Agenda and draft minutes

Customer Services Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 2nd August, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, The Arc, Clowne

Contact: Alison Bluff  Governance Officer

No. Item


Apologies For Absence


An apology for absence was received on behalf of Councillor Rita Turner.



Declarations of Interest

Members should declare the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interest and Non Statutory Interest as defined by the Members’ Code of Conduct in respect of:


a)  any business on the agenda

b)  any urgent additional items to be considered

c)  any matters arising out of those items

and if appropriate, withdraw from the meeting at the relevant time.


There were no declarations of interest made.



Urgent Items of Business

To note any urgent items of business which the Chairman has consented to being considered under the provisions of Section 100(B) 4(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.


There were no urgent items of business to consider.




Minutes pdf icon PDF 119 KB

To consider the minutes of the last meeting held on 8th March 2021


Committee considered the Minutes of a Customer Service and Transformation Scrutiny meeting held on 8th March 2021.


Moved by Councillor Rose Bowler and seconded by Councillor Ray Heffer

RESOLVED that the Minutes of a Customer Service and Transformation Scrutiny Committee held on 8th March 2021 be approved as a correct record.




List of Key Decisions and items to be considered in private


Committee considered the List of Key Decisions and items to be considered in private document.


Moved by Councillor Ray Heffer and seconded by Councillor Rose Bowler

RESOLVED that the List of Key Decisions and items to be considered in private document be noted.



Briefing on Adapted Accommodation pdf icon PDF 397 KB

Additional documents:


Committee considered a report which provided information regarding Council owned adapted accommodation in the District.


Following approaches by applicants seeking family units, in April 2021, Executive received a report regarding the supply, management and allocation of Council owned adapted accommodation.  Executive agreed that Scrutiny review the process and prepare recommendations to further support families with needs for adapted properties.  The Executive report was attached as Appendix 1 and Committee was asked to note that the report referred to 41 x 2 bedroom bungalows when in fact 6 of these were flats.


The Council liaised with Derbyshire County Council’s (DCC) Occupational Therapists to ensure the right adaptations were provided in a person’s home.  However, some work could be so significant that it could potentially mean the property should be considered as ‘fully adapted’, which meant the categorisation on the housing system would need to change.


Examples of significant adaptations which the Council regularly undertook were;


·         Wetroom

·         Ceiling Track Hoist (CTH)

·         Closomat toilet (wash dry toilet)

·         Through floor lift

·         Adapted kitchen


It was important to note that although a property was categorised by Housing as disabled adapted for management of allocation purposes – it didn’t mean the property was exempt from Right to Buy and could be legally challenged if an application was refused.  The relevant section was part 7 of Schedule 5 to the Housing Act 1985 and stated;


“The right to buy does not arise if the dwelling-house has features which are     substantially different from those of ordinary dwelling-houses and are designed to make it suitable for occupation by physically disabled persons, and


(a) it is one of a group of dwelling-houses which it is the practice of the landlord to let for occupation by physically disabled persons, and

(b) a social service or special facilities are provided in close proximity to the group of dwelling-houses wholly or partly for the purpose of assisting those persons.”


Housing officers had recently commenced a piece of work to agree a set of principles that reflected practice in terms of what ‘significant adaptions’ meant, and to look at what decision making processes should follow if a property was no longer considered ‘general needs’ adapted stock.  This was important as it would mean that a significant or fully adapted property would most likely be exempt from Right to Buy legislation but also the way in which disabled housing stock was allocated.


The Council continually looked for fully adapted properties to keep families together and had purchased some properties from ‘Keepmoat Homes’.  However, the number of fully adapted properties the Council should have required balancing with ‘need’ and also taking into consideration Right to Buy legislation.


Due to a limited budget for adapted properties, a working group had been set up to better manage stock and referrals – this would also help reduce the waiting list for these type of properties.  For example, a wet room was a significant change to a house but not so much a bungalow.  A through floor lift was  ...  view the full minutes text for item CS6-21/22


Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 311 KB

Additional documents:


Committee considered their work programme for 2021/22.


It was noted that this Committee now held all the ‘housing elements’ for review work, where previously it had been split with the former Healthy, Safe, Clean & Green Communities and Growth Scrutiny Committees.  However, this Committee now had the waste collection element of Streetscene and the Head of Streetscene was currently looking at new legislation in relation to waste collection.


In relation to the Adapted Accommodation briefing presented earlier in the meeting, Members would need to agree the scope of the review within their Informal session.   Further detail could then be considered at the September meeting.


It was noted that the Council’s Joint Homelessness Strategy, with North East Derbyshire District and Chesterfield Borough Councils, was currently under review.  This would be presented by the Head of Housing Management & Enforcement to the September meeting.


Due to the change to Committee Terms of Reference following Council AGM, Audit and Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee (ACOSC) would be reviewing the Council’s in-house procurement service and the Scrutiny & Elections Officer would speak to the Chair of ACOSC with regard to a Member from this Committee engaging in the discussion regarding procurement.


The formal meeting concluded at 1055 hours and Members then met as a working party to continue their review work.  The working party concluded at 1115 hours.



Review Work