Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2 - Deanes. View directions
Contact: Democratic Services Team
Link: Video recording
Apologies for absence and substitutions
There were no apologies for absence.
Declarations of interest
There were no declarations of interest.
To consider any items of business, other than those shown on this agenda and which, by reason of special circumstances to be stated at the meeting, in the opinion of the Chairman, should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.
There were no urgent items.
Minutes of the meeting held on 19th June 2018
The minutes of the meeting held on 19th June 2018 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
Contact officer: Simon Christian
The committee is asked to note the published minutes of the Performance Panel meeting of 4th July and the Council Plan 2016-2020 Performance Tracker Q4 Year-end 2017-18 scorecard results.
The committee received an update from the Chair of the Performance panel. The update included notes from the meeting held on 4 July 2018, and review of the Q4 Performance Scorecard.
Key focus areas and points for concern raised by the panel included:
· BDBC’s responsibility for the external fabric of the Anvil and Haymarket buildings;
· A request for regular update reports from the Anvil management team;
· KPI complaint levels in the context of refuse collection;
· Concerns at recycling target rates being too unambitious; and
· High staff turnover and long term sickness rates.
The Chair of Community Environment Partnerships (CEP), informed the committee that the new waste contractor’s Serco were due to report to CEP prior to December and that recycling targets would be considered as part of that report.
The Chair of Scrutiny commented that at a meeting of the HR committee staff turnover had been discussed and a request had been made to receive statistics broken down into departmental business units in order to identify any trends and remedial action.
The Interim Executive Director of Finance and Resources agreed to discuss a review of the approach to maintenance of the Anvil with the property services team.
Resolved: The Committee note the report.
Contact officer: Kate Randall
To note the report detailing the outcomes of the annual review undertaken of the Council’s scheme of allocations for 2017/18.
The Deputy Leader introduced the Annual review of the Allocations Policy which is currently in its second year. The policy supports the Council’s delivery of its statutory housing allocation scheme by facilitating the council’s core principles of ensuring housing supply meets the affordable needs of local people, making best use of scarce resources, improving residents’ quality of life by maximising choice and supporting vulnerable people and preventing homelessness. It was considered that the policy was still fit for purpose and meeting strategic objectives and priorities.
The committee made a range of comments and sought clarification on a number of points:
· It was advised that a 22% increase in the total number of households on the register was in line with expectations.
· It was noted that when assessing eligibility, each applicant was judged on individual circumstances. This had led to more individuals from the private rented sector being housed under the scheme than under previous schemes.
· Prioritisation on the register was based on amount of time spent on the list.
· With regard to retention rates it was clarified that for those on the electronic ‘home bid’ there would be an automatic annual review, and all other applicants would be written to prompting for notification of any change in circumstances.
· Of those currently on the register, 34 were categorised as armed forces who didn’t meet the local connection criteria required for inclusion. It was clarified that the armed forces covenant would allow such individuals to be categorised as Band 1 (critical housing need), without having to prove a local connection.
· It was queried what the breakdown of the 3,675 households was into UK nationals, EU nationals and non EU nationals, and what impact this would have post 29/03/19. It was clarified that there had been no clear guidance and solution issued for post Brexit but that work had commenced to compile and understand the data at risk.
· It was noted that the re-let rate had finally overtaken the rate at which applicants were joining the register. Projected figures for 2018/19 were 525 (with a target of 300), 2019/20: 285 and 2020/21: 267 (compared with 73 in 2015/16).
· It was clarified that Band 3 equated to approximately 2% of applicants, and of those only very few had been reduced in priority due to unacceptable behaviour.
· It was clarified that demand for affordable housing appeared to be declining in rural areas. As such, it was suggested that a neighbourhood plan would be of particular importance in identifying any local need.
· It was noted that whilst there was a spread of income (up to £50,000), for those on the register it would be difficult to verify precise figures. It was advised that at the application stage of the process, those with sufficient income would be signposted to other low cost home ownership options.
· It was acknowledged that there needed to be a more innovative way of addressing fixed term tenancies in relation to 4/5 bedroom properties.
Resolved: The Committee
· Note the report;
· Request that ... view the full minutes text for item 16/18
Review of Work Programme
The Interim Executive of Finance and Resources proposed submission of a combined financial strategy and budget report to the November meeting, rather than the established process of discussing at both the November and January meetings. The committee agreed to this suggestion.
The Committee reviewed the work programme and made the following updates:
· 20 November: Media Protocol review;
· 22 January: Consultants and Consultancy fees review, to include spend authorisation, investigation into the common practice of recruiting interim executives and examine value for money;
Repair elements in commercial leases review. This was suggested by the Chair of the Community Environment Partnerships Committee, having heard evidence in relation to the poor state of repair of the ice rink. Obligations had been imposed by the council on the leaseholders of the site to keep the building in a good state of repair and it was suggested and agreed that the Scrutiny Committee may wish to undertake a report setting out the oversight, monitoring and enforcement obligations of the council in relation to repair elements of commercial contracts and leases;
· 19 March: Parking enforcement; and
· Local Enterprise Partnership (M3), to include ascertaining how the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) identified and prioritised projects for funding, and whether there was a way for the council to work collaboratively with the partnership. It was also noted that advice had been issued in relation to the development of LEP’s which suggested an additional scrutiny role. The advice would be reviewed by the committee prior to embarking on the review.
It was agreed that working groups would be established to review Basingstoke as a Unitary Authority, and to investigate the use of pink papers. Cllr Cousens to lead both groups. Cllr Robinson volunteered to join the Unitary Authority group.
A member briefing on the procurement process would be included as part of Member Induction training scheduled for June 2019.