Housing Sub Committee Minutes

Date:
Thursday 20 March 2014
Time:
10:30am
Place:
Council Offices, English Street, Dumfries

Attendance Details

Members:
Jim McClung (Chairman)-Wigtown West
Ian Carruthers-Annandale South
Finlay Carson-Castle Douglas and Glenkens
Brian Collins-Castle Douglas and Glenkens
Jim H Dempster-Mid and Upper Nithsdale
Grahame Forster-Wigtown West
Alistair Geddes-Mid Galloway
Craig Peacock-Annandale East and Eskdale
Colin Smyth-Nith
Officials:
John Lynch - Head of Strategic Housing, Welfare Reform, Revenues and Benefits
Claire Caution - Governance Officer
Jim O'Neill - Strategy and Development Manager
Apologies:
Jeff Leaver - Lochar
Denis R Male - Annandale East and Eskdale
Item Number Item/Description
PUBLIC
1 SEDERUNT AND APOLOGIES

9 Members present, 2 apologies

2 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Finlay Carson declared an interest in item 4 with connection to the Food Train only by virtue of the fact that he was Director of a company which provides a service to the Food Train and determined that his interest was such that he would leave the meeting for consideration of the Food Train with regards to recommendation 2.7 of the report.

3 NATIONAL HOUSING TRUST PROPERTIES - SHORT VIDEO

PROCEDURE - Due to a technical error the video was unable to be shown but a verbal update was given by Jim O'Neill, Strategy and Development Manager and pictures were shown of the houses available.

4 HOUSING (SCOTLAND) ACT 2006 REVIEW OF THE SCHEME OF ASSISTANCE 2013/14 - REPORT BY DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY AND CUSTOMER SERVICES

PROCEDURE - The Chairman intimated that with the agreement of Members he intended dealing with recommendation 2.7 of the report first due to Finlay Carson's declaration of interest in the Food Train only, which would allow him to return and participate in the debate on the rest of the item.

 

MEMBER - Finlay Carson left the meeting for consideration of the Food Train project - 8 Members present

 

Decision

 

4.1   AGREED to support the continued service delivery of Food Train Extra Housing Service through funding of £37,400 as detailed at 3.10 of the report;

 

MEMBER - Finlay Carson re-entered the meeting - 9 Members present

 

PROCEDURE - The Committee was advised that 3.13.2 should read a shortfall of £236,400 not £131k.

 

4.2   NOTED the outcomes of the review of the Scheme of Assistance and progress made in relation to the key strategic areas as set out at 3.4 to 3.10 of the report;

 

AGREED

 

4.3   the budget allocations to support the continued implementation of the Scheme of Assistance, as set out at 3.13 of the report;

 

4.4   to address the shortfall of £236,400 in the allocated budget for the Scheme of Assistance through a contribution from Council Tax income on second homes;

 

4.5   to amend the Below Tolerable Standard (BTS) Grant support arrangements as detailed at 3.5 to 3.6.11 of the report;

 

4.6   to provide additional funding to support the expansion of the Handy Van Service of £38k as detailed at 3.4.4 of the report;

 

4.7   to establish a Trusted Trader Scheme through year one funding of £30k as detailed at 3.9 of the report; and

 

4.8   to bring a report back to this Committee showing possible options for a link in the Below Tolerable Standard grant support and an accreditation scheme for Landlords and the roll out on the grant changes.

5 DUMFRIES TOWN CENTRE PILOT HOUSING REGENERATION AREA - REPORT BY DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY AND CUSTOMER SERVICES

Decision

 

5.1   NOTED the progress that has been implementing a number of actions contained in the pilot Dumfries Housing Regeneration Area Action Plan attached at Appendix 2 of the report;

 

AGREED

 

5.2   to re allocate £30k from the £200,000 budget currently in place to support the targeted grant scheme (Action 1) to the cast iron railings/masonry fence renewal scheme as detailed at 3.3 of the report;

 

5.3   to re allocate £1k from the £200,000 budget currently in place to support the targeted grant scheme (Action 1) to fund residential property owners to have their water supply tested because the presence of lead piping has been identified as a significant issue in the Housing Regeneration Area as detailed at 3.4 of the report;

 

5.4   to re allocate a further £20k from the £200,000k budget currently in place to support the targeted grant scheme (Action 1) to provide grants to commercial property owners in Friars Vennel to enable repairs to be carried out where there are shared responsibilities between residential and commercial property owners as detailed at 3.5 of the report;

 

5.5   consider reallocating £40k from the £200,000k budget currently in place to support the targeted grant scheme (Action 1) to provide “seed” funding to the property owners in Queen Street and Friars Vennel Dumfries that were the subject of the Council’s unsuccessful bid to the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Housing Fund as detailed at 3.2 of the report; and

 

5.6   not to support Loreburn Community Council’s request to introduce new grant conditions that require recipients of grant funding in Queen Street, Dumfries to undertake works to a similar standard of finish to those applied in the Dumfries Conservation Area, due to there being an equity issue between home owners and those up taking the grant by imposing conservation standards in a non-conservation area and that there was no planning basis for doing so.

6 ANY OTHER BUSINESS DEEMED URGENT BY THE CHAIRMAN DUE TO THE NEED FOR A DECISION

Decision

 

NOTED that there was no business deemed urgent by the Chairman due to the need for a decision.