City of York Council

Committee Minutes

Meeting

Decision Session - Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods

Date

18 March 2021

Present

Councillor Craghill (Executive Member)

 

 

 

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47.        Declarations of Interest

 

The Executive Member was asked to declare, at this point in the meeting, any personal interests not included on the Register of Interests or any prejudicial or discloseable pecuniary interest that she might have in respect of the business on the agenda.  None were declared.

 

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48.        Minutes

 

Resolved: That the minutes of the previous meetings held on 17 December 2020 and 12 January 2021 be approved and then signed as a correct record by the Executive Member at a later date.

 

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49.        Public Participation

 

It was reported that there had been no registrations to speak at the meeting under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.

 

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50.        Update on the Housing Energy Retrofit Programme

 

The Executive Member considered a report that outlined the level of progress on the Housing Energy Retrofit Programme since the December Executive approval.

 

The Interim Assistant Director of Housing and Community Safety was in attendance to provide an update. He explained the approach to delivering improvements to around 60 energy inefficient council houses, utilising £1m of allocated budget from the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) to bring these homes up to an EPC C rating. The work was being delivered with technical support provided through the Energy Accelerator project operated by West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA). The Executive Member noted that good progress had been made in agreeing the terms of the contract and that an activity schedule had been agreed, which was summarised in the report.

 

The Executive Member noted that:

·        The council had been successful in achieving a grant totalling £535,000 from the consortium bid for the LAD1B competition to delivering energy efficiency measures to households in York, Harrogate, Selby and Craven.

·        The grant would be used to improve around 40 houses with poorly insulated rooms in roof spaces within the Clifton area which were all fuel poor households, in addition, across the four local authority areas, households who had inadequate/no loft insulation would be given the opportunity to receive free loft insulation and draught proofing.

·        The grant funding required the work to be completed by the end of September 2021 and the grant would allow for temporary staff to be recruited to support the grant allocation.

·        LAD2 was the second phase of Government funding and the deadline for submission of the application to the Energy Hub was 26 March 2021, with a decision expected the week commencing 19 April. It was proposed that the submission be made for the full £1,129,780, which was the maximum grant available to York.

·        The LAD2 guidance dictated that £5000 was the maximum funding which could be drawn down on each social property. This would allow a potential contribution of £300k to improve 60 homes through the Council House Retrofit Phase 1 project.

·        Officers were also exploring the possibility of funding a number of Solar PV installations to some private homes, council homes and homes owned by a local Registered Provider.

 

The Interim Assistant Director confirmed there was a commitment to create a retrofit strategy and he noted the primary aims and four main stages, as highlighted within the report. He then suggested that recommendation ii), as noted in the report, be amended to provide greater clarity on what the funding would be used for and he requested that delegated authority be given to the Executive Member of Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods to approve any reallocation of the grant funding in line with the capacity of the supply chain and the grant funding terms

 

In answer to questions raised by the Executive Member, it was confirmed that officers:

·        had identified a number of archetypes within the city and surveys would be undertaken to inform the design work. Once this had been undertaken, engagement with residents would commence to promote the offer, its benefits and respond to any concerns raised. 

·        would arrange a post completion assessment of the works to measure the effectiveness of the improvements.

 

The Executive Member thanked the Interim Assistant Director for his update and she welcomed the progress made and the funding bids received to date. She agreed that the development of the retrofit strategy was crucial to support the council’s climate change targets and she encouraged eligible residents to consider the home improvement offer.

 

The Executive Member supported option 1 in the report and agreed that the amended wording to recommendation ii) would maximise the use of the LAD2 grant, support the existing council house retrofit programme and the installation of additional solar panels, therefore it was

 

Resolved:

 

(i)    That the successful application to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for investment under their Local Authority Delivery 1B scheme, be noted and the grant allocation approach outlined in the report, be supported.

 

(ii)   That the submission of a grant application under the Local Authority Delivery 2 scheme be supported and that the utilisation of this funding to support, 1) Council Housing Energy Retrofit Programme Phase 1 works as approved by Executive in December 2020;  2) an expansion of room in the roof and other insulation works being delivered as part of LAD1B project; and 3) to install solar PV on council homes utilising some of the remaining funds within the £1m allocated budget, alongside LAD2 funding, be approved.  That delegated authority to the Executive Member of Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods to approve any reallocation of this grant funding in line with the capacity of the supply chain and the grant funding terms, be agreed. 

 

(iii)      That the scope of the retrofit strategy be approved and the timescales and resource implications for its completion be noted.

 

                    Reason: To improve the energy performance of some of our poorer performing homes to both reduce residents’ energy bills and to support our ambition of York being carbon neutral by 2030.

 

 

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Cllr Craghill, Executive Member

[The meeting started at 10.00am and finished at 10.17am].

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