This report will be the subject of pre-scrutiny at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee that is due to take place on 16th December 2019. Any recommendations arising from this meeting will be reported in an additional papers pack for the consideration of the Executive Committee.
The Deputy Chief Executive presented the Housing / Housing Revenue Account Strategic Improvement Plan Progress Report for the Committee’s consideration and in doing so noted that this was the third update that had been reported to Members on this subject. A number of key issues detailed in the report were highlighted for Members’ consideration:
· The Cultural Change Programme referred to in the report was being implemented across the whole of the local authority and not just in the Housing Department.
· The management structure within Housing had been reviewed and a number of appointments had been made.
· There remained one Housing manager vacancy which would be reviewed early in the New Year.
· Housing compliance remained a key area to address and Officers were providing regular updates on this subject to the Portfolio Holders.
· Over the following 12 months a number of service reviews would be taking place in the Housing Department, including reviews of the Repairs and Maintenance, Gas Safety and Locality teams.
· The Council had procured external advice to ensure that the authority was complying with best practice requirements in respect of Repairs and Maintenance.
· The stock condition survey was progressing and Officers were anticipating that it would be completed early in the New Year.
· The Council had procured a new Housing Management IT system which would be introduced on an incremental basis up to December 2021.
Members thanked Officers for their hard work on the strategic improvement plan for housing. It was noted that a number of Council Houses had been purchased to replace stock that had been sold, building on the buy back scheme and mortgage rescue scheme of previous years, and the Council was building new Council houses. Reference was also made to the difficulties that had been experienced in the Housing Department in recent years and the work that had needed to be undertaken to address these problems. The introduction of the new housing IT system was a big project for the Council to undertake but in the long-term it was envisaged that this would enable the authority to obtain greater control over the Council’s housing stock. Further work was still required on compliance and the security of Council Houses.
During consideration of this item Members noted that the report had been pre-scrutinised at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 16th December 2019. However, no recommendat6ions had been proposed by the Committee on this subject.
progress with each of the items detailed in the Housing / Housing Revenue Account Strategic Improvement Plan be noted.