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Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Apologies for Absence

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Apologies were received from Councillor Ozdemir and apologies for lateness from Councillor Bossman-Quarshie due to council business.


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 379 KB

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That the minutes of the meeting held on 6 June 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 the meeting that since the last meeting he attended the Local Government Association, an opportunity to learn what other authorities are doing in relation to housing challenges and what they are doing. Very informative views were shared which will be of benefit to the committee and its ongoing work.


External Attendees (if any)

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Order of Business

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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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Major Scrutiny Review 2023/24 : New Homes Build in Islington - To agree Scrutiny Initiation Document pdf icon PDF 189 KB

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As an update, the Interim Acting Director of New Building Development & Delivery informed the meeting that due to council restructuring Karen Sullivan, the Acting Corporate Director of Community and Well Being will now be the Lead officer for the Committee’s review into New Build Homes .


Meeting was advised that the overall aim of the review is to understand the Council’s historic performance in comparison with other Local authority developers and to understand how the programme intends to adapt or mitigate against future challenges such as lack of land supply, high development costs and fluctuating current and future economic climates.

Officer explained how the review would be carried out, highlighting that committee will receive a presentation at the next meeting which will explain in detail where the Council is in terms of its housing programme and its challenges so that members could put the issues in context prior to the review exercise commencing. Committee will also receive written evidence, performance data, witness evidence from neighbouring boroughs and will benchmark council performances with other developing boroughs.


A number of suggestions, that the review should include evidence from other local authorities in other parts of England, that the review should not only focus on quantity but also consider issues around resilience and sustainability especially in light of the climate emergency. It was also noted that the SID made no reference to engagement with residents and tenants.


In light of the issue around scarcity of land within the borough, the review should consider the possibility of building up and in addition purchase land outside the borough to build good quality homes for Islington residents.


That subject to amending the details of the Acting Director as noted above, the Scrutiny Initiation Document be agreed.



Major Scrutiny Review 2022/23 : Strategic Review of Overcrowding in Islington - Draft Recommendations pdf icon PDF 414 KB

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The Chair informed the meeting that following the last committee in June, he and the Vice-Chair Councillor Cinko-Oner had met with the Director of Housing needs to draft recommendations, inviting members for their views, to add any additional recommendations or amend the draft recommendations in the agenda pack.

The Director of Housing advised members that draft recommendations are a result of officer presentation committee received, evidence from external parties such as Islington Law centre, Peabody etc .it was also noted that committee approved questionnaire that was sent not only to Islington tenants but residents living in properties managed by Partners Improvement, that feedback has been fed into some of the draft recommendations.  

With regards to the downsizing scheme and the suggestion for it to be reported to the September meeting it was agreed that this should be considered at the November meeting.


The Chair stated that going forward when Executive have accepted the committee final report and draft recommendations he would suggest that Committee receive a 6 month update so that members will be able to monitor the implementation of the recommendations.


That the draft recommendations be agreed

That the reporting of the downsizing scheme to the Committee be considered at the November meeting

That an officer update regarding the draft recommendations be considered 6 months after being considered at Executive.  


Damp, Condensation and Mould - Officer update pdf icon PDF 149 KB

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Matt West, the Director Housing Property Service updated the meeting on how council is addressing damp, condensation and mould within its housing stock and the following points were highlighted:

·       Feedback on key performance indicators from members have been received which has informed headline key performance indicators and that a sub-set of indicators are being scoped.

·       Further demographics data and “known to” Adult Social Care and Children Social Care has been added to the One View dashboard and that officers continue to work with Public Health to have a strong data-led approach, as a result of which a structured data monitoring plan has been designed and agreed for the short, mid- and long-term time of the programme.

·       Phase two of Council’s urgent response has been launched and letters to the remaining tenants who reported damp and mould between Jan 2020 – Dec 2022 were sent on the 19th of June 2023. It was noted that from that mail-out there, 37 new jobs were raised, that officers are monitoring responses and will design a process for contacting tenants who are yet to respond.

·       It was noted that Officers continue to apply learning from its on-going engagement with residents, benchmarking and Housing Ombudsman special investigation reports. Also Council continues studying the outcomes of all Housing Ombudsman investigations, the 3 reports into other council’s and housing associations to learn from these reports so as to ensure Islington Council continuously improves the services for its residents.

·       The Homes and Neighbourhoods service updated the Islington Health and Wellbeing Board on the 4th of July, report was positively received which has now led to the Health and Well-Being Board agreeing to undertake a strategic review of Health and Housing work to improve the health outcomes, educational attainment, reduce stress in households and improving the living conditions for its communities.

·       In addition to the above, meeting was advised that the Housing and Neighbourhoods service have reached out to Health colleagues to progress this important work, that a meeting is being arranged to conduct this strategic review over the next 12 months.

·       It was noted that with Childrens Social Care leads, it has been agreed initially for there to be a frequent data sharing arrangement to maintain the level of visibility of the whole household and risk factors. This area of work will expand to Adult Social Care. The Homes and Neighbourhoods service is meeting with the Adult Social Care service on the 11th of July 2023, to progress this seamless delivery of services.

·       The Tenancy and Property visits pilot is in phase two, that tenanted properties in the north and south of the borough will be visited, and that a new digital tool has been designed with the aim to improve data quality and reporting.

·       Director informed meeting that training is ongoing and includes call handlers, that this is built into the continuous learning programme. Training for elected members was conducted in June 2023 and July 2023 around Damp and Mould and Disrepair.

·       In June, officers met with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.


Rough Sleeping Data Analysis pdf icon PDF 428 KB

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Islington’s Director Housing Needs and Strategy informed the meeting that following request from members on rough sleeping in Islington, the report provides the following details:


·       The report outlines the central Government data for rough sleeping in Islington, that the information was requested at the previous Housing Scrutiny meeting, that the performance data will ensure that Islington Council will indicate that it is the best housing service in the country.

·       It was noted that one person sleeping on the streets of Islington is one person too many, that elected members expressed concern about the numbers of people sleeping rough in Islington at a previous meeting.

·       Meeting was advised that the attached data in the report honestly and transparently shows rough sleeping in Islington over a longer period of time than the data provided through the quarterly performance data reporting framework allows.

·       The attached report allows members to critically appraise Council work and to assist with its Improvement plan.

·       Director advised that rough sleeping is soaring in London, with over 1,700 more people living on the streets of London compared to last year, a 21% rise, according to figures released from the Greater London Authority (GLA) on the 28th of June 2023. It should be noted as stated in the attached report, that Islington Council performance is actually far better than the rest of London.

·       It was noted that the increase from 8,329 people seen sleeping rough in London in 2021-22 to 10,053 sleeping rough in London in 2022-23 was described as “categorically terrible” by Rick Henderson, the chief executive of the Homeless Link frontline charity, and “extremely alarming” by Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London.

·       Increase in rough sleeping is a result of the cost of living crisis, Brexit and the pandemic.

·       It was noted that although government made a manifesto commitment to “end the blight of rough sleeping by the end of the next parliament” and with 18 months to go it is looking increasingly unlikely this target will be met across London.

·       There is a particularly sharp rise in the number of people sleeping rough for the first time, up 26% on last year to 6,391. This trend in Islington is not the same and the majority of people sleeping rough for the first time in Islington have been sleeping rough in other parts of London but are new to sleeping on the streets of Islington. However, in this area it is clear the performance in Islington is better than the data released for other London Council’s.

·       Also the number of people who returned to living on the streets after more than a year without sleeping rough jumped to 1,578, a 31% increase. However, in Islington this is not the case.

·       It was noted that Council will require much more support from central government, and better cooperation between central Government departments if it intends to end rough sleeping in Islington.

·       It was reiterated that cost of living crisis is driving increases in homelessness and rough sleeping and the majority  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.


Council’s benchmarking of the Tenant Satisfaction Measures and Pilot Regulator of Social Housing work inspection framework pdf icon PDF 688 KB

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Meeting was informed that the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill enacts a set of measures to improve standards for people living in social housing, that it had gone through 1st and 2nd reading in House of Parliament . The bill sets out a new regulatory framework for the consumer regulation of social housing to strengthen the accountability of landlords for providing safe homes, quality services and treating residents with respect.


·       It was noted that many of the changes in the Bill are to be implemented by the Regulator for Social Housing (RSH) with Tenant Satisfaction Measures (TMS) forming part of this new framework.

·       Tenant Satisfaction Measures (TSMs) are the new performance metric for all landlords and in addition to the TSMs, the RSH will also carry out regular “Ofsted style” inspections and investigate organisational complaints to ensure compliance with the new standards.

·       The 22 TSM’s were published by the government in September 2022 after consultation. TSMs came into force from 1st April 2023 and it applies to all social landlords in England with over 1,000 properties.

·       Regulator for Social Housing (RSH) will monitor performance and standards through the above measures which will ensure standard and consistent measure across the social housing sector. There is an Annual reporting requirement and that RSH will publish results, including naming & shame social landlords.

·       RSH have powers to impose unlimited fines, remedial action orders, compensation.

·       It was also noted that Council’s with TMOs/Partners, are responsible for collecting and reporting on all TSMs and that Landlords must share the results with their residents.

·       Meeting was advised that earlier in the year, London Housing Directors’ Group commissioned Housemark to undertake a survey of stock-holding London borough Tenant Satisfaction Measures (TSMs), that report was finalised and published in March 2023.

·       LBI scores 80% for complaints responded to within timescales (stage 1), which comparatively falls within the London Councils median quartile and the national average. The London Councils upper quartile score sits at 93.2% which is considerably higher than the LBI score and the national average. Contextually, the total number of complaints in London has increased by 20% from the previous year and this is representative of the fact that the sheer volume of properties in London is higher, and as such the complaints teams are seeing a greater demand for their services.

·       LBI scores favourably in the number of complaints per 1,000 properties at 29, which is in line with the national average. Comparatively the London Councils lower quartile scores this at 92.6 and the upper quartile at 38.6. This would indicate the LBI responds to a lower proportion of complaints based on the total number of properties it manages.

·       The LBI score for satisfaction that the home is safe and secure is 74%, which comparatively falls within the London Councils upper quartile, but lower that the national average at almost 83%. Contextually, resident perception will vary from London and inner-city areas to more rural areas, as local crime rates and other factors will differ considerably.

·       For the number  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.


Islington Broadband - Update on Programme Delivery pdf icon PDF 520 KB

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·       As an update to the Council’s programme on the fibre broadband rollout since the last meeting, meeting was advised that G-Network wayleave agreement was signed on 28th June, that 184 survey packs from Community Fibre and Hyperoptic have now been approved by the delivery team as of 1 July.

·       In addition to the above, cabling is now complete for 16 blocks, 14 further blocks since the last update (1247 units) have been cabled in addition to Spriggs House and Barratt House already reported. These completed blocks are now waiting for the providers’ network builds.

·       Meeting was advised that providers are keeping Council informed of their timetables for these works, so that residents are informed as soon as services are live.


That officer update on Islington Broadband rollout should be quarterly rather than monthly.


Work Programme 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 142 KB

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That the work programme be noted.

That at the next meeting committee will receive an officer presentation on the scrutiny review topic of 2023/24, New Build Homes