Agenda and draft minutes

Housing Scrutiny Sub-Committee - Monday, 20th July 2020 5.00 pm, MOVED

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Democratic Services - 01522 873619 

Items
No. Item

69.

Confirmation of Minutes - 27 January 2020 pdf icon PDF 283 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 27 January 2020 be confirmed.

70.

Matters Arising

Minutes:

Notice Boards

 

The Chair referred to minute number 64 and asked if there had been any progress with the pilot notice boards in the Cannon Street area?

 

Mick Barber Chair of LTP advised that it had been currently put on hold due to COVID 19. It would be continued in the future.

71.

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:

Councillor Strengiel declared a Personal Interest in the item entitled “Housing Department Update- COVID 19” as he was Director of YMCA Lincolnshire – incorporating the Nomad Trust.

 

Councillor Strengiel declared a Personal Interest in the item entitled “Housing Finance”  as he was Chair of the Lincolnshire Pension Fund and a Lincolnshire County Councillor.

 

 

72.

LTP Matters

Minutes:

Mick Barber, Chair of Lincoln Tenants Panel advised that working groups had been held via zoom, however, the Lincoln Tenants Panel had not met since lockdown. A zoom meeting would be held soon and an update would be provided at the next meeting.

 

 

73.

Housing Department Update - Covid 19 pdf icon PDF 260 KB

Minutes:

Daren Turner, Strategic Director Housing and Investment provided an update report to Housing Scrutiny Sub Committee on the response from his Department to the COVID 19 epidemic and the future implications of that response.

 

The Housing Management Team gave a detailed presentation to the committee:

 

Daren Turner, Strategic  Director of Housing and Investment gave an overview of the response by the Housing Department and provided details of:

 

·         Initial Response

o   Protect Staff

o   Protect the Vulnerable

·         Achievements

·         Challenges Encountered

·         Recovery Stage

·         Impact

 

Andrew McNeil, Assistant Director of Housing Strategy gave an overview of the response and implications of COVID19 on his area of responsibility and provided details of:

 

·         Initial Response

·         Achievements

·         Challenges Encountered

·         Recovery Stage

·         Impact

·         Key Statistics

 

Yvonne Fox, Assistant Director of Housing gave an overview of the response and implications of COVID19 on her area of responsibility and provided details of:

 

·         Initial Response

·         Achievements

·         Challenges Encountered

·         Recovery Stage

·         The New Business as Usual

·         Key Statistics

 

Matt Hillman, Assistant Director of Investment and Maintenance gave an overview of the response and implications of COVID 19 on his area of responsibility and provided details of:

 

·         Initial Response

·         Achievements

·         Challenges Encountered

·         Recovery Stage

·         Impact

·         Key Statistics

 

Members expressed their thanks and appreciation to all members of staff for their work during this time.

 

Members of the Committee asked the following questions and received  responses from the relevant Officer:

 

Question: How many people were homeless across the County?

Response: Clarified that the City Council had not dealt with all homelessness across the County, but had assisted the other districts to create a network with other bodies to help them to address this issue. The numbers of homeless had dropped considerably across the County.

 

Question: When would the changes to the Allocations Policy be implemented?

Response: Clarified that the Allocations Policy was due to be implemented on 1st June 2020, however, the timescale could not be met as the IT systems needed updating. The IT work was currently being undertaken and the policy would be implemented in September 2020.

 

Question:  Where had the cost reductions come from?

Response: Clarified that there were some vacancies that would not be filled, there was a reduction in fleet costs, training had been put on hold and some staff had been furloughed.

 

Question: Was online resident engagement something that had been tried in the past or was it a new idea?

Response: Work that had been talked about previously had been accelerated. LTP meetings would be held via zoom and we were looking at undertaking online consultations. There were some issues around LTP members access to IT which needed addressing.

 

Question:  What types of calls were received by the Community Helpline?

Response: A variety of different calls were received by the helpline. The helpline mainly helped with distributing food parcels.

 

Question: How well were the self-isolation units for rough sleepers used?

Response: There were 2 fully furnished isolation units that were used by a steady stream of people, generally those who had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 73.

74.

Housing Finance pdf icon PDF 426 KB

Minutes:

Colleen Warren, Financial Services Manager

 

a.    presented the Council’s Housing out-turn position for 2019/20

 

b.    advised that the report provided members with the provisional summary of actual income and expenditure compared to revised budget for HRA and HRS services and showed how any surpluses had been allocated to reserves.

 

c.    stated that the full out-turn report for the Authority had been presented to Performance Scrutiny on 9 July 2020.

 

d.    advised that for 2019/20 the Council’s Housing Revenue Account (HRA) net revenue budget was set at £52,040, which resulted in an estimated level of general balances at year-end of £1078,609.

 

e.    explained that the financial performance quarterly monitoring report for 3rd quarter predicted an underspend of £79,582. The provisional outturn for 2019/20 now indicated an overspend of £71,514. This would result in HRA  balances at 31 March 2020 of £1,007,095.

 

f.     advised that for 2019/20 the Council’s Housing Repairs Service (HRS) net revenue budget was set at zero, reflecting its full cost recovery nature.

 

g.    explained that the financial performance quarterly monitoring report for 3rd quarter predicted a £117,075 surplus outturn for 2019/20. The provisional outturn for 2019/20 showed a trading surplus of £72,487 had been repatriated to the HRA, which was the major service user.

 

h.    invited members questions and comments.

 

The Chair asked for the split between what was spent on  the Housing Repairs service and the management?

 

Collen Warren, Financial Services Manager referred to the HRA Provisional Outturn 2019/20 table detailed at paragraph 3.3 of the report and highlighted the Repairs & Maintenance and Supervision & Management figures.

 

RESOLVED that the provisional out-turn position for HRA and HRS for 2019/20 be noted.

 

75.

Any other Business

Minutes:

Daren Turner, Strategic Director of Housing and Investment suggested that a report on Performance Indicators be brought to the next meeting.

 

RESOLVED that a report on Performance Indicators be brought to the next meeting of Housing Scrutiny Sub Committee.