Agenda and minutes

EAP Prosperous Communities - Wednesday 8th November, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, The Cube, George Street, Corby NN17 1QG

Contact: David Pope 

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from David Watts.


Members’ Declarations of Interests


There were no declarations of interest received.


Housing Services Update


The Assistant Director for Strategic Housing, Development and Property Services, Evonne Coleman-Thomas attended the meeting and provided a presentation that offered the panel a wide-ranging update on Housing Services, including the following elements:


·       Homelessness Prevention

·       Housing/Tenancy Services

·       Repairs and Maintenance

·       Development and Enabling

·       Housing Policy/Strategy


The panel were provided with details of the housing officers that supported the Assistant Director in her role and noted a variety of factors that impacted service provision. These included the need to be compliant with government legislation and additional regulations imposed in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the ongoing cost of living crisis where any detrimental influence on the ability of the Council to maximise rental income directly affected its ability to operate the service.


The meeting heard that the Council wished to empower and enable its residents to take decisions and influence their housing service, and details were provided of the newly introduced Regulator for Social Housing that aimed to promote a viable, efficient and well-governed sector that could deliver and maintain homes of appropriate quality meeting a range of needs. The Council was required to report and monitor a series of Key Performance Indicators to the regulator to ensure service quality.


In addition, the meeting noted an additional forthcoming requirement that would require all housing staff delivering the service to hold a professional qualification. This requirement was viewed positively in terms of increasing professionalism as well as aiding development of staff, however, it was noted that no additional funding had been provided by the government to allow for qualifications to be obtained.


In regard to homelessness, it was heard that there had been a huge increase in the number of people approaching the Council in this instance, with the Covid pandemic being a large factor in the increasing numbers. The authority had a duty under the Homelessness Reduction Act to provide advice, guidance and support even if there was no duty to house an individual.


In terms of Planning and Development it was noted that the Council aimed to utilise available legislation to build more affordable housing in appropriate area and hold to S106 agreements that required developers to deliver such housing.


A series of key statistics were provided to the meeting regarding the Council’s housing stock, with over 8000 properties across Corby and Kettering most of which was post-war and therefore in need of modernisation and improvement to remain safe and liveable.


The meeting noted a total of 268 new tenancies issued in the first six months of 2023 which represented a 41% increase for the same period in the previous year. In regard to empty void properties, the current target for re-letting was 56 days, the service having reduced actual timescales from 62 days to a current average of 51.6 days.


The meeting heard that a backlog of over 5500 housing repairs that had accrued largely as a result of the pandemic had been reduced to a total of 2856 as at September with all responsive repairs completed,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.


Executive Forward Plan - November 2023 to February 2024 pdf icon PDF 205 KB


The Executive Forward Plan for November 2023to February 2024 was noted.


Forward Plan of Items for the EAP pdf icon PDF 67 KB


The forward list of items for the EAP was considered with the following items added for future consideration:


·       Kettering Leisure Village Business Case to be considered jointly with Scrutiny

·       Housing Strategy

·       Rough Sleeper Strategy

·       Private Sector Housing Policy


Close of Meeting


There being no further business, the Chair thanked Members and Officers for their attendance and closed the meeting.