Brighton & Hove City Council


Housing Management Panel: West Hove & Portslade Area


2.00pm4 November 2020


Virtual Meeting




Present: Councillors  Allcock and Pissaridou


Represtatives: Alision Gray, Anne Packham, Graham Dawes, Roy Crowhurst, Ted Chapman


Officers: Rob Keelan, Ododo Dafe, Diane Coe, Keith Perry, Bethan Hudson, Hannah Barker


Guests: Sarah Booker-Lewis, Claire Johnson, Judy Goss




9             Apologies


9.1      Councillor Peter Atkinson, Cllr Dawn Barnett and Patricia Weller MBE




10          Minutes of the Previous Meeting


10.1    Add Muriel Briault and Alison Gray to the representatives. Check spelling of Anne Packham. Add Councillor Anne Pissaridou to apologies.


10.2    AGREED – that the minutes were an accurate record of the meeting.




11          Chair's Communications


11.1      The Chair gave the following communications

“We would like to acknowledge the feedback that residents and staff took time to give us about the last round of Area Panels.


There are challenges with using the internet particularly with software, different devices and networks.  I recognise that this can make the meeting more complicated to follow and we hope that these issues can be gradually resolved.


We also know that online meetings can be difficult for some and the community engagement team are working with residents to support as many people as possible to access them.


It was very useful to learn how people felt about having a large single online meeting and you can be reassured the feedback, both negative and positive, will be used to help improve the way meetings are organised in the future.


I would like to remind everyone that the Area Panels are for future planning and issues that affect everyone, they are not the forum to raise individual issues, or repairs that have not been dealt with.  If you do have an individual issue that is stuck in the system, please do speak to your Community Engagement Officer who will be able to put you in touch with the right service or person.”






12          West Area Agenda


GOOD NEWS FROM RESIDENTS GROUPS                                      


12.1.   Residents on Clarendon and Ellen planted 40/140 bushes from a recent EDB Bid. They would like to recruit volunteers to help.   


12.2    It was agreed that Alison would try to arrange a planting day when Covid restrictions allowed. Beth to put Alison in touch with Good Gym and Community Engagement team to support in finding volunteers.


12.3.   Rob Keelan suggest that the council could send a text message to everyone’s mobile phone number on the estate. Residents can arrange this with Rob.



RESIDENTS QUESTION TIME                                                               


12.4      (Item on residents’ questions - Tenancy termination following a tenant’s death)


12.5      AGREED – that the response was satisfactory


12.6      (Item on residents’ questions - Distribution of Homing In)


12.7      AGREED – that the response was satisfactory


12.8      (Item – 2 Grass cutting and grounds maintenance)


12.9      Residents are still having some issues with CityClean when cuttings are thrown into bins and some areas left uncut and concerned that in the response that the issue of grounds maintenance was not addressed.


12.10   Rob Keelan responded to this: “we have had a few enquiries with issues being raised, we have raised the issues mentioned by residents with CityParks who have been responsive to some aspects but there is some need for follow up on issues at Clarendon and other areas.”


12.11   A resident has said they have attended an HRA (Housing Revenue Account) budget meeting in which the concerns about grounds maintenance was raised and is being looked at. 


12.12   AGREED – that the response was satisfactory subject to seeing some improvements moving forward.


12.13   (Item 1 of Addendum – Woods House: unrecognised recycling bin)


12.14   A resident stated that the issue has not been resolved but CityClean have been in touch directly with them and visited the site and hopefully will be resolved. The resident is happy with the results and if they put the new bins out, the issue will be resolved.


12.15   AGREED – that the response was satisfactory


The following points were sent by email after the meeting as these residents’ questions were not discussed in the meeting.


12.16   (Item 1 – Communal Aerials)


12.17   A resident requested clarification whether any other aerial providers have managed to solve the compatibility issue and enable changing the supplier?


12.18   It was agreed that Housing would respond to 5.14


12.19   Response – Miles Davidson

(Written after the meeting)


To clarify - the aerials are an HRA asset, not owned by a third party provider. They were installed under the current contract as part of the national switch from analogue to digital and paid for by the HRA. The current issue is with hardware requirements for SkyQ  we still need to upgrade the system hardware on some of our systems to be able to accommodate that. Another ‘aerial provider’ could resolve the compatibility issue but that would involve installing new aerials equipment.


12.20   (Item 2 – Allocation of Surplus EDB Funds)


12.21   Clarification requested on whether the surplus West Area unspent fund are going back into the general pot. Community Engagement Team to provide this clarification.


12.22   Response Sam Warren – Community Engagement Manager

(Written after the meeting)


Over the past few year, we have learnt from listening to the concerns of residents around underspend and funds going back into the overall pot. Residents have told us this seems unfair on specific area, so we are now trying to implement some recommendations that were made in the review. 


The EDB review recommended that there was a second round of main bids – one in April and one in October. This is the first year we have been able to trial this and only for North and West as the other area spent the full allocation of EDB in the April round.


If this is implemented in full next year it would mean capping the amounts spent in round one by 50% to allow for a second round for each area. Any underspend in round one would be carried over into round two for each area.


In the review this was recommended as a better system to prevent the loss of underspend as it cannot be carried over to the next financial year. Therefore, two rounds of main bids increase that opportunities for residents to spend all the EDB funds each year. 


12.23   (Item 3 – EDB Publicity)


12.24   A resident sought clarification of clear criteria of which EDB works would be charged to leaseholders and which would not.


12.25   Response from Glyn Huelin

(Written after the meeting)


EDB charges will be passed on to leaseholders if the works being carried out form part of our repairing/maintenance responsibilities so for example if an EDB bid is for decoration of the internal common ways to a block that would be passed on. If it was say, to provide a TV for the residents’ room that would not. They are also subject to the consultation regulations so if any one leaseholder contributes more than £250 the council would need to consult to recover the costs from leaseholders. 



12.26   (Item 6 – Repairs Hotline)


12.27   A resident felt there that the response was unsatisfactory and did not address the topic of accountability.





12.28   A report around Homelessness is going to committee as well as a couple of short reports on land that is going to be made available to the community trust. People can follow the meeting online which is at 4pm on 18th November.





12.29   Hannah Barker from the Community Engagement team presented the draft Tenant and Leaseholder engagement strategy which was included in the papers. The presentation has also been included in the documents accompanying these minutes. Involvement and Empowerment Service Improvement Group Meeting will have a separate meeting to look at proposal


12.30   Community Engagement Team to clarify the deadline of feedback from residents to the tenant and leasehold engagement strategy.


Response (Written after the meeting)


All area panel reps were invited to the meeting set up by the Involvement and Empowerment group to feedback to and discuss the paper further.


12.31   People and buildings – there are 13 different topics listed on the presentation, will there be committees for each one?


12.32   Response from Hannah Barker:The home group looks at more than 13 different topics, they are all discussed within the group and then it is decided whether a task and finish group needs to be set up to focus on a topic.


12.33   A resident stated there will be a separate Involvement and Empowerment group to review this paper.


12.34   Cllr Pissaridou stated the following: “we do need to look at different ways of trying to contact people and build up community associations. We need to widen our communications. Estate inspections are helpful to feeding back to the residents, when will they start again?”


12.35   Rob Keelan gave the following response, “no states inspections for a while but have had notification that the estate inspections have been moved to the field officer team who are currently recruiting. Different things are happening round the city, although there are not many formal inspections going on at the moment.”


12.36   Residents requested a copy of the power point slides of the presentation of the paper.


12.37   PowerPoint slides to be included in the papers sent to residents.


12.38   Resident asked for clarification on what participatory budgeting is.


12.39   It was clarified that participatory budgeting was about people being involved in the decisions regarding the money being spent around them


12.40   A resident raised concerns about blending the Service Improvement Groups and the size of them and how they will function


12.41   A resident raised concerns that on page 45 of the paper, it was stated that parts were missing from the resident’s proposal paper, which was to switch round the community engagement, so community engagement people become resident advocates.


12.42   Hannah Barker was to take points 8.12 and 8.13 as feedback           



     PRESENTATION ON COMMUNITY LEARNING                                 


12.43     Claire Johnson gave a presentation on community learning.


ESTATE DEVELOPMENT BUDGET UPDATE                                    


12.44      The Panel welcomed an update on the Estate Development Budget Update.


12.45      Alison raised the issue that there were Clarendon bids still outstanding.


12.46      Keith Perry stated that Alison could contact him directly about any outstanding bids.


12.47      It was agreed that the Community Engagement Team would provide information about when the EDB next panel is and when the 3 main bids will be voted on.


12.48      It was further agreed that Keith Perry would provide estimated completion date of projects with clear time scales which will be included in the minutes.


ANY OTHER BUSINESS                                                                          


12.49      Anne Packham asked if there can be better signage in Benson Court.


12.50      Rob Keelan offered to pick up query and visit Benson Court.


12.51      Graham Dawes raised an issue re Phillip court and the council’s delay in responding to as another tenant was harassing and intimidating other tenants, they felt that there needs to be a quicker response to that on different premises.


12.52      Cllr Allcock gave the following response: “I understand it can be worrying, but dealing with these issues can be challenging, there needs to be a multi-agency approach when working with individuals. We can’t take homes away from people, Police and courts may need to intervene.”


12.53      Rob Keelan gave the following statement: “This has been reported in October and actions have taken place, the difficulty with this situation is that it is with an owner-occupier rather than tenant. We have had lots of contact with the victim, perpetrator and the police, we take a victim centred approach. Issue can be raised through complaints.”


12.54      It was noted that residents could email Councillor Allcock with feedback on the meeting.




13          Residents Question Time


13.1    Please see Item 12.




14          West Area EDB Bids


14.1    Please see Item 12.




15          Tenant and Leaseholder Engagement


15.1    Please see Item 12.




16          West Area Community Engagement Infographic


16.1    Please see Item 12.




17          Any Other Business





The meeting concluded at 4.00pm




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