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Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors M Bailey, D Maycock R Claymore and B Price.
The minutes of the previous meeting held on 16th November 2023 were approved as a correct record subject to the attendance of Rebecca Smeathers being noted.
(Moved by Councillor C Bain and seconded by Councillor L Smith)
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of Members’ interests (personal and/or personal and prejudicial) in any matters which are to be considered at this meeting.
When Members are declaring a personal interest or personal and prejudicial interest in respect of which they have dispensation, they should specify the nature of such interest. Members should leave the room if they have a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of which they do not have a dispensation.
There were none.
The Chair apologised to the committee that the meeting had been rearranged due to an administration error with the publication of the agenda.
Responses to Reports of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee
There were none.
Consideration of Matters referred to the Corporate Scrutiny Committee from Cabinet / Council
There were none.
(Report of the Leader of the Council previously considered by the Committee on the 16th November 2023)
Report of the Leader of the Council to provide the committee with an overview of council performance for the second quarter of the 2023-24 financial year (July to September 2023). It reports the position in relation to progress with strategic projects and updates on the financial position, corporate risk, audit, information governance and complaints. Cabinet considered the report on 30th November 2023.
The Chair introduced the report that was returning to the committee following on from the meeting on the 16th November when the committee requested that the report return for endorsement when the Leader of the Council could attend the meeting. It was highlighted that there had now been a change of leadership.
The committee made the following comments/observations and asked the following questions:
1. What measures had been put in place since the demolition of the Peel café to ensure the situation did not happen again?
The Chief Executive confirmed that moving forward any works in relation to the Future High Street Fund project requiring planning approval would be considered through a full planning committee meeting.
It was also confirmed that a report was due to be presented at the extraordinary council meeting on the 15th of January 2024 including a presentation of the whole scheme and also to inform on the project’s updates that require council endorsement.
A recommendation was discussed to consider whether any council asset requiring licensing or planning permission should go through a full committee meeting however it was agreed that this matter would be discussed separately to try to resolve this issue.
The committee highlighted the importance of ensuring good governance was in place around decisions in future to ensure that people are fully engaged and informed.
Working Group Updates
(To provide any updates on any working groups)
The Chair provided the committee with an update from the minutes of the first meeting of the Housing Repairs Working Group:
Paul Weston gave a brief on the report that will be submitted to the Housing and Homelessness Advisory Board, which sets out the Damp & Mould inspection process and reported properties for the month of October 2023. Paul explained many scenarios of how damp and mould can come about and how the process has evolved since Dec 2022 (The report had been circulated to members via email).
Members of the working group had the opportunity to ask questions and clarifications on such things as: Capital Works programmes, how TBC record the interventions and residents’ willingness to respond to recommendations from inspections, what it would take to get a property to an A ECP rating, trickle vents on windows, how the council examines history of damp & mould, the quality of training of Equans Supervisors.
Paul was then thanked for his evening and asked to go on with his evening while the members stayed to discuss the meeting and the direction forward.
1. Actions requested of Paul Weston
a. Request for further information in 1-month, same format as the spreadsheet of properties contained within the ‘Housing and Homelessness Advisory Board’ report - with additional information; substantive information in follow up column and and addition of a column of date when follow-up action is to be completed.
b. Request for the Equans contract
c. Request for the RAG rating report in relation to Damp and Mold (MLDINS code)
2. Recommendations to Cabinet (so far)
a. To add additional resource to TBC repairs team; when a MLDINS code is inputted for a property a manual lookback at the history of repairs for that property be conducted to identify if this Damp and/or Mould has been a previous issue at the property, or for the tenant at a previous property.
b. That the Damp & Mould inspection process become part of the repairs policy.
The working group was also in agreement that Equans should be called into the Working Group, after members have had a chance to examine the contractual agreement between them and TBC, in relation to damp & mould.
(Discussion Item – Link to the Forward Plan is attached)
The Chair confirmed that the next meeting of the committee would be on the 7th February 2024 and that the only item on the agenda was the quarter three performance report.
The chair closed the meeting at 6:15pm