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HOMES AND SAFE COMMUNITIES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 17th January, 2018.

 

Present:  Councillor Mrs. M.R. Wilkinson (Chairman); Councillors Ms. B.E. Brooks, Mrs. C.A. Cave, Miss. A.M. Collins, B.T. Gray, Mrs. S.M. Hanks, K.F. McCaffer, M.J.G. Morgan and Mrs. R. Nugent-Finn.

 

Also present:  Councillors Ms. J. Aviet, Mrs. P. Drake and Dr. I.J. Johnson; Mr. D. Dutch and Ms. H. Smith (Tenant Working Group Representatives).

 

 

602     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –

 

These were received from Councillor M.R. Wilson (Vice-Chairman); Mrs. G. Doyle and Mr. A. Raybould (Tenant Working Group Representatives). 

 

 

603     MINUTES –

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 6th December, 2017 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

604     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

605     PRESENTATION: HOUSING SOLUTIONS AND LLAMAU SERVICES IN THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN –

 

The Operational Manager for Public Housing Services introduced her colleagues, Julia Cannon, Housing Solutions Officer, and Howard Humphries, Private Rented Procurement Officer.  Both officers provided the Committee with a PowerPoint presentation on housing solutions currently offered by the Vale of Glamorgan Council. 

 

The Housing Solutions Officer began by advising the Committee that the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s overarching aim was to ensure that all residents had access to the help and support that they needed to live in decent and affordable homes.  It was essential to understand the individual needs and the person’s unique circumstances when assessing a case.  The Housing Solutions Team (HST) worked with clients who may be homeless or were threatened with homelessness and would work to find creative solutions to resolve the individual’s housing needs.  The HST also worked with a variety of clients and partnership agencies to find the best possible outcome. 

 

The work carried out by the HST was defined by the Housing Act (Wales) 2014.  This Act superseded the 1996 Act and had significant implications in comparison.  In particular and increase in duties to be considered per case.  The three sections of the current Act that were most significant to the work completed by the HST were: 

  • S66 Duty to Prevent;
  • S73 Duty to Secure;
  • S75 Duty to Secure where in Priority Need. 

The officer also addressed the increasing number of clients that presented to the HST demonstrating that in 2014/15 there were 255 total presentations for the financial year, 882 for 2016/17 and already 504 for the year to date. 

 

The increasing number of presentations was one of five impacts the Housing Solutions Officer went on to inform the Committee about.  Other impacts were: 

  • Increase in duties owed and cases opened (176 currently);
  • Greater pressures on temporary accommodation;
  • Longer waiting times in temporary accommodation;
  • Increase in administration and paper work due to an increase in duties. 

The officer stated that, going forward, there were several challenges for the HST as well as the aforementioned impacts, some of which were: 

  • Shortage of affordable housing;
  • Lean Housing Solutions Team (leanest in Wales);
  • Funding – temporary (three posts out of 8.5 were funded by transitional funding from Welsh Government);
  • Recruitment of appropriate staff;
  • Welfare Reform – Universal Credit, benefit cap with full roll out due in the Vale in October 2018. 

As well as providing a response service for emergency housing cases, the HST also operated under pre-booked appointments (8 per day, Monday to Friday) as well as ongoing case work.  The Housing Solutions Officer informed Members that the average number of open cases per case worker was 61.

 

With regards to phases of work, the officer advised that the first stage was “Early Prevention” (linked to S66 of the Housing Act (Wales) 2014).  Early Prevention was a crucial part of the work the HST undertook to avoid an individual becoming homeless.  If, unfortunately, the early prevention work was unsuccessful, then the HST would escalate the case to the “Help to Resolve” stage (linked to S73 of the Act) which would be a temporary solution before the case was brought to the “Final Outcome and Resolution” stage (linked to S75 of the Act), in which the individual would be accommodated on a long term basis.

 

The Housing Solutions Officer concluded her section of the presentation by apprising the Committee of the organisations the HST currently worked in partnership with to achieve the positive HST results to date. 

 

The Chairman asked, for the benefit of the Committee, who the “SSAFA” organisations were.  In response, the officer advised that SSAFA was the Armed Forces Charity formerly known as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association which provide lifelong support to serving men and women and veterans from the British Armed Forces.

 

The Private Rented Procurement Officer began his presentation by describing the purpose of his role: to secure affordable, suitable, private rental property by working with lettings agents and private landlords in order to find housing solutions for individuals and families who present as homeless, to enable the Council to discharge its duty under the Housing Act (Wales) 2014.  A secondary aspect of his role was securing suitable properties for the current Syrian refugee resettlement programme.

 

The Committee was advised of the methods used to source properties and also the processes undertaken once a property was found.  The following challenges were also highlighted by the officer: 

  • Insufficient one bed units available in the current market to meet demand;
  • Letting agents sceptical of the bond guarantee certificate;
  • Challenging clients;
  • Lack of guarantors, driven by social and economic climate;
  • Clients presenting with rent arrears – hard upward sell;
  • Housing benefit not being processed in a timely manner due to inability of client to return important documentation. 

In the officer’s professional opinion from 27 years in the property sector, the following solutions were required to improve the housing solutions process: 

  • More 2 x 2 housing schemes.  This involved two tenants, over the age of 35, who share a kitchen and bathroom but have private living and bedroom space;
  • Developing and maintaining good working relationships with letting agents and landlords;
  • Early intervention with the tenant when tenancy issues occur to resolve problems to prevent eviction. 

In conclusion, the Private Rented Procurement Officer apprised the Committee of the total Private Rented Sector (PRS) properties / units for the year 2016/17 and for the first quarter of 2017/18.  For the year 2016/17 the total number of PRS units sourced was 161 with 84 one bed units, however, for the first quarter of 2017, the total PRS units sourced was already 129, with 69 one bed units.  This demonstrated an obvious dramatic increase in demand and success of the housing procurement staff involved. 

 

A Member asked more of the process followed to procure a private rental property. 

 

The officer advised that extensive research would take place on multiple property advertising websites e.g. Zoopla, publications and face to face meetings to find a suitable property.  The Operational Manager for Public Housing Services also added that early prevention work would also take place alongside a suitable property being sourced.  Once a property was found then a viewing with the potential tenant would take place.  The Environmental Health Team would also visit the property to ensure that the property was of an acceptable standard, after which the Private Rented Procurement Officer would compile a video inventory to be used if any claims on the bond were made in the future.  The officer would also support tenants to complete the necessary documentation prior to moving in and ensure prompt payment of the first month’s rent to the landlord or letting agent. 

 

As a supplementary question, the Member also asked to what extent officers used electronic portals to source suitable properties.

 

The Private Rented Procurement Officer advised that he was registered on several portals and would receive e-mail alerts when criteria matching the desired property were matched.  The alert criteria were kept open so as not to miss any properties that the officer could negotiate on.  Acquiring the property would often prove more likely to happen if the officer approached the landlord directly rather than the possible tenants themselves. 

 

The Head of Housing and Building Services asked what, if anything, was being said by landlords about the Universal Credit reform. 

 

The officer advised that the opinion of landlords had developed over the past 12 months and despite negative opinions / concerns to start, these had been mitigated once landlords had been provided with more accurate information.  The officer was in close contact with the Department of Work and Pensions so information would be passed on to landlords to offer reassurance.  Training for Housing Solutions Officers on the Universal Credit had already taken place, but more would be scheduled for the future once further advice from the Government had been received. 

 

A Member referred to the officer’s comments during his presentation about having a “spoken code” when meeting with a landlord and possible tenant at a property to avoid any awkward confrontation and enquired why this was necessary.  Also, whether the landlord was responsible for the fees involved in joining the Landlord Accreditation Scheme. 

 

The Chairman added that a landlord may have a personal interest that would make the tenancy unacceptable and therefore the spoken code allowed the Private Rented Procurement Officer to be aware of this without upsetting the potential tenant.  The Private Rented Procurement Officer reiterated that the code was simply to avoid any awkward confrontation whilst at the property for both the tenant and landlord.  The Landlord Accreditation Scheme was now the ‘Rent Smart’ scheme and the landlord would be responsible for covering all joining fees.

 

A Member expressed the opinion that further education was required for landlords around paper bonds so they were more likely to trust and accept them and asked what attempts had been made to encourage landlords. 

 

The Private Rented Procurement Officer advised that using paper bonds had proved difficult in the past because the larger agencies would only accept cash bonds as per their corporate policies.  Even the Department of Social Security (DSS) tenancies would require one month’s rent in cash up front and often the clients in question would not be in the financial position to do this.

 

In light of the officer’s advice, the Member asked if the Council could approach the management companies of local agencies describing the advantages of paper bonds in the hope that they may change their policies. 

 

The Operational Manager for Public Housing Services agreed that the Member’s suggestion was feasible and confirmed that management companies would be written to in the near future.

 

The Chairman then invited Ms. Sam Austin, the Operational Director and Deputy Chief Executive for Llamau to present to the Committee.

 

The Director began her presentation by apprising the Committee of the ‘One Stop Shop’ which was a shop front drop-in centre based in Holton Road, Barry.  The Director was pleased to advise that Llamau was first founded in the Vale of Glamorgan and continued to work with multiple agencies to offer training and a drop in service for vulnerable people, including young people (aged 16-25), vulnerable women and their families. 

 

One area of Llamau’s work was prevention and early intervention for individuals facing homelessness.  The key aims of the work were family mediation to support the individual to return or remain in the family home (if appropriate), to rebuild support networks with close and wider family, to help provide tools to manage further disputes, help with any neighbour issues and to help mediate in flat / house shares.  

 

The greatest cause of homelessness for young people was a breakdown in the family unit and the Director advised that that the current success rate for young people returning or remaining in the family home after accepting support from Llamau was 85%. 

 

In terms of accommodation for young people facing homelessness, the Director described three supported accommodation properties that had six bed spaces in each, which were Ty’r Fro, Ty John Rowley and Ty Newydd, also floating support accommodation in the Tom Holmes, TESS 6 and TESS 7 units.  Llamau also worked in partnership with Children’s Services to house and support young people with more complex needs in the Ty Dylan facility. 

 

With regards to future plans for 2018, the Director advised that “the person” would continue to be at the heart of the Llamau organisation and she apprised Committee of the several key values used to depict Llamau’s approach when supporting young people.  A new six month project was being designed to work with the most difficult to engage young people from age 14 upwards before they leave school at 16.  The purpose of the project was to prevent the need to access statutory services through the earliest and best targeted interventions possible.  To achieve this Llamau aimed to work closely with schools and other education / training providers to enhance the Personal Social Health and Economic (PSHE) curriculum on issues regarding homelessness, social exclusion and family conflict.  The aim was to leave a legacy of written materials for young people and parents / carers to use in the future. 

 

The Director described the approach taken by members of staff at Llamau and, in particular, the increasing emphasis on a psychologically trauma informed approach.  Llamau had established a research relationship with the psychology department at Cardiff University and were shocked to discover that 90% of young people receiving support from Llamau displayed characteristics of a psychological disorder.  Llamau had recently obtained funding to hire a Clinical Psychologist, over a three year period, who would be a valuable asset for individuals using Llamau’s services. 

 

In 2016/17, 202 people were supported by the Llamau organisation in the Vale of Glamorgan.  The Committee was apprised of the progress made with regard to key support issues such as emotional and mental health and offending behaviour.  The highest percentage of progress was made following support to establish healthy relationships, at 82%, with the lowest being 70% for drug and alcohol issues. 

 

In concluding the presentation, the Director wished to highlight the correlation between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the young people that presented requiring support from Llamau.  Almost 97% of young people had experienced at least one ACE.  49% of young people in the Vale had experienced 4+ ACEs with one person having experienced 8 ACEs.  In the Vale of Glamorgan 70% of care leavers had experienced 4 or more ACEs. 

 

A Tenant Working Group Representative asked if the One Stop Shop was a 24 hour service and, if not, what advice would be given to a homeless person presenting out of hours. 

 

The Director confirmed that the One Stop Shop was not a 24 hour service, however, the out of hours telephone number would direct a caller through to the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Contact One Vale Centre, which operated an out of hours homelessness support service. 

 

A Member asked after the name for the new six month school project being launched.  The Director confirmed that a similar project was already established called “Emphasis” so it was suggested that the new project be called “School Emphasis”, however, the new project had literally been launched the same week and was still being developed. 

 

A Member thanked and congratulated the Director for her moving and informative presentation and was pleased to say that she had heard many positive things about the work of Llamau because of the passion and hard work shown by its staff.  The Director also thanked the Committee for the invitation to present and invited all Members to visit the One Stop Shop in the future. 

 

The Chairman reiterated the thanks and gratitude of the Committee for the presentations delivered and shared her hope that the hard work taking place would continue to be successful going forward. 

 

 

606     REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 30TH NOVEMBER 2017 (DEH) –

 

The Finance Support Manager presented the report, the purpose of which was to bring to the attention of the Scrutiny Committee the position in respect of revenue and capital expenditure for the period 1st April to 30th November, 2017 regarding those revenue and capital budgets which formed the Committee’s remit.

 

The officer advised that the revenue budget and projected outturn for 2017/18, as indicated in the table below, was forecast for a balanced budget.

 

 

Revenue Budget

 

Probable Outturn

Variance

(+ ) Favourable

(-) Adverse

 

£000

£000

£000

Public Sector Housing (HRA)

127

127

0

Council Fund Housing

1,257

1,257

0

Private Sector Housing

11,038

11,038

0

Regulatory Services

2,169

2,169

0

Youth Offending Service

697

697

0

TOTAL

 

15,288

15,288

0

 

A graph and table setting out the variance between the profiled budget and actual expenditure to date was attached at Appendix 1 of the officer’s report.

 

The Public Sector Housing (HRA) budget was expected to outturn on target and any underspends in year would be offset by additional contributions to Capital Expenditure thus reducing the reliance on Unsupported Borrowing.

 

It was anticipated that the Council Fund Housing budget would outturn on target, however, this was after a planned transfer from reserves of £56,000 to fund specific posts and issues arising as a result of the introduction of the Housing Act.

 

With regards to the Private Sector Housing budget, as part of the Initial Revenue Budget Proposals 2018/19 report which was approved by Cabinet on 20th November, 2017, an underspend of £570,000 was projected on the Council Tax Reduction Scheme, due to a lower than anticipated take up.  It was approved that this sum be transferred into reserves.  Therefore, the Private Sector Housing budget was on profile for November 2017 and a balanced budget was forecast at year end.

 

The allocation of £2.169m represented the Vale of Glamorgan’s budget for its share of the Shared Regulatory Services (SRS).  A separate set of accounts was maintained for the SRS and periodically reported to the Shared Regulatory Services Joint Committee.  The officer advised that at this stage in the year it was anticipated that the SRS budget would outturn on target. 

 

The Youth Offending Service budget was currently anticipated to outturn on target at year end.

 

The Finance Support Manager advised that no savings targets had been allocated to services that fell under the Committee’s remit. 

 

Appendix 2 of the officer’s report detailed financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 30th November, 2017.  There were no amendments to the Capital Programme for the period ended 30th November, 2017.

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the position with regard to the 2017/18 revenue and capital monitoring be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

That Scrutiny Committee is aware of the position with regard to the 2017/18 revenue and capital budgets.

 

 

607     QUARTER 2 (2017-18) PERFORMANCE REPORT: AN INCLUSIVE AND SAFE VALE (DEH) –

 

The Head of Housing and Building Services presented the performance results for Quarter 2, 1st April – 30th September, 2017 for the Corporate Plan Well-being Outcome 1, “An Inclusive and Safe Vale” and its two objectives: 

  • Reducing poverty and social exclusion;
  • Providing decent homes and safe communities. 

The officer began by passing on the apologies of the Director of Environment and Housing and advised that the report was a continuation of the Quarter 1 report provided by the Director in September 2017. 

 

An overall Amber RAG status had been attributed to Well-being Outcome 1, “An Inclusive and Safe Vale”, to reflect the progress made towards achieving improved outcomes for residents and Council customers during the quarter. 

 

In respect of Corporate Plan Actions, slippage (Red RAG status) was reported on one action relating to working with partners to instigate a new Council house building programme.  The officer advised that underperformance would be addressed by the end of the financial year and the delay had been caused due to the quality of initial tenders received. A tender for 11 properties at the Holm View site had been advertised, however, the Council was unable to mitigate the financial risks of the local companies who responded.  This resulted in a second tender process taking place which was an additional three to four month delay.  Officers had now been able to recommend a suitable developer and a report was due for Cabinet in February 2018. 

 

Additionally, the Corporate Plan action “Complete the delivery of the Council Housing Improvement Programme by 2017”, was also showing an Amber status.  The officer advised the Committee that the delivery of the Council Housing Improvement Programme and Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) were being processed towards the completion deadline.  Whilst the schemes existed as separate actions they were interlinked, therefore, the slipped timescales in completing the WHQS work had had a knock-on effect on the delivery of the Council Housing Improvement Programme.  Whilst internal WHQS works were largely complete, significant delays in completion of external works had occurred due to on site ecology related issues resulting in the slippage of the actions. 

 

In response to the Chairman’s question about a completion date, the Head of Housing and Building Services advised that WHQS works were on track for completion by 31st March, 2018.

 

In terms of performance indicators, there were three measures that did not meet target this quarter and these related to: 

  • The percentage of domestic abuse victims that report that they feel safer as a result of target hardening;
  • The percentage of housing stock where work that meets the WHQS had been completed; and
  • The percentage of tenants that were satisfied with the outcome of an anti-social behaviour complaint.  

During Quarter 2, key areas of progress had included the development and roll out of the Community Mapping Toolkit; continued improvements made to the average number of calendar days taken to deliver a Disabled Facilities Grant (which now exceeded targeted performance) and Cabinet’s endorsement of Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance following consultation.

 

Further improvements had been made this quarter in relation to the average number of working days taken to let an empty property with performance improving from 36.4 days in Quarter 2, 2016/17, to 18.38 days this quarter.  This improvement turnaround date was down to the daily monitoring of ready to let properties and the weekly meetings between housing and building maintenance staff to ensure the Council provided decent homes to those in need as quickly as possible. 

 

A Member drew the officer’s attention to the service action HS/A046: Develop an asset management / investment strategy for Council owned homes and advised that he regarded it as a “soft target”, in comparison to other targets, that could be more easily developed by staff however; there was no mention of a delivery by date. 

 

In response, the officer advised that there had been a greater focus on WHQS works for officers which had left little time for strategy development.  However, a draft strategy was in place that required further consultation.  The actions that would be informed by the strategy were already being implemented as part of the Housing Business Plan, which would be finalised towards the end of January 2018.  As an, Operational Delivery Plan would be of interest to Members when considering staff time and resources. 

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the performance results and progress towards achieving key outcomes in line with the Corporate Plan Well-being Outcome 1 – “An Inclusive and Safe Vale” be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the performance results and remedial actions to be taken to address areas of under-performance and to tackle the key challenges identified be noted.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To ensure the Council clearly demonstrates the progress being made towards achieving its Corporate Plan Well-being Outcomes aimed at making a positive difference to the lives of Vale of Glamorgan citizens.

 

(2)       To ensure the Council is effectively assessing its performance in line with the requirement to secure continuous improvement outlined in the Local Government Measure (Wales) 2009 and reflecting the requirement of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act that it maximises its contribution to achieving the well-being goals for Wales.

 

 

608     THE CIVIL PROTECTION UNIT – RESPONSIBILITIES AND WORK PLAN (DEH) –

 

The Principal Civil Protection Officer presented the report to advise Committee of the responsibilities of the Council’s Civil Protection Unit (CPU) and to detail the current work plan following a recommendation made and approved by the Committee in September 2017.

 

The officer began by highlighting that the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 placed a statutory duty on Category 1 and Category 2 responders.  Local Authorities were Category 1 responders under this provision and had a duty to:

 

a)        Assess the risk of emergencies occurring and use this to inform contingency   planning;

b)        Put in place emergency plans;

c)         Put in place Business Continuity Management arrangements;

d)        Put in place arrangements to make information available to the public about civil protection matters and maintain arrangements to warn, inform and advise the public in the event of an emergency;

e)        Share information with other local responders to enhance co-ordination;

f)         Co-operate with other local responders to enhance co-ordination and efficiency; and

g)        Provide advice and assistance to businesses and voluntary organisations about business continuity management.

 

The CPU ensured that the Council fulfilled the above duties and worked closely with Category 2 responders such as utility companies.   Currently, the Principal Civil Protection Officer was the sole member of the CPU.

 

The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 equally placed duties on the emergency services; health organisations and Natural Resources Wales as they were all Category 1 responders.

 

The officer apprised the Committee of the South Wales Local Resilience Forum (SWLRF).  The Forum ensured co-operation and information sharing amongst responders and set strategic direction across the South Wales region for its multi-agency members.  The Forum was chaired by the Assistant Chief Constable of the South Wales Police and the Vice Chair was the Director of Environment and Housing, Vale of Glamorgan Council.  The SWLRF Business Plan 2016-19 was attached at Appendix C of the officer’s report.

 

The Forum also had a SWLRF Co-ordinator hosted by the Vale of Glamorgan Council; this post was funded from all Category 1 responders of SWLRF.  The Principal Civil Protection Officer was responsible for line management of this role.  The new SWLRF Co-ordinator took up her post in November 2017, this post had been vacant since February 2017 and the CPU had acted as the interim co-ordinator to ensure that the SWLRF could function and there was continuity. 

 

The SWLRF had a number of sub-groups looking at various issues such as mass fatalities; training and exercises; recovery plans; flooding; warning and informing; risk; infectious disease, etc.  Officers from all Local Authority emergency planning units shared representation and played a leading role in the activities of these sub-groups.

 

In referring to the report appendices, the officer advised that the CPU had an Emergency Plan Review Framework to ensure that plans were reviewed on a regular basis (Appendix A) and also a Team Plan 2016-2020 (Appendix B).

 

In the event of an emergency or incident the CPU was the single point of contact and co-ordinated the Council's response.  The CPU had a duty officer on call 24/7 out of hours. Notable recent events included the NATO visit, the Champions League Final and more locally the Flooding, Llandow Waste Fires and the rise in the National Threat level to critical.  The team worked closely with partner organisations to ensure that the Council was represented and that the impact of the emergency / incident was resolved as soon as practicable with minimum disruption to communities.

 

Having regard to the above, the officer added that the CPU integrated with the Highways team within Visible Services during the 'winter' with regards to adverse or severe weather.  This ensured that if the Council encountered a severe weather incident it would prioritise its services to ensure it still delivered these as well as continuing its winter gritting programme, thus ensuring that its roads were usable and safe.  As a recent example, the officer advised the Committee that the emergency room was opened to deal with flooding incidents following a lack of expected snow on 10th December, 2017.

 

The CPU also co-ordinated Stray Horse incidents and had developed the Stray Horse Procedure.  The CPU was the initial point of contact for reports of Traveller Encampments and invoked the procedures with internal staff and external partners.

 

Together with the Council's Community Safety section, the CPU represented the Council on the national CONTEST Strategy, this included: Pursue: to stop terrorist attacks, Prevent: to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism, Protect: to strengthen the Council’s protection against a terrorist attack and Prepare: to mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack.

 

The CPU set up a Building Security group with representatives from all relevant service areas, this group evaluated and implemented improvements on card allocation systems, non-staff access and the security culture.  The CPU had co-ordinated and implemented, with Transact, the new staff ID cards and corporate lanyards to all Council staff and Elected Members.

 

A Member expressed her personal interest in the recent fires at Llandow Industrial Estate and was aware of the great effort taken to eliminate the fire and damage caused.  In light of this, she asked if there were any calculations made to indicate the cost to the Council following an emergency or incident.  If not, these would be of interest to Members in the future. 

 

The Principal Civil Protection Officer advised that calculations had been made following a specific incident in the past, however, these were used specifically to inform a future prevention scheme.  The officer confirmed that public money was not used when dealing with the Llandow incident that the Member referred to specifically and the Silver Command Response Base, ran from the Alps Depot, was already in place to deal with the incident.

 

The Head of Housing and Building Services also added that in previous major incidents, officers had calculated resources in supporting bids for additional funding to Welsh Government.  In the majority of recent incidents however response service costs were covered by the existing service budgets. 

 

A Member asked if Members were included in the debrief discussions that took place following an emergency and / or incident. 

 

The Head of Housing and Building Services confirmed that a debrief meeting, following a Silver Command incident, would be attend by operational level officers and Members would be provided with a feedback report once the debrief process was complete. 

 

A Member thanked the Principal Civil Protection Officer for her detailed report and also for the excellent and informative ‘Smart and Safe Working’ Member development sessions offered previously.

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the Civil Protection Unit’s responsibilities and work plan be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To ensure that Members of the Committee are aware of the responsibilities of the Unit and of the arrangements in place to assist the Council in meetings it legal obligations.

 

 

609     3RD QUARTER SCRUTINY DECISION TRACKING OF RECOMMENDATIONS AND UPDATED WORK PROGRAMME SCHEDULE 2017/18 (MD) –

 

Members were advised of progress in relation to the Scrutiny Committee’s recommendations and asked to confirm the updated work programme schedule for 2017/18.

 

The Scrutiny Support Officer drew the Committee’s attention to the two ongoing items contained in Appendix A of the report.  Committee was advised that these recommendations were being monitored and it was deemed by the Chairman most appropriate if the items be considered at the same time that relevant reports / strategies were brought to future Committee meetings.

 

With regard to the forward work programme attached at Appendix B to the report, the Scrutiny Support Officer also advised Committee that items would be included for the April Committee meeting recently scheduled and approved by the Chairman for Wednesday 18th April, 2018.

 

Also, that due to a technical error in uploading performance data by the Youth Justice Board, the Youth Offending Service (YOS) Mid Year Performance Monitoring Report would slip to April on the forward work programme.

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the status of actions listed in Appendix A to the report be approved and the following actions deemed completed:

 

tracking

11 October 2017

Min. No. 370 – Tenant   Engagement Strategy (REF) – Recommended

(1)   That the draft Tenant Engagement Strategy   be endorsed as a working document with further consideration given to the   following Member comments:

  •   That Members be encouraged to attend their local Tenant Working Groups   to enhance communication between tenants and local councillors and to provide   feedback to the Tenant Working Groups on matters that have been considered by   the Council.
  •   That innovative technology/software such as Hwb and Office 365 (on the   Cloud) be considered by officers to engage with young people at a much   younger age which will ease engagement opportunities and increase results in   the long term future.
  •   That partnership working is established with the Youth Forum, the new   apprentice within the Housing Services Department and individual school   councils to create stronger links with young people and to combat apathy   amongst young people.
  •   That greater consideration is given to communication methods between   tenants, Members and officers so more effective lines of communication can be   established and that any staff changes are brought to Member attention so a   more accurate source of support is established.

Cabinet,   on 6th November, 2017, resolved

(1)   That the   contents of the report and the comments of the Scrutiny Committee (Homes and   Safe Communities) be noted and considered alongside the ongoing broader   consultation with all Vale Council tenants and existing Residents' Boards.   265

(2)   That a future report on the final version   of the Tenant Engagement Strategy be provided for the approval of Cabinet on   conclusion of the broader consultation exercise.

(Min.   No. C121 refers)

Completed

08 November 2017

Min. No. 450 – CCTV   Provision Within the Vale of Glamorgan (DEH) – Recommended

(2)   That the incident statistics for October   2017 be provided to the Committee Members following the Committee meeting.

E-mailed to Committee   Members by Democratic Services Officer on 15th November, 2017.

Completed

Min. No. 451 – Customer   Service Strategy (Housing) – Six Monthly Monitoring Report (DEH) – Recommended

(2)   That the dates for future Estate Walkabout   Events be provided to Committee Members.

(3)   That previously published and future   tenant newsletter editions be uploaded to MemberNet.

(2)   E-mailed to Committee Members by   Democratic Services Officer on 15th November, 2017.

Completed

(3)   Newsletters uploaded to MemberNet.

Completed

Min. No. 452 –  2nd Quarter Scrutiny Decision   Tracking of Recommendations and Updated Work Programme Schedule 2017/18 (MD)   –   Recommended

(2)   That the changes to the forward work   programme as suggested by the Chairman and noted above be approved and once   made, the work programme be uploaded to the Council’s website.

[Presentation from the Principal Community   Safety Officer entitled “Prevention of Terrorism” under January 2018 and that   the invitation to Llamau be set for the same month.]

Forward work programme   amended and uploaded to the Council’s website. 

Completed

06 December 2017

Min. No. 516 – Youth Offending Service – Report re   Impact of Vale of Glamorgan Court Closure (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That the report and Scrutiny Committee’s   concerns be referred to Cabinet.

(3)   That a request be made of Cabinet for a   letter to be sent to the Ministry of Justice outlining the concerns of the   impact of the Vale of Glamorgan Court closure for service users.

Cabinet, on 18th   December, 2017, resolved that

the contents of the report   be noted and the Cabinet Member for Learning and Culture write to the   Ministry of Justice outlining the impact of the Vale of Glamorgan Court   Closure on service users, as set out in the reference from the Homes and Safe   Communities Scrutiny Committee.

(Min. No. C173 refers)

Completed

 

(2)       T H A T the items addressed by the Scrutiny Support Officer above be amended on the forward work programme as approved by the Chairman and the work programme be uploaded to the Council’s website.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To maintain effective tracking of the Committee’s recommendations.

 

(2)       For information.