Angus CouncilTel: 03452 777 778

ANGUS COUNCIL

MINUTE of MEETING of the CONTRACT SERVICES COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Tuesday 5 October 1999 at 4.00 pm.

Present: Councillors BILL CROWE, FRANK ELLIS, GEORGE NORRIE, JOY MOWATT and BILL ROBERTON.

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Provost Mrs FRANCES E DUNCAN and Councillor RICHARD SPIERS.

Councillor CROWE, Convener, in the Chair.

1. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 17 August 1999 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

2. ADLO PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

There was submitted Report No 991/99 by the Contract Services Manager advising of the results of a benchmarking exercise undertaken by Scottish ADLO on Leisure Management. A Sports and Leisure Management Group had been established in May 1998 under the Chairmanship of the Contract Services Manager and had met fourteen times during a twelve month period with regular representation from ten local authorities.

The Report indicated that the results of the benchmarking exercise had concluded:-

(i) that Angus had the third highest annual usage of those participating;

(ii) that Angus had the lowest gross cost per user of those participating; and

(iii) that Angus had the second lowest net cost per user of those participating.

The Committee agreed to note and welcome the contents of the Report, and express thanks to the Contract Services Manager for all the additional work undertaken by him in chairing the Sports and Leisure Management Group.

3. OVERTIME INCURRED FOR FINANCIAL YEAR 1998/99

There was submitted Report No 986/99 by the Contract Services Manager which detailed the levels of overtime incurred by Contract Services during financial year 1998/99 compared with 1997/98.

Overall there had been a 13.22% increase. Sickness cover had been a contributory factor to the levels of overtime and would be monitored and controlled by the continued application of the Council's sickness and absence policy. In addition, consultations would continue with client departments with a view to better programming of work instructions, particularly in the last two months of the financial year.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

4. SICKNESS ABSENCE

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 17 November 1998, there was submitted Report No 987/99 by the Contract Services Manager which detailed sickness absence within Contract Services for the period April to June 1999, compared with the same period in 1998, and sought guidance as to the frequency with which the Committee wished to be updated on this matter.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) that the information on sickness absence levels for the period April to June 1999 be noted; and

(ii) that reports on this matter be submitted to the Committee at three monthly intervals.

5. EMPLOYEE TURNOVER

There was submitted Report No 988/99 by the Contract Services Manager advising of the turnover in staff within Contract Services during financial year 1998/99, compared with 1997/98.

The Report highlighted that the present recording method was not wholly satisfactory as staff transfers and seasonal employees who left after being on short term contracts were recorded as "departures". However, investigations were being carried out with a view to refining the recording system.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

6. KEPTIE POND OUTDOOR RECREATIONS - BOATING

There was submitted Report No 990/99 by the Contract Services Manager advising of the requirement to update the welfare facilities and other equipment at Keptie Pond, Arbroath which was now closed for the current year.

The Safety Section of the Personnel Department had identified that staff on-site welfare facilities did not fully comply with current Health and Safety legislation nor did the operational practices traditionally used comply with the ROSPA Safety at Inland Water Sites, Operational Guidelines. Changes to these would require to be made before the facility re-opened next year and discussions would take place with all interested parties with possible solutions reported to this Committee after various options had been fully investigated.

Arising therefrom, the Convener referred to recent press reports on this issue, which in his view had been misleading, and stressed that the improvement to the facilities at Keptie Pond had been proposed by the Council in order to fully comply with current Health and Safety legislation.

The Committee agreed to note the position.

7. DUNDEE ENERGY RECYCLING LTD (DERL)

There was submitted Report No 992/99 by the Contract Services Manager advising of changes in disposal operations in relation to between 30,000-38,000 tons of Angus household waste which would involve redirection from the Council's landfill site at Lochhead/Restenneth to the Waste to Energy Plant operated by DERL in Dundee.

Some delay had occurred due to the complexity of the project, but DERL had confirmed that their recycling service would commence within the next month or so and staff within Contract Services would ensure that changes would be implemented with the minimum disruption.

In response to a question by Councillor Ellis, it was confirmed that vehicles conveying the waste would travel by main roads and would not pass through villages.

The Committee agreed to note the position.

8. DIESEL FUEL IMPROVER TEST

With reference to Article 8 of the minute of meeting of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Committee of 28 September 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 940/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection and the Contract Services Manager proposing that a twelve month controlled test of Diesel Guard Extra fuel additive be undertaken, having regard to the continued need to develop systems to minimise energy consumption and improve local air quality.

The Committee, having noted that the trial was expected to be self-financing with the cost of the additive to be recharged against the appropriate fuel purchase accounts, welcomed the initiative and agreed that a controlled twelve month test of Diesel Guard extra fuel additive by Chemsearch be conducted, based on a proportion of the diesel fuelled fleet, in order to assess improved energy consumption and reduced exhaust emissions.

9. KERBSIDE WASTE PAPER COLLECTION

With reference to Article 9 of the minute of meeting of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Committee of 28 September 1999, there was submitted Report No 941/99 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising of arrangements for the introduction of a fortnightly household waste paper collection scheme and indicating that part of the new arrangements would focus on Mondays becoming the day for collection of other recyclable materials including compost and certain glass recovery which would also operate on a two week collection cycle.

The Committee, having noted the projected savings of £76,000 in a full financial year as a result of this new scheme, approved for its interest:-

(i) the operational methods for implementing the new collection system, the collection days and frequency; and

(ii) the arrangements for publishing and notifying the public of the introduction of this scheme.

10. EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS

The Committee resolved, in terms of Standing Order 27 (2), that the public and press be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items so as to avoid the disclosure of information which was exempt in terms of Part 1 of Schedule 7A of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, paragraphs 6, 8 and 9.

11. HAND AND ARM VIBRATION SYNDROME

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 18 August 1998, there was submitted Report No 989/99 by the Contract Services Manager advising of progress made to date in assessing and minimising the risk of hand and arm vibration syndrome to Contract Services and Recreation Services staff and proposing a further course of action.

Training in vibration and noise carried out by the Safety Section of the Personnel Department had taken place and a pilot scheme of Audiometry/Hand and Arm Vibration Syndrome Health Assessment had been undertaken within Contract Services and Recreation Services. Four quotations had been sought for the assessment work which had resulted in Sunderland Council Occupational Health Service being asked to carry out a pilot scheme, the final cost of which was £2,950.25 and which would be joint-funded by the Personnel Department, the Risk Management Section of Finance and Contract Services. The pilot had proved to be successful with a total of 101 staff having been assessed. 80 had displayed no features of HAVS and, of the 21 staff that did display symptoms, none required any restriction to be placed on them.

The Committee noted the position and agreed that Sunderland City Occupational Health Services be appointed to undertake appropriate Audiometry/HAVS Health Assessment during the coming year, at a total estimated cost of £2,330, the implications of which would be discussed in the forthcoming budget exercise.

12. BUSINESS PERFORMANCE 1998/99 AND 1999/2000

There was submitted Joint Report No 993/99 by the Contract Services Manager and the Director of Finance detailing the audited financial performance by Contract Services in the financial year 1998/99 and giving an indication of the current year's performance against targets, as at 31 July 1999.

The Committee noted the position and agreed that future reports on financial performance be submitted on a quarterly basis.