Housing Sub Committee Minutes

Date:
Thursday 12 March 2015
Time:
10.30am
Place:
Council Offices, English Street, Dumfries

Attendance Details

Members:
Craig Peacock (Chairman)-Annandale East and Eskdale
Finlay Carson-Castle Douglas and Glenkens
Jim H Dempster-Mid and Upper Nithsdale
Grahame Forster-Wigtown West
Alistair Geddes-Mid Galloway
Patsy Gilroy (Substitute)-Dee
Jeff Leaver-Lochar
Jane S Maitland-Dee
Jim McClung-Wigtown West
Colin Smyth-Nith
Officials:
Sandra Harkness - Service Manager Trading Standards
John Lynch - Head of Strategic Housing, Housing Options and Homelessness, Welfare Reform, Revenues and Benefits
Jim O'Neill - Strategy and Development Manager
Claire Rogerson - Governance Officer
Sean Skelton - Trusted Trader Development Officer
In attendance:
Vernon Monaghan - ABS Project Coordinator
Apologies:
Ian Carruthers - Annandale South
Denis R Male - Annandale East and Eskdale
Item Number Item/Description
PUBLIC
1 SEDERUNT AND APOLOGIES

9 Members present, 2 apologies and 1 not present at the start of the meeting

2 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Finlay Carson declared an interest in Item 4 (relating to the Food Train) by virtue of the fact that he had been involved in a Company related to this project and had determined that his interest was such that he would leave the meeting dyring discussions regarding this project during consideration of this item.

3 HOME ENERGY SCOTLAND - AREA BASED SCHEME 2014/15 AND 2015/16 - REPORT BY DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY AND CUSTOMER SERVICES

MEMBER - Colin Smyth entered the meeting during consideration of this item - 10 Members present

 

Decision

 

NOTED

 

3.1   the summary of outcomes thus far in relation to the 2014/15 programme detailed at 3.4 of the report;

 

3.2   the funding allocation of £1,703,745 for Home Energy Efficiency Programme - Area Based Scheme in 2015/16 and that this represents a 10% increase on the core funding for 2014/15;

 

AGREED

 

3.3   the continuation of the projects within the programme for 2015/16 detailed at 3.5 of the report; and

 

3.4   that there had been lost opportunities to bring economic benefit to Dumfries and Galloway from the Scottish Government programme towards the use of local small businesses, lack of training, and that avenues would continue to be explored on how best to involve local business and that this should be revisited; and

 

3.5   that the marketing of this Council endorsed programme should be more targeted to increase awareness and noted that this would be monitored through the contract management.

 

MEMBER - Colin Smyth left the meeting - 9 Members present

4 HOUSING (SCOTLAND) ACT 2006 - SCHEME OF ASSISTANCE - REPORT BY DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY AND CUSTOMER SERVICES

Decision

 

NOTED

4.1   that it is mandatory under Scottish Government regulations to transfer the Care and Repair/Small repairs and Home Support Services into the new integrated Health and Social Care body and any future decisions in relation to the delivery of these services will be a matter for the Integrated Joint Board as detailed at 3.2.2 of the report;

 

4.2   that, as part of its budget setting and Council Tax process, the Council agreed at its meeting on 5 February 2014 to reduce the annual funding allocation to Care and Repair from £1.5m to £1.3m as detailed at 3.2.4 of the report;

 

4.3   that, as part of its budget setting and Council Tax process, the Council agreed at its meeting on 5 February 2014 to adopt a policy of not undertaking discretionary adaptations (property extensions) except in very exceptional circumstances as detailed at 3.2.4 of the report;

 

4.4   that the referral process will align eligibility for a Care and Repair Service with the Social Work Services Eligibility and Priority Framework from 2015/16 so that resources are targeted only at people assessed as having critical needs can access as detailed at 3.3 of the report;
 

AGREED

 

4.5   to allocate £300k to Loreburn Housing Association as a one year transitional fund to ensure the delivery of grants to people already assessed as having a substantial need under current policy with the fund being retained as a contingency by the Council and released to Care and Repair by agreement of the Care and Repair Steering Group based on an active budget monitoring process as detailed at 3.3 of the report;

 

4.6   to allocate £148k to Loreburn Housing Association to fund the Small Repairs and Housing Support Service for 2015/16 as detailed at 3.2.1 of this report and further agree to ring-fence an additional £12k of the total £300k contingency fund to address potential budget pressures the Handyvan Service may face in 15/16 which will be released to them by agreement of the Steering Group based on active budget monitoring processes detailed at 3.2.1 of the report;

 

4.7   to allocate £37,400 to the Food Train to allow the delivery of the Extra element of their service as detailed at 3.2.3 of the report;

 

4.8   to fund a permanent full time Empty Homes officer as agreed at the Policy and Resources Committee at its meeting of 3 December 2013 at an estimated cost for £40k to be funded from the additional income generated as a result of the increased Council Tax charge applied to long term empty residential properties;

 

4.9   to allocate £30k to support the further development of the Trusted Trader Scheme during 2015/16 as detailed at 3.15 of the report;

 

4.10   to allocate £500k to support the delivery of the Below Tolerable Standard elements of the 2015/16 Scheme of Assistance as detailed at 3.6 - 3.12 of the report;

 

4.11   to the adjustments to the Below Tolerable Standard grant qualifying criteria set out at section 3.10 of the report with close monitoring of criteria for properties acquired by owners who know the property condition with a view to developing it applying for grant after 6 month period;

 

4.12   to ring fence £85k of the recommended £500k funding allocation to tackle Below Tolerable Standard issues and other disrepair elements to enable DGHP to carry out repairs in specific flatted blocks where there is a mix of social rented tenants and owner occupiers as detailed at 3.11 of the report;

 

4.13   to ring fence £40k to support the structural disrepair elements of the mixed tenure the Home Energy Efficiency Programme - Area Based Scheme (HEEPS-ABS) project detailed at 3.12 of the report; and

 

4.14   an additional allocation of £904,700 from Council Tax Income on Second Homes to ensure all elements of the Scheme of Assistance are fully funded, noting that the majority of this additional funding is one year transitional funding that, there are sufficient balances in the Council Tax 2nd Homes Fund and that the allocation of this funding 15/16 will not inhibit the allocation of funding to support other priority projects in future years as detailed at paragraph 3.16 of the report.

5 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.

6 LOCAL GOVERNMENT SCOTLAND ACT 1973

Decision

 

AGREED adoption of resolution to exclude the public from the meeting in terms of Section 50A (4) and paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 7A of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973.

7 DISCRETIONERY GRANT TO MEET THE NEEDS OF A DISABLED PERSON- HOUSING (SCOTLAND) ACT 2006: CASE REFERENCE 14 - REPORT BY DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY AND CUSTOMER SERVICES

Summary of the report - This report sought Members’ consideration of an application to provide financial assistance which fell within the scope of the policy in relation to the Council’s discretionary powers to fund such works agreed on 22 January 2010.

 

Decision

 

7.1   CONSIDERED the merits of the application for financial assistance to meet the needs of Mr Y and AGREED the option set out at paragraphs 3.4 to 3.6 of the report; and

 

7.2   NOTED that the costs for discretionary work to meet the needs of a disabled person will be met from the Scheme of Assistance budget.

8 DISCRETIONERY GRANT TO MEET THE NEEDS OF A DISABLED PERSON- HOUSING (SCOTLAND) ACT 2006: CASE REFERENCE 15 - REPORT BY DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY AND CUSTOMER SERVICES

Summary of the report - This report sought Members’ consideration of an application to provide financial assistance which fell within the scope of the policy in relation to the Council’s discretionary powers to fund such works agreed on 22 January 2010.
 

Decision

 

8.1   CONSIDERED the merits of the application for financial assistance to meet the needs of Mr X and AGREED the option detailed at 3.3 to 3.5 of the report; and

 

8.2   NOTED that the costs for discretionary work to meet the needs of a disabled person will be met from the Scheme of Assistance budget.