Property Services Committee
26 January 2005
IRVINE, 26 January 2005 - At a Meeting of the Property Services Committee of North Ayrshire Council at 2.00 p.m.
Samuel Taylor, Stewart Dewar, Gordon Allison, Ian Clarkson, Margie Currie, Jane Gorman, Margaret McDougall, Elizabeth McLardy, Margaret Munn, David O'Neill, Robert Rae and Nan Wallace.
T. Orr, Corporate Director, O. Clayton, Head of Housing, J. Currie, Head of Cleansing, Grounds Maintenance and Transport, J. Paul, Head of Technical Services and M. Cashmore, Principal Officer, Management Systems Support (Property Services); P. Doak, Finance Manager (Finance); J. Stevenson, Communications Officer; M. Adams and M. Anderson, Corporate and Democratic Support Officers (Chief Executive's).
Councillor Taylor in the Chair.
Apologies for Absence
Jacqueline Browne, Drew Duncan, John Reid and Richard Wilkinson.
The Minutes of the Meeting of the Committee held on 24 November 2004, copies of which had previously been circulated, were confirmed.
2. Anti Social Behaviour Investigation Team
Submitted report by the Corporate Director (Property Services) on progress in tackling anti social behaviour following the establishment of the Anti Social Behaviour Investigation Team.
The Anti Social Behaviour Investigation Team was set up following detailed research and in response to increasing numbers of anti social behaviour complaints. The Team, based in the Area Housing Office at Bridgegate House, Irvine, originally comprised a Senior Investigator and four Investigators appointed in April 2004. A Solicitor, whose work is dedicated to dealing with anti social behaviour, has also been appointed and this post is funded from the Housing Revenue Account. Second round funding from the Scottish Executive has permitted an expansion of the team to include two further Investigators, a Home Security Co-ordinator and a Clerical Officer.
Formal working procedures for the Investigation Team are continuing to be developed and will take account of changes in legislation which came into effect in October 2004. There has also been a strong emphasis on partnership working with other agencies, such as the Police, Crown Office, Procurator Fiscal Service, Scottish Children's Reporter Administration, Registered Social Landlords, the Health Service and the Council's Social, Educational and Environmental Health Services. The Council has been selected by the Scottish Executive to pilot a database to enhance information exchange between agencies dealing with serious cases of anti social behaviour and the Investigation Team will have a role in the case conference approach which is central to the project.
Since the inception of the team, two full Anti Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) and seven Interim ASBOs have been obtained, while it has been possible to resolve a significant number of other cases without recourse to legal action.
A standby service was recently introduced for complainants whose cases have been referred to the team and a number of cameras have been purchased. The latter will be used, once the relevant surveillance procedure has been finalised, to help deter anti social behaviour, protect victims and gather evidence. Consultation with partners will continue through the multi agency case conference approach and information sharing pilot. Wider consultation on North Ayrshire's Anti Social Behaviour Strategy is also taking place, including a community-wide Anti Social Behaviour Conference to be held on 27 January 2005.
3. Adoption and Maintenance of Open Spaces within Ancho Estates
Councillor O'Neill declared an interest in this matter, left the meeting and took no part in the discussion thereon.
Submitted report by the Corporate Director (Property Services) on the proposed adoption and maintenance of open spaces within Ayrshire North Community Housing Organisation (Ancho) Estates by North Ayrshire Council.
In February 2004, Ancho's Management Board requested that the Council consider adopting the open spaces associated with Ancho Estates, including their day-to-day maintenance thereafter. This would bring the hardstanding and open areas in line with the shrub beds and open grass areas already transferred to the Council.
Agreement has now been reached with Ancho on the standard of remedial works required for the open spaces prior to transfer and on their maintenance thereafter. On adoption, a formula will be set up to cover the annual maintenance fee required by North Ayrshire Council for grounds maintenance and cleaning. This is likely to be in the region of £16,500 per annum, subject to inflation rises.
Ancho will require to contact property owners within the relevant estates, viz. Castlepark and other areas of Irvine and Dreghorn to obtain agreement on the proposals and advise them of the costs of adoption by the Council. Thereafter, the Council will receive the necessary instruction to proceed with the adoption.
The Committee agreed (a) to the adoption and maintenance of open spaces within Ancho Estates, subject to (i) the areas in question being brought up to an acceptable standard by the company; and (ii) an agreed adoption fee being set to recover the costs of maintaining the open spaces; and (b) that the Corporate Director (Property Services) report to the Committee on progress in this matter in due course.
4. Irvine: 153 Paterson Avenue
Councillor O'Neill rejoined the meeting.
Submitted report by the Corporate Director (Property Services) on a proposal to serve a Closing Order on the property at 153 Paterson Avenue, Irvine.
Officers from Technical and Social Services inspected the property at 153 Paterson Avenue, Irvine, on 14 December 2004, following a complaint. The house in question was found to be in a very poor state of repair and, in terms of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987, was below the tolerable standard. The owner of the property, who is currently staying with relatives, has applied for Council housing around the Irvine area and will require to be rehoused.
The Committee agreed to authorise a Closing Order in terms of Section 115 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 to be served in respect of the property at 153 Paterson Avenue, Irvine.
5. Collection of Household Waste
Submitted report by the Corporate Director (Property Services) on the proposed establishment of designated collection points for household waste.
The Council is required, in terms of Section 45 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, to arrange for the collection of all household waste in its area, with the exception of locations which, in the opinion of the authority, are so isolated or inaccessible that the cost of collecting household waste would be unreasonably high. Section 46 of the same Act authorises the Council to serve a notice requiring an occupier to place waste for collection in prescribed receptacles at a designated place.
Whilst the Council operates a kerbside collection service in the majority of cases, applications for the service in rural areas are considered on the basis of whether the access is 'fit for purpose' in terms of its suitability for use by the waste collection vehicle. Where it is not possible for the collection point to be at a household, the nearest convenient point for collection, such as a road end or car park, is proposed.
Following the introduction of the wheeled bin collection on Arran, officers are continuing to liaise with a small number of individuals with a view to resolving their concerns about the new service.
The Committee agreed (a) that household waste be collected from designated collection points; (b) to authorise the Corporate Director (Property Services) to designate officers to serve notices under Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, where necessary, to require occupiers to place waste for collection in receptacles of a kind and number specified at a prescribed location; and (c) that the Corporate Director (Property Services) report further on progress in due course.
6. Revenue Budget 2004/05: Budgetary Control
Submitted report by the Assistant Chief Executive (Finance) on the budgetary control position for Property Services at the end of November 2004, and on projections to the end of financial year 2004/05.
The meeting ended at 2.30 p.m.