ModernGov

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Remote Meeting

Contact: Kate Clark  Email: committee@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

23.

Appointment of chairman

The committee must appoint a parish councillor to chair the meeting.

Minutes:

Proposed by Councillor Graham Allison

Seconded by Councillor Terry Mullard

 

RESOLVED:

That Councillor Frank Hobbs be appointed as Chairman for the meeting.

24.

Declarations of interest

Members of the Council should declare any interests which fall under the following categories:

 

a) discloseable pecuniary interests (DPI)

b) other significant interests (OSI)

c) voluntary announcements of other interests

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

25.

Minutes

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 20 January 2022. 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 20 January 2022 were agreed.

Councillor Peter Coe abstained as he was not present at the meeting.

26.

Housing Asset Management Strategy

The Housing Asset Management Strategy (HAMS) is the primary document in a library of housing strategies that provide direction for the future maintenance, improvement and development of the council’s housing stock along with its small commercial portfolio and other non HRA properties the housing service has responsibility for. The document can be viewed here: 

 

https://www.folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/media/4786/Housing-Asset-Management-Strategy/pdf/HAMS_V5_compressed.pdf?m=637792400200500000

 

A presentation will be given to members. 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

A presentation was given to members on the Housing Asset Management Strategy. The presentation has been attached to these minutes.

 

Mr Andrew Blaszkowicz, Director – Housing & Operations, introduced Gill Butler as the new Chief Officer for Housing. Both officers then proceeded to give the presentation, asking for any comments and questions along the way.

 

Councillor Hobbs asked how many social housing properties do we have?

 

Mr Blaszkowicz advised there are around 3460 council properties, approximately a third of which are sheltered accommodation.

 

Councillor Mullard raised concerns regarding how much decision making is being given to tenants and regarding the costs surrounding repairs for tenants. He also noted that the estimated cost to reach Net Carbon Zero is very high.

 

Gill Butler advised that when consulting with tenants the Council ultimately makes the final decisions but it is important to bring the tenants with the Council on the journey to making any decisions.

 

Mr Blaszkowicz also highlighted that the My Account service will link to the NEC Housing management system which will inform tenants when looking to log repairs what is their responsibility to repair and what would be repaired by the Council. He also clarified that the Council and others have declared a climate emergency and that we will need to providebudget within the HRA to meet the demands of meeting Net Carbon Zero.

 

Councillor Boor asked for clarification regarding Right to Buy for tenants and if the investment in properties to be energy efficient may encourage current tenants to take up the Right to Buy and then deplete the housing stock the Council currently have?

 

Mr Blaszkowicz advised that he could not give a clear answer on this as can’t predict the movement of tenants but that Right to Buy is available to current tenants and they will have to put in a level of risk management to keep housing stock at a good level.

 

Gill Butler advised that officers can give a number on take up of Right to Buy but does know the uptake on this is low. Tenants can buy the properties but not immediately sell them, as the Council have a buy back option on the properties within a certain time frame.

 

Councillor Dudas commented on having previously worked in local government and particularly within housing capital teams and wanted to make two points regarding the HRA. One regarding being surprised that only 6% of the housing stock had been surveyed prior to the management of the properties coming back in house from the ALMO and how low that is. Secondly regarding thinking a 25 year plan is too long and a lot can happen in that time and that 5 – 7 or 10 years is a more realistic time frame to plan for.

 

Mr Blaszkowicz thanked him for his comments.

 

Councillor Hobbs asked the officers how the council decides on where the new housing stock is located?

 

Mr Blaszkowicz advised that Section 106 means that 22% of new housing developments have to go  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.