Agenda for Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Regeneration and Skills) on Tuesday 2nd July, 2019, 6.30 pm

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room, Town Hall, Bootle

Contact: Paul Fraser  Senior Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

1.

Former Councillor Kevin Cluskey

Minutes:

Councillor Sayers, Chair of the Committee, referred to the sad passing on 27 June 2019 of former Councillor Kevin Cluskey. Kevin was a valued Member of this Committee and participated in many of its Working Groups; as well as being a Member of the Council for 32 years and Mayor of the borough on 3 occasions.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the deepest condolences of the Committee be extended Kevin’s wife Councillor Linda Cluskey, his family, friends and colleagues at this sad time.  

2.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Brough (and his Substitute Member Councillor Jones) and Councillor Atkinson, Cabinet Member – Regeneration and Skills.

3.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 37 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.

 

4.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Minutes of the meeting held 12 March 2019

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the Minutes of the meeting held on 12 March 2019 be confirmed as a correct record.

5.

Annual Monitoring of Housing Selective and Additional (HMO) Licensing Schemes pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Report of the Head of Economic Growth and Housing

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 48 of 13 March 2018 the Committee considered the report of the Head of Economic Growth and Housing on the annual monitoring of Housing Selective and Additional (HMO) Licensing Schemes.

 

The report indicated three new licensing schemes came into force on 1 March 2018; that one selective licensing scheme covered  the majority of Bootle that required all privately rented premises to be licensed, and two Additional (HMO) licensing schemes in both central Southport and areas of Waterloo, Seaforth and Brighton-le-Sands, that required all Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) to be licensed; that the agreed Performance Framework allowed the Council to monitor and test whether the Selective and Additional (HMO) Licensing Schemes were having an impact on improving the Licensing Neighbourhoods and private rented accommodation within them; that the Council had approved a “business case”, which set out its justification for introducing licensing schemes and that to justify the proposed schemes for Sefton it was argued that licensing of private rented homes would lead to better management of these homes.

 

Towards the end of the 5-year life of its schemes, the Council would need to consider whether it needed to extend the life of these schemes, and if it did, it would need to justify this through a new business case. Almost certainly, the Council would need the evidence that it’s schemes were having a positive impact. Therefore, the performance framework was an essential tool, both to monitor the effects of licensing and to help justify any extension of the life of its schemes, should it wish to do so.

 

The report also provided information on the implementation of the Licensing Schemes Performance Framework and detailed the monitoring factors and the progress made against each factor as at 28 February 2019; and detailed feedback from tenants and landlords.

 

The report concluded by seeking comments on the Housing Selective and Additional (HMO) Licensing Schemes for submission to the Cabinet Member - Communities and Housing. 

 

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

 

·       The successful outcomes arising from enforcement action against landlords resulting in heavy fines and the recovery of the Council’s costs

·       The revenue received from the fees for the Housing Selective and Additional (HMO) Licensing Schemes and how such fees covered the administrative and operational costs of the Schemes

·       The provision of statistics in relation to the HMO Licensing Scheme in the Waterloo, Seaforth and Brighton-le-Sands areas

·       The expectation that landlords would continue to comply with the Licensing Schemes

·       Following the earlier introduction of Licensing Schemes in the Liverpool City Council area the displacement of landlords who wished to avoid the Schemes into the Sefton area

·       Anti-social behaviour associated with the privet rented sector

·       The powers available for Closing and Prohibition Orders

·       Particular concern was expressed regarding the Government’s directive that Council’s could not approve Licensing Schemes that covered more than 20% of the total private rented stock in the Council’s area without ministerial approval or for an area that contains a proportion of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Post-16 Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Provision Working Group - Final Report pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer to follow

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 16 (4) of 18 September 2018 the Committee considered the report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer that presented formally the final report of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Provision (SEND) Working Group.

 

The report indicated that Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Children’s Services and Safeguarding) together with this Committee had agreed to establish a Joint Working Group to consider the provision for young people with SEND; that the terms of reference and objectives for the Working Group were “to review post-16 provision for Special Educational Needs and Disability in terms of home to school transport arrangements, as provided by the Council’s Specialist Transport Unit (STU)”; and that the Working Group had appointed Councillor Spencer as the Lead Member for the review and that subsequently, it was agreed that Councillor Dowd would be the Interim Lead Member.

 

A copy of the Final Report was attached as an Appendix to the report.

 

Prior to consideration of the report the Committee received a presentation from Councillor Liz Dowd, Interim Lead Member of the Working Group and Graham Lymbery, Specialist Transport Manager, on the Final Report.

 

Mr. Lymbery provided information on:

 

·       Why the Working Group looked at the topic of post-16 home to school transport arrangements, as provided by the Council’s STU and which included how the Council supported young people with SEND into work and the key barrier of the inability to travel independently

·       The key corporate drivers that included the Sefton 2030 Vision, feedback from families and young people and PSR4 – review and restructure of Specialist Transport

·       The Working Group’s actions in relation to looking at the current arrangements for all home to school travel support for children with SEND, interviewing key staff members, speaking to neighbouring authorities and gaining insight from users of the service

·       The Working Group’s findings that included that the service was done to people rather than with people, lacked customer focus and that the policy was adequate in itself but failed to support the 2030 Vision

·       The changes identified by the Working Group which included working with Children, Parents, Carers, Parent/Carer Forum, creating a culture of shared responsibility, and a clarity of strategic direction with a link to aspirations around Sefton 2030 Vision

·       What was being done currently to consolidate all elements of Travel Support into one team and the location of the new Travel Support Team next to SEN to facilitate better co-ordination and communication

·       What was proposed to be done which included a change in the relationship the Council had with parents – moving towards co-production and shared responsibility, an increase in capacity to support young people with Travel Training, the introduction of more efficient and effective processes and a recognition of the wider Council objectives and seek to support these

·       The Working Group’s recommendations that were set out in the Final Report

 

Councillor Dowd concluded by thanking Councillors Brenda O’Brien, Mike O’Brien and Spencer, her fellow Working Group Members, who had worked hard and dedicated a great  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Work Programme 2019/20, Scrutiny Review Topics and Key Decision Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 88 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 sought the views of members on the draft Work Programme for 2019/20; the identification of potential topics for scrutiny reviews to be undertaken by a Working Group(s) appointed by the Committee; the identification of any items for pre-scrutiny by the Committee from the Key Decision Forward Plan; and updating on the progress of items that have previously been considered by the Committee.

 

Jon Williams, Energy and Environmental Management Officer updated the Committee of developments associated with United Utilities and increases in their charges.

 

In respect of the update concerning United Utilities and increases in their charges Members of the Committee asked questions/made comments on the following issues:

 

·       The amount of money saved by Sefton and north-west schools following the reduction in United Utilities surface water drainage charges resulting from the Council’s investigation of national data

·       The pressure exerted on United Utilities by the Committee to help secure the reduction in surface water drainage charges

·       How the Council’s Corporate Communications Team could be utilised to publicise the achievements in the savings made

·       The difference between surface water drainage and highway drainage charges

·       Sustainable urban drainage systems   

 

RESOLVED: That

 

(1)

 

subject to the report concerning Green Sefton 2018/19 Annual Report, Service Vision 2030, and Service Plan 2019/20 being considered at the meeting to be held on 5 November 2019 rather than 17 September 2019 the Work Programme for 2019/20, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report, be approved;

 

(2)

the current position regarding the Effectiveness of the Council’s Enforcement Activity Working Group be noted;

 

(3)

the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer be requested to contact the Strategic Leadership Board seeking the identification of potential topics to be the subject of Working Groups to be established by this Committee; 

 

(4)

the up to date position concerning progress made in respect of Land East of Maghull Masterplan, as referred to in paragraphs 4.1 to 4.4 of the report, be noted; and

 

(5)

regarding United Utilities and increases in their charges as referred to in paragraphs 4.5 to 4.8 of the report:

 

(i)

the arrangements for a visit to Moorlands Junior School, Sale, Cheshire on 17 July 2019 to look at the school’s sustainable drainage system be approved and it be noted that Councillors Robinson and John Sayers will attend the visit;

 

(ii)

following the site visit referred to in (i) above the Head of Corporate Resources be requested to arrange a return visit to a suitable Sefton school site and the Eco Centre;

 

(iii)

the Head of Corporate Resources be requested to update future meetings of the Committee on the role and activities the Eco Centre may play in supporting the Sefton demonstrator site and any other drainage related themes (SUDs/Fatbergs); and

(iv)

in respect of the response given by the nominated contact at United Utilities to support the roll out of local government scale SuDS  the Head of Corporate Resources be requested to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Cabinet Member Reports - March to June 2019 pdf icon PDF 68 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 reports from the Cabinet Members for Communities and Housing; Health and Wellbeing (Green Sefton), Locality Services; Planning and Building Control; and Regeneration and Skills. 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That 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.