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Welcome and Apologies for Absence
The Chair Councillor A Farell welcomed the members to the committee. There were no apologies for absence
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of Members’ interests (pecuniary and non-pecuniary) in any matters which are to be considered at this meeting.
When Members are declaring a pecuniary or non-pecuniary 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 pecuniary or non-pecuniary interest in respect of which they do not have a dispensation.
Councillor S Peaple declared a none-pecuniary interest as a Trustee of Heart of Tamworth Charity who work closely with the council on homelessness issues.
(Executive Director, Communities)
The Executive Director – Communities updated on the progress of the first formal meeting of the committee. Work is in progress in establishing the Terms of Reference for the Committee and the Executive Director will be working with the Monitoring Officer to be clear on the decision-making role of this subcommittee
Going forward there will be a revised workplan, more information on how the committee will be working within the Council’s Constitution and to identify clearly the decision making powers of the committee and some further proposals of how to develop the Sub Committee going forward.
Committee sought clarity on the following:
How will the workplan will be shaped going forward - The workplan will be linked to the Forward Plan and Business Plan but would welcome any issues that the committee would like to include.
What is the condition of our housing stock? – Officers confirmed the housing stock is in relatively in good condition, regular stock condition updates take place. Low level back log of repair. There are issues such as energy efficiency which is a continuous challenge.
How many Homelessness people are there in Tamworth - figures are separated as people who are on the Housing Register and rough sleeping. At the last annual count of rough sleepers’ assessment there were 3 rough sleepers and there is now only 1 defined rough sleeper. Work also takes place supporting people with access to the register with 700 - 800 on the register. People who are assessed as homeless are supported through Personal Housing Plans.
Environmental Maintenance of Council Estates
(To receive a verbal update from the Assistant Director, Operational Services and Leisure)
The Environmental Maintenance of Council Estates update was deferred to the next meeting.
(To receive a verbal update from the Assistant Director, Partnerships)
Jo Sands – Assistant Director gave an update on the Council’s Private Sector Housing.
Currently Tamworth Council have 67 Licensed Houses of Multiple Occupancy. Clarified that any properties that house 5 or less bed spaces are checked but do not need to be licensed. Councillors sought clarity on how many HMO’s we know of have been checked. JS to provide the answer.
There are around 3,000 private rented houses in Tamworth.
Regulatory Standards Self Assessment
(To receive a verbal update from the Assistant Director, Neighbourhoods)
Tina Mustafa, Assistant Director -Neighbourhoods gave an update on the Regulatory Standards Self-Assessment for the council housing service.
The Government, as part of the new social housing regulation bill its commitment to repairs and decency.
Tamworth as chosen to commission an external self-assessment of all housing services in the authority. This would give a base line assessment and enable TBC to work on an improvement plan.
Councillors asked the following questions:
What is the sanction for an organisation or Landlord that is not performing or have an improvement plan - there will be unlimited fines, and as there is a need to have named officers identified this gives personal accountability and ultimate sanction is the Government can appoint people to be on the management team.
Additional resources will be needed for training for tenants, members, and infrastructure
This Committee gives a platform to be able to look at the baseline, compliance, and the improvement plan to work with tenants with Cabinet’s endorsement and to discuss and work and challenges.