Agenda and minutes

Community Overview & Scrutiny Panel - Monday, 30th September, 2019 2.00 pm

Venue: The Dove Room, Moorlands House, Stockwell Street, Leek. View directions

Contact: Sally Hampton - Member & Community Support Officer  Tel: 01538 395429 Email:

No. Item


To Approve the Minutes of the Previous Meeting. pdf icon PDF 81 KB



DECIDED:    That the Minutes of the Meeting of the Panel held on the 17th June 2019 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair, subject to apologies being recorded for Councillor Jones.



To note the minutes of the previous meeting of the Police, Fire and Crime Panel. pdf icon PDF 147 KB


At this point of the meeting, Councillor Holmes (SMDC’s Police Fire and Crime Representative), informed the Panel that he had raised previous questions received from Members and a response had been provided via email.


DECIDED:    That the minutes from the meeting of the Police, Fire and Crime Panel held on 15th July 2019 be noted.



Notification of Substitute Members, if any.


Councillor Atkins was substitute member for Councillor Taylor and Councillor Gledhill was substitute member for Councillor Swindlehurst.


Declaration of Interests:

·         Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

·         Other Interests



Agenda No.

Member Declaring Interest

Nature of Interest





Agenda Item 7 – Your Housing Group Update



Cllr K. Martin

Other – Family member resides in a property owned by Your Housing Group (YHG) and has visited YHG properties in her capacity as an Building Resilient Families Project Officer.

None specific

Cllr T. Riley

Other – Family member is an NHS employee.



Questions to Portfolio Holders, if any.

(At least two clear days notice required, in writing, to the Proper Officer in accordance with Procedure Rule 15).


There were none.


Your Housing Group - 6 Monthly Update. pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Additional documents:


Each representative from Your Housing Group (YHG) was introduced to the Panel and apologies were received from Brian Cronin – Chief Executive Officer.


Members considered a briefing paper introduced by Sharon Wheeler – Property Manager, which provided a performance and development update on YHG business areas identified in the legacy agreement and related to business activity between April 2018 and March 2019.


Topics covered within the report included:

·         Housing Management

·         Neighbourhood Inspections

·         Neighbourhood Information

·         Agile Working

·         Compliance

·         Development

·         Repairs and Maintenance

·         Digital Engagement

·         Community Regeneration

·         Environmental


It was also reported to the Panel that the satisfaction rate for customer repairs in 2018-2019 was 60% (target 80%).


The results from a monthly transactional survey (this survey went out to customers who have had a specific repair completed) April -August 2019/2020  were 57%- customer satisfaction (target 80%).


Due to these figures work needed to be done around customer satisfaction. All repairs staff were now fully integrated into the Fix360 Team which provided a more consistent approach to the delivery of housing repairs and the number of supervisory staff had increased.


Councillor Martin raised an issue she was aware of which involved an elderly resident who had struggled over a long period of time, to have alterations made to her property to ensure it was safe to live in. Apparently, despite formal complaints being made the problems had still not been resolved. Sharon Wheeler confirmed that she would contact the Property Agent and look into this matter. It was also highlighted that it had taken an exceptional length of time to resolve issues with the roofs of the bungalows on Hot Lane in Biddulph.


Discussion took place around the procedures in place should a family need to be re-housed, following a fire and for instances of anti social behaviour (ASB). A copy of the new ASB policy would be circulated to members.


Councillor Atkins requested for a meeting to be held with YHG and the residents of Nightingale Gardens in relation to issues with parking, drains and sinking drives. The Officer confirmed that she would liaise with Councillor Atkins outside of the meeting.


YHG was complimented on the work carried which had improved parcels of neglected land at Haregate.


Members were very concerned about the level of customer satisfaction and were aware of examples where tenants found it difficult to contact YHG. Due to this it was requested that regular YHG surgeries in Biddulph and Cheadle were set up. It was felt that 6 monthly updates were insufficient and that a monthly update was preferable. The Officer explained that the improvement of customer satisfaction was one of the main priorities for the organisation. As the statistics were gathered collectively for the whole YHG, it could be difficult to extract the data as requested. However, Sharon Wheeler agreed to look into this matter.


It was suggested that social housing should be developed in the Meadows Way/Tunstall Road areas of Biddulph due to the excellent connectivity with the town centre and it was queried if  ...  view the full minutes text for item 158.


Declaration of Air Quality Management Areas. pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Additional documents:


Daniel McCrory – Senior Officer, Pollution Control,  introduced a report which informed the Panel of the recent declaration of Air Quality Management Areas in Leek and Cellarhead.


The outcome of an assessment of the air quality in Leek and Cellarhead had concluded that it was necessary to declare two Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs), encompassing the roads and properties within these areas.


The declaration of AQMAs was required because levels of Nitrogen Dioxide had been found to exceed the National Air Quality Standard. Under these circumstances the Council was obliged by the provisions of the Environment Act 1995 to declare an Air Quality Management Area. A map showing the extent of the proposed AQMA was provided in the report.


Cabinet had made an order under Section 83 of the Environment Act 1995 which declared AQMA’s in the form appended to the report and agreed to declare AQMA’s on the basis of Option 2 for Leek and Option 2 for Cellarhead.


The Officer advised the Panel that the Council’s Environmental Health Section was in the process of completing an action plan to set out how the Council intended to use the measures and powers available to work towards the improvement of air quality within the AQMA. SMDC had hosted an Air Aware Project at Moorlands House and worked with schools and business.


The Council would not prepare or implement the action plan in isolation and  would engage with Staffordshire County Council and national stakeholders (e.g. Highways England, Public Health England and Central Government), to help deliver the required outcomes. 


Detailed discussion took place around the levels of nitrogen dioxide near to Ball Haye Road in Leek, prior to the removal of the round-a-bout and after the installation of the traffic lights. Issues with early modelling/forecasting and the accuracy of diffusion tube monitoring was explained to the Panel and that primarily, the Highways Authority had the powers to deal  with traffic generated pollution rather than the District Council.


Members requested for air quality data to be collected from other specific areas of their wards and it was agreed for the equipment to be located at these sites. Other suggestions were made such as leaflets on cars near schools to increase awareness of hot spots for pollution, right hand filters at traffic lights and widening of junctions to improve traffic flow.


DECIDED: That the Panel NOTE:-


1)    The contents of the Air Quality Action Plans for both Air Quality Management Areas;


2)    The resolution of Cabinet on 30th July 2019, to make an order under Section 83 of the Environment Act 1995 declaring AQMA’s and to declare AQMA’s on the basis of Option 2 for Leek and Option 2 for Cellarhead;


3)    For Dan McCrory - Senior Officer, Pollution Control, to liaise with Councillors in relation to the installation of monitoring equipment if the areas requested. 





Work Programme pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Any additional items to be added to the Work Programme:

·         Chair’s Items

·         Members’ Items


DECIDED:That the Panel’s Work Programme for 2019/20 be agreed, subject to, an update on the Air Quality Action Plan being added.