A report from the Executive Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services and Executive Director of Regeneration and Environment will be circulated as soon as possible. (Key decision – reference number 4451)
(8.30 – 8.40 pm)
Councillor Ahmet Oykener (Cabinet Member for Housing and Housing Regeneration) introduced the report of the Executive Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services and Executive Director of Regeneration and Environment (No.195) setting out the proposed HRA 30 Year Business Plan, the detailed HRA Revenue Budget for 2017/18, the five year HRA Capital Programme and Right to Buy (RTB) One for One Receipts Programme (2017/18 to 2021/22).
1. The report also presented the levels of rents, service charges and heating charges to be operative with effect from 3 April 2017 for HRA Council tenant and leaseholders, and rents for tenants in Temporary Accommodation.
2. That the detailed figures included in the latest version of the HRA 30 Year Business Plan were set out in Appendix A to the report. Members noted the constraint on resources.
3. The detailed programme of works and key risks in the delivery of the HRA business plan as set out in the report. Members noted that 2017/18 would be the second year of the 1% rent reduction which had been agreed over four years and its impact had been factored into the 30-year business plan and budget setting, as outlined in the report.
4. The recent publication of the Government’s Housing White Paper, the future impact of which was still to be determined. Members noted that the Government’s borrowing cap on the Housing Revenue Account had not been relaxed.
5. The base budget for 2017/18 as set out in section 5 of the report. During 2016/17, a project had been in place to identify ongoing savings of £2m per annum from the HRA which would start to have a full year effect in 2017/18. These savings were in addition to the savings of £1.955m identified in 2015/16. As at December 2016, a net £2.3m had been found.
6. The implications of the Welfare Reform and Work Act which had come into force in March 2016, as set out in the report.
7. That the report set out the service charges for tenants and leaseholders.
8. The proposed Heating Charges as set out in section 12 of the report. It was recommended that, with effect from 1 October 2017, heating charges move to being reviewed and increased or decreased on 1 October each year, rather than April. This meant that, in 2017/18, there would be two heating charge reviews, one now and one in October. Heating charges, especially electricity, were predicted to increase significantly this year. Section 12.4 set out the proposed electricity charges which would be increased by 8% now and reviewed again in October. A review of all heating charges in October of each year would also align with the setting of the Council’s annual contracts. Members noted that the poor electricity generating capacity in the UK increased the grid’s reliance on imports from France, the price for which would depend on the performance of the pound against the euro.
Alternative Options Considered: Currently, the Council had no choice about the level of rents ... view the full minutes text for item 7