Venue: QEII Room, Shoreham Centre, Shoreham-by-Sea
Contact: Chris Cadman-Dando
Democratic Services Officer
01903 221364 Email: email@example.com
Declaration of Interests
Members and officers must declare any disclosable pecuniary interests in relation to
any business on the agenda. Declarations should also be made at any stage such
an interest becomes apparent during the meeting.
If in doubt contact the Legal or Democratic Services representative for this meeting.
There were no declarations of interest made
There were no substitutions
Confirmation of Minutes
To approve the minutes of the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting of
held on 03 September 2019, copies of which have been previously circulated.
Resolved: that the minutes of the meeting of the 3 September 2019 be signed as a correct record and be signed by the Chairman
Public Question Time
So as to provide the best opportunity for the Committee to provide the public with the fullest answer, questions from the public should be submitted by 12.00pm Tuesday 17 September 2019
Where relevant notice of a question has not been given, the person presiding may either choose to give a response at the meeting or respond by undertaking to provide a written response within three working days.
Questions should be submitted to Democratic Services firstname.lastname@example.org
(Note: Public Question Time will operate for a maximum of 30 minutes.)
A resident asked the following question Information available on sites such as uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.hyde-housing.co.uk for homes built and managed by Hyde Homes and a television program and press releases about homes built by Persimmons give rise to great concerns about the proposed building programmes in Adur by these two companies. The information available on these two companies raised issues about the poor levels of construction and management. In the August 23 edition of kentonline.co.uk you can read about a home in a newly built estate in Canterbury, built by Persimmon where part of the frontage fell down, 40 other things were found to be wrong and other homes on the estate were also at risk. Houses built by Persimmon in Deal and Aylesham were found to be missing vital fire safety barriers.How many building control officers does the council have and is this an adequate number to inspect the homes on a regular basis during the building process to ensure that building standards are being followed? Will you be relying on the developers doing their own inspection and if so, given this history of Persimmon in particular, do you believe that this will be adequate? The Chairman stated that to date the Committee has not been involved in awarding of the contract referred to in your question. The Joint Strategic Committee considered the proposal to sell land at Adur Civic Centre to Hyde Housing Group on 9 July 2019. The report the Committee looked at is on the Councils’ website and outlines how the recommended preferred bidder was arrived at. I understand this refers to the selection criteria which included due diligence and track record of delivery. On a more general note, residents could submit requests for the Committee to scrutinise specific issues. The Council had seven building control staff and was sufficient staff to deal with the number of building regulation applications submitted to the Council. The staff were very experienced and had an excellent track record of ensuring that developments comply with the building regulations. However, the Council was in competition with the private sector and a number of national house builders choose not to use Local Authority Building Control but use Approved Inspectors to oversee their projects. It should also be noted that Building Control checks compliance with the Building Control regulations but would not address issues regarding quality of finish and general issues relating to quality of build (unless this contravenes the regulations). The National House Building Council (NHBC) provides protection for homebuyers of new properties in the form of warranty and insurance schemes and can be used where building defects are identified. As a supplementary it was asked if the Building Control team could carry out supplementary inspections in addition to those of a private firm and was told the question would be referred to the appropriate body
A resident asked the following question: The Annual Status Report published in June 2019 has data for 2018. It states that the highest level of No2 recorded was ... view the full minutes text for item JOSC/20/19-20
Items Raised Under Urgency Provisions
To consider any items the Chairman of the meeting considers to be urgent
There were no urgent items
To consider a report by the Monitoring Officer, copy attached as item 6
The Committee had a report before it attached as item 5, a copy of which had been circulated to all members, a copy of which is attached to a signed copy of these minutes. The report before members set out the rejection of a call-in request and the reasons for it.
Resolved: that the report be noted
To consider a report by the Director for Communities, copy attached as item 7
The Committee had a report before it attached as item 6, a copy of which had been circulated to all members, a copy of which is attached to a signed copy of these minutes. The report before members explained that a West sussex Air Quality Plan had been developed and the report outlined the plan and its role in assisting Adur and Worthing to improve air quality across the area
Representatives from West Sussex County Council were present to answer questions.
A member asked the following question: In light of the recent British Lung Foundation report that highlighted PM2.5 levels above the WHO limit, suggesting Worthing is experiencing unsafe levels, could there be a recommendation for the air quality plan to assess air quality in sites where people may be particularly vulnerable to its impacts (The hospital, local Schools) and develop further action depending on findings? Members were told that areas within 10km of readings were likely to have similar readings. Worthing did have an AQMA and systems had a cost and officer time to manage. Cheaper technology would be available in the future. Discussions could be had with the NHS about future detection.
A member asked the following question: The AQMA for Shoreham High Street was designated in 2005 and Nox levels have escalated in this time as well as feed in roads. Are you working to an objective avoiding DEFRAs breach of over 40uqm annually or another objective, if so what is it? Member were told that levels had decreased over the last few years (from 40ugm in 2016 to 33 in 2018). The Council had a statutory duty to work to legal limits.
A member asked the following question: Due to the equivocal evidence that anti-idling signs are effective, have fixed penalty idling charges been considered in light of our behaviour change strategy? Members were told that evidence needed to introduce fixed penalty notices was not robust enough. There were plans to focus on education and there were plans to focus on an anti idling behaviour change campaign.
A member asked the following question: Page 13 - The doubling of 3 to 6% of students cycling to school. How are you working to increase this further? West Sussex County Council were working with schools to increase rates and pointed to successes of the living streets project, the walk and cycling strategy for the county. There was also a widespread bikeability scheme offered to all year six pupils.
A member asked the following question: What work have you done to promote car share schemes? Members were told that an answer would be provided as the information was not to hand
A member asked the following question: I have been told that a WSCC road space audit will tackle traffic easing, is this your understanding and how does it fit with your work? Members were told about the process of the road space audit and how a number of factors could promote the easing of traffic
A member asked ... view the full minutes text for item JOSC/23/19-20
To consider a report by the Director for Communities, copy attached as item 8
The Committee had a report before it attached as item 7, a copy of which had been circulated to all members, a copy of which is attached to a signed copy of these minutes. The report before members updated members of the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee on what had been achieved in delivering on the commitments in “Housing Matters”, the Adur and Worthing Councils’ Housing Strategy 2017-2020.
The director for communities and the housing services manager were present to answer questions
A member asked the following question: I Like much of the innovative work being done around local homelessness, the Opening Doors private sector lettings service is an excellent development. Could there be clarification of the average length of tenancies for those landlords already on the scheme. Members were told that the average length was six months although a guarantee was offered for two years. The scheme was in place to support landlords to take on who they would not normally take on.
A member asked the following question: Agenda item 7 page 19 bottom. 78% increase in homeless applications. Some attributed to better recording, can you give a % please and explain what the recording changes were and why the recording is better? Members were told that a new system was introduced following the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act. Staff had been trained over time to use the system better.
A member asked the following question: Is data available on the number of section 21 notices in the previous 3 financial years and how the Council is supporting those with notices? Members were given the following figures:
2016 - 18
2017 - 14
2018 - 10
2016 - 26
2017 - 25
2018 - 20
Members were told that the residents in difficulty were encouraged to come to the council as early as possible as this was the best way to deal with rent arrears. In some cases assurances would be provided to landlords and in some cases it would be necessary to attend court where section 21 notices had been issued.
A member asked about the provision of temporary accommodation, lauding a recent planning application to this effect it was asked if there were plans to purchase other vacant sites and develop more accommodation to this effect. Members were told that the strategy was to provide a mix of different types of accommodation including leased properties. The Council was not complacent and would assess sites if they became available.
A member asked what happened to residents taking part in the Opening Doors scheme after the two years of guarantee were up. The committee was told that the scheme was in place to encourage landlords to take on people that they would not normally take on and it was hoped that after the end of the period landlords would maintain residents who could prove that they were reliable tenants. Other questions about the Opening Doors scheme elicited responses that there were currently 18 premises ... view the full minutes text for item JOSC/24/19-20
To consider a report by the Director for Communities, copy attached as item 9
The Committee had a report before it attached as item 8, a copy of which had been circulated to all members, a copy of which is attached to a signed copy of these minutes.
The report set out motions received from full council as well as petitions received from full council on the issue of climate change. Councillor Helen Silman was given an opportunity to present her motion that had been referred from full council. Members debated the matter and agreed that the committee consider the report of the Joint Strategic Committee on the climate change strategy once determined by the Joint Strategic Committee. In addition the committee agreed to set up a working group so as to educate committee members on the issue of climate change in order that members be prepared to fully scrutinise the issue. The working Group should consist of Councillor Albury,Councillor Arnold, cllr Walker and one other Worthing member.
The report set out a number of scrutiny requests relating to the process undertaken for the disposal of a piece of public land. The Committee agreed to accept two of the requests but refused two on the basis that they referred to the planning process of a specific application. Consequently the committee requested a report from officers to explain the consultation processes undertaken for the disposal of publicly owned council land and assets.
Resolved: that the work programme be noted as amended