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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD. View directions

Contact: Ola Adeoye  020 7527 3044

Items
No. Item

82.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Gallagher.

83.

Declaration of Substitute Members

Minutes:

There were no declarations of substitute members.

84.

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:

There were no declarations of interest.

85.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Minutes:

With regard to Item 80 of the minutes- Fire Safety in Council Housing, it was noted that concerns about the evacuation plans for vulnerable residents in tower blocks had the Corporate Director of Housing comments that she will be discussing the PEEP with Islington’s Housing Disability Panel at their next meeting in May 2018 had been omitted from the minutes.

The meeting was informed that in light of the recent fire incident in Clifton court, the Chair reiterated committee’s recommendation about installing sprinklers in tower blocks and requested that this issue be revisited by the Executive Member for Housing as it does not only prevent the loss of life but also damage to the fabric of the property.

In relation to concerns of a possible compartilisation breach in Clifton Court , The Executive Member for Housing informed the Committee that he was not aware of any breach but he would look into this issue further.


Councillor Hamitouche informed the meeting that her apologies for the last meeting had not been recorded in the minutes.    

 

 

RESOLVED:

That subject to amending the minutes to include the comments omitted in the minutes regarding fire safety and the inclusion of Councillor Hamitouche’s apologies, the minutes of the meeting held on 19 March be confirmed as an accurate record of proceedings and the Chair be authorised to sign them.

86.

Chair's Report

Minutes:

The Chair thanked members, officers and the public for their contribution to the committee’s business in 2018/19 and in particular expressed his thanks to external organisations such as Clarion, Hyde and Partners for Improvement for sharing their performances and plans with Members. In addition special thanks was extended to the Executive Member for Housing having attended all the committee meetings and his valuable contribution.

The Chair formed members of a forthcoming housing award event for national housing associations being held in central London, an opportunity for members to have an insight into how the industry rates registered social landlords especially for those based in Islington.

 

87.

Order of Business

Minutes:

The order of business would be as per the agenda.

88.

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.

 

Minutes:

None

89.

Housing Services for Vulnerable People Review - 12-month report back pdf icon PDF 230 KB

Minutes:

Helena Stephenson, Head of Housing Partnerships on behalf of Paul Byers introduced the report which provided a 12 month update on the Committee’s review of services for vulnerable people and the following points were highlighted:

·         A suggestion that the definition of the meaning of vulnerable resident should be extended to include elderly and frail persons was noted.

·         A request for details including the cost to the Council about the recent judicial case that was settled in favour of a vulnerable resident which involved Now Medical was noted. The Executive Member for Housing indicated that the Council will be reviewing its relationship with Now Medical in the future.

·         In response to a question on whether blind residents would able to access the services available for vulnerable people published on the website, Members were invited to review the web page and provide feedback.

·         On the issue of domestic abuse victims, meeting was advised that in comparison to other authorities, Islington has good practice in place to ensure that domestic abuse victims are protected and are not encouraged to relinquish their tenancies, however where safety is an issue, the Council will re house them away from their perpetrators.

·         Members welcomed the efforts of Housing Services in keeping staff trained on how best to support tenants with additional needs as staff awareness and knowledge will have a practical impact on their work and how they interact with residents.

·         Housing Services recognises the value of a skilled workforce to manage service users with different needs and has recently reviewed how staff are recruited as it is important that its staff have a more holistic approach when dealing with vulnerable residents. Officers were reminded that as part of its staff training that the Council’s Equalities strategy is taken on board. 

·         With regards to recommendation 8, Housing Services will be developing a resilience matrix which ensures that it is able to recognise crises and life changing events which could mean more people needing more extra support. Members were reminded that with the council children’s services using resilience matrixes in their services, there is good practice in place available to learn from and build on. A suggestion that the resilience matrix should not be made available to all council tenants and not only vulnerable residents was noted.

·         With regards to the essential information provided in welcome packs for vulnerable residents, Housing officers were advised that the Housing Disability Panel views should be taken on board as they will have a better insight on experiences of vulnerable residents.

·         Members welcomed the Homes and Communities locality-focused pilot in the Tollington area which aims to bring key partners together to improve the range and quality of community services.

·         In terms of recommendation 12, setting clear expectations for contractors working with disabled and vulnerable tenants, a suggestion that officers need to specify the level of training required from contractors right from the onset especially when the bid goes out was noted by the Assistant Director of Housing. Members agreed that compliance should  ...  view the full minutes text for item 89.

90.

Further Development of the Responsive Repairs Service - Final Report pdf icon PDF 210 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the final report and recommendations. The following main points were noted in the discussion:

  • Recommendation 1 should be reworded to read- The Service needs to focus on a detailed analysis of the root causes of service failures within the population of repair jobs not completed first time to identify the reasons for failure and put in place measures such as systems thinking approach to correct these failures.

·         Recommendation 8 to be reworded to read - With regard to future building projects, planned maintenance projects and capital programmes, the Responsive Repairs Service should be consulted and their recommendations should be acted on.

RESOLVED:

That subject to the amendments to the recommendations noted above, the Committee agreed that the report be delegated to both the Chair of the Housing Scrutiny Committee and the Assistant Director of Housing to be signed off.

91.

Work Programme 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 34 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:
That the work programme be noted