Agenda and minutes

Housing and Community Overview and Scrutiny - Tuesday, 6th December, 2022 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, The Forum. View directions

Contact: Corporate and Democratic Support  01442 228209

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 314 KB

To confirm the minutes from the previous meeting


The minutes from 2 November 2022 were agreed by the committee and signed by the Chair.


Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence


Apologies were received from Cllr Adeleke, Cllr Barry-Mears.

It was noted that Cllr Hollinghurst and Cllr Suqlain Mahmood were at the Finance and Resources meeting, and that Cllr Harden was chairing another meeting.



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




Joint Budget Report pdf icon PDF 730 KB

Additional documents:



NBeresford presented the report, noting that the Housing Service operates under the General Fund and the Housing Revenue Account. The Housing Transformation Improvement Programme ("HTIP") has identified a number of areas that are required to build capacity in 2023-24, including an end-to-end process review of sustainment activity across residents in temporary accommodation, supported housing and the alternative portfolio. The team will be working with Finance to refine the service charge position. Throughout the transformation, there has also been close work with Digital and ICT to identify the infrastructure needed to support the new customer centric approach. There is a full review of the new target operating model for the Housing Service, and there is also a strong focus on commissioning and contracting.


There is a removal of £75k to the General Fund Strategic Housing budget, which relates to cessation of fixed term contracts in the service that are no longer required. On growth items in the HRA, there is £260k of growth that has been identified through HTIP, specifically £86k for a tenancy sustainment officer and a triage officer, £150k for 2 FTE tenancy management officers and a lead officer focusing on implementing improved management arrangements across stock and ensuring an end-to-end review of how residents are supported. For the £37k for building safety, there will be a focus on improving the asset management function and service to the tenant and leaseholder portfolio. Asbestos management is currently managed externally and the £168k is proposed to bring this in-house and align compliance with other areas of compliance across the stock. The Compliance team will be rebranded in line with this as the Safer Homes Team.


On HRA rents, the proposal is to increase rents by 7% in line with the maximum allowed and this has been benchmarked against other local authorities. The average dwelling rent is proposed to be £118.62 per week in 2023-24.


There are a number of forthcoming challenges across the service and a list of these areas was noted. It was noted that recent communication was issued to all local authorities nationally from the Secretary of State and the regulator for social housing in regard to housing standards, particularly regarding the impact of damp and mould on health conditions. There will be significant scrutiny on housing services in relation to this area and the service is confident about its current position about how stock is managed and is currently preparing a response to the communication with robust case studies. An initial response was also sent outlining the service's current position.


Asylum dispersal is being experienced by local authorities, and as of 2023, all local authority areas will become nationwide disposal areas. Whilst the review of tenancy sustainment is underway, the potential impact of this dispersal on resources needs to be considered to ensure that they can respond appropriately.


The approach to reviewing void performance and ensuring a positive outcome for residents may see further changes in relation to income and forthcoming costs. Given the rising  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62.


Action Points pdf icon PDF 321 KB


The action points were agreed and those that are green can be removed.




Work Programme pdf icon PDF 237 KB



The work programme was agreed.


N Beresford informed the committee of members briefing on 19th Jan. The asset Management date is still pending.


2 New Domestic Abuse policies coming in January, also a Revised policy on Decants (FEB OSC) and Tenants policy (date TBC)