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Agenda item

Update on Leaseholders

(Report of the Assistant Director, Assets)


Cabinet Motions from Leaseholders – February 2023: Members and Officers giving account



The Report of the Assistant Director Assets provided a timeline of events relating to the Corporate Scrutiny review of Leaseholder Service Charges, the report also provided an update on progress to date against each of the recommendations made to Cabinet by Corporate Scrutiny Committee.


The Chair introduced the item to consider the issue around the recommendations that were submitted to Cabinet in February 2023 from the Committee, around the Leaseholder Services Charges item, six of which were approved however at a meeting in June 2023 it was established that no action had been taken. The purpose of the item to understand what we can learn from this and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.


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



1.     Where are we now with the situation since the item was discussed at Full Council?

The Executive Director, Communities confirmed that following the recommendations at Full Council to complete a strategic review,  Officers have been working with the Portfolio Holder to consider the scope and nature of the Review which is due to go to Cabinet in October. All non-essential works have been stopped as per the recommendations.

2.     How many urgent works have been carried out since the meeting? Officers confirmed there have been no reported urgent works, so only one piece of work to replace fire doors at a block as identified through fire risk assessment has been ongoing.

3.     Has there been any further communication with the leaseholders? Officers confirmed that suspension notices have been sent out along with confirmation that urgent works will continue and that these won’t be delayed by the suspension notices.

4.     The Committee highlighted the importance of improving communication with residents generally within Tamworth and particularly with regards to elderly and vulnerable residents. On the matter of the Leaseholders the importance of proactive communication with the leaseholders, including the removal of tier one tribunal information.

Officers acknowledged that a balance needed to be achieved but that there may also be information that may need to be provided legally to residents, they confirmed they were looking to improve on communications. The Portfolio Holder also acknowledged that communication could be improved but that he would try to contact the leaseholders verbally to discuss the situation.

5.     The Chair confirmed that he had requested access to emails between the dates of the 23rd  February and the 20th June 2023, which he had been given access to, and provided the Committee with a timeline of events which included discussion of a Cabinet report that has never been  to a meeting. The Chair asked for clarification around where that Cabinet report had gone and how can we ensure that Scrutiny recommendations to Cabinet which are approved do not disappear?

The Chief executive confirmed the information requested was not forthcoming from the Portfolio Holder at the time making it difficult for Officers to have a clear direction.

The Chief executive confirmed that an action log has now been implemented to log every recommendation that goes through Cabinet. This will be reviewed regularly by the Executive Leadership Team who will delegate to the relevant Officers to ensure that this does not happen again.

The Leader of the Council confirmed that action has been taken to address issues around the Leaseholders. The Portfolio Holder stated the first time he was made aware of the extent of the recommendations was at the meeting of Corporate Scrutiny in June and since then he has worked hard to review the information and move this forward. With regards to learning from this we need to look at whether it is the Portfolio Holder or Officer who is responsible for driving things forward?

6.     The Committee highlighted that for people to trust in a process there has to be strong governance arrangements in place to support accountability and that the public may not have confidence in the process currently. The Chair and the Committee confirmed that based on the Chief Executive confirming that processes are now in place that they were happy to draw a line under the matter but that they would be monitoring the processes with a view to taking action if the situation arises again.




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