Agenda and minutes

Venue: Boardroom - Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0FJ. View directions

Contact: Lisa Weaver, Democratic Services Officer  020 8937 1358, Email: lisa.weaver@brent.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of personal and prejudicial interests

Members are invited to declare at this stage of the meeting any relevant financial or other interest in the items on the agenda.

Minutes:

None declared.

2.

Deputations (if any)

Minutes:

None.

3.

Minutes of the last meeting held on 9 October 2013 pdf icon PDF 97 KB

The minutes are attached.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 9 October 2013 be approved as an accurate record of proceedings. 

4.

Matters arising

Minutes:

There were no matters arising.

5.

Complaints Annual Report - 2012/13 pdf icon PDF 481 KB

This report provides an overview of complaints received and investigated by the Council under the Corporate Complaints and statutory social care complaints procedures and by the Local Government Ombudsman.

Minutes:

Phillip Mears (Corporate Complaints Manager) informed the Committee that the Council had implemented a two stage complaints procedure in April 2012 with 95% of complaints being resolved at the first stage and no deterioration in regard to ombudsmen findings.  The Corporate Complaints Manager highlighted the continued trend reduction of complaints received and cited that this may be due to officers being able to address residents concerns prior to the complaint’s process being instigated.  It was felt that there could be potential for the number of complaints received to increase in future years due to increased pressures and demand for services.  Phillip Mears drew members attention to the breakdown of complaints received by each department and highlighted the reduction in complaints received by finance and corporate services, and revenues and benefits.  He continued to highlight the rise in neighbourhood services complaints and attributed this to a rise in Parking and parking enforcement related complaints which was consistent across London boroughs.  Phillip Mears highlighted the reasons why complaints were submitted with the most common reason for complaint being due to failure or delay in delivering a service.  It was noted that this was the first year of recording reasons for complaints and he hoped to be able to plot trend data in the future.

 

The Corporate Complaints Manager informed the Committee that there had been a significant increase in complaints being received through electronic methods, with 25%  being submitted on-line by the customer.  He noted that a significant number of complaints were partially or fully upheld upon investigation and felt that this was a healthy indication that  departments were prepared to recognise that mistakes had been made  and to learn from them.  The Committee were informed that 22% of requests for second stage investigations were refused because the customer had not given a sufficient basis for a further investigation being carried out..  He explained that investigating for the sake of it had ceased due to reduced resources which had not resulted in any decisions being overturned. 

 

During discussion it was confirmed that work was being undertaken with Children and Families and Adult Social Care to improve the response rates of complaints.  It was clarified that the Borough Plan had set a target of 100% of responses to be on time by December 2014..  Cathy Tyson (Operational Director Corporate Policy) highlighted that due to the complexity of some complaints it was not always possible to respond within the time limit and it was felt that the correct answer although over the time limit was more appropriate than sending an incorrect or vague response in a timely manner.  Members raised concern that some complaints did not receive an outcome for approximately a year, with many complaints lodged on resident’s behalf by Councillors not being addressed. 

 

In response to concerns that officer’s were not always contactable, Cathy Tyson informed the Committee that there were known telephony issues which prevented the hunt groups working effectively as well as signal issues.  She clarified that IT were currently  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Future of Customer Services pdf icon PDF 130 KB

This report provides Members with a summary of the key deliverables achieved as a result of the Future of Customer Services project.

Minutes:

This item was deferred to a future meeting of the One Council Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

7.

One Council Overview and Scrutiny work programme pdf icon PDF 56 KB

The work programme is attached.

Minutes:

The Chair drew members attention to the Public Realm item for the next meeting and queried whether members wished to discuss the new waste contract as part of the item.  During discussion members noted that performance of the new contract could not yet be measured and agreed that the specifics of the contract should form part of the item.  Christopher Young (Policy and Performance Officer) informed the Committee that the Adult Social Care Mutual project had been postponed and an update would therefore not be available.

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)            That the Future of Customer Services Update be deferred to March 2014

(ii)          That the Public Realm item include details of the new waste contract

8.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the One Council Overview and Scrutiny Committee is scheduled for 22 January 2014.

Minutes:

The next meeting of the One Council Overview and Scrutiny Committee has been scheduled to take place on 22 January 2014. 

9.

Any other urgent business

Notice of items raised under this heading must be given in writing to the Democratic Services Manager or his representative before the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 64.

Minutes:

None.