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MINUTE of MEETING of the HOUSING COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Tuesday 10 April 2001 at 4.20 pm.

Present: Councillors FRANK ELLIS, ALISTAIR GRAY, BILL CROWE, DAVID LUMGAIR, STEWART McGLYNN, GLENNIS MIDDLETON, ROBERT MYLES, PETER NIELD, GEORGE NORRIE MBE, BILL ROBERTON and SHEENA WELSH.

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillors IAN ANGUS and JOY MOWATT.

Councillor ELLIS, Convener, in the Chair.

1. MINUTES

(a) Previous Meeting

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 20 February 2001 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

(b) Executive Sub-Committee

The minute of meeting of the Executive Sub-Committee of 13 March 2001, a copy of which is appended hereto, was submitted and noted (Appendix).

2. HOUSING CAPITAL PROGRAMME ­ HRA BLOCK ­ 2000/2001

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 20 February 2001, there was submitted Report No 398/01 by the Director of Finance setting out the latest position on the HRA Housing Capital Programme ­ HRA Block ­ 2000/2001.

The report advised that the likely level of spend for the year was now projected at £7.006m. This was some £467k under available resources which was partly attributable to two contractors ceasing business and was also due to the additional money which had been made available under the Section 94 consent resulting in a lower call on CFCR.

The Committee agreed to note the figures presented for the Housing Capital Programme ­ HRA Block for 2000/01.

3. COUNCIL HOUSE RENT LEVELS 2001/2002

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of the special meeting of the Committee of 13 February 2001, there was submitted Report No 399/01 by the Director of Housing outlining, in an Appendix, the average weekly rent levels in Scotland for all local authorities in the 2001/2002 financial year, as reported by COSLA..

Following discussion, the Committee agreed to note the terms of the Report and that Angus Council had the third lowest average rent of the 32 authorities at £32.55 per week (despite the recently agreed 5% increase being applied from April 2001).

4. PERFORMANCE INDICATOR INFORMATION 1999/2000

There was submitted Report No 396/01 by the Director of Housing advising that the Accounts Commission for Scotland had published a report detailing performance indicator information for 1999/2000 and appending to the Report, in tabular form, comparisons of Angus Council Housing Department's performance with the other 31 reporting Scottish local authorities. This indicated that the statistics for Angus Council showed a favourable performance position in each case.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

5. WARM DEAL GRANT

With reference to Article 7 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 23 May 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 397/01 by the Director of Housing and the Acting Director of Personnel which advised members of the Scottish Executive's Warm Deal grant funding and allocation for Angus, along with the progress being made by the Warm Deal project partnership between the Housing and Personnel Departments.

The Report advised that the ongoing insulation programme for 2000/2001 was being achieved by using approved installers in Brechin, Carnoustie, Forfar, Montrose, Kirriemuir and Monifieth, and by the partnership with the Personnel Department's Training Services Section in Arbroath. This latter arrangement was proving particularly successful in not only upgrading the energy efficiency of the housing stock, and thereby alleviating fuel poverty, but also in providing valuable training and employment opportunities for unemployed local people.

The Report also indicated that the Warm Deal grant allocation figure from the Scottish Executive for the new financial year was yet to be finalised, as they were considering the cost of the central heating initiative and its effect on the Warm Deal budget. However, they had stated that Angus "could be allocated a Warm Deal grant for the first quarter of 2001/2002 equivalent in value to one quarter of the annual grant that was provided last year".

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report, and in particular, the success of the Warm Deal partnership project between the Housing and Personnel Departments.

6. 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 the following items so as to avoid the disclosure of information which was exempt in terms of Part 1 of Schedule 7A of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, paragraphs 1, 4, 6, 8 and 9.

7. STOCK CONDITION SURVEY ­ ANGUS COUNCIL HOUSES

There was submitted Report No 400/01 by the Director of Housing outlining the results of the first phase of the stock condition survey and proposing action accordingly.

Jim Patton, Market Research Scotland Ltd and Murray Petrie of Lickley Proctor, Chartered Surveyors, Dundee gave a short presentation on the findings of the survey.

Following a number of questions, the Committee agreed:-

  1. that the contents of the Report and the stock survey document be noted;
  2. that the appropriate officers develop a range of options for improving the housing stock owned by Angus Council and report back to the Committee meeting on 25 September 2001; and
  3. that the second phase of the stock survey should proceed using Lickley Proctor, Chartered Surveyors, Dundee at a cost of £75,000, including VAT.

8. IMPROVEMENT GRANT APPLICATIONS APPROVED UNDER DELEGATED AUTHORITY

With reference to Article 12 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 20 February 2001, there was submitted and noted Report No 389/01 by the Director of Planning and Transport detailing applications for improvement grants, totalling £49,293, which had been approved under delegated authority.

9. REPAIR GRANT APPLICATIONS APPROVED UNDER DELEGATED AUTHORITY

With reference to Article 13 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 20 February 2001, there was submitted and noted Report No 390/01 by the Director of Planning and Transport detailing applications for repair grants totalling £14,131 which had been approved under delegated authority.

10. ACCESS OFFICE ­ MONTROSE

There was submitted Joint Report No 401/01 by the Director of Housing, Director of Finance and Acting Director of Personnel concerning the new integrated ACCESS Office at the Town House, Montrose and the staffing requirement to ensure effective delivery of a range of Council services.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed to approve the increase in establishment, as detailed in the Report.

11. PROPOSED DISPOSAL OF 10 EASTGATE, FRIOCKHEIM

With reference to Article 14 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 7 November 2000, there was submitted Report No 408/01 by the Director of Property Services on the possible disposal of 10 Eastgate, Friockheim.

Following discussion, the Committee agreed to defer consideration of the matter in order that the Director of Property Services could clarify issues in relation to the address of the property.

Councillors Glennis Middleton, Roberton and Gray declared an interest in the following item.

12. LAND AT DUNGMAN'S TACK, MONTROSE

With reference to Article 19(e) of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 8 August 2000, there was submitted Report No 402/01 by the Director of Housing relating to the disposal of an area of ground and the appropriation of an area of ground at Dungman's Tack, Montrose as outlined in the plan attached to the Report.

The Committee agreed, for its interest, and subject to consent being obtained from Scottish Ministers:-

  1. that the area of ground in question be sold to the owners of 3 Rose Cottage, Montrose, on appropriate terms and conditions; and
  2. that an area of ground be appropriated from the Montrose Common Good Account to the Housing Revenue Account.

Thereafter, Councillor Norrie requested that his dissent be recorded in terms of Standing Order 15(9)(ii).

13. SERIOUS ARREARS CASES ­ HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT TENANTS

There was submitted Report No 403/01 by the Director of Housing regarding serious arrears of rent in respect of eight Council house tenants, as detailed in the Appendix to the Report.

The Committee agreed that all eight cases be monitored and that approval be given to evict if regular payments to reduce the arrears were not received.

Councillor Ellis declared an interest in the following item. Councillor Gray took the Chair.

14. HEATING INSTALLATIONS AT ARBROATH, FORFAR, KIRRIEMUIR AND MONTROSE ­ TENDER LISTS

There was submitted Report No 407/01 by the Director of Property Services proposing that five lists of contractors be invited to tender for heating installations at Arbroath, Forfar, Kirriemuir and Montrose.

The Committee agreed to authorise the invitation of tenders from the undernoted contractors, subject to satisfactory financial assessments as required by the Director of Finance, in consultation with the Director of Property Services:-

Heating Installations and Kitchen Replacements at Arbroath (Contract 01_HEAT_A1)

Easy Heat Systems, Perth
James Lammond & Son, Brechin
Muirfield (Contracts) Ltd, Dundee
Skene Blair & Son (Forfar) Ltd, Forfar
Taycon Construction Ltd, Dundee
W H Brown Construction (Dundee) Ltd, Dundee

Hall & Tawse Ltd Dundee (Reserve)
Thomson & Douglas Ltd, Forfar (Reserve)

Heating Installations at Forfar (Contract 01_HEAT_F1)

Alliance Electrical Services Ltd, Forfar
Easy Heat Systems, Perth
James Lammond & Son, Brechin
Peter M Drummond, Meigle
Pitkerro Ltd, Dundee
Skene Blair & Son (Forfar) Ltd, Forfar

W H Brown Construction (Dundee) Ltd, Dundee (Reserve)

Heating Installations at Kirriemuir (Contract 01_HEAT_K1)

Alliance Electrical Services Ltd, Forfar
Easy Heat Systems, Perth
Neil Simpson Plumbing & Heating, Kirriemuir
Peter M Drummond Limited, Meigle
Skene Blair & Son (Forfar) Ltd, Forfar
WRB Gas (Contracts) Ltd, Dundee

James Lammond & Son, Brechin (Reserve)

Heating Installations at Montrose (Contract 01_HEAT_M1)

Alliance Electrical Services Ltd, Forfar
E Moir & Co Ltd, Montrose
Easy Heat Systems, Perth
James Lammond & Son, Brechin
Skillbase Services Ltd, Livingston
W H Brown Construction (Dundee) Ltd, Dundee

Muirfield (Contracts) Ltd, Dundee (Reserve)

Heating Installations at Arbroath (Contract 01_HEAT_A2)

Domestic Plumbing & Heating, Dundee
E Moir & Co Ltd, Montrose
Muirfield (Contracts) Ltd, Dundee
Pitkerro Ltd, Dundee
Skene Blair & Son (Forfar) Ltd, Forfar
Skillbase Services Ltd, Livingston

Easy Heat Systems, Perth (Reserve)

Councillor Ellis resumed the Chair

15. TENDERS

(a) Window and Door Replacements, Montrose (Contract 01_WIND_M1)

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of meeting of the Executive Sub-Committee of 13 March 2001, there was submitted Report No 404/01 by the Director of Property Services on tenders received for window and door replacements at 155 Council houses in Montrose.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to authorise acceptance of the lowest tender for the several works, that of R S Hill, Douglastown, Forfar in the amount of £400,667.77;
  2. to approve the estimated total cost of £459,509 (at out turn prices);
  3. to note that allowance for this project had been made in the Provisional Capital Programme 2001/2002; and
  4. to note that the additional revenue expenditure arising from this project (first full year 2002/2003) was £45,900 per annum in respect of loan charges calculated over 20 years.

(b) Window and Door Replacements, Forfar and Kirriemuir (Contract 01_WIND_FK1)

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of meeting of the Executive Sub-Committee of 13 March 2001, there was submitted Report No 405/01 by the Director of Property Services on tenders received for window and door replacements at Council houses in Forfar and Kirriemuir.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to authorise acceptance of the lowest tender for the several works, that of R S Hill, Douglastown, Forfar in the amount of £420,888.27;
  2. to approve the estimated total cost of £489,359 (at out turn prices);
  3. to note that allowance for this project had been made in the Provisional Capital Programme 2001/2002; and
  4. to note that the additional revenue expenditure arising from this project (first full year 2002/2003) was £48,900 per annum in respect of loan charges calculated over 20 years.

Councillor Ellis declared an interest in the following item. Councillor Gray took the Chair.

(c) Modernisations at Mountskip Road, Brechin ­ Completion Contract

With reference to Article 20 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 20 February 2001, there was submitted Report No 406/01 by the Director of Property Services on tenders received for completion of the modernisation project at 13 Council houses in Mountskip Road, Brechin, following the appointment of liquidators in respect of J & G Construction Limited, Dundee.

The Committee agreed:

  1. to authorise acceptance of the tender for completion of the project, that of Taycon Construction Ltd, Dundee in the amount of £211,868.20;
  2. to note the estimated total cost of £404,208, an increase of £18,255 over the original estimated project cost of £385,953;
  3. to note that the increase would be met from the unpaid balance currently being held by the Council against work done by the contractor;
  4. to note that an allowance of £381,000 had been made for this project in the Housing Revenue Account Capital Programme 2000/2001 and that additional provision might have to be made; and
  5. to note that the revenue expenditure arising from this project (first full year 2002/2003) was £38,600 per annum in respect of loan charges calculated over 20 years.
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