4 – Housing Policy Social and Cultural Development

Minutes of Strategic Policy Committee 4 – (Housing Policy/Social and Cultural Development) held on Thursday, 29th June, 2006, at 4.00 pm in the Training Room, Riverside, Sligo


MEMBERS PRESENT:

  • J. Queenan,
  • M. Baker,
  • V. Cawley,
  • C. MacManus
  • D. Bree
  • G. Creamer,
  • F. Brannigan,
  • C. Fitzgerald

OFFICIALS IN ATTENDANCE:

  • Ms M. McConnell, A/Director of Services
  • Ms B. Conway, Administrative Officer
  • Ms J. Burns, A/Administrative Officer
  • Mr S. McMorrow, Chief Technician
  • Ms D. Finnerty, A/Senior Executive Officer
  • Mr D. Willis, Estate Management Officer
  • Ms S. Malone, Assistant Staff Officer

MINUTES OF MEETING OF 6th APRIL 2006:

Proposed by C. Fitzgerald
Seconded by G. Creamer

AND AGREED

“that minutes of meeting of SPC 4 held on 6th April, 2006, be and are hereby approved.”

RENT SUPPLEMENT SCHEME:

A report on the rent supplement scheme had been circulated with the agenda as requested by Cllr V. Cawley.

UPDATE ON DIFFERENTIAL RENT SCHEME:

A report on this item was circulated to the members at the meeting. Ms J. Burns, A/A.O. informed members that Sligo Local Authorities are currently examining their Rent Scheme with a view to implementing a scheme which would be common to both Local Authorities. She further outlined the points being considered with regard to a new Scheme which included seeking income details in early August so that tenants would be advised of their new rent by the end of November.

In response to Cllr C. MacManus, Ms Burns indicated that they were looking at various rent schemes in other Local Authorities including Tipperary.

Following a discussion it was agreed to circulate the draft scheme at both Sligo Local Authority Council meetings in September.

UPDATES ON ESSENTIAL REPAIRS AND DISABLED PERSONS GRANT SCHEMES:

A report was circulated with the agenda on this item. Ms Burns indicated that the remainder of budget for grants for 2006 is €50,000. She indicated that all grants will be processed to approval stage and monies will be paid in January.

UPDATE ON IMPROVEMENT WORKS IN LIEU SCHEME:

It was noted that €206,608 had been paid out in respect of instalments on 14 loans awarded under the Improvements Works in Lieu of Housing Schemes to date in 2006 and 11 applications are currently being processed to approval stage.

Cllr J. Queenan paid tribute to the technical staff in Housing for the work on the scheme. However, he noted that it took a considerable length of time for the scheme to be processed.

In response Mr McMorrow stated that every effort was being made to progress applications, however, due to the targets in the Action Plan the main priority was completion of the Housing Capital Programme.

UPDATE ON CAPITAL PROGRAMME:

A report on this item was circulated to the members with the agenda. In response to Cllr Bree, Mr McMorrow advised that Sligo is in the top four in the country for achieving their targets in regard to the Capital Programme.

UPDATE ON GENEALOGY SERVICES:

At the request of Cllr Bree this item had been placed on the agenda. Cllr Bree advised the members that he had been contacted by residents of St. Bridget’s place to inform him that the Genealogy Society had set up a training centre in one of the houses. He further advised that he had been to City Hall and was informed that as far as he was aware no permission had been given to set up a training centre and enforcement action may now be taken against the Society.

REVIEW WORK PRACTICES ON ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES IN LOCAL AUTHORITY ESTATES:

A report on this item was circulated to the members at the meeting. Mr Damien Willis Estate Officer, advised members that in five estates in County Sligo environmental works are contracted out for works such as grass cutting, maintenance of shrubs etc. at a cost of €57,610.33. The remaining Council estates receive a small budget towards purchase of shrubs etc. He advised the members that a revised work practice is proposed as follows:

  • Maintenance of green areas in housing estates where more that 50% of the houses are in Council ownership.
  • Assist in the maintenance of green areas in housing estates where a Resident Association exists.
  • Assist in forming Residents Associations.
  • Assist in co-ordinating all maintenance works on green areas.
  • Assist Residents Associations with funding for purchase and maintenance of tools etc.

Cllr Queenan complimented Mr Willis on the work to date and advised that the members will come back with comments.

The next meeting was scheduled for 4.00 pm on Thursday 28th September, 2006.

The meeting concluded at 5.25 pm.


Meeting Date 29/06/2006