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Agenda item

Amey Annual Partnership Report

Minutes:

The report was introduced by the Cabinet Member for Street Scene, Waste Management and Communications and provided the Committee with an update on the performance of the Amey Partnership for 2013/2014.  The Cabinet Member highlighted that there were new Key Performance Indicators in place and thanked Councillor Thulbourn and Councillor Judy Fox for their contribution in helping to set the new KPI’s which were better suited and much more fit for purpose and entirely driven around customer satisfaction.  Members were advised that PCC and Amey had a very good working relationship and Amey has saved the council money continuously since the beginning of the Partnership.

 

Questions and observations were made around the following areas:

 

·         Members stated that Amey had an exceptional receptionist who dealt with Members enquiries which reflected extremely well on the organisation.

·         Members stated that some areas of grass which had not been cut due to biodiversity presented a road safety risk as sometimes oncoming traffic could not be seen properly. The Amey Partnership Director stated that staff were instructed specifically what areas to cut and what areas to leave around the biodiversity sites.  Members were advised that these areas would need to be revisited if they were hazardous and requested that Members advise him of which areas they were.

·         Members stated that the communication on biodiversity and grass cutting to members of the public had not been good. The Head of Strategic Commissioning/Transformation agreed that the communication could have been handled better and that this would be looked at in future.

·         Members asked if there were other councillors on the review working group for the green open spaces implementation plan. The Amey Partnership Director stated that Councillor North was the only councillor on the working group.

·         Members referred to page 161, paragraph 5.7, Green Open Space Implementation Plan.  Who are on the review group mentioned?  Members were informed that the group comprised of Councillor North, officers from across the authority and officers from Amey.

·         Member’s referred to page 159 and the removal of flower beds. Why were the flower beds being removed? It used to be possible for local businesses to sponsor them. The Head of Strategic Commissioning/Transformation stated that sponsorship paid for visibility of organisations on the roundabout but they were also expected to provide maintenance costs for flowerbeds but this needed to be looked at again. The Amey Partnership Director added that there would be wildflowers planted in the area where flowerbeds had previously been. 

·         Members stated that there had been many complaints regarding grass cutting and overgrown bushes. There had been a complaint from a resident which was quite damning of Amey’s performance as there had been an attempted abduction committed by someone hiding in some overgrown bushes and that Amey had not responded to complaints about the bush.   The Head of Strategic Commissioning/Transformation stated he was unaware of the attempted abduction and would look into the issue of the bushes and get back to members personally.

·         Members asked what the difference was in recycle rates, food waste uptakes and landfill rates from last year to the current year. The Head of Strategic Commissioning/Transformation stated there had been an increase in recycling of approximately 1.5%. There was more which could be done going forward and there was a need to stimulate recycling. There had been an uplift since the beginning of the year in the rates of black bin tonnage which had been replicated regionally.  It was felt that this was partly due to the economy and population growth.  

·         Members asked how the key performance indicators would be managed and enforced. Members also wanted to know who was responsible for maintaining which areas of the city e.g. Cross Keys, Highways or the council.  The Head of Strategic Commissioning/Transformation responded that Amey worked in Partnership with the council and relied on them to self-audit and conduct quality auditing the records of which were transparent to the council.  There was also spot inspections in place.  The mapping system called In cab linked across to the contact centre which provided a lot of visibility and was a good working model.  Further work would be done to build more intelligence in to the mapping system with regard to other organisations. The Amey Partnership Director added that performance was managed in a number of ways such as targets for responses to members of the public.   Individual inspections were also undertaken e.g. grass cutting inspections. The Head of Strategic Commissioning/Transformation responded that there could be significant financial penalties if there was consistent failure. Having a self-regulating approach did not mean that there was no monitoring.

·         Members asked if the mapping system could be made available to councillors. The Head of Strategic Commissioning/Transformation responded that he would go away and look at how the mapping system could be shared with councillors but in principle this could be made available to councillors.

·         Members asked if Amey had received any penalties yet for failing to meet any of their KPIs. The Head of Strategic Commissioning/Transformation stated that the KPI’s were still being trialled. No financial penalties had been implemented yet but this would happen in future.

·         Members asked if there had been any financial penalties imposed under the previous KPIs. The Head of Strategic Commissioning/Transformation stated that there had been penalties imposed for recycling and transport.

·         Members asked how many people had signed up to the brown bin service and how this related to projections. The Head of Strategic Commissioning/Transformation responded that around 32% of households had signed up to the brown bin collection service.

·         Members asked if there was any revenue to the council for composting waste. The Head of Strategic Commissioning/Transformation stated that the revenue from composting waste offset the cost of landfill.

·         Members asked if there was a clerk of works in place to follow-up on the performance of contractors. The Amey Partnership Director said that there was staff in place to monitor the contractors.

·         Members asked if issues relating to maggots in bins had been reduced since the introduction of food waste bins. The Head of Strategic Commissioning/Transformation stated that there had been a big reduction in complaints but that he did not have the exact figures to hand.

 

ACTION AGREED                   

 

The Committee noted the report and requested that the Head of Strategic Commissioning/Transformation investigate how the Icab mapping system could be made available to councillors.

 

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