Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Bromley Civic Centre

Contact: Lisa Thornley  020 8461 7566

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor Suraj Sharma; Councillor Keith Onslow attended as substitute.

2.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

In respect of Minute 53 (Portfolio Plan Update), Councillor Rutherford declared an interest as an interested party concerning the covenant issues for the Y Block.

3.

QUESTIONS FROM COUNCILLORS AND MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ATTENDING THE MEETING

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions that are not specific to reports on the agenda must have been received in writing 10 working days before the date of the meeting.

 

Questions specifically relating to reports on the agenda should be received within two working days of the normal publication date of the agenda.  Please ensure that questions specifically relating to reports on the agenda are received by the Democratic Services Team by 5 pm on Wednesday 15 January 2020.

3a

QUESTIONS FOR THE RENEWAL, RECREATION AND HOUSING PORTFOLIO HOLDER

Minutes:

Eight questions for oral reply were received at the meeting.  A copy of those questions, together with the Portfolio Holder’s responses can be viewed as Annex A to these Minutes.

3b

QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAIRMAN OF RENEWAL, RECREATION AND HOUSING PDS COMMITTEE

Minutes:

No questions were received.

4.

MINUTES OF THE RENEWAL, RECREATION AND HOUSING PDS COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 5 NOVEMBER 2019 AND MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL MEETING HELD ON 20 DECEMBER 2019 pdf icon PDF 218 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In respect of the minutes of the meeting held on 20 December, the following amendments were agreed

 

Minute 40 – “Councillor Michael declared a non-pecuniary interest as she was a librarian by profession but did not currently work in the public sector.”

 

Minute 42 – “The Equality impact Assessment…”

 

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting held on 5 November 2019 and the special meeting held on 20 December 2019 be confirmed and signed as a correct record subject to the amendments outlined above.

5.

MATTERS OUTSTANDING FROM PREVIOUS MINUTES pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Minutes:

Report CSD20011

 

The Committee noted that all outstanding actions had been completed.

 

RESOLVED to note that all outstanding actions from previous meetings had been completed.

6.

PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY OF RENEWAL, RECREATION AND HOUSING PORTFOLIO REPORTS

Portfolio Holder decisions for pre-decision scrutiny.

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following reports where the Renewal, Recreation and Housing Portfolio Holder was recommended to take a decision:

 

6a

CAPITAL PROGRAMME MONITORING - 2ND QUARTER 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 163 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report FSD20009

 

On 27 November 2019, the Executive received the 2rd quarterly capital monitoring report for 2019/20 and agreed a revised Capital Programme for the four year period 2019/20 to 2022/23. 

 

Members considered changes agreed by the Executive in respect of the Capital Programme for the Renewal, Recreation and Housing Portfolio.

 

In opening the discussion the Chairman noted a correction to the table in paragraph 3.1 of the report – the 8th line should read “Schemes rephased”. Changed from “schemes rephased from 2019/20 into 2020/21” which was not correct.

 

In response  to a question, the Director of Housing, Planning and Regeneration confirmed that work on the Star Lane traveller site was progressing slowly but it was hoped that there would be a further update by the end of the week.

 

RESOLVED that the Portfolio Holder be recommended to confirm the changes agreed by the Executive on 27 November 2019.

 

7.

PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY OF EXECUTIVE REPORTS

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following reports on the Part 1 agenda for the meeting of the Executive on 12 February 2020:

7a

HOUSING STRATEGY 2019-2029 pdf icon PDF 157 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report DRR20/008

 

Members reviewed responses to the Council’s six-week public consultation on the new draft housing strategy which took place following Executive approval.

 

Once adopted, an action plan would be developed for delivery of the priorities set out in the Housing Strategy.

 

In response to a question, the Head of Compliance and Strategy confirmed that the consultation documents did not set out options for key priorities instead the key priorities were identified from the consultation responses.

 

Members noted that some of the data reflected in the draft strategy, particularly data concerning building and development would needed to be reviewed and updated prior to publication of the final strategy.  It was also suggested that further research should be undertaken into the estimated increase in the population in the next 20 years.

 

A Member also noted that there was nothing within the Strategy concerning utilising vacant units above shops in the High Street.

 

Responding to a question about the impact of responses to the consultation, the Head of Compliance and Strategy explained that the low response rate to the consultation had been disappointing.  However, it was clear from the responses that had been received that people were keen for more houses to be built but the building had to be done in the right way (e.g. respecting the Green Belt etc.).  A number of responders suggested that Bromley  should be stockholding and should manage a small proportion of its own housing.  The Director of Housing, Planning and Regeneration confirmed that a number of options arising from the consultation would be given consideration.

 

Noting that Bromley was the 8th most populated borough in London, a Member asked to be provided with details of the other 7 boroughs following the meeting.  The Member also asked to be provided with details of the borough which had the lowest out of work benefit claimant count in London.

 

Referring to the “Setting the scene” box on the first page of the draft Housing Strategy, a Member suggested the following amendments, noting that the housing pressures in Bromley were associated with affordable housing:

 

·  Bromley is experiencing severe affordable housing pressures.

·  Although the Borough had managed to deliver slightly above its current target for new homes in recent years, demand for affordable housing dramatically outstrips supply…

 

In response to a question, the Director of Housing, Planning and Regeneration confirmed that there were approximately 18,000 people living in the socially rented sector.

 

In response to a question concerning whether the Council held any data in relation to the number of genuine parental evictions per annum, the Assistant Director of Housing explained that whilst the Department did not hold that data there was a lot of preventative and mediation work.  If Officers felt that any application was fraudulent appropriate action would be taken however, many families receiving support were genuinely experiencing issues as a result of struggling to live in overcrowded accommodation.

 

RESOLVED that

 

1. The findings from the housing strategy consultation be noted and that thereafter an action plan  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7a

7b

TENANCY SUPPORT SERVICE FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE pdf icon PDF 155 KB

Minutes:

Report DRR20-001

 

Members considered a request for authorisation to extend the contracts for Evolve and Hestia via an exemption to competitive tendering for a period of up to six months to allow their services to be amalgamated and retendered as one contract.

 

Evolve currently provided accommodation based support whilst Hestia provided floating support and specialist accommodation based support for ex-offenders.

 

The report sought an exemption from competitive tendering requirements as set out in the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules.  Further legal implications were set out in the accompanying Part 2 confidential report (agenda Item 16a).

 

In response to a question concerning the length of time support was provided under the Hestia contract, the Assistant Director of Housing explained that this varied from individual to individual depending on levels of need.  Support packages were subject to 6 monthly reviews although it was rare that support lasted for more than two years.  Under the contract ex-offenders were provided with support to help them engage in training and employment initiatives.  Members noted that it was a holistic support package which took into account all the needs of the individual.

 

In response to a question, the Assistant Director also confirmed that a Service Level Agreement had been developed to ensure that nightly paid accommodation met minimum standards for all service users and spot checks were undertaken to ensure that needs were being met and, in particular, that the needs of vulnerable single people were being met.

 

Noting the importance of getting the contract right, the Chairman proposed that Option 3 – Award a new contract, via an exemption to competitive tendering, for up to 6 months in order to go out to tender for an amalgamated service – should be recommended to the Executive.  The Committee unanimously agreed.

 

RESOLVED that the Executive be recommended to agree Option 3 – to award a new contract, via an exemption to competitive tendering, for up to 6 months in order to go out to tender for an amalgamated service.

 

POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND OTHER ITEMS

8.

RENEWAL, RECREATION AND HOUSING PORTFOLIO DRAFT BUDGET 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 254 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report FSD20016

 

The Committee considered a report setting out the draft Renewal, Recreation and Housing Portfolio Draft Budget for 2020/21, which incorporated future cost pressures and initial draft saving options reported to the Council’s Executive on 15 January 2020.  Members were requested to provide their comments on the proposed savings and identify any further action that might be taken to reduce cost pressures facing the Local Authority over the next four years.

 

In response to a question from the Chairman concerning the significant credit in the non-controllable budget, the Head of Adults Health and Housing Finance explained that the vast majority related to capital charges, with a credit in respect of the Disabled Facilities Grant which was then partly offset by depreciation charges.  The Head of Finance emphasised that these capital charges had no impact on Council Tax.

 

In response to a question concerning reduced social housing stock turnover silting up temporary accommodation, the Director of Housing, Planning and Regeneration explained that this related to the disposal of older units that did not meet the decent homes standards and cost a lot to maintain.  It was something over which the Local Authority had little control as Housing Associations were not required to consult with the Local Authority prior to disposing of the units.  As a result, Officers were reviewing a number of options around disposals and the issue had been raised with Central Government.

 

In considering the draft budget Members requested that more granular detail on the costs be reviewed with the Portfolio Holder and made available to the Committee. 

 

The Chairman noted that the draft budget demonstrated that across the Portfolio a number of measures to reduce the pressures around temporary accommodation had been taken.

 

RESOLVED that:-

 

1)  the update on the financial forecast for 2020/21 to 2023/24 be noted;

 

2)  the initial draft 2020/21 budget as a basis for setting the 2020/21 budget be noted; and

 

3)  Members’ comments on the initial draft 2020/21 budget be provided to the meeting of the Council’s Executive on 12 February 2020.

 

9.

HOUSING, REGENERATION AND PLANNING PORTFOLIO PLAN 2019-2020 UPDATE - QUARTER 3 pdf icon PDF 139 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report DRR19/036

 

Members considered a Quarter 3 update which outlined the aims and objectives of the Housing, Regeneration and Planning Portfolio Plan 2019-2020.  The report also included a summary of the key achievements of the Portfolio Plan in 2019/2020 so far.

 

In response to a question, the Director of Housing, Planning and Regeneration confirmed that the sale of the Y blocks was in its final stages and a number of issues had been resolved.  The Council was awaiting counsel’s opinion before proceeding with the sale.

 

In relation to the Housing Forum, the Assistant Director of Housing reported that the Forum had reviewed areas of focus for the Homelessness Strategy and had agreed to a matrix approach.  The focus would now be on developing a directory and communications group amongst partners to facilitate information sharing.

 

The Chairman noted that it would be helpful for future reports to have an additional appendix  detailing a breakdown of progress concerning some of the Opportunity Sites.

 

In response to a question from the Chairman concerning the proposed homeless development in York Rise, the Director of Housing, Planning and Regeneration confirmed that the project was still at contract mobilisation phase and a further meeting would be taking place on 22 January 2020.  The Chairman noted that Councillor Joel had sent an email highlighting that following a meeting with the Director in the summer of 2019, both the Councillors of Farnborough and Crofton Ward had a number of reservations about the project which had been confirmed in writing.  In response the Director of Housing, Planning and Regeneration explained that it was a complex site and Officers were seeking progress on the project as soon as possible.  It was agreed that an update would be provided at the next meeting.

 

The Committee noted that in respect of the modular housing for Bushell Way, tenders had now closed and a complaint number of tenders had been received.  The award of contract would be considered at the special meeting on 11th February 2020.

 

RESOLVED that progress on the actions associated with the Housing, Regeneration and Planning Portfolio Plan for Quarter 3 of 2019/2020 be noted.

10.

CONTRACT REGISTER pdf icon PDF 386 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report DRR20/004

 

Members considered an extract from January 2020’s Contracts Register which provided key information relating to contracts within the Renewal, Recreation and Housing Portfolio with a total value greater than £50k.

 

Members also considered additional confidential information set out in the accompanying Part 2 (Exempt) report noting that no contracts had been flagged for attention.

 

RESOLVED that:-

 

1)  the report be noted; and

 

2)  the additional confidential information set out in the accompanying Part 2 (Exempt) report be noted.

11.

HOUSING, PLANNING AND REGENERATION RISK REGISTER pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report DRR20/010

 

The Housing, Planning and Regeneration Risk Register covered those risks which had an impact on the Service’s ability to deliver its priorities and objectives.  Members were requested to scrutinise those risks and the actions taken to control them in line with Audit Sub-Committee recommendations.

 

The Chairman noted that good progress was being made on the “Grow your own” initiative for Building Control.

 

RESOLVED that the revised Housing, Planning and Regeneration Risk Register and the existing control in place to mitigate the risks be noted. 

 

12.

HOUSING PERFORMANCE REPORT pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report DRR20-002

 

Members considered an update of key performance indicators in respect of housing.  In opening the discussion, the Chairman noted that the report demonstrated steady performance.

 

A Member suggested that it may be helpful to have comments under graphs drawing out any emerging trends.  It was agreed that Councillor Bear would work with the Assistant Director of Housing to identify further information that would be of interest for the Committee and the best way to present the information.

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted.

13.

RENEWAL, RECREATION AND HOUSING PDS COMMITTEE WORK PROGRAMME - MARCH 2020 pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report CSD20010

 

Members considered the Renewal, Recreation and Housing PDS Committee Work Programme for the special PDS meeting in February and the final scheduled meeting of the Municipal Year in March 2020.

 

The Chairman noted that an update on further work undertaken on the abolition of Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 would be provided at the next meeting.

 

The Committee would also receive an update on the homeless development at York Rise at the next meeting.

 

RESOLVED that the Renewal, Recreation and Housing PDS Committee Work Programme for the period February-March 2020 be noted.

 

14.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972 AS AMENDED BY THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT (ACCESS TO INFORMATION) (VARIATION) ORDER 2006, AND THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000

The Chairman to move that the Press and public be excluded during consideration of the items of business listed below as it is likely in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings that if members of the Press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information.

Minutes:

The Chairman moved that the Press and public be excluded during consideration of the items of business listed below as it is likely in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings that if members of the Press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information.

15.

EXEMPT MINUTES OF THE RENEWAL, RECREATION AND HOUSING PDS COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 5 NOVEMBER 2019

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the exempt Minutes of the Renewal, Recreation and Housing PDS Committee held on 5 November 2019, be confirmed and signed as a correct record.

16.

PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY OF PART 2 (EXEMPT) EXECUTIVE REPORTS

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following reports on the Part 2 agenda for the meeting of the Executive on 12 February 2020:-

17.

TENANCY SUPPORT SERVICE FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE

Minutes:

Report DRR20-001

 

Members considered further legal implications in relation to the accompanying Part 1 Report (agenda Item 7b).

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted and the Committee’s comments be provided to members of the Executive for consideration.

PART 2 (EXEMPT) POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND OTHER ITEMS

18.

CONTRACT REGISTER - PART 2

Minutes:

Members considered the Part 2 (Exempt) report containing commercially sensitive information in relation to the accompanying Part 1 report (DRR20/004).

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted.

Annex A pdf icon PDF 174 KB

 

Original Text: