Agenda and draft minutes

Housing, Economy and Business Committee
Tuesday, 19th March, 2019 7.30 pm

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

Contact: Fiona Bywaters, Committee Services Team Leader  Tel.: 020 8770 4990, Email:  committeeservices@sutton.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

43.

Welcome and introductions

Minutes:

The Chair, Councillor Jayne McCoy, welcomed those present and a purdah statement regarding the pre-election period was read out.

44.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Eric Allen with Councillor James McDermott-Hill attending as substitute. Councillor Jean Crossby was present as substitute for the vacant position.

45.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

46.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 84 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 29 January 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the meeting held on 29 January 2019 be agreed as an accurate record.

47.

Economy Watch

Economy Watch is developed twice yearly to provide an update on the economy. The full report is available online at:

 

www.opportunitysutton.org/home/economy-watch/

Minutes:

Nick Smales, Assistant Director - Economic Development, presented Economy Watch, accompanied by Elizabeth Harris - Opportunity Sutton Service Manager. The Chair highlighted that the full report was available online.

 

Following the presentation, Members examined in particular:

1.    Economic activity and the percentage of economically (in)active residents compared to the sub-region. Members requested that in future, data be given on employment as well as economic activity. A further request was made for a more detailed breakdown of data relating to students to be considered.

2.    The qualification level of Sutton residents.

3.    Footfall in Sutton High Street and potential initiatives to attract people to the town centre.

48.

Sutton Town Centre Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan pdf icon PDF 139 KB

This report seeks authority to consult on a Draft Sutton Town Centre Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Duncan Clarke, Strategic Planning Manager, presented the report, accompanied by Andy Webber, Head of Development Management and Strategic Planning. Members’ attention was drawn to:

·         Two updated maps (pages 25 and 42 of the agenda pack), of which a hard copy had been provided for members.

·         A correction to Guideline 7 - missing last line to read “account historic photography.”

 

Following the presentation, the Chair invited contributions from Councillor Steve Penneck as Lead Member for Heritage and Councillor David Bartolucci (committee member) as ward councillor for Sutton Central.

 

In debate, Members questioned whether additional powers would be granted for the maintenance of existing heritage assets. In response, the Head of Development Management and Strategic Planning explained the status of a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) as well as powers under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Further discussion ensued as to how balance may be achieved between the brand identity of retailers and heritage requirements.

 

It was also suggested by Members that:

·         Displays be erected in the town centre on aspects of its heritage, to inform and educate residents on local history.

·         Consultation could be extended to canvas opinion beyond the Sutton Local Committee area as residents from across the borough visit the town centre.

·         Certain buildings be promoted as examples of what can be achieved to protect heritage and appropriate lighting be used to highlight this.

 

The Chair requested that a list of organisations contacted as part of the consultation, be circulated among committee members (subject to GDPR compliance).

 

RESOLVED: that the Draft Sutton Town Centre Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Plan be approved for consultation.

49.

Carshalton Village Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan pdf icon PDF 132 KB

This report seeks authority to consult on a Carshalton Village Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Duncan Clarke, Strategic Planning Manager, presented the report, accompanied by Andy Webber, Head of Development Management and Strategic Planning. Following a question from committee, the process of formal adoption was clarified as well as enforcement powers available to the local authority. Explanation was also provided as to the involvement of residents and community groups, both to date and in future, as part of the consultation.

 

Following the presentation, the Chair invited contributions from Councillor Jake Short (committee member) as ward councillor for Carshalton Central.

 

Members enquired as to whether improvements could be made to the listed railings surrounding Carshalton Ponds. The Head of Development Management and Strategic Planning confirmed TfL as the highway authority for the road in question and agreed to pass comments onto Highways Officers for investigation.

 

It was requested that the consultation be extended beyond the Carshalton and Clockhouse local committee area to the neighbouring St Helier, The Wrythe and Wandle Valley area. Concerns were raised about the timing of consultations and the simultaneity with the Sutton town centre process (see previous item). The Strategic Planning Manager committed to take this into consideration when planning the consultation.

 

Finally, Members gave consideration to the Equality Impact Assessment and any difference to the preceding item. The Strategic Planning Manager explained that the Local Plan was accompanied by a comprehensive Equalities Impact Assessment and, as both documents were in conformity with the Local Plan, the Local Plan Equalities Impact Assessment applied to both the Conservation Area Character Appraisals and Management Plans.

 

RESOLVED: that the Draft Carshalton Village Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Plan be approved for consultation.

50.

Review of Housing Allocations Policy pdf icon PDF 163 KB

This report proposes a number of amendments to be made to the Council’s housing allocations policy, principally in light of legislative changes including those brought about by the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Trevor Hart, Housing Strategy and Commissioning Manager, briefly presented the report, accompanied by Helen Davies, Head of Service: Advice, Information and Assessment - Encompass LATC.

 

Councillor Catherine Gray motioned, as seconded by Councillor Sam Weatherlake, that recommendation 5.2.3 within the Appendix A be changed to “Unborn children will not be taken into account until six weeks prior to birth for the purpose of assessing the number of bedrooms required by a household” to which committee members agreed.

 

Members gave further consideration to ‘untenant-like behaviour’. It was confirmed by officers that an appeals process existed.

 

RESOLVED: that the proposed changes to the Council’s housing allocations policy, as set out in Appendix A and described in section 4, be approved.

51.

Management Agreement between the Council and Sutton Housing Partnership pdf icon PDF 144 KB

This report sets out for the Committee’s approval a revised management agreement between the Council and its arms-length management organisation (ALMO), Sutton Housing Partnership (SHP) for the Committee’s approval.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Trevor Hart, Housing Strategy and Commissioning Manager, briefly presented the report accompanied by Simon Latham, Assistant Director - Housing, Planning and Regeneration. The officer confirmed that consent had been received from the Regulator of Social Housing.

 

The Chair invited Steve Tucker (Managing Director) and Steve Bullock (Chair of the Board) of Sutton Housing Partnership to give their contributions.

 

In debate, historic issues associated with the management of SHP were raised and the Assistant Director present firmly rejected certain statements made, in relation to legal proceedings, as factually incorrect. Members agreed however, that tenants were of central and primary importance.

 

Further discussion focussed on governance and decision-making aspects of the agreement, including vacancies on the board of SHP and the schedule of delegated functions. After concerns were raised by Councillor James McDermott-Hill, it was confirmed by officers that strategic policy decisions would require committee approval (with reference to paragraph 8.1 of the management agreement) in that officers would only act within their delegated authority.

 

In response to concerns raised, it was clarified that political activities of suppliers and subcontractors to SHP were not subject to the Management Agreement. It was confirmed by the SHP representatives that a sub-committee of the SHP board oversaw any risk of fraud.

 

RESOLVED:  that the revised management agreement between Council and Sutton Housing Partnership, which will come into effect on 1 April 2019, be approved, subject to the approval of the Regulator of Social Housing.

 

Under Standing Order 15.4, Councillor Nick Mattey requested that his vote against the recommendation be recorded.

52.

Sutton Housing Partnership Delivery Plan 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 147 KB

This report seeks Member approval of Sutton Housing Partnership’s proposed Delivery Plan for 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Trevor Hart, Housing Strategy and Commissioning Manager, briefly presented the report accompanied by Simon Latham, Assistant Director - Housing, Planning and Regeneration.

 

The Chair invited Steve Tucker (Managing Director) and Steve Bullock (Chair of the Board) of Sutton Housing Partnership (SHP), as well as Colin Hawkins (Chair, Sutton Federation of Tenant and Resident Associations) to give their contributions.

 

In debate, Members discussed changes to the management of Sutton Housing Partnership and relationship with residents over the past two years. Further consideration was also given to the performance plan indicators included in Appendix A, as well as the internal implementation of the delivery plan by SHP. The SHP representatives confirmed that review of the service standards took place on a regular basis, with the Assistant Director adding that relevant documents were published on the SHP website and members of the committee considered certain corporate indicators on a biannual basis.

 

The Chair suggested that performance information already provided to the SHP Board be shared with members of the committee, for consideration at their biannual performance indicator meetings, to which the representatives there present agreed.

 

RESOLVED: that

1.    The Sutton Housing Partnership Delivery Plan for 2019/20 be approved.

2.    The inclusion of the current service standards be noted and agreed that these be revised during 2019/20 and thereafter from time to time as part of the process of producing updated delivery plans.

53.

Housing Revenue Account Business Plan 2019/20 to 2048/49 pdf icon PDF 177 KB

This report seeks the Committee’s approval of a new Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan covering the years 2019/20 to 2048/49.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Trevor Hart, Housing Strategy and Commissioning Manager, presented the report accompanied by Simon Latham, Assistant Director - Housing, Planning and Regeneration. Justin Chamberlin, Asset Management Lead - Sutton Housing Partnership, also attended.

 

In debate, Members discussed fire safety measures, following the events at Grenfell, and the SHP Manager referred to a programme in place to ensure adherence, particularly with regards to door installations.

 

In response to member questions, clarification was given by the Assistant Director to the lifting of the HRA borrowing cap, as mentioned in the introduction of the HRA business plan.

 

Finally support was given to the potential of a Phase 3 new build programme.

 

RESOLVED: that

1.    The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan 2019/20 to 2048/49, as set out at Appendix A, be agreed.

2.    Further work be undertaken on the possibility of running a Phase 3 new build programme.

3.    The proposed HRA expenditure within the financial modelling on property acquisitions, be agreed, subject to meeting prudential borrowing rules.

4.    A flexible approach be adopted to directing resources between the acquisition and future new build programmes as potential new build sites are identified and assessed.

5.    The policy proposals and approach to asset management, as set out in chapter 4 of the HRA business plan, be agreed.

54.

Any urgent business

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).

Minutes:

There was no urgent business. However, the Chair and Committee gave their thanks to David Moore, Interim Strategic Director - Environment, Housing and Regeneration for his service as he would shortly be leaving the Council.