Agenda and minutes

The Economy, Housing and the Arts Policy and Accountability Committee - Tuesday, 3rd November, 2015 7.00 pm

Venue: Small Hall - Hammersmith Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Ainsley Gilbert  Tel: 020 8753 2088

Items
No. Item

18.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence from members. Beverley Bernett and Suzanne Iwai, both representatives of TRAs had sent their apologies for being unable to attend.

19.

Declarations of Interest

* See note below.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

20.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 250 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 8th September 2015 and to note progress made against actions

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 8th September 2015 were agreed to be accurate.

 

Councillor Andrew Jones, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration provided an update on action relating to the arts strategy since the meeting. He explained that a lot of helpful detailed written representations had been received after the meeting, and that these, along with the comments made at the meeting were being used to revise the draft arts strategy. The strategy would then be broadly consulted upon, and this was likely to take place in the first few months of 2016. 

ACTION - The update provided by Councillor Jones was to be shared with residents who had attended the meeting held on 8th September 2015.

 

 

21.

Recommendation of the Residents' Commission on Council Housing pdf icon PDF 204 KB

To present the Committee with the report and recommendations of the Residents Commission on the future arrangements for the provision, ownership and management of, and investment in, the Council’s housing stock.

Minutes:

Councillor Phibbs explained that he felt the committee were unable to effectively scrutinise the content of the report of the Residents’ Commission on Council Housing as members had not had advance sight of the document. The Chair explained that the role of the committee was not to scrutinise the report of the independent Residents’ Commission, but to scrutinise the administration; were the Cabinet to decide to take action based on the report, the committee would be able to scrutinise that. Councillor Cowan, Leader of the Council, said that the Commission had requested that their report be presented first to the Economic Regeneration, Housing and the Arts Policy and Accountability Committee as it was this committee which had proposed the creation of the Residents’ Commission. He confirmed that the Cabinet would welcome scrutiny of any decision they took relating to the recommendations of the report.

 

The Chair introduced the Rt Hon. Keith Hill, Chair of the Residents’ Commission on Council Housing. Keith Hill said that he was pleased to be able to present the Resident’s Commission’s report to the Policy and Accountability Committee which had first proposed the Commission’s creation. He explained that the report included a number of radical proposals for changes to the way council housing was owned and managed, and that he understood that these proposals might on first sight be hard to accept for some people. Mr Hill explained the approach that the Residents’ Commission had taken to its work. He said that the core values of the Commission had been transparency and independence, and in this spirit nine public hearings had been held around the borough, covering each of the key areas the Commission had identified. Evidence had been received from 40 witnesses and 9 visits to other organisations had been undertaken, as well as 19 estate visits and 22 sheltered accommodation scheme coffee mornings. 78,000 newsletters had been distributed, and the Commission’s website had received 19,000 ‘hits’. All of this work, as well as a fair number of closed commission meetings, had meant that members of the Commission had had to sacrifice a large amount of their time and energy to the project, and he thanked all members for their efforts. The meeting, at this point, showed its appreciation for the hard work of the Residents’ Commission with an extended round of applause.

 

Keith Hill moved on to explain the tasks given to the Residents’ Commission by the Cabinet which were: to consider the options for empowering residents to take local control over their homes; to find the best way of maximising investment in existing council homes; and to see how new homes could be built. The Commission had chosen to add a fourth task to this list, which was to draw up a new model of management to deliver better housing services in the borough.

 

The Commission had investigated whether the council could remain the landlord but be bound to retain the housing stock. Specialist lawyers had advised that this was not possible and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Date of the Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Economic Regeneration, Housing and the Arts Policy and Accountability Committee will be held on 1 December 2015 at 7pm in the Small Hall, Hammersmith Town Hall.

Minutes:

Members noted that the next meeting would be held on 1 December 2015 at 7pm in the Small Hall, Hammersmith Town Hall.

 

The Chairman thanked all those present for attending and contributing to an interesting and useful discussion.