FOI Request Building Standards, Sprinklers and Housing

Request 101001542505

I would like to request the following information under Freedom of Information:

1) In 2010, the Scottish Government added schools to the new buildings required to have sprinklers fitted as standard. Some buildings were exempt through Scottish Ministers’ power to consider a request from any applicant to be exempted from any building standard. This power now lies with local councils. Please could you fill in the attached table, detailing which buildings in your local authority have been made exempt and why from 2013 until now.

2) Please could you state how much revenue has been raised through rents and service charges paid by council and housing association tenants in your local authority for the last five financial years.

3) Please could you provide me with a breakdown of where this has been spent within the local authority over the last five financial years.

4) Please could you state how many full time equivalent members of staff work in housing for your local authority and their broad responsibilities. Please could you also provide this information for the last five financial years.

5) A breakdown of building standards and fire inspections carried out on public and private buildings in your local authorities over the last five years.

6) A copy of your building inspection guidelines.

7) Incident reports for fires in council owned buildings over the last five years.

Response 18-07-2017

Q1 – All applications for building warrant for schools since 2013 have met the criteria detailed in Technical Standard 2.15 of the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (as amended) for sprinkler system requirements. No Relaxation has been sought in any of these applications. Sprinkler systems in schools are installed for asset protection and are only required in an extension if it is reasonably practical to do so taking account whether the benefits are outweighed by the costs. This includes whether or not the existing building is sprinklered, size of extension and geographic risk of wilful fire-raising etc. All schools were designed using this criteria from the Technical Standards and no reduction in standard was necessary.

Q2 - 

Summary of Housing Revenue Account Income & Expenditure      
                   
          2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17
          £000's £000's £000's £000's £000's
INCOME                  
Rental Income from lettable stock (net of void loss) 13,668 14,380 15,240 16,044 16,987
Service Charges to tenants     7 6 5 5 4
Rental Income from Hostels     69 78 0 0 0
Hostel Grant       450 367 0 0 0
Rental Income from other properties in the HRA   231 235 242 300 357
Interest Received       16 17 16 22 15
Other Income       76 86 115 192 137
TOTAL INCOME       14,517 15,169 15,618 16,563 17,500
Q3 -
EXPENDITURE                
Loan Charges       2,702 3,022 3,362 3,663 3,659
Supervision & Management     4,189 4,164 3,847 3,710 3,814
Repairs & Maintenance       5,942 6,388 6,021 6,718 6,332
Movement in Allowance for Bad Debts   121 85 131 88 155
Other Expenditure       75 78 51 64 68
Capital Expenditure funded from Current Revenue   1,500 1,421 1,735 2,575 3,637
TOTAL EXPENDITURE       14,529 15,158 15,147 16,818 17,665
                   
Net change in HRA funds     -12 11 471 -255 -165

 

Q4 - 

  Budgeted Full Time Equivalent (FTE)
Section/Team 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Head of Service / Secretariat 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.00
Housing Strategy & Development 2.00 1.83 1.83 1.90 1.90
Home Improvement Team 3.00 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.00
Housing Needs Manager 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
Homelessness Strategy & Development 5.00 5.00 4.00 4.00 3.00
Homelessness 9.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Housing Needs 5.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Housing Needs Operations Team 0.00 9.00 8.00 8.00 7.00
Supported Accommodation 28.50 28.51 28.51 28.51 28.51
Housing Support 18.00 18.00 17.00 17.00 17.00
Housing Services Manager 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
Area Housing Teams 23.70 25.50 25.50 25.50 23.51
Community Safety 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 2.00
Housing Policy & Performance 5.00 4.91 4.91 5.00 6.00
Rent Administration 4.80 4.27 3.77 3.77 3.77
Housing Administration 12.50 17.05 16.00 16.00 16.00
Housing Capital Programmes 7.00 8.00 8.00 8.00 9.60
TOTAL 127.50 130.07 125.52 125.68 126.30
           

Q5 and 6 – a copy of the Building Standards Inspection Guidelines are attached, Verification During Construction. One for Domestic and one for non-domestic buildings. These are national guidelines that are followed. We do not differentiate our inspections into ‘public’ and ‘private’ buildings. All buildings are classified according to the risk and a Construction and Compliance Notification Plan is produced with the Building Warrant. This requires the owner/developer to notify the Authority at the pre-determined stages of construction. A record of the inspection and any defects are noted on each electronic file back office system. No further records or statistics are kept therefore it is not possible to produce a list of buildings that have been inspected. Building Standards do not carry out any post completion inspections after the Completion Certificate has been accepted.

7. This information is exempt under Section 25 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland0 Act 2002- Information Otherwise Accessible. For ease of use it is previously published on the Moray Council website in response to another FOI request. For ease of use this information can be found at http://www.moray.gov.uk/moray_standard/page_113977.html

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