The Executive Member for Culture and Communities and Directore for Culture, Communites and Communications submitted a report to provide an update on the North Ormesby Selective Landlord Licensing Scheme and propose that consultation be undertaken to roll out Selective Landlord Licensing to a portion of Newport Ward.
Executive Member approval was required due to the fact that this scheme was delivered via a legislative framework that required organisational approval to start formal consultation prior to implementation.
The report outlined the background information and update on progress of the North Ormesby Scheme. It was outlined that the scheme was due to end in December 2020 and there were two options available:
end the current scheme after this date
make an application to the DHCLG to extend the exisiting scheme for another 5 years.
Given that the North Ormesby scheme still has 2 years left before it is due to end, it is recommended that a further report relating to next steps in North Ormesby is brought back to Executive for consideration in December 2019. This should also include a review of the options relating to the wider roll out of Selective Landlord Licensing in other areas of the Borough and should reflect the changing financial landscape.
The report outlined that it recognised that the Selective Landlord Licensing scheme was only part of the reason the Council have seen the successes in North Ormesby and that a strong community infrastructure in the ward had played a significant role in delivering the outcomes i.e. North Ormesby benefits from a number of community organisations working together with local schools, businesses, and key partners and this has been supported by significant financial investment from national charitable organisations. The Council have worked closely with the community to identify where the community would lead with support from the Council and where they want the Council to lead with support from the community.
Gresham 1 area (now known as Newport 1 area) was identified as the next location to be designated under the scheme by Executive. Following consultation with Cleveland Police and wider partners this remains the highest priority area for expansion of the scheme. This was due to high levels of crime and antisocial behaviour, high levels of private rented properties and poor living conditions, empty properties and a transient population. In addition to this there has been significant investment in the physical regeneration of Middlesbrough and social regeneration is a key priority for the Council. Selective Landlord Licensing along with other initiatives would act as a catalyst for social regeneration of the area.
Whilst there have been requests to implement the scheme across wider areas of the Town it should be noted that the intensive approach in North Ormesby was considered the key factor in its success. It was imperative that the scheme was delivered in a controlled way and this can only be achieved by implementing a phased approach that will deliver quality assurance. It is therefore recommended that the necessary consultation be undertaken in the Newport Ward to advise Executive of the viability of a roll out in Newport Ward. If after considering the consultation responses, Executive wish to roll out the scheme in Newport Ward, this would commence in April 2019. Appendix A of the report set out the proposed map of the designated area.
The report also stated that it was always envisaged that some of the staff from the North Ormesby scheme would split their time across the 2nd scheme when it was implemented and this would be the case if the recommendation was approved to start the Newport 1 scheme in April 2019. This approach would allow the scheme to remain effective in North Ormesby where it was now established whilst introducing the scheme in Newport Ward.
The process for implementing Selective Landlord Licensing in a new geographical area is set out below:
October - December 2018- Consultation programme - 10 week process
January 2019 -Consider and report on consultation outcome to Executive.
January 2019- Formal notification of scheme (public notice)
February 2019 -Carry out recruitment and training of staff for Licensing Team
April 2019- Scheme comes into force (1st April 2019)
Other potential decisions and why these have not been recommended
Do not continue with the implementation plan for rolling out the scheme to other wards. This was not recommended due to the fact that this decision had already been made as per the Executive report in December 2014 and July 2015 and the next phase (Newport 1) can be delivered within the current financial envelope.
That the Executive member:
Approve the commencement of appropriate consultation relating to the rollout of a selective landlord licensing scheme to the part the Newport Ward identified in the report; and
Approve the consultation to include the proposed fee of £750 to cover the cost of delivering the scheme in the designated area.
Approve that the results of the consultation be presented to Full Executive for consideration in January 2019 prior to implementation and a further report be presented in December 2019 proposing any future roll outs beyond phase 2 and the future of the North Ormesby scheme.
Implementing the next phase (Newport 1 area) in April 2019 would allow the Council to progress with the original implementation plan as set out in the Executive Report that was approved on 9th December 2014. This decision would allow consultation to take place and the results be presented to Executive in order that a final decision can be taken on whether to proceed with the roll out to the designated portion of Newport Ward.
The recommendation to set the license fee in the Newport 1 area at £750 is based on the amount of staff that would be needed to deliver the scheme over the 5 year lifetime in the designated area from April 2019 - March 2024, taking into account the number of anticipated properties that would require a license in the defined location.
There will be an additional report to Executive in December 2019 which will make recommendations regarding the future of the North Ormesby Scheme and any potential phase 3 roll outs. This will enable Executive to consider the initial success of the Newport Roll out and the financial position of the Council.