Cllr Realey said she was new on this committee, but pointed out that councillors meet a lot of people that might be entitled to investment and could staff come to a future meeting and give a talk on this? David Ball said he would make the information available and Paula was available already to businesses. … Continue reading “Economy and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee 7th November 2011 Part 14 Housing Market Renewal Initiative”
Cllr Realey said she was new on this committee, but pointed out that councillors meet a lot of people that might be entitled to investment and could staff come to a future meeting and give a talk on this?
David Ball said he would make the information available and Paula was available already to businesses. He said they cold come to each meeting and signpost councillors.
The Chair said he had added an item to the work program that day, which was an update on the Housing Market Renewal Initiative by Ian. Ian said a decision was imminent, there was a transition fund but they had been left in limbo.
Cllr Niblock said he lived in a Housing Market Renewal Initiative area, declared a prejudicial interest and left the room.
Ian said a decision was imminent, he had spoken to the Homes and Communities Agency. They had advised him that by January 2012 a decision should be made.
The Chair, Cllr Johnston said the next meeting on the 16th January was on his 40th birthday. He thanked the officers.
Cllr Gerry Ellis queried why the committee had to go into closed session for the last item regeneration update, surely Wirral Council should be open with the public? The Chair Cllr Johnson replied that it was because of commercially sensitive information and the press and public were asked to leave.
Cllr Wittingham asked if they would use Wirral Partnership Homes, the answer given was yes.
Cllr Realey said she had concerns about the under 35s and the single room rate which comes into effect in January 2012. She said this would reduce benefit for those affected with private landlords to £63/week. Cllr Realey said it would affect seven hundred to nine hundred people with a nine month contingency. Until people were thirty-five they would only be allowed a room. What were they doing she asked?
Ian said it would address under occupation and its impacts. They would work with registered social landlords and private sector landlords over the introduction of the new rules. There would be opportunities for sharing and a raft of different approaches.
Cllr Realey said in Devonshire Park there were a lot of big houses being converted to HMOs. If landlords were getting £65/week for each one this would “bring back bedsit land”. The Chair expressed concerns over the effect on the elderly and the young and asked for a further report on it as well as on the HMRI situation.
The Chair thanked Paula Basnett and said that if councillors had a couple of hours that Invest Wirral was well worth their while visiting.
The Chair, Cllr Johnston said he hoped councillors had read the Child Poverty Strategy and Action Plan Progress Report and that Jane Morgan was here to answer any questions. He asked councillors if they had any questions? They didn’t, Cllr Johnston asked about the timetable for the action plan.
Jane Morgan said in the appendix it was not detailed as there were things to develop further regarding childcare where they wanted to understand the issues. There would be work done on this over the next couple of months, there were already meetings in the diary, it would go back to scrutiny in the New Year and Cabinet which would define what would happen for the next three years.
The Chair said he had attended an event at the Floral Pavillion, but what were they doing regarding engagement.
Jane Morgan explained that following the event people would be invited to targetted workshops involving providers and practitioners. Through the website they were trying to get people to be champions.
Cllr Realey asked if Bidston/Claughton was the worst in Europe for child poverty? Jane replied that it was the highest on Wirral with 72% living in poverty in parts of Bidston & Claughton.
Cllr Realey asked where Prenton was in the statistics. Jane Morgan pointed Cllr Realey to the detailed needs assessment which was a “complex technical document”.