Agenda item - Proposal for Environmental Improvement Budget - Housing Revenue Account

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Agenda item

Proposal for Environmental Improvement Budget - Housing Revenue Account

Report of Executive Director for Neighbourhoods, Communities & Housing (copy attached).

 

Decision:

(1)            That Housing & New Homes Committee agree to receive a full report to the January 2019 committee recommending the sum within the HRA budget to be set aside for enhanced environmental improvements and items on which it will be spent.

 

Minutes:

43.1   The Committee considered a report of the Executive Director, Neighbourhoods, Communities & Housing which proposed that a proportion of the Housing Revenue Account Budget be set aside to support early actions to improve public areas of the council’s housing estates. This would enable the council to respond with greater speed to tenant’s satisfaction levels with their neighbourhood as a place to live. The Estate Development Budget set aside for tenant voting, remained separate from the proposals.  A further report with feedback from residents would be presented to the January committee meeting. The report was presented by the Head of Income, Involvement & Improvement.

 

43.2   Councillor Bell welcomed the report and looked forward to the report back in January. He hoped that the bidding process would become more simple and useable. The Head of Income, Involvement & Improvement explained that in terms of spend there would be a more simple process. Officers needed to collate information from tenants and the survey to see where there was a need.

 

43.3   Councillor Wares stated that the reason he submitted letters earlier on the agenda was because tenants’ representatives tended to submit bids. Help was needed where there were no tenants’ representatives. Councillor Wares welcomed an easier process. There needed to be clarity as to who could apply and make applications and some consultation was needed. In some areas there was an issue with City Clean, with poor refuse collection in areas such as Stanmer Heights. On the presumption that the report was approved Councillor Wares stressed that there were two letters from him, (Item 39(c)(1) and Item 39(c) (2). He hoped these would be applications 1 & 2. 

 

43.4   The Head of Income, Involvement & Improvement replied that colleagues had already been asked to proceed on improving the dustbin area at Stanmer Heights. When the proposed budget was in place, officers could respond to what tenants really wanted.

.

43.5   Councillor Moonan agreed with the proposal in principle. She stressed that Central Hove had no residents’ association although there were council tenants in Central Hove living in terraces. She asked for reassurance that they would be included in the scheme. 

 

43.6              The Head of Income, Involvement & Improvement replied that she could give that reassurance. Information was to be placed in “Homing In”.   Tenants only had to call the council to make a request.  The Executive Director stressed that a key consideration with regard to the project was how work was prioritised. Some requests such as improvements to the bin stores would not cost money.

 

43.7   Councillor Mears supported the proposal and welcomed the further report to the January meeting. She would like to see detail of how much money from the HRA would be given to the General Fund. A contribution had already been made from the HRA for the Field Officers. Further detail was requested on how the spend would be administered. Councillor Mears referred to paragraph 3.4 relating to the review of Estate Development Budget and stated that she was keen to see a report on that subject.

 

43.8   Councillor Hill welcomed the report. She mentioned that Hollingdean had not always had a residents’ association and had missed out on funding. Even with the association some people did not come to meetings.

 

43.9   Councillor Gibson endorsed much of the previous comments. There needed to be clarity about funding; the contribution of the General Fund; and the EDB. He welcomed the need to address environmental issues. Councillor Gibson asked for assurance that there would be a thorough and full consultation about the contents of the report. 

 

43.10  The Head of Income, Involvement & Improvement explained that officers would consult with finance colleagues if there were any suggestions for spend that crossed over to the General Fund. Officers would consult properly if there were issues. Area Panel representatives were supportive of the proposals and future reports would be taken to the Area Panels. 

 

43.11  The Chair stressed that the proposal had come forward as a result of officers talking to residents who could not participate in any other way.

 

43.12  RESOLVED:-

 

(1)            That Housing & New Homes Committee agree to receive a full report to the January 2019 committee recommending the sum within the HRA budget to be set aside for enhanced environmental improvements and items on which it will be spent.

 

Supporting documents:

 


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