Wrexham Council homepage

Advertising

Agenda and minutes

Homes and Environment Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 12th December, 2018 10.00 am

With effect from 1 April 2016 Agenda and Minutes will be available in both Welsh and English. Reports are working documents and produced in English only in accordance with Welsh Language Standard 41 of this Council’s Final Compliance Notice from the Welsh Language Commissioner.

Venue: Meeting Room 1, Guildhall

Contact: Craig Stevens  Scrutiny Facilitator

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

27.

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Sonia Benbow-Jones, Paul Blackwell, Carrie Harper and Paul Rogers.

28.

Declarations of personal interests, if any

Members are reminded of their responsibility, under Paragraph 11 of the Members’ Code of Conduct, to declare the existence and nature of any personal interest in respect of any of the business to be transacted at this meeting

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were reminded of their responsibility, under Paragraph 11 of the Members’ Code of Conduct, to declare any interests in relation to any of the business to be transacted at this meeting.  The following declarations were made:

 

Agenda Item 5 – Councillor John Phillips – Personal and Prejudicial (Sub-contract on the re-roofing and external wall removal of satellite dishes).  The Councillor left the room when re-roofing and external wall insulation was discussed.

29.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 14 November 2018 (copy to follow).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 14 November 2018 be signed as a correct record.

30.

Variation in order of agenda

Additional documents:

Minutes:

AGREED – That Agenda Items 6 and 7 be brought forward and taken at this time.

31.

Exclusion of Press and Public

In considering whether to exclude the press and public from the next part of the meeting Members are asked to consider the following factors when determining the public interest test.

 

Agenda Items 6 - Not for publication by virtue of Paragraph 14 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended). 

The Proper Officer has determined in considering this report that paragraph 14 should apply.  Her view on the public interest test was that while she was mindful of the need to ensure the transparency and accountability of public authorities for decisions taken by them in relation to the spending of public money, the right of a third party to the privacy of their financial/ business affairs outweighed the need for that information to be made public/Disclosure of the information would give an unfair advantage to tenderers for commercial contracts. This information is not affected by any other statutory provision which requires the information to be publicly registered.  On that basis she felt that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

It is, therefore, recommended that the press and public be excluded from the Meeting during consideration of the following item as it is likely that, if they were present, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 14 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Agenda Item 7: Members determined in considering this reports that Paragraph 14 should apply. Their view on the public interest test was that while they were mindful of the need to ensure the transparency and accountability of public authorities for decisions taken by them in relation to the spending of public money, the right of a third party to the privacy of their financial/ business affairs outweighed the need for that information to be made public and disclosure of the information would give an unfair advantage to tenderers for commercial contracts. This information was not affected by any other statutory provision which requires the information to be publicly registered.  On that basis they felt that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

RESOLVED - That the press and public be excluded from the Meeting during consideration of the following items of business, as it is likely that, if they were present, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 14 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

32.

Sheltered Housing Refurbishment Programme

To consider the report of the Lead Member for Place -  Housing

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Place – Housing submitted a report (HHE/40/18s) to seek support from members of the Homes and Environment Scrutiny Committee for a proposed investment plan based on the findings of the Options Appraisal which was carried out on the Sheltered Housing stock. 

 

Members considered the report and, commenting on the importance of Sheltered Housing in providing independent living for older people within a safe and secure setting, welcomed the proposed investment plan for the stock.  During debate Members stressed the importance of developing a communication strategy, in order to sensitively manage and reassure affected tenants, to be undertaken from early 2019 in conjunction with the relevant local ward member.

 

AGREED –

 

(i)         That the Committee support the proposed investment plan based on the findings of the Options Appraisal which was carried out on the Sheltered Housing stock.

 

(ii)        That the Committee recommend that a communication exercise be started with affected residents prior to the matter being considered by the Executive Board.

33.

Press and Public

Additional documents:

Minutes:

AGREED – That the Press and Public be invited back into the Meeting at this time.

34.

Welsh Housing Quality Standard Programme Update pdf icon PDF 120 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for Place -  Housing

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Declarations of personal interests in relation to this item are set out under Minute 28 above)

 

The Lead Member for Place – Housing submitted a report (HHE/52/18) to allow Members to consider the Council’s progress towards achieving the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) by December 2020 by reviewing the progress of the first two quarters in the 2018/19 programme.

 

Members considered the report and asked questions of the officers present.  During debate the following matters were highlighted:

 

·         Positive progress had been achieved year to date.

·         Noted that Welsh Government were reviewing customer satisfaction with all Councils as part of their delivery of the WHQS programme.  This information would be included in the Committee’s next update report. 

·         Ongoing challenge meetings with Welsh Government indicated that they remained satisfied with the Council’s approach to delivering WHQS.

·         The level of tenant refusals for the rewiring and central heating programmes remained a concern.  Noted that the department was undertaking an age profile of tenant refusals to identify how this affected uptake.  They would be working closely with estate offices to ensure that as many properties were completed within the time of the programme as possible.

·         Reported that owing to difficulties in securing labour the programme of external works to gardens, paths, etc may not be completed by 2020.

·         The Property Investment Lead explained that although the WHQS programme had a deadline of December 2020 there would be other on-going programmes that form part of the maintenance phase of WHQS.

·         The importance of the estate management function in ensuring that properties were maintained to an acceptable standard once WHQS work had been carried out.

 

AGREED – That the Lead Member and Officer be thanked for the good progress outlined in the report and that the report be noted.

35.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Finance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Finance submitted a report (HF/141/18s) to assist Members in agreeing a list of potential scrutiny topic areas for the next 12 months and possibly longer term.

 

Members considered the report and referred to the following matters in debate:

 

·         The inaugural meeting of the Resident Parking Task and Finish Group to be held on Thursday, 10 January 2019.

·         Noted that the Streetscene Service Standards item would be considered at the April meeting.

·         The HAMP report to be considered at the May 2019 meeting.

·         DWP representatives confirmed to be in attendance when the Committee next considers Welfare Reform.

·         Noted that the Environmental Enforcement  Services item would be considered in February 2019.

 

AGREED – That, subject to the aforementioned, the work programme be agreed.