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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 4, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD. View directions

Contact: Jonathan Moore  020 7527 3308

Items
No. Item

346.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Gary Doolan. Apologies for lateness were received from Councillor Mick O’Sullivan.

347.

Declaration of Substitute Members

Minutes:

None.

348.

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:

None.

349.

Chair's Report

Minutes:

None.

350.

Order of Business

Minutes:

No changes were proposed to the order of business.

351.

Public Questions

For members of the public to ask questions relating to any subject on the meeting agenda under Procedure Rule 70.5. Alternatively, the Chair may opt to accept questions from the public during the discussion on each agenda item.

 

Minutes:

The Chair set out the procedure for public questions and the filming of meetings.

352.

Scrutiny of Partners for Improvement in Islington pdf icon PDF 1024 KB

Representatives of Partners for Improvement in Islington will present to the Committee on Partners’ performance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a presentation from Tom Irvine, Interim Managing Director, John Venning, Asset Manager, and Doug Pope, Head of Housing, on the performance of Partners for Improvement in Islington.

 

The following main points were noted in the discussion:

 

·         Partners had carried out a survey of councillors to establish why member perceptions of Partners service differed from the organisation’s performance indicators. 11 responses had been provided which highlighted common themes and Partners had planned a number of actions as a result.

·         Members had identified communication issues related to complex repairs. Partners acknowledged that the organisation could do better in this regard and would be reviewing its protocol.

·         Members had identified performance issues with cyclical maintenance and decoration. Partners was to monitor this closely and continue to hold consultation and information events with residents about cyclical works.

·         Members had suggested that Partners management did not engage with residents. The Interim Managing Director advised that he would personally telephone a sample of residents every month to hear their views directly.

·         Members had commented that some Partners staff did not have an appropriate attitude when working with residents. It was advised that Partners would produce a briefing for all councillors on their staff performance management processes.

·         Members had commented that Partners had inadequate complaints handling processes. In response, Partners had introduced a regular quality audit exercise. Management was also regularly reviewing a proportion of complaints to ensure that any learning was being embedded.

·         Members had commented that Partners did not sufficiently meet the needs of vulnerable residents. As a result Partners had been invited to monthly Housing and Adult Social Services management team meetings to promote greater strategic join-up. 

·         Members highlighted that Partners did not appropriately address anti-social behaviour issues. In response, all ASB officers were undertaking training, and members were invited to raise any ASB issues directly with those officers.

·         Members considered that there was not sufficient officer support for responding to member enquiries. Work was underway to address this by providing support to the Communications and Complaints Manager.

·         Members had expressed dissatisfaction with Partners’ approach to communication with councillors. In response, Partners had sought to adopt a new approach characterised by humility. The organisation would avoid presenting strong performance results, and would instead focus on the challenges the organisation faced.

·         The Head of Housing demonstrated the complexity of cases considered by Partners by providing a case study of a vulnerable resident who was causing noise nuisance and anti-social behaviour. Partners explained how they worked with the Council, the Police, and made referrals to mental health and substance misuse support services. Members expressed dissatisfaction with the case study; commenting that they received similar casework on a regular basis, that the response of Partners was an expected level of service, and not exceptional.

·         A member expressed concern that Partners seemed to characterise certain vulnerable people as ‘perpetrators’ of anti-social behaviour. Partners officers apologised for their choice of words.

·         The Committee considered a briefing note written by a Partners tenant on the organisation’s resident  ...  view the full minutes text for item 352.