Agenda and minutes

Housing and Regeneration Scrutiny Panel
Monday, 16th December, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Civic Centre, High Road, Wood Green, N22 8LE

Contact: Dominic O'Brien, Principal Scrutiny Officer 


No. Item



Please note that this meeting may be filmed or recorded by the Council for live or subsequent broadcast via the Council’s internet site or by anyone attending the meeting using any communication method. Although we ask members of the public recording, filming or reporting on the meeting not to include the public seating areas, members of the public attending the meeting should be aware that we cannot guarantee that they will not be filmed or recorded by others attending the meeting. Members of the public participating in the meeting (e.g. making deputations, asking questions, making oral protests) should be aware that they are likely to be filmed, recorded or reported on. 


By entering the meeting room and using the public seating area, you are consenting to being filmed and to the possible use of those images and sound recordings.


The chair of the meeting has the discretion to terminate or suspend filming or recording, if in his or her opinion continuation of the filming, recording or reporting would disrupt or prejudice the proceedings, infringe the rights of any individual or may lead to the breach of a legal obligation by the Council.

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The Chair referred Members present to agenda Item 1 as shown on the agenda in respect of filming at this meeting, and Members noted the information contained therein’.


Apologies for Absence

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Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Daniel Stone and Cllr Sarah Williams.



Urgent Business

The Chair will consider the admission of any late items of urgent business (late items will be considered under the agenda item where they appear. New items will be dealt with as noted below).

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Declarations of interest

A member with a disclosable pecuniary interest or a prejudicial interest in a matter who attends a meeting of the authority at which the matter is considered:


(i) must disclose the interest at the start of the meeting or when the interest becomes apparent, and

(ii) may not participate in any discussion or vote on the matter and must withdraw from the meeting room.


A member who discloses at a meeting a disclosable pecuniary interest which is not registered in the Register of Members’ Interests or the subject of a pending notification must notify the Monitoring Officer of the interest within 28 days of the disclosure.


Disclosable pecuniary interests, personal interests and prejudicial interests are defined at Paragraphs 5-7 and Appendix A of the Members’ Code of Conduct.

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To consider any requests received in accordance with Part 4, Section B, Paragraph 29 of the Council’s Constitution.

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Minutes pdf icon PDF 233 KB

To approve the minutes of the previous meeting. 

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Referring to Item 29 from the minutes of the previous meeting, Cllr Gordon noted that the Planning review of the S106 agreement relating to Wards Corner was described as “close to being finished” and asked for a further update on this. Dan Hawthorn, Director of Housing, Regeneration & Planning, said that the review was not yet completed and that he could not give a precise date on when publication is likely to occur. Panel Members suggested that further details on expected timescales should be obtained from the Assistant Director for Planning. (ACTION)


Referring to Item 31 from the minutes of the previous meeting, Cllr Gordon noted that the work on the Red House site in Tottenham had been described as being on target and ready to go by the end of this year and asked for a further update on this. Dan Hawthorn said that the sale of the site from the Council to the developer Magic Homes had recently been completed, which means that the formal start has been registered with the GLA. However, the developer now needs to discharge a number of planning conditions before the actual construction work can begin.


Referring to Item 32 from the minutes of the previous meeting, Cllr Gordon noted that the Members’ steering group on the new Housing Strategy had met three times and asked whether a report on the Housing Strategy could be brought to a future meeting of the Panel and how the Panel could contribute towards that discussion. Cllr Emine Ibrahim, Cabinet Member for Housing & Estate Renewal, said that an update briefing could be provided to the Panel if required in future which could start a conversation about how the Panel could contribute. (ACTION - Panel to consider this as part of future work programme)


AGREED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 4th November 2019 be approved as an accurate record.



Scrutiny of the 2020/21 Draft Budget / 5 Year Medium Term Financial Strategy (2020/21-2024/25) pdf icon PDF 436 KB

To scrutinise the revenue and capital proposals relating to the 2020/21 Draft Budget and the Medium Term Financial Strategy for 2020/21 to 2024/25.

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Cllr Khaled Moyeed explained that the draft recommendations from this item would be sent to the Overview & Scrutiny Committee. The Overview & Scrutiny Committee then considers and sends finalised recommendations to Cabinet before then going to the full Council meeting on 24th February 2020. 


Dan Hawthorn, Director of Housing, Regeneration & Planning, introduced the report starting with the headline position across the Housing and Economy priorities which have a total controllable general revenue budget of around £24m per year. Within the Housing priority a large amount of the work is funded by the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) which is not included in that figure. The large majority of the £24m revenue budget goes towards two specific areas which are homelessness/temporary accommodation and housing support. Homelessness/temporary accommodation is demand-led so it difficult to make further savings in this area. Housing support is largely preventative work, aiming to prevent homelessness or poor health and social care outcomes, which save costs for the Council and prevent worse outcomes for individuals. Because of these factors it has been necessary to try and find savings in other areas of the budget.


In response to a question from the Panel about the breakdown of the £24m budget, Kaycee Ikegwu, Head of Finance & Business said that the Housing priority accounts for £19.9m with the remaining amount in the Economy priority. The main areas of the Housing priority net budget (after income has been taken into account) are:

  • Temporary Accommodation: £9.8m
  • Housing-related support: £3.7m
  • Housing commissioning: £4.9m


The MTFS budget reduction proposals were then presented to the Panel of which there were two for the Housing priority and ten for the Economy priority.


HOUSING (HO-01) – Transferring PSLs to the CBS


Dan Hawthorn explained that a Community Benefit Society (CBS) had been set up to enable the Council to buy homes to use for temporary accommodation or to rent directly to help families at risk of homelessness. However, the CBS also provides an opportunity to reduce the losses that the Council makes on Private Sector Leasing (PSL) properties that the Council uses for temporary accommodation. PSL properties are rented by the Council from a private landlord and then let to households requiring temporary accommodation. When the Council does this it is limited to charging 90% of the 2011 Local Housing Allowance (LHA) which is significantly lower than the market rent being paid to the landlord. Under this proposal the CBS can charge the current 2019 LHA thereby reducing the loss that the Council makes on each property. This arrangement would only be used when the household is claiming LHA rather than paying their rent from their own private income so that this change does not impact directly on the households so a lease by lease assessment of households is required.


Asked why there was a confidence level of 3 (out of 5 with a level of 1 being the least confident and 5 being the most confident) provided on the report for this proposal, Dan Hawthorn said that, at  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.


High Road West Scrutiny Review - Scoping Document pdf icon PDF 392 KB

To amend if necessary and agree the scoping document, including the terms of reference, for the forthcoming scrutiny review on the High Road West redevelopment scheme.

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Cllr Moyeed noted that evidence sessions for the Panel’s Scrutiny Review on High Road West would be taking place in the New Year. An invitation would be extended to the Ward Councillors for the Northumberland Park ward, and to any other Councillors with an interest in the issue, to give evidence to the Panel. (ACTION)



Dates of Future Meetings

·         3rd Mar 2020


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·         3rd March 2020