Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Commission for Rural Communities - Monday 1st September, 2014 7.00 pm

Venue: Bourges/Viersen Room - Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Dania Castagliuolo, Governance Officer  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


There were no apologies for absence.



Declaration of Interest and Whipping Declarations

At this point Members must declare whether they have a disclosable pecuniary interest, or other interest, in any of the items on the agenda, unless it is already entered in the register of members’ interests or is a “pending notification “ that has been disclosed to the Solicitor to the Council.

Members must also declare if they are subject to their party group whip in relation to any items under consideration.



There were no declarations of interest.



Minutes of the Meeting Held on 7 July 2014 pdf icon PDF 77 KB


The Minutes of the meeting held on 7 July 2014, were approved as an accurate record.



Housing in Rural Communities pdf icon PDF 100 KB


At the last meeting of the Scrutiny Commission for Rural Communities which was held on 7 July 2014, Members agreed that they would like the following item to be brought to a future meeting:


·         To scrutinise the effectiveness of the Council’s Housing Strategy, Social Housing Allocations Policy and relevant planning with a view to enabling young families to remain living in the rural community.


The report was introduced by the Housing and Strategic Planning Manager to provide the Commission with information on the Council’s Housing Strategy and Social Housing Allocations Policy to enable Members to consider how these may enable young individuals to and families to remain living in the rural community.


The Commission was asked to consider and scrutinise the information presented within the report, and to make any recommendations or suggestions to officers with a view to enabling young individuals and families to remain living in the rural community.


Observations and questions were raised and discussed including:


·         Members queried whether the 97 applicants on the housing register referred to in the report at 5.2.6 related to the whole of the rural community in Peterborough, or if it referred to just one village. The Housing and Strategic Planning Manager informed Members that this figure related to the rural community citywide.

·         Members commented that the cost of housing in rural communities was considerably higher than in urban areas and queried whether this was taken in to account with people on benefits. Members were advised that benefit claimants renting from the private sector in a rural area would receive the same Local Housing Allowance (LHA) payment rates (relevant to the property size) as benefit claimants in the rest of the city, despite the potential for higher market rent levels in some villages. This may result in a shortfall between the LHA received and the rent charged. Benefit claimants in affordable housing receive Housing Benefit which is not subject to the same restrictions as LHA and therefore if the claimant is not under-occupying or subject to any other restrictions they should get their full rent paid on an affordable property in a rural location, even if the rent is higher than for a comparable property in another part of the city’.

·         Members queried whether new builds developed for a rural exception site would consist solely of affordable housing or if private housing would be included in these projects. Members were informed that the national requirement for projects could now be mixed tenure. It could be considered, in order to make a site more sustainable, to have some market on the site even if it was just one or two market units. This could prove more attractive to villagers and housing associations. Peterborough was yet to develop a rural exception site. At present the stated policy for Peterborough was 100% affordable.

·         Members commented that sometimes RAF Wittering could produce a blip in housing need and Peterborough would need to be mindful of this as it was now a busy time for them.

·         Members  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Forward Plan of Key Decisions pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Additional documents:



The Commission received the latest version of the Council’s Forward Plan of Key Decisions, which contained key decisions that the Leader of the Council anticipated the Cabinet or individual Cabinet Members would make during the course of the forthcoming month.  Members were invited to comment on the Plan and, where appropriate, identify any relevant areas for inclusion in the Commission’s work programme.




The Commission noted the latest version of the Council’s Forward Plan of Key Decision and requested further information on the Care and Repair Framework Agreement.



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 69 KB


Members considered the Commission’s Work Programme for 2014/15 and discussed possible items for inclusion.






Members noted the work programme and agreed for the following items to be added to the Work Programme:


·         The Flood Risk Strategy and Emergency Planning

·         Libraries and Community Centres (with rural consideration)



Date of the next Meeting

Monday 20 October 2014.


The next meeting was scheduled for Monday 20 October 2014.