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Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors G Coates and D Maycock.

Apologies were received from Councillor L Clarke and Councillor L Smith attended as a substitute.



Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 138 KB


The minutes of the previous meeting held on 4th October 2023 were approved as a correct record.


(Moved by Councillor B Price and seconded by Councillor C Bain)



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 no declarations of interest.


Chair's Update


The chair confirmed that a Housing Repairs working group meeting had taken place and that the committee would be updated later in the meeting.


Responses to Reports of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee


The chair confirmed that recommendations had recently gone to Cabinet recently regarding lobbying Government and he would be chasing that up.

The chair also confirmed that he had met with the new MP who has offered to work on the councils behalf on this matter.


Consideration of Matters referred to the Corporate Scrutiny Committee from Cabinet / Council


There we no items to be considered.


Quarter Two 2023/24 Performance Report pdf icon PDF 60 KB

(Report of the Leader of the Council)

Additional documents:


The chair noted that apologies had been received from the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council and handed over to the Chief Executive to introduce the 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 will consider the report on 30th November 2023.


The Chief Executive introduced the new Executive Director for Finance, and Section 151 Officer,  Rebecca Smeathers and thanked Pardeep Kateria for the work on producing the new format of the report before highlighting the following information from the reported –


Ø  Section 2 – The Future High Street Fund is showing as Amber due to extreme cost pressures on the programme and will be address via a report going to Full Council in December to look at the project.

Ø  Section 3 – looks at the general spend in quarter 2.

Ø  Section 3.2 – looks at a Universal Credit summary at a point in time and shows a small increase in trends.

Ø  Section 3.3 – looks at the impact of welfare benefit reform included at members request. This shows things are broadly the same.

NNDR figures are broadly similar to previous years however some distorted figures are shown due to a reduction in retail relief and the additional post-Covid grant.

Council Tax collection rates were slightly above target.

The Assistant Direct, neighbourhoods clarified the housing figures – the numbers on Universal credit had increased due to continued migration on to the new system. Collection rates on current arrears have improved from this time last year.

Write Offs – whilst amounts are written off, the Council will continue to try to recover these.

Live caseload of Universal Credit has remained stable.

Ø  Section 3.4 – the Medium Term Financial Strategy was introduced by Rebecca Smeathers who highlighted that that the general fund monitoring position is showing a £1.4m underspend against the approved budget which is attributed to interest rates on balances.

Housing revenue account currently has an underspend however is predicted to be in line with budget by the end of the year. Capital expenditure is also showing an underspend.

Ø  Section 4 - The Corporate Risk Management register remains largely unchanged however uncertainty over local Government finance has impacted.

Ø  Section 5 – Audit update, it was highlighted that figures do not match with the Audit and Governance report that was shared at Committee in October, and that the Council has achieved 25% (not 0%) of the Audit plan which includes three audits deferred from 2022/2023, it is expected that we will achieve audit plan by year end.

Ø  Section 6 – Information Governance data. This is the second quarter of the new processes, so it is difficult to read trends from this until there is twelve months  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.


Update on the Social Housing Regulatory Programme following consideration by Cabinet pdf icon PDF 196 KB

(Report of the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Planning)

Additional documents:


The Portfolio Holder for Housing and Planning introduced the report which was presented to Cabinet on the 26th October to update them on the comprehensive preparations for the council’s compliance with the Social Housing (regulation) Act 2023. Specifically, the: Programme Launch and associated Project(s) management infrastructure, Terms of Reference and assurance sought via the Housing & Homelessness Advisory Board, Collection of required Tenant Satisfaction Measures in readiness for submission to the Regulator Social Housing by April 2024, Procurement of external resources to collate and prepare for submission by April 2024, required tenant perception measures and associated improvement planning. The report was now being present to Corporate Scrutiny to review.


The Portfolio Holder highlighted the following –


Ø  This is a programme that includes eight projects that feed into the areas of the regulatory changes brought in by the Social Housing Regulation Act many of which are also being discussed through the Housing and Homelessness Advisory Board which includes the Tenant Consultative Group

Ø  The Act and its changes are a good thing that will help strengthen the tenants voice, improve the standards of home and elevate complaint handling.

Ø  Risks to be aware of that will increase pressure on the Council include burden of continuous regulatory oversight, increased financial risk (fines for non-compliance) and additional reputational risk (regulator can ‘name and shame’)

Ø  Complaints is an area of focus which is important to ensure tenants voice will be continuously heard and there will be engagement with officers on this.

Ø  Repairs and safety including monitoring of repairs and how they are undertaken will be monitored and presented back to members including the issue of damp and mould.


The Assistant Director, Neighbourhoods highlighted the following –


Ø  The council could potentially be facing inspection from April 2024.

Ø  The programme provides an infrastructure which is organisational wide falling under several directors.

Ø  The pack includes the latest tenant satisfaction measures in 3 parts. The 10 management indicators that the government requires from next year. The second section around the tenant’s satisfaction measure which will be supported by field work before it needs to be published next year and what tenants would like to see in terms of performance management which are to be discussed at the cross-party board meeting.

Ø  Since Cabinet on 26th October, we have a  new housing minister Lee Rowley who has confirmed commitment to the new regulatory framework, continuing Social Housing quality updates, regulators are doing spotlights on items such as complaints and damp and mould which could form the basis of a risk assessment around who is inspected first.

Ø  Internal comms are being formed and we are looking at ensuring that the  tenants consultative group have the skills to hold members and officer’s to account.


The Committee made the following comments/observations and asked the following questions:


Ø  Clarification around the why some of the documents were showing as restricted? And why the ‘smiley faces’ seem to be the wrong way around which doesn’t appear  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.


Working Group Updates

(To provide any updates of any working groups)


The chair confirmed that a meeting of the housing repairs working group chaired by Vice-Chair D Maycock. had taken place on the 13th November and minutes have been circulated.

The Assistant Director, Assets attended to report on damp and mould.

Members had an opportunity to ask questions and clarifications such as, capital works and how the council record interventions and residents’ willingness to respond to recommendations from inspections.

Actions for the officer following the meeting –

Further information has been requested for in a months’ time.

It has been requested that Equans attend to talk to the group.

A request for the RAG rating report in relation to damp and mould.

Recommendations to Cabinet considered so far – to add additional resources to the repairs team.




Forward Plan

(Discussion Item – Link to the Forward Plan below)


Browse plans - Cabinet, 2023 :: Tamworth Borough Council


There were no items identified from the Forward Plan.


Corporate Scrutiny Committee Work Plan & Action Log

(Discussion Item)


The committee agreed to request the quarterly performance report from the meeting return to the Committee at the next scheduled meeting on the 7th December.


The chair closed the meetings at 19:10.