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Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3 - Civic Suite. View directions

Contact: John Bardens (02083149976) 

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes of the meeting held on 18 April 2017 pdf icon PDF 133 KB

Decision:

Resolved: the Committee agreed the minutes of the last meeting as a true record

Minutes:

Resolved: the Committee agreed the minutes of the last meeting as a true record

2.

Declarations of interest pdf icon PDF 201 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Slater is a member of the board of Phoenix Community Housing

 

Councillor Coughlin is a member of the Brockley Tenants’ Co-operative

3.

Responses from Mayor and Cabinet

Minutes:

There were no responses from M&C at this meeting.

4.

Lewisham Housing Strategy

Verbal update

Decision:

Resolved: the Committee noted the verbal update

Minutes:

Genevieve Macklin (Head of Strategic Housing) and colleagues provided a brief verbal update, with a full report due to come to the next meeting of the committee. The following key points were noted:

4.1 Officers didn’t want to bring an update on the strategy that didn’t take into account the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy. A full report at the next meeting will outline progress on the four priorities of the housing strategy and there will be a separate report around what's happened since Grenfell.

4.2 Officers are also currently holding off of a full review of the housing strategy while the legislative outlook for housing remains unclear. A number of housing-related regulations have been delayed since the general election was called, including those on high-value voids, right to buy in housing associations, and fixed-term tenancies. It is still unclear, following the Queen’s speech, what direction the government is going to take in the area of housing.

4.3 Officers were also asked questions about the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.

4.4 Lewisham officers are currently investigating the number of high-rise (over 6 floors) blocks in the borough and have so far confirmed 121. 71 of these are managed by Lewisham Homes, 10 by RB3, and 40 by a mix of housing association partners and private developers.

4.5 The Director of Customer Services has written to those responsible for the tower blocks in the borough. So far 6 tower blocks managed by Lewisham Homes have been found to have cladding. Samples are being removed and tested (BRE). So far 2 out of 6 have been sent for testing.

4.6 Some housing association partners have also identified how many of their tower blocks have cladding and need to be tested and this information is still being collated.

4.7 Officers will meet and plan the response when the test results come back. Results are expected to start coming in later this week (w/c 26 June 2017).

4.8 So far, across the country, buildings that have combustible cladding, but no other complicating factors, are not being evacuated. Additional measures such as fire safety officers on site are being taken instead.

4.9 Where it is just cladding that needs to be removed, the plan is to convey the results, meet and reassure residents, put fire marshals in place on site, and start the removal process. If there are other concerns, a different response may be needed. Contingency plans, including interim accommodation, are in place if it there is a need to decant tower blocks in the borough.

4.10 Officers are not sure if the Government is going to fund the cost of this work.

The Committee made a number of comments. The following were noted:

4.11 The Committee asked if councillors could be made aware of any tower blocks with cladding in their wards.

4.12 The Committee stressed the importance of the council working closely with the fire authorities to assess the risks.

4.13 The Committee also expressed concern that, regardless of who is responsible for a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Models for delivering new housing - scoping paper pdf icon PDF 701 KB

Decision:

Resolved: the Committee agreed the key lines of enquiry for the review.

Minutes:

Jeff Endean (Housing Strategy and Programmes Manager) gave a short presentation setting out some statistics on the scale of housing delivery in Lewisham and John Bardens (Scrutiny Manager) introduced the scoping report. The following was noted:

5.1      Of the 13,000 new homes built in the borough over the last ten years, two thirds have been by private developers, 4,000 by housing associations, and 57 by the public sector.

5.2      The Lewisham New Homes Programme includes a number of measures to try to increase the public sector number. This includes building new council homes, temporary accommodation, estate regeneration, and community-led developments.

5.3      The main considerations for officers are speed and scale of delivery. If a particular models delivers more slowly, officers will look at whether the other advantages of that approach are worth the wait.

5.4      The Committee agreed that in future reports officers should explain and define the different types of affordable housing being referred to.

 

 

Resolved: the Committee agreed the key lines of enquiry for the review.

6.

Select Committee work programme pdf icon PDF 273 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved: the Committee agreed the changes to the work programme.

Minutes:

John Bardens (Scrutiny Manager) introduced the report. The following was noted:

6.1 A full report on the Lewisham Housing Strategy will come to the next meeting.

6.2 The response to the Chair of Overview & Scrutiny’s information request to the Chief Executive about tall building fire safety will come to the  next meeting.

6.3 The first evidence session of the committee’s review of housing-delivery models will be scheduled for September.

 

 

Resolved: the Committee agreed the changes to the work programme.

7.

Referrals to Mayor and Cabinet

Minutes:

There were no referrals at this meeting