ModernGov

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Remote meeting via Zoom

Contact: Kate Clark 

Items
No. Item

12.

Declarations of Interest

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

 

a)    disclosable pecuniary interests (DPI);

b)    other significant interests (OSI);

c)    voluntary announcements of other interests.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Rebecca Shoob declared a disclosable pecuniary interest as she is a Board member of Otterpool Park LLP as from 30 June 2020.  Councillor Shoob left the meeting entirely prior to the presentation of Agenda item 6. 

 

13.

Minutes

To consider and approve, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting held on 9 June 2020. 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 9 June 2020 were agreed and approved. The Chairman agreed that her electronic signature could be added to these minutes. 

14.

Vision For the Housing Management Service

This paper outlines the vision for the new Housing Management Service; describing the delivery principles that will provide operational clarity and accountability.  The Vision is the long term destination for the Service; the initial work being to ensure the service is built on sound systems, processes and staff on which the culture and values will be shaped and embedded within the council.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

This paper outlined the vision for the new Housing Management Service;

describing the delivery principles that will provide operational clarity and

accountability. The Vision is the long term destination for the Service; the

initial work being to ensure the service is built on sound systems,

processes and staff on which the culture and values will be shaped and

embedded within the council.

 

As portfolio holder for Housing, Cllr David Godfrey, introduced this item to members.  He then introduced Mrs Elaine Bostock, Chairperson of the Shepway Tenants and Leaseholders Board, who gave a short presentation which is attached to these minutes.  Mrs Bostock said that it is important tenants and leaseholders are involved and consulted upon various aspects of the Vision document. 

 

Members felt encouraged by the Vision document and made the following comments: 

 

  • Carbon neutrality aspirations for new builds with the possibility of existing stock moving towards this as well.
  • Environmental aspects of existing stock, retro-fitting for added efficiency.  Energy grant availability in attaining green standards for all stock. 
  • The importance of neighbourhood officers building sustainable relationships with tenants rather than contact being made by multiple officers. 
  • Service and compliance efficiency
  • Digital efficiency with the option of traditional services maintained for tenants/leaseholders.
  • Whistleblowing and transparency – a live reporting system and dashboard information are planned. 
  • Safety – The Vision document is aspirational and a fresh start is needed, however it was noted that safety aspects could be added to the document. 

 

Members and Mrs Bostock thanked officers for the Draft Vision statement and the positive way forward.

 

 

15.

Draft Homelessness Prevention Strategy 2020/25

This report sets out details of the draft Homelessness Prevention Strategy for the

district for the period 2020/25. It is proposed the draft strategy should be made

available for an eight week consultation period.

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

This report set out details of the draft Homelessness Prevention Strategy for the district for the period 2020/25. It is proposed the draft strategy should be made available for an eight week consultation period.

 

Cllr Godfrey introduced this report and congratulated the Homeless Preventions team on their work.  He advised members this draft strategy also relates to Councillor Mrs Hollingsbee’s portfolio with regard to street homelessness. 

 

Points noted by members: 

 

·         Housing First Project, a positive development which has proved successful in other countries.  Members suggested a briefing on this. 

·         Groups that are at higher risk of homelessness could be those in pupil referral units and young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEETS). 

·         A high percentage of approaches for housing assistance was from single people which shows an increased need for house shares preferably instead of HMOs. 

·         Extend data searches using search engines and geographical locations, rather than solely using the Council’s website, to monitor housing service searches.

·         Members noted that over 30 street homeless persons were temporarily housed during the pandemic and work is ongoing with support.  Councillor Mrs Jenny Hollingsbee stressed the importance of rough sleepers engaging with the Council for help.  

·         Looking forward, the economic fallout and the risk of job losses and evictions is high due to Covid-19, not forgetting how this will affect homeowners. 

 

Members thanked the officers present and looked forward to the results of the Draft Homelessness Prevention Strategy consultation which will be shared with this committee and Cabinet. 

 

RESOLVED:

Members received and noted report OS/20/06. 

 

Councillor Rebecca Shoob handed over chairman duties to Councillor Michelle Keutenius for the final item, prior to leaving the meeting entirely. 

 

Councillor Mrs Jenny Hollingsbee also left for the remainder of the meeting. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16.

Otterpool Park Business Plan - Initial Presentation

The Committee will receive a presentation on skeleton of the business plan for the development of Otterpool Park Garden Town together with a timetable for its completion.

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a presentation on the skeleton of the business

plan for the development of Otterpool Park Garden Town together with a

timetable for its completion.

 

Mr John Bunnett, Director of Development, advised the committee that in presenting the business plan he was inviting members to comment with any issues they may have.  The presentation is attached to these minutes. 

 

Comments from members: 

 

·         Infrastructure must be instep or ahead of housing development.  Members were assured this was the plan

·         Transport infrastructure, particularly concentrating on A20.  KCC are predominantly looking at transport including cycling, walking and train links as well as highways. 

·         Traffic concerns, for example, speeds, volume and various junction changes will be looked at including the impact of the proposed Lorry Park at Ashford. 

·         Self build/Community led housing.  An example used was a development called Marmalade Lane by TOWN in Cambridge.  Mr Bunnett will provide further details. 

 

Councillor Michelle Keutenius thanked all parties for the presentation given to members.