Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday 29 June 2022 7.00 pm

Venue: THB-06, Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton Hill, London, SW2 1RW

Contact: David Rose, Democratic Services  020 7926 1037, Email: drose@lambeth.gov.uk

Note: Information on how to access the meeting is set out on the agenda. However, if you just want to watch the live broadcast you can copy and paste the following link into your browser: https://bit.ly/3N82mlz. The video will remain available to view for 180 days. 

Items
No. Item

1.

Declaration of Pecuniary Interests

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    Under Standing Order 4.4, where any councillor has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest (as defined in the Members’ Code of Conduct (para. 4)) in any matter to be considered at a meeting of the Council, a committee, sub-committee or joint committee, they must withdraw from the meeting room during the whole of the consideration of that matter and must not participate in any vote on that matter unless a dispensation has been obtained from the Monitoring Officer.

     

    Minutes:

    Councillor Ben Curtis was a member of the Clapham Common Management Board, and Councillor Liz Atkins served on the Hillside Park Board.

     

2.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 245 KB

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    To agree the minutes of the meeting of 24 March 2022 as an accurate record of the meeting.

     

    Minutes:

    The minutes of the meeting held on 24 March 2022 were agreed as a correct record of proceedings.

     

3.

Reviewing the delivery of parks and trees maintenance services pdf icon PDF 548 KB

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    Wards: All

     

    Report authorised by: Bayo Dosunmu: Strategic Director for Resident Services

     

    Contact for enquiries: Kevin Crook, Assistant Director Neighbourhoods (Parks, Leisure and Cemeteries), 020 7926 8973, kcrook@lambeth.gov.uk

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet Member for Sustainable Lambeth and Clean Air, Councillor Rezina Chowdhury, introduced the item and stated:

    ·           Lambeth had pledged to plant 5,000 trees in the borough, as part of the Tree Planting and Tree Risk Management strategies.

    ·           The Parks Service worked closely with other council teams, external organisations, and volunteers to deliver parks and green spaces for physical exercise, leisure and food growing.

    ·           Lambeth had been the highest performing parks service in London in 2020 and second in 2021.

    ·           Volunteers were essential to ensure parks were welcoming, well-maintained and treasured spaces.

     

    The Committee next heard from Ann Kingsbury, Lambeth Parks and Open Spaces Forum (LPOSF) and Brockwell Community Partners, as follows:

    ·           The Parks Forum’s main concern was funding, with overspends each year just for maintenance.

    ·           Parks were used by a majority of persons in the borough but was under-resourced.

    ·           Maintenance was back in-house, saving considerable capital, but now had a modest budget.

    ·           In-house services improved public engagement and the relationship with the Parks Forum meant that issues were not getting lost in complexities of service management.

    ·           Brockwell Park Community Partners had pushed for partnership working, which brought together the community, officers, and Members to allow for strategic planning, which was a moderate success, had been a role model for other parks and was excellent for operational working.

    ·           Some political decisions were difficult and where partnership working sat within the Council’s decision-making required resolution.

    ·           Volunteers were essential to develop amenities for park users, as eyes and ears, fundraisers, builders and being able to input into their communities; the newly formed Friends of Loughborough Park’s developed neglected area was recorded as a volunteer project.

    ·           Parks were vitally important and produced significant benefits.

     

    Simon Millson, Vice Chair on LPOSF and Chair of Clapham Common MAC, next provided the following evidence to the Committee:

    ·           The Parks team’s engagement was praised, with direct and open communications, a willing- and eager-ness to work in partnership; and improved speed and quality since coming back in-house.

    ·           The capacity to deliver and accountability for delivery needed improvement as there was not enough people to consistently deliver first-class services for communities.

    ·           Projects could get lost in council mechanisms and deliberations, whilst parks needed to ensure they delivered to planting seasons and Friend groups and MACs needed more autonomy.

    ·           Autonomy and increasing Council resources, such as hiring parks managers for single parks, would result in higher quality and quantity, and improve accountability and reasonability.

     

    The Committee then heard from Thomas Stanbury, Co-Chair of Friends of Hillside Gardens:

    ·           Hillside Gardens Friends were frustrated by recent Council works, prioritising the central path thoroughfare resurfacing, whilst the tennis courts were only recently started and this required a complaint to be made and there was still no play park. 

    ·           Funding was used on items the Friends did not prioritise, and the Friends had to complain to receive a further award to undertake other items of work.

     

    Steph Charalambous, Co-Chair of Friends of Hillside Gardens, then informed the Committee that:

    ·           Hillside Gardens did not have  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Recycling, Waste Collection and Street Cleansing Contract Performance Update pdf icon PDF 725 KB

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    Wards: All

     

    Report authorised by:Venetia Reid-Baptiste: Interim Strategic Director for Resident Services

     

    Contact for enquiries: Doug Perry, Assistant Director Waste Management, Cleansing and Ancillary Services, 020 7926 1255, DPerry@lambeth.gov.uk

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    During discussion of this item the guillotine fell at 9.00 pm.

     

    RESOLVED: That the meeting continue for a further period of up to 30 minutes.

     

    The Cabinet Member for Sustainable Lambeth and Clean Air, Councillor Rezina Chowdhury, and Doug Perry, Assistant Director of Waste Management Cleansing and Ancillary Services, noted:

    ·           A new waste and recycling collector was appointed in October 2021 for six years with an option to extend up to a further eight years.

    ·           The new contract delivered £1m of savings per year.

    ·           The contract included increased social value to target local employment and apprenticeship opportunities, whilst keeping cleanliness at high standards.

    ·           Due to Covid-19, the contract started six months later than planned and coincided with the leaf-fall season, compounded by driver and loader shortages, which made delivery of services and performance challenging, however since the start of the contract a number of changes have been made and the Council was assured of improvement this year.

    ·           The Serco contract covered street cleansing, Lambeth housing estate cleansing to external areas, fly-tipping removal, and waste and recycling collections across all waste streams.

    ·           Lambeth aimed to assure residents received the best possible service and increased recycling.

     

    The Committee next heard from Paula Vasquez, resident, as follows:

    ·           Some recent improvements had been seen, but there had been issues since October 2021.

    ·           Small items of litter were left around nearby shops, and lots of litter bins were left behind.

    ·           Collection times needed to be published on the website.

    ·           The lack of response to complaints was not good, which could take a week to come back, and some operatives were rude when doing collections.

                 

    The Cabinet Member and officers responded to questions as follows:

    ·           The contract was a self-monitoring contract with a client team of four people, using a series of monitoring techniques including street inspections, 360-degree CCTV, GPS tracking and analysis of requests and complaints to ensure the service is delivered to a high standard.

    ·           There was a monitoring plan and officers targeted areas of the contract, with operatives physically going out to undertake inspections, write reports, followed by meetings with Serco to conduct improvements.

    ·           The Serco contract was output-based, including intelligent deployment of resources to proactively identify roads requiring additional cleansing, and before had been input-based where roads had been cleaned twice weekly.  Where roads fell below acceptable standards, Serco had between two and 24 24 hours to resolve depending on the type of road. 

    ·           Inspection data would be used to reassign resources and cleaning frequency.

    ·           Smaller mechanical brooms could be used to get into pavement channels to clear weeds.

    ·           All residents were encouraged and could complain online which was reported to Serco and the Council, and Serco was expected to respond within 24 hours.

    ·           The Council had stopped using chemical weedkillers last year and was looking to encourage biodiversity.  15 streets notified the Council that they wanted to take control and the Council did undertake examinations on a regular basis.

    ·           A review was underway to ascertain how weeds would be environmentally and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Scrutiny Sub-Committee Memberships and Terms of References pdf icon PDF 216 KB

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    Wards: All

     

    Report authorised by: Raymond Prince, Director of Legal Services and Governance

     

    Contact for enquiries: Victoria Lower, Deputy Democratic Services Manager,vlower@lambeth.gov.uk

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chair noted the Scrutiny sub-Committee memberships listed on page 871 and the draft terms of reference for the new sub-Committee on Adult Social Care and Health to recommend to Full Council on page 873.  She also thanked Simon Funnell for his time as a Scrutiny co-optee and wished him well in his new role.

     

    RESOLVED:

    1.         To appoint the members of the Scrutiny-Sub Committees as found at Appendix 1 of the report.

    2.         To note the draft Terms of Reference for the Adult Social Care and Health Scrutiny Sub-Committee at Appendix 2 of the report and recommend that Full Council approve it for publication in the Council’s Constitution.

    3.         To recommend to Full Council the appointment of up to three people as non-voting co-optees and at least four voting co-optees for education matters.

     

6.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 283 KB

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    Wards: All

     

    Report authorised by: Raymond Prince, Director of Legal and Governance

     

    Contact for enquiries: David Rose, Senior Democratic Services Officer, Legal and Governance; 020 7926 1037, drose@lambeth.gov.uk

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chair noted that there would be a work programming session to populate the upcoming Scrutiny meetings and offer suggestions for future Commissions; however, Members requested that the meeting of the 14 September 2022 include items on Street and Knife Crime and Road Safety.

     

    RESOLVED:

    1.         To note the work programme as drafted and the status of actions (Appendix 1).

    2.         To discuss and suggest items for future scrutiny for the 2022/23 municipal year.