Agenda item - Chairs Communications
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36.1 The Chair wished Councillor Dawn Barnett a speedy recovery following her hospital admission. Councillor Mears informed the Committee that Councillor Barnett had now returned home.
36.2 The Chair stated the following:
“As we move from the summer through autumn, we continue to be very busy.
We were pleased that the government lifted the HRA borrowing cap, this was something that Brighton and Hove City Council, along with other councils had lobbied for. You will see in our report on housing delivery that our priority is to deliver as many new homes in the city as possible.
We were very disappointed that the government withdrew consent for our Selective Licensing scheme. We had worked hard on this scheme and had cross party and wider city support for it. In support of the application, we commissioned independent evidence, undertook significant city wide consultation and worked closely with the government to achieve consent. We continue to work with the government to identify ways this scheme can proceed alongside to the additional licensing scheme and are committed to using selective licensing to improve the quality of private accommodation in the city.
We are continuing to follow post Grenfell government guidance and following concerns raised nationally about ‘Large Panel System’ high-rise blocks, we’re commissioning new surveys to give us a general overview of our buildings and make sure records are up-to-date. We will contact residents before any survey takes place and will report any works identified as a result of these to future meetings of housing and new homes committee.
I am pleased that there is a report on the agenda in relation to the use of emergency housing at Kendal Court. Whilst the independent investigation is still in its early stages we understand and are committed to providing support on vulnerable homeless people. We are pleased with the outcomes of the Welfare Officer Service we began in 2017 and will be bringing proposals to the January Committee of the Housing & New Homes Committee to look at how we can build on this to help vulnerable homeless people living in temporary and emergency accommodation, both within the city and out of the city. I am also pleased to announce that I have asked officers to look at innovative ways we can work to support applicants and homeless people through the application and assessment procedure and that these proposals will also come back to the Housing & New Homes Committee in January.
Finally I was pleased to attend the city wide conference in October and was really pleased to hear all those engaged tenants talking about how we can improve our neighbourhoods. I look forward to more information on this coming to future committees.”