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Agenda and draft minutes

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Items
No. Item

288.

Apologies for Absence

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Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Spall

289.

Declaration of Substitute Members

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Minutes:

There were no declarations of substitute members

290.

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.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest

291.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 110 KB

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Minutes:

 

RESOLVED:

That the minutes of the meeting held on 13 July 2021 be confirmed as an accurate record of proceedings and the Chair be authorised to sign them.

292.

Chair's Report

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Minutes:

The Chair stated that he had expected a SID on the Community Fibre optic scrutiny review to be submitted that evening and was concerned that there was not an item on the Committee’s work programme. The Chair added that he had discussed this with Councillor Convery and the Committee requesting that a Draft SID on the topic be considered at the next meeting.

293.

Order of Business

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Minutes:

The Chair stated that the order of business would be as per the agenda, with the exception of item B5 Partners Scrutiny Review draft recommendations being considered as the first substantive item on the agenda

294.

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.

 

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Minutes:

The Chair stated that any questions from members of the public should be sent to the clerk or Chair following the meeting for a response

295.

Scrutiny Review: Triage System pdf icon PDF 158 KB

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Minutes:

Jo Murphy, Director of Homes, Community and Safety was present and outlined the report

 

During discussion the following main points were made –

 

·       The situation had improved substantially following the surge in calls during the pandemic

·       A new performance management system to measure performance and new software has been put in place to support the service

·       It was noted that if Members wished to visit the service they could contact Jo Murphy

·       ‘Dip sampling’ was due to start to ascertain follow up on calls within the next few months and this would provide additional information

·       Staff are now working in the office after working from home during most of the pandemic

·       Noted that there had been an 8 fold increase in ASB calls during the  pandemic but this had now reduced

 

RESOLVED:

That a further progress report be submitted to the January 2022 meeting, and the results of the ‘dip sampling’ exercise be reported to the Committee at such meeting if this is available

 

 

 

 

The Chair thanked Jo Murphy for attending

296.

Mini Scrutiny Review - Communal Heating - Witness Evidence

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Minutes:

Garrett McEntee and Robert Matthison, Technical Services Manager Head of Capital Programme Delivery were present.                   

 

During consideration the following main points were made –

 

·       Members expressed their disappointment that despite GEM confirming their attendance at this meeting and failure to attend a previous, they could still not send representatives to respond to questions. Members felt that this showed contempt for the Committee

·       Reference was made to the fact that with the winter fast approaching, residents need reassurance that there would be a speedy response to any breakdowns, especially given the recent breakdowns on the Redbrick Estate

·       A Member enquired about the experience of resetting of the boiler at Redbrick Estate every time there was a power outage, suggesting that this could be resolved with UPS( Uninterruptable power supply system) used in office blocks in the City. In addition it was suggested that in the future when systems are designed consideration should be given to an automatic resetting of the boiler system in the event of breakdown

·       Meeting was advised that the contract had been awarded to GEM following the termination of the previous contractors due to poor performance and that was after a tendering process had been fully carried out

·       Reference was made to individual end point metering and the need for this to be installed by September 2022, and that a report on this should be submitted to the next meeting of the Committee

 

RESOLVED:

(a)           That the Committee’s concern be expressed to GEM that they had not attended the Committee on a second occasion when invited, and that they be requested to attend the next meeting of the Committee. In addition a report be submitted on the contract management procedures in place between the Council and GEM

(b)          That a report on end point metering be submitted to the next meeting of the Committee


297.

Registered Providers - Regulator of Social Housing Data pdf icon PDF 143 KB

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Minutes:

Ian Swift, Housing Directorate, was present for discussion of this item

 

During consideration of the report the following main points were made –

 

·       Concern was expressed with the sale of former Council homes that had been transferred to Housing Associations in the borough and in particular the affordability of some Housing Association rents. The Executive Member Housing reiterated that he numerous discussions with Housing Associations on the selling of these properties, making it clear that even if street properties were sold off where they appear not economic to maintain, then replacement social housing should be provided in the borough

·       Council had no formal powers to enforce against Housing Association properties in a state of disrepair besides Environmental Health powers if the property needed repair

·       In response to a question as to Newlon and the Arsenal developments it was stated that it was not thought that much social housing had been agreed on this site, however Members could be provided with details thereon

·       Reference was made to cladding on properties in the borough, especially Housing Association properties and it was stated that a report thereon should be submitted to the next meeting of the Committee. It was stated that discussions were taking place between the Council and Housing Associations and reports on progress are being submitted

 

RESOLVED:

That a report on cladding be submitted to the next meeting of the Committee and Members be provided with details of the social housing properties that had been provided on the Arsenal redevelopment project

298.

Quarterly Review of Housing Performance (Q1 2021/22) pdf icon PDF 180 KB

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Minutes:

Councillor Diarmaid Ward, Executive Member Housing and the Director of Housing, Maxine Holdsworth were present and outlined the report –

 

·       Number of new Council homes started on site this year is on target – 103 properties expected to receive planning permission this year.

·       Number of affordable new homes is on target, however the percentage of homeless decisions made in the time frame is currently below target

·       Number of households in nightly booked temporary accommodation is slightly  high and off target, however this will continue to fall as remaining cases are housed through the Everyone In programme

·       Number of homeless preventions is off target and weekly performance monitoring is in place and staff performance surgeries and best practice training for staff is taking place

·       Number of people sleeping rough – figure off target but prevention work is succeeding and there are currently no long term street homeless in the borough

·       Percentage of all lettings provided to tenants transferring to alternative accommodation is off target, however the gap is relatively small and will be narrowed over the coming months

·       First fix repairs – above target however performance in Q1 was artificially inflated given that during the pandemic, the focus was on emergency repairs

·       Rent arrears as a proportion of rent roll by Council/Partners – indicator on target

·       In response to concerns with the forthcoming decision to remove the additional Government’s Universal Credit offered during the pandemic and rising energy bills, it’s effect on rent arrears, it was stated that without any doubt there would be an adverse impact, however the Council favours early intervention and work was taking place in this regard

·       Reference was made to the long waiting list for Council housing and that many residents could not afford to buy their own house in the borough. It was stated that this was a problem, especially for young people, and that the Mayor of London’s Living Rent scheme was trying to address this whereby rents should not be more than one third of the median rent in the ward. Members were advised that this would apply to the Holloway prison site which is being redeveloped. In addition the Council were purchasing properties in the borough for temporary accommodation so that residents did not, wherever possible, have to move out the borough if they did not wish to do so

·       In response to a question it was stated that the new homes target was expected to be met and the Quarter 2 figures would a more realistic situation. The view was expressed that indicative figures should be provided in future reports

·       In response to a question on whether skills shortage in the construction industry will affect timescales, the Executive Member stated that this was not an issue at present, however this will be kept under review. In response to a question as to whether staff in the DLO could be used in the event of a shortage of labour, it was stated that this was not an issue at present, however this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 298.

299.

Scrutiny Review: Partners Improvement - Draft Recommendations pdf icon PDF 25 KB

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Minutes:

Hannah Bowman, Housing Directorate was present for consideration of this item

The Chair welcomed the progress regarding the programme of bringing Partner properties back in house and that draft recommendations are for consideration and noting. The Chair advised that any additional recommendations or comments should be submitted to the Clerk or himself for consideration prior to the next meeting

 

RESOLVED:

That draft recommendations be noted and that at the next meeting the final report will be considered.

The Chair thanked Hannah Bowman for attending

300.

Work Programme 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 46 KB

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Minutes:

RESOLVED:

That the report be noted