Agenda and minutes

To improve accessibility individual documents published after 1 May 2020 are available as HTML pages where their original format supports this

Speaking at a Council or Committee meeting

Venue: Long Room - Oxford Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Emma Lund, Committee and Member Services Officer  Tel: 01865 252367 email:  DemocraticServices@oxford.gov.uk

Note: This meeting will be streamed live at https://www.youtube.com/@oxfordcitycouncil/streams 

Media

Items
No. Item

33.

Addresses and Questions by Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 204 KB

Minutes:

Kaddy Beck, on behalf of the Save Bertie Park Campaign, had submitted a statement and questions relating to the Bertie Place Affordable Housing Scheme item to be considered later on the agenda.  Her statement, and the response given to it by Councillor Susan Brown, Leader, are attached to these minutes.

34.

Councillor Addresses on any item for decision on the Cabinet agenda

Minutes:

None.

35.

Councillor Addresses on Neighbourhood Issues

Minutes:

None.

36.

Items raised by Cabinet Members

Minutes:

None.

37.

Scrutiny reports pdf icon PDF 144 KB

The Housing and Homelessness Panel will meet on 2 August 2023.  The following report is expected and will be published as a supplement, together with any other recommendations from that meeting:

·       Expansion of the Housing First Programme

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Housing and Homelessness Panel had met on 2 August 2023.  Alice Courtney, Scrutiny Officer, presented the reports and recommendations from that meeting relating to:

(i)           Expansion of the Housing First Programme; and

(ii)         Update on Customer Complaints and Feedback

In relation to Expansion of the Housing First Programme, the Panel had had a wide ranging discussion which had included the equalities impact of the programme and how individuals were prioritised to receive Housing First support; how the Council quality assures the services delivered by St Mungo’s and A2 Dominion; distribution of Housing First properties across the city; the impact of the Housing First programme on the availability of properties for other groups such as care leavers; the impact of expanding the programme on other wraparound support agencies across the city; how far Housing First would go towards meeting existing need in the city; and the information contained in the risk register.

The Panel had made one recommendation which had related to a review of the information contained within the risk register:  the Panel had noted that the narrative around risks and whether they were deemed to be a threat or an opportunity did not appear to align.

In relation to the Update on Customer Complaints and Feedback, discussion had touched on areas such as the difference between Stage 1 and 2 complaints; oversight of the complaints process; and tracking emerging complaint trends. Whilst the Panel agreed that progress in collecting feedback from tenants was moving in the right direction, it considered that it would be of benefit to the Council to focus on gaining more information related to customer experience in terms of communication more broadly, both through Localz (the recently launched text messaging service) and other channels to ensure inclusivity.  The Panel had made one recommendation on this theme.

In the absence of Councillor Linda Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing, the Leader responded that the recommendation relating to the risk register for the Housing First Programme was accepted and the register had subsequently been updated.  The Panel was thanked for bringing the issue to Cabinet’s attention.  The recommendation relating to the Update on Customer Complaints and Feedback had also been accepted: it was understood that Localz had already improved communication with tenants who had booked repairs; and learning from complaints was being shared and would be publicised.

38.

Bertie Place Affordable Housing Scheme pdf icon PDF 1 MB

The Executive Director (Development) has submitted a report to seek project approval and delegations to progress the development of 31 affordable homes at Bertie Place. This includes delegated authority to enter into a Development Agreement with Oxford City Homes Limited (“OCHL”), operating under the name OX Place, to facilitate the development and purchase the completed homes, and approval to commence the process regarding the appropriation of land from the General Fund (“GF”) to the Housing Revenue Account (“HRA”) (changing the statutory basis on which it is held by the Council).

Cabinet is recommended to:

1.    Grant project approval for the build and acquisition of affordable homes developed by OCHL for which budgetary provision has been made in the Council’s Housing Revenue Account in respect of Bertie Place;

 

2.    Delegate authority to the Head of Housingin consultation with the Head of Law and Governanceand the Head of Financial Services/Section 151 Officer to enter into a Development Agreement with OCHL to facilitate the development, secure the purchase of the completed affordable homes, to be held in the HRA, and to enter into any related agreements and contracts to facilitate the development within this project approval and budget for Bertie Place.  Acquisition costs are specified in the confidential appendix; and

 

3.    Agree to commence the appropriation process of Site A at Bertie Place, noting the intent to take a full report to October Cabinet and subsequently to Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Director (Development) had submitted a report to seek approval to commence the appropriation process of Site A at Bertie Place and, subject to the completion of the statutory procedure to appropriate the land at Site A and a subsequent decision of Cabinet to appropriate the land, to seek project approval and delegations to progress the development of 31 affordable homes at Bertie Place.

An addendum to this report had been published, to clarify the recommendations contained in the main report.

The Affordable Housing Supply Corporate Lead highlighted that the proposal to commence the appropriation process represented the first stage of the process and that progression of the project would be dependent, amongst other things, on the outcome of the appropriation process as well as planning consent.  The intention was now to bring affordable housing project proposals to Cabinet at an earlier stage than previously, before planning consent had been secured, in order to improve internal contractual arrangements and bring increased certainty to the development programme.

The proposal for Bertie Place was considered to be a viable development which was relatively modest (31 homes) of which 100% would be affordable.  22 of these would be for social rent, with a property mix which would include 11 one-bedroom, 1 two-bedroom, and 10 three-bedroom houses.  This matched the housing needs profile in a number of key ways.  At c40% of private sector market rent, the social rent properties would provide housing which was much more affordable for those on the housing register.  There would also be 9 two-bedroom properties for shared ownership.

It was acknowledged that the site was complicated: the development would require the re-provision of the play area and the MUGA and improved access into and around Site B.  The Affordable Housing Supply Corporate Lead highlighted that proposals for the play area remained indicative at this stage and would be tested through the planning process; however, the current intention of the Council was to re-provide a play area which catered to a range of age groups.  It was intended to further engage the community with regard to how the play area was set out and used.

Cabinet resolved to:

1.         Agree to commence the appropriation process of Site A at Bertie Place as set out in the report, noting the intent to take a further report to October Cabinet; and

2.          Subject to the completion of the statutory procedure to appropriate the land at Site A and the subsequent decision of the Cabinet to appropriate the land, to:

(a)  Grant project approval for the build and acquisition of affordable homes developed by OCHL for which budgetary provision has been made in the Council’s Housing Revenue Account in respect of Bertie Place; and

(b)  Delegate authority to the Head of Housing in consultation with the Head of Law and Governance and the Head of Financial Services / S151 Officer to enter into a Development Agreement with OCHL to facilitate the development, secure the purchase of the completed affordable homes, to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.

39.

Northfield Hostel Site Additional Affordable Housing pdf icon PDF 285 KB

The Executive Director (Development) has submitted a report to seek project approval and delegations to deliver a development of a further 10 affordable homes at the Northfield Hostel site.

Cabinet is recommended to:

1.     Grant project approval to the proposals to purchase land; enter into build contracts and any other necessary agreements or contracts and incur associated development cost spends, as set out in this report, and within the allocated Housing Revenue Account (“HRA”) capital budget and business plan, for the purpose of delivering more affordable housing in Oxford at the Northfield Hostel site;

 

2.     Recommend to Council that it approves a virement within the HRA capital budget for scheme costs. The virement will be from the Oxford City Housing Limited (“OCHL”) purchase line into a new scheme line to be profiled to match the build programme across the three years from 2023/24 to 2025/26;

 

3.     Delegate authority to the Executive Director (Development) in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing; the Head of Financial Services/Section 151 Officer; and the Council’s Monitoring Officer to enter into agreements for the purchase of land; build contracts; and any other necessary agreements or contracts to facilitate the development (including a Development Services Agreement with OCHL) within the identified budget, for the provision of additional affordable housing.

Minutes:

The Executive Director (Development) had submitted a report to seek project approvals and delegations to deliver a development of a further 10 affordable homes at the Northfield Hostel site.

The Affordable Housing Supply Corporate Lead reported that a decision by the County Council to sell a secondary site, adjacent to the main site, would enable the delivery of a further all-affordable scheme of 10 new homes.  This would be in addition to the delivery of 51 all-affordable homes at the main Northfield Hostel site which had been approved by Cabinet in September 2020.  The housing mix at the additional site would comprise 6 x 3- and 4 x 4-bedroom houses, providing 6 homes at social rent and 4 at shared ownership.  This would help to meet the acute need for 4-bedroomed properties for those on the housing register.

Outline planning consent for the proposal had already been secured, and it was hoped that a full application could be taken to the planning committee in the autumn, with a start on site as soon as possible thereafter in order that the development could be moved forward in line with the development of the flats at the main site and with the aim of achieving completion at both sites at the same time in late 2025/early 2026.

Cabinet resolved to:

1.     Grant project approval to the proposals to purchase land; enter into build contracts and any other necessary agreements or contracts and incur associated development cost spends, as set out in this report, and within the allocated Housing Revenue Account (“HRA”) capital budget and business plan, for the purpose of delivering more affordable housing in Oxford at the Northfield Hostel site;

 

2.     Recommend to Council that it approves a virement within the HRA capital budget for scheme costs. The virement will be from the Oxford City Housing Limited (“OCHL”) purchase line into a new scheme line to be profiled to match the build programme across the three years from 2023/24 to 2025/26;

 

3.     Delegate authority to the Executive Director (Development) in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing; the Head of Financial Services/Section 151 Officer; and the Council’s Monitoring Officer to enter into agreements for the purchase of land; build contracts; and any other necessary agreements or contracts to facilitate the development (including a Development Services Agreement with OCHL) within the identified budget, for the provision of additional affordable housing.

40.

Expansion of the Housing First Programme pdf icon PDF 171 KB

The Executive Director (Communities and People) has submitted a report to seek approval for the expansion of the Housing First programme following a successful bid to the Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme.

Cabinet is recommended to:

1.      Approve the Council’s participation in the Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme (SHAP) in order to purchase 12 new units for Housing First alongside commissioning support for a total of 17 units, including 5 units drawn from general needs stock;

 

2.      Recommend to Council the allocation of a £2,888,000 capital budget (of which £1,688,000 will be borrowed by the Housing Revenue Account) for the Council’s investment to purchase the properties as part of the Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme as outlined in paragraph 19, the balance of which will be met by the SHAP grant;

 

3.      Recommend to Council a budget allocation of £600,000 to cover revenue costs to commission support providers to deliver support for the 17 units of Housing First. The funding equates to 3 years’ worth of revenue but is spread over 4 financial years (para 18); and

 

4.      Delegate authority to the Executive Director (Communities and People) in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing; the Head of Financial Services/Section 151 Officer; and the Head of Law and Governance/Monitoring Officer, to enter into agreements and contracts to facilitate the purchase by the Council of housing (to be held in the HRA) within the identified budget and within the project approval, as well as to enter into or amend agreements or contracts in relation to support provision (revenue spend) in line with procurement requirements.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Director (Communities and People) had submitted a report to seek approval for the expansion of the Housing First programme following a successful bid to the Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme.

The Leader welcomed the report, highlighting that the Housing First programme had been successful in Oxford and was a very important part of the housing offer.  There was international evidence about how successful Housing First was. The Rough Sleeping and Single Homelessness Manager highlighted that in moving towards a housing-led approach it also represented a very important step in ending rough sleeping in the city and was in line with both the Council’s Homelessness, Housing and Rough Sleeping Strategy and the Countywide Homelessness Strategy.

Cabinet resolved to:

1.      Approve the Council’s participation in the Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme (SHAP) in order to purchase 12 new units for Housing First alongside commissioning support for a total of 17 units, including 5 units drawn from general needs stock;

 

2.      Recommend to Council the allocation of a £2,888,000 capital budget (of which £1,688,000 will be borrowed by the Housing Revenue Account) for the Council’s investment to purchase the properties as part of the Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme as outlined in paragraph 19, the balance of which will be met by the SHAP grant;

 

3.      Recommend to Council a budget allocation of £600,000 to cover revenue costs to commission support providers to deliver support for the 17 units of Housing First. The funding equates to 3 years’ worth of revenue but is spread over 4 financial years (para 18); and

 

4.      Delegate authority to the Executive Director (Communities and People) in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing; the Head of Financial Services/Section 151 Officer; and the Head of Law and Governance/Monitoring Officer, to enter into agreements and contracts to facilitate the purchase by the Council of housing (to be held in the HRA) within the identified budget and within the project approval, as well as to enter into or amend agreements or contracts in relation to support provision (revenue spend) in line with procurement requirements.

41.

Fire Servicing and Maintenance Contract pdf icon PDF 94 KB

The Executive Director (Communities and People) as submitted a report to seek: (i) approval to tender a contract for the provision, servicing and maintenance of fire safety systems; (ii) delegated authority to award a contract following the tender process and (iii) approval for an annual budget expenditure as shown in Appendix 2.

Cabinet is recommended to:

1.    Approve the commencement of a procurement exercise for theprovision, servicing and maintenance of fire safety systems for a 5-year term with an optional 12-month extension and an annual budget expenditure as shown in Appendix 2 for a period of 5 years (+1) for a total contract value as shown in Appendix 2; and

 

2.    Delegate authority to the Executive Director (Communities and People) to award the contract for the provision, servicing and maintenance of fire safety systems to the successful supplier following completion of a compliant tender process and issue works to the approved annual value.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Director (Communities and People) had submitted a report to seek: (i) approval to tender a contract for the provision, servicing and maintenance of fire safety systems; (ii) delegated authority to award a contract following the tender process; and (iii) approval for an annual budget expenditure as shown in Appendix 2.

Cabinet resolved to:

1.        Approve the commencement of a procurement exercise for theprovision, servicing and maintenance of fire safety systems for a 5-year term with an optional 12-month extension and an annual budget expenditure as shown in Appendix 2 for a period of 5 years (+1) for a total contract value as shown in Appendix 2; and

 

2.        Delegate authority to the Executive Director (Communities and People) to award the contract for the provision, servicing and maintenance of fire safety systems to the successful supplier following completion of a compliant tender process and issue works to the approved annual value.

42.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 422 KB

Recommendation: That Cabinet resolves to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 12 July 2023as a true and accurate record.

Minutes:

Cabinet resolved to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 12 July 2023 as a true and accurate record.

 

43.

Dates of Future Meetings

Meetings are scheduled for the following dates:

 

13 September 2023

18 October 2023

15 November 2023

13 December 2023

24 January 2024

7 February 2024

 

All meetings start at 6.00pm.

Minutes:

Meetings are scheduled for the following dates:

13 September 2023

18 October 2023

15 November 2023

13 December 2023

24 January 2024

7 February 2024

 

All meetings start at 6pm.