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 Councillors Lukes, Gallagher, Mackmurdie and 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 31 October 2019 be confirmed as an accurate record of
proceedings and the Chair be authorised to sign them.
The Chair welcomed members of
the Housing Disability Panel to the meeting and in particular their
contribution at future meetings.
The Chair reminded members of a
number of forthcoming housing related events, details to be
circulated to interested members, one of which is the Housing
Construction event in Uxbridge on Friday where the Hackitt Review report will be
The Chair informed the meeting
that the breakdown of the communal heating systems in Brooke House,
Redbrick House and Spa Green had been brought to his attention,
however he welcomed the news from Council Officers that this had
now been resolved. The Chair mentioned that the item will be on the
agenda for consideration at a future meeting in 2020 when all
contractual matters have been fully resolved.
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.
RSL Scrutiny : Islington Shoreditch Housing Association
The Committee received a
presentation from Ruth Davison, Chief Executive, Islington and
Shoreditch Housing Association about its work, challenges and
future plans as a landlord in the borough.
· Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association (ISHA) is committed to building homes of high quality where everyone irrespective of their background has the opportunity to reach their potential and enjoy a good quality of life. The meeting was informed that ISHA has developed many homes in the borough in partnership with developers and with Islington Council who, for example, recently provided a plot of land at the old Ashmount school site at a price which enabled ISHA to build 60 homes - 100 percent of which were social rent or shared ownership.
Meeting was informed that ISHA has been in operation
within the borough since 1933 and has presently 616 homes built for
social housing, with presence in other neighbouring authorities
such as Camden, Hackney and Haringey and outer boroughs such as
Waltham Forest. Meeting was informed that half of ISHA homes have
been built in the last 20 years and it continues to look for
opportunities to grow and to build more houses. ISHA’s Board
is run by volunteers and staff and
contractors are paid the London Living wage.
Chief Executive informed members that in its pursuit
to build and help others to build homes ISHA established the North
River Alliance(NRA) 15 years ago, a development consortium of 11
small housing associations where both expertise and resources
are shared and has over the years
delivered 3,500 homes.
Meeting was advised that ISHA continues to strive to
be a good landlord, does not have starter tenancies; is committed
to life tenancies; new homes and all re-lets are provided at social
rents and importantly it does not carry out affordability checks
for social rented homes. In addition, homes are built with great
space and high environmental standards.
With regards to repairs and maintenance, ISHA
endeavours to provide high quality service, however feedback from a
recent STAR survey shows an overall satisfaction rate of just 60%
which indicates that there is still room for improvement especially
with its first time fixes. The Chief Executive assured members that
ISHA is addressing this and that its analysis has recognised that
although in general the service is good, there are issues of
consistency and communication that need to be addressed.
Ruth Davison informed the meeting that in its
pursuit of being a good landlord to its residents, training is
provided to all staff on a range of issues, both staff and
contractors are now being held accountable and in extreme cases
contracts were terminated due to service failure. ISHA continues to
invest in stock and repairs and have been able to set new
standards, which was co-created with residents at ‘action
· On the consultations held at St Mary’s Path estate, Ruth Davison reminded members that on taking office, she made commitments that secure and assured tenants had the right to remain; that ... view the full minutes text for item 139.
Paul Byer, Service Improvement
and Involvement Manager updated Members on the progress of the
recommendations in a report produced in May 2016 following the
review undertaken by the Housing Scrutiny Committee on the
effectiveness of Housing Services Communications.
On Recommendation 1, to agree a code of
communications for the Council’s Housing Services,
TMO’s and Partners for improvement and contractors, Paul Byer
advised that although Partners is responsible for improving its own
communications within its organisation, the Council has granted
Partners access to the Council’s on-line Housing Library on
the intranet which has Council guidance on documents such as Write
First Time Toolkit, Writing Style Guidance, updated branding
guidelines etc. In addition, TMO’s have been sent the
council’s communications guidance and good practice
With regards to Recommendation 2 & 7 which
relates to improving complaints processes, the meeting was informed
that a complaints improvement Action plan has been put in place to
improve complaints handling in Property Services. In addition, the Repairs Customer Service Team
have also been provided training on handling and dealing with
difficult phone calls and the quality checking system for
complaints responses from the team has also been
With regard to managing resident’s complex
responsive repairs, a named manager will be in place to deal with
these type of complaints. Meeting was also informed that a Property
Services Complaints Resident Group has been set up. This is a forum
for resident input into improving handling and improving how we
learn from complaints. Changes have recently been made to the
learning from complaints process within Property
Services. Repair Group Leaders now have
more timely information about complaints linked to their service
area to improve performance.
On Recommendation 4 and 6, making better use of
communications, members were advised that protocol is in place with
regards to the use of Electronic Notice Boards (ENB’s)
especially as they are now used to support corporate, community
information and localised messages. Residents views have been taken
on board so ENB’s now display local information specific to
their estate, job opportunities and training and community services
for different groups.
In response to Recommendation 5 and 10 which
addresses out of date information and broken links on the Council
website, the manager informed members that the Service has been
able to put in place a well-established process for residents and
staff to report issues about the information on the website or
being able to query information that needs clarification with the
communication team being able to monitor it regularly, investigate
and address any anomalies. In addition, the meeting was informed
that since 2019, the communications team is now responsible for
managing the content on the website and will be working more
closely with services to review and improve their pages.
· Members were reminded of the future legal requirement for content on the council website to be accessible to a wider range of people and those with disabilities such as blindness and low vision, deafness ... view the full minutes text for item 140.
That the work programme be noted.