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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD. View directions

Contact: Jonathan Moore  020 7527 3308

Items
No. Item

150.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Una O’Halloran and Raphael Andrews.

151.

Declaration of Substitute Members

Minutes:

Councillor Gary Heather for Councillor Una O’Halloran.

152.

Declarations of Interests

If you have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest* in an item of business:

§  if it is not yet on the council’s register, you must declare both the existence and details of it at the start of the meeting or when it becomes apparent;

§  you may choose to declare a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest that is already in the register in the interests of openness and transparency. 

In both the above cases, you must leave the room without participating in discussion of the item.

 

If you have a personal interest in an item of business and you intend to speak or vote on the item you must declare both the existence and details of it at the start of the meeting or when it becomes apparent but you may participate in the discussion and vote on the item.

 

*(a)     Employment, etc - Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.

(b) Sponsorship - Any payment or other financial benefit in respect of your expenses in carrying out duties as a member, or of your election; including from a trade union.

(c) Contracts - Any current contract for goods, services or works, between you or your partner (or a body in which one of you has a beneficial interest) and the council.

(d)      Land - Any beneficial interest in land which is within the council’s area.

(e) Licences- Any licence to occupy land in the council’s area for a month or longer.

(f) Corporate tenancies - Any tenancy between the council and a body in which you or your partner have a beneficial interest.

 (g) Securities - Any beneficial interest in securities of a body which has a place of business or land in the council’s area, if the total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body or of any one class of its issued share capital. 

 

This applies to all members present at the meeting.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Mouna Hamitouche declared a personal interest in Items B1 and B3 as a leaseholder of an Islington Council property.

153.

Minutes of Previous meeting pdf icon PDF 175 KB

Minutes:

 

RESOLVED:
That the minutes of the meeting held on 26 January 2016 be confirmed as a correct record and the Chair be authorised to sign them.

154.

Chair's Report

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed the residents present to give evidence on responsive repairs. 

 

It was noted that Hyde housing association had been invited to present to the Committee under Item B2, RSL Scrutiny, however was unable to attend and would be invited to a future meeting.

 

The Chair advised of the intention to hold an additional meeting on Wednesday 23March to consider witness evidence as part of the Responsive Repairs scrutiny review.

 

The Committee noted the forthcoming public meeting on the Housing and Planning Bill, to be held Wednesday 8 March 2016. The meeting was primarily intended for council tenants to find out more about proposed changes to social housing. It was also noted that a protest march was due to be held Sunday 13 March at Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

155.

Order of Business

Minutes:

It was agreed that Item B2, RSL Scrutiny, be deferred to a future meeting.

156.

Public Questions

Minutes:

The Chair outlined the procedure for public questions and the filming and recording of meetings.

157.

Responsive Repairs: Witness Evidence pdf icon PDF 143 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received witness evidence from local residents, including members  of the Repairs Reference Group. 

 

The following main points were noted during the discussion:

 

·         The Repairs Reference Group met every two months and worked with the resident engagement team to provide feedback on council services. Residents considered that further work was required to improve the customer experience.

·         Whilst residents welcomed the introduction of the online repairs reporting service, it was suggested that this service could be improved. The interface required residents to click on pictures which represented different types of repair, however it was commented that these did not always accurately represent each repair and there was a concern that this could potentially lead to misdiagnosis. There was only a limited scope to provide supplementary written information through the online reporting system.

·         Residents considered that reporting repairs through an app would be a useful development.

·         Following a question on the quality of repairs, residents suggested that sometimes operatives could appear inexperienced and provide a “quick fix” as opposed to a comprehensive repair. It was emphasised that some operatives were very good; however experiences of the service were varied. 

·         Residents noted instances of misdiagnosis and consequential problems caused by the narrow specialisms of staff. Examples were provided of inaccurate information on operative PDAs and a metal worker sent to repair a wooden fence.

·         It was queried if the residents present had been invited to provide feedback following the completion of a repair to their home. Some residents reported that they had not been given an opportunity to provide feedback, whereas others had been contacted. Residents valued the opportunity to provide feedback, however suggested that this should be sought both immediately after the repair and at a later date to confirm if the repair had been successful.

·         Residents noted that problems with damp and condensation were common and a greater emphasis on fixing these issues would be welcomed.

·         A resident suggested that the quality of the service could be improved by employing a greater number of chartered surveyors to evaluate defects and repair works.

·         A resident reported that one repair to his property had been delayed as it was “lost” in the manual allocation system.

·         A resident provided an example of an operative arriving outside of the scheduled time period. A repair was scheduled for between 12-3pm and the operative did not arrive. The resident contacted the service at 4pm to enquire as to their whereabouts and was advised that the service was not able to remotely track operatives. The resident then advised that she would not be home between 5-7pm, however the operative arrived during this time. The Committee considered that such issues should not happen and could be avoided by improving communication between staff and residents. 

·         It was suggested that the customer journey could be improved by call centre staff being more empathetic to resident concerns. Residents reported that sometimes they felt that their concerns had not been listened to.

·         Examples were provided of operatives not displaying identification and arriving  ...  view the full minutes text for item 157.

158.

RSL Scrutiny

Minutes:

 

RESOLVED:
That the item be deferred to a future meeting.

159.

Capital Programming: Final Report pdf icon PDF 385 KB

Minutes:

 

RESOLVED:
That the final report be agreed and submitted to the Executive.