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ANGUS COUNCIL

MINUTE of MEETING of the HOUSING COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Tuesday 8 April 1997 at 4.00 pm.

Present: Councillors IAN ANGUS, HELEN ANGUS, WILLIAM CROWE, WILLIAM DOIG, Mrs RENATE LAMONT and GLENNIS MIDDLETON.

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillors FRANK ELLIS, JACK GIBB, IAN HUDGHTON, WALLIE LEASK, IAN MACKINTOSH, STEWART MOWATT and SANDY WEST.

Councillor IAN ANGUS, Vice-Convener, in the Chair.

1. EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS

The Committee resolved, in terms of Standing Order 27(2) that the public and press be excluded from the meeting during consideration of items 2-4 to avoid disclosure of information which was exempt in terms of Paragraphs 6, 8, 9 and 10 of Part 1 of Schedule 7A to the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973.

2. SERIOUS ARREARS CASES - HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT TENANTS

There was submitted Report No 380/97 by the Director of Housing on serious arrears of rent in respect of six Council house tenants, as detailed in the Appendix to the Report.

The Director of Housing gave up to date information on each case, following which the Committee agreed:-

(i) to note that with regard to Case 2, a rent direct had been arranged with the tenant but that approval be given to evict if regular payments reducing the arrears were not received;

(ii) that Cases 1, 3, 4 and 6 be monitored and that approval be given to evict if regular payments reducing the arrears were not received; and

(iii) that an abandoned house procedure be carried out with regard to Case 5.

3. MODERNISATION OF NO 1 INVERARITY PLACE, HILLSIDE

There was submitted Report No 381/97 by the Director of Property Services regarding the addition of the house at No 1 Inverarity Place, Hillside to the modernisation contract currently being executed by Inwood Limited, Forfar.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to approve the addition of one house to the contract currently being executed by Inwood Limited, Forfar;

(ii) to approve the estimated additional cost of £15,400 (at outturn prices);

(iii) to note that the expenditure arising from this additional work would be accommodated within the Housing Revenue Capital Programme 1997/98; and

(iv) to note the additional revenue expenditure arising from this addition.

4. CAR PARKING AT 44 MILLFIELD PLACE, ARBROATH

There was submitted Report No 382/97 by the Director of Housing regarding a request from the residents of 44 Millfield Place, Arbroath for vehicular access to their rear garden, for parking purposes, over a landscaped area which measured 15 feet.

The Report advised that Superior's approval had been granted in error in May 1996, as the area to be crossed exceeded 12 feet and therefore did not comply with the policy established in August 1986. This had been discovered in October 1996 and the residents had been informed of the mistake. However, the residents had not accepted the situation, and the Director set out three options in the Report.

After consideration, the Committee agreed to withdraw approval and that the residents be advised accordingly.

5. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee held on 18 February 1997 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

6. MINUTE OF EXECUTIVE SUB-COMMITTEE

There was submitted and noted the minute of meeting of the Housing Executive Sub-Committee held on 11 March 1997, a copy of which is appended to this minute (APPENDIX).

7. HOUSING (SCOTLAND) ACT 1987

(a) Improvement Grants

The Committee noted a list of applications for improvement grants, totalling £137,532, approved under delegated authority by the Director of Planning, Transport and Economic Development, as detailed in Report No 357/97.

(b) Repair Grants

The Committee noted a list of applications for repair grants, totalling £23,941 approved under delegated authority by the Director of Planning, Transport and Economic Development, as detailed in Report No 358/97.

(c) Repairs Notice - 24 Bank Street, Kirriemuir

There was submitted Report No 378/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee of the failure by the owner of a house to have remedial work undertaken in accordance with a Repairs Notice.

The Report advised that the whereabouts of the owner of the property were unknown and, following investigation of work requirements by the Property Services Department, a contractor had been engaged to carry out the necessary works for the quoted sum of £240 plus VAT.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to homologate the action of the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection in carrying out works as detailed in the Report to the first floor flat at 24 Bank Street, Kirriemuir to rectify defects and restore the water supply, which were the subject of a Repairs Notice served in terms of Section 108(1) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987; and

(ii) to instruct officers of the Council to seek to recover expenses incurred by the Council in accordance with provisions in the Act.

(d) Repairs Notice - 7 Academy Street, Forfar

There was submitted Report No 379/97 by the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection advising the Committee of the failure by the owner of a house to have remedial work undertaken in accordance with a Repairs Notice.

The Report advised that the whereabouts of the owner of the property were unknown and a survey report carried out by specialists on behalf of the Property Services Department had indicated a cost for the remedial works of £4,392 exclusive of VAT.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) that the Council now undertake to carry out the works to the house at 7 Academy Street, Forfar as detailed in the Report, necessary to rectify defects which were the subject of a Repairs Notice served in terms of Section 108(1) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987; and

(ii) to instruct officers of the Council to seek to recover expenses incurred by the Council in accordance with the provisions in the Act.

8. RELOCATION OF THE STRATHAIRLIE COMMUNITY FLAT

There was submitted Report No 386/97 by the Director of Housing regarding an approach from the Community Education Service with regard to relocating the Strathairlie Community Flat, possibly in the Townhead Road/Bruce Road/Priory Crescent area.

The Report concluded that there was a need to review the basis on which the Strathairlie Community Association operated, given the decline in the population in the original area. It would take several years for the regeneration exercise to be completed and therefore it seemed sensible to relocate the community flat in a nearby area.

The Committee agreed that the Strathairlie Community Association be allocated the tenancy of a four-apartment ground floor flat in the Townhead Road/Bruce Road/Priory Crescent area of Arbroath.

9. SHELTER CAMPAIGN "HOUSING IS GOOD FOR HEALTH"

There was submitted Report No 387/97 by the Director of Housing advising members of Shelter's campaign entitled "Housing is Good for Health".

The Report advised that over the next few months Shelter would be highlighting the link between housing and health in various ways and in various locations and wished to enlist the Council's support of this campaign by submitting a draft motion for the authority to consider.

The Committee welcomed the Report and agreed that the undernoted motion proposed by Shelter be approved:-

"This Council congratulates Shelter Scotland on the launch of its new campaign "Housing for Good" and recognises that good housing is central to the life, health and well-being of all our citizens, to our communities and to the wider Scottish economy.

This Council supports Shelter's "Housing for Good" campaign, deplores the massive cuts in housing investment and resolves this Council will work to ensure that housing receives the political priority it needs."

10. DISPOSAL OF GROUND ADJACENT TO 90 MILTON STREET, MONIFIETH

There was submitted Report No 388/97 by the Director of Housing regarding the disposal of an area of ground at 90 Milton Street, Monifieth.

The Committee agreed to dispose of the area of ground adjacent to 90 Milton Street, Monifieth to Mr I Hutchison, the owner of 90 Milton Street, Monifieth subject to appropriate terms and conditions being attached to the sale of the ground, including that the ground be used solely as garden ground.

11. ANGUS COUNCIL - THE FIRST YEAR

With reference to Article 3(b) of the minute of meeting of the Council of 27 March 1997, there was submitted Report No 360/97 by the Chief Executive setting out the main achievements of Angus Council over its first year, at a time when local government expenditure had been subject to severe restraint.

The Committee noted the Housing Department's main contributions to these achievements and congratulated the Department on providing an excellent service.