Agenda and minutes

Executive
Tuesday 11th June 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Gipping Room, Grafton House

Contact: Ainsley Gilbert  01473 432510

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for Absence were received from Councillor P Smart.

2.

Unconfirmed Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 84 KB

To consider the Minutes of the meeting held on 19 March 2019.

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the minutes of the meeting held on 19 March 2019 be signed as a true record.

3.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the Order of Business be confirmed as printed on the Agenda.

4.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no Declarations of Interest.

5.

To Confirm the Times of Meetings

To confirm the start time of Executive meetings as 6pm.

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that meetings of Executive would commence at 6.00pm.

6.

E/19/01 Ipswich Borough Council Housing Strategy Update pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Neil MacDonald

 

The Ipswich Borough Council Housing Strategy has been updated to reflect:

·         The removal of Homelessness and Rough Sleeping into a separate Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2019 – 2024;

·         A new strategic approach to the Private Rented Sector;

·         A new strategic approach to Older Persons Housing.

 

The report recommends that Executive:

·         Considers and approves the draft updated Housing Strategy for public consultation;

·         Agrees that the draft updated Housing Strategy is subject to a public consultation exercise from 18th June to 13th August 2019, which will include consideration by full Council at its meeting on 24th July 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

6.1         Councillor MacDonald introduced the report, explaining that the Housing Strategy had been updated to reflect the creation of a separate Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy and the new strategic approaches to the Private Rented Sector and Older Persons Housing. Councillor MacDonald explained that the Council’s priorities were: enabling building of houses of all tenures; improving access to and the quality of existing housing; meeting the housing needs of all communities and meeting the challenges of an ageing population, and; prevention of homelessness and rough sleeping. Councillor MacDonald the noted that the Ipswich Standard for Council housing continued to be a key element of the strategy.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

a)    that the draft updated Housing Strategy (Appendix 1 to the report) be approved for public consultation and consideration by full Council;

 

Reason: To enable an informed decision on the content of an updated Housing Strategy.

 

b)   that the draft Housing Strategy be subject to a public consultation exercise from 18th June – 13th August 2019, including consideration by full Council at its meeting on 24th July 2019.

 

Reason: To gather public and councillor views to enable an informed decision on the content of the updated Housing Strategy.

7.

E/19/02 House Buiding Programme - Grimwade Street Redevlopment Scheme pdf icon PDF 788 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Neil MacDonald

 

Executive are requested to agree and note the proposed options, tenure, method of delivery, programme and allocation of financial resources in order to enable the redevelopment of a council owned site (supporting a parade of shops with accommodation over) at Grimwade Street, Ipswich.

Minutes:

7.1         Councillor MacDonald explained that it was proposed to demolish the existing mixed block of flats and shops at Grimwade Street and replace these with a four storey block of around 16 flats. Councillor MacDonald noted the Council had a significant waiting list for Council housing and that this scheme would help to reduce this pressure slightly. Councillor MacDonald commented that he hoped that the work would promote regeneration on neighbouring sites, noting that the Council had written to their owners on a number of occasions seeking to develop the wider area but that these letters had not been responded to.

 

7.2         Councillor MacDonald noted that the costs included a large contingency for inflation in the construction industry and that whilst the cost per unit was high, this reflected to cost of redeveloping brownfield sites.

 

7.3         In accordance with Standing Orders Part 3 Section 3 Paragraph 3.5, the following question was asked:

 

Question 1 – Councillor I Lockington

‘Would the Portfolio Holder consider following the example of Exeter Council in building social housing to Passivhaus standards which would contribute to reducing this Council’s carbon footprint with no or little increase in building costs.’

 

7.4         Councillor MacDonald explained that the Council had considered the potential for achieving a Passivhaus standard at this, and other developments. Councillor MacDonald explained that to achieve this standard the initial capital cost of construction would be approximately 20% higher, which would significantly affect the Council’s ability to deliver the level of housing required within the borough. In addition the long term servicing and access costs (6 monthly intervals), the heat exchanger lifetime replacement costs (15 years) and resultant reduced room sizes associated with Passivhaus designs needed to be considered.  Councillor MacDonald commented that Ipswich Borough Council’s new homes were built to Code 4 standard, which was directly comparable in terms of heat loss restriction to the Passivhaus requirements and therefore returned many similar benefits to occupiers.

 

7.5         Councillor Ellesmere noted that Exeter City Council, which applied Passivhaus Standards to its new properties had only built 41 new homes, which was far fewer than Ipswich Borough Council had been able to build. Councillor Ellesmere noted that Ipswich Borough Council homes were built to a high standard and were very well insulated compared to most other houses in the town.

 

7.6         Councillor Rudkin asked why further investigation of unexploded ordnance needed to be carried out. The Operations Manager - Major Capital Schemes, Mark Hunter, explained that desktop studies suggested that there was a heightened risk in the area and so these investigations needed to be carried out to minimise this.

 

7.7         Councillor Jones commented that she hoped the development of this building encouraged further regeneration in the area. Councillor Jones also noted that the Council far exceeded the minimum national standards as the previous Government had scrapped planned improvements to these standards.

 

7.8         Councillor Fisher commented that this scheme was long overdue. Councillor Fisher asked whether a further report would need to be brought to Executive once the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

E/19/03 Financial Management & Control: Out-Turn Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 614 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Martin Cook

 

This report gives details of the out-turn position for 2018/19 on:

 

1.         The General Fund Revenue Budget, General Balances, and the Council’s Reserves;

 

2.         The Housing Revenue Account;

 

3.         The Shared Revenues Partnership;

 

4.         The Capital Programme, for the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account.

Minutes:

8.1         Councillor Cook explained that the Council had ended the 2018/19 Financial Year with a small favourable variance compared to its budget. Councillor Cook noted that most of the underspends had been identified early in the financial year which was a sign of good financial management, although he noted that there was still room for improvement when considering the Capital Programme. The Big Ticket Savings Programme had again over achieved, saving £920k which was £180k higher than budgeted.

 

8.2         Councillor Cook noted that an additional £75k was proposed to be taken from the capital contingency budget to fund additional software licences for the Agresso finance system. Councillor Cook also noted that a significant write-off was proposed, but that this would end a long lasting legal dispute.

 

8.3         In accordance with Standing Orders Part 3 Section 3 Paragraph 3.5, the following question was asked:

 

Question 2 – Councillor T Lockington

‘Can the Executive confirm the value of the land at Raeburn Road recovered in lieu of the debt of £430,592.00 and whether this land has any history of contamination, and what plans are in place to mitigate the loss of ongoing rental income?’

 

8.4         Councillor Cook replied that the capital value of the land, as recorded in the recent Asset Valuation exercise, was £2,741,400.

 

8.5         Councillor Cook explained that a selection of surveys had been carried out at the site in order to review and rectify any compliance issues, for example, asbestos, electrical and fire safety; a full contamination assessment was planned to be carried out.

 

8.6         Councillor Cook reported that in order to safeguard rental income, previous sub-tenants were being placed onto ‘Tenancy at Will’ agreements in order to regularise their occupation.  Full leases were being negotiated and these would ensure that rental income was secured and provide both the Council and its tenant’s greater certainty.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

a)     that the contents of the 2018/19 out-turn report be noted and that the resulting budget changes be approved;

 

Reason: to fulfil Executives role in financial management

 

b)     that the budgets carried forward to 2018/19 for the General Fund (paragraph 3.2 and Appendix 5 of the report), the Housing Revenue Account (paragraph 8.2 and Appendix 7 of the report) and the Capital Programme (paragraph 10.3 and Appendix 9 of the report) be approved; 

 

Reason: to ensure adequate budgetary provision for commitments made in 2018/19 but not completed in that year

 

c)     that the transfers to/from reserves  detailed in paragraphs 7.10, 8.2 and 8.3 of the report be approved;

 

Reason: to facilitate effective budgetary control

 

d)     that the position on the 2018/19 and future years Capital Programme be noted and that the additions to the capital programme identified in paragraph 10.7 of the report be approved;

 

Reason: to facilitate effective budgetary control

 

e)     that the £75,000 transfer from the ‘Contingency - additional commitments’ budget to the Finance System capital scheme be noted, bringing the total project value to £429,813 (paragraph 10.9 of the report);

 

Reason: to facilitate development of finance system

 

f)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

E/19/04 Tennyson Road Alley Gate pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Alasdair Ross

 

A request has been received to install an alley gate to the rear of some properties in Tennyson Road.  This report requests Executive to decide whether to authorise the installation of an alley gate. The public consultation with local residents was already well underway before the Council’s Alley Gate Policy came into effect in March 2018 and as a result Executive is requested to consider approving a gate, even though the local anti-social behaviour does not meet the new thresholds within the Alley Gate Policy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

9.1         Councillor Ross introduced the report, explaining that the process for installing alley gates in Tennyson Road had already been begun when the Council’s alley gate policy had been agreed by Executive. Councillor Ross noted that the scheme didn’t meet all of the requirements of the new policy but explained that residents were strongly behind the installation of gates and that as they had been consulted on alley gates it was the right thing for the Council to do to install them.

 

9.2         In accordance with Standing Orders Part 3 Section 3 Paragraph 3.5, the following question was asked:

 

Question 3 – Councillor Holmes

‘Does the Executive consider that in light of the minuted assurances and resolutions of the Central Area Committee and this Executive, specifically:

 

a)    To the Central Area Committee in January 2018 that funding applications would “… be determined in line with the criteria within that (forthcoming abbey gates) policy” and resolving “that the Central Area Committee approve funding of £6,000 from the Central Area Committee budget to establish a fund towards alley gate requests for the Central area, subject to the requirements of the forthcoming Alley Gates Policy, which will be considered by Executive, having been met” without any mention of gates to Tennyson Road and in direct contradiction to the reference in this Report that the Central Area Committee supports the installation.

 

b)    The reason given to this Executive in March 2018 in adopting the Alley Gates Policy was “…to provide a clear direction relating to the Council’s involvement in alley gates.” that the Executive should accept Option 2, since any approval of Option 1 for an alley gate would:

 

(i) fail to meet the evidential criteria

(ii) be susceptible to legal challenge as unlawful as it is not in line with policy as set out in paragraph 10.5 of this Report

(iii) be arbitrary and unfair to other Ipswich residents

(iv) establish an unhelpful precedent in this and other policy areas

(v) cause reputational damage to the Council.’

 

9.3         Councillor Ross explained that the application relating to Tennyson Road was a “legacy” application which had been discussed by the Central Area Committee and was one of the proposed applications which was in the contemplation of that Committee when it set aside a fund for alley gates in its area. Councillor Ross said that Councillor Holmes’ observations had been noted and that Executive would make its decision having due regard to the contents of the report and the advice provided within the report.

 

9.4         Councillor Jones commented that the proposal had fallen between 2 systems and that it would be unfair on residents not to deliver the gates they had been consulted on.

 

9.5         Councillor Fisher commented that when the new policy had been agreed issues around legacy proposals ought to have been considered. Councillor Fisher also expressed concern that the owners of the land had not been identified and the potential legal issues arising from that. Councillor Fisher queried whether granting the application would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

E/19/05 Annual Review of Area Committees 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 177 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Sophie Meudec

 

This report reviews and updates Executive on the operation and impact of the Area Committees in Ipswich for 2018/19 as per the Constitution Part 3 Section 2 paragraph 6.4.4. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

10.1      Councillor Meudec introduced the report noting that the Council’s Area Committees had supported many and varied brilliant projects across  Ipswich. Councillor Meudec reported that through the grants given by Area Committees £165,000 match funding had been secured which might not otherwise have benefitted the projects.

 

10.2      Councillor Meudec commented that Area Committees also brought democracy closer to residents, who were able to ask questions, hear from Police and other agencies and engage in consultations.

 

10.3      Councillor Rudkin commented that the wide range of the Area Committees’ work was good to see and that directly engaging residents in the Council’s work was very important.

 

10.4      Councillor Ellesmere commented that the Council had previously had to work hard to ensure Police attendance at Area Committees but that he thought these direct meetings with police officers were very important.

 

10.5      Councillor Cook commented that it would be good if Area Committees could be publicised more in the coming year.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the report on the review and impact of the Area Committees in 2018/19 be noted.

 

Reason: to keep Executive updated on the progress of the Area Committees.

11.

E/19/06 Update on Decisions Taken Under Delegated Authority during the 2019 Pre-Election Period pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor David Ellesmere

 

Part 3 Section 5 of the Constitution makes provision for the Scheme of Officer Delegations. Paragraph 10.1 (k) enables the Chief Executive to make decisions during the pre-election period and requires him to report the decisions to the first Executive meeting in the new municipal year.

Minutes:

11.1      Councillor Ellesmere noted that there had been no decisions made by the Chief Executive under the additional delegated authority granted for the 2019 pre-election period.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the report be noted.

 

Reason: To comply with the Constitution and keep Executive informed.

 

12.

E/19/07 Housing Garage Demolition and Replacement with new Garages and/or Hard-Surface Parking Tender pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Neil MacDonald

 

This report details the work that has been carried out to procure a garage demolition and replacement with new garages and/or hard-surface parking contract for housing garage sites and sets out the results of the tenders received.

 

Executive are asked to award the contract to the contractor that submitted the most economically advantageous bid to the Council.

Minutes:

12.1      Councillor MacDonald explained that this tender represented the final phase of an extensive garage replacement and refurbishment programme.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the Head of Housing and Community Services, in consultation with the Head of People and Governance, be authorised to enter into a contract with the contractor identified as Contractor 3 in the exempt Appendix 1 to the report, for delivery of the garage demolition and replacement contract.

 

Reason: The preferred contractor’s tender was overall the most economically advantageous to the Council in accordance with the criteria set out in the tender documents.

13.

E/19/08 Housing Gas Servicing and Maintenance Tender pdf icon PDF 163 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Neil MacDonald

 

This report details the work that has been carried out to procure a new housing gas servicing & maintenance contract and sets out the results of the tenders received.

 

Executive are asked to award the contract to the contractor that submitted the most economically advantageous bid to the Council.

Minutes:

13.1      Councillor MacDonald explained that the tenders for this project had been evaluated on the basis of 40% Price, 50% Quality and 10% GDPR and Social Value.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the Head of Housing and Community Services, in consultation with the Operations Manager for Legal and Democratic Services, be authorised to enter into a contract with the supplier identified as Contractor 1 in the exempt Appendix 1 to the report, for delivery of the Gas Servicing & Maintenance contract, in accordance with the particulars set out in the report, for a 4-year term from 1st October 2019, with an option to extend the term by up to 2 years.

 

Reason: The Council has a statutory obligation to maintain its housing stock and a statutory obligation to carryout gas safety checks on its gas appliances. The preferred contractor’s tender was overall the most economically advantageous to the Council in accordance with the criteria set out in the tender documents.

14.

Exclusion of Public

To consider excluding the public (including the Press) from the meeting during consideration of the following items under Regulation 21 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2000 as it is likely that if members of the public were present during these items there would be disclosure to them of exempt information falling within paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the public (including the Press) be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the remaining items of business under Regulation 21 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2000 as it was likely that if members of the public were present during these items there would be disclosure to them of exempt information falling within paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

 


 

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

15.

Unconfirmed Exempt Minutes of Previous Meeting

16.

E/19/07 Housing Garage Demolition and Replacement with new Garages and/or Hard-Surface Parking Tender - Exempt Appendix

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Neil MacDonald

17.

E/19/08 Housing Gas Servicing and Maintenance Tender - Exempt Appendix

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Neil MacDonald