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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1, Marmion House, Lichfield Street, Tamworth, B79 7BZ. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 01827 709616 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor M Oates.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 127 KB


The Minutes of the previous Infrastructure, Safety and Growth Scrutiny Committee held on the 23rd October 2018 were approved and signed as a correct record.


(Moved by Councillor S Goodall and seconded by Councillor Dr S Peaple)



Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of Members’ interests (personal and/or personal and prejudicial) in any matters which are to be considered at this meeting.


When Members are declaring a personal interest or personal and prejudicial interest in respect of which they have dispensation, they should specify the nature of such interest.  Members should leave the room if they have a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of which they do not have a dispensation. 




There  were no Declarations of Interest



Update from Chair pdf icon PDF 45 KB

(To receive an update from the Chair)


Questions attached for reference.


There was no update from the Chair, other than items which would be covered under the Work Plan.


Responses to Reports of the Infrastructure Safety & Growth Committee

(Update on responses received to Reports of the Infrastructure Safety and Growth Committee)




Considerations of matters referred to the Infrastructure Safety and Growth Committee from Cabinet

(Discussion item)




Community Alarm Service Monitoring at Sheltered Housing Schemes

(Discussion item – Councillor M Cook)


The Portfolio Holder for Housing Services and Neighbourhoods introduced the Assistant Director – Neighbourhoods and Housing Options Manager who provided a presentation to the Committee on Sheltered Housing – 24 Hour Community Lifeline Services.


The Housing Options Manager provided an overview of the 24 hour Community Lifeline Service, which was a 24 hour/ 365 days of the year lifeline service available to all 365 sheltered households and which comprised a call handling services for:

·         Sheltered lifeline pull cords, pendants, smoke detectors, fire alarms and door entry system;

·         High rise lift activation alarm and smoke detectors in basement and storage areas;

·         Council staff lone working monitoring.


It was reported that this service had been out-sourced to Welbeing (Wealden and Eastbourne Lifeline) in 2011 and this service had been fully reviewed in 2015/2016 following a change to the Government funding of the service, which had led to the introduction of a self-financing model.  During 2018 a further review by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) had been launched as well as the Council undertaking a peer review of this service to assess its fitness for purpose.


The Assistant Director – Neighbourhoods reported that this service was due to be re-procured, and that the following proposals would be brought forward to Cabinet at its next meeting:

·         To authorise the re-procurement of the service, utilising the Northern Housing Consortium framework, with delegation of the final contract award to be given to the Executive Director – Communities and Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods and Communities;

·         To authorise the extension of the existing contract for continuity of service during the period of re-procurement;

·         To authorise the deferment of charges to service users whilst further review and consideration was undertaken;

·         To agree the Peer review Action Plan.


The Assistant Director – Neighbourhoods updated the Committee on the Peer Review undertaken by EROSH, the national consortium for older people’s housing and support services.  Their review highlighted that the current service had highly effective leadership, had strong satisfaction levels from users, delivered robust safeguarding, that value for money could be clearly evidenced, as well quality assurance, and that the service was people focussed and supported independent living.  In terms of opportunities for improvement, the areas identified included further detail in capital investment planning, the potential to expand the services, for example to high rise accommodation and delivering further benefits by increased digitisation of the service.


Following questions from Members of the Committee, the Housing Options Manager reported that the benefits of the triage process and assessment of calls had supported people to live independently; the Assistant Director – Neighbourhoods reported that the MHCLG review had impacted on the procurement process, as initially it was expected that the results of that review would have been available earlier; and also that the key threat to the service was in terms of funding.


The Committee requested further clarification on key performance indicators in terms of the average response time to calls, how any extension of the service could be achieved,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.


Fire Safety Update pdf icon PDF 57 KB

(Report of the Assistant Director, Assets)


The Assistant Director – Assets provided a Fire Safety update, which summarised the progress made against the action plan which had been considered by Cabinet in October 2017 together with the Council Tenants Fire Safety Policy 2017-2020.  In particular the Assistant Director – Assets provided an update on the approach to Fire Risk Assessments and the appointment of Graham Environmental Services as supplier of the Compliance contract and their work on Fire Risk Assessments.  Furthermore it was reported that work to install sprinklers had commenced in the demonstration flat, and that mobility scooter guidance and policy in respect of fire safety standards had been developed.


Councillor J Oates left the meeting.


The Assistant Director – Assets highlighted that the Government report, Building a Safer Future, whilst still a discussion document, looked to be sign-posting more stringent fire safety obligations, which could impact upon both landlords and tenants.  


The Assistant Director – Assets reported that the Council had developed a strong working relationship with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue who provided Home Fire Safety services to residencies in Tamworth.  Where necessary, tenants were directed to Staffordshire Fire and Rescue for fire safety advice.


The Committee discussed the issues raised by the charging and storage of mobility scooters in Council owned stock and also the importance of door closures as a fire safety measure, and whether there were any potential alternatives available.  The Assistant Director – Assets reported that work continued to ensure that the fire safety importance of door closures was communicated to residents. 


Councillor M Bailey left the meeting.


The Committee thanked the Assistant Director – Assets for the report and for attending the Committee.


Resolved that the report be endorsed and that a further update be provided to the Committee once there was clarity on the scope and impact of the legislative changes as a result of the Government’s Building a Safer Future report.


The Portfolio Holder for Housing Services and Neighbourhoods and the Assistant Director – Assets left the meeting.




2018/19 Forward Plan

(Discussion item – link to Forward Plan attached)



No items were identified from the Forward Plan for consideration by this Committee.


Infrastructure Safety and Growth Scrutiny Committee Work Plan pdf icon PDF 56 KB

(Update and discussion on Infrastructure Safety and Growth Scrutiny Committee Work Plan)


The Chair reported that he had recently received a response from Staffordshire County Council to the Committee’s questions on Tamworth Infrastructure and Roads, which he would circulate to Committee members.  It was agreed that the Committee should consider the responses from Staffordshire County Council at its next meeting on 29 January 2019. 


The Committee considered that the item on crime figures for Tamworth be added to the agenda for the meeting on 2 April, and an invitation should be extended to Staffordshire Police to attend that meeting.


The Committee considered the Work Plan and agreed to update the Work Plan as shown below. 


Infrastructure, Safety and Growth Scrutiny Work Plan

Work Plan 2018 - 2019



29 January

Castle update - interim

29 January

Tamworth Infrastructure & Roads - discussion


TBC – 2 April

Additional PSPOs

2 April

Crime Figures for Tamworth – to invite a rep of Staffordshire Police to attend


CCTV Usage


Uber – Licensing


People Helping People ( Community Safety)


Street Cleansing (Partnering)


Anti-Social Behaviour Policy


Review Local & County Plans

September 2019

Castle –12 month review

When clarity on new legislation

Fire Safety update

TBC 2019

Electric Vehicle Charging


Upcoming Infrastructure, Safety and Growth Scrutiny Committee Meetings

Tuesday 29th January 2019

Tuesday 2nd April 2019