Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: This meeting is being held entirely by video conference facilities

Contact: Carl Craney Governance Services Officer 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence (if any)


Apologies for absence had been received from Councillor Julie Jackson (Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council), Councillor Keith Allcock (Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council) and Councillor Lisa Trickett (Chair – WMCA Overview and Scrutiny Committee.


Apologies for absence had also been received from Gill Hamer (The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership), Simon Tranter (Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council), Mark Ryder and Geraint Stoneman (Warwickshire County Council) and Isha Bhatt (West Midlands Combined Authority).  



Notification of Substitutes (if any)


Councillor Ian Lloyd had been nominated as a substitute member for Councillor Julie Jackson (Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council).


Declarations of Interests (if any)

Members are reminded of the need to declare

any disclosable pecuniary interests they have in

an item being discussed during the course of the

meeting. In addition, the receipt of any gift or

hospitality should be declared where the value of

it was thought to have exceeded £25 (gifts) or

£40 (hospitality).



No declarations of interest were made in relation to matters under consideration at the meeting.


Minutes of last meeting pdf icon PDF 123 KB

[For approval]


Councillor Jacqueline Sweetman commented that she had been unable to attend the last meeting and had nominated her colleague, Councillor Stephen Simkins, to attend as her substitute but he was not recorded as being in attendance at the meeting. She asked whether the attendance of substitute members was recorded or whether the attendance of Councillor Simkins had been omitted inadvertently. The Chair confirmed that such attendance was recorded and that the record could be amended.


Carl Craney reported that no nomination of Councillor Simkins acting as a substitute had been received and, accordingly, an invitation to the meeting including the necessary link had not been provided. Councillor Simkins had not attended the meeting.



That the minutes of the meeting held on 2 November 2020 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Affordable Housing Delivery Vehicle - Update and Next Steps pdf icon PDF 285 KB


Gareth Bradford reminded the Board that the report on the Affordable Housing Collaborative Delivery Vehicle, which had been noted at the last meeting had been ‘Called in’ by the WMCA Overview and Scrutiny Committee and at the meeting of that Committee held on 23 November 2020 the report had been referred back to this Board for further consideration. Tim Martin reported that, unfortunately, neither the Chair or Vice-Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee were able to attend this meeting to outline the reasons for the decision of that Committee.


Rob Lamond read out to the Board a letter from Councillor Lisa Trickett, Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to the Chair of this Board as follows:


Dear Cllr Bird,


Re: Affordable Housing Collaborative Delivery Vehicle: Progress Update


As you know the Overview & Scrutiny Committee called-in the decision of the Housing & Land Delivery Board held on 2 November 2020 relating to the proposals for an affordable housing collaborative vehicle.  The reason for the call-in was stated as:


The panel was not made aware of the extent of need and possibility of specifying a purpose to deliver on social housing requirements. Our concern is that members have not been given the information required to make an informed decision and that this report unduly fetters the opportunity to use such a vehicle to deliver on housing need in the region.


Thank you for attending Overview & Scrutiny Committee on 23 November to discuss and answer questions in relation to the above.  The committee concluded that:


“The Affordable Housing Collaborative Delivery Vehicle: Progress Update report be referred back to the Housing & Land Delivery Board for further consideration in order that the members of that board can be assured that the proposals and the full business case provided sufficient evidence that the proposals would deliver on the intended objectives as stated at this committee by the Chair of the Housing & Land Delivery Board and the Director of Housing & Regeneration”


I understand that you will be re-considering the Affordable Housing Delivery Vehicle report at the next meeting of the Housing & Land Delivery Board on 13 January which, in accordance with the provisions of the WMCA’s constitution, I am able to attend and report on the findings of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee.  Unfortunately I am not able to attend due to a clash of meetings but would welcome a summary of the conversation from your reconsideration of this item.


Thank you.


The Chair reminded the Board that work on the preparation of a Full Business Case for the Affordable Housing Delivery Vehicle was on-going and that, in his opinion, the ‘Call In’ had been premature.


Gareth Bradford reported that the report presented to this meeting was more detailed than that submitted previously and included information on the history and context of the proposal and addressed the issues raised by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee insofar as it explained the position with ‘affordability’ with it being measured against the regional definition. He emphasised that, at this stage,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.


Zero Carbon Homes: Charter and Routemap pdf icon PDF 160 KB

Additional documents:


Rachel-Ann Atterbury presented a report which updated the Board on the excellent progress being made under the Zero Caron Homes Work Programme of the Board.


Councillor Ian Courts advised that he supported fully the proposals although there was a need to examine the cost parameters to ensure they were realistic. He also asked whether developers could make alternative provisions (allowable offsets) if they could not deliver zero carbon homes on a site. Rachel-Ann Atterbury assured the Board that both matters were built into the Routemap and acknowledged particularly the need to attempt to drive down costs and what the WMCA could do in this area. She commented that the issue of ‘off-setting’ and the need for consideration to be given to retro-fitting some measures at existing properties were also being addressed. She commented that as offsetting could sometimes reduce any adverse impacts rather than deliver zero carbon homes further work was being undertaken on this matter.


Councillor Peter Butlin challenged whether it was possible to deliver both affordable housing and zero carbon homes in view of the additional costs in fitting, for example, an air source heat pump or a ground source heat pump compared to a traditional gas boiler heating system. He suggested that the affordable technology required was not yet available and that concentrating on delivering affordable housing should be the priority of this Board. Councillor Ian Courts suggested that the additional costs could be met by driving down the purchase price of the land required for development. He commented that it was for the WMCA to set the standards and act as ‘Champion’ on such matters. Rachel-Ann Atterbury acknowledged the comments on the additional costs involved and explained that further work was being carried out but advised that developments at scale brought the average price down. It was possible for some developers to include such measures at cost and that implications other than cost needed to be considered e.g. zero carbon measures could lead to the running costs of the building being reduced.


Councillor Daren Pemberton commented that, ultimately, developers would deliver the product that the market demanded and was of the view that there was no choice but to persevere with the delivery of zero carbon homes. He reported that on 14 January 2021 Stratford on Avon District Council and Warwick District Council would begin the development of a new Joint Strategic Plan and invited Rachel-Ann Atterbury to work with colleagues in those authorities to ensure that the provision and delivery of zero carbon homes was embedded in that Strategy. Rachel-Ann Atterbury advised that both authorities played an active part in the work of the Zero Carbon Homes Working Group.


Gareth Bradford reminded the Board that its Terms of Reference included a requirement to improve the quality of housing provided and to be pro-active in promoting new forms of development. He commented that whilst initially the requirement to provide a 20% affordable element on schemes before WMCA financial assistance could be provided had received resistance, this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.


Brownfield Land Funding


Gareth Bradford reported that the WMCA had been awarded a sum of £24 million out of a national allocation of £40 million for brownfield land remediation and that this should be viewed as a credit to the work of this Board.