Venue: Chamber - Kilworthy Park. View directions
Contact: Email: Democratic.Services@swdevon.gov.uk
Apologies for Absence
Confirmation of Minutes PDF 223 KB
The minutes of the Meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 22 March 2022 were confirmed by the Meeting as a true and correct record.
Declarations of Interest
In accordance with the Code of Conduct, Members are invited to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, Other Registerable Interests and Non-Registerable Interests including the nature and extent of such interests they may have in any items to be considered at this meeting;
Members and officers were invited to declare any interests in the items of business to be considered during the course of this meeting but there were none made.
A period of up to 15 minutes is available to deal with issues raised by the public.
The Chairman confirmed that no formal requests had been received in accordance with the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules.
Third Sector Partners - West Devon CVS
The Hub Lead Member with responsibility for Leisure, Health, and Wellbeing introduced the Chief Officer of West Devon CVS, Karen Nolan. Ms Nolan provided an update which included:
· Covid-19 response
· Challenges faced by the CVS
· CVS Infrastructure and how support and information was provided
· Shared page with South Hams advertising volunteer opportunities and to make connections
· Connecting groups and people and encouraging collaboration
· Review of the 5 year plan
· Recruiting more trustees in the Tavistock area
The Chair thanked the CVS for the work they undertake in the Borough and for the interesting presentation.
Third Sector Partners -LiveWest
The Hub Lead Member with responsibility for Housing introduced Mr Paul Crawford, Chief Executive, and Ms Suzanne Brown, Executive Director of Operations, LiveWest, who provided the Committee with a presentation which highlighted:
· Working with 20 local authorities, entirely in the South West;
· Built 800 affordable homes last year and current stock of 38,000
· Ambition to build 15,000 affordable homes over next 10 years;
· Employ 14,000 people and have high employee satisfaction;
· £420 million available funding to build new homes and further borrowing in excess of £1 billion largely through bonds. Also successful Homes England grant for £123.6 million to build 2,550 new homes by March 2028;
· New home delivery for West Devon planning 6,000 affordable homes. Delivery through two routes: Section 106 and land led, looking to secure land rather than rely on developer, built 250 shared ownership homes last year and plan to build 400 this year;
· Dispose of properties on those dwellings which had been identified as needing significant investment, with capital receipt recycled for more affordable homes. Last year, in West Devon, eight houses sold, with another six to be disposed of during 2022/23;
· High demand in West Devon with 1,127 applicants for a home;
· Anti-social behaviour instances had increased during the pandemic and the organisation had struggled to get engagement with the community mental health teams;
· Working through backlog of maintenance repairs;
· Increased rents to 4.1% in line with standard rent guidance but provide financial support if required;
· All new homes built to a high Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) A or high B standard, with build programme in place to update current stock;
· Disproportionate number of homes in Borough requiring investment of £2.7 million to get homes to EPC standard rating ‘C’;
· House building limited by land availability but LiveWest had the desire to build more often in rural areas;
The Chair thanked LiveWest for their presentation and wished them well with the delivery of their plans and for the support that they provided to the residents of West Devon and the good working relationship with Council officers.
Thematic Update -Housing PDF 259 KB
The Lead Hub Member for Improving Homes introduced the aspect of the Plan for West Devon that focused on Improving Homes. It was highlighted that:
· The Council was on track on 5 of the 6 theme priorities, which included the numbers of affordable housing delivered;
· The delayed action being related to providing guidance and support to landlords of multiple occupation. This was delayed by the 5 year homeless strategy;
· The housing crisis would form part of the Housing Strategy;
· They had received 20 questions from towns and parishes and responses would be published as an appendix to these minutes;
The Chair gave thanks to the Towns and Parishes for taking the time to discuss the housing issue and provide questions. In discussion, it was clarified that:
· The Housing Needs Survey undertaken in Brentor had concluded in December 2021, and would now be reviewed with a report back to the Parish Council within two weeks;
· The Lamerton initiative was confirmed as being closed;
· It was confirmed that the Hub Committee would soon be provided with a report aligning resources within housing to the long term aim of the Council.
One Member raised the issue of the integrity of the materials used to make photovoltaic cells and that it would be essential to ensure sourcing of the raw materials did not impact on the environment.
It was then RESOLVED that:
the Overview and Scrutiny Committee NOTE the progress in delivering against the Plan for West Devon “Improving Homes Thematic Delivery Plan”.
Responses to the questions received from the Town and Parish Councils to be appended to the published minutes.
Task and Finish Group Updates (if any)
There were no updates.
Draft O&S Annual Work Programme 2022/23,inc. prep for next meeting PDF 328 KB
The draft proposal for the work programme was reviewed.
Member Learning and Development Opportunities Arising from this Meeting
There were no learning and development opportunities identified from this meeting.
Chairman's Concluding Remarks
Being the last Committee meeting of the 2021/22 Municipal Year, the Chair gave thanks to the Committee for their attendance over the last year.