Report not ready in time on Central Beds housing development company

A scheme to create a Central Beds housing development company is set to go straight to the council's

A scheme to create a Central Beds housing development company is set to go straight to the council's executive. Picture: Chris Pancewicz/Alamy - Credit: Photograph: Chris Pancewicz/Alam

A scheme to create a housing development company in Central Bedfordshire is likely to go straight to the council’s executive to rule on because a report about it needed rewriting.

The local authority is looking at ways to manage its housing stock more efficiently and to provide more affordable housing.

But a report to establish the Central Bedfordshire Housing Development Company needed some revisions.

It was due to be presented to members of the council’s corporate resources overview and scrutiny committee today.

The delay means the document will now go directly to the executive for consideration, unless an extraordinary meeting of the committee is called.

Councillors on the committee were due to “consider and comment” on the proposals for the housing development company, and “provide recommendations to the executive”.

Conservative Ampthill councillor Paul Duckett said: “A paper on today’s agenda, which we were looking forward to receive, has been withdrawn unfortunately.

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“The report is being rewritten to include some extra bits of detail, and some additional numbers need to be added.”

Mr Duckett, who chairs the committee, added: “The downside is that means it will go direct to emergency executive, almost in indecent haste, without going through scrutiny first.”

Council director of community services Marcel Coiffait said: “The report is being rewritten to make it clearer in terms of the decisions that we are asking executive to make.

“That means it will miss out the scrutiny step, unless you wish to convene a special scrutiny committee meeting.

“I will make the report available to the chairman and vice-chairman before the executive meeting.”

Houghton Conquest and Haynes Conservative councillor Angela Barker questioned why the report is having to go at such speed through executive.

“If the chairman and vice-chairman are going to be privy to the information you have in the report, prior to you going to executive, we will see it as members in the executive papers,” she said.

“But at what point can we put an injection of comments in because it will just be a cabinet decision, a portfolio holder decision, rather than having other thoughts behind it?”

Mr Coiffait replied: “The reason it’s going to next available committee is a desire by executive members to see this as quickly as possible.

“In terms of your ability to input as non-executive members you have the ability to come to executive and make comments and views known there.

“That will still be an open meeting which you can bring your thoughts to.”