Agenda and draft minutes

Enterprise and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 15th July, 2021 5.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Chesterfield S40 1LP

Contact: Amanda Clayton  01246 34 5273

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Members' And Officers' Interests Relating To Items On The Agenda

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received.

2.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Caulfield and Mann.

3.

Cabinet Member for Housing - Social Housing White Paper pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Housing introduced the report on the Social Housing White Paper and informed the committee that the intention of the report was to help to determine the scope of the paper and to identify areas where scrutiny could have an impact.

 

The Service Director for Housing explained that the white paper was produced as a response to the Grenfell disaster and was important legislation for Housing. One of the key messages from the paper was the need to listen to residents more and involve them more and it was felt that this was an area that scrutiny could be involved, particularly during policy development.

 

The Housing Strategy and Enabling Manager gave an overview of the white paper, covering the seven key headlines and noting that the emphasis of how social housing is managed will change as a result of the implications.

 

The first area of the paper concerned safety in homes; which included building safety and fire safety and was the element with the most detail so far. It was acknowledged that there would be more requirements in future to bring things in line with the private rental sector such as regular electrical testing. The Housing team had anticipated that compliance would be a key theme and had therefore been developing appropriate policies which were being reviewed by an external consultant before being presented to Cabinet.

 

The second point looked at tenants knowing how their landlord was performing. The council would need to demonstrate performance using a number of indicators and detail how money was being spent. The third area covered tenants’ rights to have their complaints dealt with and a new complaint handling code was under development. The Housing Ombudsman had been given greater powers to hold landlords to account. Procedures for making a complaint would need to be published on the Council’s website. These improvements would all be fed into the Council’s complaints project group which was developing a new complaints policy and system.

 

Part four concerned treating tenants with respect. The regulator would be implementing changes including an inspection regime with the ability to impose fines for non-compliance. The details on the required standards had not yet been provided. Part five looked at tenants’ having their voices heard by their landlord. The changes in this area were still in development but included a potential review of qualifications in the housing sector. It was acknowledged that an organisational culture where the tenant is always at the centre of development was the aim.

 

Part six referred to the decent homes standard, with a new definition of ‘decent’ expected in the summer of 2022. It was noted that the capital programme already included some of the key areas expected for review. As better support for decarbonisation was identified as a potential element of the review, it was highlighted that the Housing service was developing a green policy covering the measures that it had already begun such as sourcing local materials to reduce its carbon footprint, replacing boilers,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Scrutiny Monitoring pdf icon PDF 248 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the Scrutiny recommendations monitoring schedule.

 

RESOLVED -

 

That the Scrutiny monitoring schedule be noted.

 

5.

Scrutiny Project Group Progress Update pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Minutes:

An update on the Air Quality Scrutiny Project group was presented to committee. The Chair indicated that the intention was for the group to resume as soon as it was practicable and that the terms of reference would need to be adjusted to reflect the change in circumstances since COVID-19.

 

RESOLVED –

 

The update was noted.

6.

Forward Plan

7.10pm - The latest version of the Forward Plan of Key Decisions 1 August, 2021 to 30 November, 2021 is available via the link below:


Forward Plan

Minutes:

The Forward Plan for the four month period 1 August, 2021 to 30 November, 2021 was presented for information.

 

RESOLVED –

 

That the Forward Plan be noted.

 

7.

Work Programme for the Enterprise and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Minutes:

The 2021/22 Work Programme for the Enterprise and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee was reported for information.

 

RESOLVED –

 

That the work programme be noted and updated to include the decisions of the current meeting.

 

8.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 274 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED –

 

The Minutes of the meeting of the Enterprise and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee held on 1 April, 2021 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.