Asset Management, Culture & Housing Cabinet Member – Minutes – 26 June 2014

The North Lincolnshire Housing Strategy 2013–18 was approved in December 2012.  Action plans to help with delivery and monitoring were completed by April 2013.

Part of the strategy was to monitor the state of the housing market, housing needs and stock condition to comply with the Housing Acts.

The outcomes detailed in the report followed the main strategy themes.  The council monitored chapters and action plans separately so there was some overlap.  The outcomes were delivered by a number of service areas within the council, along with partners.

The main strategy themes were:

·         Meeting Housing Need

·         Improving Housing Conditions

·         Homelessness

·         Increasing Independent Living

·         Learning Disability, and

·         Affordable Warmth and Reduction in Carbon Emissions

Resolved – (a) That the progress and successes outlined in the report be noted, and (b) that staff be congratulated for their efforts in progressing the Housing Strategy. 

101            (3) REVIEW OF THE HOME ASSISTANCE POLICY – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking approval for the updated Home Assistance Policy.

The Home Assistance Policy outlined the assistance available from the council to help homeowners maintain their homes or provide disabled adaptations.

The policy had two elements. Firstly, the mandatory disabled facilities assistance and secondly, the discretionary assistance.

Sixty-five people responded to a recent consultation asking for comments on the policy. Overall, the respondents supported the current range of financial assistance offered by the council.

The revised policy continued to offer the same assistance as contained previously in the 2011 policy.  It also made some minor operational amendments around eligibility for the discretionary assistance.

The revised policy and appendices, along with a summary matrix were attached to the report.

Resolved – That the revised Home Assistance Policy be approved.

102            (4) STEELWORKER SCULPTURE – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking permission to site a sculpture in Scunthorpe town centre.

The Scunthorpe Steeltown Team was an unincorporated group. Their aim was to celebrate the culture and heritage of the workers and families, past and present, connected with the Scunthorpe Steelwork Industry.

The group would like to raise funds to produce a sculpture to be located in Scunthorpe town centre. They have approached artist Michael Scrimshaw to create a sculpture of a man and women steelworker. He had produced drawings and maquette of what the sculpture would look like.

It was estimated that the sculpture would cost £68,500. This cost was for the sculpture and plinth only. It did not include any cost for additional seating. The group intended to raise this money through a mixture of donations and grant applications over the next year. They had already raised over £3,000 from private donations.

In order to apply for grant funding, they needed to agree the site of the sculpture and ownership of it once installed. The group were seeking permission to site the sculpture on the High Street in Scunthorpe on the site of the old Clock Tower. They intended raising funding for the sculpture and contract the artist to make the sculpture.

Once complete, the group would like the council to assist in transporting the sculpture to site and arranging its installation. The group would thereafter like the council to take responsibility for the ongoing maintenance and ownership of the sculpture.

The group would draw up contracts with the artist and the council outlining everyone’s responsibilities during the manufacture, installation stages and ownership.

Resolved – (a) That Option 1, as set out in paragraph 3.1 of the report, subject to confirmation of an acceptable cost of the installation works for the sculpture, be approved; (b) that the project be included in the budgetary process in 2015-16, and (c) that Scunthorpe Steeltown Team be requested to submit plans, information and a sample of the proposed sculpture for approval by the council.

103            (5) COMMUNITY RIGHT TO BID APPLICATIONS – The Director of Places submitted a report considering applications received by the council for the nomination of various properties as Assets of Community Value.

The Community Right to Bid (Assets of Community Value in legislation) was one of a raft of new initiatives introduced in the Localism Act 2011. The Community Right to Bid allowed communities and parish councils to nominate buildings or land for listing by the local authority as an asset of community value. An asset could be listed if its principal use furthers (or has recently furthered) their community’s social well-beingor social interests (which included cultural, sporting or recreational interests) and was likely to do so in the future. When a listed asset came to be sold, a moratorium on the sale (of up to six months) may be invoked, providing local community groups with a better chance to raise finance, develop a business and to make a bid to buy the asset on the open market.

The council had received a number of requests to list land and buildings on its register of assets of community value. These were detailed in the appendix attached to the report.  The Cabinet Member was asked to consider these applications.

Assuming the applications were successful, as soon as an owner of the land and buildings in question advised the local authority in writing that they wished to enter into a relevant disposal, there was a six-week period during which community interest groups could apply to be treated as potential bidders. If no potential bidders came forward the owner could proceed with the relevant disposal.

If a qualifying community interest group applied to be treated as a potential bidder there was a six month moratorium period starting from the date the local authority was advised that the owner wished to enter into a relevant disposal.  During this time community interest groups could prepare their bids. After the six months had elapsed, whether or not a bid had come forward, the owner was free to enter into a relevant disposal.

Resolved – That the addition of the following properties to the register of Assets of Community Value administered by the council under the Community Right to Bid initiative be approved and endorsed:

·         Land at RAF Kirton in Lindsey

·         Former Car Park, Low Street, South Ferriby

·         Former Tillymints Day Nursery, King Street, Winterton

·         Former Dolphin Public House, Althorpe, Scunthorpe

 The corresponding report of the following item (Minute 104 refers) contains exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

104            (6) PROPERTY TRANSACTION SCHEDULE – The Director of Places submitted a report for consideration, and where necessary, approval of a schedule containing the terms of all recently negotiated property transactions.

The schedule covered both operational and commercial property.

Resolved – That the schedule appended to the report be approved.