Agenda and minutes

Housing, Economy and Business Committee
Tuesday, 8th December, 2020 7.30 pm

Venue: Civic Offices - St Nicholas Way, Sutton, SM1 1EA. View directions

Contact: Matthew Stickley, Committee Services Team Leader  Tel.: 020 8770 4990; Email:  committee.services@sutton.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

13.

Welcome and introductions

Minutes:

The Chair, Councillor Jayne McCoy, welcomed those present and the watching public to the meeting.

14.

Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Jean Crossby for whom Councillor Richard Clifton attended as a substitute.

15.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 13 October 2020.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the meeting held on 13 October 2020 be agreed as an accurate record.

16.

Any urgent business pdf icon PDF 125 KB

To consider any items which, in the view of the Chair, should be dealt with as a matter of urgency because of special circumstances (in accordance with S100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair advised the committee that she had agreed to receive an update on the urgent provision of COVID-19 support grants to businesses across the borough.

 

The committee discussed the continuing support and how government announcements on grant schemes translated to support being provided.

 

RESOLVED:

To note the COVID-19 business support schemes established in the London Borough of Sutton.

17.

Sutton Town Centre Regeneration Update pdf icon PDF 154 KB

The Housing, Economy and Business Committee of 13 October 2020, agreed to receive a presentation at its next meeting on the regeneration activity in Sutton town centre.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

George McCullough, Sutton Town Centre Masterplan Delivery Programme Manager, introduced the report and provided a presentation to the committee.

 

The committee discussed prospects for the High Street area in both the short and long terms, particularly the prospect of short-term, “pop up” outlets and long-term developments should the council’s bid to the Future High Streets Fund be wholly or partially successful. The committee also discussed the importance of regeneration works and permitted developments being sympathetic to the character of the area.

 

RESOLVED:

To note the activities and plans for regeneration in Sutton Town Centre as set out in this report and the presentation at Appendix A.

18.

Adoption of the Park Hill Road Area of Special Local Character Character Appraisal pdf icon PDF 158 KB

Reflecting the Ambitious for Sutton commitment to invest in the borough’s heritage and protect it for future generations, the Park Hill Road ASLC Character Appraisal has been produced to support planning decisions within the area and, ultimately, contribute towards the preservation and enhancement of Sutton’s special built environment.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Dean James, Strategic Planning Manager, introduced the report.

 

The Chair invited Ray Williams of the Heathdene Area Residents’ Group to comment on the report.

 

It was noted that the character appraisal of the area was produced by residents in consultation with the council.

 

RESOLVED:

To approve the Park Hill Road Area of Special Local Character (ASLC) Character Appraisal (Appendix A) for use as a material planning consideration in the determination of planning applications within the designated ASLC.

19.

Recommissioning of Encompass LATC 2021-24 pdf icon PDF 227 KB

This report sets out proposals on the future delivery of the following services to ensure our residents continue to receive the advice and support they need.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Sam Barker, Interim Assistant Director for Customers and Commissioning, introduced the report.

 

The committee discussed the structure of governance and scrutiny to which Encompass LATC is subject. The committee debated the proposal to re-commission Encompass for a three-year period.

 

It was noted that Encompass’ delivery plan was regularly reported to the Housing, Economy and Business Committee and agreed that a more formal performance report on the company would be reported to the committee in future.

 

Following debate, Councillor Jayne McCoy moved a motion to amend the recommendations such that a new recommendation would be inserted:

 

That a performance review of Encompass is brought back to the Housing, Economy and Business Committee on an annual basis.

 

This was seconded by Councillor David Hicks. The proposed amendment was put to the vote and carried.

 

RESOLVED:

To commission services from Encompass LATC under a revised service specification for a further period of (3) three years from July 2021 to June 2024, namely:

Housing Needs and Homelessness Services;

Adult Social Care Support Brokerage;

Shared Lives; and

Financial Administration Services

That a performance review of Encompass is brought back to the Housing, Economy and Business Committee on an annual basis.

20.

Affordable Housing Supply Delivery Plan pdf icon PDF 202 KB

Ambitious for Sutton identifies the need for more affordable homes to meet housing need in the borough, and this demand has increased significantly following the council’s successful response to the Covid pandemic in tackling street homelessness. Strategy and Resources Committee (12 October 2020) adopted a new Asset Strategy 2020-25 which identified the importance of bringing forward more opportunities working in a collaborative manner with Housing and People Services to address the pressures and acute needs in specific places and services. This report build on that new direction and will form a key strand in supporting the new Asset Strategy. 



Additional documents:

Minutes:

Tom Bremner, Interim Assistant Director for Housing and Regeneration, introduced the report.

 

The committee noted the cross-party appetite to improve the supply of affordable housing in the borough.

 

RESOLVED:

To approve the proposed approach to affordable housing supply delivery outlined in this report in particular the aspiration targets identified below (all of which are subject to viability).

The delivery of 93 units of social housing so far which are part of 250 units planned by the council by 2024 through both direct delivery and by Sutton Living Limited

The 157 homes acquired or under offer to date as temporary accommodation and approve a further expansion of the programme to include non ex council properties of up to 250 units by 2024.

The review of delivery options to acquire additional homes at affordable rents to help deliver long term sustainable housing solutions for Sutton residents between 250 and 500 units by 2024.

21.

Housing Rents and Other Charges 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 193 KB

In accordance with the Ambitious for Sutton objectives for housing, this report proposes changes to rents and other charges for dwellings held both within and outside of the Housing Revenue Account (HRA), to take effect from April 2021.   Rental income is vital to enable the Council, though its managing agent Sutton Housing Partnership (SHP), to maintain and improve the physical environment for residents, help people live well independently, provide decent homes for its tenants and support vulnerable communities.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Trevor Hart, Housing Strategy and Commissioning Manager, introduced the report.

 

The committee noted that Sutton Council’s social rents were relatively lower than the majority of other London boroughs and discussed the ongoing consideration of the 2020 Court of Appeal decision (Kingston v Moss) relating to water and sewerage charges.

 

RESOLVED:

To increase council dwelling rents by 1.7% (CPI + 1%), in line with government policy on social rents.

To increase garage rents by 25p pw to £14.25 pw and parking space rents by 15p pw to £3.60 pw.

To increase charges for heating and hot water by 2.0%, to reflect anticipated future costs of supply.

To increase charges for estate services by a maximum of 1.7% (CPI at September 2020 plus 1%) per property until they have reached an amount at which full cost recovery is achieved.

To request that SHP works with residents during the next financial year to help them gain a better understanding of what their service charges pay for, with a view to reviewing the basis of charging from 2022/23 in order to achieve full cost recovery across all properties over an agreed period.

To increase rents for specialist HRA properties as proposed in paragraph 3.17.

To increase charges for the non-HRA dwellings as proposed in paragraph 3.18.

To recommend to the Carshalton Coronation Commemoration Trust that the rents of the properties leased to it are increased by 1.7% (CPI + 1%) in line with the increase for council housing rents.

To increase charges for the pitches at The Pastures Traveller site by 1.7% (CPI + 1%) in order to continue their relationship with council rents locally.

To increase charges for ancillary services provided to occupants of non-HRA temporary accommodation to the amounts as set out in the table under paragraph 3.21.

To note the latest situation with regard to the issue of water and sewerage charge collection by local authorities and the outcome of a recent Appeal Court Hearing.

22.

Housing Revenue Account Business Plan pdf icon PDF 209 KB

This report seeks the Committee’s approval of a new Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan covering the next 30 years - 2021/22 to 2050/51.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Trevor Hart, Housing Strategy and Commissioning Manager, introduced the report.

 

The committee discussed reducing the carbon footprint of the council’s housing stock and efforts to support tenants in reducing their individual properties’ carbon footprints.

 

RESOLVED:

To agree the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan 2021/22 to 2050/51, as set out as a supplementary report immediately following this report.

To agree the projected HRA expenditure on property acquisitions set out within the financial modelling, subject to the approval of the council’s 2021/22 budget and treasury strategy.

To note the approach adopted for dividing resources between the acquisition and future new build programmes as potential new build sites and the opportunity to review funding changes within the annual business planning process.

To agree the policy proposals and approach to asset management, as set out in chapter 4 of the HRA Business Plan.

23.

Mobile Phone Small Cells pdf icon PDF 170 KB

This report recommends the use of Council owned assets (street lighting and CCTV Columns) for the installation of small cell infrastructure in light of the rights given to operators by the Digital Economy Act 2017.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The item was not reached during the meeting. The committee agreed to consider the recommendations outside of the meeting.