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Committee details

Housing Scrutiny Committee

Purpose of committee

Housing Scrutiny Committee

Terms of Reference

1. Organisation

1.1. The Committee will be comprised of the Councillors as determined by the Annual meeting of Council, appointed in accordance with the political balance of the Council, including a Chair and Vice Chair, elected by Council.

1.2. The Chair and Vice Chair must be a Councillor. No members of the Committee shall be a member of the Cabinet. The Committee may appoint non-voting co-opted members from outside bodies and local communities.

1.3. Membership of the Committee must reflect the political balance of the Council in accordance with Sections 15, 16 & 17, and Schedule One, of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.

1.4. The Committee must abide by the principles of the new arrangements for Overview and Scrutiny Committees as agreed at Annual Council on 19 May 2016. These principles are:

1.4.1. Working in partnership with relevant director(s) and portfolio lead member(s), the Committees develop annual work programmes which focus on the successful delivery of the Council’s priorities.

1.4.2. Cross-working and partnership between committees to ensure the more complex commissioning structure of the Council is fully scrutinised;

1.4.3. Work programmes for each committee agreed by full Council in July 2016;

1.4.4. The Chair of Audit and Governance to call formal quarterly meetings of all Scrutiny Chairs, who will prepare and publish a report on the work of the committees since their establishment / previous report; and

1.4.5. Greater use of panels and innovative ways of working to promote community engagement.


2. Purpose

2.1. To monitor and review the policies and practices of, and services provided by, the Council, its partners and contractors, in respect of Housing:

2.1.1. Council home building programme

2.1.2. Homelessness

2.1.3. Waltham Forest Housing

2.1.4. Housing policy

2.1.5. Housing standards


3. Housing Scrutiny

3.1. To scrutinise services that fall within the remit of:

3.1.1. The Leader of the Council (in respect of the Council’s budget strategy and corporate strategy supporting housing growth within the borough)

3.1.2. The Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and High Streets

3.1.3. All Portfolio holders in respect of policies, strategies and services supporting the housing agenda within the borough.


4. Methodology / Operating Conventions

4.1. The Committee may:

4.1.1. Call for and receive reports on matters within the remit of the Committee.

4.1.2. Require Members of the Cabinet and officers within all tiers of management to attend the Committee and provide written and oral evidence.

4.1.3. Invite witnesses from within and from outside the Council to provide written and/or oral evidence.

4.1.4. Make recommendations on policy, practice and service provision to the Cabinet and Council.

4.1.5. Establish time-limited Scrutiny Panels and Working Groups to support delivery of the Committee’s Forward Work Programme and corporate policy development role.

4.1.6. Contribute to the aims and objectives of the Council’s response to the Waltham Forest Growth Commission

4.1.7. Hold the Executive to account for the discharge of functions in the following ways:

1) by exercising the right to call-in, for reconsideration, decisions made but not yet implemented by the Executive or key decisions which have been delegated to an officer;

2) by scrutinising Key Decisions which the Executive is planning to take, as set out in the Forward Plan;

3) by scrutinising decisions the Executive are planning to make and to make alternative recommendations to those proposed to be taken by the Executive;

4) by scrutinising Executive decisions after they have been implemented, as part of a wider policy review.

4.1.8. To consider petitions submitted to it

4.1.9. Where a particular issue could fall within the functions of two or more Scrutiny Committees the Chairs of the relevant Scrutiny Committees, following consultation with the Overview and Scrutiny Manager, will agree which Scrutiny Committee will consider the matter.


5. Meeting Arrangements

5.1. The Committee shall determine the number and frequency of its meetings. The meetings will be subject to the provisions of Section 100A - 100K and Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 as amended by Sections 97 & 98 of the Local Government Act 2000.

5.2. The quorum of the Committee shall be two-thirds of the membership eligible to vote or the nearest whole number under two-thirds.

5.3 Agendas and minutes of the Committee meetings will be available to members of the public on request at the Reception Desk of Waltham Forest Town Hall, Forest Road, Walthamstow and on the Council’s website at



Contact information

Support officer: Democratic Services. 020 8496 4211 Email: