Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
This report will note the findings of a review of the Council’s affordable housing delivery programme and the governance of subsidiary companies.
Cllr Hug introduced the item and invited Cllr Noble to speak to the report.
Cllr Noble noted that this item was the product of an extensive programme of work, with the work undertaken by 31Ten carried out in tandem with the Future of Westminster Commission, as well as he and the officer team looking at the existing delivery programme.
Cllr Noble noted that the recommendations are brief and that most are either already in place or being taken forward, and where they aren’t they were not suitable for Westminster and its existing policies.
Cllr Noble noted that the new governance arrangements will ensure a more strategic vision and bring together stakeholders from across WCC.
James Green highlighted that the key point of the report is a collaborative approach to decision making with a strategic board to run monthly and will give opportunities to Members to contribute to key projects and decisions.
James Green noted that the recommendations were already strongly aligned to work the Council is doing and only a few were a surprise and had since been adopted over the past year, which gave confidence that the Council is doing the right thing to deliver as much affordable housing as possible.
James Green advised that the proposal is to explore a housing working group that sits across the wholly owned subsidiaries and is in essence a joint board that will report into the Shareholder Committee.
Cllr Barraclough highlighted the upcoming work the Council is undertaking which will back up the drive for affordable housing with changing to planning policies and City Plan revisions in the new year.
Cllr Barraclough noted that the initial draft of the Housing Needs Assessment indicated that the majority of new housing provision should be affordable. The final document will be published in the New Year. He added that officers were also working on new policies covering retrofitting and that these would support the building of new affordable housing.
Cllr Hug agreed that the new governance model will help the Council achieve its ambitions.
RESOLVED: Cabinet approved the following recommendations:
1. Note the findings of the 31Ten report and the Council’s proposals for developing their recommendations.
2. Approve the creation of a Member-led Housing Supply Strategic Board (HSSB).
3. Note the proposals for changes to Westminster Builds Board which will be tabled at a future shareholder committee for approval.
Report author: James Green
Publication date: 30/10/2023
Date of decision: 30/10/2023
Decided at meeting: 30/10/2023 - Cabinet
Effective from: 08/11/2023