Agenda and minutes

Cabinet Overview Working Group
Thursday, 12th March, 2015 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre. View directions

Items
No. Item

35.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence from Councillors.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Ian Beckett.

36.

Declarations of Interest

To receive Councillors’ declarations of interest (if any) in relation to any matters on the agenda.

Minutes:

None.

37.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 22 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 15 January 2015.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 15 January 2015 be agreed as a correct record.

38.

Matters arising

Any matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

None.

39.

Future of Town Centre

Verbal update.

Minutes:

Jane Greer, Acting Head of Community Wellbeing, provided a verbal update on the work on the future of the town centre since the scoping document was presented to the Group in September 2014.  The update included planned public realm improvements and detail of a well-attended workshop that took place in December 2014.  It was explained that Harlow Council and Essex County Council jointly appointed Lambert Smith Hampton and Allies and Morrison to consider regeneration options for Harlow Town Centre, with a particular focus on the Stone Cross area and feedback from the workshop would be used as part of this commission. Jane advised that a report is expected in April 2015 which will include short, medium and long term options for town centre development.

 

Councillors expressed the importance of maintaining the heritage and history of town centre, in particular the foundation stone in Market Square.  Councillors asked that the Harlow Access Group is consulted on any proposals that may have access implications e.g. relocating the benches in Boardwalk.

 

RESOLVED that the update on the town centre development is noted.

40.

Housing Works Packages 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 292 KB

Minutes:

Andrew Murray, Head of Housing, introduced the Housing Works Packages report which highlighted how the Housing Investment Programme is allocated, progress, and plans.

 

James Fulcher, Housing Business Support Team Leader, explained his role in supporting the Council’s asset systems and website.

 

The scale, ambition, and importance of the HIP was emphasised by the Group with the need for contractors who undertake the works packages in homes to consistently deliver positive customer experiences.

 

Councillors requested that the Repairs Programme quarterly reports be presented by Ward if possible. Andrew advised that this would be looked into and developed if necessary.

 

RESOLVED that the report is noted.

41.

Review of Council Housing Empty Property Management pdf icon PDF 143 KB

Minutes:

The Overview Working Group received a scoping document that outlined the proposed review of Council housing empty property management.

 

The number and condition of homes returned to the Council each year was discussed.  Councillors suggested that whilst site visits may not be practical, photographs of void properties would be a useful addition to the review.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

A  The scoping report be noted.

 

B  An interim report be presented to the Cabinet Overview Working Group in October/November 2015.

42.

Work Plan 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 15 KB

To review the Overview Working Group’s work plan for the current year.

Minutes:

The Overview Working Group received a report that outlined its Work Plan for the current year.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

A The 2014/15 Work Plan is noted.

 

BThe Future of the Town Centre and Review of Council Housing Empty Property Management be included in the draft 2015/16 Work Plan, which will be reported to the first meeting of the Overview Working Group in 2015/16. 

 

43.

Matters of Urgent Business

Such other business which, in the opinion of the Chairman, should be received as a matter of urgency by reason of special circumstances to be specified in the minutes.

Minutes:

None.