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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 21/05/2002
Agenda 21st May 2002



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AGENDA

1. ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN

To elect a Chairman of the Committee for the current Council year.

2. ELECTION OF VICE-CHAIRMAN

To elect a Vice-Chairman of the Committee for the current Council year.

3. MINUTES

To confirm the Minutes of the last meeting held on 16th April 2002 (to be laid on the table half an hour before the meeting).

4. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTES

To receive apologies for absence and to report any substitutions.

5. DISCLOSURE OF PECUNIARY AND OTHER INTERESTS

To receive from members, in relation to any items included on the Agenda for this meeting, disclosure of any pecuniary interests which are required to be disclosed by Section 94(1) of the Local Government Act 1972; and any personal non-pecuniary interests in such matters, in accordance with paragraph 10 of the National Code of Local Government Conduct.

6. CORPORATE PROCESSES AND BEST VALUE
[Wards Affected: N/A]

6.1 Annual Corporate Cycle/Financial Strategy

The report at Appendix A, which was noted by the Executive at its meeting on 9th April last, outlines the programme for corporate performance management and for reviewing the Financial Strategy prior to agreeing the 2003/04 budget. It indicates how the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and all Members can contribute to the process. The report is presented to the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee for information.

6.2 Fundamental Service Reviews

To consider the report at Appendix B. This report reminds members of the current Best Value Review process and details a refined process for Year 3
The Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee, as the appropriate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, considered the report in April and made recommendations to the 1st May meeting of the Executive. The report is presented to the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee for information only.

7. SCOPE OF YEAR 3 FUNDAMENTAL SERVICE REVIEW: ACHIEVING A SUSTAINABLE HOUSING SERVICE
[Wards Affected: All]

The report at Appendix C sets out the proposed scope of the fundamental service review (FSR) that is to be undertaken within the Housing Department in the current financial year within the overall theme of achieving a sustainable housing service. It seeks the views of the Committee on the areas to be covered during the reviews and the involvement of Members in the process. It also identifies the resource implications of the work.

Recommendation

That this Committee agrees any observations to be forwarded to the Executive on the recommendations that:

1. the scope of the Housing 2002/03 Best Value FSR should include those matters set out in paragraphs 6 to 15 of the report; and

2. the proposed outline timetable for the FSR be noted.

8. matched-funding PROVISION : PROCESS, PRIORITIES AND TIMETABLE FOR ROUND 6 2003/2004
[Wards Affected: All]

The purpose of the report at Appendix D is to:

a. consider the process, priorities and timetable to be followed when considering applications for Matched-Funding in the next bidding round 2003/2004 (Round 6); and

b. consider the Matched-Funding Provision grant criteria and conditions.

The resource and 'Opportunities for All' implications are contained in the report. There are no environmental or community safety implications.

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee commends to the Executive that:

1. the ‘Application Guidance’ for the Matched-Funding Provision Round 6, 2003/2004, including the grant criteria and project eligibility, as set out in Annexe 1 to the report, be approved;

4. the proposed timetable for applying for Matched-Funding in Round 6, 2003/2004, as set out in paragraphs 12 to 15 of the report, be approved.

9. SPONSORED ORGANISATION SCHEME : GRANT ELIGIBILITY, CRITERIA AND TIMETABLE FOR 2003/2004 APPLICATIONS
[Wards Affected: All]

The purpose of the report at Appendix E is to consider the grant criteria and timetable for assessing applications to be sponsored organisation scheme for 2003/04. The resource, environmental, community safety and "Opportunities for All" implications are referred to in the body of the report.

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee commends to the Executive that:

1. the application eligibility and grant criteria for the Sponsored Organisations Scheme, as set out in paragraphs 10 and 11 of the report, be approved; and

2. the proposed timetable for applying for Sponsored Organisation funding for 2003/04, as set out in paragraphs 12 – 16 of the report, be approved.

10. TERMS OF REFERENCE OF COMMITTEE
[Wards Affected: N/A]

The report at Appendix F sets out the background to the operation of Overview and Scrutiny Committees, as set out in the Council’s Constitution, the terms of reference of the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the areas of work that fall within its remit. The purpose of the report is to provide information on the scope of the Committee’s responsibilities to assist with the process of determining its future work programme.


Recommendation

It is recommended that the report be received.

Members may wish to raise issues that can be discussed at the Overview and Scrutiny training sessions on 22nd, 23rd and 24th May.

11. EXECUTIVE – FOUR-MONTH ROLLING PROGRAMME
[Wards Affected: N/A]

To receive the Four-Month Rolling Programme of key decisions approved by the Executive on 1st May – Appendix G (herewith).

12. COMMITTEE WORK PROGRAMME
[Wards Affected: N/A]

The Committee to receive its current work programme - Appendix H (herewith).

13. WAVERLEY COMMUNITY TRANSPORT INITIATIVE – PROGRESS REPORT
[Wards Affected: All]

The report at Appendix I advises members of progress being made in respect of:-

1. the creation of an independent Community Transport body for Waverley;

2. applications to outside bodies for funding;

3. the role of the Rural Transport Partnership Officer;

4. an action plan for the development of Community Transport in Waverley.

There are potential resource, environmental and “Opportunities for All” implications.

Prior to the meeting Members will have the opportunity to see two of the vehicles recently supplied to ‘Waverley Community Transport’.

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Committee:

1. notes the progress being made in relation to Community Transport in Waverley; and


2. invites officers to report further on the financial implications once the Waverley Community Transport Business Plan has been compiled.

14. HOMELESSNESS AND PRIVATE SECTOR LEASING SCHEME
[Wards Affected: All]

The report at Appendix J describes the Private Sector Leasing scheme and explains the reduction in the number of properties leased by the Council from private sector owners for letting to statutory homeless people. It recommends action to encourage landlords to lease empty homes to the Council and prevent a further reduction in the number of properties available.

The resource, environmental and “Opportunities for All” implications relate to the Council's statutory obligation to meet local housing needs, provide cost-effective temporary accommodation for priority homeless people and encourage the letting of empty homes.

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee makes observations to the Executive on the proposal that:

1. the Director of Housing be authorised to offer market rents to encourage owners to lease or continue to lease empty homes to the Council for letting to priority homeless people; and

2. the effect of market rents be monitored and reviewed annually with a report back to the Executive one year from the date of implementation.

15. LAND DISPOSALS PROGRAMME FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT
[Wards Affected: All]

The report at Appendix K proposes that the Council should actively identify parcels of Council-owned land that could potentially be released for disposal on which affordable homes could be built. It is proposed that the Council, or its partner Registered Social Landlords, develop schemes and seek planning permission. The sites could then be released on a programmed basis to ensure that the amount of Housing Corporation or Local Authority Social Housing Grant is being maximised for the Borough.

There are two potential resource implications arising from this report, viz:

1. generating capital receipts from the disposal of the sites identified; and
2. costs associated with developing schemes and seeking planning permission – though this could be borne by RSLs.


Clearly there are potential environmental, asset management and ‘Opportunities for All’ implications that will relate to the sites and these matters will be addressed on a site-by-site basis when proposed schemes are considered by Committee in detail.

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee:

2. notes the current list of potential development sites, mindful that the list of sites at (Exempt) Annexe 1 to the report will be refined as time goes on.

16. TEMPORARY ACCOMMODATION FOR HOMELESS HOUSEHOLDS - HOSTELS
[Wards Affected: All]

The report at Appendix L provides an overview of temporary accommodation used by the Council in fulfilling its duties in respect of housing households that have been rendered homeless.

The report also suggests that the Council should embark on a programme of refurbishing its hostels with a view to providing self-contained accommodation where possible. This will be a long-term programme. It also recognises that provision for homeless households is not currently available across the whole Borough and that it would be helpful and better meet local needs were there to be new hostels in Godalming and Cranleigh.

The report seeks to set the scene, generate debate about how best the Council might meet the needs of homeless households, and establish a way forward in respect of hostels for the homeless. This will help inform the development of the Housing Revenue Account Business Plan.

There are potentially significant financial implications relating to the improvement of hostel accommodation. Depending on the views of the Council on this matter, further work on the financial implications will have to be undertaken and reported at a later stage. There are also “Opportunities for All” implications as the report relates to the Council’s expectations as to the living conditions of those who live in temporary accommodation.

There are no environmental, asset management, or Crime and Disorder implications arising from the report.


Recommendation

It is recommended that the Committee passes observations to the Executive on the following:

1. that the proposal to move towards achieving self-contained temporary accommodation in hostels owned by the Council be pursued and a detailed report be made in due course; and

2. that the idea of achieving a better spread of temporary hostel accommodation across the Borough be worked on and a report be submitted in due course.

17. QUESTIONS BY MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

The Chairman to respond to any questions received from members of the public of which notice has been given in accordance with Procedure Rule 10.

18. EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC

To consider the following recommendation on the motion of the Chairman:-

Recommendation

That pursuant to Procedure Rule 20 and in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the public were present during the items, there would be disclosure to them or exempt information (as defined by Section 100I of the Act) of the description specified in those paragraphs of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 indicated:

Item 19

Information relating to a particular employee, former employee or applicant to become an employee of, or a particular office-holder, former office-holder or applicant to become an office-holder under, the authority (paragraph 1);

Information relating to any particular occupier or former occupier of, or applicant for, accommodation provided by or at the expense of the authority (paragraph 3).

Item 20

Information relating to any particular occupier or former occupier of, or applicant for, accommodation provided by or at the expense of the authority (paragraph 3).


19. PROVISION OF KEY WORKER ACCOMMODATION

To consider the report at (Exempt) Appendix M.

20. DISPOSAL OF HRA PROPERTY, HASLEMERE

To consider the report at (Exempt) Appendix N.

21. ANY OTHER ISSUES TO BE CONSIDERED IN EXEMPT SESSION

To consider any other matters relating to aspects of any reports on this agenda which, it is felt, may need to be considered in exempt session.


For further information or assistance, please telephone David Bennett, Committee Secretary, on extension 3226 or 01483 523226.
comms/o&s2/2002-03/010 28344