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APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND ANNOUNCEMENT OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS
Receive (if any)
Apologies for absence from the meeting was received from Councillor Osman Dervish. Councillor Ray Best substituted for Councillor Dervish. Councillor Sue Ospreay was absent.
DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS
Members are invited to disclose any interests in any of the items on the agenda at this point of the meeting. Members may still declare an interest in an item at any time prior to the consideration of the matter.
There were no declarations of interest.
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Sub-Committee held on 8 December 2022 and authorise the Chairman to sign them.
The minutes of the sub-committee meeting held on 8 December 2022 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
The Sub-Committee received a presentation on an introduction to Infrastructure Planning: Section 106 and the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations (CIL).
The presentation outlined that the timely delivery of high-quality infrastructure was fundamental to supporting development and ensuring Havering is a great place to live, work, socialise and invest.
It was explained that the Infrastructure Planning Team’s key responsibilities were as follows:
· Work collaboratively across the Council to manage policies, processes and systems required to: plan, fund, deliver and monitor all infrastructure projects.
· Manage the Council’s infrastructure governance procedures.
· Support services and officers to secure and spend developer contributions (S106 & CIL).
· Provide technical guidance on complex CIL & S106 matters.
· Statutory reporting on CIL & S106 receipt and expenditure in the annual Infrastructure Funding Statement (IFS).
Officers summarised that there were 2 types of developer contributions: Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and S106 Contributions and the Sub-Committee was briefed on what CIL was, what it could be spent on, what it could not be spent on, and what neighbourhood NCIL could be spent on.
It was explained who the CIL funding bodies in Havering were, what the CIL funding bid process was, how the decisions and assessment on CIL bids were made, the total amount of CIL the Council had received to date, and what projects had been funded by CIL.
A summary of S106 Developer Contributions were provided, how its obligations were applied, what the contributions could be spent on, contributions received, what was available to spend. Details of the infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) were also explained.
The Sub–Committee noted the report.
The Sub-Committee received an update report on the position of the Housing Services resident safety and compliance programmes against its statutory and regulatory duties.
The report was presented as agreed by Cabinet on February 2022 that the overview and scrutiny sub-committee would be provided with regular reports on the housing compliance performance as part of the internal governance approach, performance was also scrutinised monthly by both the Compliance Board and the Asset Management Sub Steering Group.
The Sub-Committee were informed that the service had a duty to ensure every properties it manages are safe and meet all relevant statutory duties around testing and servicing equipment and meets the relevant consumer standards of the Regulator for Social Housing and the requirements of the Building Safety Act monitored by the new Building Safety Regulator.
The following six compliance areas were considered for resident safety:
· Gas Safety – all gas appliances be inspected annually and a Landlord Gas Safety Record (LGSR) provided.
· Electrical Safety – all social rented properties to have and electrical inspection (EICR) every 10 years. It was stated that a recent regulation changed the requirement for private landlords to have 5 year inspections which is considered best practice in social rented properties and Housing services has adopted this approach.
· Lift Safety – A monthly inspections and planned maintenance regimes and an annual certificate provided by the insurer.
· Water Safety – all relevant water systems must be checked for legionella risk. All actions flowing from the legionella inspection must be completed within prescribed timescales.
· Fire Safety – All relevant properties must have a valid Fire risk assessment (FRA) undertaken on a risk based approach which can be on a cyclical programme between 1 and 3 years. All actions flowing from the FRA must be completed within prescribed timescales.
· Asbestos – under the asbestos regulations all communal areas must have a valid management level asbestos survey which must be held on a relevant asbestos register.
In addition, Members were informed that the service was completing a survey programme of all domestic properties to ensure all risk are managed appropriately, this is not however a statutory requirement under the asbestos regulations.
The Sub-Committee noted that alongside the main six areas Housing services have a duty to ensure compliance across a number of other associated areas such a PAT testing, lightening protection testing, Dry Riser testing and Fire alarm testing and as new properties are added to the portfolio the service also need to ensure areas such as sprinkler and communal extract systems are included in compliance programmes
It was stated that given the seriousness of resident safety all KPIs are set at 100% as shown in Appendix 1. Following a significant programme of work the service has been able to complete most programmes and ensure the relevant evidence was in place to support this position.
These figures appended to the report were for the January 2023, which is the latest available at the time need to submit this report, it was stated that ... view the full minutes text for item 21.
The Sub-Committee received a report on the Domestic Vehicle Crossover Policy.
The report outlined that the implementation of a Domestic Vehicle Dropped Kerb Policy is aimed at ensuring that the Council takes a consistent approach to decision making when assessing applications for domestic vehicle crossings under the Highways Act 1980, which was mainly regarding public safety and the impact on the street environment.
Officers invited the sub-committee for comments which will then be considered and assessed in shaping any further amendments to the Dropped Kerb Policy. Subsequently the Dropped Kerb Policy will then be finalised and an Executive Decision prepared to be adopted.
It was stated that the existing dropped kerb policy was adopted in 2008 and was currently the document used to assess and either approve or reject dropped crossing applications. Whilst there is nothing fundamentally wrong with this policy it has now become quite dated and was therefore subject to review.
The sub-committee noted that from the review Officers highlighted a number of areas where it was considered that changes could be made to introduce improvements. One issue was that the existing policy contains a certain level of subjectivity and interpretation.
It was stated that the new draft dropped kerb policy seeks to address these concerns. The following changes have been made:
· The new policy is clearer and more concise. Both for residents and also for Officers to interpret.
· To update the policy in line with current standards and practices. An example of this would be how assessments are carried out where there are nearby trees.
· In addition, the section on other related permissions (such as planning) and consents are expanded to assist applicants providing additional required detail. In particular, the section on planning consents has been updated to include information surrounding forecourt paving and discharging water onto the highway.
The report stated that it would be important to apply the criteria consistently to applications in order to limit and minimise the level of complaints and provide fairness in the assessment process. Officers acknowledged that certain criteria can be relaxed in exceptional circumstances.
The cost of the application assessment is currently £211.00, as part of the review the fee would go up to £240.00.
The sub-committee was informed that the new policy would recommended 4.8 metres in depth for new applications. It was stated that application with less than 4.8 metres causes problems with pedestrian accessibility and a safety concern.
Another aspect that the services wants to introduce a consistent level relates to having a standard width of 7.2 metres for each dropped crossing which would be assessed and price upon.
The sub-committee was informed that the service would work with Communications Team to ensure the policy is clear and understood when submitting an application.
Members discussed the issue of a new crossing to be a distance of 2.7 metres from the next door neighbour.
The Sub-Committee noted the briefing.
The Sub-Committee received a report that provided an overview of Phase 1 and 2 School Streets scheme and their benefits.
The School Street is a street (or streets) surrounding a school that is closed to most vehicles for a period of time at the start and end of the school day. They are implemented with the aim of creating a safer environment for everyone by reducing traffic and improving local air quality.
The restrictions, which are enforced during term time only (with CCTV), should have the following benefits for the school community and residents:
· Improved road safety for all road users
· A reduction in anti-social behaviour from thoughtless parking and dangerous vehicle movements
· Less vehicles on the school run, reducing traffic and making it easier for pupils, parents, carers and staff to walk, scoot and cycle to school – with physical and mental health benefits
· Increased physical activity levels in children by enabling confidence in parents to let their children walk, scoot or cycle to and from school.
· Contributes towards positive modal shift and less reliance on motorised vehicles.
· Improved air quality around the school gate due to reduced vehicles (and idling).
The report outlined the plans for the further expansion of the number of school streets in the Borough (Phase 3).
The sub-committee noted report outlined the following proposals for expansion of School Streets Scheme:
As a result of the benefits of the scheme, the Council is moving to a policy of promoting a School Street wherever the location is deemed suitable. It was noted that as the work is underway to implement the next batch of school streets in time for the new school term in September.
All remaining schools that are considered to be suitable for a School Street scheme will be contacted. The advantages of a school street will be explained and the Council will seek their views and whether they would support a School Street in their area.
The sub-committee noted that the high-level screening suggested an additional ten School Streets may be possible this year 2023.
It was noted that further to engagement with schools, providing the school supports in principle, the local area will be consulted. Ward members will be engaged as part of this process. The results of the consultation will be used to develop the approved list to be taken forward and implemented.
The report outlined the following key milestones of the current work:
Those School Street sites to be taken forward will be presented for a decision through the Councils Executive Decision process and will be adopted for the experimental traffic order process as ... view the full minutes text for item 23.