Update via power point presentation
M Gaynor introduced the report and provided Members with two presentations.
The presentations were circulated to Members after the meeting.
M Gaynor was happy to take questions from Members.
Cllr England thanked Mark and said that there was a lot of good information in there, to go away and process a bit more. He said that there are a few instant reflections. It looks like we face lots of barriers and he recognises that why we are were we are, But is worried that already 20% of the time we had to prevent the 1 degree increase on global temperature has already gone. So 1/5 of our time has already elapsed. We do not seem to have been able to get anything off the launch pad.
He said that is he right in thinking that both of the case study examples are 10 years old now. There good examples of what are capable and he accepts that, but he is worried that since 2019 we haven’t put a flag in the ground with a project that is going to help us address the climate emergency.
He asked if there is an opportunity to put in a programme of insulating lofts of floors with this saving share that you talked about? He asked what are we doing to share our point of view and what are we doing to show that to government to get them to solve the problems and barriers.
M Gaynor said that they are working across Hertfordshire with other authorities, which there are four, that are stock holding and there is influence through the chartered institute of housing who do get the hearing with government. He stated that the government does know the changes in which it needs to make it’s just been a difficult time over the year.
He added that it would cost a lot more than 12 million to get the homes of the UK insulated.
In terms of projects that aim to have zero carbon, the pledge that the Council have made is for 2050 he stated that we simply can’t do this any quicker. He added that we have proved the energy efficiency of our homes and any of the poorest categories will be moved first
F Williamson said that we are able to influence other areas. We are members of the Association of Public Sector Excellence.
She added that they have been undertaking some trials on alternative heating technologies.
Cllr England asked how significant is the right to buy problem for us? How much does it affect us to tackle whole blocks.
M Gaynor said that it’s always best to deal with a whole row of terrace houses in terms of access and effectiveness to deliver the whole lot. What would be good is what we did at Seaton Road, to offer it at cost. This would speed up the process but it does make it more difficult as a lot of the homes which are sold under the right to buy and now being used for private renting.
Cllr England asked if there are any neighbourhood’s targetable where we can take a no regrets approach such as the flat roof properties in Highfield?
F Williamson said we do have a number of different property architypes and some non-traditional construction so we are exploring options and technologies that are emerging at the moment to identify effective and efficient solutions. She believes it needs to be an incremental approach rather than a whole house approach, so that there is the opportunity to bring more properties up to a minimum EPC C.
Cllr England said when we will we see more projects like Longlands and Seaton Road?
F Williamson said that they are ongoing, Pelham Court had insulation and additional measures in terms of below window insulation. Gade Tower also had external wall insulation and new windows. This year has not been brilliant in terms of delivering any larger scale projects but it has given us the opportunity to collate the data on the stock and explore new technologies.
Cllr Mahmood said that the presentation was very informative and we need to prioritise. He said that there is a lot of planning but it needs to be realistic. He would be interested to see in the future where the effort has to be, whether its new build to get more saving in terms of carbon footprint or if it’s refurbishing the existing which F Williamson has been doing.
He stated that the old houses will never be 100% carbon neutral.
Cllr Mahmood said that in Seaton Road not all HA properties were done. Would it not have been easier to do all four rather than just the three?
He stated that we need to be mindful of the budget, and would like to see figures and priorities at a later date.
Cllr Freedman thanked M Gaynor for the presentation. On a positive note there has been good consideration of alternatives, there has been some good data gathering to understand the issues and the plans going forward.
He said the hardest thing is working out a place to start and we should be commended on a place to start looking at the under performing housing stock.
The presentation was worth waiting for but we did wait a very long time.
His first point is to fight for the priority of this order, that we have got work undertaken and that we are always thinking of the next.
He believes that the Council have a community leadership role and there are things that we should be doing to encourage our residents. He wants to see us publicising what we can do, and who we have used and what barriers we have come across.
M Gaynor said we concluded this in this afternoons meeting. It’s exactly what we have concluded. We are working on a clear programme with a clear priority.
Cllr Imarni asked if we ever got feedback on St Peters and did it deliver what it was supposed to?
She also mentioned about the Governments fuel Poverty scheme, and asked if they was aware of it, and if we could offer this to private landlords. If the tenant is on benefits then they can claim for it.
M Gaynor said it’s a case of making the information available to landlords. It is in the landloards interest to meet EPC3 as if they don’t meet it they won’t be able to legally let their properties.
Cllr Imarni said there is a Green Scheme and a Fuel Poverty Scheme which is separate and asked if M Gaynor could look more into this as it’s only the tenant that can apply for this and not the landlord.
ACTION: M Gaynor to follow up with Vicky Nash
F Williamson referred to St Peters in Warners End. The block is a passive house and consultants monitored it for two years after it was completed and let to tenants. In the main it performed well. However, there were some issues with ensuring the controls were used effectively and which is a challenge with multiple users, it only takes one to throw the system out.
There needed to be regular maintenance and filters replaced to ensure that all tenants use the correct ventilation controls, as this was throwing out the balance and creating high temperatures in one flat.
Certainly, the energy costs are considerably lower than much of the existing stock.
M Gaynor added to that stating that some of their news build are getting similar results. One being the new Gadsden Row build.