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Apologies and substitutions
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Cope and Harris, with the substitution of Councillor Simmons for Councillor Harris authorised in accordance with council procedure rule 10. It was also noted that Councillor Moore would be arriving late.
To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 26 October 2023.
It was moved by Councillor Crooks, seconded by Councillor Williams and
RESOLVED – the minutes of the meeting held on 26 October be confirmed as a correct record.
Declarations of interest
To receive verbally from members any disclosures which they are required to make in accordance with the Council's code of conduct or in pursuance of Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. This is in addition to the need for such disclosure to be also given when the relevant matter is reached on the agenda.
No interests were declared.
To provide an update on work undertaken to fulfil the aims of the Economic Regeneration Strategy 2021 – 2025.
The Scrutiny Commission was updated on work undertaken over the previous twelve months to fulfil the aims of the Economic Regeneration Strategy. In response to members’ questions, it was agreed that a full list of the 27 UK shared prosperity fund projects would be circulated to members. Officers were congratulated on their hard work. It was moved by Councillor Surtees, seconded by Councillor Gibbens and
RESOLVED – the work undertaken and outcomes achieved be noted and endorsed.
To provide an update on appeals for 2022/23 and into 2023/24.
An update on planning appeals was provided.
Councillor Moore entered the meeting at 6.42pm.
During discussion, the following was discussed:
· Applying for appeal costs
· Implications of revisions to the NPPF
· The decreasing number of applications which had gone to appeal due to non-determination
· The difficulty in setting the budget for appeals as the number and costs couldn’t be predicted
· A recent application for costs submitted by the council
· The importance of the Planning Policy Member Working Group to discuss matters relating to costs for appeals.
It was moved by Councillor Crooks, seconded by Councillor Pendlebury and
RESOLVED – the report be noted and the financial implications of planning appeals and the impact of planning appeals performance be acknowledged.
To provide the annual position on the delivery of affordable housing.
Consideration was given to the annual position in relation to the delivery of affordable housing. The difficulty in engaging registered providers, particularly on smaller sites, was highlighted. The considerations when negotiating the type and tenure of housing were explained and Members thanked the Strategic Housing and Enabling Officer for her hard work and the progress made.
It was requested that the table on page 25 be amended in future to show the percentage of rural completions and of urban completions.
It was moved by Councillor Surtees, seconded by Councillor Pendlebury and
RESOLVED – the report be noted.
To provide an overview of housing issues and pressures facing residents to support discussion on areas of work that the Scrutiny Commission may wish to review.
Members were presented with a high-level overview of housing issues and pressures facing residents and housing services at the council to inform a scrutiny review of an area of housing. During discussion, the following points were raised:
· The need to lobby government to make it easier to obtain stock
· The problems of the right to buy scheme resulting in the council losing properties without the receipts to replace them
· The need to lobby government to ease restrictions in order to prevent “bedroom tax”
· The importance of supporting families to prevent breakdown of relationships
· The number of empty homes outside of the council’s control.
It was moved by Councillor Crooks and seconded by Councillor Gibbens that the scope for the review includes those listed at 3.3 in the report, with the addition of empty homes.
(i) The scope for the scrutiny review be agreed as:
· Understand the pathways that people use to access housing and the barriers
· Develop a strategy to increase the availability of private rented accommodation
· Lobby government for more funding for affordable housing, in particular making it easier for councils to increase their own housing stock
· Consideration of how empty homes can help with the housing shortage.
(ii) The review take place by way of task & finish group, with group leaders being asked to nominate members.
Work programme attached.
The work programme was received. It was noted that the scoping report on adoptions would come to the following meeting.