutiny topic areas for the next 12 months and possibly longer term.

 

In introducing the report the Scrutiny Facilitator drew particular attention to section 4 which highlighted the changes made to the Work Programme arising from the all Member Scrutiny Work Programme Planning Workshop held in June 2019.

 

Following a request from a member the Chair advised that that he would ensure the forthcoming report on ‘Waste Reduction and Recycling Initiatives in Wrexham’ referred to concerns around assisted bin collection services.  He also indicated that the report on ‘Active Travel’ would highlight what other plans this informs.

 

A Member advised that he had received a request for a volunteer from the NW Wildlife Trust to attend the All Member Workshop on ‘Biodiversity’ in November 2019.  It was suggested that it may be more appropriate for the volunteer to attend the Scrutiny Committee instead, when it considered this issue at its December 2019 meeting.

 

AGREED –

 

(I)            That the work programme attached at appendix 1 to the report (COGC/45/19s)  be agreed.

(II)          Advice to be sought around the invitation of outside organisations to member workshops.

 

 

13.

Variation in Order of Agenda Items

Additional documents:

Minutes:

AGREED – That item 6 – Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Environmental Improvements – be brought forward and taken at this time.

14.

Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Environmental Improvements pdf icon PDF 181 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for Place - Housing

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Place - Housing  submitted a report COHE/32/19 providing Members with an update on the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Environmental Improvements budget, including the previous 5 years expenditure.  The report also allowed Members to consider progress since the last report in March 2019 in terms of surveys and schemes delivered during the last 6 months.

 

During discussion of the report, the following issues were highlighted, in particular:

 

·         The department was in the process of procuring a new framework which would allow contractors to carry out minor engineering works such as on plot parking and general minor civil works.

·          Officers advised that whilst they were confident that the new framework would improve the efficiency of the service, any potential cost savings or otherwise would only be identified following completion of the current procurement exercise and evaluation of resultant tenders.

·         A Member suggested that for some schemes it would be preferable to receive a response in a timely manner rather than to focus on potential cost savings and that it was important to strike the right balance between these two areas of conflict.

·         Officers confirmed that the current backlog in the design scheme element was reducing and focus now needed to be placed on scheme development.

·         Confirmation that estate managers had a duty to review all schemes in their area and make regular contact with the relevant local members to ensure that they were kept up to date with regards to the schemes in their ward.

·         An evaluation exercise was required to ensure more options for delivery of schemes on site.  The long term focus would be placed on those schemes that benefited the wider community.

·         The need for local members to receive reassurance from officers that the framework used for delivery of schemes provided tenants with value for money.

·         Like for like schemes within various wards, such as metal fencing, were based on a set guide price.  However, this price may vary if a contractor was already working within a particular area and was able to carry out that work.  In light of this, a Member stressed the need to try to standardise prices in order to ensure equal opportunities between wards.

·         It had not yet been necessary to draw a distinction as to where the department would appropriate land between two different services e.g. Housing and Highways.  If this were to occur then a legal test would be applied along with consideration of programme compliance with the scheme.  The department would gain long term liability for maintenance of any land it acquired.

 

AGREED - That a further update report on this issue be considered by the Committee in March 2020.

15.

Possible Co-option of Members to the Homes and Environment Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 354 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Officer Governance and Customer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Officer Governance and Customer submitted a report COCG/47/19 allowing Members to consider the possible co-option of Members to the Homes and Environment Scrutiny Committee.

 

A debate ensued with a number of Members speaking for and against the proposal and highlighting the existing tenant and Member co-operation provided via the Wrexham Tenant and Member Partnership.

 

AGREED -

 

i)             That this not be progressed.

ii)            That future reports on Housing issues indicate if the matter had been considered by the Tenant Member Partnership.