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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Town Hall

Contact: Ola Adeoye  020 7527 044


No. Item


Apologies for Absence

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Apologies were received from Councillors Spall, Debono and Ozdemir

Councillor Bossman-Quarshie although present at the meeting requested that it be noted in the minutes that due to an illness she is unable to ask questions at the meeting


Declaration of Substitute Members

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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.



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There were no declarations of interest


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 345 KB

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That the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 21 September 2021 be confirmed and the Chair be authorised to sign them


Chair's Report

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The Chair informed the meeting of 2 events being held at the Excel Centre in London, the Build Exhibition next week and the Homes Conference 23rd and 24th November 2021.


Order of Business

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The Chair stated that 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.


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The Chair outlined the procedure for Public questions


Major Works Scrutiny Review- 12 month Report Back pdf icon PDF 263 KB

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Matt West, Director of Housing Property Services was present and outlined the report.

Meeting was advised of the progress of some of the recommendations and that a number of pilots will be commencing in 2023.




That the report and progress to date be noted.


The Chair thanked Matt West for attending.


Mini Scrutiny Review - Communal Heating - Final Report and Recommendations pdf icon PDF 635 KB

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Matt West, Director of Property Services and Garrett McEntee, Housing Directorate was present for the report


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


·       Reference was made to the continual problems with the communal heating system in the Bunhill area, that this was not acceptable to residents or Members. Meeting was informed of an incident over the weekend, and the poor communication between the contractor and the Council. Members were informed that the contractor had recognised the problems and stated that staff training was taking place to rectify the situation

·       With the continuing problems with Bunhill 2, a Member suggested that unless the problems were resolved quickly, residents should be converted to individual gas boiler systems.

·       In response, the Director of Housing Property Services acknowledged that he would look into this issue, that members request for drawings and design of the relevant boiler system, will be circulated to the Committee if interested.

·       On the existence of penalty clauses for the Bunhill 2 contract especially when the system fails, the meeting was advised that this information could be provided to the Committee.

·       The Executive Member Housing suggested a informal sub-group of Members should be established to monitor the situation, and that all Members of the Committee interested should be invited when there is any breakdown with the communal heating systems in Islington.

·       It was noted that with the net zero carbon targets, individual gas boilers would not achieve this. The Chair stated that this may be an item for scrutiny in the forthcoming year, especially in tower blocks



That consideration of the report be deferred until the next meeting of the Committee,

and responses to the issues raised above in relation to penalty clauses and drawing of boiler plants be reported to Members




The Chair thanked Matt West for attending


Community Fibre Optics in Housing Estate - Officer Update /presentation pdf icon PDF 205 KB

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Ian Swift, Director of Housing Needs and Strategy was present and outlined the presentation, a copy of which is interleaved


During consideration of the presentation the following main points were made-


·         Fixed fibre to the property or FTTP fibre broadband that is wired directly to the home instead of a cabinet that services it

·         Most Council homes are currently connected to these cabinets via copper cable which unreliable, and only capable of delivering limited connection speeds

·         FTTP connections is 3 times faster and can support significantly higher levels of household demand, making it possible to use a number of devices and stream data, music or videos at the same time

·         Faster and more reliable connectivity has become more important now than ever with increases in home working, home schooling, streaming digital media, and the significance towards accessing goods and services online

·         The Council recognises the significant social and financial benefits of a well connected borough; the huge demand for faster, more affordable and reliable digital connectivity by residents. Over the past year the Council has developed an approach to secure investment to upgrade estates to FTTP and is working closely with GLA, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports, and a number of local authorities, in particular Hackney because of the similarity in approach especially as lessons are being learnt from other Local Authorities

·         The Council envisages working with a number of internet service providers to deliver services across the borough in order to facilitate the rollout of FTTP to our estates as quickly as possible, maximise the choice of provider available to residents, keep the costs of services as low as possible, maximise the social benefits of improved connectivity

·         The Council will engage with the FTTP market providers in mid-November 2021, seeking expressions of interest from potential partners who will be expected to make commitments, that they will provide high quality and affordable connections to all Council owned estates and to a mutually agreed timescale, to work collaboratively with the Council and other providers to minimise disruption to residents, to install all equipment and cabling in a way that is safe ( protecting compartmentalisation of homes), and protects the Council’s and residents interest in homes and buildings. To contribute toward the Council significant costs in facilitating the safety compliant rollout

·         Community benefit – through market engagement the Council hopes to maximise the community benefit of the rollout of FTTP to our estates and wipe out digital connectivity blackspots on Council estates entirely within the next few years

·         The Council is seeking a broad range of measures and commitments from providers in this area, but also recognises that the providers will need to make significant levels of investment to deliver fibre to estates

·         Specific expectations around these have been set out in the expressions of interest document and will be subject to discussion and negotiation with providers. Publication of these ahead of market engagement this month would not be prudent as it may compromise the Council’s ability to secure  ...  view the full minutes text for item 310.


Work Programme 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 135 KB

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The Chair stated that the work programme be amended, noting that further information would be considered in relation to the Scrutiny Review on Communal Heating given the concerns raised earlier during the meeting


The Chair also indicated that the Committee will take further witness evidence into the Scrutiny Review on Partners at the next meeting, with the final report deferred for consideration in the New Year



That the amendments referred to above be incorporated into the revised work programme 2021/22


Other Business

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A Member referred to the recent fire at Godfrey House in his ward, stating and stated that the first he had learnt of this was from a reporter. This was not acceptable and Ward Members and the TRA should have been informed. In addition, a fire improvement notice had been issued and the Fire Brigade had been critical of the fire safety knowledge of Council officers and it was added that this was not acceptable


The Chair referred to a previous Scrutiny Review on Fire Safety that had taken place a few years ago, that progress on these recommendations should be reviewed by the Committee at the next meeting. It was noted that fire safety testing is in place and there is a programme of works


Members were informed that the Council did take fire safety extremely seriously and training for staff did take place. There is a Home Safety Training Board that is independently chaired which focuses on fire safety. In addition, the Council held regular meetings with the Fire Brigade and other groups in relation to tall buildings. It was stated that in future an invitation should be sent to Members to attend these meetings if they wished to do so given the concerns over fire safety following Grenfell.

In response to a member question regarding management of trees on housing estates and in particular safety for residents and children and any planned activities, the Executive Member for Housing & Development advised that this should be referred to the Executive Member of the possibility of reporting back to committee about tree wardens