Agenda and minutes

Housing and Community Overview and Scrutiny - Tuesday, 4th February, 2020 7.30 pm

Venue: Conference Room 2 - The Forum. View directions

Contact: Corporate and Democratic Support  01442 228209

No. Item



To confirm the minutes from the previous meeting


The minutes of the meeting held on 8 January 2020 were agreed by Members present and signed by the Chair.



Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence


Apologies were received from Councillors Mahmood, Pringle, Oguchi and Hollinghurst


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest


A member with a disclosable pecuniary interest or a personal interest in a matter who attends a meeting of the authority at which the matter is considered -


(i)            must disclose the interest at the start of the meeting or when the interest becomes apparent


and, if the interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest, or a personal interest which is also prejudicial


(ii)           may not participate in any discussion or vote on the matter (and must withdraw to the public seating area) unless they have been granted a dispensation.


A member who discloses at a meeting a disclosable pecuniary interest which is not registered in the Members’ Register of Interests, or is not the subject of a pending notification, must notify the Monitoring Officer of the interest within 28 days of the disclosure.


Disclosable pecuniary interests, personal and prejudicial interests are defined in Part 2 of the Code of Conduct For Members


[If a member is in any doubt as to whether they have an interest which should be declared they should seek the advice of the Monitoring Officer before the start of the meeting]



There were no declarations of interest


Public Participation

An opportunity for members of the public to make statements or ask questions in accordance with the rules as to public participation


There was no public participation


Consideration of any matter referred to the committee in relation to call-in




Budget preparations 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 202 KB

Additional documents:


F Jump presented the report and asked Committee for any questions.


Cllr England said that on page 20 there is a £200k variance on garages and asked if that was the identified additional income that we think we get in successive years.  F Williamson replied that this was a reduction from the budgeted income that is forecast for next year, to allow for all of the work that the review will produce, in respect of any investment programme or rationalisation or one of the other options to replace them with modular garages and it was mentioned earlier about the life expectancy of garages  That is down to block by block and them down to the individual components and that’s the information we are lacking at the moment in terms of collecting information.  Whilst all of that is in train we have been conservative in our estimate in respect of whether that will generate any additional income next year.  From the modelling we’ve done in terms of the garages let against the garages returned that is the impact on the budget for next year.


Cllr England said that hopefully with all this activity recently income might be higher but it’s best to assume on the downside.  L Roberts mentioned that there is always what she would call a hockey stick, so you’re always going to have a little bit of a dip before you get your increase, because we are spending on the project itself.


Cllr Johnson mentioned that on page 12 it mentions tree work for housing HRA and wondered if that was planting trees or pruning, pollarding and removing trees.   F Williamson said it was a specific sum for tree  survey for trees on HRA land, so thats in response to some problems that theyve been outside of the borough in terms of tree management, so we want to ensure we manage that risk by undertaking a survey of existing trees.


Cllr England said on page 20 that the homelessness income figure seems to have a variance of 53% which he feels is a large variance and asked for an explanation.  F Jump said that it was additional income for temporary accommodation that we are expecting next year as a result of the conversion of estates properties and also garage conversions as well.


Cllr England asked about the Adventure Playgrounds on page 21 is showing a 28% increase in income likely, it seems like a big increase.  L Roberts said when you look at it in black and white it is a big increase but its not a large number. Again it comes back to support for marketing, so we are really going to target birthday parties, that type of thing, so far Ive got no reason to question why we wont achieve it.


Cllr England said it looks as if there is a cut of about £39k on the community development, residents services and neighbourhood action and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.


Garage programme pdf icon PDF 99 KB


The Garage Programme was discussed in detail at the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee.



Portfolio Holder Key Priorities


Cllr Banks, the Portfolio Holder for Community and Regulatory Services, confirmed the services priorities for the next year and asked if there was any questions.


Cllr Adeleke thanked Cllr Banks for a very good presentation and from what’s been said so far it looks as if it’s going to be a very interesting year, so thank you and your team. 


Cllr Adeleke asked about the 2020 Year of Culture, we’ve gone through the programme and he is still not clear how much activity we are putting out to outer Hemel Hempstead area.  The Chairman said that it doesn’t seem apparent anywhere in Hertfordshire that she has been recently that it’s Herts Year of Culture, it’s not a criticism for Dacorum, but been to Broxbourne and East Herts and it’s not obvious there either.  Is there a way to beef it up so it’s more obvious, I thought we’d get to 1st January and it would be everywhere, you’d be sick of seeing the signs.  L Roberts advised that there is only minimal Officer support at Hertfordshire level and they have been dependent upon getting the level of participation at the Borough level.  We have been fortunate that we’ve got Annie who’s very passionate about and has actively worked with Hertfordshire to see what we can do, but we don’t get huge sight of what goes on in other areas and if they’ve not got an officer dedicated to do it, we wouldn’t necessarily see it.  I think it will vary, there isn’t a set thing that we’ve all been asked to do. 


Cllr Banks mentioned that we had the flag out the first week of January.  At the last Full Council and throughout the coming year, she has asked Officers to make sure there was a presentation for Members outside Full Council, so last Full Council we had a display table, what’s happening in January and February.  It’s been Facebook and it will be advertised through the Old Town Hall publication and their newsletter, what you are looking for is the rainbow coloured 2020 logo, but it’s supporting all sorts of things from very classic arts and delivery of culture, right the way through to tea dances and get togethers.  They are doing a tea and chat downstairs in the Café area, inviting people to come in and meet up. 


L Roberts said if you are here on a Thursday lunchtime, be very aware that there is now a staff choir taking place.  Cllr Banks said it was open to all Forum employees, so CCG, Credit Union and CAB members are there as well.


The Chairman said that obviously there has been a lot of effort, but you kind of have to be using those facilities, it’s not the best example but when the fair is here, every time you stop at traffic lights there’s a poster or in shop windows and I kind of felt that Herts Year of Culture would be similar.  Cllr Banks totally agrees and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.


Work programme pdf icon PDF 118 KB


Cllr England had emailed a question to the Chairman about the Work Programme and the Chairman apologised for not responding, but it was thought to be part of a bigger piece of work that the Chairman is doing with Mark Brookes and is scheduled to come to Committee and will be meeting with Officers over the next couple of weeks and will be able to update where that will be included and when it will be coming to Committee.


There were no changes to the Work Programme.