Agenda and draft minutes

Housing and Regeneration Scrutiny Panel
Monday, 13th September, 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: George Meehan House 294 High Road Wood Green London N22 8YX

Contact: Dominic O'Brien, Principal Scrutiny Officer, Email: dominic.obrien@haringey.gov.uk 

Note: To watch the meeting live click the link on the agenda frontsheet. The recording of the meeting is available on the Council's Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/haringeycouncil 

Items
No. Item

1.

FILMING AT MEETINGS

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.

Minutes:

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’.

2.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence from the meeting room were received from Cllr Kirsten Hearn, though she was joining the meeting via video link and would participate fully in the meeting.

 

3.

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).

Minutes:

None.

 

4.

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.

Minutes:

None.

 

5.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 302 KB

To approve the minutes of the previous meeting. 

Minutes:

The Panel discussed the minutes of the previous meeting and approved them as an accurate record.

 

Cllr Adje requested an update on an action from the item on the HfH Repairs Service where there had been a recommendation to amend the wording on the use of sub-contractors to reflect in-sourcing as the default option. Judith Page, Executive Director of Property at HfH, confirmed that this recommendation had been accepted.

 

Cllr Ibrahim requested an update on High Road West following the recent outcome of the ballot of Love Lane residents and, in particular, the length of the period of time within which residents could vote. David Joyce, Director of Housing, Regeneration and Planning, said that the voting window was three weeks which was in line with the GLA guidance. Sarah Lovell, Head of Area Regeneration added that the Landlord Offer had been sent to residents two weeks before the beginning of the voting period. Consultation over the detail of the Landlord Offer had been taking place with residents since the beginning of the year. Cllr Ibrahim requested that the GLA guidance be provided to the Panel including clarification on whether the two week specification was the minimum or maximum period required. (ACTION)

 

Cllr Hare requested an update on the progress of the Employment Land Study that had been referred to under the Local Plan item. David Joyce agreed to provide a written answer on this. (ACTION)

 

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 8th July 2021 be approved as an accurate record.

 

6.

Deputations/Petitions/Presentations/Questions

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

Minutes:

A number of questions had been received from Mr Jack Grant. These questions would be referred to Council officers for a written response in due course. (ACTION)

 

Two deputation requests had also been received by the Panel, both of which related to Item 10 on the agenda about the monitoring of the recommendations of the Wards Corner Scrutiny Review from 2019.

 

The first deputation was introduced by Marta Hinestroza, who had been a trader at the Wards Corner market since 2006. Also present was Lita Kaguawajigashi, a trader at the Wards Corner market since 2003.

 

Marta Hinestroza told the Panel that she was speaking on behalf of traders who wished to have a direct say in the running of the market. She had gained refugee status in the UK in 2002 following death threats that she had received in Colombia relating to issues that she had been working on as a human rights lawyer. In 2017 she helped to set up a community organisation, Community Centre Pueblito Paisa CIC, with a focus on arts, culture, advice and counselling. The vision of the traders that she represented was for a market where all were welcome and included social and cultural activities. She had initially been supportive of the proposals in the Community Plan and had been involved in its development and fundraising. Unfortunately, towards the end of 2017, internal relations between traders in the market broke down. She had since been excluded from the development of the Community Plan and she had grave misgivings about those involved with the Community Plan. She alleged that she had been subjected to a whispering campaign and described as a terrorist. In response to a question from Cllr Adje about this, she explained that there were differences in political views in the market.

 

Marta Hinestroza said that she and other traders did not want to see a situation where a small group of people ran the market and excluded others. Haringey Council therefore needed to step up as the democratically accountable public body to ensure fair treatment of the traders.

 

Cllr Tucker said that his understanding was that the Council appeared to be backing the West Green Road/Seven Sisters Market Trust to take control of the lease of the market and asked for her view on this body. Marta Hinestroza said that she was not in agreement with this organisation as many traders had been excluded and not provided with proper information about what was happening. Her request to be part of the Trust had been declined despite her previous involvement in the development of the Community Plan. In response to a question from Cllr Tucker, she confirmed that a letter from 17 traders had been sent to the Council asking the Council to take a role in running the market.

 

Asked by Cllr Ibrahim whether they saw the role of the Council as being an honest broker as an accountable outside body, Lita Kaguawajigashi agreed with this and said that they had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Wards Corner Scrutiny Review (Monitoring of Recommendations) pdf icon PDF 497 KB

To track progress against the recommendations of the Housing & Regeneration Scrutiny Panel review report on Wards Corner that was originally published in October 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair noted that the report provided updates on the four recommendations from the previous Scrutiny Review on Wards Corner that had been accepted or partially accepted by the Cabinet.

 

Cllr Adje suggested that the August 2021 updates in the report should be noted by the Panel but no further action was required on the recommendations as they no longer applied. He also noted that there was a minor error on page 40 of the agenda pack with a reference to ‘October 2021’ which was intended to read ‘October 2020’. However, the points heard from the deputations could be taken forward for further consideration. Cllr Ibrahim observed that some of the recommendations had been overridden by recent developments, including references to Grainger and market facilitators which did not apply to the current circumstances. She suggested that the Panel should consider carrying out a short update Scrutiny Review into Wards Corner in light of recent developments.

 

Cllr Tucker welcomed the opportunity for the Panel to look further into these issues but expressed concerns about the time parameters as TfL would be looking to move forward quickly to reach a consensus on the future of the market. Cllr Barnes observed that recommendations and actions could potentially be made quite quickly on communications issues and the relationship with market traders.


Cllr Ibrahim expressed concerns about making recommendations at the meeting without the opportunity to discuss and consider the issues in more detail. This could potentially be done properly over the course of a series of meetings held over a period of a couple of weeks. Cllr Hare suggested that recommendations could be made on some broad-brush aims and require that a report is received on the basis of this from the Cabinet Member. Cllr Ibrahim took the view that scrutiny recommendations should be specific and that this could not be achieved at the current meeting.

 

Cllr Ruth Gordon, Cabinet Member for House Building, Place-Making and Development, said that the Council’s position was to support the Trust and the Community Plan which already had planning permission. Joint statements had been issued with TfL and the Council was making sure that the Community Plan was being driven forward. She said that it was an extraordinarily exciting project and the Council’s aims were fully in line with the Community Plan. There were clearly divisions within the community in the market and so the Council should be aiming to heal those divisions. There had also been divisions between the traders and Grainger over the past 15 years and now there was an opportunity to move forward.

 

The Panel then proposed to take forward the issues raised on Wards Corner via a short Scrutiny Review. Ayshe Simsek, Democratic Services & Scrutiny Manager reminded the Panel of the existing pressures on the Work Programme and the need to seek approval for this change to the Work Programme from the Overview & Scrutiny Committee.

 

RESOLVED – That the Panel note the updates to the progress of the recommendations.

 

RESOLVED – That  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

HfH Repair Contracts pdf icon PDF 367 KB

To provide details of Homes for Haringey repairs and maintenance work carried out through the in-house Haringey Repairs Services (HRS) and the use of subcontractors.

Minutes:

Judith Page, Executive Director of Property at HfH, introduced the report on this item. She commented that the most repairs and maintenance work was delivered through the in-house Haringey Repairs Service (HRS) but subcontractor use had increased in recent years as could be seen from the graph in the report. Analysis was taking place on how to reduce this, though the use of specialist sub-contractors would still be required for some types of repairs. A major area of outsourcing related to gas services, the first break in the contract for which was in 2022. A review was being undertaken on whether to bring these services in-house at that time.

 

Cllr John Bevan, Cabinet Member for Planning, Licensing and Housing Services, added that the delivery of facilities management services for the Council’s buildings had been transferred from Amey contractors to the HRS. In addition, the HRS had previously been configured to deal with average levels of demand with subcontractors brought in at times of peak demand. There was now a project to reassess the workload to try to ensure that the HRS could deal with more peaks in demand. Cllr Bevan added that his commitment was to bring services in-house except in the case of specialist services where this would not be cost effective.

 

Cllr Tucker welcomed the review on gas services and asked for clarification on the figure in paragraph 1.4 of the report that 16% of jobs were being delivered by subcontractors. Judith Page said that this figure applied to responsive repairs and not planned works. Asked by Cllr Tucker about the Council’s construction programme and planned works and Council’s ability to carry this out in-house instead of using contractors. David Joyce said that this was not part of the current plan as this type of work required a particular level of experience and expertise and it would take some time to build that capacity in-house. Cllr Tucker suggested that the administration started looking into how this could be achieved, given that the Council was aiming to deliver thousands of new homes in the coming years and did not need to make a profit unlike private contractors. Cllr Adje asked if outline dates for this could be provided but David Joyce said that this was not part of the current plans so no timescales could be provided but he could set out in writing why the Department did not currently consider this approach to be in the interests of the Council. (ACTION)

 

Asked by Cllr Hare about the timescales for the review of the gas contract, Judith Page said that the break in the contract would be in October 2022 so the review was taking place this year as around 9 months would be required to bring the services in-house.

9.

St Ann's Development pdf icon PDF 521 KB

To provide an update on the proposed development on the St Ann’s site with particular reference to the provision of Council homes and also to the provision of car parking on the site.

Minutes:

The Panel agreed to defer this agenda item to the next meeting due to lack of time.

 

10.

Broadwater Farm pdf icon PDF 234 KB

a)    An update about the consultation of residents in the Stapleford block (report to follow after Cabinet papers are published on Mon 6th Sep)

b)    An update about repair and maintenance issues on the estate.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consultation of residents in the Stapleford block

 

Cllr Ruth Gordon, Cabinet Member for House Building, Place-Making and Development, introduced the report noting that this item was due to be considered by the Cabinet at their meeting the following day. The report set out the S105 consultation that had recently been undertaken with residents over whether they wanted refurbishment or demolition of homes in the Stapleford North block of the Broadwater Farm Estate. Responses had been received from all 21 of the households eligible to participate in the consultation. The majority of the responses favoured demolition rather than refurbishment so that recommendation would be going to Cabinet for consideration.


Cllr White commented that there had been only two options provided to residents and there was no option for temporary rehousing during refurbishment which risked conflating the issue of dealing with the disruption with the issue of the long-term future of the block. Cllr Gordon observed that an extensive response on this had been provided by the Director and that this issue would be the subject of a deputation at the Cabinet meeting the following day. David Joyce added that the recent exercise was a S105 consultation and not a ballot so residents could answer in any way they wanted and not necessarily in a yes/no way on the two options. The team also spoke to the residents directly as part of the consultation. The next stage would be to ballot residents and that would be a yes/no choice.

 

Cllr Ibrahim said that previously one of the challenges with having a binary ballot on the Northolt and Tangmere blocks was related to immediate health and safety concerns and so the GLA accepted that a ballot was not required. She noted that the Cabinet Member had previously expressed strong views about having a ballot on demolition and asked why it was different in this case. Cllr Gordon said that it had been a consultation not a ballot. The ballot would be on whether the scheme should go ahead. David Sherrington, Director of Broadwater Farm at HfH, confirmed that the GLA exemption on the Northolt and Tangmere blocks did not apply to Stapleford North. David Joyce confirmed that the whole estate would be balloted on this.

Cllr Barnes noted that, with regards to the recent Love Lane ballot, there had been allegations that there had a campaign for a Yes vote rather than a neutral approach and asked whether lessons had been learned on this ahead of any ballot on Broadwater Farm. Cllr Gordon said that it was a different set of circumstances on Broadwater Farm as the proposal redevelopment was for 100% Council homes so there was less controversy. Cllr Gordon said it was clear that the Love Lane ballot was carried out in line with Council protocols and the GLA guidance.

 

Update on repair and maintenance issues

 

Cllr John Bevan, Cabinet Member for Planning, Licensing and Housing Services, introduced this report and accepted that there were issues with the repair service  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Work Programme Update pdf icon PDF 378 KB

To consider any additions or amendments to the Panel’s current work plan for 2021/22.

 

Minutes:

Due to time constraints, it was agreed that any suggested changes to the work programme could be provided to the Chair by email.

12.

Dates of Future Meetings

·         4th November 2021

·         9th December 2021

·         28th February 2022

 

Minutes:

·         4th November 2021

·         9th December 2021

·         28th February 2022