Agenda and minutes

Housing Scrutiny Sub-Committee - Monday, 9th March 2015 5.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 3, City Hall. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services - 01522 873619 

Items
No. Item

95.

Confirmation of Minutes - 26 January 2015 pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 26 January 2015 be confirmed.

96.

Declarations of Interest

Please note that, in accordance with the Members' Code of Conduct, when declaring interests members must disclose the existence and nature of the interest, and whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) or personal and/or pecuniary.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received.

97.

Kier and Aaron Community Benefits pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Stephen Mellor, Area Regional Manager, Kier Services

 

  1. presented the Kier Added Value and Community Benefit Position Statement

  2. advised that Kiers bid focussed on the five strategic objectives as set out by the City of Lincoln Councils Strategic Plan 2012-2017

  3. highlighted the following initiatives that have been implemented since the start of the contract and advised on how they met the strategic objectives

  • Apprenticeships
  • Work Experience
  • E.B.P Award for Supporting Work Experience
  • E.B.P Hope Day – St Francis Special School
  • Message in a bottle

 

  1. advised that Kier’s bid was 2 to 3 years old and would be looked at to re-prioritise the next part of Community Benefits

 

Colin Boyd, Contracts Manager, Aaron Services

 

  1. presented the Aaron Services Community Benefit / Employment Skills Plan

  2. referred to appendix b of the report and gave a brief overview of some of the activities that had taken place both in providing employment, experience and support:

  • Hope Day
  • Work Experience
  • A German exchange programme
  • Reducing the carbon footprint by using an electric vehicle

 

The committee considered the contents of the report and asked the following questions:

 

  1. Were there any female apprentices employed by you?

 

Response – Yes, 2 female apprentices and a female trainee were employed

 

  1. Have you employed apprentices from within the Lincoln City boundary?

 

Response – This was a consideration that was taken into account when apprentices were assessed. Apprentices had limited funds for travel to work and were often located in the City boundaries anyway.

 

  1. What percentage of resources were there used from local suppliers?

 

Response – There was an S.M.E calculator that reviewed local spend and commented that this could be circulated to members for information.

 

Bob Ledger Director of Housing and Community Services commented that both Kier and Aaron Services referred to Community Benefits and how this could be taken forward, he suggested that this could be looked at with members of LTP and officers.

 

Members suggested that Kier and Aaron look at local projects such as community buildings that were in need of repair.

 

Kier and Aaron responded that they would look into any local projects, they also had links with local charities.

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted with thanks.

 

 

  

98.

LTP Matters

Minutes:

Eric Jenkinson advised that there was nothing to report from LTP.

99.

Anti Social Behaviour Update Report pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Minutes:

Alison Timmins, Acting Assistant Director (Housing Management)

 

  1. presented Housing Scrutiny Sub Committee with an update on the Housing Services anti-social behaviour (ASB) service

  2. advised that the report considered performance for the ASB service for 2013/14 and 2014/15 (to January 2015) and summarised the assessment of the ASB Service carried out by Housemark and the comparative services offered for ASB for those in the private sector

  3. referred to paragraph 4 of the report and highlighted that in January 2015 there were 18 new cases  recorded (up from 11 from the previous month) and there were 162 ‘live’ cases outstanding at the end of January compared to 177 in December 2014

  4. referred to the table at paragraph 4.2 of the report and advised that currently  we were exceeding the target of the number of cases resolved but were marginally below average when marked against our peer group of other local authorities

  5. highlighted the average number of days to resolve ASB cases as detailed at paragraph 4.3 of the report and advised that there were some cases that had not been closed properly on the IT system, which resulted in a disproportionate end to end time, additional training was being given to Housing Officers to address this

 

  1. advised that all council housing ASB cases were managed by Tenancy Management and all private sector ASB cases were managed by the councils Public Protection and Anti-social behaviour team

 

  1. summarised the similarities and differences in response time and tools available as shown at paragraph 5 of the report

 

  1. referred to paragraph 6 of the report and advised on the recommendations made by HouseMark to review the service

 

  1. advised that following HouseMark recommendations a review of  the ASB policy would take place and an action plan would be developed for service improvements

 

The committee asked for clarification on which team was responsible for Anti Social Behaviour.

 

Alison Timmins, Acting Assistant Director (Housing Management) responded that Housing Officers dealt with ASB cases within council housing and the ASB team dealt with private sector cases.

 

The committee discussed  the performance figures and commented that they would like a breakdown of the figures into types of cases. They further asked for clarification on the differences between the number of cases closed and the number of cases resolved as presented in table 4.2 of the report.

 

Alison Timmins, Acting Assistant Director (Housing Management) responded that the figures included everything from untidy gardens to serious anti social behaviour cases, they needed to be classified. She further clarified that the difference between resolved cases and closed cases was the way that they had been input onto the IT system, further training would be given to Housing Officers.

 

The committee discussed the difference in the reporting mechanisms for anti social behaviour and commented that council tenants did not have access to advice from specially trained staff like the private sector do.

 

Bob Ledger, Director of Housing and Community Services outlined the work of the Housing Officers and explained that in acute cases both teams  ...  view the full minutes text for item 99.

100.

Performance Monitoring Report 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Paula Burton, Housing Quality and Performance Team Leader

 

  1. presented to committee an end of quarter report on Performance Indicators for the year 2014/15 (October 2014 – December 2014)

  2. advised that there were a total of 22 measures of which 7 were on or exceeding target for the year and 9 measures that had not met the target set, there were 6 measures that have limited data available due to the Servitor implementation project in responsive and void property repair functions

  3. gave an overview of the background of the report as detailed at paragraph 3 of the report

  4. referred to Appendix A of the report and summarised the performance targets and actual achievements; for comparison purposes each indicator showed performance for the last year, target for current year and (where applicable) and progress made in the current year by quarter for the following areas:

    • Rent Arrears
    • Voids
    • Repairs
    • Complaints
    • Anti social behaviour
    • Percentage of calls answered on time

 

Members advised that they had recently attended a void inspection with tenant representatives, they extended their thanks to officers and commented that they were impressed by the work of the void inspectors. They further discussed the current target of 20 days for the average re-let period of void properties and questioned if this was a realistic target?

 

Bob Ledger, Director of Housing and Community Services responded that he had had discussions with the Portfolio Holder for Housing and they would propose a target of 28 days for next year.

 

RESOLVED that the contents of the report be noted.

101.

Choice Based Lettings Policy- Review pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Alison Timmins, Acting Assistant Director (Housing Management)

 

  1. presented a report to inform the committee on the recent review and subsequent amendments to the Lincs Homefinder Lettings Policy approved by Executive on the 19th January 2015

 

  1. gave the background to the Choice Based Lettings Scheme as detailed at paragraph 3 of the report.

 

  1. advised that  from time to time the Secretary of State issued statutory guidance in respect of the allocation of social housing and Housing Authorities were encouraged to review their existing policies and revise where appropriate in light of the guidance

 

  1. gave an overview of the following guidance notes that had been issued:

 

  • Providing Social Housing for Local People
  • Right to move
  • Removal of Spare Room Subsidy

 

  1. referred to paragraph 6 of the report and outlined the changes to the approved policy and advised that as the amendments were relatively minor and were not considered to be a “major policy change” there was no requirement to undertake statutory consultation with stakeholders

 

Members discussed temporary accommodation and asked for clarification on the criteria for people who were from outside of the city.

 

Alison Timmins, Acting Assistant Director (Housing Management) explained the local connection criteria and advised that people from outside of the city and living in temporary accommodation did not accrue time for residing in the area.

 

Members further discussed the banding scheme and asked why mothers with children who were living at home with their parents were prioritised as band 2?

 

Alison Timmins, Acting Assistant Director (Housing Management) responded that band 1 was for people who were homeless, although living in with parents was not ideal it was better than being homeless.

 

The committee asked what priority was given to under occupancy?

 

Alison Timmins, responded that priority was given to those who wanted to downsize.

 

RESOLVED that the changes to the Lincs Homefinder Lettings Policy be noted.

 

 

 

102.

Draft Work Programme 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair:

 

  1. presented the draft work programme for Housing Scrutiny Committee for 2015/16 as detailed at Appendix A of the report

  2. advised that this was an opportunity for the committee to suggest other items be included within the work programme.

 

The committee discussed the items scheduled for the next meeting due to be held on 22 June 2015 and suggested that the following be considered:

 

·        Quarter 4 (2014/15) – Performance Report

·        Tenancy Fraud Strategy

·        Target Setting

 

RESOLVED that the work programme be updated to include the above.