Issue - meetings

Public Question Time (15 minutes)

Meeting: 21/06/2017 - Cabinet (Item 4)

Public Question Time (15 minutes)

The opportunity is given to members of the public to put questions to Cabinet Members or Committee Chairs provided that a question does not relate to:


·         Matters which are the subject of current or pending legal proceedings, or

·         Matters relating to employees or former employees of the Council or comments in respect of individual Council Officers


Steve Gower


Mr Gower addressed the Cabinet expressing concerns regarding licensed HMO’s and single dwellings, the effectiveness of the City Council’s enforcement regime and the lack of support landlords provide to vulnerable tenants.


Mr Gower referred to the Housing Act 2004, the City Council’s duty of care to vulnerable tenants and suggested that an independent audit on the health and safety of buildings be carried out.


Mr Gower requested that the City Council ensure that private landlords complied with the HHSRS standards for their property and called for a network support system to support landlords dealing with mental or physical health issues that could occur during a tenancy.


Mr Gower noted that he had submitted a Freedom of Information request asking for the number of Environmental Health Officers employed in Gloucester from 2010 to present in addition to the number of deaths in Gloucester to persons of no fixed abode or living in licenced houses of multiple occupancy during the same period. He added that he had not yet received a response to his request.


The Leader of the Council assured Mr Gower that the Council took the HHSRS standards seriously and promised to provide Mr Gower with a full written answer to his questions.


A resident of the City, who did not wish to disclose his name, addressed the Cabinet expressing concerns regarding problems he had experienced with a letting agent.


He advised that having found suitable private rented accommodation, he had been without a working lavatory and hot water and it had taken several weeks before any action had been taken by the letting agent. He asked the Council to consider establishing its own lettings agency.


The Leader of the Council explained that the Council could intervene when all other options had been exhausted and tenants were encouraged to raise issues with their landlords and letting agents in the first instance. In response to a Council run letting agency, the Leader of the Council advised that this would be considered but was mindful of the limited resources within the Council.


The Managing Director commented that Cabinet would be considering a report on the introduction of a Selective Licensing Scheme to improve the conditions of privately rented accommodation, which would look to resolve issue similar to those the resident had faced.


The Leader of the Council thanked the resident for his attendance.