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Contact: Ola Adeoye 020 7527 044
Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from Councillor Gallagher and co-optee Rose McDonald.
Declaration of Substitute Members
There were no declarations of substitute members.
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.
There were no declarations of interest.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 10 June 2019 be confirmed as an accurate record of proceedings and the Chair be authorised to sign them.
The Chair informed the meeting
that the two previous reviews carried out in the last municipal
year will be finalised and signed off by email to members in the
next two weeks.
Councillor O’Sullivan informed the meeting that having recently joined and attended a meeting of the London Housing Consortium Board, he would be interested in knowing why despite the Board having a wealth of information on contract and procurement, the Council was not taking advantage of its membership.
Order of Business
The order of business would be B2 and B1.
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.
Simon Kwong, the Director of
Property Services presented the Scrutiny Initiation Document (SID)
on the review into Major Works carried out in Council Housing. The
following points were noted:
Members were advised that the review will examine
who determines what major works are required, the robustness of
construction contracts and schedules of rates; options available to
deliver major work projects and the relationship between major and
The Director of Property Services advised that the
review would provide members an opportunity to consider the
benefits and disadvantages of the different major works delivery
models; how the construction industry operates and the supervision
of major contractors.
Members will receive a presentation about the
Council’s major works programme and oral evidence from
possibly two other London boroughs and a construction expert will
be giving evidence.
A suggestion to include an additional objective was
agreed, that the review will focus on achieving quality and value
for money was noted.
In response to concerns of inviting local
contractors and housing associations to participate in the review,
Members were reminded that for the Committee to produce a balanced
report, views of all stakeholders should be taken on
board. The meeting was informed that
considering a housing association is invited to committee to
present their performances and work programme, members will have an opportunity to enquire about
how their major works programme is managed.
The Chair outlined key principles which should be
incorporated into the scrutiny of the Council’s major works.
These include, that the primary focus
should be on desired outputs and results; the need to balance
quality and cost; transactions to be carried out in an efficient
manner; all options in determining the most appropriate solution to
be considered; the use of competition to obtain best value; that
the procurement processes follow the organisation’s polices
and priorities; essential to comply with legislation and regulatory
requirements and the need for decisions to be transparent and
The Chair reminded the Director of Property Services
of the documentary evidence such as a sample of the contracts and
the department’s organisational chart from his officers as it
was essential for the review exercise.
With regards to promoting an inclusive economy, it
was suggested that the committee should consider the Preston as a
model local authority which has been cited as ensuring that money
is kept within its local economy. The meeting was informed of a
similar experience possibly in Sheffield and hoped that lessons
could be shared. Members agreed that the issue of apprentices
should be taken on board while carrying out the review.
Members agreed that although the council does carry
out due diligence on most of the major works that are carried out
by contractors, it is essential that robust monitoring should be in
place and continuous throughout all the stages of the major works
and possible penalties to be introduced.
The Chair requested that the document titled ‘
Procurement and Project Management be circulated to members and
officers for information purposes.
· The Director ... view the full minutes text for item 109.
Jan Hart, Service Director
Public Protection presented the Scrutiny Initiation Document (SID)
on the review into the Private Rented Sector. The following points
The review into the private rented sector would
involve both Housing and Environment & Regeneration
departments. Members would be able to consider how housing
especially in the private sector has evolved over the years; the
relevant Housing Act; the regulation and powers available for local
authorities and also identify areas for improvement.
In addition, members would consider the role of the
private sector in meeting housing needs and how the council
supports tenants in private rented housing.
A request that objective 5 as stated in the SID be
amended,, that it should read - Examine the impact of the right to
rent on access to the Private Rented Sector, the discrimination it
causes, the council’s role and ability to combat that
discrimination in line with the public sector equality
Members agreed that in terms of witnesses, the SID
should explicitly state that this is not an exhaustive list so as
to avoid any form of ambiguity on witnesses that will be
The Chair informed Members that although the review
exercise into the private rented sector would not be commencing
till later in the year or early 2020, any suggestions or amendments
to the SID could still be received or emailed to him.
In response to a request to include private renters
as witnesses, the meeting was advised that although there is a
reluctance to give evidence for fear of retribution from landlords,
officers had been in a previous review been able to set up a
mechanism which ensured that evidence obtained from private renters
Members were advised that a register of all
prosecuted landlords is available which is shared locally and
nationally to ensure that local authorities do not place tenants
with rogue landlords. Members were reminded that Islington Council
had over the years been successful in prosecuting landlords who had
been found to have fallen short in terms of the quality of
· With regard to the issue of leaseholders subletting their flats in Council housing estates and its legality, the meeting was advised that this was possible if their mortgage permits it. On the question of whether the council had a list of leaseholders in council estates and especially those that had been rented, the meeting was advised that this would be provided as background information.
That the Scrutiny Initiation Document be
2. That the mini scrutiny review into the private rented sector will commence later in the municipal year.