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SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION)

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 16th January, 2013.

 

Present: Councillor Mrs. M.R. Wilkinson (Chairman); Councillor Mrs. C.L. Curtis (Vice-Chairman); Councillors R.J. Bertin, J. Drysdale, Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, R.P. Thomas, A.C. Williams and E. Williams.

 

Also present: Messrs. G. Amos, J. Farrington, B. Fisher and Mrs. D. Hill (Tenant Working Group).

 

 

741     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE -

 

These were received from Councillors Mrs. A.J. Moore and Ms. R.F. Probert.

 

 

742     MINUTES -

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 6th December, 2012 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

743     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

744     REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL 2012 TO 30TH NOVEMBER 2012 (DDS AND DVSH) –

 

The Revenue Budget and projected outturn for 2012/13 was set out in Appendix 1 to the report.  The Public Sector Housing (HRA) was predicted to outturn on target with a favourable variance of £134,000 against the profiled budget.  The variance was made up of an adverse variance on housing repairs demand led responsive maintenance service of £65,000 which had been offset by favourable variances on Salaries £40,000, Income £28,000, Premises Costs £21,000, Transport £9,000 and other Supplies and Services £101,000.

 

As for the General Fund Housing, this was currently showing a favourable variance of £11,000 on Supplies and Services but was expected to outturn on target.

 

Both Private Sector Housing and Public Protection were predicted to outturn on target.

 

Appendix 2 detailed financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 30th November 2012.  Variances between actual spend to date and profiled spend related to the following matter:

  • Castleland Renewal Area – loft insulation.

The non-financial information on capital construction schemes with a budget of over £100,000 was set out in Appendix 3 to the report.

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the position with regard to the 2012/13 Revenue and Capital Monitoring be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To apprise Members of the current position with regard to revenue and capital monitoring expenditure.

 

 

745     OPTIONS APPRAISAL FOR LAND IN HOUSING SERVICES (DVSH) –

 

The Committee’s approval was sought to allow officers to explore options to increase the supply of affordable housing in the Vale of Glamorgan by using land owned by the Council’s Housing Service.  The Committee’s agreement was also sought to allow officers to explore opportunities to dispose of small non development land bordering existing properties in order to reduce the financial cost of land maintenance and security on the Housing Revenue Account.

 

The Committee had been informed that in December 2010 the Cabinet had previously agreed to adopt an updated Vale of Glamorgan Local Housing Market Assessment (LHMA).  The updated LHMA identified that there was a critical need for additional affordable housing with a requirement of 915 additional units required per annum.  The LHMA had also identified that the highest need was for social rented units (80%).

 

There was also a combination of other factors such as the ongoing economic crisis and the proposed Welfare Reform Agenda that were likely to place further pressure on the availability of new affordable housing within the Vale of Glamorgan.  The Committee was also informed that there were currently two mechanisms used to deliver affordable housing i.e. Social Housing Grant and Supplementary Planning Guidance for Affordable Housing.  However, the delivery of affordable housing under both these themes had been significantly curtailed due to the impact of the economic recession.

 

The Operational Manager for Public Housing informed the Committee that the Council had a number of varying sized pieces of land or sites suitable for the development of housing which were in the ownership of the Council’s Housing Service.  Land pursuant to Part II of the Housing Act 1985 (the HRA sites) the Council had power pursuant to the Local Government Act 1988: General Consents A & B for Local Authority Assistance for Privately Let Housing 2004 to dispose of land at an undervalue to a Registered Social Landlord for the purpose of development as housing accommodation provided the benefit did not exceed £2m. in any financial year. 

 

The Council also owned small pieces of land bordering existing properties which were not suitable for development but were a continuing financial burden on the Council due to the ongoing maintenance and security costs.  It was noted that the Council received regular enquiries from residents of neighbouring properties who wished to acquire such areas of land to increase the curtilage of their properties. 

 

Accordingly, it was proposed subject to the Cabinet’s approval, that the Housing Service undertakes an exercise to identify all sites in its ownership suitable for affordable housing development or disposal and to provide a further report on options for the Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet to consider.

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the contents of the report be endorsed and that the matter be referred to the Cabinet for further consideration.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To allow the Cabinet to give consideration on an options appraisal for land in the ownership of the Council’s Housing Service.

 

 

746     SUPPORTING PEOPLE REGIONAL COLLABORATIVE COMMITTEE (DVSH) –

 

The Committee was updated on the progress made to date in regard to the development of the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Regional Collaborative Committee (RCC) for Supporting People.  Attached at Appendix A to the report were the minutes of the first meeting of the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff RCC which had been held on 7th November 2012 with it being noted that the Committee was to be chaired by the Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety for the current municipal year.

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted and endorsed and be referred for Cabinet for further consideration.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To apprise the Cabinet of progress made to date in developing the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Regional Collaborative Committee for Supporting People.

 

 

747     SMOKE ALARMS AND FIRE SAFETY PROVISION IN BLOCKS OF FLATS (DVSH) –

 

All Council properties currently conformed to Building Regulations at the time of construction and the introduction of new regulations rarely required retrospective works to be undertaken unless there was a significant alteration to any property.  In addition, the Council did not install smoke alarms in any of its communal areas, except for sheltered housing schemes, nor did it have interlinked property alarms within blocks of flats.

 

Advice and guidance from the Local Authority Co-ordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS) had been adopted by all authorities in Wales and the Welsh Fire and Rescue Service and referred to fire protection, including automatic fire detection systems in all types of properties from single dwellings to houses in multiple occupation.

 

Following a recent fire at the property in Court Road, Barry, the leaseholder had made a request for the Council to install linked smoke alarms at the property.

 

The Committee was informed by the Operational Manager for Public Housing that the properties in Court Road, like the majority of Council owned flats, were purpose built properties containing two flats without a common part and therefore they would be considered as two single dwellings and not a house in multiple occupation.  The Committee was also advised that the original construction of the properties in Court Road had integral concrete floors, building compartmentation and separate accesses.  This would therefore provide at least one hour of protection which would allow sufficient time for the Fire Service to attend any fire.   The Fire Safety (Regulatory Reform) Order 2005 would apply to properties of the type at Court Road but as there were no common parts, the Fire Service would have no powers to deal with the property under the auspices of the above Order. In addition, all Council owned flats benefitted from the installation of hard wired smoke alarms which complied with the above Regulation.  In addition, all smoke alarms in the Council’s elderly persons’ accommodation were linked to the VCAS service via the existing emergency alarm service.

 

The Operational Manager indicated that where common parts did exist the Council, in compliance with the relevant legislation, had a responsibility to inspect every communal area and where necessary develop improvement plans where risk assessments had highlighted via fire safety risks.  In some instances, particularly in some construction types, i.e. high rise developments, these had been undertaken jointly with fire officers from the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.  Where risks had been identified as high priorities these had been addressed and in other circumstances these would be addressed via amendments to specifications, WHQS improvements or future work programmes.  There were no urgent recommendations to install linked property fire alarms, within the Council’s existing properties, other than consideration when replacing the existing communal alarm system at Awbery House (high rise flats), nor were there any outstanding enforcement notices concerning compliance with the Fire Safety (Regulatory Reform) Order 2005.

 

Taking account of the above factors and in the absence of legal or statutory requirements to do so, the linking of smoke alarms in this case was not identified as a priority within the Council’s current 30 year business plan.

 

Having regard to the above, it was

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T Cabinet be requested to give consideration to installing linked smoke alarms in Council owned flats when replacement of the existing smoke alarm systems was required.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To improve fire safety in Council owned flats including communal areas.

 

 

748     INTERIM REVIEW OF THE HOMES4U ALLOCATION POLICY (DVSH) –

 

The Committee was apprised of the proposed alterations to the Council’s existing HOMES4U policy to mitigate some of the potential adverse impacts as a result of the forthcoming Housing Benefit reforms under the UK Government’s Welfare Reform Agenda.

 

The Operational Manager for Public Housing informed the Committee that a draft version of the report had been considered and approved by the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) Welfare Reform Task and Finish Group.

 

The objective of the proposed alterations to the existing Policy was to prioritise existing tenants that were likely to be adversely affected by the Accommodation Cap under the welfare changes.  Committee noted that there were currently over 600 households that would be adversely affected by the reforms and this was therefore likely to result in significant financial hardship in most cases.  The report also detailed a breakdown by residents who were likely to be affected as a consequence of the introduction of the accommodation cap. 

 

The amendments in essence would allow properties to be advertised more clearly, and ensure that applicants were placed in accommodation that they were able to afford and were suitable for the size of their family in line with the new guidelines.  These changes would also be reflected in the HOMES4U Allocation matrix which set out what types of properties applicants would be considered for, details of which were appended to the report.

 

The proposed amendments related to the following matters:

  • additional preference to be awarded for those tenants under occupying accommodation, on a discretionary basis in addition to the GOLD priority banding
  • additional preference given to existing tenants who were lacking a bedroom, on a discretionary basis, where a move to a larger property would not conflict with the reforms
  • changes made to the HOMES4U Allocation matrix to ensure applicants were only considered for properties that were suitable in line with the reforms.

Allied to the above issues, a Local Lettings Policy would take account of all new developments in partnership with Housing Associations with preference given to existing tenants and those under occupying their current accommodation.

 

As a result of the welfare reforms there would also be a greater emphasis on mutual exchanges to allow existing tenants to source more suitable properties across the HOMES4U partnership.  Officers would promote, source and actively manage mutual exchanges for the benefit of tenants in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

The Committee was reminded of a number of joint working initiatives with Housing Benefits and with the existing HOMES4U partnership organisations attempting to minimise the impact of the reforms and ensuring that consistent and timely information was provided in a variety of formats including open day events, distribution of leaflets, letters, home visits, improved money advice and amendments to the existing web pages for both the Council and housing associations.  All these facets were being overseen and scrutinised by the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) Welfare Reform Task and Finish Group. 

 

The Operational Manager also made reference to the proposed introduction of the Universal Credit which would also have a potential adverse impact on individuals as they were expected to manage their own benefits and expenditure entirely for the first time as opposed to the housing benefit paid directly to the landlord.  The introduction of such measures had the potential to see an increase in rent arrears which may peak during the next financial year.  It was anticipated that the increase required in the Council’s Provision for Doubtful Debts had been estimated at £170,000 for the financial year 2013/14. 

 

Having regard to the above and related issues it was

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the proposed alterations to the Council’s HOMES4U policy be endorsed and be recommended to the Cabinet for approval.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To prioritise tenants adversely affected by the Accommodation Cap and other Welfare Reform changes to transfer to smaller properties which were suitable for the needs, but also affordable.

 

 

749     UPDATE ON THE PROGRESS OF THE GOBAITH UNIT FOR PROLIFIC AND PRIORITY OFFENDER UNIT (DDS) –

 

The Committee was apprised by the Head of Public Protection of the progress of the work carried out by the Gobaith Unit for Prolific and Priority Offenders (PPO) and the new Integrated Offender Management (IOM) Service.

 

The Gobaith Unit had worked with 42 prolific offenders since its launch in 2010.  Successful outcomes had been the completion of drug intervention programmes, completion of curfew and the ongoing willingness to engage and seek support from partner agencies.  Developments had also seen the establishment of an IOM Unit within the Vale of Glamorgan following the launch of the Wales-wide IOM scheme in Wales in 2011.  It was noted that the new IOM Unit was located at Barry Police Station.

 

The IOM Cymru Board was currently developing a performance management framework for all IOM Units across Wales.  This framework would be based upon the Results Based Accountability and the performance measures would be reported via Ffynnon and included in future performance reports for consideration by the Scrutiny Committee.

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the contents of the report be noted and the future impact the Gobaith Unit had made in supporting Prolific and Priority Offenders be reported within the Annual Community Safety Report in the future.

 

(2)       T H A T the progress of the IOM Service within the Vale of Glamorgan be reported within the Annual Community Safety Report in the future.

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1&2)  To enable the Committee to review the role of the Gobaith Unit and IOM Service.

 

 

750     REPORT ON THE COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES CONDUCTED IN 2012 USING “THE REASSURANCE ENGAGEMENT VEHICLE” (TREV) (DDS) –

 

The above vehicle had been used in 130 community activities since its launch in April 2011.  The activities had been attended by staff from the Safer Vale, Youth Service, Communities First, Vale of Glamorgan Housing Department and partner agencies such as South Wales Police and Atal y Fro.  The range of activities undertaken by the TREV included the following:

  • community events to provide generic community safety advice e.g. Vale Show, Tall Ships Event
  • targeted community safety advice at key times throughout the year e.g. Culverhouse Cross and other shopping areas within the Vale of Glamorgan during Christmas and New Year, Barry Island and the Waterfront prior and during school holidays
  • targeted safety and counselling advice in areas of need e.g. surgeries and information sessions in hot spot locations for anti-social behaviour, information and awareness raising in schools and communities where drug-related litter had been reported
  • inter-generational activities across the Vale of Glamorgan to develop understanding, awareness and community cohesion and
  • targeted advice and support for public sector housing residents in the Vale of Glamorgan.

The Head of Public Protection indicated that the TREV was a successful method of engaging community members and promoting safety.  The vehicle was also non-agency specific, could be used to provide specialist services without singling out a particular street, areas or residents.  The vehicle was also available to use by all Council services on request.

 

The Committee, having considered the report, requested the Head of Public Protection raise awareness of the availability of the facility with all Directors.

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the contents of the report be noted and referred to Cabinet for consideration.

 

(2)       T H A T Directors and Elected Members be encouraged to use the facility to engage rural and urban communities.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To advise the Cabinet of work carried out by the TREV.

 

(2)       To raise awareness of the facility and to ensure that it was appropriately utilised.

 

 

751     GUIDANCE AND PRIORITIES FOR THE ADAPTATION OF HOMES OF PEOPLE WITH IMPAIRMENTS (DDS) –

 

The Committee considered proposed Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptation of Homes of People with Impairments which was set out in Appendix 1 to the report.  The aim of the document was to:

  • provide a consistent approach across all cases and enhance quality control
  • provide information to the public to ensure the Council’s decisions on eligible grant funded work were transparent
  • set out a detailed appeals procedure for service users who were not happy with a decision made on eligible grant funded work and
  • help reduce the overall cost of major adaptations to enable the Council to manage pressures on the service.

The Committee was informed that the guidance would be used by the Occupational Therapist and the Disabled Facilities Team when determining what work would be eligible for grant assistance.  In addition, the guidance would also be made available to the public to help understanding on the decisions made regarding eligible works.

 

It was proposed that any future changes to the document would be made by the Director of Development Services and the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety as necessary and appropriate.

 

Certain Members of the Committee referred to the report being considered at an earlier meeting of the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) on 14th January 2013 when, at that time, the Committee had recommended that the proposed delegation to the Director of Development Services and the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety be extended to include both the Cabinet Members for Adult Services and Children’s Services. 

 

Discussion ensued regarding certain aspects of the proposed guidance and priorities.  The Committee also expressed their appreciation and thanks to officers in regard to improved performance in the time to deliver a DFG from the first point of contact to completion of the work. 

 

Having regard to the above and related issues, it was

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptation of Homes of People with Impairments be endorsed and referred to Cabinet for consideration.

 

(2)       T H A T, subject to the Cabinet’s approval, the Scrutiny Committee endorses the principle that the Director of Development Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety, being granted delegated power to review and make changes to the Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptation of Homes of People with Impairments document as appropriate.

 

(3)       T H A T the Scrutiny Committee supports the views expressed by the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) at its meeting held on 14th January 2013, that the delegation referred to in Recommendation (2) above being extended to include both the Cabinet Members for Adult Services and Children’s Services.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To allow for Cabinet to give further consideration to the matter.

 

(2)       Subject to the Cabinet’s approval, to enable the guidance document to be amended quickly due to new legislation, case law, guidance, best practice and Local Government Ombudsman and similar rulings.

 

(3)       To support the stance taken by the relevant Scrutiny Committee.

 

 

752     SCRUTINY DECISION TRACKING OF RECOMMENDATIONS (DR) –

 

The report detailed progress in respect of uncompleted recommendations made by the Scrutiny Committee for the financial year 2010/11 (Appendix A); the financial year 2011/12 (Appendix B); the second quarter July to September 2012 (Appendix C) and the third quarter October to December 2012 (Appendix D).

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the following actions detailed below be accepted as completed:

 

09 February 2011

Min. No. 891 - Gobaith - Dedicated Unit for Prolific and Priority Offenders (DLPPHS) – Recommended

(2)   That regular progress reports be submitted to on the development and impact that the Gobaith Service had in relation to reducing crime and disorder committed by Prolific and Priority Offenders and supporting the lifestyle change.

 

  

(2)   Draft report prepared presented earlier in the meeting.

Completed

06 April 2011

Min. No. 1101 - The Reassurance Engagement Vehicle - TREV (DLPPHS) – Recommended

(1)   That the report be noted and that the development and impact that TREV had in relation to engaging with members of the public and reducing the fear of crime be monitored by the Scrutiny Committee.

 

 

(1)   Report prepared and presented earlier in the meeting.

Completed

10 October 2012

Min. No. 418 - Gambling Act 2005 Statement of Principles (REF) – Recommended that the Licensing Committee be requested to ensure that when the Council’s Statement of Principles in regard to the Gambling Act 2005 were published on the Council’s website this document be accompanied with appropriate information warning the public of the potential consequences of participating in gambling related activities.

  

Licensing Committee, on 6th November 2012, resolved that the establishment of a link on the Council’s website to organisations associated with this matter be supported (Min. No. 492 refers).

Completed

Min. No. 420 - Draft Alcohol Strategy 2012 – 15 (DDS) – Recommended

(1)   That the draft Alcohol Strategy for 2012-15 be endorsed and referred to Cabinet for approval.

 

(2)   That the Scrutiny Committee receive regular updates on progress of work against the Strategy within future Community Safety reports.

 

 

(1)   Cabinet, on 5th November 2012, approved the Strategy (Min. No. C1885 refers).

Completed

(2)   Cabinet, on 5th November 2012, resolved that regular updates on progress of work against the Strategy within future Community Safety reports be received (Min. No. C1885 refers).

Completed

Min. No. 421 - Tenant Participation Strategy 2012 – 15 Action Plan (DVSH) – Recommended

(2)   That it be recommended to Cabinet to expedite appropriate training opportunities for all tenant representatives as soon as practicable. 

 

 

(2)   Cabinet, on 5th November 2012, approved the Committee’s resolution (Min. No. C1888 refers).

Completed

Min. No. 422 - Sustainable Investment - Housing Investment Programme (DVSH) – Recommended

(2)   That it be recommended to Cabinet to initiate further work on sustainability testing and the completion of an options appraisal to include the demolition and rebuild and future accommodation type on the site of Brecon Court, Barry, with the completion of the said appraisal to be determined by the Cabinet.

 

 

 

(3)   That it be recommended to Cabinet that investment in the seven Airey “non traditional dwellings” which had already had structural frame improvement work be progressed, subject to an acceptable scheme being developed at a reasonable cost.  

(4)   That it be recommended to Cabinet to progress an options appraisal in respect of the redevelopment of the five unimproved Airey “non traditional dwellings” in tandem with Recommendation (2) above.

(5)   That it be recommended to Cabinet to defer any decision to place Brecon Court, Barry and the unimproved Airy properties on hold for review on the basis as proposed within the report until the sustainability testing and the completion of options appraisal being undertaken in respect of Recommendations (2) and (4) above.

(6)   That consultation with tenants and stakeholders on the options appraisal and the best way forward be undertaken and, where tenants in the unimproved Airey dwellings had expressed an interest in moving to more suitable housing, these options be progressed.

 

  

(2)   Cabinet, on 5th November 2012, agreed the Committee’s recommendation, with the completion of the said appraisal to be determined by Cabinet in consultation with existing tenants and local Ward Members before any final decisions are made (Min. No. C1886 refers).

Completed

(3-5) Cabinet, on 5th November 2012, approved the Committee’s recommendation (Min. No. C1886 refers).

Completed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(6)   Cabinet, on 5th November 2012, approved the Committee’s recommendation and asked that Local Ward Members and stakeholders be kept informed (Min. No. C1886 refers).

Completed

Min. No. 423 - Welsh Housing Quality Standard Action Plan (Version 16) Housing Revenue Account Asset Management Strategy (DVSH) – Recommended

(2)   That Cabinet be requested to ensure that the Action Plan be reviewed and updated to include, where appropriate, time bound completion dates for related actions.

 

  

 

(2)   Cabinet, on 5th November 2012, approved the Committee’s recommendation (Min. No. C1884 refers).

Completed

Min. No. 424 - Manual on Affordable Housing Provision (DVSH) – Recommended

(1)   That it be recommended to Cabinet that the Affordable Housing Enabler distribute the “Manual for Elected Members” to Vale of Glamorgan Councillors and all Vale of Glamorgan Town and Community Councillors.

 

 

 

(2)   That it be recommended to Cabinet that the Affordable Housing Enabler offer to brief interested Members and Town and Community Councillors on the topic.

(3)   That it be recommended to Cabinet to request that the Affordable Housing Enabler provide an appropriate presentation to the Council’s Community Liaison Committee.

 

  

(1)   Cabinet, on 5th November 2012, agreed the Committee’s recommendation and resolved that the Manual be made available on the Council’s website and all Town and Community Councils be advised of the link on the website (Min. No. C1887 refers)

Completed

(2&3)   Cabinet, on 5th November 2012, agreed the Committee’s recommendation and requested the presentation be provided to other interested parties too (Min. No. C1887 refers).

Completed

Min. No. 426 - Update on the Use of CCTV in the Vale of Glamorgan (MD) (Exempt Information – Paragraph 18) – Recommended

(1)   That Cabinet request the Operational Manager for Customer Relations to prepare an appropriate business case and options for the future operational provision of CCTV in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

 

(2)   That, subject to Recommendation (1) above, a further update report be submitted to the meeting of the Scrutiny Committee in January 2013.

 

 

 

 

(3)   That an annual report on the operational performance of the CCTV service be presented to the Scrutiny Committee for consideration.

 

 

  

(1)   Cabinet, on 5th November 2012, approved the Committee’s recommendation (Min. No. C1889 refers)

Completed

 

(2)   Cabinet, on 5th November 2012, resolved that a further update report be submitted to the meeting of the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) as soon as practicable and then to Cabinet (Min. No. C1889 refers).

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

(3)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

07 November 2012

Min. No. 513 - Section 180 Voluntary Sector Funding Proposals 2012 / 2013 for the Homelessness Service (DVSH) – Recommended

(2)   That Cabinet be requested to approve and authorise the Director of Visible Services and Housing to pay the Section 180 funding allocation to the following organisations:

·        Tabernacle Home Access in the amount of £5,000

·        Llamau’s JIGSO project in the amount of £12,000

·        Llamau’s furniture project in the amount of £6,000.

 

 

 

(2)   Cabinet, at its meeting on 19th November, endorsed the Committee’s recommendations (Min. No. C1900 refers).

Completed

06 December 2012

Min. No. 620 - Initial Revenue Budget Proposals 2013/14 (DDS and DVSH) – Recommended

(2)   That the initial revenue budget proposals for 2013/14 be noted subject to the below cost pressures being prioritised and referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) for consideration:

 

         Priority 1 -        

        PH2 – Welfare Reform – Difference between estimated allowances given by the Authority compared to the amount included in the Revenue Support Grant; potential admin grant reduction; Council Tax relief to over 70s; potential loss on collection in respect of the bills sent to Council Tax benefit claimants

        PH1 – Housing / Council Tax Benefit – Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) – Increase to permissible total (current grant is £100k).  These payments are provided to claimants in need of extra financial assistance on top of their Housing / Council Tax benefit so that they can meet their full rent / Council Tax

        GF1 – General Fund Housing Homelessness – An increase in homeless individuals is anticipated due to tenants falling into arrears on their rent, due to the Welfare Reform and its impact on the reduction of benefits along with the added new responsibilities of the universal credit.

 

 

(2)   Referred to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) meeting on 11 December which noted the Committee’s comments and referred same to Cabinet (Min. No. 647 refers).

Completed

Min. No. 622 - Initial Housing Revenue Account Budget Proposals 2013/2014 and Revised Budget 2012/2013 (DVSH) – Recommended

(2)   That the initial budget proposals for 2013/14 be noted and referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources).

 

 

 

(3)   That a further report be submitted to this Scrutiny Committee regarding the suggested increase for rent and other services once information became available from the WG.

 

 

 

(2)   Referred to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) meeting on 11 December which noted the Committee’s comments and referred same to Cabinet (Min. No. 647 refers).

Completed

(3)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 623 - Funding Arrangements for the Youth Offending Service (DSS) – Recommended that the report be referred to the Cabinet for their attention with a view to Cabinet being requested to write on behalf of the Council to the Minister of Justice and the Youth Justice Board expressing concern regarding the impact of the proposed legislative changes and the ensuing funding implications for the Council's Youth Offending Service.

  

Referred to 14th January 2013 Cabinet meeting.

Completed

 

(2)       T H A T progress against the remaining recommendations identified as ongoing as detailed in the report be noted with the Committee requesting officers to ensure that appropriate progress was indicated within the report other than referred to as “ongoing”. 

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1)       To apprise Members of progress with Scrutiny Committee recommendations.

 

(2)       To ensure that the Committee was provided with timely and relevant information in regard to progressing actions contained within the decision tracking report.

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