Venue: Committee Room 4, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD. View directions
Contact: Ola Adeoye 020 7527 044
Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from Councillor Spall.
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 15 July 2019 be confirmed as an accurate record of proceedings and the Chair be authorised to sign them.
Order of Business
The order of business would be as per the agenda.
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.
Maxine Holdsworth, Corporate
Director of Housing updated the meeting on fire safety in the
council housing stock. The following points were
· Meeting was advised that prior to the Grenfell fire, fire safety has always been on the radar, however following the incident a decision was taken to review all its cladding systems and a risk assessment of all it buildings. ACM cladding was identified in Braithwaite house and removed by August 2017.
· The Council monitors fire safety guidance and regulation for tall buildings through the London Council Housing Directors attended by Directors from councils across London, the Homes and Estates Safety Board which is independently chaired and the London Fire Brigade. At these forums or meetings recent fire incidents are discussed and serves as an opportunity to review any new guidance.
· Meeting was informed that Fire risk Assessments for the councils tall blocks are published on the council website.
· The Corporate Director highlighted the various works carried in some of the buildings. The insulation installed in Fyfield was identified as not suitable for tall blocks and therefore had to be removed and has now been replaced with a new cladding system with rock wood insulation.
· With regards to a question about delays in Spa Green fire stopping and communal heating works, the council appointed contractors has now agreed a programme of works in each of the three affected blocks. In response to the timescales, the Director advised that the programme timetable will be circulated to members.
· On the issue of sprinklers, regulations state that new build buildings of 10 storeys and over should include sprinkler systems. The council has not built any blocks above that height but is installing sprinkers at the new 9 storey block at Redbrick.
· The meeting was informed that keeping communal areas clear and safe remains an ongoing issue with residents and the Council keeps reiterating its message that this reduces the risk of fire outbreak and its spread. Members were advised that the policy is simple for residents to follow and estate staff will enforce if necessary.
· In terms of evacuation procedures, the meeting was advised that with regards to the council’s purpose built properties, the stay put policy remains however with some properties – largely mansion blocks and street properties - evacuation procedures are in place.
With regards to the evacuation plans for vulnerable
residents in the case of a fire incident, the meeting was advised
that the Council holds details of vulnerable residents which is
available to be shared with London Fire Brigade (LFB). Following
the Scrutiny meeting in March, officers in conjunction with the
local fire brigade met the Housing Disability Panel where the LFB
offer of home fire safety visits was promoted to concerned
residents, a number of whom took up the offer.
· Members were reminded that both the council’s Construction and Fire Safety Team are currently working on a pilot to trial the provision of data on resident mobility within a Premises Information Box (PIB) to look at how ... view the full minutes text for item 119.
Councillor Diarmaid Ward, Executive Member for Housing and Development, introduced the quarterly performance report.
The following main points were noted in the discussion:
· The Executive Member for Housing informed Committee that in quarter One 8 affordable homes was completed and the Council is anticipating another 31 homes to be completed by quarter 2. 11 Right to buy sales occurred in this quarter hence the slight fall in affordable homes provided by the Council as there was a fall in receipts from tenants buying their homes.
· Meeting was advised that Council has assisted 35 over-crowded households during this period which is still below the profiled target for the quarter of 38, however this is an improvement on performance compared to last year.
· With regard to performances by Partners, the Executive Member for Housing acknowledged the complex repair works being carried out, however the lack of communication with their residents appear to be the main reasons for delays in completing repairs.
· Councillor Ward welcomed the improvement in first time repairs by the Council’s responsive service. An improvement of 81.4% at the end of March 2019 to 85.4% at the end of June due to the service implementing a first time fix review and improvement plan.
· Rent arrears remains a concern as most tenants are affected by the continued roll-out of Universal Credit. Meeting was informed that at the start of June, 2,494 households were on universal credit with the result that there is an average increase in rent arrears of nearly £500.
· With regard to street homelessness, meeting was advised that 28 households had been supported in to accommodation which is slightly below the profiled target. Members were informed of the additional burden on all authorities due to the Housing Reduction Act which aims at preventing or relieving homelessness without households needing to be accepted for statutory homelessness.
Members welcomed the improvement in first time
fixes, the 85% was good however the 15% reported as not being
completed first time needs to be addressed. A member of the
committee enquired about the progress of the dashboard considering
its expectation that it will boost performances. Cllr Ward
indicated that he will report back on this issue at the next
Members received a presentation
from Christine Short, Head of Capital Programme and Delivery. A
copy of the presentation is interleaved with the agenda.
· Major works are planned, anticipated and often involve the renewal of major building components and tend to be of high value. Major works affect the whole block and in most cases the whole estate.
· Members were advised that considering major works tend to be high value, leaseholder consultation is mandatory especially as they will be charged for the works carried out. Similarly, resident consultation is carried out seeking their ideas and suggestions about the works.
· Major works is divided into 3 distinct phases, planning and information gathering, the design of the works and when work commences. The Asset Management database remains the primary source as it contains detailed information about the block and flats; what and when works had been carried out such as installation of roofs, kitchens, bathrooms, doors and windows and their guarantees. As part of the information gathering exercise advice is sought from the responsive repairs team, Area Housing Officers and Estate Services in assessing works to be carried out.
· Members were advised that as a result of the high level of investments over the years the council now has a 10 year rolling programme instead of 7 years. The Council has a budget of £20M-£30M p.a. to carry out major works. All major works are split into projects to be managed by a project manager whose first task is to carry out an initial inspection of the building aided with photographs. Project managers will subsequently facilitate a resident consultation meeting to discuss the works and an opportunity to gather information and identify issues which a visual inspection may not necessarily reveal. Things such as resident experiencing similar issues with their internal drainage, or offer suggestions to address anti-social behaviour which could be addressed by some landscaping solutions.
· After the meeting with residents, the project manager has an on-site meeting with the appointed contractor where the scope of the works is discussed, the merits of materials and systems are researched to find the best solutions to certain specific issues and problems.
· The design stage involves plans and drawings being prepared and planning permission will be sought especially where windows are to be replaced. During this period prices for all elements are calculated, discussed and eventually agreed. Also Section 20 notices are served on leaseholders which details the works to be carried out from which an estimated cost will be provided to the leaseholder. On completion of this exercise, a works order is eventually issued to the contractor.
· The works phase involves the contractor setting up a site office, organises sub- contractors which involves tendering for the various tasks to ensure that they receive the best prices. The preparation at this point is really important as it helps to ensure that all the different trades are synchronised. At this stage the project ... view the full minutes text for item 121.