Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny - Thursday, 23rd February, 2023 6.30 pm, NEW

Venue: Council Chamber Town Hall. View directions

Contact: J Bayley  Democratic Services Officer

No. Item


Apologies and named substitutes


Apologies were received from Councillors Imran Altaf and Michael Chalk with Councillors Luke Court and Ann Isherwood attending as substitutes respectively.


Apologies were also received from Councillor Brandon Clayton.



Declarations of interest and of Party Whip

To invite Councillors to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and / or Other Disclosable Interests they may have in items on the agenda, and to confirm the nature of those interests, and any Party Whip.


There were no declarations of interest nor of any party whip.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 483 KB

Minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee meetings held on 1st December 2022 and 2nd February 2023 will be considered at this meeting.


The minutes of the meeting held on 2nd February 2023 will be published in an Additional Papers pack.


The minutes of the meeting held on 1st December 2022 were submitted for Members consideration.




The Minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 1st December 2022 be approved as a true record and signed by the Chair.



Public Speaking

To invite members of the public who have registered in advance of the meeting to speak to the Committee. Please note that the deadline to register to speak at this meeting is 12 noon on Tuesday 21st February 2023.



There were no public speakers who registered to speak on this occasion.



30 year HRA Business Plan, Investment Programme and Asset Management Strategy for Council Housing - Pre-decision Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 771 KB

This report will be published in an Additional Papers pack once it has been published for the Executive Committee.


The Housing Property Services Manager presented the report on the 30 year Housing Revenue Account (HRA) business plan and in doing so drew Members’ attention to pages 5 to 37 of the Additional Papers 1 pack.


Officers presented an overview of the 30-year HRA business plan, the asset management strategy for housing stock and the 2023-2027 capital investment programme. These were key strategic documents for the HRA strategy for the management of the condition of the Council’s stock. The HRA also enabled the Council to deliver a wide range of services to tenants including the maintenance and servicing of properties.


Officers detailed the key assumptions which the HRA needed to use for a long-term projection these included:

  • The right to buy sales.
  • The number of properties developed, acquired or remodelled.

Officers also detailed the sensitivity analysis which had been undertaken on the aforementioned assumptions, The analysis took into consideration, the number of void properties and the performance on turning those around, rent increases, management costs and any debt/borrowing. The plan also ensured that reserves were maintained in the eventuality of changes to those assumptions.


Officers detailed that modern facilities, such as kitchens, bathrooms, new central heating systems and electrical rewiring, were considered high priorities in the plan and these would be delivered via a contract to commence in the 2023/2024 financial year.


Clear guidance had been received from the government to achieve a minimum of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of C for all Local Authority housing stock by 2030.


To achieve the EPC targets and modern facility upgrades there would be £40m available over 5 years to develop existing properties, with an additional £15m for new developments.


Officers clarified the following points following questions from Members.


  • That there were currently 15 void properties, and the turnaround was approximately 24 days.
  • The 2019/2020 stock condition survey was very comprehensive and covered 70% of the Councils housing stock.
  • A new system (Civica CX) was being implemented which had been used successfully by a number of Local Authorities. The system had only just completed Phase 1, therefore, there were still some teething problems that would be found with any new system, around training and implementation.
  • An administrative assistant and a team leader were being employed to efficiently address tenant concerns.
  • Regarding the financial estimates, Officers used government guidance and the assumption that the national financial situation should improve within 3 years, including interest rates returning to standard values.
  • That the net loss of 600 houses over 30 years was deemed appropriate. There had been a total net gain of only 34 houses in 2021/2022, therefore, the assumption of losing 20 houses a year would be valid.
  • The 30 Year HRA report was based on a standard model which had been adapted to suit the Council’s trends.
  • There were no plans to reduce the HRA debts, the loans were over an extended period of time and usually refreshed upon expiry. Officers could not give an exact timescale but indicated that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 103.


External Scrutiny Bodies - Update Reports pdf icon PDF 128 KB


a)        West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Council representative, Councillor Chalk; and


b)        Worcestershire Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) – Council representative, Councillor Chalk.




the External Scrutiny Bodies update be noted.



Overview and Scrutiny Work Programme pdf icon PDF 183 KB


The Chair advised that two items had been added to the Executive Committee’s Work Programme which were due to be considered at the meeting of the Executive Committee scheduled to take place on 21st March 2023.  This included:


·             The Air Quality Enhancement Monitoring Report

·             The Off-Street Parking Order report


Members agreed that the Air Quality Enhancement Monitoring Report should be added to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s Work Programme for pre-scrutiny.




1.     the Air Quality Enhancement Monitoring Report be added to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s Work Programme for pre-scrutiny; and

2.     the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s Work Programme be noted.