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Agenda and draft minutes

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Contact: Ola Adeoye  020 7527 3044


No. Item


Apologies for Absence

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There were no apologies for absence.


Declaration of Substitute Members

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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.



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There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 365 KB

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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.


Chair's Report

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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

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The order of business would be B1, B2 & B7(taken together), B3, B4,B5 and B6.


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 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.

Cllr O’Halloran in response to the question on who is eligible for the social housing on the Holloway Site, meeting was advised that allocation of homes would be via the council’s letting office, that homes would go to the nearest estate affected as they are given high priority.

On the implementation of fire safety changes and its possible impact of the proposed social housing, meeting was advised that this will be looked at and that any changes would require it being brought back before the Planning Committee.


External Attendees (if any)

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Damp and Mould - Officer update pdf icon PDF 164 KB

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That Committee received an extensive progress report on Islington’s damp, mould and condensation from Jed Young, the Acting Corporate Director of Homes & Neighbourhood and the following points were highlighted:–

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 icon PDF 447 KB

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Item was taken in conjunction with item B7, New Build Benchmarking data.

Ian Swift in summary updated the meeting on what had been carried out so far as part of the committee’s review exercise on overcrowding and includes:-

Islington has significant levels of housing need in the borough.


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.

On the request for benchmarking data with other neighbouring authorities, the Corporate Director advised that the briefing notes two sources , GLA Housing Starts and Completions and DLUHC and secondly data from other local authorities with similar development programmes. It was noted that presently there is no single source to provide accurate comparison.


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 icon PDF 2 MB

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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:

On 4 April 2023 the c. 2800 tenanted homes and 1200 leasehold homes returned to council management at the end of the council’s 16-year Housing Private Finance Initiative (PFI) 2 contract with Partners for Improvement in Islington (Partners).

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 council.

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 delivery.

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 adequate.

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 icon PDF 136 KB

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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.

Meeting was advised that since the last update in March, no further service connections have been made live by the providers (60 at Spriggs House and Barratt House as at the date of the last report 1 March). 

 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 out.


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 icon PDF 542 KB

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Councillor Una 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:

Meeting was advised that a new indicator H13 to be included in quarterly reports, this is the % of residents who are satisfied or satisfied with the whole experience of having works carried out, an opportunity for members to assess the performance of the repairs being carried out.


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.

Members were advised that following the end of consultation period the Private Landlord Tenant Charter which received substantial response has been accepted by Council and will be circulated to members.


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.

The Chair commended the work of the small team managing those who are sleeping rough on Islington Streets.


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 icon PDF 212 KB

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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 highlighted:

Meeting was advised that considerable progress has been made implementing the scrutiny's recommendations, with work to continue over the next few years.

Improving the Communal Heating Service is a key focus for the Property Services Team in both maintaining existing boilers and looking for new low carbon alternatives.

On the question whether the Service is considering Solar Power as an option to communal heating, the Director noted that all options are being considered, that this was not a final solution but will supplement the energy supplier.
On the question of having heating meters installed, meeting was advised that Council have plans to have it rolled out to all its properties in the borough, that having heating on 24/7 days was not sustainable especially during this period of high cost of energy.


That the progress of the service on implementing its recommendations is noted.


New Build Benchmarking Data - update pdf icon PDF 167 KB

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Item taken in conjunction with Item B2 – Strategic Review of Overcrowding in Islington


Work Programme 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 137 KB

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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.

In the interim members were invited ahead of the next meeting to consider possible draft recommendations. 


That the work programme 2022/23 be noted.