4 – Housing Policy Social and Cultural Development

Minutes of Strategic Policy Committee 4 – (Housing Policy/Social and Cultural Development) held on Thursday, 2nd November, 2006, at 4.00 pm in the Training Room, Riverside, Sligo


MEMBERS PRESENT:

  • J. Queenan,
  • V. Cawley,
  • C. MacManus
  • J. Leonard,
  • I. Henry
  • F. Brannigan

OFFICIALS IN ATTENDANCE:

  • Ms D. Finnerty, A/Director of Services
  • Ms M. McConnell, Senior Executive Officer
  • Mr J. Moran, Administrative Officer
  • Mr D. Willis, Housing Investigations Officer
  • Ms S. Malone, Assistant Staff Officer

APOLOGIES:

  • Ms D. Clarke, Director of Services
  • Mr M. Ryan, A/Senior Executive Engineer

MINUTES OF MEETING OF 29th JUNE 2006:

Proposed by Cllr C. MacManus
Seconded by F. Brannigan

AND AGREED

“that minutes of meeting of SPC 4 held on 29th June, 2006, be and are hereby approved.”

MATTERS ARISING FROM MINUTES:

Cllr C. MacManus welcomed the improved changes with regard to the Differential Rent Scheme.

In reply to a query from Cllr MacManus, Ms D. Finnerty, A/DOS, advised that Sligo Borough Council had granted planning permission to the Genealogy Society for a training centre at St. Bridget’s Place.

REVISED SCHEME OF ALLOCATION PRIORITIES FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING:

A report on this item was circulated with the agenda for the meeting. Mr J. Moran, AO, advised members that the draft is based on the Council’s existing scheme and on a model scheme devised by the Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government. He further outlined the main changes proposed to the existing scheme.

Members expressed the need for more advertisement for the scheme as some members of the public were unaware of its existence.

In response Ms M. McConnell, S.E.O., advised that over the next six months more work would be undertaken in promoting this scheme.

After a brief discussion it was

Proposed by Cllr V. Cawley
Seconded by Cllr I. Henry

And agreed

“To refer for consideration, the Draft Scheme of Allocation Priorities for Affordable Housing to the next meeting of Sligo County Council”

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES IN LOCAL AUTHORITY ESTATES:

A report was circulated with the agenda on this item. Mr D. Willis advised members that under the proposed new work practices residents would take a more pro active role in maintaining their estates with the co-operation of the Council and Estate Management Officer.

A general discussion took place on this item and it was felt that a procedure would need to be put in place before its implementation.

MID TERM REVIEW OF SOCIAL AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING ACTION PLAN 2004-2008:

A report was circulated on this item with the agenda. Ms M. McConnell, S.E.O. advised members that the Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government had requested a mid term review to be carried out.

In response to queries regarding St. Edward’s Place & Fr. Flanagan Tce., Ms M. McConnell advised members that remedial works at St. Edward’s Place was in the second stage of the tendering process and also the Dept. had raised queries with regard to Fr. Flanagan Tce. which the Council were in the process of responding to.

Ms McConnell also advised members that two staff have been appointed to implement the Rental Accommodation Scheme in the Sligo Local Authorities and they are currently putting together an implementation plan for the scheme.

Cllr Queenan expressed his disappointment at the delay in processing Improvement Works in Lieu Applications. In response Ms M. McConnell advised that these applications took a lot of time to process and the Council are currently looking at other ways to deliver the scheme more effectively. In this regard the option of applicants being asked to submit their own drawings was being discussed. She advised that this proposal was outlined to the Department who had reservations about it.

Cllr J. Queenan requested a report on the Improvement Works in Lieu Scheme for the next SPC 4 meeting.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS:

Cllr V. Cawley raised the issue of considering wood burning pellets as a source of heating in Local Authority Houses as there is now a grant for this scheme.

Cllr Queenan advised that Longford County Council were using this form of heating and the SPC should consider visiting the scheme in Longford. It was agreed to discuss further at the next SPC meeting.

The next meeting was scheduled for 4.00 pm on Thursday 18th January, 2006.

The meeting concluded at 5.30 pm.


Meeting Date 02/11/2006