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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD. View directions

Contact: Ola Adeoye  020 7527 044


No. Item


Apologies for Absence

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Apologies were received from Councillor Spall, Ozdemir and Bossman-Quarshie for lateness


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 256 KB

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That the minutes of the meeting held on 11 November 2021 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 stated that a meeting had been held with GEM, which had been constructive, and it had been agreed that the Council would work with GEM and residents in order to improve communication issues to ensure residents got a better service in future, and that performance improved


Reference was made to the availability of spare parts and that the GEM contract did not cover spare parts, however GEM had offered to assist and this would be looked at in the future


The Chair stated that Housing contracts could be subject of a scrutiny review for the Committee at a future date


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 Scrutiny Review - Partners Improvement - Witness Evidence

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Ms.Portia Msigmmanga, Charteris Road co-op was present and gave witness evidence to the Committee


During the evidence the following main points were made –


·         Noted that Portia had been a tenant since 1992 and that she had had a number of repairs carried out on her roof since that time. She expressed concern at the number of repairs to her roof that had taken place during that time, and the length of time scaffolding had been erected at the property, which must be costly to the Council. The Chair stated that scaffolding had been the subject of a scrutiny review and that the review could be circulated to Members

·         Noted that she had raised a formal complaint with the Council but had not yet received a response, nearly a year later. The Director of Corporate Housing stated that if she was provided with details she would investigate this

·         Noted that some tenants seemed concerned to report repairs, although she had not experienced concerns of this nature when contacting the Council

·         In response to a question it was stated that all Council owned properties were available to view on the Council website

·         Noted that cyclical repairs were taking place on street properties

·         In response to a question it was stated that discussions were taking place with regard to staff transferring to the Council under TUPE from Partners and that a report on progress would be submitted to the next meeting

·         Discussion took place as to installation of fire alarms and it was stated that this would be investigated



(a)  That the scrutiny review on scaffolding be circulated to Members of the Committee for discussion at the March meeting of the Committee


(b)  That a report on progress of TUPE staff transfer from Partners be submitted to the next meeting of the Committee




The Chair thanked the witness for attending


Housing Fire Safety Update pdf icon PDF 647 KB

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Maxine Holdsworth, Corporate Director Housing and Stuart Fuller, Head of Housing Safety and Compliance were present and outlined the report


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


·       Noted Fire Safety Act 2021 is likely to be effective from October 2022. The legislation will impose new duties on the Council as a landlord

·       Noted the Council monitors fire safety developments through a number of meetings, as outlined in the report

·       The Council has reviewed its investment plans, and refocused them to ensure there are sufficient resources in the building safety programme, ensuring all aspects of building safety are being addressed within a 5 year programme

·       A programme of fire safety improvements to the Communal Areas of the Council’s high rise residential blocks commenced in 2020

·       Noted that the programme to install interlinked smoke/heat detectors, and warning systems in the Council’s directly managed properties and Partner street properties is now underway, and gaining momentum

·       Noted the employee training and development taking place, and enforcement action taking place from the London Fire Brigade, and the actions being taken in respect of enforcement action on the notice relating to Godfrey House

·       FED programme – Council has ongoing programme to replace fire doors that do not meet current fire safety standards or comply with relevant guidance. This was paused due to national concerns about composite, glass

 reinforced plastic doors, however, since November 2019 the Council has installed 2882 fire doors. There are currently 1136 FED replacements outstanding, which are due to be completed by September 2022

·       Noted that visits can be arranged by the Fire Brigade for elderly and vulnerable tenants to advise on fire safety

·       Noted that there were payment plans in place for replacement of doors for leaseholders

·       In response to a question it was stated that with regard to paragraph 5.2 of the report that monthly reports of all FRA activity for the preceding month, including outcomes from FRA, summary of actions arising, monitoring of overall FRA actions outstanding and tracking of high risk actions could be circulated to Members

·       It was noted that training for staff was taking place following the Godfrey House fire and the view was expressed that fire safety training for all staff should be undertaken on a yearly basis

·       Reference was made to the boxes containing detailed information for the Fire Brigade on plans for estates in case of fire and that details of these and vulnerable residents are also kept on the Council database which was available at all times

·       In response to a question the Executive Member Housing stated that he was in discussions with Housing Associations in regard to improving fire safety in their properties

·       Reference was made to paragraph 5.7 of the report in relation to FRA actions in low rise properties and it was stated that an analysis of planned actions could be circulated to Members when available

·       The view was expressed that with regard to safeguarding the quicker the Fire Brigade knew information about vulnerable residents  ...  view the full minutes text for item 321.


Quarterly Review of Housing Performance Q2 (2021/2022) pdf icon PDF 518 KB

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Councillor Diarmaid Ward, Executive Member of Housing was present and outlined the report


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


·       Noted the number of planning permissions for new Council housing was on target at this point. The number of new council homes started on site was ahead of schedule with 30 homes rather than the 21 planned that quarter

·       Number of affordable new homes completed by the Council is on target, however figures are not available for developers at this point

·       Noted that number of homeless decisions made in target timeframe and number of households in nightly booked temporary accommodation were not on target

·       Noted that number of homeless preventions is off target at this point in the year, and weekly performance monitoring is taking place and best practice training to support staff in meeting this challenging target

·       Number of people sleeping rough if off target however the rough sleepers found in the most recent counts have only been sleeping rough for one or two weeks

·       Percentage of all lettings provided to Council tenants securing a transfer indicator shows that 169 residents have been supported to move into more suitable accommodation, and whilst this is off target the gap is relatively small

·       Percentage of LBI repairs fixed first time is above target but it is a not like for like comparison with the previous year

·       Rent arrears as a proportion of rent roll for LBI is on target and arrears have remained stable

·       Rent arrears as a proportion of the rent roll for Partner properties is slightly off target

·       In response to a question it was stated that there were 14000 on the Council housing waiting list but many would never be eligible for Council housing due to the fact that they did not have enough points

·       In response to a question as to when the new properties on the Redbrick Estate would be tenanted it was stated that the contractors had stated that these should be completed for occupation in January and viewings were taking place

·       Reference was made to the recent heating problems on the Redbrick Estate and compensation awarded to tenants which had been credited to rent accounts rather than tenants being able to use this money in other ways. The Executive Member Housing stated that he would discuss this matter with officers

·       A Member referred to the number of families housed with children under 18 in temporary accommodation and the Executive Member stated that he would e mail Members following the meeting with this information



That the Executive Member Housing be requested to circulate details to Members as to how many families with children under 18 are housed in temporary accommodation



The Chair thanked Councillor Ward for attending


Work Programme 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 132 KB

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That the report be noted