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Declarations of Interest
To receive declarations of personal and prejudicial interest (if any) from Members/Officers in accordance with the provisions of the Members Code of Conduct adopted by Council from 1 September 2008 (including whipping declarations)
Cllr Ross Penhale-Thomas declared a personal interest as a full time employee of a housing and equalities charity of which Invitees were members.
Cllr Jonathan Pratt declared a personal interest as a Crisis Response Volunteer with British Red Cross.
Cllr Alex Williams declared a personal interest as a landlord in the private rental sector.
Cllr Melanie Evans declared a personal interest as a Pencoed Town Councillor.
Cllr Tim Thomas declared a personal interest as a full time employee of an organisation that represents the interests of property agents.
Cllr Martyn Jones declared a personal interest as a landlord in the private sector.
Cllr Amanda Williams declared a personal interest as a friend is on the housing register and in emergency accommodation.
Cllr Steven Bletsoe declared a personal interest as a full time employee of a membership organisation in the private rented sector and would not be taking part in any discussions relating to the private rented sector.
Cllr Heidi Bennett declared a personal interest as a landlord in the private sector.
Cllr Mike Kearn declared a personal interest as a relative is on the housing register.
Cllr Freya Bletsoe declared a personal interest as part of the family’s income derived from the private rented sector and a friend is in emergency temporary accommodation.
Cllr Martin Williams declared a personal interest as a friend is in emergency temporary accommodation.
Cllr Richard Granville declared a personal interest as a person known to him is in emergency temporary accommodation.
Councillor Rhys Goode – Cabinet Member Wellbeing and Future Generations
Carys Lord - Chief Officer - Finance, Performance and Change
Martin Morgans – Head of Performance and Partnerships
Lynne Berry – Group Manager Housing & Community
Joanne Ginn – Housing Solutions Manager
Ryan Jones – Strategic Housing Commissioning Manager
Registered Social Landlord Invitees from:
Coastal Housing Group
Linc Cymru Housing Association
Valleys to Coast
Wales and West Housing
The Head of Performance and Partnerships presented the Housing Position Statement explaining the purpose of the report was to update the Committee on policy changes to the housing services and the current rehousing and homelessness position.
The Chair read the Committee a written response received from the Coastal Housing Group who were unable to attend the meeting.
Referring to a recent statistical release from Welsh Government in which the Authority was the second worst urban local authority in Wales for social housing stock, Members asked what the plans were to reverse this trend and queried whether it was possible that commercial properties that were no longer in use following the pandemic could be converted into flats or apartments. The Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) were asked if it was possible to expand the housing stock in the County Borough to resolve the situation and improve the position.
The Head of Performance and Partnerships responded from the Authority’s perspective and referring to the Programme Development Plan, Welsh Government were supporting circa £30 million per annum in terms of delivering social housing with a view to 470 houses being created over a two year period. In addition, there was Government money around the transitional phase which RSLs could bid for to improve the existing stock and fast track some accommodation being brought back into use. Within the Local Development Plan which was under Welsh Government (WG) consultation at the time they were looking at 7000 units within that plan, affordability was the key factor but with the right monies and policy in place they hoped it would take them forward in terms of development of their social housing stock and improve the reported position.
Members questioned whether the Social Housing Allocation Policy (SHAP) was still fit for purpose due to changes in pressures on people and housing since 2017 or whether a review was scheduled.
Officers advised that there was a strategy that would be consulted upon following its reporting to Cabinet and when the responses came in an action plan would be created part of which would be to review the SHAP in consultation with partners.
Members asked what options there were for the Ukrainian refugees, when their six months living with families ended for various reasons, given the social housing register wait time, whether there would an option be for families to make themselves homeless, as it was extremely difficult for them to rent from private landlords that request evidence of 6 months’ rent and that potential tenants are in full time employment. It was asked whether the number of refugees in the County Borough was available.
The Head of Performance and Partnerships advised that there was concern in Housing from the refugee perspective and there was a working group led by the Head of Finance, Performance and Change monitoring the situation with multi sector involvement e.g., Social Services, Education supporting.
Officers referred to the war in Ukraine going on longer that initially anticipated by the Home Office when they advertised ... view the full minutes text for item 15.
The Scrutiny Officer presented the Committee with the Forward Work Programme (FWP) in Appendix A for discussion and consideration, requested any specific information the Committee identified to be included in the items for the next two meetings, including invitees they wished to attend, requested the Committee to identify any further items for consideration on the FWP having regard to the selection criteria in paragraph 4.3 and asked the Committee to note that the FWP for the Committee would be reported to the next meeting of Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
There were no further items identified for consideration on the Forward Work Programme having regard to the selection criteria in paragraph 4.3, and this could be revisited at the next meeting.
There were no requests to include specific information in the item for the next meeting.
RESOLVED: That the Committee approved the Forward Work
Programme in Appendix A, noted that the Forward Work
Programme would be reported to the next meeting of
Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee and noted
The Recommendations Monitoring Action Sheet in
To consider any item(s) of business in respect of which notice has been given in
accordance with Part 4 (paragraph 4) of the Council Procedure Rules and which the person presiding at the meeting is of the opinion should by reason of special circumstances be transacted at the meeting as a matter of urgency.