Agenda and minutes

Housing Scrutiny Sub-Committee - Monday, 10th August 2015 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, City Hall

Contact: Democratic Services - 01522 873619 

No. Item


Confirmation of Minutes - 22 June 2015 pdf icon PDF 87 KB


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 22 June 2015 be confirmed.


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.


No declarations of interest were received.


LTP Matters


Eric Jenkinson advised of the following LTP matters:


·         That Colin Herbert had resigned from LTP as he was now in full time employment.

·         LTP had four members and current membership stood at 12

·         4 members went to Trafford Hall for a seminar on the Welfare Benefits System. The notes from the meeting will be distributed to committee members

·         The Working Groups are progressing well and all have met apart from the Voids Working Group for which a meeting is being arranged

·         Since the last meeting 5 void properties have been visited, arrangements for visits are being reviewed in September


Members commented as follows:


1.    When attending events and speaking with representatives from other authorities how do we compare in respect of the work we are undertaking?


Response – Eric Jenkinson, on behalf of LTP, advised, that he had spoken with representatives from Liverpool and we appear to be on a par with them. In addition he had also spoken to representatives from Macclesfield and we appear to be ahead of them.


Performance Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Additional documents:


Karen Talbot, Assistant Director(Housing):


a.    Presented the report “Performance Monitoring Report 2015/16”

b.    Advised that in total there were 22 measures and of these 15 are on or exceeding targets for the year and 2 measures had not met the targets set. There were 5 measures where data was not available

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

d.    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) progress made in the current year by quarter for the following areas:


·         Rents

·         Voids

·         Allocations

·         Repairs

·         Decent Homes

·         Complaints

·         ASB

·         Estate Services

·         Customer Contact


e.    Advised that in respect of Reference Nos 32 and 34 no data was currently available

f.     Invited members questions and comments


Members made the following questions and comments and received the relevant response:


Comment – There is a positive outlook from the data and it is pleasing to note the significant improvement in the dealing of complaints


Comment – LTP are currently scrutinising how ASB complaints are dealt with. Currently there is no framework to work to. LTP are hoping to develop a framework to identify what we are trying to achieve.


Question – Can officers confirm if it is correct that if a tenant does not accept the first property they are offered they are put to the end of the queue?.


Response –This would not happen they would appear on the list in accordance with their points and priority


Comment/Question – Voids show a massive improvement. However I have had firsthand experience of this and what should have taken a couple of weeks took nearly a month. Is there any reason why this should happen?.


Response – Dealing with voids is performance driven and is a priority. Cannot comment on individual cases.


RESOLVED that the contents of the report be noted


Draft Annual Report to Tenants pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Additional documents:


Chris Morton, Resident Involvement Manager:


a.    Presented the details of the annual report to tenants 2014/15 as required by the Homes and Communities Agency, the regulator for social housing in England

b.    Advised the report must contain performance information relating to the council’s landlord function and how the council has met the HCA’s regulatory standards, these are:


·         Tenant Involvement and Empowerment

·         Home

·         Neighbourhood and Community

·         Rent

·         Tenancy


c.    Advised that the main content of the report compares the council’s performance information between 2013/14 to 2014/15 and performance against set targets eg rent arrears collection, repair times etc


d.    Advised that the report also detailed a number of achievements made by tenants and the council in 2014/15 including:


·         The Gaunt Street community garden project

·         The reduction in rent arrears

·         Achievement of the APSE award for the “most improved direct labour organisation”

·         The new build programme for council housing


e.    Advised that the report was currently scheduled to be delivered week commencing 14 September 2015 to enable the required delivery deadline of the 1 October 2015 to be achieved.


Made the following questions/comments and received the relevant response.


Comment – In respect of the current average number of days to resolve ASB cases we are not necessarily comparing like with like.


Comment – The bullet point on page 31 referring to persons with arthritis needs to be amended to refer to “dexterity problems”


Question – Is it correct that there is a 3 month waiting list to get on the bidding list?.


Response – Officers will look into this and report back.


Question- In respect of the proposal on Page 21 to spend moreon the environment how much has been allocated and is it going to encourage tenants to put more requests in for improvements?


Response – Not sure if this will lead to more requests and Officers will advise of the available budget


Comment – LTP are trying to put a package forward with incentives to move eg Decorating Grant. Consideration has been given to what other authorities offer as incentives for tenants to move. It is likely to be up to 6 months before LTP report on this. One area that is a problem is downsizing, other issues include the status of children over 16 years of age.


Response An Under Occupation Policy is being developed to take account of some of the issues raised above.


RESOLVED that the comments detailed above be noted.


Work Programme 2015-16 pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Additional documents:


Steve Swain, Principal Democratic Officer:


a.    Presented the work programme for the Housing Scrutiny Committee for 2015/16 as detailed at Appendix A of the report.

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


The suggested that the Tenant Scrutiny Report should be considered at its meeting on the 16 November rather than 5 October 2015.


RESOLVED that subject to the amendment above the work programme be agreed.