The Area Council Manager introduced the item, referring to previous discussions at workshops held in order to consider issues with current services, and options for delivery in the area from March 2019 onwards.
Members noted that the service provided by Twiggs Grounds Maintenance was due to end on 31st March, 2019. Members were generally happy with the service. The impact seen in the area, and the progress now starting to be made in schools were recognised. After considering the options available Members were in support of a similar commission post March 2019 with revised scheduling of jobs. A focus on a single locality within the area for three days of each week, followed by a different locality the following week was felt important to concentrate efforts to lead to visible results, with two days per week for social action or reactive work.
Those present acknowledged that there would be changes in Neighbourhood Services and the need to ensure a new Education, Volunteering and Environment Service worked alongside and complemented this was stressed.
An indicative timescale for procurement was noted, and Members were in support of proposals.
The current Environmental Enforcement Service was then discussed, it was noted that the service was visible, but that little impact on littering in the area had been seen, with many Fixed Penalty Notices being issued for cigarette ends.
Following a discussion of options consensus was that the Area Council did not commission an enforcement service from April, 2019 onwards. It was suggested that further work be undertaken to explore alternative options to improve the littering problem, including through increased education.
Members went on to discuss the current service level agreement (SLA) with the Safer Neighbourhood Service to provide support in relation to private sector housing. It was noted that performance was positive with no issues, and Members agreed that the service provided a vital role in the area. After discussing potential options, extending the SLA for a further year was supported by Members.
The Area Council Manager provided an update with regards to the financial position of the Area Council. From an opening balance of £208,996.76 Members noted that £208,996.76 had been allocated. However, taking into account income from Fixed Penalty Notices £2,081.20 remained to allocate.
A brief update was provided in relation to the Dearne Development Fund. From £65,000 earmarked £32,425.10 remained. This followed allocations of £14,800 to Dearne Electronic Community Village, £6,300 to DIAL and £8,069 to Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
Those present discussed a number of potential applications that may be forthcoming to the Dearne Development Fund, and acknowledged the importance of the fund in helping to increase the skills within local groups to apply for funds and successfully provide monitoring information.
(i) That the current financial position and the impact on future budgets from potential future commissions be noted;
(ii) That the service specification and associated documentation be approved, and an Education, Volunteering and Environmental Service be procured at a cost of up to £75,000 per annum, initially for a period of two years with an option to extend for two further periods of a year;
(iii) That no further commissioning on Environmental Enforcement take place, with alternative ways of reducing littering and dog fouling to be considered;
(iv) That a Service Level Agreement with the Safer Neighbour Service be entered into to provide a Housing and Migration service for a year at a cost of £30,523.