47 Selective Licensing - annual review PDF 325 KB
The Committee gave consideration to a report, which sought to provide Members with an annual update in relation to the Selective Licensing Scheme within the Gainsborough South West Ward.
In presenting the report, Officers outlined the current position including the financial position and the approach to Enforcement. The report also contained information on how the scheme was dealing with anti-social behaviour and, how compliance was being ensured Future timescales associated with the project and the associated work being undertaken to reduce anti-social behaviour and ensure compliance were also shared with Members.
Debate ensued and Councillor Young as Ward Member was first to address the Committee and wished to re-iterate the comments he had made at the Overview and Scrutiny Meeting in November.
Councillor Young had advocated a Licensing Scheme in the area, he outlined the research he had undertaken and the other schemes visited. He considered there were different ways of introducing such Schemes, some being tenant focused, some being housing standards focused. Schemes in other areas, were by Year 2, reporting a difference with positive feedback from both residents and businesses. The South West Ward Scheme was in Year 3 and it did not feel different, if anything he considered the area had further declined. He circulated images from the area. Whilst he acknowledged the housing standards issues the scheme had identified were very important and the results the authority had had were excellent, the Scheme in its current form was lacking in tenant management.
The Scheme did not currently generate any surplus, surplus income could assist in paying for additional staffing resources, so that Officers could work outside of Officers hours as was the case in other areas with such Schemes. The Ward Member considered dedicated resources were needed in the area for this type of enforcement. He was of the view that over the next 12 months the scheme should be re-aligned with a shift from housing standards work to community enforcement.
In response Officers advised the Scheme was not permitted to generate a surplus, the legislation only permitted it to cover the cost of the licensing process. It was accepted that wider work could be looked at. The Executive Director Resources reminded members of the emerging Housing and Well-being agenda noting this work would assist in addressing the issues being raised by the Ward Councillors.
Councillor Rainsforth, as the other Ward Member, concurred with the view that anti-social behaviour within the area was getting worse, decent residents were suffering and we should no longer be accepting this.
Councillors acknowledged the significant amount of work Officers had undertaken and the positive benefits which had been realised. Making use of the local Ward Member knowledge was encouraged and could not be ignored.
Clarification was sought and provided around the intention of recommendation 3.
Members were also mindful that the scheme needed to be considered in the wider regeneration context. There was a need to engender civic pride and all of the issues reported in area were ... view the full minutes text for item 47