Agenda item

Housing and Cohesion Officer - Mark Griffiths (Nac.11.13.2023/4)


Members received a presentation from M Griffiths, Housing and Cohesion Officer which provided an overview of his job role and highlighted some of the work undertaken to date.


The following key points were noted:-


·                The core of the work undertaken by M Griffiths dealt with issues that were capable of having a detrimental effect on others i.e. environmental issues, property/housing conditions in private sector housing, fly-tipping, littering, garden waste, social issues, supporting vulnerable people and low level anti-social behaviour.


·                The aims and objectives of which were to encourage communities to work towards setting their own standards and empower individuals to help themselves and improve their environment, to create and sustain safe and pleasant communities, to identify and react to problems and issues and to apply pro-active initiatives and interventions, and to improve housing conditions and standards for private rental tenants in the North area.


·                Close collaborative working was undertaken with several departments and agencies which included South Yorkshire Police, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, voluntary agencies and Adult and Children’s Social Services.


·                On a quarterly basis, M Griffiths arranged and organised North Area Action Days in collaboration with a variety of agencies, which rotated around all four Ward Alliances.  The following action days had recently been held:-


·                A waste clearance operation on Athersley pit fields, which focused on improving the appearance of the location for the benefit of local residents and dog walkers.


·                Operation Drift which focused on several issues in the North’s geographical area of Honeywell.  It was undertaken in a multi-faceted approach which had achieved good outcomes in terms of improving the environment, enforcement and support.  A total of 24 private rental properties had been visited with a view to generating housing inspections.


·                Members noted the community engagement events and were referred to a number of case studies within the presentation slides.


Councillor Tattersall expressed her thanks for an interesting report and for the work undertaken across all four Ward Alliances.  She was pleased to observe the work that had been undertaken on garden fires which occurred across the borough and could easily become out of control and cause damage to other properties.  She queried whether collaborative work was undertaken with South Yorkshire Fire Service to provide garden fire safety messages on social media.


Councillor Howard commented that individuals were permitted to have garden fires, although instances of frequent garden fires and at certain times during the day could be reported to the Council.  She referred to the private rental property flats on Church Street, Darton which had encountered water leaks, and she had provided the Area Manager with the information to be forwarded onto M Griffiths for his assistance.


In response to a query raised by Councillor A. Cave regarding the frequency that cases were monitored and followed up, M Griffiths referred to a number of ongoing cases that would not close until at least a couple of follow up inspections had taken place.  The number of follow up inspections undertaken would depend on the merits of a particular case.


Councillor Leech expressed his thanks to M Griffiths for quickly dealing with an instance where an individual had collected a large amount of rubbish for money, which he had burnt in his garden and it had got out of hand.


Councillor Hunt requested that garden fires be discussed with Members at the next Darton East Action Day.


Councillor Lofts expressed his appreciation to M Griffiths for dealing with the dog fouling issue in the Old Town area.


On behalf of the North Area Council, Councillor Leech gave thanks to M Griffiths for all the work undertaken.


RESOLVED that Members noted the update.