Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Board - Monday, 20th September, 2021 2.00 pm

Venue: Committee Suite, Civic Centre, Poole BH15 2RU. View directions

Contact: Claire Johnston - 01202 123663  Email: claire.johnston@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

73.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence from Members.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr M Earl and Cllr D Kelsey

74.

Substitute Members

To receive information on any changes in the membership of the Committee.

 

Note – When a member of a Committee is unable to attend a meeting of a Committee or Sub-Committee, the relevant Political Group Leader (or their nominated representative) may, by notice to the Monitoring Officer (or their nominated representative) prior to the meeting, appoint a substitute member from within the same Political Group. The contact details on the front of this agenda should be used for notifications. 

 

Minutes:

Cllr T Trent substituted for Cllr M Earl and Cllr D Borthwick substituted for Cllr D Kelsey.

75.

Declarations of Interests

Councillors are requested to declare any interests on items included in this agenda. Please refer to the workflow on the preceding page for guidance.

Declarations received will be reported at the meeting.

Minutes:

Cllr Bartlett declared for the purpose of transparency that in relation to agenda item 6 he was the director of a property company and also owned several properties in the area. This did not prevent him from taking part in consideration and voting on the item.

76.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 386 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record the minutes of the meetings held on 23 August 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 23 August 2021 were approved as a correct record.

 

A Councillor commented that the item on consideration of the Council’s Transformation programme was very useful and hoped that the O&S Board would be able to undertake similar in-depth scrutiny in future.

76a

Action Sheet pdf icon PDF 277 KB

To note and comment on the attached action sheet which tracks decisions, actions and recommendations from previous meetings.

Minutes:

The Chairman advised that the action at minute no. 28 was still awaiting a full response from the Portfolio Holder and would remain on the action sheet.

 

It was noted that the issues referenced on the action sheet at minute nos. 45 and 46 in relation to the Local Plan Consultation Document would be addressed by the Local Plan Working Group and could therefore be removed.

 

The Chairman confirmed that, in relation to the suggestion from the Board that Lead Members should produce annual report on their activities, a response had been received from the Leader of the Council. The Chairman advised the Board of the response which indicated that a report shouldn’t be necessary and the reports through Cabinet should provide an indication of their work. Therefore, this action could be removed from the Forward Plan.

 

77.

Public Speaking

To receive any public questions, statements or petitions submitted in accordance with the Constitution, which is available to view at the following link:

https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CommitteeID=151&Info=1&bcr=1

The deadline for the submission of a public question is 4 clear working days before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a statement is midday the working day before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a petition is 10 working days before the meeting.

Minutes:

No Questions, Statements or Petitions were received for this meeting.

78.

Scrutiny of Homes Related Cabinet Reports pdf icon PDF 230 KB

To consider the following Homes related reports scheduled for Cabinet consideration on 29 September 2021:

 

·       BCP Housing Strategy 2021-2026 "Our commitment to our communities"

·       Council Newbuild Housing & Acquisition Strategy (CNHAS), 2021-2026

 

The O&S Board is asked to scrutinise the reports and make recommendations to Cabinet as appropriate.

 

Cabinet member invited to attend for this item: Councillor Robert Lawton, Portfolio Holder for Homes and Councillor Philip Broadhead, Portfolio Holder for Regernation

 

The Cabinet report for this item is included with the agenda for consideration by the Overview and Scrutiny Board.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

BCP Housing Strategy 2021-2026 "Our commitment to our communities" – The Portfolio Holder for Homespresented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each member of the Board and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'A' to these minutes in the Minute Book. The Portfolio Holder and officers addressed a number of points raised by the Board including:

 

  • Concerns that the commitment to social housing in new developments wasn’t being adhered to. There was a need to ensure that developers worked to the targets rather than make excuses that the location or development was the wrong place for it. In response the Board was advised that the majority of Council stock was socially rented housing but the points raised would be taken into consideration
  • There was a team in place who worked with external providers to address issues with housing need. It was noted that Priority no. 3 stated that the housing service had to work closely with internal and external partners, identifying specialist housing requirements and recognise the current unmet need and predict future housing requitements.
  • In response to a query it was confirmed that the priority was currently identifying and addressing the current unmet need and trying to avoid crisis situations and emergency placements. However, there was also a need to look to future demands and needs and this was being done alongside the immediate priority.
  • A Councillor suggested that the reason why only properties in Bournemouth and Poole were referred to should be clearly explained and an explanation that all social housing was owned by the Sovereign Housing Association in Christchurch should be provided.
  • A Board member sought assurance that property construction using Modern Methods of Construction (MMC). The Portfolio Holder advised that they would not do anything which was ‘cheap or quick’. The Council would employ good labour methods and correct materials.
  • In response to a query regarding homes which were unoccupied the Chief Financial Officer advised that there was a strategy set out by government on Council tax requiring a 100 percent premium if a home was empty for more than 2 years. A Board member asked if there was a strategy for bringing these back into use. The Portfolio Holder advised that there was previously an empty homes officer which they would like to reinstate, and they were looking at the resource needed to move forward the empty homes strategy.
  • A Board member asked how the target Energy Performance Certificate rating of D was arrived at, given the mix of housing stock, both old and new, the newer stock being able to achieve a higher rating. By 2030 the objective was to get council houses to an EPC rating of C. A working group was examining the modelling to get properties up to this standard. It was suggested that this was confusing when there was a proposed government target set at a different level for new tenancies. Councillors commented that the strategy should be more ambitious.
  • The housing waiting list  ...  view the full minutes text for item 78.

79.

Scrutiny of Regeneration Related Cabinet Reports pdf icon PDF 845 KB

To consider the following Regeneration related reports scheduled for Cabinet consideration on 29 September 2021:

 

·       BCP: New Approach to Regeneration

·       High Streets and District Centres Strategy

·       Spending Priorities for Strategic CIL

 

The O&S Board is asked to scrutinise the reports and make recommendations to Cabinet as appropriate.

 

Cabinet member invited to attend for this item: Councillor Broadhead, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Economy and Strategic Planning. Also invited are Lead Members for Regeneration and Highstreets Councillors Dunlop, Baron, Kelly and Brooks.

 

The Cabinet report for this item is included with the agenda for consideration by the Overview and Scrutiny Board.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

BCP: New Approach to Regeneration - The Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Economy and Strategic Planning presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each member of the Board and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'C' to these minutes in the Minute Book. The Portfolio Holder and officers addressed a number of points raised by the Board including:

 

·     A concern was raised regarding the implications of not achieving transformation savings on the commitments now in place. Savings on regeneration had been effectively halved. There were a number of different ways to address the sites outlined. It was not expected that a majority would be delivered directly. Preparation would be required, and the financial envelope was considered in a separate budget monitoring paper.

·     In response to a question the Board was advised that there were very low borrowing rates at present and that this represented an opportunity for investment. It was noted that the first quarter budget monitoring report for 2021/22 set out two levels, should the scheme, at any point in future, need to be rebooted.

·     A Councillor commented that the scheme seemed ambitious, but debt ridden and there was a 150 percent jump in budgeted spend. It was noted that there was a projected £12.6m overspend for the year and transformation savings had already been halved. It was suggested that it may be a good idea to defer agreeing to additional spending until after there had been an opportunity to consider the medium-term financial plan.

 

The meeting adjourned to address technical issues from 4:28pm to 4:36pm.

 

·     The Portfolio Holder advised that the numbers were small in the context of what was trying to be achieved for the area. It needed to be taken in context of the budget for development over the next five years. The recommendation for approval of resources for 2022/23 would form part of the budget proposals and Council would not sign off this matter until December. The Development Lead advised that there was demand for development and investment in studies at the beginning, was needed to ensure that the right options were progressed.

·     A Councillor questioned how the Urban Regeneration Company would operate with inhouse functions and how they would work together to deliver projects. It was noted that there was a formal arrangement between the Council and the company as laid out in the report. There would be a full business plan for the urban regeneration company which would be coming forward in the next month. There would be a commissioning plan and contract in place. Expertise from the Urban Regeneration Team was needed to pull everything together. The Lead Officer advised that the URC Business Plan and the Council’s Commissioning Plan would be mirror documents of each other. These would ensure key value for money and other success criteria. There would be regular reporting in to ensure governance was sound at appropriate gateway stages. It would provide a dual role of both enabling and monitoring.

·     A Councillor commented that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 79.