Agenda and minutes

Communities & Housing Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 30th October, 2017 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 2, Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Damian Eaton  (0161 474 3207)

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 65 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 18 September 2017.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes (copies of which had been circulated) of the meeting held on 18 September 2017 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Councillors and officers to declare any interests which they have in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillors and officers were invited to declare any interests they had in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.

 

No declarations of interest were made.

3.

Call-In

To consider call-in items (if any).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no call-in items to consider.

4.

Portfolio Performance and Resources - Mid-Year Report pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To consider a report of the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration.

 

The report details the Mid-Year Portfolio Performance and Resource Report for the Communities and Housing Portfolio for consideration by the Committee. This provides a summary of progress in delivering the portfolio priorities, reform programme and other key projects in the first half of the year, with a particular focus on the second quarter (July to September). It includes forecast performance and financial data (where this is available) for the Portfolio, along with an update on the portfolio savings programme.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is recommended to:

 

·         Consider the Mid-Year Portfolio Performance and Resource Report;  

·         Review the progress against delivering key projects, priority outcomes, targets and budgets for 2017/18;

·         Highlight key areas of and responsibility for taking forward corrective action to address any performance or resource issues;

·         Highlight any significant issues or changes to be fed back to the Cabinet alongside the Corporate Performance and Resource Report;

·         Identify how areas of strong performance and good practice can be shared in other services.

 

Officer contact: Alan Lawson on 0161 474 5397 or email:

alan.lawson@stockport.gov.uk

 

Officer contact: Kora Yohannan on 0161 474 4032 or email: kora.yohannan@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) detailing the Mid-Year Portfolio Performance and Resource Report for the Communities and Housing Portfolio providing a summary of progress in delivering the portfolio priorities, reform programme and other key projects in the first half of the year, with a particular focus on the second quarter (July to September). The report included forecast performance and financial data for the Portfolio, along with an update on the portfolio savings programme.

 

The Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing (Councillor Sheila Bailey) attended the meeting to present the report and respond to councillors’ questions.

 

The following comments were made/ issues raised:-

 

·         In response to a question in relation to the increase in the HRA Capital Programme, it was stated that this was largely attributed to inclusion of the 2019/20 Stockport Homes Affordable Homes programme.

·         The changing role of the Council’s Public Realm Inspectors was discussed and it was confirmed that there would be a change in focus away from the reactive maintenance element of their workload to provide a greater emphasis on guardianship and stewardship which would include closer relationships with community groups.

·         It was commented that there were a significant number of gaps in the performance data within the report.  In response, it was stated that a large proportion of the missing data was due to ongoing discussions between Solutions SK and the Council relating to the underlying Service Level Agreements and how the performance of those would be measured.  It was anticipated that by the time of the next quarter’s report, most of these would be in place with associated data provided.

·         The brownfield register was available on the Council’s website which was subject to frequent updates.

·         The Council had placed bids into the  Housing Infrastructure Fund which was designed to provide grant funding for difficult to deliver sites and the outcome of these would not be known until December.  The council’s bids included the sites at Hopes Carr, Weir Mill, the Stockport Interchange development and a further bid to develop a bus rapid transit system which would be linked to the original SEMMM Strategy.

·         The Disabled Facilities Grant was discussed with particular regard to the increase in the number of applications and whether this represented a change in trend in the use of the fund which had previously been ‘undersubscribed’.  In response, it was stated that there had historically been a waiting list for the Grant but following a significant increase in government funding two years ago this was not currently an issue.  Demand was based on assessments made by Adult Social Care and this was likely to increase as a result of an ageing population, however based on current projections there was sufficient funding to meet demand.

·         Costs associated with the removal of fly-tipping were charged to the culprit where they were able to be identified.

·         The Council had the use of mobile cameras which were placed in locations frequently the subject of fly-tipping.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

5.

Private Sector Housing pdf icon PDF 94 KB

To consider a report of the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration.

 

The report provides an update on the work of the Housing Standards Team, the significant increase in interventions undertaken to ensure private rented properties are of a good standard and the introduction of a revised approach which aims to further increase the team taking tougher action to tackle poor and rogue landlords in the borough and improve property conditions.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is recommended to note the report and to recommend that a further report is submitted in March 2017 reviewing the targeted approach and to consider whether additional changes are required going forward.

 

Officer contact: Mark Glynn on 0161 474 3700 or email: mark.glynn@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) providing an update on the work of the Housing Standards Team, the significant increase in interventions undertaken to ensure private rented properties are of a good standard and the introduction of a revised approach which aims to further increase the team taking tougher action to tackle poor and rogue landlords in the borough and improve property conditions.

 

The Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing (Councillor Sheila Bailey) attended the meeting to present the report and respond to councillors’ questions.

 

The following comments were made/ issues raised:-

 

·         The Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing expressed her view that mandatory registration scheme for private landlords would have the potential to provide the level of necessary level of oversight of the private rented sector to raise housing standards.  The Chair agreed with this statement.

·         The Council currently levied a fee of £300 for serving a Housing Enforcement Notice to improve housing conditions.  It was queried whether this fee was broadly comparable across Greater Manchester.

·         It was commented that there were a large number of private landlords who did a good job in providing high quality housing for Stockport residents.

·         The data in the report relating to the number of complaints, notices served and prosecutions undertaken was not representative of the total number of issues there were in the private rented sector as residents often felt unable to complain due to the risk to their security of tenure.

·         A mandatory registration scheme for private landlords would be welcomed by reputable landlords and would assist in driving rogue landlords from the sector.

·         The lack of security of tenure for tenants could have a highly disruptive effect, in particular on children living in those properties.

 

RESOLVED – (1) That the report be noted.

 

(2) That the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration be requested to submit a report to the 26 February 2018 meeting of the Scrutiny Committee reviewing the targeted approach and to consider whether additional changes are required going forward.

6.

The Rights of Way Improvement Plan - report on draft document for consultation pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To consider a report of the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration.

 

The report details the Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) and invites the comments of the Scrutiny Committee on the draft plan. The Committee is particularly recommended to give their views on the seven conclusions reached in the plan, and the actions suggested.

 

For the purposes of the plan a Right of Way is all off road routes that the public are able to utilise legally. Examples include routes in parks, concessionary paths, public rights of way and access space.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is recommended to provide comments upon the draft Rights of Way Improvement Plan in Appendix 1.

 

Officer contact: Sue Stevenson on 0161 4744351 or email sue.stevenson@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) detailing the Rights of Way Improvement Plan and invites the comments of the Scrutiny Committee on the draft plan.

 

The Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing (Councillor Sheila Bailey) attended the meeting to present the report and respond to councillors’ questions.

 

The Chair advised the Committee that the Rights of Way Improvement Plan was also due to be submitted to the forthcoming round of Area Committee which would provide an opportunity for members to comment on specific matters within the purview of their area committee.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

7.

Place Directorate Reform & Growth Proposals pdf icon PDF 122 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Communities & Housing.

 

At the 3 October Cabinet Meeting an update on the Council’s Inclusive Growth and Reform Programme was presented. This was the latest report outlining the Cabinet’s response to the Medium Term Financial Plan.

 

This report outlines a summary of the suite of proposals for the Communities and Housing Portfolio which form part of the Cabinet’s response to the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP). 

 

The Cabinet are committed to ensuring transparent Scrutiny engagement on its plans. This report outlines a summary of the suite of proposals relevant to this scrutiny committee which form part of the Cabinet’s response to the MTFP. This report builds on the update shared with Scrutiny in September. These proposals will deliver savings against the non-pooled budget and form a pipeline of proposals, building on those proposals presented at the Cabinet meetings in July, August and most recently in October.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is recommended to comment on the proposals.

 

Officer contact: Caroline Simpson on 0161 474 3501 or email: caroline.simpson@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing (Councillor Sheila Bailey)  submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) outlining a summary of the suite of proposals for the Communities and Housing Portfolio which formed part of the Cabinet’s response to the Medium Term Financial Plan and built on the update shared with the Scrutiny Committee in September. The proposals would deliver savings against the non-pooled budget and formed a pipeline of proposals, building on those proposals presented at the Cabinet meetings in July, August and October.

 

The following comments were made on the proposals contained within the report as follows:-

 

(i)         Waste Environmental Campaign

 

·         The changes to waste recycling facilities within the civic complex was welcomed.

·         There would be a comprehensive publicity campaign introduced which would include physical materials such as leaflets in addition to face to face discussions with the public.

·         The Waste Environmental Campaign was a two year programme which would evolve and include testing a number of different approaches.

 

(ii)        Highways Reactive Maintenance

 

·         Savings would be generated following the reengineering and automation of processes which would reduce administration for processing permits and work; provide for more accurate specification of work meaning jobs are completed right first time; more appropriate prioritisation so that jobs can be completed in batches; and improved quality control resulting in fewer failed jobs requiring repeat intervention.

·         There was a need to ensure that transaction costs between the Council and Solutions SK remained under control.

·

(iii)       Income Generation and Cost Recovery

 

·         The new charging model for wheelie bins would reduce the costs associated with the replacement of black bins, but include the introduction of a charge for the replacement of other bins in circumstances which had not previously been chargeable.  In response it was stated that it was easy to circumvent the current charging arrangements but that residents would not be charged for replacement bins where damage had been caused by the refuse collectors.

 

(iv)       District and Town Centre Centre Parking Tariffs

 

·         It needed to be easy for users of car parks to pay the appropriate fee.

·         The wide car parking strategy report that had been submitted to the Economy & Regeneration Scrutiny Committee on 2 November 2017 needed to be circulated to members of this Scrutiny Committee.

·         There was a need to regularise the charges for parking in the various car parks across the Borough.

·         There was a tension between harmonising parking charges to provide a more equitable charging regime, and the need to reflect differing local needs within the districts and the consequences of introducing charges with regard to displacement onto streets within the vicinity.

·         The introduction of parking restrictions and residents permit parking schemes to mitigate against the impact of the introduction of charges would be expensive and complex.

·         Some of the car parks adjacent to railway stations which would be subject of new parking charges also served other community facilities.

·         The Council needed to cover its own costs to ensure that car parks were maintained.

·         It was commented that the reference to the ‘Middlers Car Park’ within the report was an obsolescence.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

8.

Update on Progress with the Highways Reactive Maintenance Improvement Programme pdf icon PDF 83 KB

To consider a report of the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration.

 

The report outlines a review of progress on the Highways Reactive Maintenance Improvement Programme which aims to reduce costs by £0.400m which forms part of the Cabinets response to the Medium Term Financial Plan.

 

This will be achieved by implementing better control of inspections, improved scheduling and prioritisation of jobs thus ensuring a greater quality service throughout also enabling a series of efficiencies to be realised throughout the service, involving fewer crews working on maintenance projects, reduced administration and less materials.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is recommended to comment on and note the report.

 

Officer contact: Sue Stevenson on 0161 474 4351 or email: sue.stevenson@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) outlining a review of progress on the Highways Reactive Maintenance Improvement Programme which aimed to reduce costs by £0.400m which forms part of the Cabinets response to the Medium Term Financial Plan.

 

The Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing (Councillor Sheila Bailey) attended the meeting to present the report and respond to councillors’ questions.

 

The Chair reported that the substance of the report had been largely considered as part of members’ discussions on Agenda Item 7.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

9.

Environmental and Recycling Campaign pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To consider a report of the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration.

 

The report outlines a review of progress on the Environmental and Recycling Campaign which aims to reduce costs by £0.500m which forms part of the Cabinets response to the Medium Term Financial Plan.

 

The report builds on the update shared with Scrutiny in September and outlines a review of progress towards the spending reductions by increasing recycling rates thereby reducing residual waste and the costs associated with the disposal.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is recommended to comment on and note the report.

 

Officer contact: Mark Glynn, Johanna Smith or Adam Forbes on 0161 474 3700 or email: mark.glynn@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) outlining a review of progress on the Environmental and Recycling Campaign which aims to reduce costs by £0.500m which forms part of the Cabinets response to the Medium Term Financial Plan.

 

The Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing (Councillor Sheila Bailey) attended the meeting to present the report and respond to councillors’ questions.

 

The Chair reported that the substance of the report had been largely considered as part of members’ discussions on Agenda Item 7.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

10.

Leisure Arrangements in Brinnington pdf icon PDF 84 KB

To consider a report of the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration.

 

The report details a proposal to into a grant funding agreement with Life Leisure in respect of the new leisure centre opening in Brinnington in February/March 2018.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is recommended to comment on and note the report.

 

Officer contact: Peter Ashworth on 07891 949473 or email: peter.ashworth@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) detailing a proposal to enter into a grant funding agreement with Life Leisure in respect of the new leisure centre opening in Brinnington in February/March 2018.

 

The Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing (Councillor Sheila Bailey) attended the meeting to present the report and respond to councillors’ questions.

 

The following comments were made/ issues raised:-

 

·         Brinnington had some of the lowest levels of physical activity and there was a desire to ensure that the provision of the new leisure facility would result in a real difference.

·         Activities would take place outside of the leisure centre within the locality.

·         There would be an outcomes framework which would run for a five year period which would be monitored on a quarterly basis to assess the impact on health outcomes in the area.

·         It was suggested that a report be submitted to the 26 February 2018 meeting of the Scrutiny Committee providing on update following the implementation of the agreement between the Council and Life Leisure.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

11.

Agenda Planning pdf icon PDF 60 KB

To consider a report of the Democratic Services Manager.                                                       

 

The report sets out planned agenda items for the Scrutiny Committee’s next meeting and Forward Plan items that fall within the remit of the Scrutiny Committee.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is invited to consider the information in the report and put forward any agenda items for future meetings of the Committee.

 

Officer contact: Damian Eaton on 0161 474 3207 or email: damian.eaton@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Democratic Services Manager submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) setting out the planned agenda items for the Scrutiny Committee’s next meeting and any relevant Forward Plan items.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.