Wrexham Council homepage

Advertising

Agenda and minutes

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: Council Chamber, Guildhall

Contact: Craig Stevens  Scrutiny Facilitator

Media

Items
No. Item

6.

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Paul Pemberton and Paul Rogers.  Apologies were also submitted on behalf of Councillor Michael Dixon, Chair of the Wrexham Tenant Member Partnership.

7.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 12 June 2019

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

AGREED – That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 12 June 2019 be signed as a correct record.

8.

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 a this meeting.  The following declaration was made:

 

Agenda Item 4 – Voids and Property Refurbishment Update – Councillor John Phillips – Personal and Prejudicial – employee of a company that fits aerial sockets to some of the void properties. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9.

Voids and Property Refurbishment Update pdf icon PDF 432 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 8 above)

 

The Lead Member for Place - Housing submitted a report (COHE/29/19) to provide Members with details of the significant investment and improvements being carried out to the housing stock to ensure that tenants had a high standard of quality accommodation which would require minimal investment in the future.  The report also provided an update on the current process for managing empty properties and provided an overview of the challenges faced in ensuring that the refurbished properties met the agreed lettable standard, recommended and supported by the Tenant and Membership partnership.

 

The Lead Member for Place-Housing introduced the report and drew Members attention to the main points for consideration.

 

The Head of Service, Assets made a presentation outlining key points of the report and referencing the earlier the earlier site visit to void properties.

 

During discussion, the following points were noted, in particular:

 

·         It was acknowledged that the lettable standard had been supported by the Tenant & Membership Partnership in December 2016 and a ‘whole house’ approach to the refurbishment of Council Housing had been adopted.  As a result of these changes tenants were receiving a high quality service and feedback from tenants had been positive.

·         Following a restructure in 2018 the in-house DLO were able to undertake the full range of void refurbishments.

·         The Voids Commissioning Team carried out a number of preparatory services including needle searches, asbestos reports and schedule of works.

·         As part of the restructure it was envisaged that Estate Officers would inspect their own area regularly to ensure that the letting standard for properties was being maintained. 

·         The change to the lettable standard had resulted in a significant increase of work being carried out internally and externally.  The number of empty properties had increased and this would create a spike in the work for this area.  Members were concerned that contractors had insufficient resources to complete the work in a timely manner.

·         Over the past 12 months (up to May 2019) 568 properties had been brought back to the new lettable standard.  In contrast private house builders constructed 222 new properties in Wrexham during the same period. 

·         A Member suggested that it could be difficult to attract small businesses to tender for the refurbishment works due to the hurdles they had to go through in respect to the Council’s tendering process via Tender Wales.

Officers were working out the costs for the responsive repair programme against the new units and expected a significant cost reduction providing that the work was carried out correctly.

·         The Housing Strategy Plan for the Council had recently approved new build properties for the first time in 38 years.

·         Officers made comment that there was a desire for Estate Officers to be more focused on the day to day management of their Estates. Part of the process was looking at issues for universal credit, managing and supporting Tenants by recovering rent and forming relationships between tenants and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.