Venue: Committee Room 2 and 3, Trafford Town Hall, Talbot Road, Stretford, M32 0TH.. View directions
Contact: Chris Gaffey, Democratic & Scrutiny Officer
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members to give notice of any interest and the nature of that interest relating to any item on the agenda in accordance with the adopted Code of Conduct.
The following Committee Members declared an interest at the start of the meeting:
Cllr S. Adshead – Former Member of the Stretford Community Panel
Cllr R. Bowker – Former Trafford Housing Trust Board Member and Altrincham Community Panel Member for the last 10 years
Cllr M. Cordingley – Member of THT’s Limelight Project Board, plus a long association with various THT bodies in the past including Community Panels
Cllr D. Western – Member of the Altrincham Community Panel
CALL IN OF EXECUTIVE DECISION: E/27.3.17/9A - CHANGES TO THE PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT WITH TRAFFORD HOUSING TRUST
The Committee are requested to consider the call in of the above Executive decision in relation to the Changes to the Partnership Agreement with Trafford Housing Trust.
The Committee had been called to consider a call in of Executive decision number E/27.3.17/9A in respect of the Changes to the Partnership Agreement with Trafford Housing Trust, considered at a meeting on 27 March 2017.
The call-in had been submitted by Councillors Adshead, Carter, Cordingley, Harding and D. Western, and was based on the grounds that: inadequate consultation had been carried out; alternative options were not given sufficient consideration; and insufficient information was available to make the decision. The Chairman had permitted consideration of the request to explore the issues raised on the grounds that insufficient information was available to make the decision.
The Committee had received the initial report and supporting documentation to the Executive, the decision notice, the call-in proforma, and a supplementary report of the Executive Member for Economic Growth, Environment and Infrastructure. The report set out a detailed response to the points set out in the call-in request. The Executive Member for Transformation and Resources, the Director of Legal and Democratic Services, the Director of Growth and Regulatory Services, and the Chief Executive of Trafford Housing Trust were in attendance to respond to the Committee’s enquiries.
Members raised several concerns in relation to the decision and how it was taken. The lack of detail in the report was a concern, and although some Members acknowledged that the relationship between the Council and Trafford Housing Trust (THT) was maturing, it was still unclear how the partnership would develop going forward. Members were concerned about the potential loss of Trafford Council membership on the THT Board, and that community panels might fold under the new arrangements, subsequently losing the specialism they provide in organising residents. The Committee sought clarity on community investment and whether this would continue to be allocated to 5 separate neighbourhoods or become a Trafford wide approach, and questions were raised around how the consultation was conducted and why this information had not been included in the initial report. Finally, Members requested an explanation as to why the decision had been taken so urgently with no prior warning. The initial report was only made available hours before the Executive meeting in question. Members had serious concerns about this and felt they had not been given the opportunity to review details of the proposed new agreements before the decision was taken.
The Officers present addressed the concerns raised by the Committee. Members were reminded that the investment pledges made for the first 5 years following the transfer in 2005 had been successfully met. The original Offer Document included provisions that THT would change as time progressed, and the partnership had moved on from the environmental promises made in 2005. Consideration now needed to be given to how the partnership would work going forward. THT had not merged with another housing trust and had remained both local and independent. Nevertheless, the Trust would need to increase its land holdings to ensure they continued to be able to develop, which the new arrangements would help to ... view the full minutes text for item 47.