Wirral's Housing Market Renewal Programme - End of Year Report 2010/11 and Wirral's Housing Investment Programme 2011/12
- Meeting of Cabinet, Thursday, 13th October 2011 6.15 p.m. (Item 163.)
- View the background to item 163.
A report by the Interim Director of Corporate Services provided an update for the Cabinet on the progress of the Housing Market Renewal Initiative in Wirral for the period April 2010 - March 2011, in line with audit requirements. This would be the final report as the programme and associated grant funding would end at the end of March 2012.
The report sought the Cabinet’s approval for Wirral’s Housing Investment Programme for 2011-12 which comprised funding from the Council’s Capital Programme, carried over HMR funds and Growth Point funding and capital receipts which totalled £5.64m for the current year.
The report also sought the Cabinet’s approval to dispose of properties acquired as part of HMRI, which were now surplus to requirements. Receipts generated would be used to support the HMRI exit strategy.
Members noted that a further report would be provided for the Cabinet’s consideration once the outcome of the HMRI Transitional Funding bid was known. An announcement had been expected during the previous week, it had not been made and no further date had been given in respect of it.
The report also sought the Cabinet’s approval to use external solicitors to undertake necessary legal work to the value of £15,000 to complete the legal processes with developers.
Members were aware that in addition to preparing bids for the limited funding opportunities being made available by the Government through the HCA and other agencies, the Council had also been actively engaging with all Government agencies to lobby for investment to be maintained in HMRI and other housing programmes. This had involved a number of high profile representatives from HCA, the Government and the opposition visiting the area and/or meeting members and officers. However, the Rt Honorable Grant Shapps MP, Minister of State for Housing and Local Government had not visited Wirral. It was proposed that a letter be sent to him asking for his support in respect of the of the HMRI Transitional Funding bid signed if possible by the three Political Group Leaders
(1) the progress of the Housing Market Renewal Initiative in Wirral in the period April 2010-March 2011 (the final year of the programme) as detailed in this report be noted;
(2) the Housing Investment Programme 2011-12 for Wirral, set out in Appendix 1 to this report be agreed;
(3) the Interim Director of Corporate Services (in consultation with the Director of Law, HR and Asset Management) be authorised to dispose of the 21 surplus HMRI properties referred to in the report. The Interim Director of Corporate Services (in consultation with the Director of Law, HR and Asset Management) be further authorised to determine the method of disposal for each property as he considers most appropriate in the circumstances;
(4) a letter signed by all three Political Group Leaders, if possible, be sent to the Minister of State for Housing and Local Government lobbying for his support in respect of the outstanding HMR transition bid;
(5) a further report be submitted for the Cabinet’s consideration once the outcome of the HMR transition bid is known; and
(6) the use of external solicitors to assist with the legal work, to the value of £15,000 arising in connection with outstanding legal work as set out in this report be agreed.