Agenda item

Agenda item

Questions from Councillors

To receive members’ questions under procedure rule no.11.  The procedure rule provides that any member may ask the Chairman of a board or group any question on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties which affect the District, provided that three clear days’ notice in writing has been given to the Head of Legal and Commercial Services.


There were three questions asked which are set out below together with the responses.  Each Member who asked a question was invited by the Chairman to ask one supplementary question which is also set out together with the response.


Question from Councillor R Johnson


‘Could the portfolio holder, inform me what the cost of heating the Current Council Offices has been in the last 3 months considering most staff are hybrid?’


Response by Councillor R D Bayliss


Heating costs for the council offices over the period in question were £6,685.57 excluding vat. This includes standing charges of £1,150.72.


Supplementary question and response


Councillor R Johnson stated that considering the building is mostly empty, he had noticed radiators on in empty rooms, therefore he felt was it money spent unnecessarily.  Councillor R D Bayliss acknowledged the comment but explained that as long as people were in the building, it needed to be heated to an appropriate standard.  He concluded that the new office building was much better, so this was only a short term issue.


Question from Councillor T Eynon


‘Please could the portfolio holder provide the following information regarding the sheltered accommodation at St Mary’s Court and Fairfield Court, Hugglescote?

-      Current EPC ratings and expiry of the same

-      The number of properties which have had loft insultation or windows upgraded under the Warm Homes Scheme

-      The timing of planned replacement of double-glazed windows and number of reports of blown double glazed windows, including details of the Council’s repairs response

-      The condition of the roofs of the bungalows and whether they remain watertight.’


Response from Councillor R D Bayliss


Regarding EPCs these are provided for each of the properties individually. They are all either C or D. Individual properties details can be viewed via the government website - Find an energy certificate - GOV.UK ( or officers can provide a full list.


The EPCs are all from various dates the earliest being in 2013 with the remainder in 2014 and 2015, with one undertaken in 2021 as part of the renewal process.  EPCs are regarded as a ten-year life and are on a programme on renewal in line with that.


Regarding ratings being adequate, it is widely acknowledged that any properties that fall under an EPC rating of D or below can be classed as in fuel poverty depending on disposable income. We do not hold information on tenants’ income with asset management as this is protected under the relevant data protection legislation. A new project to assess heating systems and controls in our sheltered schemes has been proposed for 23/24 with a review being undertaken in April 2023 subject to budget approvals.


Turning to the Warm Homes scheme - We have not upgraded properties under Warm Home Scheme. This scheme is automatically applied by the energy supplier and not the landlord. We have been reviewing the ECO4 and Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) funding and we are awaiting confirmation from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy weather our bid for SHDF funding is approved. We will find out within the next 3-4 weeks if we are successful.

Regarding Window replacements and updates there have been a number of window replacements and updates mainly when properties have been void. A full list can be provided by officers.

Turning to Roofs - These properties were constructed circa 1970’s and roof renewals are not due for another 20 years, we are not aware of any particular failures, however as with all our homes repairs are undertaken as necessary.


Supplementary question and response


Councillor T Eynon was curious about the response in relation to EPC inspections undertaken as she was aware of a tenant that had one in 2021.  She asked for the number of blown windows, plus assurances that all improvements required for sheltered housing would be carried out.  Councillor R D Bayliss explained that the recent EPC referred to was likely to be a change in tenancy, which required an inspection, he added that the service was planning more inspections next year.  It was agreed to look into an accurate number of blown windows and report back to Councillor T Eynon outside of the meeting.


Question from Councillor M B Wyatt


‘Residents on Haslyn Walk in Greenhill have suffered flooding on numerous occasions and horrendous parking problems due to the lack of parking.

Residents have been promised action and plans have been agreed upon by all parties involved but to date, nothing has happened.


Can the portfolio holder give an update on the situation so we can finally have this issue sorted out asap.’


Response from Councillor R D Bayliss


There have been some delays in moving this project forward, primarily due to investigations around the flooding issues. We have engaged with Seven Trent to explore these issues further and to identify the correct owner and who is responsible. But it remains Seven Trent’s responsibility to identify this, and we are awaiting a response. The parking element of the scheme is being actively progressed and it is intended for a planning application to come forward for this work by 31 March this year, and subject to that being permitted, works are likely to start this, Summer. Should works be required by the Council to address flooding issues that are our responsibility these will be incorporated into the above if possible or addressed a second scheme so as not to delay the parking improvements further.


Councillor M B Wyatt declined the opportunity to ask a supplementary question.

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