Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday 12 January 2023 5.00 pm

Venue: Conference Chamber, West Suffolk House, Western Way, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 3YU

Contact: Christine Brain: Democratic Services Officer  Email:

No. Item



Any member who is substituting for another member should so indicate, together with the name of the relevant absent member.


The following substitution was declared:


Councillor John Augustine substituting for Councillor Sarah Stamp.



Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors David Palmer and Sarah Stamp.


Councillors Michael Anderson and Simon Brown were also unable to attend the meeting.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 107 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 10 November 2022 (copy attached).


The minutes of the meeting held on 10 November 2022 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Declarations of interest

Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare any pecuniary or local non pecuniary interest which they have in any item of business on the agenda, no later than when that item is reached and, when appropriate, to leave the meeting prior to discussion and voting on the item.


Members’ declarations of interest are recorded under the item to which the declaration relates.


Announcements from the Chair regarding responses from the Cabinet to reports of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee


The Chair informed members he attended Cabinet on 6 December 2022 and presented the Committee’s report from its meeting held on 10 November 2022.  As per the minutes confirmed above, the Chair updated Cabinet on the Committee’s consideration of the Air Quality and Vehicle Idling report and recommendations, which were endorsed.


Cabinet was also updated on the Suffolk County Council Health Scrutiny meeting and the Committee’s forward work programme, which were also noted by Cabinet.


Public participation

Members of the public who live or work in the district are welcome to speak and may ask one question or make a statement of not more than three minutes duration relating to items to be discussed in Part 1 of the agenda only.  If a question is asked and answered within three minutes, the person who asked the question may ask a supplementary question that arises from the reply.


In accordance with government guidance, the Council has developed general protocols on operating buildings safely in order to reduce the risk of the spread of coronavirus and will apply to members of the public registered to speak.  We would therefore strongly urge anyone who wishes to register to speak to notify Democratic Services by 9am on the day of the meeting so that advice can be given on the arrangements in place.


There is an overall limit of 15 minutes for public speaking, which may be extended at the Chair’s discretion.



There were no members of the public in attendance on this occasion.


Registered Provider of Social Housing (Havebury Housing Partnership) pdf icon PDF 290 KB

Report number: OAS/WS/23/001   


Mr Andrew Smith, Chief Executive of Havebury Housing Partnership and appropriate officers will be in attendance.




[Councillor Diane Hind declared a non-pecuniary interest as a member of Havebury Housing Partnership's Scrutiny Panel]


Councillors Joe Mason and Margaret Marks left the meeting at 6.10pm during the consideration of this item].


Prior to this item being considered by the Committee the Chair welcomed Andrew Smith, Jenny Spoor and Scott Bailey from Havebury Housing Partnership and members of the Performance and Audit Scrutiny Committee who had been invited to the meeting in relation to hearing about Havebury’s performance.


The Committee received Report No: OAS/WS/23/001, which reminded members that at its meeting on 12 March 2020 the Committee received a presentation from Andrew Smith, Chief Executive of Havebury Housing Partnership and appropriate officers.  At that meeting it was resolved to invite back Havebury Housing Partnership to a future meeting to provide a progress update on the following strategies which were in their early stages of being revised/developed:


-      New Older Persons Strategy

-      New Homelessness Strategy; and

-      New Community Investment Strategy.  


Andrew Smith, Chief Executive, Jenny Spoor, Director of Operations and Scott Bailey, Director of Development and Deputy Chief Executive from the Havebury Housing Partnership were in attendance and gave a presentation.


In June 2022 Havebury celebrated its 20-year anniversary and held a number of activities to reconnect with the community following Covid. 


During 2022 Havebury developed a Corporate Plan 2021 to 2026, which included six key objectives: 


·           Being a great landlord

·           Developing new affordable homes (Havebury was ranked in the top quartile provider)

·           Investing in its existing homes and communities

·           Playing its part in addressing Climate Change

·           Building a great team (hybrid working with staff working flexibly.  Havebury was also in the top 100 as a great place for women to work)

·           Remaining a thriving business.


The presentation included information on corporate measures and performance on the above six key objectives.


A Community Investment Strategy 2022 to 2024 was developed, which included three specific strands:


·           Community projects

·           Environmental improvements

·           Individual support


Each year £50,000 was spent on community projects; £60,000 on environmental improvements; and £250,000 on its support fund.


A Support Strategy 2022 to 2025 (including older people) was developed, which:


·           Look at technology and how it can help tenants to stay safe and live independently, for example aids and adaptations

·           Financial and hardship support

·           Emotional and wellbeing support

·           Home – what tenants need to live safely and independently, including the aids and adaptions service.


As a housing provider, Havebury Housing Partnership played a role in helping with homelessness.  Tayfen House in Bury St Edmunds offered emergency and long-term accommodation up to 18 months.  In October 2021 Havebury secured a further five-year contract to enable it to continue its street homeless work and getting people settled into accommodation.  As well as the two rooms and 19 ensuite bedrooms in Tayfen House, there was also 32 homes within the community were residents lived independently but had support to manage life skills to transition to successful permanent accommodation.


The presentation also included information on performance indicators; tenancy sustainment, forming a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 205.


Work programme update pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Report number: OAS/WS/23/002

Additional documents:


[Councillor Sarah Pugh left the meeting at 6.30pm prior to the consideration of this item].


The Committee received report number: OAS/WS/23/002, which updated members on the current status of its rolling work programme of items for scrutiny during 2023 (Appendix 1).


The Chair reminded members that its next meeting on 9 March 2023 was being held at the Mildenhall Hub.


There being no decision required, the Committee noted the update.



Havebury's written responses to questions raised at the meeting pdf icon PDF 133 KB