Asset Management, Culture & Housing Cabinet Member – Minutes – 2 August 2013
53 (5) CASUAL ARTS DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANT AND CASUAL LEARNING EDUCATION ASSISTANT – The Director of Places submitted a report that sought approval to create a Casual Arts Development Assistant and a Casual Learning Education Assistant post.
It was explained that additional staff were needed on an adhoc basis to support the Arts Development Assistant and the Education Officer at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre.
The Casual Arts Development Assistant would assist the Arts Development Officer on large-scale projects such as the Dance Showcase or the Buzz Festival, with the post being used for externally funded projects, where funding allowed.
The Casual Learning Education Assistant would assist the Education Officer when schools brought two classes at the same time and for larger scale projects. It was explained that this post would be used when it could be afforded by the income received by the school for the workshop or project
Both posts would be located at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre.
Resolved – (a) That the additional posts of Casual Arts Development Assistant and Casual Learning Education Assistant be approved, and (b) that a recruitment process to fill these vacancies be authorised.
54 (6) EXTERNAL WALL INSULATION PROJECT – The Director of Places submitted a report which sought approval to proceed with a small project to provide External Wall Insulation to a group of properties in Scunthorpe.
The Cabinet Member was advised that ECO (Energy Company Obligation) was a part of Green Deal that provided funding to treat homes that were hard to heat and addressed poor energy efficiency and high carbon emissions. It targeted vulnerable households and inefficient properties in certain areas.
A group of properties had been identified and consisted of 16 semi detached bungalows with SAP ratings of below, 55 which following the external wall insulation, would increase to at least 66.
It was explained that the occupants of six of the properties were in receipt of a means tested benefit and as a consequence, they were likely to be in fuel poverty and eligible for top up ‘Affordable Warmth Assistance’ via the council’s Home Assistance policy. The remainder were aged over 60 and on low incomes and did not qualify for assistance under the current Home Assistance Policy.
It was proposed that an exception be made to the policy in advance of a planned review, as this would allow these occupants access to a Home Appreciation Loan, which they would ultimately repay to the council.
Resolved – (a) That an exception to the current Home Assistance Policy to allow access to the Home Appreciation Loan scheme be approved; (b) that the scheme with the Council giving assistance through either grant or loan assistance as outlined by the Home Assistance Policy be approved, and (c) that a further report be submitted to approve formally improvements and amendments to the Housing Assistance Policy.
55 (7) WINTERTON YOUTH CENTRE – COMMUNITY RIGHT TO BID – The Director of Places submitted a report for consideration of the nomination of Winterton Youth Centre as a ‘Community Asset’.
Part 5 Chapter 3 of the Localism Act 2011 (the Act) required that a local council maintained a list of ‘community assets’ which could include both land and/or buildings. The Act required local authorities to maintain a list of assets of community value that were nominated by the local community. When listed assets come up for sale or change of ownership, the Act afforded community groups the time to develop a bid and raise the necessary funds to potentially buy the asset when it became available on the open market.
Winterton Youth Centre was converted for use as a youth centre around 60 years ago and had been used for that purpose ever since.
It was explained that the council had received a nomination from Winterton Town Council to list the asset as an ‘Asset of Community Value’,and that Winterton Town Council was a group qualified to make a nomination.
Resolved – That Winterton Youth Centre be listed as an Asset of Community Value as required by the Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012.
56 (8) NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE COUNCIL HOUSING ADVICE TEAM ANNUAL HOMELESS PREVENTION REPORT 2012-13 – The Director of Places submitted a report to advise on the latest statistical government returns for homeless prevention for 2012/13 and the emerging national issues which were likely to impact on activity in the future.
Under the Homelessness Code of Guidance published in July 2006, local authorities had a duty to secure advice and assistance for homeless prevention on behalf of any person in their district.
The latest statistical government returns 2012/13 for Homeless Prevention showed that North Lincolnshire Council was now the fourth best performing local authority in the Yorkshire and Humber sub region and demonstrated the year on year ongoing service improvement.
The welfare reforms, bedroom tax, benefit cap and change to universal credit were all impacting on the number of people accessing the service and it was anticipated that these were very likely to increase homelessness and the threat of homelessness through non payment of rent.
Resolved – (a) That the excellent performance of the Housing Advice Team in working to prevent homelessness during 2012/13 be noted, and (b) that the emerging issues and likely trend of increasing workload on the team reflecting national trends be acknowledged.
The corresponding report of the following items (Minute 57 – 61 refer) contain exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1, 2 or 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).
57 (9) REGRADING APPLICATION – AFFORDABLE WARMTH OFFICER – The Director of Places submitted a report which sought approval to regrade the post of Energy Efficiency Officer and rename the post Affordable Warmth Officer following revision of the job description.
This was an established post that had developed over a period of time and now differed from the job description as it was originally established. The job focus had changed from promotional activity to one of leading and managing projects to deliver energy efficiency improvements to a range of dwellings.
It was proposed that the Energy Efficiency Officer be renamed as the Affordable Warmth Officer in recognition of the expanded and significantly changed job role.
Resolved – That the regrading and renaming of the Affordable Warmth Officer post from grade 6 to grade 7 be approved.
58 (10) PROPERTY TRANSACTION SCHEDULES – 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 schedules covered both operational and commercial property.
Resolved – That the schedules appended to the report be approved.
59 (11) PROPERTY TRADING ACCOUNT – REVIEW & DISPOSAL OF EX GENERAL FUND ASSETS – The Director of Places submitted a report which sought approval of proposals for an Operational Asset Review.
A process of Operational Asset Review had been ongoing since 1999 when the Strategic Asset Management Team was established. Since that time the council had achieved a significant number of property disposals and driven down the number of operational assets it owned or leased, improving the quality of the operational asset base.
The report sets out proposals for how this review and monitoring process would take place.
Resolved – That the proposals to take forward an Operational Asset Review process be approved.
60 (12) BATHS HALL CONTRACT CHANGES – The Director of Places submitted a report which sought approval for the proposed changes to the contract with SMG for the operation of the Baths Hall.
Resolved – That the proposed changes to the contract with SMG for the operation of the Baths Hall be approved.
61 (13) TOFTS ROAD DAY CENTRE – The Director of Places submitted a report which set out for consideration, a number of options to resolve the future use of the Tofts Road Day centre in Barton upon Humber.
Competing expressions of interest in taking on the management of the facility had been received, which made provision for the continuation of day centre services and potentially enhance the centre
Details of the proposals were outlined within the report.
Resolved – (a) That the Cabinet Member determines in principle, the preferred way forward toward resolving the future use of the Tofts Road Day Centre in Barton upon Humber in light of a number of competing interests in the facility; (b) that the Cabinet Member authorises the Director of Places to begin negotiations with the interested parties toward taking forward the preferred option, and (c) that the Director of Places reports back to the Cabinet Member on progress in resolving these issues at a future date.
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Where there is no report this is because it is exempt, as it contains information which is considered to be of a confidential nature, as detailed in the Local Government (Access to Information) Act.