Meeting documents

Venue: The Olympic Room, Aylesbury Vale District Council, The Gateway, Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, HP19 8FF

Contact: Chris Ward; Email: 

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on DD Month 20YY.




That the minutes of the meeting held on 25 September 2018 be approved as a correct record.


Bucks Home Choice Allocations Policy pdf icon PDF 89 KB

For Members to consider the attached report.


Contact Officer: Julie Oliver, Principal Housing Officer 01296 585109


AVDC was a member of the Bucks Home Choice Partnership which also consisted of Chiltern DC, South Bucks DC and Wycombe DC. Each of these authorities managed the allocation of affordable and social rented accommodation within their districts. The partnership operated a common Allocations Policy which was being reviewed in response to changes made by recent case law following the Localism Act 2011 and Homeless Reduction Act 2017. As a Local Housing Authority, AVDC had a statutory duty to consult the public and housing providers about the allocation of social housing in the county. The committee received a report which proposed policy changes that would be consulted upon in due course. A note was circulated to Members at the Committee which corrected a typographical error in the report. 


The proposed changes had a material effect on who qualifies for Bucks Home Choice. Officers assured Members that there would be no major changes to the current policy. The changes would affect the relative priority band awarded to certain types of applicant and would introduce a new priority Band E. This Band was added to allow appropriate priority to be awarded to applicants in different circumstances and housing need. This Band would ensure applicants without a local connection to the area in which they apply are given less priority than those with a local connection.


Band E would be utilised for reasonable preference groups who applied but had no local connection. This would ensure the allocations scheme was lawful but still allow for applicants with a local connection to have priority.  Revised priority bands would also be linked to AVDC’s statutory preventative function following the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act and would allow those threatened with homelessness or living in crowded conditions to have additional priority. This was so that applicants could be re-housed before they became homeless and required temporary accommodation.


Applicants who had applied for assistance from one of the four districts in Bucks Home Choice where the council had decided they are homeless and in priority need but were determined to be homeless intentionally were currently in Band D. It was proposed these applicants would be moved to Band E so that they are not prioritised above applicants that were found to be unintentionally homeless.


All the proposed changes in the report sought to achieve the following policy objectives:


·         Respond to recent case law and government guidance so that Allocations Policy was lawful

·         Utilise the Allocations Policy as a homelessness prevention tool

·         Continue allocating the largest properties to the largest families who need it most thereby making the best use of housing stock


The proposed changes to the Allocations Policy would have no effect on existing Lettings Policies, notably the local policy which ring-fenced a quota of properties to applicants with a connection to one of four sub groups in Aylesbury Vale. Existing applicants would not need to re-apply to be re-assessed under the new system. Instead applicants would be automatically re-assessed placed into new priority bands and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.


Planning Enforcement Update pdf icon PDF 73 KB

For Members to consider the attached report.


Contact Officer:          Jacqui Bromilow, Enforcement Team Manager

01296 585498


The Committee had received an update on Development Management and Planning Enforcement on 13 February 2018 which outlined the plans for improving the service. At the time, Members wanted an update to come to committee later in 2018.


The Committee report listed a number of measures which were to be implemented including the introduction of a new computer database system later in the year. The system would be run in a test phase during December and January for implementation in February 2019. The introduction of this system would assist the integration of the environmental health and planning enforcement parts of the team as their systems were currently separate. This cross-referencing of information would reinforce the joint working already being done, most notably with Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO). Historically, planning enforcement had been reactive and reviews were underway to understand potential improvements to create resource for proactive enforcement.


Since June 2018 the enforcement service had had a number of challenges which included significant staff turnover and a sustained increase in the number of enforcement cases. There was a national shortage of planning officers and the AVDC service had carried out two recruitment campaigns but had not been able to recruit an experienced planning enforcement officer. However the service had recruited two officers from within AVDC who were familiar with the challenges of planning and the service was offering training and support. Three experienced contractors had joined the enforcement service on a short-medium term basis; two were focussing on training and developing new enforcement officers and carrying caseload whilst the third focussed on activities to progress and close historic cases.


The report contained numbers of cases opened and closed in 2017 and 2018, and the officer in attendance expected that case numbers would grow further. Members were advised that the priority of the service was to reduce the number of historic open cases so that the numbers reflected actual active cases that officers managed. Report generation that would categorise cases would also be investigated to identify casing trends.


The Committee sought further information and were advised that:-


       i.        The previous team setup was:

1 x Principal, 2 x Enforcement Officers, 1 x Admin.

The new setup would be:

1 x Principal, 1 x Senior Officer, 3 x Enforcement Officers (with one primarily focused on proactive enforcement). Administration would be moved to a different section to streamline enforcement activities.

      ii.        Enforcement cases were not always clear cut with a quick solution available to enable a case to be closed. For instance, cases remained open if a retrospective planning application was expected to rectify the enforcement issue. Alternatively, cases remained open to log and monitor officer visits. A number of officer visits may be required to determine the likelihood of a breach. This evidence gathering was important as notices served required evidence.

     iii.        Reports and information could be incomplete and this needed to be reviewed to ensure information shared was meaningful.

     iv.        Members would not always be aware of cases if the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


CCTV pdf icon PDF 369 KB

For Members to consider the attached report.



Contact Officer:          Will Rysdale 01296 585561

Helen White 01296 585151


AVDC had a long-term aspiration to deliver a cost effective and efficient CCTV monitoring service by joining up its CCTV suite with others across Buckinghamshire. The Committee received a report which outlined a proposal for a single CCTV control room service that would bring together three control suites into one to deliver an improved service for less money. The report outlined that early indications were that AVDC could save approximately £121,000 (subject to more information on final hub costs). All local authorities needed agreement to proceed in principle. Agreement would allow further investigation into the project detail.


The project had been ongoing for around five years and progress had been made since Thames Valley Police (TVP) policy staff began implementation in early 2018. Tim Metcalfe, the Local Police Area Commander, was also involved in the project. The Project Partnership Board, which had representatives from AVDC, Chiltern DC, Wycombe DC, Milton Keynes Council and TVP, had appointed a consultant to investigate the business case for a Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes combined control room. The service would be based at the existing control room in Milton Keynes Police Suite which had the space to allow for expansion. This suite would replace both the TVP control room at Aylesbury Police Station (which was co-funded by AVDC) and Wycombe’s control room. The report outlined the business case for the merge and relocation. Officers in attendance advised Members that local knowledge would need to be re-established in a centralised control suite and that an effective CCTV Strategy would be needed in future.


The Committee sought further information and were advised that:-


       i.        The project would allow a review of current CCTV coverage and quality checking of images. Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) would not be part of the review and was beyond the scope of the project.

      ii.        Discussions were currently ongoing with known coverage weak spots in the town centre and car parks.

     iii.        It was not known what technology would be used for the wireless cameras but it was acknowledged that upgrades needed to be future proof. It was noted that 3G coverage may be phased out in 2020.

     iv.        Methods of retaining local area knowledge would be investigated in the review. To this end, retaining the physical Aylesbury control room could be a possibility.

      v.        The merger would provide more resilience to the CCTV service as more staff would have the necessary training to access the control room. This had been an issue in the Aylesbury suite.




That the Committee were supportive of the merger principle and that the possibility of capital expenditure as part of the project be noted.


Work Programme


The Committee briefly considered the work programmed for the next three meetings. It had been over two years since the Committee had received an update on Highways from BCC so Members saw merit in inviting them to attend in future.




That the current work programme be noted.