Asset Management, Culture & Housing Cabinet Member – Minutes – 27 November 2014

The admission prices charged at Normanby Hall Country Park during the 2014/15 season were set out in the report.  The table also included proposed changes to charges for the 2015/16 season.

A number of improvements had been made to the park over the past year.  More were planned over the coming year. This meant that visitors would continue to get more for their money. It was felt that, because of the improvements that were being made; a modest increase in prices to the figures suggested could be justified.

Resolved – (a) That the proposal to increase the admission prices and annual pass prices for 2015/16, as set out in the report, be approved, and (b) that the ‘early bird’ promotion for the annual passes, as set out in paragraph 4.2 of the report, be approved.

121       (21) COMMUNITY RIGHT TO BID – NOMINATIONS REGISTER AS AT 03/11/2014 – The Director of Places submitted a report updating the Cabinet Member on the progression of the Community Right to Bid process in North Lincolnshire.

The Community Right to Bid initiative allowed local community groups or parish councils to nominate buildings or land for listing as Assets of Community Value under the Community Right to Bid initiative.

For a local group to successfully nominate an asset it would have to show that:

·         it was based within the local authority area (or a neighbouring authority); and

·         it was a group that was qualified to make a nomination.

Listed assets must either improve, or had recently improved, the community’s social wellbeing or social interest.  They must also be likely of doing so in the future.

The Nominations Register set out the progress made for each nomination from the date it was received through to the listing review, as applicable.  The Nominations Register was appended to the report.

Resolved – That the latest information held within the Nominations Register be noted.

122       (22) HOMELESSNESS UPDATE REPORT – The Director of Places submitted a report providing the Cabinet Member with an update on the annual homelessness statistics for last year and for the first six months of the current year.

The report provided information on both the homelessness cases that fell within the statutory framework as well as those that fell outside the priority need but were nevertheless at risk and covered by the council’s Homelessness Strategy.

Contacts to the Housing Advice Team continued to be high.  The figures for the first half of 2014/15 were 4230 suggesting an out turn figure of 8460, which was slightly below last year’s figure.

Initially, it was thought that the introduction of universal credit for new claimants would be in February 2015, but it looked more likely to be April or May 2015.  It was widely expected that the impact from universal credit would be far greater than for any of the preceding welfare changes, including under-occupancy charge.

The report gave details of homeless acceptances and homeless prevention and relief.

Resolved – (a) That the report and the continuing demands on the Housing Advice Team be noted, and (b) that the likely date for the introduction of universal credit and the potential impact on the Housing Advice Team be noted.

123       (23) HOMES AND COMMUNITIES AGENCY FUNDING UPDATE – The Director of Places submitted a report updating the Cabinet Member on the opportunity for partner Registered Housing Providers to secure funding to deliver new affordable homes to meet identified local housing needs.

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) had announced that the next round of funding in the 2015-2018 Affordable Housing Programme, known as Continuous Market Engagement (CME), was now open.

The HCA had allocated over half of the funding during the first round bid.  They would now seek to allocate the remaining £800 million on an ongoing basis until the programme was fully allocated.

CME allowed housing providers to bid for funding for firm schemes during the 2015 to 2018 period.  This included specialist, supported or rural housing, which often needed a longer lead time.  Schemes that made use of innovative construction methods were especially encouraged under CME.

The council’s ongoing work to understand local housing needs and work up project proposals with partners, in line with the approved Housing Strategy, had identified the following priorities for investment:

·         Scunthorpe and the Market Towns to support economic growth

·         Housing for vulnerable and older people

·         Housing for those who needed disabled adaptations.

Partners would now aim to develop suitable projects that helped in delivering these priorities for submission to the Homes and Communities Agency.

Resolved – (a) That the proposal to develop funding bids in line with the priorities set out in the report be approved, and (b) that detailed reports be submitted to the Cabinet Member on all schemes prior to submission to the Homes and Communities Agency.

The corresponding report of the following item (Minute 124 refers) contains exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

124       (24) 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.