Agenda and minutes

Communities and Economic Development Cabinet Advisory Board - Thursday, 14th January, 2021 6.30 pm

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Contact: Caroline Britt  Democratic Services Officer

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Items
No. Item

COM10/20

Apologies pdf icon PDF 9 KB

To receive any apologies for absence.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Fairweather.

COM11/20

Declarations of Interests pdf icon PDF 9 KB

To receive any declarations of interest by members of the Council in items on the agenda. For any advice on declarations of interest, please contact the Monitoring Officer before the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no disclosable pecuniary or other significant interests declared at the meeting.

COM12/20

Notification of Visiting Members Wishing to Speak pdf icon PDF 52 KB

To note any members of the Council wishing to speak, of which due notice has been given in accordance with Council Meeting Procedure Rule 18, and which items they wish to speak on.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no visiting members who had registered as wishing to speak.

 

COM13/20

Minutes of the meeting dated 11 November 2020 pdf icon PDF 168 KB

To approve the minutes of a previous meeting as a correct record. The only issue relating to the minutes that can be discussed is their accuracy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members reviewed the minutes.  No amendments were proposed.

 

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting dated 11 November 2020 be approved as a correct record.

COM14/20

Forward Plan as at 22 December 2020 pdf icon PDF 241 KB

To note forthcoming items as set out in the Forward Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered the plan.  No amendments were proposed.

 

RESOLVED – That the Forward Plan as at 22 December 2020 be noted.

COM15/20

Private Sector Housing Assistance Policy (2021-2026) pdf icon PDF 211 KB

To consider and provide a recommendation to Cabinet on the proposals set out in the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

James Cox, Private Sector Housing Manager introduced a report that recommended the adoption of an updated Private Sector Housing Assistance Policy.

 

Discussion and responses to Members questions included the following:

 

-       The present policy needed updating as it had now run its allocated 4 years. 

-       The experience and improvements during the last 4 years were reflected in the proposed revised policy.

-       Funding for the majority of the proposed assistance came from the Council’s annual Better Care Fund allocation.  A small number of applications were funded from the Council’s Housing Capital Reserve.

-       The proposed new 5 year policy would also include an annual review to ensure the policy continued to operate to the benefit of residents, within budget and when necessary, be innovative to identify areas where the Council could provide additional assistance.

-       The policy was a working document that detailed the assistance the Council proposed to offer, along with a description of the eligibility criteria and conditions attached to each form of assistance. 

-       There were two types of assistance:

o   Mandatory Disabled Facility Grants – These were a legal obligation for the Council to provide with rules set nationally. This Grant provided financial support to provide essential and most needed adaptations to residents homes. 

o   Discretionary Assistance. This assistance was decided locally to reflect both local and national issues.  Discretionary assistance was divided into 3 areas:

§  Assistance allowing a wider range of financial support to disabled residents and their families along with a provision for a streamlined Grant for the speedy installation of essential equipment.

§  Assistance linked to hospital discharge and hoarding  projects.  This assistance provided for the cleaning of filthy or verminous homes, or for undertaking essential repairs. 

§  Assistance, when available, to assist on repairs at residents homes to improve energy efficiency and to assist to bring empty properties back into use.

-       Due to the uncertainty going forward of the Better Care Fund Allocation, where it was reasonable to do so, the Council would place a repayment condition for certain assistance.  This ensured the Council would be able to recycle funds that would help assist residents in the future.

-       A consultation process on the new proposed policy had been undertaken.  No significant comments had been received.

-       At the present time, funding from Government increased annually.  The amount received from Government covered all the works required.  TWBC would never commit to more than the amount of Discretionary Facilities Grant received from Government.  TWBC would only spend what was available.

-       The Warm Homes assistance and the Energy Efficiency assistance were completely separate from the Green Homes Grant. 

-       The work undertaken to ensure accessibility needs were met in the home were quite varied ranging from access ramps, stair lifts and extensions.  Ultimately it was dependent on need.

-       It was proposed and agreed to slightly amend recommendation 2 of the report to add that the delegation being proposed to include consultation with the Portfolio Holder. 

 

RESOLVED – That subject  ...  view the full minutes text for item COM15/20

COM16/20

Award of Contract for the Kent and Medway Air Quality Monitoring Network pdf icon PDF 178 KB

To consider and provide a recommendation to Cabinet on the proposals set out in the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Karin Grey, Sustainability Manager introduced the report that recommended approval of Ricardo-AEA Ltd as the Contractor to manage the Kent and Medway Air Quality Monitoring network and website from April 2021, subject to meeting all the procurement requirements as set out in the body of the report, for an initial period of 3 years with the option on 2 annual extensions (3+1+1).

 

Discussion and responses to Members questions including the following:

 

-       The report detailed the procurement taken for the Network Management contract of the Kent and Medway Air Quality Monitoring Network.

-       The work would ensure the data taken from the air quality station was correctly managed and was accurate. It would then be uploaded onto the Kent and Medway ‘Kent Air’ website.

-       The network had been running for a number of years and was renewed regularly on a 3-5 year cycle.

-       The current contract ended on 31 March 2021. 

-       TWBC were the lead Authority for the procurement of this service.  TWBC have in place a Service Level Agreement with all the participating Kent Local Authorities and Medway Unitary.

-       The Service Level Agreement ensured that all participants agreed to meet their cost contributions for the contract, for the length of the contract. 

-       The main aim of the contract was to ensure a high quality standard of good air quality data to assist Local Authorities in air quality management.  In addition it would combine outputs from individual Local Authorities to create an overall perspective of air quality in Kent and Medway.

-       The information collected would then be conveyed in a suitable format for viewing by a variety of audiences.

-       Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells procurement partnership, along with Mid Kent Legal Services were involved in the whole procurement process.

-       Following the tender process, 2 submissions were received. One was from Air Quality Data Managers (AQDM), the other was from Ricardo Energy and Environment.

-       An assessment process was undertaken in line with the Public Contracts Regulations and an evaluation was carried out in accordance with the expectations that would be placed on any reasonable Authority.

-       AQDM, the current contractor, failed to meet the mandatory requirements for the new contract and therefore did not progress through the tender process.

-       Ricardo Energy and Environment met all the mandatory requirements.

-       AQDM expressed dissatisfaction with the outcome and raised an initial challenge on 8 December and again on 11 December 2020 .  The challenges were considered in full and determined that AQDM had not clearly demonstrated compliance with the tender specification requirements and that the evaluation had been undertaken in accordance with the Council’s procurement procedures and in line with the Public Contracts Regulations (2015).

-       AQDM were advised of their legal right of challenge with the deadline to submit a legal challenge to the High Court by 6 January 2021.  This had now expired.

-       Subject to Cabinet approval, the award of contract could now be made.

-       The Network had been in  ...  view the full minutes text for item COM16/20

COM17/20

Urgent Business pdf icon PDF 9 KB

To consider any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent, for the reasons to be stated, in accordance with Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.

COM18/20

Date of the Next Meeting pdf icon PDF 9 KB

To note that the date of the next scheduled meeting is Wednesday 17 February 2021 at 6.30pm. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The next meeting was scheduled to take place on Wednesday 17 February 2021 at 6:30pm.