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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 16/05/2006
Member/Tenants' SIG



APPENDIX E
FOR INFORMATION ONLY

WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

MEMBER/TENANTS’ SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP
10TH APRIL 2006

REPORT TO THE MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE ON 16TH MAY 2006


A. DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS

There were no disclosures of interests.

B. TERMS OF REFERENCE

The SIG was reminded of its Terms of Reference.

C. PREVIOUS MEETING

The SIG received the report of the previous meeting held on 28th February and reported to the Executive meeting on 4th April 2006.

D. MATTERS FOR FUTURE DISCUSSION/WORK PROGRAMME

D.1 The SIG received and noted the status of the items listed on its current work programme.

D.2 Members agreed to add three additional items to the work programme – i) Major Works ii) Tenant Participation Agreement (report at later meetings) and iii) Decent Homes Standards Review (report at the next meeting).

E. TENANTS WHO FEEL VULNERABLE AND LETTING OF ONE BEDROOM PROPERTIES

E.1 The SIG received a discussion paper regarding tenants who felt vulnerable and letting of one bedroom properties. It was reported that the Council currently received around 23 cases of anti-social behaviour a month. Concerns had been expressed about the number of vulnerable people who caused problems in their communities having a negative effect on other tenants.

E.2 The report described the process of allocating one bedroom properties. Officers said that the Council had a statutory duty to provide accommodation to certain homeless households. In some circumstances, it could exclude someone who had caused significant problems in the past provided the problems were known.

E.3 Officers said that a balance needed to be found between housing the needy and the wellbeing of the settled community. Officers needed to use their judgement to assess allocations but they said that their knowledge about tenants was based on what had been declared on applications. All tenants had to sign a tenancy agreement and would be visited after 6-8 weeks, followed up by a satisfaction survey to give feedback.

E.4 There were now more tools to deal with different types of behaviour e.g. injunctions, Acceptable Behaviour Contracts, demotion of tenancy etc. There was also an Anti- Social Behaviour (ASB) officer in post to provide a more victim centred approach. The aim was to stop the behaviour rather than move it on elsewhere.

E.5 A set of performance indicators about the housing management service were circulated. There were several questions from the group including why the number of reports of anti-social behaviour had increased. Officers said this was, in the main, due to the appointment of the ASB officer, with more people now reporting incidents.

E.6 There was a question about the multi agency group meeting called the Community Incident Action Group (CIAG) at which individuals causing anti-social behaviour were discussed. Officers said that the group had been running for two years, with 20-30 partners including education, police, mental health and youth offending. Officers then said they agreed there was also need for more supported housing but it was restricted by lack of capital and revenue finance. Another question was asked about why some people seemed to be ‘left to it’. Officers said that some people would not accept support even when offered.

E.7 All Members agreed it was a complex problem and they would return to it at a future meeting.

F. DISABLED ADAPTATIONS (PILOT)

F.1 The SIG received a report describing the review of the pilot project to fast track disabled adaptations for tenants in Council managed properties. Officers started a pilot project in July 2005 and the report recommended this approach now be adopted for the minor disabled adaptations service. The pilot had been successful in i) reducing Surrey County Council Occupational Therapist assessment waiting times, ii) ensuring Community Housing Officers (CHOs) made quicker decisions to carry out minor adaptations and iii) the repairs contractor carrying out works within 28 days.

F.2 Members asked about the financial implications of the works and officers reported that finance came from the Housing Revenue Account, costing approximately 50,000 for preventative works a year. There was a different issue with major works which was more expensive and more complex; the issue would be discussed separately at a future meeting. It was also asked whether adaptations could be started before the grant had been allocated. Officers said tenants would be disqualified from the grant if work was started beforehand.

F.3 It was agreed that the SIG recommend that the Executive agree to continue this approach to the management and delivery of the minor adaptations service.

G. REVIEW OF WAVERLEY COUNCIL TENANT PARTICIPATION AGREEMENT

G.1 The SIG received a report regarding the review of Waverley’s Tenant Participation Agreement. The report described a project plan for the review of the document which had been published in 2002 and now needed updating.

G.2 There was a discussion about the name of the document – whether it should be a ‘compact’ or an ‘agreement’ and it was agreed this be discussed as part of the review. It would also be important to ensure a larger proportion of tenants read the document.

G.3 It was agreed that the Tenant Participation Agreement be reviewed as in the timetable set out in the report.

H. FUTURE MEETING DATES

H.1 Future meeting dates were noted as:

Monday 26th June 2006
Monday 2nd October 2006
Monday 29th January 2007

Present at the meeting

For Waverley Borough Council The following officers were present:

Mr K T Reed (Chairman) David January
Mr P B Isherwood Sheila Goodall
Dr M G Lane Chris Rudkin
Mrs P Ellis Mike Rivers
Mrs P M Frost Bernard Nichols

For the Tenants’ Panel

Mrs I Birch
Mr D Costigan
Mrs K Hall
Mr G Merrony
Mrs C North
Mr R Randle
Mrs J Rawlings

The following apologies for absence were recorded:

Miss P Wright (Vice-Chairman)
Mr B G Shelley
Mrs J R Keen
Mrs A E Mansell


comms/exec/2006-07/006