Agenda and draft minutes

Housing and Community Overview and Scrutiny - Tuesday, 1st December, 2020 6.30 pm

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Contact: Email:  01442 228209

No. Item



To confirm the minutes from October and November.


The Minutes from 4 November were agreed by the Committee. The Chair advised that there were some amendments to the minutes from 7 October 2020, these will be agreed at the next meeting.


Cllr Imarni informed the committed that the action log had be updated since being published, and was available to view as an appendix.




Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Pringle.

Councillor Mahmood was attending Finance & Resources OSC as part of Joint Budget.




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 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 262 KB

Additional documents:


J Deane gave an in-depth presentation to provide Members with an overview of the draft budget proposal for 2021/2022 and provide the opportunity for committees to scrutinise and provide feedback to Cabinet.


F Jump gave a brief introduction to Members asking for feedback on the budget preparations for next year. She was happy to take questions on the report.


Cllr England asked for the officers to prepare a report for the next Committee on the borrowing options to build council housing, given what we have just heard about the Public Works Loan Board from James Deane?

Cllr England will email the Chair and officers following the meeting with details but did not want to miss the opportunity expressed this evening.”


Action: Cllr England




F Jump said that they plan to refresh this next year and will happily bring it to the committee after.

Action: F Jump


Cllr Freedman enquired as to the top line 2021 figures; in particular the lack of significant difference with the current year budgets. He stated an expectation to see an increase in many areas relating to slippage of works into the future year due to pandemic and other delays.


F Williamson explained that there had been some slippage, due to some elements of work not being delivered moving from this year to next. The total amount of slippage has not been allocated into next year’s budget, as this had been profiled over the next few years to smooth the business plan and allow for investment in areas in preparation for the Building Safety Bill.

Cllr Freedman said that he has over simplified it and that he needed to look at the bigger picture over three years, then he should see a difference.


Cllr Johnson, said seeing the comprehensive spending last week, £254 million to support rough sleepers that was at risk of homelessness will be going to authorities. He asked, Do we have any idea what this money could be used for or what will the Borough be receiving?


N Beresford said that they met with MHCLG last week in relation to the grant funding. Through the ‘everyone in ask’ the COVID response was to bring all rough sleepers in off the streets. The council were allocated 7.5 million pounds; to date we have spent 80 thousand pounds.

We do not have an indication of what we will receive for flexible homeless support grant or homeless support grant but we hope it will be reflective of what we have previously received.

They usually receive an update around October/November but the update they have had is it is currently with treasury. They hope to receive an update soon.


N Beresford said that 18 thousand pound has been allocated to them from County to enable them to support households through the COVID response.

However, she suspects that the funding they do receive will not cover their costs.


Cllr Johnson thanked N Beresford for the comprehensive response.


Cllr England asked if he was right in thinking that, there  ...  view the full minutes text for item 87.


Garage Project Update pdf icon PDF 491 KB


L Roberts updated the committee on the garage programme update, the purpose of the report is to update members on the current garage asset position and the progress of the garage programme review and its objectives highlighting that the main risk for the Council



L Roberts was happy to take questions from members.


Cllr Mahmood referred to the survey for repairs works that come through, the main things he can think of is a door or the roof, assuming it is not asbestos. He wondered,

where we rent to businesses and the local public, should we not be double charging businesses and half to the public to differentiate the two.


S Raggatt replied stating that they do charge two different rates, private pay VAT on top of the rental cost and a third pricing for charities, which is very low.


L Roberts said with the pricing going forward we want to look at how we want to develop the stock, so it’s something they will consider. The most common repairs as part of the survey was roofs, walls, door and decoration so they have that level of detail now.


Cllr Mahmood said that as we are looking for housing do we have the ability to build on top of the garages.


F Williamson said that they strongly advise against that As aside from structural considerations  when the  development team design the new builds these are to higher codes for sustainability and  therefore the preference where they have a developable site is to demolish and start again.


Cllr Mahmood said that we talk about garages, but they’re used for storage so when we re brand them we need to look at a more descriptive name.


S Raggatt agreed with Cllr Mahmood and said that any input would greatly be received.  They would like to do a survey to find out what they are currently using them for, this will help us market going forward.


Cllr England asked if we had the cart before the horse. If we are going to fix the garage letting system and make it professional then why don’t we evaluate what we are going to do with the garages after we have done that, and we might find that the picture changes.


L Roberts asked for clarification, as she did not understand the question being asked.


Cllr England referred to point 12, if we are contemplating that shouldn’t we do that before we evaluate what is lettable and what is not?


L Roberts said its more about the process, we know that we have some garages that are lettable as with the current system we have ones that come back and get re let.

What we are talking about is a significant number of garages being able to be re let, or if you then want to do that it would be useful to improve the process. It then makes it easier in the future for tenants to get the garages as this has proved difficult due  ...  view the full minutes text for item 88.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 289 KB

Additional documents:


The work programme was agreed.