Agenda and minutes

The Economy, Housing and the Arts Policy and Accountability Committee - Wednesday, 12th June, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1 - Hammersmith Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Charles Francis  Email: charles.francis@lbhf.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

38.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Alan De’Ath and

Andrew Jones.

 

39.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

40.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 147 KB

 To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 26 March 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 26 March 2019 were agreed as an accurate record subject to the amendment being made to the spelling of the name Sylvain Malburet (Bush Theatre).

 

The Chair highlighted that there were two outstanding action points, namely: i) details about who and what the competencies were of the Panel Members for the Arts Commission and ii) details of whether the digital inclusion work included Sheltered Housing. The clerk was asked to pursue these points outside the meeting.

 

41.

Fire Safety Update pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mark Meehan, Chief Housing Officer introduced the report which provided an update on the work undertaken to improve fire safety across Council Housing.

 

Richard Buckley, Assistant Director of Property and Compliance informed

the Committee, that to ensure the delivery of fire safety works was coordinated and was as effective as possible, the Council had developed a clear strategic approach to improving fire safety.

 

The three main strands of strategy were:

·         H&F Fire Safety Plus

·         Compliance Based Asset Management Strategy

·         The Hackitt Review

H&F Fire Safety Plus

Richard Buckley explained that in October 2017, the Council launched Fire Safety Plus. This committed the Council to achieving the highest possible standard of fire safety across its housing stock. Fire Safety Plus made available £20 million of capital funding for fire safety testing and capital works which was agreed by Full Council on 18 October 2017.  

 

It set out the Council’s commitment to:  

·         Do more than the minimum requirement to keep residents safe. 

·         Ensure that homes across Hammersmith and Fulham were safe and compliant. 

·         Undertake a thorough review of fire safety in all communal blocks. 

·         Organise a programme of work to install new fire doors, enhanced fire-fighting equipment, facilities and automated detection. 

 

The Committee noted that the Council was committed not to charge leaseholders for fire safety work.  

 

 

Compliance Based Asset Management Strategy 

The Committee were informed that in addition to the work that emerged from Fire Safety Plus, the next stage was to gain approval for a compliance-based Asset Management Strategy. This set out the Council’s commitment to achieve a compliance-based asset management approach to its housing stock and through its capital programme, deliver a higher standard of fire safety and compliance.  

 

The Hackitt Review 

Underpinning the Council’s approach was the Government’s Hackitt Review. The key strategic aims were incorporated into the Council’s Asset Management Strategy. The adoption of the recommendations in the Hackitt Review will ensure the Council manages housing in line with best practice.  

 

The key themes of the review were: 

·         Clear roles and responsibilities to ensure a stronger focus on safety. 

·         Enhanced layers of fire safety for buildings 10 storeys and above.

·         Clear governance and record keeping of investment decisions. 

·         Robust record keeping of all changes made to detailed plans. 

·         Clear rights and obligations for residents to ensure fire compliance 

 

Examples of Action already taken

Richard Buckley highlighted a number of the actions which had already been taken. These included:

Specialised Teams -The Economy Directorate has put in place specialised teams with fire and associated systems expertise to undertake fire risk assessment, fire incident investigation, training, fire engineering solution, testing and maintenance and to deliver an extensive work programme of fire safety capital works.

Firefighting Lifts - As part of H&F lift programme, all future replacement lifts will be upgraded to firefighting standard, within the constraints of the existing building fabric. Forty are tabled to be installed over the next 36 months. 

FD60 Doors – An extensive fire door enhancement programme has been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.

42.

Affordable Housing Delivery Strategy - Verbal Update pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Minutes:

Labab Labub (Partnership Manager and Strategy, Housing) provided a presentation which set out the current work train and the emerging strategy?.Mr Labub explained the change in council policy from the a fiscally prudent approach of paying down debt to being emphasizing growth and delivery of affordable housing while being ruthlessly financially efficient.

 

Mr Labub set out the Council’s strategic approach to development through two main routes;

 

1.    The Asset and Growth Strategy

This involved reviewing Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and General Fund land to develop a better understanding of the opportunities from the Council’s estate and then consider the best delivery routes to maximise the benefit for the Council.

 

2.    The Schools Renewal Programme

This programme centred on developing modern, fit for purpose schools as provide housing through better use of the schools’ estate. The workstream involved Public Service Reform, Social Services and Housing.

 

Councillor Ann Rosenberg asked about the Watermeadow Court demolition in 2019 and what the latest information was. In response, Mr Labub explained that the Council was looking at a revised date for this to take place and he would provide the Committee with some revised information outside the meeting.

 

Action: Mr Labub to provide the Committee with further information about the timetable for demolition of Water Meadow Water Court.

 

Councillor Adronie Alford asked about the tenure breakdown of Edith Summerskill House and whether the intention was for the development only to be used as a key worker scheme. In response, Mr Labub explained that he would be able to provide a breakdown of the tenure outside the meeting.

 

Action: Mr Labub to provide the Committee with further information about the breakdown of tenure at Edith Summerskill House

 

Discussing the innovative ways new housing could be delivered, Councillor Rowan Ree noted that a recent housing development had incorporated a school at ground level, with flats directly above the school. While new thinking was commended, he asked about the safeguarding implications for these types of development.

 

In response, Mr Labub explained that schools were designed in consultation with the schools’ governors and access and egress rights were considered at length during the design consultation phases. Asking a further question, Councillor Rowan Ree enquired how many market rent properties were in the pipeline. In response, Mr Labub explained this information could be provided outside the meeting.

 

Action: Mr Labub to provide details on the number of market rent properties were scheduled to be built on 19/20.

 

Concluding the item, the Chair explained there were a number of market rent schemes that were on site, apart from those developments which were multi-phase. Mr Labub confirmed that the Housing Department were looking to identify further sites in the borough which could potentially be used for a further 800 units of affordable housing. The Chair stated that the Administrations’ aim was to deliver 1500 additional units over the next 5 years and he welcomed the initiatives officers were pursuing in relation to S106 agreements and their links to employment opportunities  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.