APPENDIX B - PL1 Homes that meet people s needs and aspirations

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1 APPENDIX B - PL1 Homes that meet people s needs and aspirations Decent and accessible homes are vital to all. Our focus on providing affordable homes is being progressed primarily through the Affordable Housing Project. Phase 1 of the project is complete providing 147 new affordable homes in town centre. For later phases we will continue to work with our partner Registered Social Landlords to facilitate the delivery of more affordable housing by providing a further 14 sites across the County Borough, with 9 of these due to start on site in In addition we will also be initiating a project and making further land available to enable the Council build new affordable homes. The Private Rented Sector in has grown significantly over the last few years and now accounts for 12% of the total stock. The Housing Act (Wales) 2014 which is now in the process of implementation aims to improve the standards in this sector, placing a new duty on private landlords and managing/letting agents to register and to become licensed to undertake letting and management. In addition the Act allows Local Authorities to place those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness into appropriate accommodation within the private rented sector. The Homeless service, in line with the legislative changes due in 2015, will continue to place prevention work as our highest priority. This is an area that has substantially improved in the last 12 months and has ensured the service is ready to respond to this agenda, although challenges from further Welsh reform measures to be rolled out, and the impact of the new duties arising from the Housing Act (Wales) 2014, are anticipated. The Council is also the landlord for 11,300 households across the County Borough, only 12% of which met the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) at December The Welsh Government s (WG) White Paper Homes for Wales published in May 2012 extended the target date for meeting WHQS to 2020.The extension of this time to meet the Standard has enabled us to review our Business Plan, and we are now confident of meeting the Standard for all our Council homes by 2020 which will require a total spend of approximately 228m and the need to borrow 125m. We will monitor our success through Outcome Indicator 2013/ /2015 Target 2015/2016 Stretch: The number of new units of affordable housing Sustain: The percentage of all potentially homeless households for whom homelessness was prevented 81.6% 72.2% *See Below for 6 months Stretch: The percentage of properties meeting the following elements of Welsh Housing Quality Standard: a) up to date kitchens 14% (1619) b) up to date bathrooms 6% (752) 27% 52% c) Adequately heated 61% (6952) 71% 73% 37% 60% d) In a good state of repair 90% (10288) 79% 58% **

2 * - Code of Guidance imminent awaiting new performance measures ** - The reduction in target and properties in a good state of repair is a consequence of mainly roofs falling due for renewal pre the 2020 WHQS deadline. This adjustment is a one off and we will see ongoing increase/improvement of the percentage up to 100% in We will achieve this by: Progressing phases 2 and 3 of the Affordable Housing Project building more affordable housing on Council owned land ; Developing and implementing a business plan to enable the Council to build new affordable homes for rent; Developing and implementing a local letting agency to assist those in housing need to access good quality accommodation the private rented sector. Implementing the enforcement role of the Council for non-compliance with the new private rented sector registration and licensing procedure. Continue to focus on homeless prevention work to ensure that the Council is ready to both mitigate any wider consequences of Welfare Reform and to respond to the prevention agenda highlighted in the Housing Act (Wales) Providing an annual Housing Capital programme that is based on a Business Plan that meets tenant aspirations and maximising properties achieving the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS). 2015/2016 will see the Housing Revenue Account Capital programme budget increase to 38 million. A newly refurbished kitchen

3 PL2 An Environmentally Responsible Place The environmental impacts of climate change, the rising cost of electricity and fossil fuels, Government penalties and targets imposed for carbon emissions and the amount of waste sent to landfill, make environmental responsibility a priority for. Our aim is to optimise energy efficiency, use renewable energy, and increase recycling rates where possible across the County Borough. In doing this a number of principles will underpin our work including: Significantly reducing the Council s carbon emissions and energy use; Effectively managing rising energy costs to reduce potential negative impacts on service delivery; Effectively managing financial penalties and fines imposed by government legislation to reduce potential negative impacts on service delivery; Successfully delivering new renewable schemes to reduce our energy demands and to realise income generating opportunities e.g. feed in tariffs, renewable heat incentives; Positively influencing our employees behaviour in work and elsewhere; Carrying out our community leadership role to positively influence partners and the public; and Being a best practice leader across the UK. We will set ourselves ambitious targets to reduce our carbon emissions and increase recycling rates to move us quickly towards becoming a low carbon, low waste, environmentally responsible organisation. We will monitor our success through: Outcome Indicator Comparison ( 2011/12) 2014/2015* Target 2015/2016 Improve: Percentage reduction in carbon emissions from nondomestic Council buildings and assets since 2011/12 14,341 tc02 1 Awaiting Data 3% 2 Improve: Percentage reduction in carbon emissions from public sector housing across the County Borough since 2011/12 52,750 tco2 3 Awaiting Data 1% 4 Sustain: The percentage of municipal waste reused, recycling or composted 52.82% 56.29% 53% We will achieve this by: Delivering the Council s first Solar Farm which will generate green electricity; Installing Biomass boiler which will provide renewable heat for Redwither Tower business centre; Improving the energy efficiency of our public sector housing in line with the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS); 1 Tonnes of Carbon Dioxide reported for 2011/12 2 The target for 15/16 will be exclusive of carbon emissions from street lighting to enable comparison with the baseline year. The target will take account of emissions saved as a result of electricity generated from the solar farm development which will be operational during 15/16 3 Tonnes of Carbon Dioxide reported for 2011/12 4 The target for 15/16 takes account of the progress already made to improve the energy efficiency of our housing stock

4 Developing a Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) Plant on land adjacent to the existing Eco Recycling Park on Industrial Estate. The plant will process all of 's residual household waste collected by the council and produce a refuse derived fuel (RDF) for heat and energy generation elsewhere. It will also process a small amount of construction and industrial waste. The plant will be operational in the summer of Continuing to roll out a recycling awareness programme and education programme with both residents and schools across the County Borough; and Increasing recycling rates at the three Household Waste Recycling Centres by encouraging the public to split their recyclable waste when they visit the Household Waste Recycling Centres. Wales s first local authority run solar farm under development in County Borough

5 PL4 Well Connected Communities The availability of jobs, or the existence of shopping and cultural opportunities means little if people cannot access them easily and affordably. In the current economic climate, costs for road construction and maintenance are rapidly increasing, and our funding is diminishing. Despite this, we will continue to invest in the County Borough s roads, working to maintain the highest possible standards within the funding available. We will also ensure that public transport remains accessible as running costs increase and central funding for public transport falls. As we cannot request commercially sensitive data such as the number of passenger journeys from private bus companies we will measure the number of concessionary travel pass journeys undertaken, as this is recognised as a good indicator of overall usage and availability. Over the next few years accessibility will continue to become a virtual issue, with more and more services available on-line. We want these opportunities to be just as accessible to local people and will work to influence providers to improve the quality of local broadband availability, using local businesses to spearhead demand. We will monitor our success through: Outcome Indicator Sustain: Percentage of (A) road network in poor overall condition. Comparison 4.4% (Wales 2013/14) 2014/15 Target 2015/ % 5 Sustain performance in the top quartile for Wales Sustain: Percentage of (B) road network in poor overall condition. 6.1% (Wales 2013/14) 2.8% Sustain performance in the top quartile for Wales Sustain: Percentage of (C) road network in poor overall condition. Sustain: No. of concessionary travel pass journeys per annum 18.9% (Wales 2013/14) 2,122,853 journeys (2010/11) 21.6% Sustain current performance 2074,186 Sustain 2010/11 performance Lobby: Number of the County Borough s 15 exchanges that have been: a) 21st Century Network enabled 6 b) Fibre to the Cabinet enabled 7 Not available a) 6 b) 9 Lobby BT to speed up the enabling of local exchanges We will achieve this by: Improving the overall condition of the road network through a planned and targeted programme of works Continue to develop and monitor the implementation of the Highways Asset Management Plan to ensure maximum benefit is derived from diminishing resources for improvements in the condition of the network. 5 The 2013/14 data is the most recently available data for this indicator 6 Providing broadband speeds of up to 24MBps (mega-bytes per second) dependent on distance from the exchange and copper quality 7 Broadband capable of speeds of up to 80 Mbps. Ofcom defines superfast broadband as having a speed of no less than 30 Mbps

6 Review the Highways Asset Management Plan and seek member approval for a new service delivery option that will enable current highway standards to be maintained Delivering functionality improvements on targeted junctions to make efficiency improvements; Improve bus information by working with partners such as Traveline Cymru and bus operators to offer journey planning and real time vehicle tracking; Working in partnership with transport providers and others to develop smart ticket purchase options and integrated bus ticketing; Monitoring the Welsh Government "next generation" broadband scheme and identifying opportunities for the County Borough once a decision is in place; Redesigning County Borough Council web information systems to support smart technology applications; Proactively lobbying the current broadband providers to ensure has a fit for purpose broadband network; Improving modal links into the Borough through strategic rail developments, including dualling of the /Chester line and electrification of the /Bidston line; and Reducing travel times into and out of the Borough through strategic junction improvements. Central Railway Station

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