Council services by letter

Agenda and minutes

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Venue: Committee Room 5, Harrow Civic Centre, Station Road, Harrow, HA1 2XY. View directions

Contact: Miriam Wearing, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 020 8424 1542 E-mail:  miriam.wearing@harrow.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

65.

Attendance by Reserve Members

To note the attendance at this meeting of any duly appointed Reserve Members.

 

Reserve Members may attend meetings:-

 

(i)                 to take the place of an ordinary Member for whom they are a reserve;

(ii)               where the ordinary Member will be absent for the whole of the meeting; and

(iii)             the meeting notes at the start of the meeting at the item ‘Reserves’ that the Reserve Member is or will be attending as a reserve;

(iv)              if a Reserve Member whose intention to attend has been noted arrives after the commencement of the meeting, then that Reserve Member can only act as a Member from the start of the next item of business on the agenda after his/her arrival.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that there were no Reserve Members in attendance.

66.

Appointment of Vice-Chair

To consider the appointment of a Vice-Chair to the Sub-Committee for the Municipal Year 2016/2017.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To appoint Councillor Barry Macleod-Cullinane as Vice-Chair of the Sub-Committee for the 2016/2017 Municipal Year.

67.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of disclosable pecuniary or non pecuniary interests, arising from business to be transacted at this meeting, from:

 

(a)          all Members of the Sub-Committee;

(b)          all other Members present.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that the following interest was declared:

 

Agenda Item 8 – Revenue and Capital Monitoring 2015/2017

Councillor Bharat Thakker declared a non-pecuniary interest in that he owned a couple of investment properties in Harrow.  He would remain in the room whilst the matter was considered and voted upon.

68.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 77 KB

That the minutes of the meeting held on 21 March 2016 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 21 March 2016, be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

69.

Public Question, Petitions and References

To receive any public questions received in accordance with Committee Procedure Rule 17 (Part 4B of the Constitution).

 

Questions will be asked in the order notice of them was received and there be a time limit of 15 minutes.

 

[The deadline for receipt of public questions is 3.00 pm, Friday 8 July 2016.  Questions should be sent to publicquestions@harrow.gov.uk  

No person may submit more than one question].

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that no public questions, petitions or references were received at this meeting.

RESOLVED ITEMS

70.

Revenue and Capital Monitoring 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 166 KB

Report of the Director of Finance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Sub-Committee received a report of the Director of Finance on the revenue and capital outturn on 2015-16, which had been considered by Cabinet at its meeting on 16 June 2016.

 

Following an overview of the report by the Director of Finance, Members asked the following questions and received responses from the officer and Portfolio Holder :

 

·                     What does the carry forward column in table 1 relate to?

 

A -       When a directorate has been unable to spend grant or project funding for specific work it can be carried forward.

 

·                     The report states that the worsening position on bed and breakfast accommodation means that there is a real risk of a significant over spend in 2016-17.  What overspend was anticipated for the current year, will the overspend of £4m in the previous year remain or be adjusted for mitigation?  How will the budget be profiled and will the overspend be contained within housing services or managed across the Council?

 

A -       The impact of the ongoing welfare reform and rising rents in the Private Rental Sector in Harrow had resulted in an increase in the numbers presenting as homeless.  The officers were investigating a range of measures to address this including demand management to avoid homelessness and the allocation of £30m for the purchase of properties by the Council.  Although there was intense scrutiny and focus on directorate specific budgets, it was necessary to manage the budget on a Council-wide basis.  The pressure from homelessness had been in the region of £2m the previous year, and was currently £3.8?4m.  A refresh of the budget process would be undertaken to refine and consider new measures.  The results of the refresh would be included in the budget report to Cabinet in December 2016.

 

·                     The risk register for homelessness, as submitted to Council, indicated that measures would ‘at best slow down growth in demand’ and would be unlikely to make a significant contribution until 2018.  When is the administration going to identify short term solutions?  The pressures will be exacerbated by the decanting of properties at the Grange Farm Estate, some of which were being used as short term accommodation.  How many homes had been purchased by the Council?

 

A -       There were competing uses for available sites: regeneration which would raise revenue for the Council, affordable housing in the broadest sense, temporary accommodation, and other uses.  Discussion was taking place on a site by site basis and the input of Members would be appreciated.  However, these initiatives would not form an immediate solution.  Excellent progress was being made on the Grange Farm Estate regeneration which would replace 229 homes with 540, 11 homes had been purchased, contracts exchanged on a block of 14 new apartments in Aylesbury due for completion in the next two months, and offers submitted for a further 25 properties.  In addition, contracts had been let for approximately 6 properties to be built during the following year.  The overriding priority was the provision of more homes at affordable  ...  view the full minutes text for item 70.