Agenda and minutes

Housing Scrutiny Sub-Committee - Monday, 16th November 2015 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, City Hall

Contact: Democratic Services - 01522 873619 

Items
No. Item

24.

Confirmation of Minutes - 5 October 2015 pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 5 October 2015 be confirmed.

25.

Matters Arising

Minutes:

The committee referred to minute number 20 and asked for a further response regarding the metal strip on the kitchen work tops at the St Botolphs flat refurbishments.

 

The committee further commented that they had not attended a visit to any of the completed flats at St Botolphs Court

 

RESOLVED that Officers follow up the actions and provide a response after the meeting.

26.

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.

27.

LTP Matters

Minutes:

Eric Jenkinson advised of the following LTP matters:

 

·         A coffee morning had been held at Birchwood in October as part of the recruitment for more members onto the Lincoln Tenant Panel

·         LTP members had attended some IT training

·         LTP members had also attended an ASB training course at Trafford Hall, and commented that the course would have been good for Officers to attend

·         Some members of LTP would be attending the East Midlands Tenant Forum in Nottingham

·         The tenant inspection of void properties was continuing to go well with all properties inspected reaching the required standard

·         The working groups were continuing to work well and were on target

·         The next LTP meeting would be held on Wednesday 25th November

 

Karen Talbot, Assistant Director of Housing advised that  Anti-Social behaviour training would be taking place for staff during December and into the new year.

 

The Chair suggested that an Officer may benefit from attending future training courses with the LTP members.

 

Chris Morton, Resident Involvement Manager responded that he would look into offering training place to officers on future training that members of LTP attend.

28.

Tenant Involvement and Empowerment Strategy 2014-2017, Half-Yearly Update Report pdf icon PDF 82 KB

(Includes LTP Half Yearly/ Annual Report)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Chris Morton, Resident Involvement Manager

 

a.    presented an update on the Tenant Involvement and Empowerment Strategy 2014-2017

b.    advised on the background of the strategy and highlighted the 3 year action plan at Appendix A of the report

c.    referred to paragraph 3 of the report and provided details of the current progress on the action plan advising that there was a current completion rate of 25%

d.    advised that the overdue action was about increasing the number of satisfaction survey responses. This action was delayed due to a staffing issue which had been rectified and progress was back on track.

e.    referred to paragraph 4.1 of the report and gave an overview of the work that the Residents Involvement Team had focused on between April and October 2015

 

f.     highlighted the priorities for 2016 as detailed at paragraph 5 of the report

 

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

 

Comment – referred to the Strategy and asked for the photographs to be updated

 

Question – What work has been completed through Community Investment?

 

Response – There was a community garden on Gaunt Street, a Green Synergy Office had been opened on the Tower Estate and there was also some new benches at St Clements.

 

Question – Asked how Green Synergy were connected to Community Investment?

 

Response -  Green Synergy were a charity that the council has worked with to encourage residents to get involved in in their environment

 

Question – What involvement has Green Synergy had with Council Tenants?

 

Response – Will ask Green Synergy and circulate a response after the meeting

 

Comment – Some of the pages in Home! Magazine were difficult to read

 

Question – How do you encourage involvement from residents for example if  they are at work during the day?

Response -  The Resident Involvement Team were trying to develop new ways of working for example holding resident fun days at the weekend and using face book to provide more opportunities for people to get involved.

 

Question – Could a noticeboard be placed in communal areas to include information such as photographs and contact details of the Housing Officer for the area?

 

Response – Useful numbers would be included in the Home magazine, also the details on the website could be made more accessible. Officers would look into the feasibility of providing noticeboards.

 

RESOLVED that the progress made in delivering the Tenant Involvement and Empowerment Strategy 2014-2017 be noted.

29.

Performance Monitoring Report 2015/16 (Quarter 2) pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Karen Talbot, Assistant Director Housing

 

a.    presented the end of quarter report on Performance Indicators for the second quarter of the year 2015/16 (July 2015 – September 2015)

 

b.    advised that in total there were 22 measures and of these 15 were on or exceeding targets for the year and 3 measures had not met the targets set. There were 4 measures that did not have any data available.

 

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

 

d.    referred to paragraph 4 of the report and highlighted the areas where there had been an overall improvement including:

 

·         Gas Servicing

·         Complaints and Enquiries

·         Emergency Repairs

e.    further highlighted the following areas that had achieved their targets and explained the reasons for this:

 

·         Average days to resolve ASB cases

·         Percentage of all repairs carried out within time limits

 

f.     referred to paragraph 4.5 of the report and outlined the reasons that the data for some indicators was not available.

 

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

 

Question –What effect would the rent decrease have on the Council?

 

Response – A detailed report could be added to a future meeting

 

Question – Askedhow anti- social behaviour was classed?

 

Response – Gave an example of an untidy garden and stated that this was not classed as anti-social behaviour unless someone made a complaint about it.

 

Question –How much money was owed to the council in arrears?

 

Response –Around £900k

 

Question – Asked when tenants would be taken to court over arrears and commented that some of the cases cost more to take to court than the rent owed to the Council.

 

Response – The Council had to be firm with tenants on arrears but not unreasonable, Officers would look into the court costs.

 

Question – Would the criteria for rent arrears be changed from 4 weeks to 8 weeks when Universal Credit was introduced?

 

Response – Housing Officers were trying to encourage tenants to pay a bit extra in advance for when universal credit is to be introduced. As long as tenants were paying regularly they would not be prosecuted.

 

 

RESOLVED that

 

1.    the current performance outcomes during the financial year 2015/16 be noted

2.    a commitment to continue to report on a quarterly basis and to determine a programme to have more interim reviews of service specific performance be agreed

30.

Work Programme 2015-2016 pdf icon PDF 12 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Claire Turner, Democratic Services Officer

 

a.    presented the work programme for the Housing Scrutiny Sub 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 committee requested that a report be added to a future meeting on the effect that the rent decrease would have on the council.

 

The committee further requested that the Servitor Post Implementation Review be added to the work programme.

 

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