Agenda and minutes

Residents' Services Select Committee - Wednesday, 25th October, 2023 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 5 - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Liz Penny, Democratic Services Officer  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Wayne Bridges with Councillor Darran Davies substituting.


Declarations of interest in matters coming before this meeting


There were no declarations of interest.


To receive the minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 347 KB


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting dated 26 September 2023 be agreed as an accurate record.


To confirm that the items of business marked as Part I will be considered in public and those marked Part II will be considered in private


It was confirmed that all the items of business were marked Part I and would be considered in public.


The Locata Housing System pdf icon PDF 133 KB


Maggie Nelson, Head of Housing Needs and Melissa Blower, Housing Project Manager, presented the Locata Housing System report.


Members were informed that Locata was an online choice-based lettings (CBL) system which was available to anyone who wished to apply to join the social housing register. The Council’s Social Housing Allocations Policy set out and governed how officers assessed and determined which applicants were eligible to join the housing register, which priority banding they were to be awarded and their bedroom size need. Locata was the most commonly used CBL system across all local authorities.


The Committee heard that Locata was a computer-friendly system which could also be accessed via a tablet or mobile phone. It was easy to use, and applicants had direct access to the system to check their applications at any time. Once a Locata application had been completed and submitted, the information was fed into the Council’s ‘Civica’ system where a process to carry out the assessment was initiated. The application also fed directly into the ‘Northgate’ system which catered for all other housing elements such as rent accounts, tenancy details and estates.


It was confirmed that all applicants were expected to apply online and only needed to have an email address to register. The application form took approximately 20 – 30 minutes to complete. All applicants were expected to upload their documents as part of their application. All documents added or any identified changes were updated through the same account. Bids for properties and offers of accommodation were also communicated through this account.


In response to questions from Committee Members, it was confirmed that banding was based on level of priority with A being the most urgent. Most properties that became available would be allocated to band A applicants hence those in band B tended to remain on the housing register for longer and numbers were higher. The information was reviewed annually to ensure people still wanted to remain on the housing register. Bandings would only be reviewed upon receipt of new information or when an applicant was at the point of becoming shortlisted for a property.


Members requested further clarification in respect of the waiting times set out on page 10 of the agenda pack. It was confirmed that these numbers were based on an average and did not necessarily fully reflect the length of waiting times – for example, an applicant could wait in band C for a considerable period and then move to band B for a short period of time before being allocated a property.


In response to questions from the Committee regarding enhanced banding, it was confirmed that an applicant could be moved up to a higher band if they met more than one of the priority criteria (medical need, overcrowding, 10-year residency etc). The housing register was only for those who had a housing need – those who were already suitably housed did not qualify. Members learnt that, within band A, enhanced priority was afforded to those who  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 327 KB

Additional documents:


RESOLVED: That the Forward Plan be noted.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 230 KB

Additional documents:


RESOLVED: That the Work Programme be noted.