{meta} Agenda for Special Council Meeting on Monday 22nd May, 2017, 5.00 pm

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, City Hall, Dame Street, Dublin 2.. View directions

Items
No. Item

1.

The Lord Mayor opened the meeting by thanking everyone for attending. He informed Members that due to a prior commitment he would have to leave before the end of the meeting and that Cllr. Vincent Jackson would then take the Chair.

2.

It was proposed by Councillor M Freehill and seconded by Councillor A Gilliland:

Minutes:

“This meeting requests the Chief Executive to produce a Service Delivery Plan for Dublin City Council. To state how he will deliver services at a standard expected for a modern, clean, well kept, efficient running city to serve both local residents needs, local business needs and the needs of visitors to our city.

 

This Council notes the impact of the loss of 2,000 established personnel since 2008, while acknowledging modern work practices, this loss has resulted in:

 

• A diminution in DCC corporate intelligence of the functioning of the city which will have devastating impacts in future years if this trend is not arrested.

 

An increase in service delivery times due to the lengthy process of public procurement tendering for sub contract for work previously carried out by DCC's core staff. This has had a particular impact on repairs in housing and road maintenance.

 

• A move away from apprenticeships and consequently a seriously diminished craft skill base, trained to DCC work standards, upon which DCC can draw.

 

These changes have raised serious concerns from both local residents and businesses and local public representatives regarding:

 

The perception that sub contracting may be smarter and leaner and provide better value for money without evaluating the standard of workmanship/output from such contractors.

 

• The loss of oversight and long term responsibility for service standards and response times particularly the quality of workmanship.

 

• The council's ability to be flexible and provide a quick response to often urgent maintenance issues.

 

Potential poor (sub-contract) worker health and safety standards on DCC

work projects.

 

The overall intention of DCC service delivery.

 

3.

The Chief Executive informed Members that he had prepared report 195/2017 to address the issues raised in the motion. Due to the short time available since the calling of this meeting, the report was only available for circulation this afternoon.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive acknowledged that there are different levels of service planning and associated performance metric monitoring across different Council services, with no clear statement in relation to corporate wide service delivery. He informed Members that he would seek to address this over the coming months and, in consultation with the Elected Members, prepare a Service Delivery Plan for approval for 2018. This Plan will outline for the major Council services, the level of service that will be provided, the priorities and strategies for service delivery and the metrics against which performance delivery will be measured. However, he emphasised that the availability of financial resources is of fundamental importance in determining the level of services that can be delivered. The Council must have regard to the current and expected availability of resources in planning service delivery. This is especially important where most Council services are delivered ‘free of charge’ at the point of delivery and there is no price mechanism to moderate service demands. He noted that faced with a choice between not reducing the Local Property Tax and making additional resources available for service improvements the Council has consistently decided to lower the Local Property Tax.

 

4.

The following Councillors spoke to the Motion; Cllrs. Freehill, Gilliland, Jackson, McGinley, O'Brien, Reilly, O'Moore, Cuffe, O'Farrell, Ring, McGrattan, McCartan, McAdam, Flynn, Lacey, Hand, Dunne, Burke, McAuliffe, Doolan, Feeney, MacDonncha, Stapleton, Brabazon, De Róiste, Kelly, A Keegan, Connaghan, O'Toole. The following were some of the issues raised as areas of concern:

Minutes:

·        The loss of corporate knowledge due to staff reductions

·        Outsourcing and subcontracting without proper value for money analysis

·        Unacceptable response times for work requests

·        The loss of skilled craftsmen and discontinuation of apprenticeships

·        Failure to fill critical engineering vacancies

·        Lack of support and resources for Area Committees

·        Staff were thanked by a number of councillors for their continued hard work in challenging circumstances

·        The provision of funding by Central Government for local services in the context of the LPT.

 

5.

Councillor Vincent Jackson took the Chair at 6.20pm.

6.

The Chief Executive asked Members to consider his report and to engage with him on the creation of a Service Delivery Plan on that basis.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive asked Members to consider his report and to engage with him on the creation of a Service Delivery Plan on that basis.

In relation to staff reductions he expressed his belief that that service provision had been maintained to a level well above that which could have been expected considering the fall in staffing levels. The City Council was now in a position to increase recruitment which would help address some of the issues raised by the Councillors.  However, in areas such as engineering attracting and retaining staff was proving difficult due to the lack of competitiveness in the terms and conditions that the City Council could offer. The Chief Executive stated that he no ideological commitment to using the private sector and that he was open to the establishment of apprenticeships for trades. However, subcontractors were useful in providing solutions in certain situations, for example to clear the back log of windows and doors in the Joinery Workshop. He also informed Members that City Council staff would no longer be carrying out reinstatements for Irish Water which would release resources to other work programs. The adoption of new technologies in areas such as street lighting would reduce the need to maintain historical staffing levels.

 

7.

Councillor Freehill thanked the Chief Executive for his input and it was agreed that a Working Group be established to engage with the Chief Executive on the creation of the Service Delivery Plan for 2018. The motion as listed was put and carried.

8.

The Chair thanked the Chief Executive and the Members for their contributions to a positive and productive debate.

The meeting concluded at 6.30pm