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Contract Services Committee

MINUTE of MEETING of the CONTRACT SERVICES COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Tuesday 18 January 2000 at 4.00 pm.

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

Apology: An apology for absence was intimated on behalf of Provost Mrs FRANCES E DUNCAN OBE

Councillor CROWE, Convener, in the Chair.

1. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 16 November 1999 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

2. QUALITY ACCREDITATION

With reference to Article 3 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 20 January 1998, there was submitted Report No 41/00 by the Contract Services Manager informing the Committee of progress made to date in attaining "QUEST" Registration, the UK Quality Scheme for Sports and Leisure, within Leisure Management.

The Report indicated that five centres had successfully gained registration in 1998 with the remaining four programmed to be externally assessed in February 2000. An Internal Assessor Course had been held in October 1999 when twenty staff had successfully gained the "QUEST" Internal Assessor Certificate and all staff trained would be involved in the Quality Audit Programme which had been set up for all the Council's Leisure Facilities.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report and extended congratulations to the staff concerned on their success.

3. STOLEN GROUND MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 16 November 1999, there was submitted Report No 42/00 by the Contract Services Manager informing the Committee of further thefts of ground maintenance equipment and advising on other actions being taken to protect the Council's interest.

The total estimated cost of the latest equipment stolen was £10,870, plus repair costs to damaged doors and locks and, to date, the equipment had not been traced or recovered. Insurance costs to cover Contact Services equipment was still being investigated. Advice on additional crime prevention measures was once again being sought from Tayside Police and all yards would be included in the survey with the Crime Prevention Officer.

As some of this equipment would not be required until after March 2000, with the remainder to be used as and when required, the cost of hiring necessary equipment until the end of the current financial year had been calculated to be less than the cost of replacement and purchase of new machinery would therefore be delayed until next financial year.

In addition, the Contract Services Manager reported that oil to the value of £1,850 had been stolen from the Cairnie Loan Yard, Arbroath on 24 December 1999.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report and the recent theft in Arbroath.

4. SICKNESS ABSENCE

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 5 October 1999, there was submitted Report No 43/00 by the Contract Services Manager detailing sickness absence within Contract Services for the period July to September 1999, compared with the same period in 1998.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

5. LEISURE FACILITIES' USER FIGURES APRIL-SEPTEMBER 1999

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 1 June 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 44/00 by the Director of Recreation Services and the Contract Services Manager informing the Committee of the current usage levels within the various leisure facilities operated by Contract Services during the period April to September 1999, together with comparative figures for the previous year. Some concern was expressed at the decline in use of Brechin High School swimming pool and the possibility that this might be linked to the water temperature in this facility.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed to note the terms of the Report and that the water temperature in the Brechin High School pool continue to be monitored to ensure that it complied with the level recommended by the Scottish Sports Council.

6. EXTENDED OPENING OF LOCHSIDE CARAVAN PARK

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 21 January 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 45/00 by the Contract Services Manager and the Director of Recreation Services informing the Committee on the outcome of the extended opening of Lochside Caravan Park which had been undertaken on a trial basis.

The trial had proved to be successful in bringing additional tourists to the area during the off-peak season with consequential benefit to the local economy. The income to date had been more than sufficient to meet all foreseen additional expenditure and no significant damage had been incurred on any of the pitches.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report;
  2. to instruct the Contract Services Manager to submit a further fully costed report on future proposals for the Caravan Park;
  3. to extend thanks and appreciation for all the work undertaken by the Park Wardens, Mr and Mrs Mathers, whose efforts, much on a voluntary basis, had made such a large contribution to the success of the extended opening trial period; and
  4. to instruct the Contract Services Manager to consider some way of recognising the work carried out by Mr and Mrs Mathers such as nomination for an Angus Achievers award.

7. LOO OF THE YEAR AWARD

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of meeting of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Committee of 11 January 2000, the Committee noted the Council's success in achieving the undernoted awards in the National "Loo of the Year" Awards sponsored by the Tourist Boards of England, Wales and Scotland. In the municipal category, Angus had received the following:-

Buttermarket, Forfar Area Award
Church Street, Brechin Area Award
Reform Street, Kirriemuir Area Award
Town House, Montrose Area Award
Market Place, Arbroath Commended

The Committee noted that the Council had maintained its position as an authority providing consistently high standards of public toilets and extended thanks and congratulations to the staff involved in achieving this recognition.

8. JOINT BEST VALUE REVIEW OF PARK SERVICES AND LEISURE MANAGEMENT REVISION TO PROGRAMME

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 16 November 1999, the Committee noted that the Council was now in receipt of the extensive documentation and comparator data required with regard to joining the ADLO Performance Network in order to benchmark with similar authorities.

The data for Angus was needed by February 2000 and the information would require to be collated by the same personnel undertaking the two Service Reviews currently in progress. The information would be an important element of the reviews and subsequent Action Plans and, in order to provide this information within the timescale, it would be necessary to amend the completion of the two reviews from January to March, 2000.

The Committee agreed to note the position.

9. EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS

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

10. SERVICE PERFORMANCE 1999/2000

With reference to Article 12 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 5 October 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 46/00 by the Contract Services Manager and the Director of Finance informing the Committee of the current and foreseeable workload within Contract Services and updating members on the financial performance to 30 September 1999.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report; and
  2. to approve the action being taken in order to maximise the financial return to the Council.
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