Agenda and minutes

Housing, Economy and Business Committee
Tuesday, 21st March, 2017 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

45.

Welcome and introductions

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed all those present to the meeting.

46.

Apologies and Substitutes

Minutes:

No apologies were given.

47.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

7. Sutton Housing Partnership (SHP) Delivery Plan

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

 

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

 

48.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 210 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the meeting held on 31 January 2017 be agreed as an accurate record.

49.

Economy Watch

Economy Watch is prepared twice a year with the purpose of providing data on the economic activity of the London Borough of Sutton.

 

The latest report is available to view online at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx0EQ8WM-_TWeXhlUGRKeXpkbnM/view

 

(Short URL https://goo.gl/WWuFBb)

 

Indicative Timing: 20 minutes

 

Minutes:

Mary Innes, Investment and Enterprise Programme Manager, presented the biannual report of Economy Watch. The presentation focussed on:

 

·         The new format of the report;

·         Economic well-being in Sutton;

·         Benefits and employment;

·         Local business economy; and

·         Opportunity Sutton interventions.

 

Members complimented the new format of the report for ease of reading, thanking officers.

 

Members enquired as to the unemployment figures cited in relation to the over 50s, to which the Programme Manager responded that there was not a reason specific to Sutton in particular but that strategy was being developed to assist these residents in light of the data.

 

Members also discussed housing benefit payments, the population increase in the Borough (in contrast to the overall London trend), Gross Value Added (GVA) statistics and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) expenditure.

 

Members enquired as to any data available with regards to alleged ‘land banking’ by developers. Duncan Clarke, Principal Policy Planner, responded that approximately 350 houses are built a year, and around 1000 permissions granted in the same period. The Authority Monitoring Report was stated by officers to be available online in the Local Plan Evidence Base for further detail.

50.

Locally Listed Buildings: Nominations and Changes to Nomination Criteria pdf icon PDF 109 KB

This report seeks approval of recommendations regarding nominations to the Locally Listed Building List and changes to the Locally Listed Building criteria.

 

Indicative Timing: 15 minutes

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Duncan Clarke, Principal Policy Planner, presented the report and the seven nominations presented, of which five were assessed (two were already locally listed buildings).

 

Members enquired as to what happens if owners do not want a building to be listed. The Principal Policy Planner explained that owners are frequently homeowners and for courtesy, it seems reasonable to ask a person whether they want their home listed. The case differs when a property is owned by a developer. The Chair then requested the Principal Policy Planner to summarise a submission on behalf of the owners of the Prince Regent Public House which expressed a wish for the building not to be listed.

 

Members further asked what protection local listing offers, which the Principal Policy Planner explained to be minimal outside of a conservation area. Andy Webber, Head of Planning, elaborated on this point with regards to its consideration in planning applications.

 

Following a question from Members on the recently-awarded Heritage Action Zone status, the Head of Planning commented that it was unlikely to impact on any previous decision of Historic England but welcomed the additional expertise in auditing the Borough’s heritage assets.

 

Members further enquired as to the protection offered by an Asset of Community Value status. The Head of Planning stated that a valid application would suspend permitted development rights for 56 days in respect of demolition, which would become a permanent suspension if the status was granted.

 

The Chair concluded the item by emphasising the need for the protection of local heritage assets and the intention to capture this in the Draft Local Plan. The Chair motioned for an additional recommendation, as seconded by Councillor Trish Fivey, requesting clarification on the effect of ownership on local listing in the assessment criteria, which Members agreed.

 

RESOLVED: that

1.      The Prince Regent Public House, 344-346 High Street, Sutton and 4-6 Richmond Road, Beddington, be approved for Local Listing.

2.      11-15 Beddington Lane, 9-19 Richmond Road and the Old Farm Buildings (PB Materials) at 30-32 Beddington Lane be refused for Local Listing.

3.      The amendment to the Locally Listed Building assessment criteria outline under Paragraph 5.1 be approved.

4.      The assessment criteria be clarified in respect of the effect of ownership on local listing, with authority delegated to the Strategic Director of Environment, Housing and Regeneration, in consultation with the Chair of the Housing, Economic and Business Committee, to approve the final wording.

51.

Sutton Housing Partnership (SHP) Delivery Plan pdf icon PDF 106 KB

On an annual basis, the Housing, Economy and Business Committee is invited to approve Sutton Housing Partnership’s (SHP’s) Delivery Plan, produced in accordance with the provisions of the Management Agreement between the Council and its Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO).

 

Indicative Timing: 30 minutes

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

The Chair invited Steve Tucker, Chief Executive of the Sutton Housing Partnership, to provide a brief overview of the delivery plan, as included at Appendix A, to the Members.

 

Members discussed with the Chief Executive (SHP) how residents were taken into account in the delivery plan, exploring the reference to putting “residents at the centre of the business” and the focus on place.

 

The number of recognised residents associations, stated as 15 in the report, was also queried by Members as having decreased in recent years. Colin Hawkins, Sutton Federation of Tenant and Resident Associations (SFTRA), expanded upon the variety of associations within the Borough while the Chief Executive (SHP) looked at future means of engaging residents.

 

The SFTRA representative wished to highlight in particular the means of collaborative working mentioned in the report and emphatically stated that this had already begun in relation to Sutton Housing Partnership.

 

Members enquired as to the new responsibility of SHP relating to the gypsy and traveller site in the Borough. The Chief Executive (SHP) referred to the report, commenting that SHP was largely ahead of its performance targets in this respect and that a residents association would be a positive development with Councillor Amy Haldane offering to support such an initiative.

 

Finally Members examined the suite of Key Performance Indicators monitored by SHP, services to landlords, energy efficiency investment, fuel poverty, and the culture of the Executive Management Team.

 

RESOLVED:

1.            The Sutton Housing Partnership Delivery Plan for 2017/18 be approved.

52.

Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan pdf icon PDF 110 KB

This report seeks the Committee’s approval of a new updated Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan.  The HRA Business Plan sets out the Council’s plans for maintaining and investing in its housing stock in the medium to long term, covering a period of 30 years.

 

Indicative Timing: 20 minutes

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Trevor Hart, Housing Strategy and Commissioning Manager, presented the report. It was commented that potential developments in national policy required some remodelling of the HRA Business Plan and Members would be kept informed at the appropriate stages.

 

Following the presentation, Members discussed the long-term projections and viability of the Housing Revenue Account in relation to housing level stock. Members further examined the new build programme as well as right-to-buy receipts, with input from Simon Latham, Executive Head of Housing and Regeneration. Members were referred back to a paper of the June 2016 Committee of the Strategy and Resources Committee for further detail in respect of right-to-buy receipts.

 

Members asked how many Council houses had been built by the Council, to which the Executive Head responded none, and further discussed the notion of ‘affordability’ as well as social housing needs. The Executive Head invited Members to read a Funding Prospectus published by the Mayor of London, in Autumn 2016, which looked at this very subject.

 

A minor correction to Paragraph 4.16 was also highlighted in that the figure stated should read £25 million.

 

RESOLVED: that

1.      The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan 2017/18 – 2046/47 be approved subject to minor amendments that officers consider necessary prior to publication.

2.      An update of the HRA Business Plan be produced in early 2017/18.

53.

Estate Regeneration Engagement Proposals - Statement of Intent for Residents pdf icon PDF 138 KB

This report presents a Statement of Intent covering the Council’s proposed commitments and offers to residents on estates where regeneration may be considered by the Council.

 

Indicative Timing: 20 minutes

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Rick Martinez, Regeneration Manager, presented the report and outlined in particular the options considered under Paragraph 5 of the report.

 

Members asked whether the proposed estates were yet known and how much notice would be given to residents. The Regeneration Manager commented that the wish was to engage residents at the earliest opportunity, which had already commenced at Beech Tree Place and Elm Grove. As for when a decision would be made from the options, the Regeneration Manager stated that this very much depended on the contributions of residents to the engagement process, which was predicted to take at least six months.

 

The importance of resident engagement was underlined by Members who further considered the timescales of the proposals, as well as that of this paper and the Draft Local Plan. Simon Latham, Executive Head of Housing and Regeneration, also referred Members to earlier references to regeneration in the Draft Local Plan and stated the intention to involve Ward Councillors in any resident discussions.

 

Members enquired as to whether specific plans would have to return to Committee for decision. The Regeneration Manager referred to the report and the intention for further information to be presented to Committee following initial resident discussions, and that specific plans would be agreed with residents, reiterating the involvement of Ward Councillors.

 

Overall, Members welcomed the engagement with residents at this early stage and acknowledged an inevitable period of uncertainty.

 

Councillor David Hicks moved a motion for an additional recommendation in relation to a programme of activities and emerging issues returning to a future meeting of the Committee, as seconded by Councillor Nick Emmerson, and agreed by Members.

 

RESOLVED: that

1.      The Statement of Intent be adopted as part of the Council’s approach to resident engagement for estates where regeneration may be considered.

2.      The implementation of estate-based resident engagement in an open and collaborative way be approved leading to a Resident Charter for an estate and its residents.

3.      That the programme of activities and emerging issues be reported upon at a future meeting of the Housing, Economy and Business Committee.

54.

Property Acquisition Programme pdf icon PDF 127 KB

This report proposes that Sutton Council should commence an acquisition programme of up to 300 properties between now and 2020/2021 which can be rented to households in need. Given the rising number of homeless households who require temporary accommodation, and following detailed analysis of demand and supply projections, this report recommends that initially 100 homes should be purchased to provide better quality, more cost effective and more suitably situated temporary accommodation for homeless families.

 

Indicative Timing: 15 minutes

Minutes:

In the interests of time, Members proceeded immediately to debate.

 

Simon Latham, Executive Head of Housing, proposed an amendment to Recommendation 2.3 and an additional recommendation 2.6 as detailed below in the resolutions.

 

Member discussion focussed on the cost of overnight temporary accommodation, both in and outside of the Borough, particularly in light of an increasing overall demand. In addition, Members queried the number and breakdown in size of the properties, which the Executive Head detailed.

 

Some concern was expressed by Members over the financial implications of the programme but that this had been mitigated by the Executive Head’s proposed alterations to the recommendations. Further clarification was provided by the Executive Head that approval of the principles was sought at present but that of the terms and parameters of the programme would be sought at a future committee.

 

RESOLVED: that

1.      The principles set out in the report for an acquisition programme to increase the supply of rented accommodation owned by the Council be approved.

2.      The Council’s first priority should be to provide better quality, sustainable and cost effective temporary accommodation for homeless families towards whom the Council has a statutory responsibility be agreed.

3.      The Strategic Directors of Environment, Housing and Regeneration and Resources should present for approval the terms and parameters of the programme, in a further report to the June meeting of the Housing Economy and Business Committee, with more detailed information about the financial model to support the business case, to be followed by any further report back to the Strategy and Resources Committee in relation to the borrowing requirements necessary to support this programme.

4.      The programme will be focussed upon acquisition of accommodation in the borough of Sutton, depending on availability and with sufficient flexibility to enable acquisition of property outside the borough boundaries where this is financially viable, subject to there being reasonable travelling time from the location of the property to the borough of Sutton be agreed.

5.      The implications of the variation proposed to the HRA Business Plan and any associated timing adjustments to the approved capital programme for investment in existing housing stock is report to the July meeting of the Strategy and Resources Committee.

6.      The programme should commence with an initial phase of acquisitions, the details of which will be set out in a report to the June meeting of the Housing Economy and Business Committee.

55.

Motion to the Housing, Economy and Business Committee pdf icon PDF 100 KB

A motion was submitted to Council, 6 March 2017, in accordance with Council procedure rule 11.8 - to be referred to the Housing Economy and Business Committee. The procedure rules required this motion to be moved and seconded, then referred to the committee for debate.

Minutes:

Councillor Neil Garratt submitted a motion at Full Council, 6 March 2017, seconded by Councillor David Hicks, indicating that he would like this debated at Housing, Economy and Business Committee under the procedure outlined by Standing Order 11.8.

 

Upon the invitation of the Chair, Councillor Neil Garratt introduced the motion, focussing on the purpose and scope of the Committee, prior to debate.

 

In particular, the Chair commented upon the role of the Committee and the context of the ‘material issue’ referenced in the motion, as further discussed by other Members. Further debate centred on the notion of delegated authority and the differences between a committee and cabinet system.

 

Following discussion, Councillor Neil Garratt concluded the debate, welcoming an increased level of scrutiny at the Committee.

 

Referencing Standing Order 11.11, the Chair expressed regret that no amendments could be made to a motion at Committee as then agreement may have been reached. Members were instead invited by the Chair to highlight areas for future consideration and scrutiny at the Committee.

 

At the vote, the motion was lost.

56.

Any Urgent Business brought forward at the Direction of the Chair

Minutes:

No urgent business was raised.

57.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Housing, Economy and Business Committee is the 13 June 2017.

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was confirmed to be 13 June 2017.