Agenda and minutes

Communities & Housing Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 22nd January, 2018 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 58 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 4 December 2017.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 4 December 2017 (copies of which had been circulated) 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 which they had in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.

 

No declarations 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 - Final Update Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 84 KB

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

 

The report details the Final Update Portfolio Performance and Resource Report for the Communities and Housing Portfolio. This provides a summary of progress in delivering the portfolio priorities, reform programme and other key projects during the third quarter of the financial year (October to December 2017). It includes forecast performance and financial data (where this is available) for the Portfolio, along with an update on the portfolio savings programme.

 

This report is based on the 2017/18 Portfolio Performance and Resource Agreement which was considered by the Committee on 22 May 2017 and approved by Cabinet on 13 June 2017.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is recommended to asked to:

 

(a)       Consider the Final Update Portfolio Performance and Resource Report;  

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

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

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

(e)       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 Final Update 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 during the third quarter of the financial year (October to December 2017). 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:-

 

·         The Council had worked effectively to reduce the impact of homelessness, however there remained challenges with those individuals who chose not to engage with the range of support options open to them; however, continued offers of support were made to those people who were rough sleeping.

·         The homelessness prevention service offered a coordinated package of support with the police, mental health services and the voluntary sector.

·         Some local authorities had used enforcement measures as a means of tackling rough sleeping, however this was not an approach that Stockport was intending to pursue at present.

·         The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government had confirmed an allocation of up to £1.8m to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to deliver a Social Impact Bond for Entrenched Rough Sleepers across Greater Manchester.

·         A publicity campaign in relation to dog fouling was about to commence, which would be followed up by enforcement against those that allowed their dogs to foul in public spaces.

·         Councillors had been asked to forward details of those areas within their wards which were significantly affected by dog fouling for inclusion in the publicity campaign.

·         In response to a question about incidents of youths engaged in anti-social behaviour in Hazel Grove, it was stated that the police no longer had the resources available to maintain large numbers of high-visibility patrols in a single area for any sustained period of time.  It was further commented that this approach rarely provided a long-term solution to the underlying problem.

·         The Council continued to pursue the installation of sprinklers in its high-rise residential towers, however it wasn’t yet possible to identify a timescale for this work due to the limited number of specialist contractors.

·         An update was requested in relation to the progress of the £1.5 million of fire safety works on high rise buildings following the Grenfell Tower fire.

·         The Cabinet Member for Communities & Housing expressed her support for a mandatory registration scheme for private sector landlords, and work was taking place at a Greater Manchester level to pursue this matter further.

·         The 66 additional homes built by Viaduct Housing and housing associations in Stockport was welcomed, however concern was expressed in relation to the increasing rate of Right to Buy applications which continued to deplete the available number of homes for affordable rent.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

5.

Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budget and Rent Levels for 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 115 KB

To consider a joint report of the Corporate Director for Place Management and Regeneration and the Borough Treasurer.

 

The report provides the Scrutiny Committee with the opportunity to comment on an illustrative Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budget. The Executive will be meeting on 6 February to recommend to Council an HRA budget for 2018/19, including the level of rent and service charges.  The illustrative budget is based on a number of key assumptions set out in the report regarding income from rent and service charges; expenditure commitments contained within the HRA 30 year Business Plan and Asset Management Strategy and indicative spending requirements to support inflationary pressures and identified investment priorities.

 

This report takes account of the HRA Rent Strategy 2012 – 2017 which was approved by the Executive on 7 January 2013 and changes by the Department for Communities and Local Government with regard rents for social housing from 2016/17.  

 

The Scrutiny Committee is recommended to comment on the report and the illustrative HRA Budget for 2018/19.

 

Officer contact: Michael Cullen on 0161 474 4631 or by email: michael.cullen@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration submitted a joint report of the Corporate Director and the Borough Treasurer (copies of which had been circulated) detailing an illustrative Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budget, including the level of rent and service charges.  The illustrative budget was based on a number of key assumptions set out in the report regarding income from rent and service charges; expenditure commitments contained within the HRA 30 year Business Plan and Asset Management Strategy and indicative spending requirements to support inflationary pressures and identified investment priorities.

 

This report also took account of the HRA Rent Strategy 2012-2017 which was approved by the Executive on 7 January 2013 and changes by the Department for Communities and Local Government with regard to rents for social housing from 2016/17.

 

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:-

 

·         It was noted that there were 186 bronze service level Carecall customers that would be subject to the proposed 70p per week charge increase, of which 12 were living in a tenancy.

·         There would be no increase in personal heating charges in 2018/19 as a result of efficiencies, in particular energy efficiency works.

·         Further clarity was requested in relation to the allocation of earmarked reserves within the Housing Revenue Account.

·         With regard to the proposed increase in the cost of the service charge for the concierge service, it was requested that further information be provided in relation to what was offered as part of this service. 

·         It was further suggested that Stockport Homes should be requested to submit a report to a future meeting of the Scrutiny Committee providing a summary of the services provided as part of the Carecall and Concierge services.

·         The reduction in rent charges would more than offset the proposed increases in service charges for the vast majority of tenants.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

6.

Inclusive Growth & Reform Programme - Adult Social Care and Public Health Budget Proposals pdf icon PDF 56 KB

To consider a joint report of the Cabinet Members for Adult Social Care and Health.

 

In recent months, the Cabinet has presented a series of updates detailing its approach to becoming self-financing by 2020/21 and addressing the significant funding challenges facing the Council. Within its latest update on 14 November, the Cabinet outlined the challenging position facing Adult Social Care and Public Health services and introduced a series of options for addressing these.

 

Since proposals were last presented, further development has been undertaken which has, where appropriate, involved consultation and engagement with stakeholders affected by the proposals.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is recommended toc comment on the proposals contained within the report.

 

Officer contact: Andrew Webb on 0161 474 3808 or email: andrew.webb@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing submitted a report of the Cabinet Members for Adult Social Care and Health (copies of which had been circulated) outlining the Council’s overarching approach to becoming self-financing by 2020/21 and addressing the significant funding challenges facing the Council and in particular the challenging position faced by Adult Social Care and Public Health services. 

 

There were a range of service related contracts and funding streams that comprised the Council’s approach to housing related support. These were primarily services and processes that through realignment to other sources

of income and funding could offset the costs that were currently incurred by Adult Services.  The business case sought approval to consolidate the housing related support services and processes that have been part of Adult Services within a broader council wide approach.

 

A key element of the proposal was to utilise capital funding more flexibly where appropriate to support provision of housing related support that had been previously resourced through revenue budgets. In addition, there were opportunities to access income from other sources within the council such as maximising uptake of relevant benefits and other revenue streams that could appropriately support people.

 

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

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

 

7.

Town Centre and District Centre Car Parking pdf icon PDF 260 KB

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

 

The report provides an update on the proposals to increase parking revenues in the Town Centre following discussions with members of the Business Improvement District.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is recommended to comment of the contents of this report and associated business case.

 

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 proposals to increase parking revenues in the Town Centre following discussions with members of the Business Improvement District.

 

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:-

 

·         It was important that any proposals to make changes to parking charges in the town centre were set at a level that ensured Stockport did not become uncompetitive.

·         There had been a constructive dialogue with businesses in the town centre which had made a positive contribution to the evolution of the proposals for parking charges.

·         It needed to be recognised that there was a cost to maintaining car parks which needed to be covered by the charges imposed on users.

·         In relation to the current exemption from parking charges by zero emission vehicles, it was commented that it needed to be recognised this would not be sustainable in the long-term as the proportion of zero-emission vehicles increased.

·         A discussion took place in relation to the use of bodycams by civil enforcement officers.  It was commented that there were benefits and disadvantages of the use of such equipment, with some research suggesting that it may make certain situations more adversarial rather than diffusing potential conflict.  It was further commented that it was important that civil enforcement officers continued to be seen as officers of the Council.

·         In response to a question about whether civil enforcement officers ‘paid for themselves’ it was stated that revenue derived through penalty charge notices did not cover the cost of traffic enforcement, however the presence of civil enforcement officers meant that revenue was generated through parking charges that would otherwise be lost.

·         It was commented that charges were not currently levied for the use of the GM Electric Vehicle charging points in Stockport’s car parks, and as the number of electric vehicles increased, consideration would need to be given to the levying of such charges in the future.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

8.

Road Safety Update pdf icon PDF 105 KB

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

 

Following an update report submitted to both Children and Young People’s and Environment and Economy Scrutiny committees in March 2017, work has continued to progress the Council’s programme of activity to improve road safety outside schools across the borough. The purpose of this report is to provide a further update on progress

 

The Scrutiny Committee is recommended to review and comment on the report and the proposals regarding the capital programme of improvements around the identified priority schools, and review and comment on the use of mobile camera car enforcement.   

 

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) providing an update on work to progress the Council’s programme of activity to improve road safety outside schools across the borough.

 

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

 

It was commented that a report had been circulated to all area committees requesting the use of their Delegated Budgets for the provision of a speed indication device for use solely within their respective areas as a means of improving road safety in the vicinity of schools.

 

RESOLVED – That the proposals regarding the capital programme of improvements around the identified priority schools be welcomed and endorsed.

9.

Agenda Planning pdf icon PDF 58 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.