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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 5, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD. View directions

Contact: Jonathan Moore  020 7527 3308

Items
No. Item

184.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Marian Spall and Mouna Hamitouche.

185.

Declaration of Substitute Members

Minutes:

None.

186.

Declarations of Interests

If you have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest* in an item of business:

§  if it is not yet on the council’s register, you must declare both the existence and details of it at the start of the meeting or when it becomes apparent;

§  you may choose to declare a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest that is already in the register in the interests of openness and transparency. 

In both the above cases, you must leave the room without participating in discussion of the item.

 

If you have a personal interest in an item of business and you intend to speak or vote on the item you must declare both the existence and details of it at the start of the meeting or when it becomes apparent but you may participate in the discussion and vote on the item.

 

*(a)     Employment, etc - Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.

(b) Sponsorship - Any payment or other financial benefit in respect of your expenses in carrying out duties as a member, or of your election; including from a trade union.

(c) Contracts - Any current contract for goods, services or works, between you or your partner (or a body in which one of you has a beneficial interest) and the council.

(d)      Land - Any beneficial interest in land which is within the council’s area.

(e) Licences- Any licence to occupy land in the council’s area for a month or longer.

(f) Corporate tenancies - Any tenancy between the council and a body in which you or your partner have a beneficial interest.

 (g) Securities - Any beneficial interest in securities of a body which has a place of business or land in the council’s area, if the total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body or of any one class of its issued share capital. 

 

This applies to all members present at the meeting.

 

Minutes:

None.

187.

Minutes of Previous meeting pdf icon PDF 165 KB

Minutes:

 

RESOLVED:
That the minutes of the meeting held on 19 April 2016 be confirmed as a correct record and the Chair be authorised to sign them.

188.

Chair's Report

Minutes:

The Chair reported that the Housing and Planning Act had received royal assent and that further changes to national housing policy would be implemented through secondary legislation.

189.

Order of Business

Minutes:

No changes were proposed to the order of business.

190.

Public Questions

Minutes:

The Chair outlined the procedure for public questions and the filming and recording of meetings.  

191.

Membership, Terms of Reference and Dates of Meetings pdf icon PDF 169 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

RESOLVED:
That the membership, terms of reference and dates of meetings of the Housing Scrutiny Committee for the municipal year 2016/17 be noted.

192.

RSL Scrutiny: Hyde Housing Association pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Minutes:

Lee Daly, Head of Housing Services, and Chyrel Brown, Regional Director of Resident Services, made a presentation to the Committee on the performance of The Hyde Group.

 

The following main points were noted in the discussion:

 

·         Hyde owned or managed over 50,000 homes across London, the south east, and the midlands. Since 2005 the organisation had agreed to four stock transfers with Islington Council and had invested in the regeneration of housing stock.

·         Hyde sought to develop innovative housing and was in the process of carrying out 15 garage conversions at the Hyde Village Estate. The organisation would have 2,194 units in the borough following the completion of Hyde Village and regeneration of the Packington Estate.

·         The regeneration of the Packington Estate was to increase the number of homes from 558 to 700. It was noted that 475 of these would be general needs units.

·         The satisfaction of Hyde residents with their repairs service had increased by 10% to 82% over the previous year. It was commented that some residents had a poor perception of the service and the organisation was working to make improvements, especially in regard to the time taken to complete repairs and keeping residents informed.

·         Hyde’s anti-social behaviour service had a satisfaction rating of 83%.  The organisation considered this to be positive however was reviewing the service in order to improve the level of resident support, as this aspect of the service had only received a satisfaction rating of 67%.

·         It was noted that rent arrears in Islington were above target at 5.24%, however this was comparable to other organisations.

·         Hyde provided its residents with employment, training, money and debt advice through its Hyde Plus service. This was considered to be a service valued by residents. 154 Islington residents had received advice over the previous year. It was expected for this number to increase following the implementation of welfare reform and universal credit.

·         The Committee noted problems with damp and coldbridging at Alderwick Court and commented that this had previously been considered by the Health and Care Scrutiny Committee. The organisation was seeking to work with the council and residents to find alternative accommodation; it was explained that residents affected by the damp would receive additional priority on the council’s housing register. A member of the public explained the health issues her family had experienced as a result of the damp. Hyde and the affected residents had found it difficult to engage with each other and the Committee expressed regret at the deterioration of this relationship.

·         One challenge to the organisation was managing the performance of its outgoing grounds maintenance contractor, as the contract had been re-tendered and a new contractor would be commencing work in July 2016.

·         The Committee noted that Hyde carried out the repairs for Partners’ properties and it was suggested that Hyde could better engage with the Partners resident forum. A member of the Partners resident forum thought that Hyde’s repairs service required improvement and that the organisation’s satisfaction surveys did  ...  view the full minutes text for item 192.

193.

Responsive Repairs: Draft Recommendations pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the draft recommendations of the Responsive Repairs scrutiny. The recommendations were approved, subject to an amendment for clarity to Recommendation 6.

 

The Committee thanked the Head of Repairs and Maintenance for his contribution to the review.

 

RESOLVED:
That the draft recommendations be approved, subject to Recommendation 6 being amended to read: ‘The Committee recognises that estate services co-ordinators and caretakers have a wealth of knowledge about their area and suggests that their relationship with the repairs service be developed further, as these staff may be able to assist in the diagnosis of communal repairs, assist with communication, and champion resident needs in partnership with Resident Liaison Officers’.

194.

Scrutiny Topics 2016/17

Minutes:

The Committee noted that communications, noise nuisance and key worker housing had been suggested for review in 2016/17. It was advised that the constitution required the Committee to identify one main topic for review and the Policy and Performance Scrutiny Committee could assign another review topic to the Committee as required.

 

Following a discussion, the Committee identified ‘Housing Services for Vulnerable People’ as the review topic for 2016/17. In particular, the Committee expressed an interest in reviewing the housing options for vulnerable people, the additional services offered to vulnerable tenants, how vulnerable tenants and their particular needs were identified, how the council communicated and engaged with vulnerable tenants, benchmarking council services and identifying best practice, and joined up working with adult social care.

 

It was suggested that housing associations’ approaches to housing for vulnerable people be added to the list of standard questions for registered providers attending committee meetings.

 

RESOLVED:

1) That the Committee review ‘Housing Services for Vulnerable People’, subject to approval by the Policy and Performance Scrutiny Committee;

2) That the Committee undertake any further reviews as instructed by the Policy and Performance Scrutiny Committee;

3) That a draft work plan and scrutiny initiation document be submitted to the next meeting for consideration.