Agenda and draft minutes

Renewal, Recreation and Housing Policy Development and Scrutiny Committee - Monday 23 January 2023 7.00 pm

Venue: Bromley Civic Centre

Contact: Kerry Nicholls  020 8461 7840

Items
No. Item

40.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Christine Harris and Councillor Alison Stammers and Councillor Jonathan Andrews and Councillor Mark Smith attended as their respective substitutes.

 

Apologies for absence were also received from Councillor Pauline Tunnicliffe and Ermond Berisha, Youth Representative.

41.

APPOINTMENT OF VICE-CHAIRMAN

Minutes:

The Chairman proposed that Councillor Keith Onslow be appointed Vice-Chairman for the remainder of the 2022/23 municipal year.  This was seconded by Councillor Will Rowlands, put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED: That Councillor Keith Onslow be appointed Vice-Chairman for the remainder of the 2022/23 municipal year.

42.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

Councillor Tony Owen declared an interest in relation to Item 10a: Renewal, Recreation and Housing Portfolio Draft Budget 2023/24 in that he was in receipt of a pension paid by the Pensions Insurance Corporation.

 

Councillor Mark Smith declared an interest in relation to Item 9a: Future of Community Resource Centres in that he was a member of the Bromley Library Service.

43.

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 5.00pm on Tuesday 17 January 2023.

 

Minutes:

Two questions for oral reply were received at the meeting.  A copy of those questions with the Portfolio Holder’s responses can be viewed at Appendix A to these minutes.

44.

MINUTES OF THE RENEWAL, RECREATION AND HOUSING PDS COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 16 NOVEMBER 2022 pdf icon PDF 410 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 16 November 2022 be agreed and signed as a correct record.

45.

MATTERS OUTSTANDING AND FORWARD WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 238 KB

Minutes:

Report CSD23017

 

The report set out set out progress against outstanding actions from previous meetings.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

46.

HOLDING THE RENEWAL, RECREATION AND HOUSING PORTFOLIO HOLDER TO ACCOUNT

46a

Housing, Planning & Regeneration Portfolio Plan Update - 2022/23 Q3 Update pdf icon PDF 226 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report HPR2023/003

 

The report presented the 2022/23 Quarter 3 update to the Housing, Planning and Regeneration Portfolio Plan.

 

In considering workstreams within the Portfolio Plan, a Member expressed concern regarding application criteria for food vouchers as those who had previously applied were not eligible for the current round.  The Director of Housing, Planning, Property and Regeneration explained that Government advice was that food vouchers must be targeted at those who had not benefitted from previous rounds but that a range of support was in place for all struggling households in Bromley, including welfare and crisis funds.  A Member queried whether an increase had been seen in the use of Section 21 notices to evict tenants from private rented accommodation and the Assistant Director: Housing advised that this had not been the experience in Bromley and that the Local Authority worked with landlords to maintain existing tenancies wherever possible.  Another Member reported that the phone waiting times for the Housing Options Service had been raised as a concern by Citizens’ Advice Bromley.  The Assistant Director: Housing confirmed that this was an identified issue within the service and that steps were being taken to improve call waiting times, including modal shift to online forms and e-mail. 

 

In response to a question from a Member, the Assistant Director: Culture and Regeneration confirmed that there were currently no uncommitted funds within the scheme to deliver improvements to shopping parades.  A review was being undertaken on the deliverability of the agreed work programme which could free up some funds and an update would be provided to Members in early Summer 2023.  Another Member asked about the backlog in processing Planning Applications and was advised that this had largely been resolved with only twenty cases remaining unallocated.  A Member noted an action to review the potential for commercial and community uses of disused park buildings and the Assistant Director: Culture and Regeneration advised that responsibility to deliver this work sat within the Sustainability, Green Services and Open Spaces Portfolio. 

 

The Committee requested that the Project Tracker be presented in a more readable format in future reporting.

 

RESOLVED: That the progress on the actions associated with the Housing, Planning and Regeneration Portfolio Plan for Quarter 3 of the 2022/23 financial year be noted.

47.

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

Portfolio Holder decisions for pre-decision scrutiny.

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following report for which the Portfolio Holder for Renewal, Recreation and Housing was recommended to take a decision:

47a

Capital Programme Monitoring - Quarter 3 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 462 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

  Report FSD23009

 

The report presented the capital programme monitoring position for Quarter 3 of the 2022/23 financial year and the revised capital programme for the four-year period 2022/23 to 2026/27 which had been approved by the Council’s Executive at its meeting on 18 January 2023.

 

The Head of Regeneration provided an update on the work being undertaken towards the redevelopment of the Walnuts and West Wickham Leisure Centres which would include extensive public consultation of which details would be announced in February 2023.  It had become clear that the planned redevelopments would require some form of closure of the leisure centres, but it was hoped to limit this to a maximum of 12-months and to stagger the planned redevelopments so that the Walnuts and West Wickham Leisure Centres were not closed at the same time.  It was definite that temporary leisure facilities could not be provided during any closure period due to the significant costs involved. 

 

With regard to the proposed redevelopment of Chislehurst Library, a Member underlined the need to consider accessibility and public toilet provision as part of any planned scheme.  The Head of Regeneration advised that the Capital Programme reflected the previous Property-led scheme and that this had now been superseded by the Operational Property Review.  Library maintenance and works projects would be developed in response to the findings of the Operational Property Review and this would include consultation where appropriate. In response to a question from another Member, the Director of Housing, Planning, Property and Regeneration advised that contingency spend was not necessary for Local Authority-owned buildings identified for disposal.

 

RESOLVED: That the Portfolio Holder be recommended to note and acknowledge the changes put to the Council’s Executive on 18 January 2023.

48.

PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY OF EXECUTIVE REPORTS

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following reports on the Part 1 (Public) agenda for the meeting of the Council’s Executive on 8 February 2023:

48a

Future of Community Resource Centres pdf icon PDF 419 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

  Report HPR2023/010

 

The report recommended the permanent relocation of the Cotmandene Community Resource Centre to St Paul’s Cray Library and the temporary relocation of Mottingham Community and Learning Shop to Mottingham Library with the service including a one-day-a-week session at St Edward’s Church subject to a twelve-month trial to be reviewed after six months.  The report also asked the Council’s Executive to transfer management of these services to Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) by way of a Change Control Note to GLL’s overarching contract and the secondment and/or TUPE of staff depending on the consultation outcome.

 

The Chairman notified the Committee of a correction to Recommendation 2.3 in the published report in that it was sought to “Delegate any further decisions on the transfer to GLL to the Director of Housing, Planning, Property and Regeneration in consultation with the Director of Corporate Services and the Portfolio Holder for Renewal, Recreation and Housing” and this was noted by the Committee.

 

The Chairman expressed his intention to deal with the proposals for the two Community Resource Centres separately and invited Councillor and Ward Member David Cartwright to address the Committee with regard to the proposals for the Mottingham Community and Learning Shop. 

 

Councillor David Cartwright advised that whilst he and his ward colleague, Councillor Will Rowlands agreed there was a need to relocate the Mottingham Community and Learning Shop, it was crucial that this provision remained close to the Mottingham estate.  The service primarily provided early intervention services and support to the residents of this area, including elderly and disabled people as well as those facing multiple challenges, and the current proposal would move this provision away from the community it served.  Underlining the Local Authority’s responsibility to serve its residents, Councillor and Ward Member Will Rowlands proposed an additional recommendation: 

 

2.2 (ii) To note the need for the Mottingham Resource Centre to be situated in close proximity to the existing location on the Mottingham estate (an area of social and economic deprivation) and continue to search for an alternative site during the 6/12 months trial in case the library site does not prove suitable. Furthermore, that Officers consider the implications and feasibility of extending the time available at St. Edward’s Church, during the trial period, from one day to two days per week, if required, to provide increased local availability of facilities and resources to the elderly, disabled and vulnerable who reside on the Mottingham estate.

 

Councillor Will Rowlands moved that the above additional recommendation be approved.  The motion was seconded by Councillor Sean Slator, put to the vote and CARRIED.

 

The Chairman invited Councillor and Ward Member Chris Price to address the Committee with regard to the proposals for the Cotmandene Community Resource Centre. 

 

Councillor Chris Price paid tribute to the dedication of staff who had made a success of the temporary relocation of the Cotmandene Community Resource Centre at St Paul’s Cray Library but expressed significant concerns with regard to permanent relocation.  The number of customers accessing the Cotmandene  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48a

48b

Procurement of Consultancy Services for the Crystal Palace Park Regeneration Plan pdf icon PDF 241 KB

Minutes:

Report HPR2023/007

 

The urgent report provided an update on the delivery of the Crystal Palace Park Regeneration Plan and requesting approval for the procurement of multi-disciplinary consultancy services for the capital schemes.

 

RESOLVED: That the Council’s Executive be recommended to:

 

·  Note the contents of this report, namely information regarding the procurement of the multi-disciplinary consultancy services for the next stages of the Regeneration Plan at Crystal Palace Park; and,

 

·  Approve the procurement of the multi-disciplinary consultancy services to replace AECOM noting that the Regeneration Plan is already on the Capital Programme, with funding secured for the works required under the shadow S106 agreement.

48c

Changing Places Toilets pdf icon PDF 323 KB

Minutes:

  Report HPR2023/011

 

In March 2022, the Local Authority was awarded £220k grant funding from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to deliver four Changing Places facilities at agreed locations across the Borough with the use of funds and associated procurement approach agreed by the Portfolio Holder for Renewal, Recreation and Housing on 5 October 2022.  This report sought formal approval to accept and spend the grant monies in line with parameters of the funding application, together with approval for contract award for the associated works.

 

RESOLVED: That the Council’s Executive be recommended to:

 

·  Approve the allocation and spend of the Changing Places Fund grant monies which total £220k, in line with the interventions set out in the funding application and within this report, to enable the delivery of four Changing Places facilities across the borough before 31 March 2024;

 

·  Approve award of contract, via exemption to competitive tender, to Rise Adapt for the delivery of two modular Changing Places units (situated at Crystal Palace Park and High Elms Country Park) at an estimated value of £145,500. Award of contract will be subject to confirmation of management and maintenance agreements as set out in 3.19 – 3.20;

 

·  Approve the distribution of funds to Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH) and MyTime Active to deliver Changing Places Toilets at the PRUH and The Pavilion Leisure Centre; and,

 

·  Delegate authority to the Director of Housing, Planning, Property and Regeneration, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Renewal, Recreation and Housing to agree any changes to the delivery of Changing Places programme within the boundaries of the grant funding available and legal contract with DLUHC.

48d

Replacement of Planning and Building Control Case Management IT Systems pdf icon PDF 316 KB

Minutes:

Report HPR2023/012

 

The report sought approval to draw down funds from the Council’s Technology Fund for one-off costs associated with the replacement of the Planning and Building Control Case Management IT Systems.

 

In response to a question from a Member, the Assistant Director Planning and Building Control advised that the planned new systems would provide a replacement for both back-office case management activities as well as a new public facing planning portal.  The requested funds did not include costs associated with the procurement of new Planning and Building Control Case Management IT Systems which would be subject to a further report. 

 

RESOLVED: That the Council’s Executive be recommended to agree that funds totalling £402,307 be drawn down from the Council’s Technology Fund.

48e

Local London Sub-Regional Partnership pdf icon PDF 251 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report HPR2023/008

 

The report sought authority for the Local Authority to join the Local London sub-regional partnership which brought together local authorities primarily to access funding.  The Local Authority had been a nominal-member of Local London for several years to access devolved employment and skills programmes and full membership would enable Bromley’s businesses and residents to benefit from the full range of funding programmes.

 

Whilst not objecting to joining Local London, the Vice-Chairman underlined the need for reassurance in a number of areas, including the annual contribution and insurance clause.  The Head of Economic Development confirmed that Legal Services had reviewed the Inter Authority Agreement, including the annual contribution and insurance clause, and had identified no concerns which was set out in the report.  The annual contribution had remained the same since the establishment of Local London and there was therefore seemingly no appetite from other local authority members to increase this contribution in the short to medium-term.  Additionally, by joining Local London, the Local Authority would have access to new funding streams that would total significantly more than its annual contribution. 

 

In response to a question from a Member, the Head of Economic Development explained that the 12-month notice period to exit Local London reflected the nature of funding which was often delivered via schemes with a minimum one-year duration.  The Local Authority would be able to raise any concerns on the Inter Authority Agreement with Local London, and the Local Authority had already been approached to provide feedback. A Member requested that the worst-case exit cost be provided to the Council’s Executive to support its decision making.  Another Member requested an annual update be reported to the Renewal, Recreation and Housing PDS Committee in advance of membership renewal, and this was agreed by the Committee.

 

RESOLVED: That the Council’s Executive be recommended to:

 

·  Approve the Local Authority to join Local London and sign the Inter Authority Agreement (IAA) for the Local London Sub-Regional Partnership so as to establish joint arrangements with the Local London Authorities including the formation of a Joint Committee with its terms of reference as set out in the IAA;

 

·  Approve the annual membership fee, currently £50K per annum, for the duration of Bromley’s membership, noting interdependencies with UK Shared Prosperity 3-year period (Paragraph 3.7) and Local London’s current strategy period 2022-2025 (Paragraph 3.5);

 

·  Delegate authority to the Portfolio Holder for Renewal, Recreation and Housing to determine continuing membership annually on review of value added;

 

·  Appoint the Portfolio Holder for Renewal, Recreation and Housing as the Local Authority’s Member at the Local London Joint Committee with authority to make decisions where there are no direct implications for the Local Authority’s finances (Paragraph 3.14) and appoint the Leader to be the Reserve Member; and,

 

·  Note the benefits of joining Local London, as set out in Paragraphs 3.8-3.13.

48f

Housing Delivery Update (To Follow)

Minutes:

This report was withdrawn and would be considered at the next meeting of the Renewal, Recreation and Housing PDS Committee on 21 March 2023.

49.

POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND OTHER ITEMS

49a

Renewal, Recreation and Housing Portfolio Draft Budget 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 378 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report FSD23010

 

The report considered the Portfolio Holder’s draft 2023/24 Budget which incorporated the future cost pressures, planned mitigation measures, savings from transformation and other budget options reported to the Council’s Executive on 18 January 2023.  Members were requested to consider the initial draft budget being proposed and to identify any further action that might be taken to reduce cost pressures facing the Council over the next four years with a view to the Council’s Executive making recommendations to Council on the 2023/24 Council Tax levels.  There were still outstanding issues and areas of uncertainty remaining and any further updates would be included in the 2022/23 Council Tax report to the meeting of the Council’s Executive on 8 February 2023.

 

In response to a question from a Member, the Director of Housing, Planning and Regeneration confirmed that the Local Authority continued to progress Phase 2 of the Meadowship Homes Scheme which was a joint venture with Orchard and Shipman.  The Scheme aimed to acquire approximately 250 properties for use as social rented accommodation to help address homelessness and temporary accommodation pressures and where possible, properties were acquired within or close to the Borough.  The Vice Chairman observed that the Scheme was partly funded by a £67m finance facility from Pensions Insurance Corporation (PIC) and asked for further details regarding the loan.  The Head of Finance: Adult Social Care, Health and Housing confirmed that although there was limited market data available for this type of transaction, work carried out in relation to Meadowship Homes 2 provided confidence that a competitive rate had been secured and that further details would be circulated to Members following the meeting.  Another Member was concerned that the Council’s Executive had recently agreed a 7% increase in social housing rent levels for the 2023/24 financial year and the Head of Finance: Adult Social Care, Health and Housing advised that even with this increase, social housing rent levels for Bromley remained well within the local Housing Allowance level. 

 

RESOLVED: That:

 

·  The update on the financial forecast for 2023/24 to 2026/27 be noted;

 

·  The initial draft 2023/24 budget be noted as a basis for setting the 2023/24 budget; and,

 

·  The Council’s Executive be recommended to note the comments of the Renewal, Recreation and Housing PDS Committee on the initial draft 2023/24 budget at its meeting on 8 February 2023.

49b

Local Plan Review: Issues and Options Consultation pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report HPR2023/004

 

The report provided details of the proposed ‘Issues and Options’ Local Plan consultation.  This report had also been considered by the Development Control Committee at its meeting on 10 January 2023 and the recommendations had been supported.

 

In considering the report, the Chairman highlighted the importance of ensuring that housing development in Bromley did not negatively impact the established character of its communities.  The Head of Planning Policy and Strategy confirmed that extensive consultation would be undertaken on the proposed ‘Issues and Options’ Local Plan with a view to maximising the response by members of the public and other stakeholders.

 

RESOLVED: That:

 

1)  Details of the proposed Local Plan ‘Issues and Options’ consultation be noted, including the example section provided at Appendix 1; and,

 

2)  It be noted that the final decision to approve the ‘Issues and Options’ draft for public consultation will be for the Director of Housing, Planning, Property and Regeneration, in discussion with the Portfolio Holder for Renewal, Recreation and Housing.

49c

Community Infrastructure Levy: Spending pdf icon PDF 392 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report HPR2023/006

 

The report provided an update on the collection of the London Borough of Bromley Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and set out a possible spending approach for the ‘neighbourhood proportion’ (NCIL)

 

In response to a question from a Member. The Infrastructure Delivery Team Leader confirmed that whilst it was planned to take a ward-based approach to the ‘neighbourhood proportion’ of the Bromley Community Infrastructure Levy, this would include reviewing the impact of any spend on neighbouring wards. 

 

RESOLVED: That:

 

1)  The ‘key principles’ to guide the appropriate expenditure of NCIL be noted; and,

 

2)  The intention to convene a ‘Neighbourhood CIL Spending Review Panel’ to have an input on the expenditure of NCIL receipts be noted.

49d

Thematic Session: Housing Schemes and the Revenue Account

Minutes:

The Committee received a presentation from Michelle Bowler, Head of Housing Schemes on Housing Schemes and the Revenue Account.  The presentation is appended to the minutes at Appendix B. 

 

In response to a question from the Chairman, the Head of Housing Schemes advised that in becoming a Social Landlord, the Local Authority was entering a heavily regulated area and would need to agree Tenancy and Residential Asset Monitoring Strategies and Tenancy Management and Rent Setting Policies which would be supported by Member consultation.  Another Member queried the fault reporting process and the Head of Housing Schemes confirmed that clear processes were in place for residents to report and address faults and that regular meetings were held with providers to discuss and resolve any arising issues, including repairs and complaints. 

 

The Committee thanked the Head of Housing Schemes for her excellent presentation.

 

RESOLVED: That the presentation be noted.

50.

RENEWAL, RECREATION AND HOUSING INFORMATION BRIEFING pdf icon PDF 558 KB

The items comprise:

 

·  Digital Infrastructure Work Plan Update

 

 

Members have been provided with advance copies of the briefing via e-mail.  The briefing is also available on the Council's Website at the following link: http://cds.bromley.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CId=559&Year=0

 

Information Items will not be debated at Renewal, Recreation and Housing PDS Committee unless a member of the Committee requests a discussion be held.  24 hours’ notice must be given to the Clerk.

 

 

 

Minutes:

The items comprised:

 

·  Digital Infrastructure Work Plan Update

 

RESOLVED: That Information Items be noted.

PART 2 (CLOSED) AGENDA

51.

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:

RESOLVED that the Press and public be excluded during consideration of the items of business referred to 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.

 

The following summaries

refer to matters involving exempt information

 

52.

EXEMPT MINUTES OF THE RENEWAL, RECREATION AND HOUSING PDS COMMITTEE HELD ON 16 NOVEMBER 2022

Minutes:

The exempt minutes of the meeting of Renewal, Recreation and Housing PDS Committee on 16 November 2022 were agreed as a correct record.

53.

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

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following reports on the Part 2 (Exempt) agenda for the meeting of the Council’s Executive on 8 February 2023:

53a

Procurement of Consultancy Services for the Crystal Palace Park Regeneration Plan - Part 2 (Exempt) Appendices

Minutes:

The Committee considered two Part 2 (Exempt) appendices for Item 9b: Procurement of Consultancy Services for the Crystal Palace Park Regeneration Plan.

54a

APPENDIX A - QUESTIONS TO THE PORTFOLIO HOLDER pdf icon PDF 408 KB

Additional documents:

54b

APPENDIX B - HOUSING SCHEMES AND HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT PRESENTATION pdf icon PDF 484 KB