Agenda item

Corporate Performance Report: Q1 2020-21

Minutes:

The Committee was presented with an update against the Performance Management Framework, as introduced within the Council’s Corporate Plan, for Quarter One 2020-21 (April to June 2020).

 

At the Chairs request, the Assistant Director (Communities) went through the report section by section:

 

People

 

1.    Create stronger neighbourhoods:

2.    2. Actively enforce environmental standards:

 

The Assistant Director (Communities) gave the Committee a brief summary of the performance that related to the two Policy Commitments within Objective Number One: People.

 

The Chair advised that he met with Chief Inspector Neil Loudon and Inspector Craig West from Kent Police and they assured him that a large swathe of the reported anti-social behaviour cases were linked to Covid-19. As such, the Chair was assured that the statistics would be regrouped to show the genuine ASB cases and the ASB cases that were a direct result of Covid-19.

 

Concern was raised by a Member as many Councillors had received complaints from their constituents regarding the rising use of E-Scooters and mopeds which caused a hazard to the public as they were being used irresponsibly on pavements, the road and in the local parks. It was suggested that the Council and Kent Police worked together to form a strategy to deal with preventing access to places such as parks in order to stop any accidents from occurring.

 

The Assistant Director (Communities) agreed that the Council had seen a rise in the use of E-Scooters but the legislation was not up to date; it was actually illegal to use the E-Scooters on the highway unless they were hired from a registered company. The Chair stated that it was the responsibility of Kent Police to provide enforcement and the Assistant Director (Communities) agreed to liaise with Kent Police on the issue.

 

Following further questions, the Assistant Director (Communities) explained the following:

 

·         With regard to the enforcement figure of zero for quarter one, at the start of lockdown litter enforcement was not deemed essential and the Safer Place Officers  were redeployed to carry out welfare checks and deliver food boxes to vulnerable people. Fly-tipping was not ignored in the Borough. Since the lockdown measures had eased,  the Safer Place Officers had returned to their normal duties issuing fines where appropriate and following up on reported cases. The new Enforcement Manager took up his post today and he will be responsible for the enforcement team, enforcement within the Borough and the handling of investigations into cases

·         The Community Safety Unit (CSU) had been restructured; the ASB Housing Officers had been relocated to the CSU and had been working closely with the Strategic Manager and the Community Safety Operations Manager on issues on Council estates. They had also been working closely with the Housing department to resolve ASB issues swiftly with effective use of the powers that the Council had available to them. During the process of dealing with ASB cases, the victims were given reassurance and engaged with. 

·         The ASB Housing Officers had been working on a number of cases and currently did not require any additional resources for the team; a significant amount of work had been undertaken in line with the Assistant Director (Housing) to build on improvements in the service. If the team received an influx of cases then the Community Safety Operations Manager would discuss with the Portfolio Holder what needed to be done

·         The increase in figures in ASB on page 16 reflected an increase in incidents whereby residents not following Government guidance in relation to Covid-19 were being reported to the Police

 

Cllr Meade was pleased with the effective litter campaign posted around Town and was hopeful that it would make people think before littering again; he asked that thanks be recorded to the Safer Place Officers for their hard work during lockdown supporting the vulnerable residents of Gravesham.

 

The Chair agreed with the recording of thanks and assured the Committee that the new Enforcement Manager would be invited to attend a Committee meeting in the future.

 

Place

 

1.    Design a quality and affordable leisure offer

 

The Assistant Director (Communities) gave the Committee a brief summary of the performance that related to Policy Commitment One within Objective Number Two: People.

 

Members of the Committee praised GCLL for the professional and safe manner in which the gyms had been reopened; it was noted that the reopening of the gyms may have helped boost mental wellbeing for users. 

 

The Committee raised concern over the future of GCLL and if it’s position would impact the Councils finances in any way.

 

The Chair advised that there was a constant dialogue open between GCLL and GBC and Rob Swain had held discussions with senior management at several Management Team meetings. The Council wanted to ensure that there was a quality and affordable leisure offer in the Borough and the GCLL were part of that desire; it was hoped that the Government would release some additional funding in the future to support the leisure industry.

 

2.    Manage a programme of proactive healthy living interventions

 

The Assistant Director (Communities) gave the Committee a brief summary of the performance that related to Policy Commitment Two within Objective Number Two: People.

 

The Chair thanked the Gr@nd for their continued support over the course of the lockdown.

 

3.    Develop a cohesive and resilient community

 

The Assistant Director (Communities) advised that any questions for the third policy commitment would be picked up in one of the reports.

 

4.    Enhance the Borough’s cultural offer

 

Cllr Elliott raised an issue with inclusivity at recent events as he felt that the public hadn’t had presentation at various events. As an example, Cllr Elliott reported that the Battle of Britain commemoration event held at Cascades today was not attended by himself or Cllr Ashenden as they had not been informed of the event by officers even though it was being held in their own ward, which was unacceptable.

The Chair noted the frustrations of Councillors finding out about events through social media rather than through the Council, but he advised that the event held earlier today was arranged at short notice by the Civic Chaplain and it was meant to be a simpler event, given Covid-19 restrictions on attendance. . Such commemorations, including higher profile ones, had been cancelled nationally..

 

Members of the Committee echoed Cllr Elliot’s point about being informed of events in their wards so that Councillors could attend and represent their constituents.

 

Concern was raised by a Member that a number of faith groups and organisations that had carried out great work during the lockdown supporting residents had not received recognition from their efforts. In particular the work of the Sikh and Muslim groups was very well received and their efforts helped Gravesham residents from going without food over lockdown however there was no mention of that concerted effort in the recent ‘Your Borough’ magazine. 

 

The Chair advised that the Community Involvement Officer was instrumental in the Community/Pandemic Hero Awards which were handed out last week; there were some fantastic nominations for the awards from all across the Community which resulted in a large range of diversity. The awards showcased the best that Gravesham had to offer to the Community over the lockdown and a significant portion of it was dedicated to the faith groups that supported Gravesham.

 

The Service Manager (Customer & Theatre Services) added that there were a huge number of organisations that provided support during the pandemic and as part of the strategic review of community groups, the Council wanted to pull together a better picture of the support being delivered across the Borough . The report the Committee will receive tonight was only the beginning of the work and the Council had to ensure that all organisations were being engaged with. The Council had never dealt with a pandemic before so it was a learning experience which would be fed back into the review; the next report on the agenda will explain the matter further for Members.

 

Cllr Rana advised that the Sikh Community were very proud of the work they did to support the most vulnerable in Gravesham and thanked the Community Involvement Officer for the award they received last week. The whole community came together, and it should be emphasised in the next edition of the ‘Your Borough’ magazine all of the fantastic work that faith groups carried out in a short period of time.

 

5.    Promote Gravesham’s arts and heritage

 

The Assistant Director (Communities) gave the Committee a brief summary of the performance that related to Policy Commitment Five within Objective Number Two: People.

 

The Assistant Director (Communities) added that the report did not reflect that fact that the planned Dickens 150th anniversary celebrations had to be postponed. However the Mayor was able to attend Gads Hill, working in conjunction with the school and he laid Charles Dickens favourite flowers there on the day. An extract from a play called ‘Dickens Dream’, commissioned by the Council, also went live on social media on the day.

 

The Committee was advised by a Member for Higham Ward that Higham Parish Council were looking to hold further commemorations next year.

 

Following a suggestion by a Member of the Committee that art be used to record all of the community spirit and hard work seen during the lockdown , the Chair advised that some lockdown art had already been created and was going to be exhibited this Saturday. The Chair added that the Council would be discussing the pandemic for many years to come and creative art would play a big role in memorialising all of the actions during lockdown.

 

The Committee noted the information contained within the report.

 

Supporting documents: