Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Streets, Environment & Homes Sub-Committee - Tuesday, 30th November, 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: To view the meeting, please use the link https://webcasting.croydon.gov.uk/13890-Scrutiny-Streets--Environment---Homes-Sub-Committee

Contact: Stephanie Davis
020 8726 6000 x84384  Email: stephanie.davis@croydon.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

31/21

Minutes of the Previous Meeting

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on18 May 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 18 May 2021 were agreed as an accurate record.

                                                                                                                

32/21

Disclosure of Interests

Members and co-opted Members of the Council are reminded that, in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct and the statutory provisions of the Localism Act, they are required to consider in advance of each meeting whether they have a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI), any other registrable interest (ORI) or a non-registrable interest (NRI) in relation to any matter on the agenda. If advice is needed, Members should contact the Monitoring Officer in good time before the meeting.

 

If any Member or co-opted Member of the Council identifies a DPI or ORI which they have not already registered on the Council’s register of interests or which requires updating, they should complete the disclosure form which can be obtained from Democratic Services at any time, copies of which will be available at the meeting for return to the Monitoring Officer.

Members and co-opted Members are required to disclose any DPIs and ORIs at the meeting.

 

·Where the matter relates to a DPI they may not participate in any discussion or vote on the matter and must not stay in the meeting unless granted a dispensation.

·Where the matter relates to an ORI they may not vote on the matter unless granted a dispensation.

·Where a Member or co-opted Member has an NRI which directly relates to their financial interest or wellbeing, or that of a relative or close associate, they must disclose the interest at the meeting, may not take part in any discussion or vote on the matter and must not stay in the meeting unless granted a dispensation. Where a matter affects the NRI of a Member or co-opted Member, section 9 of Appendix B of the Code of Conduct sets out the test which must be applied by the Member to decide whether disclosure is required.

 

The Chair will invite Members to make their disclosure orally at the commencement of Agenda item 3, to be recorded in the minutes.

 

Minutes:

Cllr Jade Appleton advised that in a prior role at the Local Government Association she had worked with some of the members assigned to the Independent Board.

There were no other disclosure of interest made at the meeting.

 

33/21

Urgent Business (if any)

To receive notice of any business not on the agenda which in the opinion of the Chair, by reason of special circumstances, be considered as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business for consideration by the Sub-Committee at the meeting.

34/21

Update on improvements to the Housing Directorate and progress towards a Housing Strategy and review of the Housing Revenue Account pdf icon PDF 223 KB

To receive an update on the improvements to the housing directorate and progress towards a housing strategy and provide comment on the improvement wok to date.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Sub-Committee considered a report set out on pages 7 to 18 of the agenda which detailed the progress made with setting the budget for the Housing Revenue Account (HRA). The report had been provided for the Sub-Committee to review the Council’s new approach to the Housing Revenue Account and its Business Plan.

The Cabinet Member for Homes, Councillor Patricia Hay-Justice introduced the report, during which the following was noted:

·         Communication with the residents at Regina Road had increased with information now more readily available such as residents being informed of who their caretaker was. Meetings had been held with the Residents Support Group, and following a recommendation from the Sub-Committee a hybrid approach to holding the meetings had been used.

·         The performance around following-up repairs and communicating with residents on the status of their repairs had improved.

·         The Housing Improvement Plan was being created and included recognition that cultural change was necessary. Work had already commenced on this with senior staff emphasising the need for better engagement with residents.

·         Martin Wheatley had been appointed as the Independent Chair of the Housing Improvement Board and would be leading the next board meeting on 7 December at Stanley Halls.

Following the introduction by the Cabinet Member, the Council’s Interim Corporate Director for Housing, David Padfield, was also invited to provide an update. It was confirmed that the key aspects of the improvement work were the following:

·         Development of a Housing Improvement Plan

·         Establishment of a Housing Improvement Board

·         Progress towards a Housing Strategy

It was noted that six positions on the Board had already been filled, with three remaining.

The biggest priority at the moment was to recruit to the vacant Heads of Service posts within the Housing directorate, with six vacancies to be filled. Key performance indicators had been identified for Housing, with all areas identified still of concern.

It was confirmed that a review of the Housing Revenue Account Business Plan would be presented to the Cabinet in March 2022. The Plan would provide a breakdown of income and costs, together with details of surplus deficits, reserves and balances within the Housing Revenue account over thirty years.

The ARK Report had identified eleven issues as requiring immediate action. These recommendations had now been addressed, although progress on some was ongoing. One of biggest challenges was the need to change the culture of the Council, which was an issue that had been highlighted in both the Report in the Public Interest and the ARK report.

Following the introductions the Sub-Committee was given the opportunity to ask questions on the information provided. The first question sought clarification on the residents’ survey with concern noted about the number of residents who had responded to advise the service was either average, poor or very poor. It was agreed that a detailed breakdown of responses would be circulated following the meeting. There was a concern that more recent engagement may indicate that the number of people dissatisfied with the service had increased further.

In  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34/21

35/21

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 235 KB

The Streets Environment and Homes Sub-Committee is asked to:-

1. Note the current position of its Work Programme for 2021-22,

2. To consider whether there are any other items that should be added to the work programme.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration of this item was deferred.

36/21

Exclusion of the Press and Public

The following motion is to be moved and seconded where it is proposed to exclude the press and public from the remainder of a meeting:

 

“That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information falling within those paragraphs indicated in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.”

Minutes:

This motion was not required.