Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room (B6) - Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton, London, SW2 1RW. View directions

Contact: Gary O'Key, Tel: 020 7926 2183, Email: 

No. Item


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 131 KB

    To agree the minutes of the meetings held on 10 July and 31 July (Call In) as accurate records of the meetings.


    Additional documents:


    Cllr Liz Atkins, Chair, welcomed everyone to the meeting and all present introduced themselves.


    Apologies for absence were noted.


    A concern was raised regarding the date of the call in meeting held in July. The Chair noted this but stressed that such meetings had to be arranged at short notice and it was not always possible for everyone who wished to attend to do so.


    A member of the public raised an issue which was not on the agenda and would therefore not be able to be heard at this meeting; however the Chair agreed to meet him outside the meeting to discuss his concerns.


    RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meetings held on 10 July 2019 and 31 July 2019 (Call In) were agreed as accurate records of the meetings.



Declaration of Pecuniary Interests

    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.




    There were no declarations of pecuniary interest.



Design of Housing Services After 2020 pdf icon PDF 120 KB

    Contact for Information: Darren Levy, Director of Housing Services;


    Additional documents:


    The Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Paul Gadsby, introduced the item, making the following key points:


    • Over the past eight or nine years Housing Services had delivered a £450m improvement programme affecting 23,000 homes and positively impacting tens of thousands of people as well as carrying out around 60,000 annual repairs across 32,000 homes. This was in addition to day to day management. However, it was acknowledged that the housing operation was not perfect and there were lessons to be learned
    • The fact that the current contracts were coming to an end provided an opportunity to affect positive change in terms of efficiency and flexibility
    • The proposals were in the design phase and were not set in stone
    • There had been a great deal of consultation with residents which had already helped shape the proposals. Lambeth was going further, and consulting residents at an earlier stage in the process, than most other local authorities
    • Additional engagement had taken place following the call in meeting of 31 July 2019 and this had resulted in around 60 additional residents – two thirds of whom were tenants –  expressing an interest in becoming involved in the procurement process
    • The Council was proposing to set up a small Direct Labour Organisation (DLO) for communal repairs, following a recommendation from a resident task and finish group. It was also felt that grounds maintenance could benefit from an in house approach
    • Closer monitoring and increased transparency were key aspirations for the new contracts
    • There were proposals to link profits to key performance indicators (KPIs) and also introduce break clauses to enable the Council to take action if service levels were not up to standard
    • The Council planned to leverage social value, such as maximising local employment and securing investment in estates, via the new contractual arrangements
    • It was important that whatever was taken forward aligned with the Council’s aspirations around climate change and digital transformation


    In response to a query from a member of the public, Neil Euesden, Assistant Director, Housing Repairs and Maintenance, stated that the Section 20 notices recently received by leaseholders were deliberately broader than normal to allow maximum flexibility heading into the design phase.


    The Chair then invited members of the public who had registered to speak to address the committee, also noting the written submissions received. Antony Wyn, Katherine Skingsley, Richard Moore and Rashmi Kumar stated that:


    • Reducing repairs and maintenance to one contract for six years was at odds with the principles of greater flexibility and competition
    • When contracts were too large the number of bidders was limited to a very small number of companies, who in turn used multiple sub-contractors. Such arrangements enabled contractors to take advantage of the Council
    • Contract management needed to be robust and it was queried what the budget was for this
    • It was important to have appropriate integration of services and a single point of contact for residents
    • Greater transparency and accountability were needed
    • There were concerns that repairs had historically been done badly  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Contract Management: Waste and Street Cleansing pdf icon PDF 338 KB

    Contact for information: Cormac Stokes, Interim Head of Environmental Services; 020 7926 0528,

    Additional documents:


    (Second Despatch Agenda Pack, Item 5)


    The Chair introduced the item and first asked the one member of the public who had registered to speak on this issue to address the committee.


    Kerry Hill, local resident and leaseholder, made the following points:


    • There was no consultation with residents on estate cleansing before Echelon delivered its report to the council
    • It was queried how well the three stage verification function had worked with Veolia’s ECHO system
    • It was necessary to take action to increase recycling on estates and introduce food waste collections
    • It was queried what the rationale was for extending the scope of the new contracts to include estate cleansing
    • It was important that estate cleansing, as a small part of the overall contracts, was not neglected by the contractor


    Doug Perry, Assistant Director, Environmental, Community Safety and Regulatory Services, stated that:


    • The current Veolia contract was regarded as being well managed and high performing
    • The paper set out the current arrangements and proposed management of the new contract
    • There were five strategic outcomes: putting the customer at the centre of delivery; achieving value for money; ensuring that the contracts supported the Council’s environmental ambitions, including increasing recycling and facilitating the zero emissions aspiration; harnessing the use of new technologies; and partnership working (both between the provider and council and with residents and businesses)
    • The report set out the KPIs which would be used to measure how the contractor was performing as well as information on defaults
    • A competitive dialogue process was underway which should result in an affordable contract with appropriate scope




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


    MOVED by the Chair and


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


    The Chair invited comments and questions from Members, in response to which Cllr Claire Holland, Deputy Leader of the Council (Environment and Clean Air) and Doug Perry, Assistant Director, Environmental, Community Safety and Regulatory Services, stated that:


    ·         In terms of contract length, the waste industry tended to have long term (7-10 year) contracts. This was for a variety of reasons, including the cost of procurement and the fact that contracts tended to be based around the life expectancy of vehicles (noting that a great deal of investment in infrastructure was required)

    ·         The new contract would commence from April 2021 and six months of work had already been carried out scoping the specifications

    ·         Around £5-10m had been saved on the waste and street cleansing contract through the years of austerity while maintaining a good service. This demonstrated that contracts could evolve over time and value for money could be achieved without needing to re-procure

    ·         Depending on how it was felt the contract was performing, an extension of a year or more could be offered

    ·         A great deal of thought had gone into the decision to bring estate cleansing into scope. This would give rise to a more joined up, coordinated service as a single  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


2019-20 Overview & Scrutiny Work Programme pdf icon PDF 233 KB

    Contact for Information: Gary O’Key, Senior Democratic Services Officer; 020 7926 2183,

    Additional documents:


    (Main Agenda Pack, Item 4)


    A discussion took place regarding the focus of future meetings. The next meeting on 13 November 2019 would be the budget meeting and Members suggested funding for the voluntary and community sector and the effect on the budget of preparations for a No Deal Brexit as two areas for focus. It was also agreed that the draft Growth Strategy and the draft report of the Events Scrutiny Commission would come to the same meeting.


    Members further agreed that the meeting scheduled for 30 January 2020 would be the annual scrutiny of the Safer Lambeth Partnership, but that it would fall to the Children’s Services Scrutiny Sub-Committee to examine the progress being made in relation to the Tackling Violence Against Young People Strategy. This would in turn free up space on the Overview & Scrutiny Committee agenda to take the planned update on Homes for Lambeth as resolved at the meeting held on 6 June 2019.




    1.    That the Work Programme as drafted and the status of actions be noted (Appendix 1)

    2.    That the responses to the recommendations made by the committee at the Call In meeting held on 31 July 2019 be noted (Appendix 2)

    3.    That the agenda for the meeting to be held on 13 November 2019 be confirmed as:

    -       Budget

    -       Draft Growth Strategy

    -       Draft Report of the Events Scrutiny Commission

    4.    That the agenda for the meeting to be held on 30 January 2020 be provisionally confirmed as:

    -       Safer Lambeth Partnership Performance and Priorities (precise areas of focus to be determined)

    -       Homes for Lambeth Update