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Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from Councillors Hamitouche, Gallagher and Dean Donaghey


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


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 73 KB




That the minutes of the meeting held on 8 September 2020 be confirmed as an accurate record of proceedings and the Chair be authorised to sign them.


Matters arising from the minutes


Scrutiny Review – Major Works – Minute 192


It was stated that a presentation would be submitted to the January meeting of the Committee on the 30 year business plan and Asset Management Strategy


Presentation – Dashboards – Minute 194


In response to a question it was stated that the visit to Brewery Road had still not taken place and that this would be arranged in November


It was also stated that in relation to the issues raised at Braithwaite House a vote on the communal heating had taken place and residents had opted for the communal heating to remain on throughout the year, and not turned off during the Summer months







Chair's Report




Order of Business


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


Membership, Terms of Reference and Dates of Meetings pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Additional documents:



That the membership, terms of reference and dates of meetings for the remainder of the municipal year 2020/21 be noted


Responsive Repairs - 12 Month Report Back pdf icon PDF 169 KB


Councillor Diarmaid Ward, Executive Member Housing, was present and accompanied by Matt West, Assistant Director Housing and Property Services and outlined the report


During discussion the following main points were made –


·       Members were informed that during the COVID period there had been a brief interruption to repairs, with only emergency service repairs being able to be carried out. PPE had been made available to staff and have also been able to work from home where appropriate. Staff had been redeployed to the call line, and housing repairs staff had erected Perspex screens at Council locations to protect them.

·       It was noted that although 90% of repairs are first time fixes there have been occasions where more than one visit was required.

·       In response to a question about the phasing out of gas boilers from 2024, it was stated that the service is looking at how to comply with new regulations in order to meet the new Zero carbon targets.

·       In response to a question it was stated that the dashboard would also be used for the performance management of staff, and that this would be embedded in the training provided

·       The Chair referred to a report that he had received detailing the repairs that involved a number of visits, and that this had shown the reasons why multiple visits had had to be undertaken, and that in most cases this was necessary. The Chair stated that this should be submitted to the Committee at a future meeting

·       In response to a question, it was stated that staff would be skilled up to enable them to do repairs on electrical boilers when they are installed, however this is a ‘work in progress’, and solutions to the replacement of gas boilers was still being looked at

·       Reference was made to leaseholders not being able to ascertain the cost of repairs in relation to Partner properties, and it was stated that where a Section 20 notice is not necessary, this information should be available. The Director of Housing stated that she would look at ways of improving information available to residents and leaseholders, and would inform Members of the action to be taken to improve this situation




(a)   That the Director of Housing be requested to report to Members on the improvements to information to be provided to residents/leaseholders in relation to the issue raised above


(b)   That the report referred to above in relation to multiple repairs be submitted to a future meeting of the Committee



The Chair thanked Councillor Ward and Matt West for attending


Scrutiny Topics and Work Programme 2020/2021 pdf icon PDF 50 KB


Members discussed the options for the scrutiny topics and following such discussion it was –




(a)   That a major scrutiny review be agreed on Planning for the end of the PFI Partners properties in 2022, and that an initial presentation be made to the next meeting from the PFI Integration Board

(b)   That a presentation be made to the next meeting on the Triage system, and on the ASB team, including call response times, given the problems being experienced as a result of pressure on the system, as a result of the increase in calls due to COVID, and the measures that are being taken to address this

(c)   That a mini- scrutiny review be carried out into communal heating systems, including the benefits/risks of communal heating systems, costs to tenants, installation of smart meters, and including plans for Council new build properties, and insulation for such properties. The Council’s new contractor on communal heating should give evidence to the Committee

(d)   That a presentation be given to the Committee on the position with regard to Housing Associations, including any disposal of properties, change of tenure and nomination rights



Other Business


Braithwaite House


A Member stated that he had not received an update on the position with regard to water pressure and the moving of the sensor as referred to at a previous meeting

In addition, it was stated that some leaseholders were experiencing difficulty in re-mortgaging or selling their properties due to the inability to obtain ESW1 forms which relates to fire safety/cladding on high rise blocks. This is a national problem recognised by national government and are looking to address it.

Following the Grenfell tragedy, the cladding at Braithwaite House had been replaced, and that the current provisions has not been recognised. Meeting was advised that  only 900 ESWI forms completed across the country.


The Committee were informed that there is also a shortage of professionals who are recognised to carry out the necessary requirements to complete an ESW1 form as a large professional indemnity is required. However not all mortgage lenders require an ESW1 form and that the Council were aware of leaseholders with problems and that the Council were making progress, and had requested a professional company, with a professional indemnity to look at these cases. The Council were talking to residents in this regard and work is taking place with other Local Authorities to lobby Government on this issue


In response to a question as to the position on local lettings on estates and how tenants are informed, where new build is taking place, such as on the Elthorne Estate, it was stated that a letter is sent out informing residents how they can apply, and Ward Councillors and Estate Managers are informed before such letter is circulated, and local lettings are monitored



(a)   That Director of Housing be requested to provide the information on ESW1 forms referred to above  to Councillor Graham and the leaseholder that had raised the issue with him


(b)   That the Director of Housing inform Councillor Graham with regard to the situation with regard to the water pressure at Braithwaite House and moving of the sensor