Agenda and minutes

Business and Finance Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 10 November 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Remote Meeting

Contact: Kieran Robinson  01952 382061

Media

Items
No. Item

BFSC5

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

None.

BFSC6

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

None.

BFSC7

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 288 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED – that the minutes of the meeting held on 11 February 2020 be confirmed and signed by the Chair.

 

BFSC8

Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 207 KB

To approve the Committee’s Terms of Reference for the municipal year 2020 to 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received a brief clarification of the proposed change to the Committee’s terms of reference.


RESOLVED – that the terms of reference be approved.

BFSC9

Scrutiny Review of the Housing Investment Programme pdf icon PDF 1 MB

James Dunn (Director: Prosperity & Investment) and Kate Callis (Service Delivery Manager: Housing Investment Programme, Prosperity & Investment) will attend for this item.

 

David Wright (Cabinet Member for Economy, Housing, Transport and Infrastructure) will also be in attendance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the presentation of the Director: Prosperity & Investment. The presentation covered the Council’s Housing Investment Strategy, which had been approved by Cabinet. The report and business case examined the case for expanding the Council’s NuPlace programme.

Members were briefed on the achievements of NuPlace. There had been 460 homes either delivered or on track to be delivered. The scheme offered a range of homes up to four bed properties and housed over a thousand Telford & Wrekin residents.

NuPlace offered a number of affordable homes as a part of its developments and had recently expanded into the accessible and adaptable market. A 19 home pilot at Dothill was under construction, which offered homes that met a range of accessible and adaptable standards.

Homes that helped to reduce the Borough’s carbon footprint were regarded as key to NuPlace. Where possible solar panels were being fitted to properties in an effort to reduce fuel poverty. Electrical vehicle (EV) charging points were also being included in the new development at Southwater and would be examined for future developments.

Since its launch, NuPlace had regenerated 28.6 acres of brownfield land.

The project was deemed a success both for the Council and with residents. NuPlace’s portfolio had a 1.88% void rate and was popular among residents. The scheme had generated a £4.4m profit since 2015/16.

The project was being used to promote positive social outcomes in the Borough through apprenticeships, training, and community engagement. There were economic benefits for the region more broadly, with the majority of contract spend being within a 30km radius, which equated to roughly £32.5m.

In the future, NuPlace hoped to expand and diversify its portfolio further with another 320 homes planned, which focused on brownfield sites. These new homes would bring the portfolio to 786 homes. New homes would be built to meet a range of needs; including different sized homes as well as more accessible and adaptable homes.

In addition to constructing new homes, there were plans to acquire existing stock for refurbishment from other suppliers and two schemes were in progress to refurbish buildings in the Borough.

There was an ambition to bring high quality urban living to Telford & Wrekin as a part of the Station Quarter development through one and two bed apartments in the town centre.

 

Members asked a number of questions:
Were the apprenticeships and other training offered as a part of the scheme quantified in any way?
Officers confirmed that this information could be circulated to Members.

NuPlace was looking to reduce carbon footprints, were all its properties solar powered?
Solar generation would be considered on a site-by-site basis, but the 46 homes being built at Southwater would have them. A pilot scheme would also be run at Donnington Wood that would trial solar generation and battery storage. It was thought possible that in the future the sites may be able to sell stored energy to the grid. In such a scenario, the money generated could be used to pump-prime future  ...  view the full minutes text for item BFSC9

BFSC10

Work Programme Review pdf icon PDF 564 KB

To review the work programme of the Committee.

Minutes:

The Associate Director: Policy & Governance delivered an overview of the Committee’s work programme. The work programme had received updates to the expected dates for items to come to Committee.

BFSC11

Chair's Update

Minutes:

Members were reminded of the date of the next meeting of the Committee, which would take place on 9 December 2020.