Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Richard Doney, Scrutiny Officer  email

No. Item




In the absence of the Chair, the Panel resolved to elect one of its members to chair the meeting.  The Panel elected Cllr Diggins.


Declarations of interest


None were made.


Chair's announcements


None were made.


Notes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 393 KB

The Panel is recommended to approve the notes of its previous meeting.


The notes of the previous meeting were approved without amendment.


Work Plan pdf icon PDF 113 KB

The Panel is asked to agree its current work plan, taking into account that the business initially scheduled for this meeting will now be considered at its meeting on 15 June 2023.

The Panel is recommended to suggest ideas for inclusion on a longlist of items for consideration by the Panel during the 2023/24 municipal year.  The Panel is recommended to seek the advice of the Cabinet Member for Housing and of the Executive Director (Communities and People) in identifying what their strategic priorities are envisaged to be, taking account of the Council’s Business Plan for 2023-2024.

Once the Panel has suggested ideas for inclusion, the Panel is recommended to ask the Scrutiny Officer to identify a shortlist (using the TOPIC criteria) for consideration and approval by the Panel at its meeting on 15 June 2023.


The Panel approved the work plan as it stood, noting the Landlord Services Manager’s advice that it was anticipated that a report on the STAR survey, relating to tenant satisfaction, would be received at the June meeting too.

The Panel requested that the advice of the Cabinet Member for Housing and of the Executive Director (Communities and People) in identifying what the strategic priorities were envisaged to be in the next municipal year be sought offline and requested the Scrutiny Officer to bring a list for discussion and approval by the Panel to its meeting on 15 June 2023.


Tenancy Agreement pdf icon PDF 127 KB

The Executive Director (Communities and People) has submitted a report on the new Tenancy Agreement for Council tenants.

Cllr Linda Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing, and Bill Graves, Landlord Services Manager, have been invited to present the report and to answer the Panel’s questions.

The Panel is recommended to consider the report and to make any recommendations it considers appropriate.

Additional documents:


Cllr Smith introduced the report on the new Tenancy Agreement and explained that, although the decision to implement the agreement had been delegated to officers, she had been engaged in its development and had been keen that it was presented to the Panel in the interests of transparency and accountability.  Cllr Smith explained that she had raised questions regarding gardens and sheltered housing and that, as a result, these had been clarified.

The Head of Housing invited the Landlord Services Manager to provide an overview of the report.  The Landlord Services Manager explained that the tenancy agreement had last been revised in 2014.  The Council had intended to revise the agreement beginning in 2019 but the COVID pandemic had necessarily led to reprioritisation

The Landlord Services Manager explained that the statutory consultation process was followed and that there had been a small number of responses.  A number of legislative changes and requirements had come into force since 2014 and these had been incorporated.

In response to questions, the Panel established that:

·         One of the conditions for dogs being permitted was that they were cared for and that included being walked regularly.  The Council did not have resources to monitor the treatment of all pets but relied on reports.  There was an animal warden to whom reports could be made.  If the Council was satisfied that pets were being maltreated, it would be open to the Council to seek to remove the pet.

·         Whilst there had only been 31 responses to the consultation on the tenancy agreement, there had been approximately 1000 responses to the tenant satsification survey and the transformation programme would lead to ongoing conversations with huge numbers of tenants as individuals.  The Council was not surprised that there had been a low number of respondents given previous response rates when earlier tenancy agreements had been consulted upon.

·         One particularly important reason for restrictions on pets in tower blocks related to health and safety, insofar as they can cause significant challenges during evacuations in the event of a fire.  The example of an unauthorised first floor aquarium which caused significant weight load concerns was also provided to the Panel.

·         Permission to park a caravan or motorised boat next to a property was not given because of the fire risk.

·         The reason mobility scooters were not permitted to be stored inside, other than in a store specified for that purpose, was also because they represented a severe fire risk.  The Council had provided tenants with fireproof scooter stores with electricity to charge the scooters and this had been publicised in Tenants in Touch previously.  Such stores required the provision of electricity to them and were recorded on the Council’s asset register.  The need for such provision was generally noticed during inspections.

·         Annual tests of carbon monoxide levels were now required.

·         Assurances were given that the requirement to be responsible “for the good behaviour of my family, friends and visitors in my home, on the estate and local areas” was not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Dates of next meetings

The Panel is recommended to note that, in the municipal year 2023/24, it will meet on:

15 June 2023;

02 August 2023;

05 October 2023;

02 November 2023;

07 March 2024;


The Panel noted the dates scheduled for the next municipal year.