Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD. View directions
Contact: Ola Adeoye 020 7527 3044
Apologies for Absence
There were no apologies for absence.
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 365 KB
That the minutes of the meeting held on 13 March 2023 be confirmed as an accurate record of proceedings and the Chair be authorised to sign them.
The Chair informed meeting that since the last meeting he had met with housing officers to discuss potential scrutiny topics which might be of interest to the Committee to review in the 2023/24 Municipal year.
It was also noted that Housing Services officers were presently undertaking an exercise to recruit resident representatives on to the Committee, details of which will be provided later.
Order of Business
The order of business would be B1, B2 & B7(taken together), B3, B4,B5 and B6.
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 informed the meeting that questions relating to the Peabody development on the Former Holloway Prison site, submitted by Rose Marie-Mcdonald had received a written response.
Rose requested that any changes due to the recent changes to address fire safety for buildings over 30m, should not have an impact on the number and actual sizes of social housing be provided that amended plans should be shared with the residents.
External Attendees (if any)
Damp and Mould - Officer update PDF 164 KB
Meeting was advised that of the 3,471 properties that had reported damp and mould issues between January 2020 to Dec 2022, contact has been attempted with 2772 and actual contact has been with 1,626 households.
1152 have indicated that they do not have damp and mould in their properties, 474 do have damp and mould in their properties which would require a visit for a diagnostic survey and of these 212 jobs have now been completed, 42 are in progress, 175 are pending works, 44 are either with the surveyor not been able to gain access to the property, some are duplicate or works are no longer required, and one has been referred to the legal team.
In addition to the above, the Director advised that further qualitative analysis on resident feedback will be analysed which will be used to improve services.
Meeting was informed that additional data of tenants in properties, who have reported damp and mould, known to Adult Social Care and Children’s Social Services has been approved, that the Service is currently in the process of adding this to this to the existing dataset. This will improve the Service’s understanding of risk factors and guide service delivery.
Further work is underway to understand a deeper understanding of demographics and disproportionality.
Meeting was advised that after internal officer consultation, Tenancy and Property Audit will now be called Tenancy and Property Visits.
During March and April 2023 a pilot of the above work has been conducted at Halton Mansions to review its impact related to tenants and on services, results of which are in the process of analysis, this will be available at the next meeting of the Committee.
All Islington tenants within the 152 properties and nine block have been sent a letter about the visits and that so far approximately 60 tenanted households have completed the form, with further appointments booked for visits over the next couple weeks, due to tenants receiving a letter and providing a suitable time for a visit.
In addition to the above, Leaseholders are invited to join the Community drop-in sessions.
Initial officer feedback has shown that officer visits have been positively received by tenants, that a further community drop-in session for Halton Mansions, where it is presently being piloted was held on 20th April 2023.
Results from the Housing Allocations Policy consultation, which closed on the 17th March 2023 has now been analysed and will be presented to Corporate Management Board after which it will be considered at the July Executive meeting, that 950 responses were received from residents, as well as 81 partner organisations also responded with only 10% of partners not supporting the proposed changes.
Meeting was informed of the training programme offered to technical and non-technical housing officers is well underway so as to bring awareness of ... view the full minutes text for item 70.
Major Scrutiny Review: Strategic Review of Overcrowding in Islington - update PDF 447 KB
Item was taken in
conjunction with item B7, New Build Benchmarking data.
That overcrowding is one of the areas of housing need that is observed in both the homelessness and housing register pathways.
Committee has received a series of presentations which illustrated the work taking place within the council and with partner agencies to address the issues of overcrowding in Islington.
The council has worked in partnership with the University College London which has produced a detailed questionnaire for all households overcrowded and seeking larger accommodation through the Housing Register. Questionnaire have been distributed to the 2,909 overcrowded households on the housing register and the results will be considered at a future Housing Scrutiny Committee meeting.
Committee also received a comprehensive report outlining the latest data available on overcrowding and the work currently undertaken to address this issue. This data highlighted that only 6% of people on the Housing register will be rehoused into permanent council and housing association accommodation in the future.
Households from minority ethnic backgrounds are three times likely to be affected by overcrowding than white households.
A number of key findings from a recent National Housing Federation research programme shows that for example, four in ten (41%) are in overcrowded homes, children are sharing a bedroom with an adult. Also in one in four overcrowded homes (26%), children are having to share a bed with someone else and that over half of all respondents (52%) have had to sleep somewhere other than their bedroom, such as a living room, bathroom, corridor or kitchen due to overcrowding.
It was noted that through its review, Islington Council is calling for a long-term, national plan for meeting housing need, with the aim of driving a drastic increase in the number of affordable homes over the next decade.
In response to a question on
identifying housing needs and it’s relationship with the
planning process, the Director reminded members of the recent
presentation by planning officers which highlighted for example
with the former Holloway prison site and its various housing mix,
that there is constant discussion and collaboration between
officers in Housing Needs and Planning Officers to assess housing
demand and requirements.
Members were advised that the specific benchmarking task has been undertaken using data that relates to the financial years 01/04/2018 to 31/03/2022 therefore the numbers shown for Islington do not include all of the new build homes that will contribute to the delivery of our 2018-2022 550 target.
That the ... view the full minutes text for item 71.
Preparing for the end of PFI2 - 12-month report back PDF 2 MB
Committee received an update on
the successful reintegration of street property homes managed by
Partners into Council Services from Hannah Bowman, Assistant Director Strategic Planning &
Investment. The following points were highlighted:
27 staff joined the council
from Partners as part of a TUPE transfer to continue to deliver the
services to council residents.
The transition was a
culmination of a three and a half year programme of work, by the
council and Partners, overseen by a multi service Programme Board
within the council, to deliver a smooth and successful transition
of service from Partners to the council.
Members were reminded that the
committee provided recommendations for improvements to the
programme and that a year on from the reintegration the briefing
before committee reflects how the homes have been reintegrated into
Council service delivery highlights continued plans to ensure
services are fully integrated into service improvement plans by the
The meeting was informed that a
range of performance indicators were identified to help review the
impact on the council services of the reintegration of PFI 2 homes,
so that the housing services key landlord contact points were a
key, that the repairs service was a key area for review as street
properties have a range of characteristics that are different from
Council estate stock and pose different challenges in service
Although there have been areas
of more significant impact, overall the additional properties have
not resulted in high levels of impact on services, demonstrating
that service preparations have in general been successful and
Meeting was advised that call volumes at Housing Direct actually saw a fall when compared with the previous year for the first seven months of the year, that this drop was more pronounced following the first 2 months of the year, which may indicate a small but significant surge in repair reports or servicing enquiries during the initial two months of the integration. However, there does not appear to be an on-going and sustained pressure on the call centre as a result of the integration.
The Service has experienced a
significant growth in work as a result of managing a large number
of repairs jobs raised on PFI2 homes as they have returned to LBI
to be managed, over 11,500 jobs this year. Overall, the total
number of repairs jobs has increased between April 2022 and March
2023 including PFI 2 jobs, but the PFI 2 jobs have remained
consistently around 11% of the total number of jobs, that this has
been within a backdrop of increases in jobs being experienced in
all stock. The service has reported that the cost and complexity of
these jobs are higher than for the majority of stock.
In terms of gas repair jobs, the Assistant Director noted that the ... view the full minutes text for item 72.
Fibre Broadband update PDF 136 KB
Ian Swift updated the
Committee on the programme and delivery of Islington Broadband,
reminding the meeting that the roll out of fibre broadband remains
a high objective of the council.
A suggestion for local MP’s court to exert some pressure on the local providers and possibly highlight the issue in the local press was noted.
On the delays, the
Director advised that the Council had no control over the providers
on its rollout programme, that council can only cajole and
encourage them to provide the service, that the Council is hopeful
that over the next 3 years over 90% of the programme will be rolled
That progress of the rollout programme be reviewed in the next 3-6 months.
That Communications and campaign be enhanced to ensure that pressure is placed on the local providers.
Quarterly Review of Housing Performance (Q3 2022/23) PDF 542 KB
O’Halloran, Executive Member of Homes and Communities and
Neighbourhood and Jed Young Interim Corporate Director of Homes and
Neighbourhood was present and outlined the report. The following
points were highlighted:
On the numbers of
people sleeping rough, meeting was advised that in comparison to
central london local authorities,
Islington is to be commended having reduced the numbers sleeping
rough from 50 years three years ago to a number of 6 and that
evidence has shown that these are new people possibly from other
borough. The council has a lot of support in place.
On the issue of accreditation and licensing, the meeting was informed that this is with the Community and Safety team, details which is available for committee and can be circulated.
In response to a
question about H3 indicator, the number of affordable new homes
completed by the Council and the target, the Director acknowledged
that it was a typographical error, that this will be clarified and
correct figures be circulated.
That the report be noted
That data reported on H3 be clarified and circulated to members
Communal Heating Mini-Review - 12-month report back PDF 212 KB
Stephen Platt, the Assistant
Director Property Services provided an update on the Committees
recommendation following its review exercise on the Council’s
communal heating systems. The following points were
That the progress of the
service on implementing its recommendations is noted.
New Build Benchmarking Data - update PDF 167 KB
Item taken in conjunction with Item B2 – Strategic Review of Overcrowding in Islington
Work Programme 2022/23 PDF 137 KB
The Chair thanked members of
the Committee, housing officers, external stakeholders and members of the public for their
contributions to the work of the Committee.
The Chair reminded the meeting
as evidence regarding the Committee’s review into
overcrowding is still ongoing in particular
evidence from the boroughs Housing Associations, the
Committee’s work will continue into the 2023/24 municipal
year as this needs to be taken into consideration.
That the work programme 2022/23 be noted.