Agenda for Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Regeneration and Skills) on Tuesday 22nd January, 2019, 6.30 pm

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Birkdale Room, Town Hall, Southport

Contact: Paul Fraser  Senior Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

29.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor Roche.

 

 

30.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Members are requested to give notice of any disclosable pecuniary or personal interest

 

An advice note on declaration of interests is attached

 

 

Minutes:

No declarations of any disclosable pecuniary interests or personal interests were received.

 

 

31.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 273 KB

Minutes of the meeting held 6 on November 2018

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the Minutes of the meeting held on 6 November 2018 be confirmed as a correct record.

 

 

32.

Impacts on Sefton arising from the Local Enterprise Partnership - Presentation

To receive a presentation from Mark Basnett, Managing Director, Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 15 (4) of 18 September 2018 the Committee received a presentation from Mark Basnett, Managing Director, Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LCR LEP) on the beneficial impacts on Sefton arising from the LCR LEP.

 

Mr. Basnett:

 

·         Indicated that LCR LEP was created in 2012 to bring together businesses and civic leaders to drive private-sector led growth and job creation; and that It covered the local authority areas of Liverpool, Halton, Knowsley, St Helens, Wirral and Sefton

·         Provided details of the members of the LEP Board and in particular those with a Sefton connection

·         Detailed how the LEP was funded and that Sefton’s local authority contribution was £32,804

·         Detailed the core activities of the LEP relating to Capital Programmes
(the Strategic Guidance on use of funds including Local Growth Fund),  Inward Investment, Business Growth, Sector Development and Education and Skills within the borough of Sefton

 

Members of the Committee asked questions/raised issues on the following matters:

 

·         Concern was raised that contributions made to the LEP from local authorities may have to increase to compensate for any potential reduction in contributions from private sector partners

·         Regarding the £2 million capital programme grant for the Port Academy at Hugh Baird College information was sought as to whether Peel Ports had made a contribution to the project

·         The relationship between the Business Growth Hub and Invest Sefton

·         The contingency plans in place to deal with problems arising from Brexit

·         The provision of brokerage services as part of the Growth Hub to help businesses get the support they need

·         The level of support offered by the LEP to both small and large businesses and how financial decisions are taken by the Combined Authority regarding such support  

 

RESOLVED: That:

 

(1)

Mr. Basnett be thanked for his attendance at the meeting and for his informative presentation; and

 

(2)

Mr. Basnett be requested to provide Members with information as to whether Peel Ports had made a contribution to the Port Academy at Hugh Baird College project on top of the £2 million capital programme grant provided by the LEP.

 

 

 

33.

Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority - Service Delivery Plan 2018/19

To receive a presentation from Carl Beer, Chief Executive of the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority

Minutes:

The Committee received a presentation from Stuart Donaldson, Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority on the Authority’s Service Delivery Plan 2018/19.

 

Mr. Donaldson provided information on:

 

·         The “waste hierarchy” of prevent, reduce, re-use, recycle, energy recovery and landfill

·         The Merseyside and Halton Waste Partnership that served 1.5 million residents in 688,000 households and had a recycling rate of 38.9%

·         Household waste recycling centres and diversion statistics between 2008 – 2018

·         The materials recovery facilities at both Bidston and Gillmoss

·         The Kirkby rail loading station taking residual waste to the Wilton energy from waste facility

·         Recycling performance of the 6 Liverpool City Region (LCR) local authorities

·         The MRWA Community Fund

·          LCR kerbside residual waste results 2015-16

·         The MRWA behavioural change programme which aimed to reduce contamination in household bins and bags and to improve the quality of recycling collected

·         The new national government strategy “Our Waste, Our Resources: A Strategy for England

·         The LCR “circular economy club”

·         Collection strategy considerations

·         MRWA costs and levy

·         Phase one and two forming part of a strategic review arising from the LCR Leaders’ meeting   

 

Members of the Committee asked questions/raised issues on the following matters:

 

·         The potential use of stickers/signage on recycling bins/bags to indicate what materials can be recycled

·         In order to provide consistency, the use of industry standard recycling logos on product packages

·         The potential for more money to be made from recycling activity to bring about a reduction in the MWRA levy

·         The potential to filter/sort waste before it is sent to Wilton energy from waste facility for incineration

·         The potential to put waste of electrical and electronic equipment in recycling bins to avoid it being disposed of in general waste

·         The extended producer responsibility and the elimination or reduction in the size and amount of goods packaging 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Mr. Donaldson be thanked for his attendance at the meeting and for his informative presentation. 

 

 

34.

Sefton Empty Homes Plan 2019 - 2024 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Report of the Interim Head of Economic Growth and Housing

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Interim Head of Economic Growth and Housing on the draft Sefton Empty Homes Plan 2019-2024.

 

The report indicated that one of the key strategic priorities in the current Housing Strategy identified improving the housing quality in Sefton's communities and neighbourhoods; that the stated aim to achieve this included: 'Reducing the numbers of empty homes and neighbourhood empty homes ‘hot?spots’ by helping empty property owners to bring their properties back into use through advice and assistance, including early intervention and preventative measures. Where this is not effective, a targeted approach alongside a range of enforcement powers would be used to help bring longer term and problematic empty homes back into use'; that to help achieve the strategic aims and priorities an updated Empty Homes Plan had been drafted to build upon the work of the previous Empty Homes Strategy and, importantly, an opportunity to re-prioritise Council actions and intervention as required; and that the updated plan focused on 3 key objectives:

 

·         Raising awareness of long term empty properties as a wasted resource

·         Encouraging empty property owners, particularly those who own homes in the selective and additional licensing areas, to bring properties back into use through advice and assistance

·         Utilise suitable enforcement powers to target and bring problematic properties back into use, through cross departmental working, focusing primarily on those empty 2 years or more in the selective and additional licensing areas.

 

The report also set out the numerous positive benefits in bringing empty homes back into use which included:

 

·         Better use of the asset potential for owners, improving asset value and possible income from rent.

·         Ensuring community stability

·         Investment into an area

·         Revitalising the local economy

·         Reducing crime and vandalism

·         Making the area more attractive and a safer place to live

·         Supporting area regeneration programs

·         Providing a home for someone in housing need

·         A potential to improve Council Tax revenue.

·         Increased revenue from Selective Licensing and Additional HMO Licensing fees

 

The report concluded that approval of an updated Empty Homes Plan for Sefton would allow the authority to update and prioritise its actions to tackle empty homes within the Borough; that areas such as Central Southport and Bootle would receive the greatest attention for reducing the number of long-term vacant properties where numbers were the greatest and that in-turn this would complement existing housing licensing schemes and strategies; that

the overall picture identified a downward trend in the total proportion of vacant homes in Sefton since 2011 however, Sefton’s total proportion of empty homes remained slightly above a level of 4.0% considered normal for a borough of Sefton’s nature (set in the Local Plan); that it must also be noted that Sefton’s reduction in empty homes over recent years was not as positive compared to other Liverpool City Region Authorities and that this may be down to a number of aspects beyond the control of the Council, such as local market conditions and that the staffing resources and capital budgets which the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

35.

Work Programme 2018/19, Scrutiny Review Topics and Key Decision Forward Plan – January 2019 pdf icon PDF 249 KB

Report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer seeking the views of the Committee on the Work Programme for 2018/19, the identification of potential topics for scrutiny reviews to be undertaken by a Working Group(s) appointed by the Committee and the identification of any items for pre-scrutiny by the Committee from the Key Decision Forward Plan.

 

Members asked questions/raised issues on the following matter:

 

·         The requests made to DEFRA and other organisations (United Utilities, OFWAT, BEIS, SALIX, BITC and Waterplus) to establish their further involvement to highlight the need and encourage the development of the needed funding arrangements in relation to United Utilities’ increase in charges

 

RESOLVED: That

 

(1)

 

the Work Programme for 2018/19 be noted;

 

(2)

the reports updating on United Utilities – Update on Increase in Charges and the Mental Health and Employment Task Group be submitted to the next meeting of the Committee to be held on 12 March, 2019;

 

(3)

the up to date position regarding the Effectiveness of the Council’s Enforcement Activities Working Group be noted; and

 

(4)

the progress to date regarding the Joint Working Group for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Provision be noted and the broader scope for the review in considering post-16 transport arrangements be approved.

 

 

 

36.

Cabinet Member Reports – November 2018 to January 2019 pdf icon PDF 282 KB

Report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer that included the most recent report from the Cabinet Members for Communities and Housing; Health and Wellbeing (Green Sefton), Locality Services; Planning and Building Control; and Regeneration and Skills. 

 

Members of the Committee asked questions/made comments on the following issues:

 

·         The Southport Business Improvement District renewal

·         The potential to include occupancy rates in future updates on the Southport Market

·         The general theme of the Cabinet Member – Regeneration and Skills report that showed that the portfolio worked for the whole of the borough

·         The impressive Sefton@Work statistics outlined in the 2018 General Performance Data

 

RESOLVED: That

 

(1)

the update report from the Cabinet Members for Communities and Housing; Health and Wellbeing (Green Sefton), Locality Services; Planning and Building Control; and Regeneration and Skills be noted; and

 

(2)

Councillor Atkinson, Cabinet Member - Regeneration and Skills be thanked for her attendance and contribution at the meeting.