Agenda and draft minutes

Scrutiny Streets, Environment & Homes Sub-Committee
Tuesday, 22nd January, 2019 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX

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

Items
No. Item

1/19

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 135 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 6 November 2018 as an accurate record.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 6 November 2019 were agreed as an accurate record subject to the following amendments:

 

The Recommendations for Agenda item 5, Cabinet Member Question time be revised to:

 

1. Recommend to the Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Regeneration for exact timescales to be provided on the resolution of outstanding recommendations.

2. Recommend to the Cabinet member for Environment, Transport and Regeneration for a review of Public by Laws to take place despite constraints.

 

 

The Conclusions and Recommendations for Agenda Item 6, Housing in Croydon re revised to read:

 

 In reaching its recommendations, the Committee reached the following CONCLUSIONS:

  1. The Members thanked the registered housing providers and Support for attending the meeting.
  2. The Sub-Committee Members felt that the information report presented by the Council officers required improvement as lacked vital information about the sector in Croydon.
  3. The Housing First initiate was innovative and welcoming and that progress details of progress would be welcomes at future meetings.
  4. The work of the Gateway service was positive and making a difference to the lives of Croydon residents.
  5. The short term funding provided by government to Thames reach was not beneficial to their workforce in the long term.
  6. The housing providers that have been successful in ensuring that their contractors pay the London Living Wage be congratulated.
  7. There is a need for better co-ordination between all Registered Housing Providers in Croydon to ensure best use of resources across the borough.

 

The Committee RESOLVED to:

  1. Recommend to Optivo, Caysh, CCHA and Thames reach to work extensively to encourage their contractors to pay staff the London Living Wage.
  2. Recommend to Cabinet Member that the Council should lead on having an annual review of Registered Housing Providers performance in the borough,
  3. Recommend to the all registered housing providers In Croydon to improve their partnership working within Croydon and with the Council.
  4. Recommend to Cabinet Member to review Croydon’s overall approach to its relationship with Registered Housing Providers in Croydon and report back to this committee.

 

 

2/19

Disclosure of Interests

In accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct and the statutory provisions of the Localism Act, Members and co-opted Members of the Council are reminded that it is a requirement to register disclosable pecuniary interests (DPIs) and gifts and hospitality to the value of which exceeds £50 or multiple gifts and/or instances of hospitality with a cumulative value of £50 or more when received from a single donor within a rolling twelve month period. In addition, Members and co-opted Members are reminded that unless their disclosable pecuniary interest is registered on the register of interests or is the subject of a pending notification to the Monitoring Officer, they are required to disclose those disclosable pecuniary interests at the meeting. This should be done by completing the Disclosure of Interest form and handing it to the Democratic Services representative at the start of the meeting. The Chair will then invite Members to make their disclosure orally at the commencement of Agenda item 3. Completed disclosure forms will be provided to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion on the Register of Members’ Interests.

Minutes:

There were none.

3/19

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.

4/19

Cabinet Member Question Time: Cabinet Member for Homes and Gateway Services pdf icon PDF 547 KB

Question Time with the Cabinet Member for Homes and Gateway Services, Councillor Alison Butler.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Homes and Gateway Services gave a presentation on aspects of her portfolio and covered the following:

 

Creating Homes

Brick by Brick was targeted towards tackling the problems faced from a lack of supply in the housing market, particular affordable homes in the borough. The company had received planning consent for over 40 sites since it was set up in 2016 providing over 1,000 new homes, 48% of which were affordable homes.

 

The Croydon Affordable Homes Charity Partnership which had provided 96 homes for people was in the process of purchasing 256 new homes. Affordable rental properties from Brick by Brick will be transferred to this stock as well as hubs from the Taberner House development

 

Homelessness

 

There had been some publicity around the severe weather emergency protocol which sets out the Council’s and its partner’s responsibilities to people without shelter during instances of severe weather.

 

Crystal Palace FC provided accommodation during severe weather and Croydon Outreach continued to work and engage with people throughout the year. Additional Mental Health Resources were implemented to supplement the street work and rough sleeping schemes, working in partnership to support those living on the streets.

 

Croydon Housing 1st initiative had been launched to work with people with chronic conditions to help get them off the streets and it hoped to provide homes for 20 people over the course of the next year. Partnerships with the Social Lettings Agency to work with social landlords to encourage them to offer tenancies and also supporting tenants to help them to maintain their tenancies.

 

Improving Homes in the Private Rented Sector

 

To date 34,000 licence applications had been received which was higher than estimated and the department continued to receive approximately 250 applications each month. Growth had been experienced in individual rented properties on new developments which were not for sale. Renewal of the scheme was a possibility when it expired.

 

There was an emerging picture that the households that were living in deprivation were those from the private rented sector, with homes which consisted of families living on low income and children in poverty. This was previously associated with households in social housing.

 

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

 

The government changed some of its criteria around what the acceptable levels of HMO were and Croydon had decided to maintain its standards and not adopt the government’s acceptable standards as the Council did not share the view that the criteria set was acceptable.

 

There had been issues experienced with loss of family homes in the borough due to conversions to HMO and the Council had decided to take action. The form of action taken was a requirement for planning applications to be made under Article 4 for permission for conversion of properties to HMO. Article 4 directs that homes with six or less occupants that could be converted under permitted development would no longer be able to do so without meeting planning criteria and submission of a planning application. The basis for this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4/19

5/19

Housing Resource Allocation Budget 2019/20

(To Follow)

Minutes:

This item was withdrawn and it was agreed that the papers would be circulated prior to it being presented at 25 February 2019 Cabinet.

 

Information requested by the Sub-Committee

(i)    The HRA Budget report be circulated to Members for comment prior to it being tabled at the 25 February 2019 Cabinet.

 

6/19

Brick By Brick Business Plan 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 283 KB

To review the proposed 2019/2020 Business Plan of Brick by Brick.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Executive of Brick by Brick presented the proposals of the business plan 2019/20 that was due to be tabled at the 25 February meeting of Cabinet.

 

The vision of which was to maximise affordable homes and generate income thorough a simple model of development of sites such as  derelict care homes, surface level car parks, garages, old building stock, estate infill as well as community centres

 

A presentation was delivered which provided a progress update. The current programme was working to deliver 44 schemes with a total of 1093 units of which 49% would be affordable. One of the key aims was to improve the level of affordable rent schemes in larger sites and this was being achieved.

 

The Shared Ownership element of the developments were crucial to getting people on the housing ladder in areas where prices were high and the offer that is being made available was genuinely affordable.

 

The Fairfield homes scheme was a major scheme and a revised planning application for that scheme was in progress with as vision to deliver more affordable homes and cultural infrastructure for the borough on what should be a 400+ unit scheme.

 

The overall target was for 2,000 homes to be built by 2020. In order to allow greater capacity for delivery the team had grown due to recent recruitment and restructure with the creation of four specialisms, development , construction , operation and an in house architectural practice. 

 

The marketing suite would be open from February 2019 to the public as part of the launch for the first schemes for sale in anticipation of the completion of Ravensdale, Auckland and Cheriton developments in early 2019/20

 

Members were informed that the figures in the report were outlines, an updated analysis would be provided with the Cabinet papers as the company was still working through allowances and planned projection.

 

The Chair mentioned the visit to some of the first batch of sites to be completed which took place on 17 January 2019. He expressed how impressed he was by the build quality and the contractors Quinn and Buxton, used to realise the projects. It was evident through dialogue that the people working on site were committed to delivering high quality product. The Members would welcome future visits on completion on the sites.

 

In response to the Chairs question on what the company’s biggest risks and how would they be managed over the next few years, officers said that there were a number of challenges faced. The nature of the sites was challenging in that they were working on some small complicated sites which threw up issues which may be the reason why they had not been developed already. To date all issues have been solved but as they continued to work through the programme there may be other problems encountered which will be dealt with accordingly.

 

Additionally technical challenges can occur and the company would have to find cost effective ways to manage issues such as exploring ways  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6/19

7/19

Responses from Cabinet pdf icon PDF 9 KB

To note the responses from Cabinet to recommendations made by the Streets, Environment and Homes Scrutiny Sub-Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Many of the responses and been accepted and completed although some were out of date, the Sub-Committee was informed it was recognised through the governance review that going forward a more effective system and change in approach was needed.

 

A Member commented that one of the recommendations which was for a Trams update should have taken place in November and had not, the Chair responded that this was due to changes to items on the work programme and the trams update would take place at the meeting of the sub-committee on 19 February.

 

The Sub-Committee noted the responses from Cabinet following the recommendations made at the meeting held on 20 March 2018 and 26 June 2018.

 

The Sub-Committee NOTED the responses from Cabinet.

8/19

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To note the Work Programme for the remainder of 2018/19 municipal year.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Sub-Committee NOTED the work programme for the 2018/2019 municipal year.

9/19

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 was not required.