Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Virtual meeting can be viewed at following link https://youtu.be/P_fivadahgE

Contact: Julie Mayer tel. no. 020 7332 1410  Email: julie.mayer@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Caroline Haines.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 1.

2.

Members' Declarations under the Code of Conduct in Respect of Items on the Agenda

Minutes:

There were no declarations

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 459 KB

To agree the minutes of the previous Committee meeting.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 3.

Minutes:

RESOLVED, that – approval of the minutes of the meeting held on 24th April be deferred, subject reviewing the discussion on COLPAI.  The Town Clerk agreed to draft a revised text for circulation to Members ahead of the next meeting of the Committee in June 2020.

 

Matters arising

The Chairman advised that the prospect of moving some meetings to the evening was still under consideration.  However, Members noted that the current practice of running virtual meetings required the presence of at least 2 Committee Clerks and an IT Officer, which would have further implications in respect of staff Terms and Conditions, should meetings move to the evening.

 

Members were reminded that they had been canvassed earlier in the year in respect of trialling a couple of Committees on a different day of the week (to Fridays).  Members also noted the provisional invitation sent for a meeting on Wednesday, 17th June 2020, as an alternative to 19th June 2020.

 

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

COVID- 19: Updates from the various service managers

Director of Community and Children’s Services to be heard.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 4.

Minutes:

The Director of Community and Children’s Services invited the Department’s Service Managers to provide updates on Homelessness, Adults and Children’s Services, Housing Services, Education, the Library Service and Public Health. 

 

Housing management

 

Staff numbers

 

·        Number of staff working remains high (no COVID-related absences at present), morale is good.

 

Cleaning and Caretaking Service

 

·        Still operating a reduced service (50%) focusing on critical tasks but, we are planning to phase in longer working hours and extra tasks from Tuesday 26 May, such as cleaning staircases and landings.

·        Gardening and grounds maintenance services are going to be reintroduced gradually across all sites from next week.

 

Estate Management/Customer Service

 

·        Operating a reduced service (80%), staff working from home;

·        No home visits;

·        Parking enforcement suspended until 30 May (except Avondale where it is back in force due to unauthorised parking by non-residents).

 

Housing Needs

 

·        Operating a reduced service (50%);

·        Biddings and viewings still suspended;

·        Change in official guidance means that we are planning to phase in some allocations and lettings tasks from 1 June, with appropriate safety measures (including viewings);

·        Looking at ways of doing tenancy sign-ups remotely (e.g. electronic signing of documents);

·        Urgent moves being facilitated – one DV victim has been moved to another estate despite lockdown.

 

Rents

 

·        Service running almost as normal, staff can take telephone payments via Teams;

·        Very big increase in the number of online payments;

·        Significant increase in arrears but, pending Universal Credit claims will reduce the arrears;

·        Monitoring arrears carefully and, contacting residents in arrears to offer support and advice.

 

Income Recovery

 

·        Operating a reduced service (80%);

·        Helping with increased Universal Credit claims (150+ applications since lockdown);

·        192 households been in contact to advise of the adverse impact of COVID-19 on income or, employment;

·        Extended suspended arrears action sheds, garages and parking until 31 May (unofficially).

 

Sheltered Housing

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

COVID-19: Testing and contact tracing pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.  

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 5.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Directors of Community and Children’s Services and Public Health in respect of Covid-19 testing and contact tracing.

 

Members noted that, since the production of this report, a number of local authorities had been invited to run a pilot, including the City and Hackney (as they have a single Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Public Health Team.  The Director of Public Health advised that this opportunity would help to shape the system and provide learning from the unique population mix across the City and Hackney.  Furthermore, as lockdown eased, the City would have a unique insight into commuter behaviours.   Members noted that the GLA was very supportive of the pilot.  The Ward Members for Portsoken advised the Committee of their strong community links and offered to help the Director of Public Health with communications. 

 

In response to a question about the upcoming target of 1st June 2020, the Director of Public Health (DPH) advised that the Department of Health and Social  Care (DHSC) managed test results but the Directors of Public Health could advocate for GPs to receive them. The Public Health Directors would obtain information from contact tracing updates and petition for as much detail as possible.   Furthermore, good working relationships existed between local Public Health Directors, Public Health England and its Sub Regions.  Members also noted that there would be more intense local involvement should there be an outbreak in a local care home, for example.  Plans for local training of contract tracers across London were also underway. 

 

Members noted that the City and Hackney Public Health Team have very effective health intelligence and more analytical capacity than other teams.  They were also working with the North East London STP (NHS) to understand patterns and clusters. 

 

In concluding, the Director explained

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Internet Access pdf icon PDF 181 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 6.

Minutes:

Members received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services in respect of the City of London Corporation’s targeted support to help some vulnerable or low-income households access the internet to support learning. The report set out an option for an expanded scheme, limited to the duration of the current pandemic restrictions, to targeted groups. It noted that a budget will need to be identified to deliver such a scheme and, as this would be from local risk, then further decisions would be required in respect of other projects and priorities. 

 

During the discussion and questions, the following points were noted:

 

?       Covid-19 had exacerbated digital exclusion as local Wi-Fi hot spots were limited following the closure of many public facilities.

 

?       An expansion of the scheme could possibly reach the out of City estates.  However, this report sought to address data poverty and, if expanded to equipment, there would not only be further budget implications but challenges if there were gaps in IT skills and knowledge by some recipients.

 

?       Schools had identified those children at risk; i.e. – those in or leaving care, on plans or with disabilities.  A number of schools had been providing laptops to Year 10, or printed lesson packs and teachers were in weekly contact with pupils.  Members noted that Prior Weston had loaned equipment to some pupils.

 

?       The Department for Education (DFE) had allocated laptops to schools and a delivery was expect on Tuesday, 26th May, after the Bank Holiday weekend. 

 

?       A local MP had appealed to larger companies who regularly turned over their IT equipment.

 

RESOLVED, That:

 

1.           An expanded offer be agreed for those meeting the criteria; i.e. –  low income households in receipt of benefits, and defined as:

 

?  clinically extremely vulnerable (“shielded”)

?  clinically vulnerable (advised by government to “self-isolate”)

 

2.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Questions on Matters Relating to the Work of the Committee

Minutes:

There were no questions.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Any Other Business that the Chairman Considers Urgent

Minutes:

There were no items.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Exclusion of the Public

MOTION - That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 9.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part I of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act as follows:-

 

Item No(s)                              Paragraph No(s)

11-13                                       2

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Non-Public Minutes

To agree the non-public minutes of the previous Committee meeting.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 10.

Minutes:

RESOLVED, that – the non-public minutes of the meeting held on 24th April 2020 be approved.

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Installation of Sprinklers in Social Housing Tower Blocks: Gateway 1-4: Issue Report

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 11.

Minutes:

Members considered and approved a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 

At 12.55pm Members agreed to suspend standing order to conclude the business on the agenda

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Questions on Matters Relating to the Work of the Committee

Minutes:

There was one question whilst the public were excluded.

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Any Other Business that the Chairman Considers Urgent and which the Committee Agree Should be Considered Whilst the Public are Excluded

Minutes:

There was one item of business considered and approved whilst the public were excluded in respect of Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Commercial Tenants and Covid 19 – Proposal for Additional Support

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Outstanding Actions pdf icon PDF 145 KB

Minutes:

15.

Report of Action Taken pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Report of the Town Clerk.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 15.

Minutes:

16.

Corporate Sponsorship Guidance on Food and Drink pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 16.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

17.

Primary and Secondary School Admissions of City of London Pupils 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 17.

Minutes:

18.

2020/21 Annual Capital Bids pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Minutes: