Agenda and minutes

Housing Scrutiny Commission
Monday 8 July 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Ground Floor Meeting Room G02A - 160 Tooley Street, London SE1 2QH. View directions

No. Item




Notification of any items of business which the chair deems urgent


Disclosure of Interests and Dispensations


Scrutiny re district heating

    Supporting documents:


    The cabinet member for housing management and modernisation, Councillor Kieron Williams, attended the meeting to discuss the emerging strategy on the council’s district heating network.  He presented a paper which was about to go to cabinet for decision.  He was accompanied by Tony Hunter, head of engineering, and  Dave Hodgson, Director of Asset Management. 


    The chair proposed that district heating was one of the main topics for the commission this year.  He suggested that this session be used both as pre-scrutiny for the upcoming cabinet discussion, and for an in depth exploration of the issues around the council’s district heating systems, particularly in the light of the council’s declaration of climate emergency. 


    The commission discussed the paper and drew out the following themes: 


    ·  how will the council measure value for money in new heating systems

    ·  the options for governance of any emerging model of delivery

    ·  the impact of individual metering if that should be required

    ·  fuel poverty

    ·  whether changes to heating systems would be classed as improvement or replacement, with the consequent implication for leaseholders

    ·  management of risk and contingency plans if the council becomes more dependant on South East London Combined Heat and Power (SELCHP)

    ·  practical issues around expansion of SELCHP

    ·  the protocol for dealing with heating outages and paying compensation

    ·  how a new delivery model for heating can be integrated into the planning system, particularly around Old Kent Road, given the plans for SELCHP expansion

    ·  how the council could incentivise resident involvement

    ·  funding issues and the likelihood of government investment



    The commission agreed to invite Tom Vosper to its next meeting for a further discussion on how the district system might be developed.
















Scrutiny of housing repairs

    Supporting documents:


    The chair introduced this agenda item and asked officers to set out how the repairs service is working and how its performance is monitored and managed since it became an in house service in October 2018.  Christine Bramman, head of repairs and maintenance, presented the paper and explained the mechanisms in place for measuring performance.  She was accompanied by Mick Lucas, Director of Environment, Dave Hodgson, Director of Asset Management and John Wade, head of traded services. 


    Commission members discussed: 

    ·  Whether the monthly satisfaction survey captures the right people – both in terms of demographics and the stage of the repair

    ·  How completed and missed appointments are managed, how missed appointments are compensated for and whether that could be automated

    ·  Whether opportunities exist to cross-check data on completed repairs to further measure the effectiveness of the service, particularly in respect of the quality of repairs

    ·  How feedback is relayed to Southwark Building Services

    ·  The system for communication with residents who may have to take time off work to wait for repair operatives

    ·  Inspection of completed repairs

    ·  Management of complex repairs where more than one operative may need to visit

    ·  The role of the contact centre in capturing the repair request accurately

    ·  Culture change for the service, given that the operatives transferred in from contractors


    The chair thanked officers and commission members for an extremely useful discussion.








Work Programme