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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 03/02/2004
APPENDIX R - REPORT FROM MEMBER/TENANTS' SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP 19TH JANUARY 2004



APPENDIX R

WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL
MEMBER/TENANTS’ SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP
19TH JANUARY 2004
REPORT TO THE MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE ON 3RD FEBRUARY 2004

A. PREVIOUS MEETING

The SIG received a copy of the notes of the previous meeting held on 7th October 2003 (as reported to the meeting of the Executive on 28th October).

B. WORK PROGRAMME

The SIG received and noted the status of the items listed in its updated work programme. For the present, no new issues have been added to the programme.

C. OPTIONS APPRAISAL 2003/2005 – DELIVERY OF DECENT HOMES

C.1 The SIG received a presentation from the officers on this matter generally and, more particularly, on the considerations surrounding the proposal to adopt a ‘Waverley Standard’ in respect of the present housing stock. The representative of Ridge and Partners, the consultants working on behalf of the Borough Council, was unable to attend to contribute to the presentation. Officers advised that the Decent Homes Standard was a minimum standard and was silent on the degree of provision of various elements.

C.2 The presentation covered the following aspects:

• Initial Capital Cost
• Life of the Item/Component
• Likelihood of Damage
• Environmental Issues (Sustainable Source; Energy Efficiency)
• Security – Secured by Design
• Maintenance (Cost ; Frequency; Resources required; Access/Disturbance of the Tenant)

C.3 The officers outlined the key, non-technical areas where guidance was required in respect of tenants’ views. They then took Members through the various options relating to:

• Windows (Choice between PVCu and timber)
• External Doors (Softwood, PVCu, Composite – PVCu/GRP; or Hardwood)
• Bathrooms
• Kitchens

and responded to Members’ questions or queries. The element of tenant choice was also considered and expanded upon. Ultimately, a balance had to be achieved between giving tenants as much choice as possible, the costs involved, and maintaining a degree of consistency (the ‘standard’). For the information of the Executive, the relevant sections of the Housing Standard document prepared by Ridge on behalf of Waverley Borough Council are appended to this report.

C.4 The SIG’s observations, where specific recommendations were sought, were as outlined below:

(a) A preference for PVCu windows whilst recognising that other materials would be used where aesthetic or planning requirements dictate

(b) A preference for Composite PVCu/GRP External Doors (550 - 650 per door) but that tenant choice should extend to the colour and style of the door

(c) That the proposed Standard for Bathrooms should be as follows:

~ White sanitary-ware – metal bath, close coupled w.c., pedestal handbasin
~ Taps (not finalised - samples to be provided at the next meeting)
~ Boarded bath panel
~ Floor covering
~ Extract fan
~ Steam-proof light
~ An over-bath shower, as standard, with tiling splashback to ceiling

Tenants choice would extend to colour of floor covering, wall colour, toilet seat.

Basic cost (approximate) 2,800.

A financial allowance would be provided if a tenant wished to have a choice of wall tiling.

(d) That the proposed Standard for Kitchens should be as follows:

~ Single drainer stainless steel sink
~ Taps (see under Bathrooms)
~ Tiling to area between worktop and underside of wall cupboards
~ Vinyl tiles to floor
~ 4 double socket outlets and appliance sockets (if appropriate)
~ Extractor fan
~ Central light(s)
~ Cooker space – tiling to cover area from worktop to floor in cooker space
~ Fridge/freezer space
~ Washing machine space (may be outside of kitchen area)
~ Drawer to each base unit

Basic cost (approximate 3,400 - 3,900)

~ Min. No. of cupboard doors - 7 (1 bedroom accommodation)
- 8 (2 bedroom accommodation)
- 9 (3 bedroom accommodation)
~ Min. length of worktop (exc. sink) -2m (1 bedroom accommodation)
-3m (2 bedroom accommodation)
-4m (3 bedroom accommodation)

[It should be noted that in certain circumstances, it may not be possible to achieve these criteria where the size of kitchen dictates otherwise].

In terms of tenant choice, this would extend to colour of cupboard doors, worktop, wall tile, floor covering and wall colour, additional appliance space in place of cupboards and removal (or otherwise) of pantry/larder, all to be achieved through working with tenants.

The design of the kitchen would be agreed with the tenant.

C.5 The SIG was satisfied that the main areas covered in the discussion related to the ‘Waverley Standard’. Accordingly, it

RECOMMENDS the Executive that

5. the proposals outlined above be endorsed.

D. HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT DWELLINGS – RENT OPTIONS 2004/2005

The SIG noted the proposed average rent increase of 5% for 2004/2005 that had been endorsed by the Executive and the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee in the current cycle of meetings. The Executive would be considering this matter again as part of the annual budget process on 3rd February before final decisions were made by the Council on 17th February.

E. NEXT MEETING AND DATES IN 2004/2005

The SIG noted the date of the next meeting (1st March) and agreed the dates for meetings in the Council year 2004/05 which would now be incorporated within the main Calendar of Meetings, to be considered by the Executive on 3rd February. The dates are: 21st June & 11th October 2004 and 31st January and 4th April 2005.

[Consideration of the remaining items on the agenda, i.e. Welcome Standard for New Waverley Borough Council Tenants and Compensation for Tenants, was deferred until the next meeting on 1st March, which would commence at the earlier time of 6.00p.m.]

Present at the meeting

Representing WBC:

Mr V K Scrivens (Chairman)
Mrs P Ellis
Mrs P M Frost
Mr P B Isherwood
Mrs J R Keen
Dr M-G Lane
Mrs A E Mansell
Mr B G Shelley


Representing the Tenants’ Panel:
Miss P Wright (Vice-Chairman)
Mrs I Birch
Mrs P Greenwood
Mr R Randle

An apology for absence was received from Mr D Costigan and Mrs K Hall.

The following officers were present:
Mr D January (Director of Housing), Mr J Swanton (Assistant Director of Housing), Mr A Booker, Mrs S Goodall, Mr B Nichols, Mr M Rivers, Mr C Rudkin and Mr D Simmons.

comms/SIG/2003-04/072 35326