Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Friday 15th December, 2017 10.00 am

Venue: The Conference Room, St Michael's Church, Workington

Contact: Ian Hinde  01900 702544

Items
No. Item

272.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 65 KB

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 3 November 2017.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 3 November 2017 were signed as a correct record.

273.

Declaration of Interests

Councillors/Staff to give notice of any disclosable pecuniary interest, other registrable interest or any other interest and the nature of that interest relating to any item on the agenda, in accordance with the adopted Code of Conduct.

Minutes:

None declared.

274.

Questions

To answer questions from members of the public – submitted in writing or by electronic mail no later than 5.00pm, 2 working days before the meeting.

Minutes:

None received.

275.

Public Participation

To hear representations from members of the public on items which appear on the agenda – submitted in writing or by electronic mail no later than 5.00pm, 2 working days before the meeting.

Minutes:

None received.

276.

Housing Enforcement Policy pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Private Sector Housing Manager and Environmental Health Officer presented Members with an update on the Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy.

 

The Council’s existing Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy had not been revised since 2006. As such, it did not reflect changes in legislation which granted additional enforcement powers in relation to the private rented sector.

 

Since 6 April 2017, local housing authorities had powers to impose civil penalties of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution for certain offences. The Council was required to have its own policy on determining the level of civil penalty to be imposed. Landlords issued with a civil penalty had the right to appeal against the decision and so it was important that the policy was robust, with a transparent methodology for calculating fines that could withstand such an appeal.

 

The Council would base its Civil Penalties Policy on the Nottingham Model, which it considered to be robust.

 

Other measures introduced by the Housing and Planning Act 2016 included changes to rent repayment orders, the introduction of banning orders and a rogue landlord database.

 

The Private Sector Housing team planned to undertake a period of online consultation to obtain the views of a wide range of stakeholders and also planned to host a Landlord Forum event to brief on the proposed changes.

 

The Policies were to be considered by the Executive on 21 March 2018, for their implementation on 1 April 2018 to be approved.

 

Members noted the update and agreed to receive a further update in autumn 2018.

 

Agreed

 

That the update be noted and a further update be received in autumn 2018.

277.

Changes to staffing structures

Minutes:

The Corporate Director gave an update on changes to staffing structures within the council.

 

Members noted the changes to the staffing structures and asked that a copy of the new structures be sent out to councillors with officer names and their roles included.

 

Agreed

 

That the update be noted.

278.

Report of Tackling Poverty Task and Finish Group pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were provided with an update on the work of the Tackling Poverty Task and Finish Group.

 

The group’s report and the draft Tackling Poverty Strategy and action plan 2018-2020 were appended to the report.

 

The recommendations of the Tackling Poverty Task and Finish Group were agreed.

 

Agreed

 

That:

 

  1. The revised Tackling Poverty Strategy November 2017 as presented at the meeting be accepted for recommendation to the Executive.

 

  1. The Council consult with local partners to ensure the proposed Strategy and Action Plan supported and complemented their work, prior to being formally presented to the Executive to be considered for adoption and implementation.

 

  1. The Council gives priority to support and advice services for Allerdale residents.

 

  1. Future Council reports should include greater detail of intended or current partnership working and incorporate ‘tackling poverty’ as part of the report implications list, with details given in the body of the report.

 

  1. The following priorities agreed by the Task and Finish Group be recommended to the Executive:

 

a)  That ensuring people have access to food through North Lakes Foodbank and Fareshare is a main priority (Objective 1.1). Supporting people to grow and cook their own food (Objective 1.2) is linked to this priority.

b)  Issues of fuel poverty are of equal priority (Objective 1.1).

c)  Support for the advice and advocacy services supported by the Council, Citizens Advice Allerdale, Allerdale Disability Association and Cumbria Law Centre, should be the next priority, and members of the group were keen to point out this is an equally important element to support those in immediate need.

d)  Addressing barriers to employment was high in priority for members of the group, particularly those around transport issues and supporting people in need relating to drug and alcohol issues (Objective 2.2) and the group felt that the proposal to establish a small grants fund would help to underpin and support these objectives (Objective 4.1).

e)  The group felt the proposal to establish a forum for partners (Objective 4.4) would help to consolidate this work especially if groups can learn more about what each other does.

279.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Minutes:

Members noted the Forward Plan.

280.

Task and Finish Group updates

Minutes:

Members were given an update on the work of the Community Services Task and Finish Group. Members said that the results of the pilot of the recycling scheme using hessian sacks in the Seaton ward had not yet been published and asked the Acting Scrutiny Officer to look into this.

 

Members were provided with an update on the Budget Setting Task and Finish Group. The group would be in a position to start looking at the budget setting process in the new financial year and had identified that there was an overlap between the group’s work and that of the Tackling Performance Task and Finish Group. It was suggested that the two groups be reviewed.

281.

Work programme pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Minutes:

Members noted the Overview and Scrutiny Work Programme 2017-18.