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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 15 August 2000 at 4.00 pm.

Present: Councillor BILL CROWE, Provost Mrs FRANCES E DUNCAN OBE, Councillors FRANK ELLIS, JOY MOWATT, GEORGE NORRIE MBE, and BILL ROBERTON.

Councillor CROWE, Convener, in the Chair.

1. 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 Item 2 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 1.

2. GROUND MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT AND WORKSHOP

With reference to Article 7 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 29 February 2000, there was submitted Report No 854/00 by the Contract Services Manager informing the Committee of a potential budget overspend on Ground Maintenance machinery repair and replacement and of the steps being taken to control the potential overspend.

The Report advised that careful budgetary and management control would continue to be exercised to ensure that every effort was made to achieve the targeted surplus.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

3. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 30 May 2000 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

4. SERVQUAL

With reference to Article 3 of the minute of meeting of the Committee of 16 November 1999, there was submitted Report No 855/00 by the Contract Services Manager informing the Committee of the outcome of the follow up customer survey using the Servqual Model, carried out within Contract Services Leisure Management section and seeking approval to continue the process in future years.

The Report concluded that the survey had shown that, overall, customers were happy with the service being provided. However, it was clear that the difficult financial situation that had faced the Council over the last few years was having an impact on service provision. Although the Council had recognised this and allocated additional funds for the replacement of equipment, further work required to be undertaken if the Council was to retain its customer base. This issue was now also being brought to a head with the opening of three private leisure facilities in the area, thus giving the customers a choice in service delivery.

The continuation of the survey for future years would allow the Contract Services Manager to monitor the customers' perceptions of the service being delivered and the effect that initiatives such as Quest had on service delivery.

The Committee agreed:

  1. to note the results of the customer survey carried out in January/February 1999 and January/February 2000; and
  2. to approve the Contract Services Manager's recommendation to accept the offer by the University of Stirling Faculty of Management to continue the Servqual Model in conjunction with Contract Services for future years.

5. ANNUAL HEALTH AND SAFETY REPORT

There was submitted Report No 856/00 by the Contract Services Manager advising the Committee of significant health and safety issues relating to the Contract Services Department which had occurred during the year 1999/2000 and setting out a Health and Safety Action Plan for the coming year.

The Report advised that safe working practices had greatly improved throughout the year through consultation with staff.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

6. ACADEMIC TRAINING

There was submitted Report No 857/00 by the Contract Services Manager advising the Committee of the overall level of support given by Contract Services to staff seeking academic qualifications in the financial year 1999/2000. The Report indicated that 9 employees had been supported by the service in respect of various qualifications.

The Committee agreed to note the terms of the Report.

7. SICKNESS ABSENCE ­ APRIL TO JUNE 2000

With reference to Article 8 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 30 May 2000, there was submitted Report No 858/00 by the Contract Services Manager which detailed sickness absence within Contract Services for the period April to June 2000, compared with the same period in 1999.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

8. OVERTIME INCURRED FOR FINANCIAL YEAR 1999/2000

With reference to Article 3 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 5 October 1999, there was submitted Report No 859/00 by the Contract Services Manager which detailed the levels of overtime incurred by Contract Services for the financial year 1999/2000, compared with 1998/1999.

The Report concluded that although, at first glance, the overtime level appeared high, it should be considered in comparison with the overall turnover of £10.5m and a workforce of approximately 550. As Contract Services was a labour intensive activity, it was considered that the overtime spend was at an acceptable level.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

9. FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE 1999/2000

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 18 April 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 860/00 by the Contract Services Manager and the Director of Finance informing the Committee of the unaudited financial performance by Contract Services in the financial year 1999/2000.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report and commended the staff on achieving the results referred to within it.

The following matter was, on the determination of the Convener, dealt with as a matter of urgency, in order that consideration could be given to the matter, prior to the Council meeting of 14 September 2000.

* 11. FUEL TAX

With reference to Article 4(a) of the minute of meeting of Angus Council of 16 December 1999, Councillor Crowe, seconded by Councillor Mowatt, moved "that the Committee recommend to the Council at its meeting on 14 September 2000 that the Council agree to support the Road Haulage Association in their campaign and arrange for their posters to be displayed on all appropriate Council vehicles for a period of one month".

The Committee agreed unanimously to approve the motion.

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