Agenda item

Public Question Time (15 Minutes)

To receive any questions from members of the public which have been submitted in advance of the meeting in accordance with the cabinet procedure rules. The deadline for the receipt of public questions is midnight Wednesday 7 March 2018.


Public Question from Ms Victoria Briden


The heating and the hot water has been off a significant amount of times since Christmas and especially the last few weeks on the Aylesbury Estate. Why is this, as leaseholders paid for replacement pipes and boiler in 2013 and 2014?


Response by Councillor Stephanie Cryan, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing


Large sections of the underground distribution pipework were replaced between 2013 and 2015 to tackle a major problem of underground leaks, which were causing widespread disruption to heating and hot water and, on many occasions, lengthy loss of both.


Although the problem caused by leaks is now fixed, the Aylesbury still relies on a central boiler house which serves various plant rooms across the estate, that in turn serve a number of blocks. The boilers are still the original, although have been extensively repaired in the past  and had new burners fitted in the last few years, and in the severe weather had not always been able to cope with demand, or in some cases a problem had occurred in one of the plant rooms.  If there is a problem with or in the boiler house it affects the whole estate, while a problem in a plant room will affect the blocks it serves.


There have been an unusually high number of heating and hot water outages affecting Taplow since Christmas; 12 in total, which is far too many. Some have been resolved quickly, and some involving the boilers that serve the whole estate have taken longer. I am aware that residents at Taplow also suffered from low hot water temperatures during January because part of the equipment that supplies the hot water had to be replaced. Most of the outages have been due to the boilers or associated equipment in plant rooms.


Because of the number of outages that have affected the whole estate, I have instructed officers to see what can be done to ensure a better service going forward. This will include increasing planned maintenance and identifying any investment or minor refurbishment need that is needed.


Supplemental question


How can you do more to ensure there are no further interruptions, the water was turned off yesterday and will be turned off again tomorrow?


Councillor Cryan explained that the planned outages for the next couple of days was to enable essential works to be carried out to try and prevent future outages.


Public Question from Mr Felix Badu


On 31st October 2017 at Cabinet, the council proposed to bring back 2 further reports to Compulsory Purchase 57-76 Northchurch, and 1-30 Foxcote and 140 Albany Road. When will the council bring back both of these reports, as residents need to know when they will be under CPO?


Response by Councillor Mark Williams, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and New Homes


The reports on progressing the Compulsory Purchase Orders for these properties will be presented to a Cabinet in Summer 2018. In the meantime the council is continuing to negotiate to acquire the interests.


Supplemental question


Mr Badu explained that he was not aware of any negotiations currently and asked if cabinet could let him know who the council was negotiating with.


Councillor Mark Williams advised that negotiations were underway and Carter Jonas Estate Agents and Property Consultants had been appointed to act on the council’s behalf.  He advised that he would ensure that someone from the office of Carter Jonas would be in contact with him as soon as possible.



Public Question from Mr Toby Eckersley


Could it be explained what progress is being made towards implementing the indications given in evidence by the council at the Aylesbury Public Inquiry in January 2018 that action would be taken by cabinet in March with regard to improving the terms for homeowners displaced by regeneration schemes?


Response by Councillor Mark Williams, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and New Homes


A report addressing these points is currently under consideration and a decision is anticipated within the next two weeks.