Agenda and minutes

Cabinet Housing Panel - Thursday 8th June 2023 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL8 6AE

Contact: Governance Services 

No. Item

At the beginning of the meeting, the Executive Director (Place) gave a presentation on what the Cabinet Housing Panel is and what it considers relating to the Council’s Housing functions such as Housing Maintenance, repairs and compliance, Housing needs (options and allocations), housing development, income and home ownership, private sector housing and independent living and housing strategy, what the panel’s scope of considerations were and format and content of meetings.



To note any substitution of Panel Members in accordance with Council Procedure Rules.


The following substitution of Committee Members had been made in accordance with Council Procedure Rule:


Councillor T.Kingsbury for Councillor R.Trigg

Councillor S.Thusu for Councillor R.Lass




Apologies for absence were received from Councillors R.Lass and R.Trigg.



To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 13 March 2023 (previously circulated).


The minutes of the meeting held on 13 March 2023 were approved as a correct record by the Chair.



To note declarations of Members’ disclosable pecuniary interests, non-disclosable pecuniary interests and non-pecuniary interests in respect of items on this Agenda.


Councillors T. Kingsbury, F. Thomson and S. Thusu all declared a non-pecuniary interest in items on the agenda as appropriate by virtue of being Members of Hertfordshire County Council.



Report of the Executive Director (Place) on the Performance Report for Housing, Quarter Four.

Additional documents:


Report of the Executive Director (Place) on the strategic Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Quarter 4 of 2022/23.


The following points were raised and discussed:


·       Members noted there were areas of improvement but there was still a lot of red areas where targets were not met.

·       Members asked about the total number of households living in temporary accommodation. In the report is stated ‘this situation remains the same as previous quarters’.  The supply of properties for people to move into continues to be a challenge and the report highlighted the new development at Shredded Wheat should lead to several families moving in. 

·       Members asked for clarity on the Shredded Wheat development as there are 162 people in temporary accommodation and how are they going to be helped? Officers stated in relation to the Shredded Wheat development, there are a significant number of affordable properties within that development. Whilst they will be advertised in the normal way through the housing system, the council was hopeful that some of the families that are in temporary accommodation would be successful for shortlisting for some of those properties, that would provide some move on from temporary accommodation. Over the last three to six months the council has seen new properties emerging.  The number of people in temporary accommodation is high, so the council have a number of initiatives that they are reviewing. The council owns its own properties and have recently completed a couple of developments that will allow families to move in, so the council are continuing to invest in in those in those properties. To make sure the supply of properties is maximised, the council work with developers through the planning process.

·       Members asked what are the reasons that properties are hard to let, why are they not suitable for people to move into and what can the council do to improve them? Officers stated there might be a number of reasons for this.   Officers were currently doing a review of the reasons for refusal.  This could be people perhaps not accepting the offers of the flats that the council are providing. It could be the location not meeting expectations or size. Officers will have more information once the review has taken place. Officers stated that an update can be provided at the next meeting on the reasons and it will also be reflected in the performance report.

·       Members asked how many voids there were at any one time? Officers stated they did not have the information at hand but will provide information after the meeting.  Officers stated they have regular meetings looking at voids, the process, what is still outstanding and what needs to be progressed between various teams.

POST MEETING NOTE: There are approximately 60 voids on average at any one time.

·       Members asked how many people were in temporary accommodation and what were the different locations? Officers stated that there were 162 households that were currently in temporary accommodation. These were a number of council owned sites. It  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.



Report of the Chief Executive on the Housing Compliance Update.


Report of the Chief Executive providing an update on the Housing Compliance position.


The following points were raised and discussed:


·       It was noted fire was 100% compliant with fire risk assessments. There are still some remaining actions and they are programmed to be completed this year. The Council have escalated the programme significantly to ensure that they are all completed.

·       Water hygiene is 100% and that does include actions.

·       Asbestos is 100% with no outstanding actions.

·       Electricity comes in two parts, blocks which is 99.99% with one block, non-compliant due to an issue with the meter and is not a risk issue and is currently being dealt with by UK Power Networks.

·       Domestic is 99.1% compliant and the council have had significant access issues.

·       The same with gas, there are two parts, communal is 100% compliant with no outstanding actions and domestic is 99.87% compliance and the access issues have prevented the council from getting in, however, the council have in the last few weeks started to see the injunctions coming in.

·       It was noted lifts were 100% compliant.

·       Members thanked officers for their hard on making sure the council were compliant.

·       Members asked about 3.2 of the report and asked what kind of things make up the medium actions taken from the FRA that have not been done yet as there’s quite a few of them and what is the most common action from them that is still outstanding? Officers stated the most common action is nominal fire doors, it is a fire door, but it is not fire door set, so it does need to be upgraded, but it is not a high risk because is a nominal fire door and they were done last year. The council have completing 2000 fire doors since then, so the council have completed the majority of the high risk with 10 now remaining for the high risk and that they are programmed in in the next few weeks.

·       Members noted that it was positive to see the really high compliance in each of the areas, and know no access has been an issue, and there was always a hope and an expectation that when residents got used to the inspections, that it would drive down the no access issues. When do you think the council will get to that stage where no access does not become such an issue because then there is a lengthy process trying to gain access, would it be in two years, five years?  Officers stated the council had a plan to get information out to residents this year, a plan the council have been working on since the start of the issue, so the council is hoping by the end of this year they will have significantly better chance of getting access just because of the safety information they are going to send out to the residents on a on a regular basis.

·       Members asked about 5.1 of the report - no financial implications, does that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


WORK PROGRAMME 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 73 KB

The pro-forma which sets out the Panel’s work programme has been updated since the last meeting to enable forward planning of items to be considered to take place.


The CHP work programme details items that will be going to each meeting during the municipal year.