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The Forest of Dean District Council - Agenda for Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Monday, 3rd October, 2011, 6.30 pm

Agenda and minutes

Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 3rd October, 2011 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Coleford. View directions

Contact: Linda Bowdler 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors James Bevan, Brian Edwards, Paul Hiett, Jane Horne, Graham Morgan and Marrilyn Smart (substitute Gethyn Davies).

2.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest in any matter to be discussed at the meeting.  Members and officers are requested to identify the nature of the interest and indicate whether it is personal or prejudicial.

Minutes:

Following clarification from the Legal Officer Claire Childs, on the protocol for the declaration of personal and prejudicial interests, the following declarations were made:-

 

Cabinet members, Patrick Molyneux, Brian Robinson, Terry Hale each declared a prejudicial interest in item 4 of the agenda (call in of the cabinet decision relating to Higher Lydney Housing Local Lettings Plan), on account of their role as cabinet members and as decision makers of the call in decision.

3.

Call in Process

The chairman to outline the process for the call-in meeting.

Minutes:

The chairman of the Committee Councillor Burford, outlined the process for the call-in, emphasising that he intended to allow any member to speak, time allowing. The committee had to reach a resolution within the time constraints of the meeting or the committee would be deemed to have accepted  cabinet’s decision.

4.

Cabinet Call In - Decision regarding Lydney housing allocation pdf icon PDF 36 KB

A request was received on 9 September 2011 to call in the decision of the Cabinet made at its 8 September 2011 meeting to approve recommendations in report  PH.78.

 

The call-in notice detailing signatories and reasons, relevant draft cabinet minute with resolution and report PH.78 are attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The chairman Councillor Philip Burford, invited members to explain the reasons for calling in the decision.

 

Councillor Di Martin believed that the Cabinet decision deviated from the current Homeseekers scheme and that some members had not had the opportunity to examine closely the impact the new policy would have on local people.

 

The chairman asked Councillor Terry Hale Cabinet member for Community to explain why the Cabinet decided to pass the recommendation to adopt the Higher Lydney Local Lettings Plan.

 

Councillor Terry Hale Cabinet member for Community explained to members that the Cabinet decision to adopt the Higher Lydney Local Lettings Plan for development on the land east of Lydney, was because the scheme would promote a thriving community by bringing 200 homes into the community, a high proportion of those homes (60%) would be affordable homes. The Cabinet believed that the development would be a gateway for the future development of the site which will consist of 1,700 homes. Also as part of the commitment to the area all partners will be supporting local employment opportunities. He further advised that he would be taking a report to the Cabinet meeting on 13 October 2011 to seek to establish a Cabinet housing policy support group to discuss the council’s housing related issues and hoped that this group would iron out any issues.

 

The Strategic Housing Manager Malcom Vine, welcomed Fiona Miller from Bromford Housing.  He advised that Gloucestershire Homeseeker scheme allowed specific local lettings policies.  He believed that the Bromford Lettings scheme was suitable for this council, the objectives of the Local Lettings Plan was to create a balanced and sustainable community that could be rolled out over the next two years to the rest of the land east of Lydney. He said the scheme would be of social rented housing, and part of the scheme was that a target was set whereby 20% and 40% of those allocated the social rented properties would be in work.  Twenty properties are flats that would be set aside for older people on the development and ten will be for parents with joint responsibility for children.

 

Fiona Miller advised that Bromford Housing Group were experienced in letting properties and worked with large estates, their current partners included Cotswold District Council. She explained that gold band applicants could have other problems which can result in poorer communities. This can also result in higher numbers of Anti Social Behaviour problems.  When this happens tenants became disillusioned and long term tenants want to move out consequently new applicants are afraid to move in, this situation is not a good sense of community, a proven solution was a mix of applicants.  She advised that a public consultation meeting was held on 27 September 2010 at the Forest of Dean District Council’s offices members attended and concerns of this kind were expressed.  The plan tries to address these concerns.

 

Questions

 

Councillor Di Martin enquired in what way would the council and Bromford Lettings deviate from the current  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.