Venue: Virtual Meeting
Contact: Claire Turner - 01522 873619 (01522 873387)
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings held on 24 November 2020 and 8 December 2020 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.
Kate Bell, Housing Strategy Officer:
a. presented a report which advised the Policy Scrutiny Committee of the results of the external consultation on the draft Housing Strategy 2020-25.
b. reported that the consultation for the draft Housing Strategy was launched on 26 October 2020, inviting comments by 11 December 2020.
c. reported that feedback had been very positive regarding the detailed evidence base within the draft Housing Strategy and the range of actions proposed to meet Lincoln’s housing need over the next five years.
d. highlighted that specific areas commented on as part of responses received had focussed on the following:
· the provision of student accommodation;
· city centre living and mixed use residential areas;
· community land trusts;
· private rental accommodation.
e. invited members’ comments and questions.
Comment: A concern raised at the Lincoln Tenants’ Panel meeting was the effect allocating housing to the homeless and rough sleeping was having to those on waiting lists for housing in the city.
Response: The Council had a duty of care to any person who presented themselves as homeless.
Question: When working with Housing Associations, did the City Council take advantage of nominations rights and was there any feedback in that respect?
Response: The Council did actively encourage use of nominations rights and would be taking advantage of this. Affordable and social housing were scarce resources so it was important to make the best use of them in the city.
Question: Were developers being encouraged to provide opportunities for apprenticeships as part of procurement agreements with the Council?
Response: On Council-owned land and developments managed by the City Council it was much easier to provide such opportunities. One of the obstacles was the longevity required as part of an apprenticeship scheme, which the nature of work associated with developments could not always facilitate.
Question: There appeared to be a shortage of three and four bedroomed properties in the city in terms of affordable and social housing stock. How many more of these properties were expected to be delivered in the city over the next five years?
Response: The specific number of two, three and four bedroomed properties scheduled for delivery in the city was set out in the Strategy, supported by specific demand for each size of property.
Question: What information was being collected via Hometrack and how would this information be used?
Response: Hometrack would provide the Council with details on private sector rents in specific areas and track respective movements. This would provide evidence to substantiate rent increases and decreases and provided an important evidence base for the Council to work with.
Question: Did any consideration go into a person’s circumstances and the physical location of their support network, for example, when offered housing? This related to an example whereby a resident was offered housing in the north of the city when their support network was located in the south of the city.
Response: This was a very difficult issue to balance and the Council was always bound by what accommodation was ... view the full minutes text for item 101.
Francesca Bell, Public Protection, Anti-Social Behaviour and Licensing Service Manager:
a. briefed the Policy Scrutiny Committee on the process and consideration given to date to review an existing Public Space Protection Order in the city centre area of Lincoln.
b. provided the background relating to the existing Public Space Protection Order, including the area it covered and the reason for its existence in those areas.
c. reported the outcome of the consultation that had be undertaken for 28 days, commencing on 2 November 2020, further to which five responses had been received with four coming from partners and one being received from a member of the public.
d. reported that all five responses had called for the existing Public Space Protection Order to remain in place.
e. reported that all four partner responses called for the extension of the geographical area of the Public Space Protection Order to cover St Rumbolds Street.
f. reported that, in addition to consultation responses, the Citizens Panel had also returned comments relating specifically to drug users and drunks in the city centre and St Rumbolds Street area. 45 separate comments about drug and alcohol misuse in the city centre had been received.
g. reported evidence for the current geographical area to remain in place for the Public Space Protection Order, including the number of surrenders, breaches, fixed penalty notices and prosecutions.
h. reported evidence for the extension of the Public Space Protection Order to include St Rumbolds Street, referred to as Zone 3 in Appendix C attached to the report.
i. Invited members’ comments and questions.
Question: How many fixed penalty notices had been issued?
Response: A full overview of each year from 2015 was included in the report but for 2020 there had been four surrenders, one breach for alcohol, two breaches for other substances, two fixed penalty notices and two prosecutions.
Question: Was St Peter’s Passage still gated?
Response: St Peter’s Passage was still currently gated with no public access.
Comment: The figures regarding enforcement of the Public Space Protection Order were surprising as it was expected that they would be much higher.
Question: If the Council knew it was the same individuals causing problems and could identify the organisations that were actively supporting them, could the Council request that those organisations took some responsibility? Did the Council actively work with these organisations to prevent problems reoccurring in the city centre? Enforcement should be much stricter as drinking and other substance misuse in the streets, particularly in the city centre, provided a negative reflection on the reputation of the city.
Response: The Council did actively engage with other organisations who supported some of these individuals, who in turn had improved the way in which they engaged with the authority and was a positive development in comparison to previous years. It was emphasised that there were often limitations as to what responsibility they had over an individual and that cases were often extremely complex. Enforcement did need to be strong as otherwise ... view the full minutes text for item 102.
The Democratic Services and Elections Manager:
a. presented the Policy Scrutiny Work Programme 2020-21 and Executive Work Programme update.
b. reported that an item on a review of public conveniences, scheduled for consideration by the Executive in March 2021, had been added to the work programme for the next meeting of the Policy Scrutiny Committee.
c. invited members questions and comments.
Members made no further comments or suggestions regarding the Policy Scrutiny work programme.
(1) The work Policy Scrutiny work programme be noted.
(2) The Executive work programme be noted.
Health Scrutiny Update
The Chair of the Policy Scrutiny Committee reported that the Health Scrutiny Committee for Lincolnshire had not met since before Christmas, with its next meeting scheduled to be held on 20 January 2021.
He reported that things were moving rapidly in response to Covid-19, with testing kits now available in the city and testing stations having been set up over Christmas and the New Year. These were still in place at Lincoln City Football Club and would be located at the Community Centre on Croft Street for a period of two weeks.
It was noted that the vaccination programme was being led nationally and that no local information regarding rollout was available at this stage. It was confirmed, however, that all residents in the city were located within ten miles of a proposed vaccination site.
RESOLVED that the update be noted.