Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Thursday, 26th July, 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Cecil Street, Margate, Kent. View directions

Contact: Charles Hungwe 

Items
No. Item

509.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies made at the meeting.

510.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest. Members are advised to consider the advice contained within the Declaration of Interest form attached at the back of this agenda. If a Member declares an interest, they should complete that form and hand it to the officer clerking the meeting and then take the prescribed course of action.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

511.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 53 KB

To approve the summary of recommendations and decisions of the Cabinet meeting held on 14 June 2018, copy attached.

Minutes:

Councillor Savage proposed, Councillor Gregory seconded and Members agreed the minutes as a correct record of the meeting held on 14 June 2018.

512.

Minutes of Extraordinary Meeting pdf icon PDF 74 KB

513.

2017/18 Provisional Outturn and Annual Treasury Management Review pdf icon PDF 253 KB

514.

Adopt new Active Thanet Strategic Framework pdf icon PDF 82 KB

515.

Adoption of the Tenancy Strategy 2018 pdf icon PDF 97 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Members were advised that the proposed strategy set out to describe and protect the rights of the council’s existing and future tenants. In particular the proposed strategy sought to:

     

    ?  describe the arrangements for tenants, with different types of tenancies to swap homes,

    ?  set out the things that will be considered when deciding whether to renew a flexible or fixed term tenancy,

    ?  include appeal rights for tenants, and

    ?  describe the council’s approach to setting rents.

     

    The council set two different types of rent. Social rents were set based on a government formula, which considered average local earnings and values, and applied to the majority of homes owned by the council. Affordable rents were applied to homes in the council’s new build, refurbishment and acquisitions programme.

     

    Regulations allowed for affordable rents to be set at up to 80% of the local market rent. However, rents set at this level locally would not be genuinely affordable for many tenants living on low incomes or reliant on housing benefit or universal credit.

     

    Cabinet therefore proposed to limit our affordable rents to be no more than the relevant Local Housing Allowance (the maximum amount payable to someone in receipt of housing benefit or universal credit for housing costs) for the property to ensure that they were truly affordable for our tenants.

     

    This was illustrated by comparing the current figures for a 2 bedroom property, where the median market rent was approximately £700 per month. A rent based upon 80% of this figure would be £560 per month, whereas a council affordable rent would be £520 per month. Social rents were generally lower than this, with the average social rent for a 2 bedroom flat currently set at £325 per month and for a 2 bedroom house at £360 per month.

     

    The same principle of affordability was proposed for people living in temporary accommodation, with charges linked to the relevant local housing allowance for their accommodation.

     

    The intention of the strategy was to offer tenancies that were suited to the needs of the council’s tenants and to support tenants to remain in their home for as long as was needed. The proposals balanced the needs of existing and future tenants of the council and would ensure that decisions about tenancies and rents were taken fairly and openly.

     

    Councillor Jaye-Jones spoke under Council Procedure Rule 20.1.

     

    Councillor Game proposed, Councillor Savage seconded and Cabinet agreed to:

     

    1.  Approve the consultation draft of the Tenancy Strategy attached at annex 1 of the Cabinet report;

     

    2.  Delegate authority to the Head of Housing and Planning in consultation with the cabinet member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods to make any minor amendments required to the policy following consultation.

516.

Public Spaces Protection Order No. 3 (Anti-Social Behaviour) pdf icon PDF 118 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cabinet agreed the need for the introduction of new orders that would effectively manage anti-social behaviours (ASB) in areas that were currently experiencing a detrimental effect on the communities due the number of incidents of such behaviours.

     

    Thanet already had two Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) to tackle alcohol related disorder and dog offences that covered the majority of the district. This proposed third PSPO was meant to tackle nuisance caused from anti-social groups and the deliberate misuse of public spaces.

     

    Over half of all reported anti-social behaviour incidents in Thanet were in the following four wards which are:

     

    • Margate Central;
    • Central Harbour;
    • Eastcliff and
    • Cliftonville West.

     

    It was therefore considered appropriate that these locations be the ‘designated area’ for this PSPO. Once adopted, the new Order would restrict for 3 years the following activities:

     

    • Anti-Social group congregation of two or more persons when causing ASB and;
    • Misuse of public spaces (when asked not to do so);
    • Causing a deliberate nuisance to commercial premises;
    • Using foul or abusive language;
    • Excreting bodily fluids.

     

    A public consultation was held between June and July this year, with the majority of consultees being strongly supportive of the proposals. Ward councillors and Ramsgate Town Council were directly consulted and were also supportive of this approach.

     

    The introduction of the new Order would allow both council and police staff to tackle some of these issues which they were currently unable to do under current local arrangements.

     

    Councillor Game proposed, Councillor Savage seconded and Cabinet agreed:

     

    i)  To exercise its powers under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to introduce a Public Space Protection Order;

     

    ii)  To delegate any minor amendment of the PSPO to a service Director;

     

    iii)  To then approve a Fixed Penalty Notice fine amount of £80 with early repayment of £60.