Agenda and minutes

Housing and Communities Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 23rd November, 2017 6.45 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Penrith

Items
No. Item

HCc/21/11/17

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence had been received from Councillor Meadowcroft.

HCc/22/11/17

Minutes

To sign the minutes HCc/11/10/17 to HCc/20/10/17 of the meeting of this Committee held on 12 October 2017 as a correct record of those proceedings (copies previously circulated).

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes HCc/11/10/17 to HCc/20/10/17 of the meeting of this Committee held on 12 October 2017 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record of those proceedings.

 

 

HCc/23/11/17

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of the existence and nature of any private interests, both disclosable pecuniary and any other registrable interests, in any matter to be considered or being considered.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest at this meeting.

HCc/24/11/17

Integrated Care Communities Briefing

To consider further possible steps following the presentation on Intergrated Care Communities.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Integrated Care Communities Manager be invited to provide an annual update to the Housing and Communities Scrutiny Committee (or equivalent Committee).

 

The Chairman announced that she intended to vary the order of the printed agenda and take agenda item 6 ‘Affordable Housing and Housing Types Briefing’ as the next agenda item, followed by the Portfolio Holder Update.

HCc/25/11/17

Affordable Housing and Housing Types Briefing pdf icon PDF 149 KB

To receive a briefing on Affordable Housing and Housing Types from the Deputy Director Environmental Services.

Minutes:

The Committee received a presentation from the Housing and Health Services Manager with additional input from the Deputy Director Environmental Services and the Planning Services Development Manager. The following points were made during the course of the presentation:

 

·         While Eden District Council has an affordable housing target which states that 30% of houses on qualifying developments should be affordable housing, there was a change in the law in May 2016 which removed the requirement to provide affordable housing when the development is for 10 units or less;

·         Where there is a development of more than 10 units, the Council will ask that 30% of the houses on the development are affordable however the developer may seek to provide independent evidence that this could make the development financially unviable. This may mean that the affordable housing requirement can either be varied or a financial contribution could be sought in order to provide affordable housing elsewhere in the district;

·         In terms of delivering affordable housing, it is likely that the Council would seek to have affordable housing delivered in larger settlements such as Penrith but may seek a financial contribution for developments in smaller, more rural villages and settlements;

·         There has been a change in the size requirements for affordable housing types. The Greater London Authority agreed a new housing design standard in March 2015 which has since been cited as a national guideline and has become an accepted material planning consideration. Local Authorities may choose to vary this design standard through the development of a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). Eden District Council will not be in a position to produce an updated Supplementary Planning Document until the Council’s Local Plan has been adopted. Members of the Committee expressed a desire to be involved in developing a future SPD document once the Local Plan had been adopted;

·         The majority (60%) of people seeking affordable housing in Penrith are seeking 1 bedroom properties, with a further 27% seeking 2 bedroom properties.

·         Between April 2003 – April 2017 84 1 affordable bedroom properties were delivered; 156 2 bedroom affordable properties were delivered and 49 3 bedroom affordable properties were delivered.

 

 

RESOLVED that:

1.    the presentation be noted (a copy of the presentation is attached as Appendix 1 to these minutes);

2.    that the development of the new Housing Type Supplementary Planning Document be added to the Housing and Communities Scrutiny Committee work programme as a future scrutiny review.

HCc/26/11/17

Portfolio Holder Update pdf icon PDF 125 KB

To receive a verbal update and ask questions of Housing and Health Portfolio Holder (portfolio plan attached).

Minutes:

The Planning Services Development Manager left the meeting at 7:33pm.

 

The Committee received a presentation from and asked questions of the Housing and Health Portfolio Holder. The following points were made during the presentation:

 

·         Community Housing Fund money has been received from the Department for Communities and Local Government. A Board has been setup to manage the funds and discussions have taken place with interested community groups. It is anticipated that up to 7 projects could be undertaken through the scheme.

·         It was noted that there had been a large increase in the number of applications for Disabled Facilities Grants. It is believed that the increase is due to people being encouraged to stay in their own homes rather than admitted to hospital or to social care housing.

·         Disabled Facilities Grants are a statutory service and funding is received currently via the Better Care Fund, a set amount of money is automatically transferred from Cumbria County Council to all of the district councils to cover Disabled Facilities Grant funding but this may change in 2020.

·         There was a discussion about the lack of care home facilities within the Eden District. The Portfolio Holder assured the Committee that officers at the District Council meet regularly with colleagues at Cumbria County Council and it is anticipated that the County Council will be embarking on a commissioning project next year to identify where new care home facilities are needed in the future.

·         The Deputy Director Environmental Services advised the Committee that fundamental changes are expected to happen to district council’s homelessness services from April 2018. District councils will have new requirements to prevent people from becoming homeless and will need to put individual care plans and packages in place if a person does present as homeless. The Deputy Director Environmental Services stated that a more detailed presentation for Members would take place from the Department for Communities and Local Government in the future and all Members were encouraged to attend.

·         The Food Safety and Food Protection team are part of the Housing and Health Portfolio. The Committee were advised that the team had undertaken over a thousand food safety inspections over the past year and that premises in the district generally have a good food hygiene reputation.

·         The Committee sought clarification about the status of the Eden Health and Wellbeing Forum. The Deputy Director Environmental Services explained that the Forum is not an Eden District Council Committee but Members and Officers of the Council did attend Forum meetings. The Forum were currently exploring the best way to work with the Integrated Care Communities Project and were seeking to improve joint working between the two groups.

·         A district wide housing needs survey would be undertaken in 2018 and the results of this survey would help to inform a new Housing Supplementary Planning Document.

 

It was RESOLVED that the update be noted.

 

The Chairman thanked the Portfolio Holder and Officers for their update.

 

The Housing and Health Portfolio Holder, Deputy Director Environmental Services, Housing and  ...  view the full minutes text for item HCc/26/11/17

HCc/27/11/17

Scrutiny Coordinating Board Update

To receive a verbal update from the Chairman.

Minutes:

The Chairman provided a verbal update on the work of the Scrutiny Co-ordinating Board and it was RESOLVED that the update be noted.

HCc/28/11/17

Cumbria Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee Report

To receive a verbal update from Councillor V Taylor.

Minutes:

The Committee received a verbal update from Councillor Taylor in relation to the Cumbria Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee and it was RESOLVED that the update be noted.

HCc/29/11/17

Housing and Community Committee Work Plan pdf icon PDF 59 KB

To consider the attached report of Chairman of the Committee

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered report G111/17 of the Chairman of the Committee which set out the current and possible future agenda items for the Housing and Communities Scrutiny Committee.

 

RESOLVED that an item in relation to the development of the new Housing Supplementary Planning Document be added to the work plan as a potential future scrutiny review and that the work plan be noted.

HCc/30/11/17

Any Other Items which the Chairman decides are urgent

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business from the Chairman at this meeting.

HCc/31/11/17

Date of Next Scheduled Meeting

The date of the next scheduled meeting is 25 January 2017.

Minutes:

The next meeting of the Committee was confirmed as 25 January 2018.