Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Finance and Growth, presented the report which sought approval for the next stage of development of the Business Growth and Infrastructure (BGI) department.
1. The Council’s housing functions be organised within the Business Growth and Infrastructure department, as set out in this report.
2. The post of Director of Housing and Development be deleted.
3. A new post of Assistant Director of Housing be established. The post has been evaluated at Chief Officer (Band C).
4. The structural changes to housing functions, as detailed in section 4 of this report be approved.
5. The structural changes within the regeneration and development functions of the Business Growth and Infrastructure department in, detailed in section 5 of this report be approved.
Reasons for the decision:
· The changing policy context, especially the Housing White Paper and the responsibility it will place on the Council.
· The appointment of an experienced senior housing leadership within the Council will provide focus for the service and for other partners including the ALMO.
· The appointment of an experienced Assistant Director (Regeneration Delivery) in BGI has opened the route to better enable the Council to deliver residential growth through partners and the private sector whilst generating receipts.
· A strengthened intelligent client function will enable a clearer understanding of performance in both the ALMO and in housing services.
· A comprehensive housing service allows depth in housing knowledge to join up both physical and people-based strategies across public services.
· It allows a focus on residential development across all tenures and sectors and enables a much broader base of partners to be engaged.
· By enabling residential development rather than direct delivery, the service will lever external funding and skills and places risk in the right places.
Other options considered and rejected:
To carry on as is with transfer of all Housing functions apart from development to Six Town Housing (STH). This option has been rejected for a number of reasons, including the current policy context; Let’s Do It; the new Housing Strategy; and the Housing White Paper, the low performance of residential development by the Council, the unique nature of the proposal and risk i.e., there are no other ALMO's that have taken on this scale of service in one single transfer, an underlying lack of understanding around ALMO performance and cost, and that the Housing Revenue Account is coming under pressure and it is vital that the Council is able to take a more proactive role in developing its HRA 30-year Business Plan than it has done to date in order to ensure any investment decisions are affordable.
Publication date: 25/07/2021
Date of decision: 21/07/2021
Decided at meeting: 21/07/2021 - Cabinet