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Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Delyn Committee Room, County Hall, Mold CH7 6NA

Contact: Maureen Potter 01352 702322  Email: maureen.potter@flintshire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

21.

Declarations of Interest (including Whipping Declarations)

To receive any Declarations and advise Members accordingly.

Decision:

            None.

Minutes:

            None.

22.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meetings held on 27 June and 17 July 2018.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Minutes:

(i)         The minutes of the meeting held on 27 June 2018 were submitted.

 

Matters Arising

 

Minute number 11: In response to a request from Councillor George Hardcastle, the Facilitator advised that an update report on rent arrears would be provided to the next meeting of the Committee to be held on 7 November 2018.

 

(ii)        The minutes of the meeting held on 17 July 2018 were submitted.

 

            Accuracy

            Page 9:  the title of the minutes to be amended

 

Matters Arising

 

Councillor Paul Shotton commented on the success of the Holiday Hunger Programme. 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That subject to the above amendment, the minutes be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

23.

Single Access Route to Housing (SARTH) pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the Committee continue to support the management of the Single Access Route to Housing (SARTH) policy in Flintshire.

Minutes:

The Chief Officer (Housing and Assets) introduced a report to consider the Allocations Policy for social housing.  He invited the Customer Support Manager to present the report. 

 

The Customer Support Manager provided background information and advised that a review of the SARTH policy had been carried out in 2017 following the first year of operation.  The review identified that the policy required updating to ensure compliance with the Housing (Wales) Act 2014.  A review of issues raised at the operational panel and steering group established that there were no significant changes required to any of the key principles of the policy.  The Customer Services Manager advised that the requirement for an updated policy provided an opportunity to develop a document that was easier to read and understand.  The revised policy (attached at appendix one) sets out the key commitment of the partners to a common regional approach to social housing allocations. 

 

The Customer Services Manager reported on the main considerations, as detailed in the report, regarding regional collaboration, social housing demand, audit, and specialist housing.    

 

Councillor Ian Dunbar commented on the need for suitable housing solutions to meet specialist needs and asked if appropriate housing had been provided from old or new housing stock.  The Customer Services Manager explained that solutions had been provided from a mixture of old and new housing.

 

Councillor Paul Shotton referred to the collaborative work undertaken with Denbighshire County Council and asked if there were further opportunities to develop work on the triage and housing register with other local authorities.  The Customer Services Manager explained that the Authority also received an income from   other partner landlords and would follow up any opportunities to widen the partnership to further Councils.

 

Councillor Rosetta Dolphin asked if information was shared between service areas in the Authority, and cited Housing services and Social Services as an example and a situation if a property became vacant because a tenant had moved into a care home.   The Chief Officer gave an assurance that information and intelligence was shared between the Authority’s Housing and Social Services departments. 

 

In response to a concern raised by Councillor George Hardcastle around the allocation of social housing, the Customer Services Manager explained that Flintshire and Denbighshire operated two separate housing registers.  She advised that Flintshire had been managing the triage and housing register for Denbighshire since April 2017 and referred to the many benefits of Flintshire hosting both Registers.     

 

Councillor Patrick Heesom raised concerns around the triage service and referred to the increase in the number of applications in 2017/18.  He commented on the number of annual applications and asked what support was provided to those applicants that did not proceed to the housing register.  He also commented on the Council’s democratic accountability in providing housing and said that he did not feel that this had been written into the terms of reference of the SARTH Policy and neither had the role of elected Members been adequately referenced.  The Customer Services Manager gave an assurance that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.

24.

WHQS Capital Programme – Delivery Review Update pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the progress made in delivering the Housing Capital Investment Programme be noted.

Minutes:

            The Chief Officer (Housing and Assets) introduced a report to provide an update on the progress of the WHQS the Council was delivering through its Capital Investment Programme.  He explained that the WHQS Programme of Works had reached its halfway milestone and was moving into the final three years of delivery.  The report focussed on what had been delivered to date and what was left to be completed before the 2020 deadline.

 

            The Chief Officer reported on the main considerations, as detailed in the report on the WHQS Programme.  He advised that the WHQS project team was nearing the end of the Internal Work programme (kitchens and bathrooms) and the remaining properties were either ‘tenant refusals’ or ‘no access’ which were classed as ‘acceptable fails’ by the Welsh Government in terms of achieving the WQHS.  The WQHS project team had also procured all of the main WQHS Contracts moving into Year 4 (2018/19) of the Capital Programme and were ahead of target on the number of components installed and looking to implement the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) Solution in Quarter 4 of this financial year.  The Chief Officer continued that the WHQS project team had delivered many contracts varying from internal upgrade works through to large external refurbishment and environmental schemes.  The Council had invested around £60m to date within its housing stock and was currently ahead of target in meeting the WHQS 2020 deadline.

 

            The Chief Officer referred to the Welsh Audit Office (WAO) Report and provided background information, as detailed in the report.  He said the audit had covered a number of areas relating to the Authority’s service users and having undertaken  surveys, considered feedback from users, and moderated their findings, the  WAO concluded that “overall the Council was making good progress towards achieving the WHQS and most Council tenants were satisfied with the quality of the service and their homes”.

 

            The Chair and Councillor Paul Shotton congratulated the Chief Officer and his team on their achievements on the WQHS to date and on a good report.  

 

            Councillor Patrick Heesom commented on the need to ensure that local contractors and labour was used in the WQHS programme of works.  The Capital Works Manager advised that local contractors and labour was involved on all new house build and said thresholds had to be met  when contracting works for the  WHQS programme.  He explained that for every £1m spend the Authority had to ensure that a certain number of local job opportunities and apprenticeships were provided and commented that the target had been exceeded to date. 

 

Councillor Rosetta Dolphin referred to properties which had not been upgraded due to ‘tenant refusals’ or ‘no access’ and asked if the condition of the properties was checked to ensure housing standards were complied with.  The Capital Works Manager explained that a condition inspection would be undertaken when appropriate.

 

The Chief Officer suggested that the Committee receive an annual update report on the delivery of the WHQS Capital Programme, to include information on the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.

25.

Forward Work Programme (Community & Enterprise) pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

(a)       That the Forward Work Programme, as amended, be approved; and

 

(b)       That the Facilitator, in consultation with the Chairman of the Committee, be authorised to vary the Forward Work Programme between meetings, as the need arises.

Minutes:

In presenting the Forward Work Programme for consideration, the Facilitator referred to the items to be considered at the next meeting of the Committee on 7 November, and said it had been agreed to defer the Quarter 1 and 2 Council Plan 2018/19 Monitoring Report to the meeting on 19 December 2018.  It was also agreed that the Rent Arrears report would be submitted to the meeting on 7 November.  

 

            The Facilitator advised that a workshop would be arranged during October for members of the Committee to consider the budget proposals and said the details would be confirmed to Members by email.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the Forward Work Programme, as amended, be approved; and

 

(b)       That the Facilitator, in consultation with the Chairman of the Committee, be authorised to vary the Forward Work Programme between meetings, as the need arises.

26.

Members of the Press and Public in attendance

Minutes:

There were no members of the press or the public in attendance.

 

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