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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 4, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD. View directions

Contact: Jonathan Moore  020 7527 3308

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Councillors Doolan, Erdogan, Spall and Hamitouche for lateness


Declaration of Substitute Members


Councillor O’Halloran stated that she was substituting for Councillor Doolan


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 of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 176 KB



That the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 3 October 2017 be confirmed and the Chair be authorised to sign them


Chair's Report


The Chair stated that he had attended resident focus groups in relation to Fire Safety and a meeting of the London Scrutiny Network in relation to the Grenfell Fire, and the notes of the meetings had been circulated.


Members stated that they wished to place on record their appreciation to staff who had worked on the Grenfell tragedy and in looking into Fire Safety implications in Islington.


The Chair added that in relation to the Fire Safety witness evidence from the London Hazards Centre, they were not able to attend that evening and he stated that he would contact them with a view to obtaining written witness evidence


Order of Business


The Chair stated that the order of business would be as per the agenda


Public Questions

For members of the public to ask questions relating to any subject on the meeting agenda under Procedure Rule 70.5. Alternatively, the Chair may opt to accept questions from the public during the discussion on each agenda item.



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


Fire Safety Scrutiny Review: Witness Evidence pdf icon PDF 148 KB

a)    Evidence from the London Hazards Centre (TBC)

b)    Briefing note: Re-homing residents in the event of a fire

c)    Notes of sessions attended by the Chair

d)    Briefing note: HMO licensing and fire safety in HMOs

Additional documents:


The notes of the meetings of the sessions attended by the Chair and the briefing note on re-homing residents in the event of the fire were noted by the Committee


The Chair added that he hoped that the Government would provide funding for the necessary works and that the latest advice is that sprinklers are more effective in individual flats, rather than communal areas


Housing Communications Scrutiny Review: Witness Evidence pdf icon PDF 149 KB

a)    Jo Murphy, Service Director – Homes and Communities

b)    Christine Short, Head of Capital Programming

c)    Notes of focus group sessions

Additional documents:


Jo Murphy, Service Director Homes and Communities, Housing and Adult Social Services, made a presentation to the Committee, a copy of which is interleaved.


During consideration of the presentation the following main points were made –


·         The remit as a landlord is to 26000 households and 9000 tenants,d  however there is a greater emphasis on supporting a positive and safe home life beyond (but including) the terms of the tenancy

·         Home and Communities have also been joined by the Voluntary and Community Sector team which extends the reach through partners and there is a focus on greater promotion of confidence, independence and resilience

·         The areas of focus will be belonging to a community where you enjoy living and can make a contribution, health and wellbeing which enables residents to stay healthy, happy and independent, jobs and money which assists residents to manage money and find work and enforcement where residents and Council’s interests are protected

·         For staff this means new ways of working, new development opportunities, potential to improve processes, and a key innovation is the new team of Service Ambassadors – front line staff who have come forward to champion resident need, improve links with other Council departments and encourage more joined up working and improved processes

·         This will mean more emphasis on partnership working with trusted professional relationships to enable early, supportive and challenging conversations, better placed to support wider Council initiatives, such as channel shift, making every contact count, promotion of early intervention, resilience and prevention. In addition, shared efficiencies through better targeting of scarce resources

·         What this means for residents – More emphasis on co-designed services, based on understanding of residents, improved skills/jobs, financial stability, health and social security outcomes, greater sense of belonging, confidence, empowerment and resilience built into all interactions, better use of digital transactions where appropriate, and better experience for residents

·         It was noted that the effect of the introduction of Universal Credit, if the results of the pilot in Croydon, are replicated in Islington, will lead to an increase in rent arrears and work to assist residents to manage their finance and asssit in finding work is important and will be a key focus

·         Discussion took place as to caretakers and that there is an increased focus on how they could improve the situation of residents. It was stated that there is now good relations between caretakers and management and that ongoing discussions were taking place

·         In relation to siting of satellite dishes reference was made to the fact that the installation of a communal sky dish on estates was now not cost effective, however the issue of free view boxes could be investigated

·         It was noted that when a repairs operative could not gain access for an appointment a card was left for the tenant advising them that they had called

·         In response to a question it was stated that 200 families were known to the Council that would be adversely affected by Universal Credit, however there were many more households  ...  view the full minutes text for item 319.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 121 KB



That the report be noted


Capital Programme Scrutiny 2015/16 - 12 Month Update pdf icon PDF 214 KB


Christine Short, Head of Capital Programme Delivery, Housing and Adult Social Services outlined the report.


During consideration of the report the following main points were made –

·         Recommendation 1 - It was stated that there should be an annual report to the Committee on the main contractors performance that work for the Council

·         Recommendation 2 – Information should be provided on any monies held back on contracts, as a result of contractors poor performance in the previous 2 years

·         Recommendation 4 – There should be scrutiny of works sub contracted and sub- contractors also sub- contracting work to ensure accountability for works

·         Recommendation 5 – The view was expressed that the benchmarking exercise should be done through the London Scrutiny Network and that the use of smaller contractors should be looked at

·         Recommendation 8 – It was stated that there needed to be transparency and resident engagement in any proposals

·         Recommendation 9 – It was stated that in future booklets of capital works prior to work taking place and following completion should be produced for residents and leaseholders

·         Recommendation 10 – Residents and leaseholders should be provided, where possible, of information relation to tenders and the costs of works

·         Recommendation 13 – Members were of the view that an in house capability should be explored to carry out a proportion of planned maintenance and major works. It was stated that discussions were taking place in this regard



That, subject to the above comments, the report be noted