The Committee gave consideration to a report from the Housing and Enforcement Manager seeking approval, based on the feasibility information, to consult on future proposals for Selective Licensing in West Lindsey. He explained that there were a number of appendices in relation to this item, with the main justification report attached at appendix 1, this being the report that would be used in any consultation, subject to approval. He highlighted that item 8a on the agenda was an exempt appendix relating to the phase 2 and 3 procurement. He also emphasised that the Committee were being asked to approve that consultation was undertaken on the proposals, not to confirm any final scheme. A further committee decision would be required for this, following on from any consultation.
Members were advised that Section 3 of the main report provided the overall findings of the feasibility work and set out the preference to explore option 1 as the preferred approach. Section 5 set out the financial proposals for the level of fee and advised that approval for the additional revenue to carry out phases 2 and 3 of the work would require approval from the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee. Section 8 set out how it was intended to carry out the consultation to ensure that the legislative requirements were met.
The Committee commended the work that been undertaken, both in relation to the previous scheme and also in preparing for subsequent schemes. Members recognised the importance of engaging with landlords, whilst recognising that any scheme would likely be seen as an additional fee for them. It was accepted that there had been opposition to the original scheme and that there were elements that could and would be improved in the future. It was also acknowledged that the work to date had provided a clear oversight of the needs of the district, and, in some cases highlighted surprising results.
Note: Councillor M. Devine briefly left the meeting and returned at 8.08pm
The Committee was also keen to note that there were some complex issues to be addressed and it would overlap with other areas of the council’s work. Any future scheme would play an important role in improving conditions across the district.
The Chairman reiterated the purpose at this stage was to approve consultation on future options, and, having had a proposer and seconder, he took the vote. With thanks once again extended to the Housing and Enforcement Manager and his team it was
a) the supporting evidence, financial information and risks in relation to the Selective Licensing proposals, be considered and noted; and
b) it be noted that, as per the report, alternative options had been considered in regards to improving the Private Rented Sector within the District; and
c) the preferred option for consultation to be presented to Prosperous Communities Committee is option 1; an initial designation for Gainsborough South West Ward, followed by a further designation for four additional wards; Gainsborough North, Hemswell Cliff, Wold View and Market Rasen; and
d) the proposal for a consultation exercise as required by Section 80(9) of the Housing Act 2004 for Selective Licensing to consider the preferred option and proposals, draft selective licensing conditions and draft selective licensing policy be approved; and
e) the specific details of the consultation (exact start dates and methods), be delegated to the Chief Executive in consultation with the Chair of the Prosperous Communities Committee; and
f) the report be referred to Corporate Policy and Resources Committee to seek a decision in relation to the financial commitment of £126, 921 needed to deliver phases 2 and 3 of the scheme.