Agenda and minutes

Housing, Economy and Business Committee
Tuesday, 6th December, 2016 7.30 pm

Venue: Civic Offices, St Nicholas Way, Sutton SM1 1EA

Contact: Fiona Bywaters, Committee Services Team Leader  Tel: 020 8770 5122 | Email:  fiona.bywaters@sutton.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

24.

Welcome and introductions

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed all those present to the meeting.

25.

Apologies and substitutes

Minutes:

No apologies were given.

26.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

7. Collection of Leaseholder Service Charges.

 

Councillor Joyce Melican, Non Pecuniary, Board Member of Sutton Housing Partnership.

 

Councillor Nick Emmerson, Non Pecuniary, Board Member of Sutton Housing Partnership.

 

 

27.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 137 KB

To agree the minutes of the meeting held on 27 September 2016.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 27 September 2016 be agreed as an accurate record.

28.

Petition: Belmont, South Sutton and South Cheam Neighbourhood Forum pdf icon PDF 107 KB

To consider a petition from the Belmont, South Sutton and South Cheam Neighbourhood Forum, on the subject of a proposed secondary school, as referred to the Housing, Economy and Business Committee by Full Council on the 14 November 2016.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Peter Mattey, petitioner, presented the petition against the school planned for the Sutton Hospital site to the Committee on behalf of the Belmont, South Sutton and South Cheam Neighbourhood Forum. The main objections consisted of:

 

·         Impact on the surrounding road infrastructure and transport

·         Impact of the proposals on the local neighbourhood

·         Size of the site for the number of pupils proposed.

 

Members wished to clarify on whose behalf the petition had been presented, to which it was responded that it was from the Neighbourhood Forum. Further opinion was sought from the petitioner as to the involvement of the Forum in discussions relating to the school and the ultimate aims of the petition.

Members further sought clarification from Officers as to the options outlined under Options Considered, particularly those which related to the site search for a new secondary school and the public consultation process.

 

Kieran Holliday, Head of Pupil Based Commissioning, answered the question of public consultation, outlining amendments that had been made in response. Andy Webber, Head of Strategic Planning and Development management, further elaborated on the Local Plan process undertaken to date and its relation to the school site search.

 

RESOLVED: that

1.      The petition be accepted as a response to the draft Local Plan formal consultation.

29.

Draft Local Plan - Formal Consultation and Submission for Examination In Public pdf icon PDF 147 KB

This report seeks approval of the draft Local Plan for the purposes of undertaking formal public consultation prior to the submission of the plan to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to carry out an Examination in Public. Subject to the representations not giving rise to the need to make significant changes to the draft plan, the report seeks authority to submit the plan and all representations to the Secretary of State.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Andy Webber, Head of Development Management and Strategic Planning, presented the report.

 

Clarification was sought as to what would be considered a ‘contentious element’ under Paragraph 11.2 of the report and examples of the strategic housing needs assessment and gypsy and traveller sites were provided.

 

Members enquired as to the future of the Secombe theatre and it was responded that the site is one of two safeguarded sites for new primary school provision in the draft Local Plan should it not be able to continue in its current use.

 

Further discussion from Members related to design guidelines, specific sites in Rosehill, the enforceability of the affordable housing target, the proposed extension of the existing gypsy and traveller site in Carshalton Road.

 

Finally Members sought clarification on the status of the school sites contained within the Draft Local Plan. The Head of Development Management and Strategic Planning explained that the Local Plan did not preclude sites being developed in advance of its formal approval. The Chair added that the school site search and local plan processes had informed each other but were not interdependent.

 

It was confirmed by Officers that previous respondents to the prior consultation would be contacted again to be advised of the draft plan and that it would also be presented at local committees. The consultation period was confirmed to start on Monday 9 January 2017 and would close at 5pm on Friday 24 February 2017. It would also be accompanied by a dedicated website with further information disseminated via social media.

 

The Chair thanked both the Officers and Members of the Task and Finish Group involved in the Local Plan.

 

RESOLVED: that

 

1.      The draft Local Plan and associated documents for public consultation purposes (Regulation 19 publication) be approved.

2.      The draft Local Plan and all representations are submitted to the Secretary of State to hold an Examination in Public, subject to no substantial modifications being required as a result of the consideration of the representations, be agreed.

3.      Authority be delegated to the Executive Head of Economic Development, Planning and Sustainability, in conjunction with the Chair of Housing, Economy and Business Committee, to determine whether the draft Local Plan requires substantial modification and further approval by the Housing, Economy and Business Committee prior to submission to the Secretary of State.

 

Councillor David Hicks and Neil Garratt wished for their abstention on the recommendations to be recorded in the minutes.

30.

Collection of Leaseholder Service Charges pdf icon PDF 98 KB

This report seeks the Committee’s approval to a proposal from Sutton Housing Partnership (SHP) to reimburse the Council for income lost as a result of a failure of its management systems that resulted in irrecoverable leaseholder contributions to major works.

 

Minutes:

Simon Latham, Executive Head of Housing and Regeneration, presented the report.

 

Members questioned how this situation had occurred and the timeline involved. Peter Walters, Sutton Housing Partnership, answered that concerns were initially raised in late 2015 and an internal investigation was launched prior to an external independent report. An absence of sufficient internal controls, as elaborated under Paragraph 4.5, was the cause and this had already been rectified. Some senior staff had since left as a result of the situation, but confidentiality clauses prevented further discussion by Mr Walters.

 

Further debate related to how residents, both affected and unaffected, would be informed. Steve Tucker, Sutton Housing Partnership, confirmed that this had been addressed and resources made available. Comments were also made by Members with regards to the reserves of Sutton Housing Partnership, their means of accumulation, future confidence in the organisation and client management by the Council. It was confirmed by Mary Morrissey, Strategic Director of Environment, Housing and Regeneration, that client management was currently under review within the Council.

 

It was confirmed by the Executive Head of Housing and Regeneration that letters would be sent to and payments processed for those concerned, the week commencing 12 December 2016.

 

RESOLVED: that

1.      The proposals for reimbursing leaseholders and for Sutton Housing Partnership to make good the identified loss of income to the Council, as set out in Paragraph 4.7, be approved.

2.      Authority be delegated to the Strategic Director of Environment, Housing and Regeneration to determine the timeline for repayment in consultation with the Chair of the Housing, Economy and Business Committee.

 

Following the item, Councillor David Bartolucci departed Committee for reasons of ill health.

31.

Management of Housing Stock Review pdf icon PDF 121 KB

This report sets out the latest position with respect to the review into the Management of the Council’s Housing Stock and seeks approval of a short list of options for further analysis.

 

Minutes:

The report, authored by Scott Funnell, Head of Environment Commissioning, was taken as read.

 

Member questions related to consultation on the preferred options to which it was answered by the Executive Head of Housing and Regeneration that this would be considered at the June meeting of the Committee. Members also relayed concerns expressed by residents as to the future management of housing stock. Mary Morrissey, Strategic Director of Environment, Housing and Regeneration confirmed that a comprehensive communications plan was in place to inform residents.

 

Following questioning, the methodology applied to figures contained under Paragraph 5.3 was elaborated upon by the Head of Environment Commissioning.

 

RESOLVED: that

1.      The shortlisted options for further analysis be approved.

2.      A report with the final recommended option be received at the meeting of 13 June 2017.

32.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 177 KB

This report describes the outcome of the recent consultation proposing various options for revising the Authority’s existing Council Tax Reduction Scheme.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Julie Turner, Executive Head of Business Services (Interim), presented the report.

 

Members elaborated on discussions held by the Task and Finish Group. Following Member questions, the Executive Head gave further detail as to the hardship fund and other related resources available. Further consideration was given to the Integrated Impact Assessment, attached as appendix E.

 

RESOLVED: that

1.    The revision of the existing Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS), as indicated in paragraphs 2.1.1 – 2.1.16 of the report and below, be agreed with effect from 1 April 2017, and that this be recommended to Full Council on 30 January 2017:

 

1.1. That entitlements to reductions shall be calculated on the net income of the claimant (and partner), less any income ignored (disregarded) for the purpose of calculating an entitlement, which awards a percentage reduction in the council tax based on £50 bands of weekly income (Appendix A).

 

Income Revisions

 

1.2.That the non-dependent deductions for those 18 or over be revised to three flat rate levels as follows:

 

? £5 per week - non worker

? £10 per week- Gross wages of £22,999 or less

? £30 per week - Gross wages of £23,000 or above

 

A deduction is an amount taken off a claimant’s entitlement to a council tax reduction on the basis that it is expected that non-dependants will contribute to housing costs.

 

1.3.That tariff income shall no longer apply to claimants with savings between £6,000 and £10,000. Under the existing CTRS tariff income is applied as follows; £1 for every £250 of savings above £6,000.

 

1.4.That working claimants and/or their partner who have additional needs due to disability (defined as being in receipt of a relevant disability benefit) will have an earned weekly income disregard of £50.

 

1.5.That care leavers (someone who has been in the care of a local authority for a period of 13 weeks or more (prior to their 16th birthday)) will receive a higher earned weekly income disregard of £50 until their 25th birthday. Non-working care leavers will continue to receive 100% Council Tax Reduction (CTR) until their 25th birthday.

 

1.6.That child maintenance, paid by one partner to the other for their child[ren], shall be treated as income; but the first £50 per child per week shall be ignored (disregarded).

 

1.7.That all self-employed income, including that from child-minding, shall be calculated using the “minimum income floor”. The Minimum Income Floor (MIF) is an assumed level of earnings for a self-employed claimant and/or their partner that matches their work expectations, for example the expected hours (35 hours for a couple and 16 hours for lone parents). The MIF is calculated by multiplying the number of expected hours by the National Minimum Wage (or equivalent national scheme) for the claimant's or their partner’s age group and deducting the relevant income tax and national insurance, the income for a CTR is calculated based on this net figure. If the claimant's or their partner’s actual earnings are above the MIF, the CTR is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

Any urgent business brought forward at the direction of the chair

Minutes:

No urgent business was raised.

 

34.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting will take place on 31 January 2017.

Minutes:

The next meeting was confirmed to take place on 31 January 2017.