Hounslow Council


Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Ian Duke Email: ian.duke@hounslow.gov.uk, 020 8583 2191 

Items
No. Item

22.

Apologies, Declarations of Interest or Any Other Communications from Members

Minutes:

Apologies/Absent:  Cllr Peter De Vic Carey, Cllr Tina Howe, Cllr Guy Lambert

There were no declarations of interest

 

23.

Minutes of Meeting held on 16 January 2017 & Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 142 KB

Minutes:

Minutes were signed off as a true record

Matters Arising: Noted that actions in minutes were to be raised with officers and response reported back at the next appropriate panel.  

 

24.

Affordable Housing Performance Update pdf icon PDF 229 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

An update was provided on the progress being made in meeting the Council’s 2018 promise ofa further 3,000affordable homes in Hounslow, 400 of which will be new council homes.

 

Members were pleased to hear that the council is on track to meet its 2018 target, if not to exceed it.  Factors that may impact on the target remain:

 

·         Viability of the land;

·         Building Costs;

·         National/Regional Targets

·         Changes arising from the Housing and Planning Act (although officers were reasonably confident that it would have little impact on LBH affordable housing programme).

 

Members were also advised that the increase in the supply of affordable housing, especially in the rented sector, is reducing the need for the council to take up temporary accommodation and so reducing its costs in this respect.

 

Fifty percent of the 3000 affordable homes have been built to date and are at or below the Local Housing Allowance.

 

Clarity was sought by the panel in relation to the real impact this building programme was having on the housing situation in Hounslow and in particular around the definition of Affordable Housing.  It was acknowledged that the current promise and related activity is based on the national definition of affordable housing and the panel was supportive of the proposal that Hounslow seek its own definition of Affordable that was more relevant to people living and working in the borough.

 

Action:  Letter to leader expressing the panel’s support in this matter.

 

The panel asked officers to provide a range of further datasets (set out below)

 

Action: Officers to provide a breakdown of need on the Housing Register together with the Lettings plan.  Comparison of the 2 will identify the gap to be filled by new-build affordable housing: 

 

Action: Officers to provide data on the net change in social housing as a result of Right to Buy.

 

Action: Officers to provide the Milestone Matrix for Hounslow to qualify for Govt Grant.

 

Action: Officers to provide further information regarding the location and size of affordable properties being built under the current programme.

 

Action: Officers to provide further information about the enforcement of compulsory purchase and return to use of empty properties.

 

A discussion also took place about the conversion of office blocks into flats and the case where a nearby London borough has bought a significant number of units.  This clearly reduces the number of units available to Hounslow residents but also carries with it uncertainty in terms of the social impacts and additional demand upon the council’s resources.

 

This matter has been raised at London Councils and a meeting with the Leader of the Council is imminent.

 

The panel sought clarity about the rollout of the expectation on councils to sell their most expensive properties and were advised that whilst this is not currently an issue, it is likely to impact Hounslow in the future.

 

Finally, the panel were keen to learn more of the Council’s longer term strategy beyond 2018

 

25.

PREVENT Update pdf icon PDF 227 KB

Minutes:

A confidential verbal update was provided by Joan Conlon on community resilience and security in the borough.  The update covered current threats and in particular new issues arising in the past couple of years such as the rise of British First since the Brexit referendum.  In addition, the team are monitoring the increase in Eastern European groups who share common ground on issues such as racism and homophobia.  The Home Office is also responding to these threats and is starting to produce materials offering guidance on methods to counter them.

 

Further training will be offered to the panel in due course.

26.

Panel Work Programme

Minutes:

The Panel agreed the items for the next meeting as set out in the work programme:

 

·         Parks and Leisure services update;

·         Enforcement team update

 

In addition, the panel asked for a follow-up briefing from Affordable housing based upon the actions above.

 

It was also agreed that Libraries should be considered for the 2017/18 programme. 

 

In terms of reviews, the focus continues to be on the completion of the Domestic Violence Scrutiny Review. Thereafter the Panel agreed to look at the issues of homelessness.

27.

Urgent Business

Any business which the Chair agrees to accept on grounds of urgency.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

28.

Date of the next meeting

The next scheduled meeting will take place on Thursday, 27 April 2017, in Committee Room 1, Civic Centre.

 

 

Minutes:

Next meeting is 27 April 2017.