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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 January 2002 at 4.00 pm.

Present: Councillors BILL CROWE, IAN ANGUS, FRANK ELLIS, JOY MOWATT, GEORGE NORRIE MBE, BILL ROBERTON and RICHARD SPEIRS.

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 items 2 and 3, 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.

2. SUPPLY OF GROUND MAINTENANCE MACHINERY AND HAND OPERATED EQUIPMENT

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 6 March 2001, there was submitted Report No 41/02 by the Contract Services Manager seeking delegated powers to award tenders for the supply of ground maintenance machinery and hand operated equipment.

The Committee agreed to grant delegated powers to the Contract Services Manager, in consultation with the Director of Finance, to award tenders for the purchase of ground maintenance machinery and hand operated equipment.

3. SUPPLY OF VENDING SERVICES

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 6 March 2001, there was submitted Report No 43/02 by the Contract Services Manager proposing that a list of contractors be invited to tender for the supply of vending services.

The Committee agreed that the following five contractors be invited to tender, subject to any financial assessment as required by the Director of Finance, in consultation with the Contract Services Manager:-

4. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 13 November 2001 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

5. SERVQUAL

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 15 August 2000, there was submitted Report No 44/02 by the Contract Services Manager informing the Committee of the outcome of the follow up customer survey using the Servqual Model, carried out within the 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 continuing to have 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. These issues were continuing to be compounded with the opening of four 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 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 2001 within the Council's full-time leisure facilities; and
  2. to approve the continuation of the process in future years.

6. PERFORMANCE NETWORKS

With reference to Article 12 of the minute of meeting of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Committee of 8 January 2002, there was submitted Joint Report No 40/02 by the Contract Services Manager, the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection and the Director of Recreation Services advising the Committee of the outcome of the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE formerly ADLO) performance networks which were used in Best Value Benchmarking of Sports and Leisure Management, Parks and Open Spaces and Building Cleaning. Due to operational difficulties at the time of submission, the information relating to transport services had not been submitted this year. A full copy of all the performance indicators for the three services had been placed in the Members' Lounge.

The Report indicated that, as in all analytical information, care had to be taken in the interpretation of the results, but generally Angus Council had done well in Sport and Leisure Management, Building Cleaning Services and Parks, Open Spaces and Horticultural Services, in comparison with other authorities. This year's results very closely reflected the findings of last year.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report;
  2. to instruct the relevant Chief Officers to ensure that the benchmarking information provided be utilised to improve the Angus performance, where necessary; and
  3. to record its appreciation of the efforts made by the staff in preparing the submissions in an extremely tight timescale.

7. LOO OF THE YEAR AWARD

With reference to Article 11 of the minute of meeting of the Environmental and Consumer Protection Committee of 8 January 2002, the Committee noted the Council's success in achieving a number of awards in the national "Loo of the Year" Awards sponsored by the Tourist Boards of England, Wales and Scotland. This year had seen the introduction of a new star grading scheme for all entries.

Angus had received the following awards:-

The Baltic Street loos had also achieved the Scottish National Award for accessibility, meeting all the requirements for people with special needs while, in the roll of honour of authorities achieving five star awards, Angus had been placed sixth in UK terms and second in Scotland.

The Committee agreed to note that all five of the Council's "Super Loo" Teams had received awards, maintaining the Council's position as an authority providing consistently high standards of public toilets and to congratulate the staff involved.

8. LEISURE MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS

With reference to Article 6 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 30 May 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 45/02 by the Director of Recreation Services and the Contract Services Manager updating the Committee on the position regarding the implementation of the Leisure Contract Services Minutes module including the use of swipe cards.

The Report indicated that Recreation and Contract Services wished to develop the information database on attendances and hence the development of a "Route to Leisure Card". Where a user had a card, this would record the visit details for that member for each visit to build up profiles of use by the Contract Services Minutes database. It would then be possible to analyse the annual attendance figures into members and non-members and provide percentage usage by Angus residents and non-residents who used the Contract Services Minutes cards. As well as providing information on when and where activities were being used, it would also provide details on the type of activity and would allow the Council to target resources better.

The development of the Contract Services Minutes module and associated card technology was intended to be implemented in a three-stage process:- (1) casual benefit card, (2) club/employer benefit card and (3) direct route card.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to note the progress to date on implementation of the Contract Services Minutes module;
  2. to the development of the casual use of the swipe card as a system administrative card for leisure access;
  3. to free card distribution to Angus residents;
  4. to chargeable card distribution to non-Angus residents; and
  5. to the proposed introduction of direct debit as a method of payment.

9. JOINT WORKING VENTURE WITH NORANSIDE PRISON

There was submitted Joint Report No 46/02 by the Director of Recreation Services, the Director of Social Work and that Contract Services Manager seeking approval for joint working between Angus Council Recreation Services and Contract Services and Noranside prison. A list of projects previously undertaken by Noranside prison was detailed in Appendix 1 to the Report. The proposals included painting programmes involving a squad of four to six prisoners undertaking painter work in the leisure centres and outdoor sites. In addition, special projects would be pre-programmed to suit the mutual needs of the Council and Noranside Prison.

The Report concluded that it was felt by all concerned that not only Angus Council and Noranside prison would benefit from this joint venture but also the people of Angus. Many works which would not have been undertaken due to budget restraints and limited manpower levels could now be undertaken to the benefit of the community at large and the prisoners themselves.

The Committee noted that the project was not legally binding with neither party obliged to provide any of the services, but was a venture of goodwill with a view to developing good working relationships.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. that the contents of the Report be noted; and
  2. that a joint venture be established between Angus Council and Noranside prison.
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