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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 02/12/2003
DRAFT HOUSING GENERAL FUND AND HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT CAPITAL PROGRAMMES FOR 2004/2005



Summary & Purpose
This report provides the opportunity for the Executive to consider the draft 2004/05 Housing General Fund and Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Capital Programmes. The Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee has given preliminary consideration to the programmes.

In considering the HRA Programme in particular, the Executive is reminded of the constraints being imposed by the Government from 2004/05 with the pooling of housing capital receipts and the Government pressure to achieve the decent homes standard within the housing stock.

Quality of Life Implications
Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe Communities
Local Economy
Natural
Resource Use
Pollution
Prevention and Control
Biodiversity
and Nature
Local
Environment
Social
Inclusion
Safe, Healthy
and Active
Communities
Local
Economy
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Positive
Positive
Positive



E-Government implications:

There are no E-Government implications.

Resource and legal implications:

There are no specific legal implications as a result of this report. Resource implications are contained throughout the report.

Introduction

1. Each year the Council reviews its three-year Capital Programme and in particular agrees the provision to be made within the Programme for the year ahead. The overall parameters for the Capital Programme are set out within the Council’s Financial Strategy. Initial proposals for 2004/05 are attached for consideration by Members, the Housing and Community Welfare Portfolio is shown at Annexe 1 and the Housing Revenue Account at Annexe 2.

Draft 2004/05 Capital Programme

2. The draft 2004/05 Capital Programme is based on the three-year Capital Programme as agreed within the existing Financial Strategy. It also includes any slippage from 2003/04 where this seems likely to occur.

Housing and Community Welfare

3. There continues to be a significant demand for mandatory disabled facilities grant which continue to be funded by 60% Government capital grant .

4. The private sector house condition survey should be started before the end of the current financial year and when completed will inform policy making with regard to improving housing and living conditions.

Housing Revenue Account

5. With the pooling of capital receipts being introduced from 1st April 2004 and the uncertainty about how transitional pooling arrangements will work and doubt over the level of Government support for capital schemes there is uncertainty as to how HRA schemes will eventually be financed.

Observations of the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee

6. The Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered the draft capital programmes at its meeting on 11th November. Officers responded to questions from Members relating to a number of issues and, in particular, warned that with the demise of LA SHG and the recent Government announcement that Waverley would not now receive any transitional funding for affordable housing, the Council’s ability to fund schemes would be severely tested. The Committee was extremely concerned about this situation and felt that the Executive should be made fully aware of its concerns when it met to consider the draft 2004/05 budgets on 2nd December. To this end, it agreed to convey to the Executive the following observation:

“This Committee notes with horror that the Government has announced that Waverley Borough Council will receive no transitional relief in respect of the cancellation of Local Authority Social Housing Grant (LA SHG), contrary to the indications given earlier in the year shortly after the cancellation was announced, and in response to extensive cross-party representations led by Waverley. As the Government well knows, the effect of this will be the loss of important schemes for the provision of affordable housing, in direct contradiction of the Government’s own clearly stated objectives.

In order to be able to judge whether it would be appropriate to make further representations, this Committee requests officers (a) to circulate all other Councils affected by the cancellation of LA SHG, to establish whether there is a clear pattern for the distribution of transitional relief, and to ask the Government what are the criteria for that distribution and (b) to report back partially or fully as appropriate to the next meeting of the Committee.

The Corporate O&S Committee may also wish to receive the report.”
Recommendation

It is recommended that the Executive gives initial consideration to the draft capital programmes having regard to the need for the Council to make decisions for the future funding of affordable homes, proposes any changes that are thought appropriate and gives further consideration to the resultant draft capital programmes in January 2004.


Background Papers (DoF)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.


CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Ms G Pope Telephone: 01483 523252
E-Mail: gpope@waverley.gov.uk

comms/executive/2003-04/386
39272