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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting 21st September 2011

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety

 

Supporting People Operational Plan 2011/12 - 2012/13

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To adopt the draft Supporting People Operational Plan 2011/12 - 2012/13 and seek authorisation for its submission to the Welsh Government (WG) by September 30th 2011. 

Recommendations

THAT the Supporting People Operational Plan 2011/12 - 2012/13 be approved.

 

THAT Cabinet agree to the use of the urgency procedure under article 13 of the Council Constitution to enable the Supporting People Operational Plan to be submitted to WG by 30th September 2011.

 

THAT the report is referred to the Housing and Public Protection Scrutiny Committee

Reasons for the Recommendations

To ensure the Council complies with the timetable requirements of the Welsh Government.

 

To meet the Welsh Government deadline.

 

For information

 

Background

2.             Supporting People is the policy and funding framework for delivering housing related support to vulnerable people in different types of accommodation and across all tenures. Under the WG guidance to local authorities on 'The arrangements for the implementation and administration of Supporting People in Wales' all Councils are required to develop an annual Supporting People Operational Plan (SPOP) for the delivery of supported accommodation services. The guidance sets down the systems and processes that each Council must adopt for the development of its SPOP and Councils are required to submit their Plans to WG by 30th September 2011.

3.             In line with the guidance the Council has established a Supporting People Planning Group (SPPG) to co-ordinate and develop the SPOP. Membership of the SPPG is made up of Officers from the Housing Division, Social Services Department, the Wales Probation Service, the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and the Voluntary Sector (the Vale Housing and Homelessness Forum nominated representative). The role of the Planning group has been to identify service priorities for supported housing in future years based on the detailed assessment of the Individual Needs Assessment Module database, data on support needs collated by other organisations and the Supply Map of existing supported accommodation services.

4.             The SPPG met on five occasions to agree the information and priorities to be included in the Operational Plan. In addition to the core membership, service managers from a range of agencies who work with, and have additional data on, the provision and assessment of alternative housing and support were invited to each Planning Group meeting in order to allow fully informed decisions on the future service priorities to be made.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.             Attached at Appendix A is the Executive Summary of the report and the full draft of the SPOP for 2011/12 – 2012/13 is available in the Members Room. The main issues from the SPOP in respect of the development and provision of supported accommodation services for the Vale of Glamorgan are outlined below.

6.             An assessment of the support needs of 6,608 individuals who have contacted the Housing Division and other voluntary and statutory agencies has been undertaken and through this ‘self assessment’ process 81.3% of these identified a support need. Some 16.97% of these identified mild support needs, 25.79% moderate support needs and 57.24% serious support needs. The most important serious issues self selected by clients are homeless/potentially homeless, mental health, physical mobility, domestic abuse and learning difficulties.

7.             A total of 2,598 units of support have been mapped throughout the County. The current supply of services in the Vale shows that there are high levels of supported accommodation for older people and moderate numbers for people with learning difficulties, mental health issues, and clients who are young and vulnerable. There are lower levels of supported accommodation specifically for clients with a chronic illness, single parents and ex-offenders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.             The Supporting People Planning Group has determined from the needs analysis that under the Supporting People Grant regime there is a priority to develop, amongst others, a second Extra Care Scheme for clients with a physical mobility issue, mental health issue, learning difficulty, chronic illness or a combination of some or all of these problems. A scheme to accommodate 120 households is viewed as a suitable project under this programme, especially for those being discharged from hospital or an institution. There is also a priority to support the expansion of the Telecare service to allow as many people as possible to remain in their own home with sufficient support mechanisms to guarantee their independence and welfare. Finally there is a need to develop floating support and supported housing for clients of different ages jointly funded with community care for clients with various support and care needs.

9.             The Supporting People Planning Group also determined that under the Supporting People Revenue Grant regime, there is a priority to develop supported accommodation for clients under the age of thirty- five who are homeless due to the housing benefit changes being introduced, those with alcohol and drug issues, those that are young and vulnerable, and those who have suffered or are in danger of suffering from domestic abuse. In addition, there is also a need to develop additional floating support provision for various client groups across all tenures. These units would assist people to maintain their home, integrate into the community and have a positive affect on the number of homeless and repeat homeless presentations.

10.        The total annual revenue costs of the new support services identified in the Supporting People Operational Plan is estimated to be in the region of £1.7 million. There would also be capital funding requirements for some of the projects, which have yet to be calculated. There is therefore clearly a mismatch in the Vale in terms of available resources which Housing Services continues to try to address with our partners and WG.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

11.        There are no direct resource implications associated with this report. All funding bids are identified for resourcing under the Supporting People Grant and Supporting People Revenue Grant programmes, which are administered and provided by the Welsh Government.

12.        Supporting People services are currently funded in two different ways: Supporting People Grant (SPG) is paid directly to the Council to fund sheltered housing, elderly people services and some projects jointly funded with Community Care. In 2011/12 the Council will receive around £1.6million from the Welsh Assembly (WG) through this budget, which will fully fund current services.

13.        Supporting People Revenue Grant (SPRG) –funding is paid by the WAG directly to the Accredited Support Provider for each project. It funds all other types of housing related support projects for vulnerable people, which are not covered by the Supporting People Grant. The Vale of Glamorgan Council is an Accredited Support Provider and receives SPRG funding for three of the Council’s own schemes, which in 2011/12 is just over £1 million. There are no cost implications for the Council as the income and expenditure are carefully monitored by the Supporting People Team to ensure that there is no overspend.

14.        In November 2010 a review on Supporting People in Wales was completed. This was commissioned by the Welsh Government and the one recommendation which is being followed was to bring the two funding streams together to constitute a single, unified Supporting People Programme Grant (SPPG) which will be ring fenced and allocated directly to local authorities to fund all of the Supporting people services.

15.        In addition, the report recommended that a distribution formula be introduced in order to distribute Supporting People funding in a more equitable way across all of Wales. The interim formula currently under discussion would mean that the Vale of Glamorgan would receive a small decrease in its funding in the first year, with small increases in funding in subsequent years, but this has not yet been agreed by WG. The Supporting People Team in the Vale has in place a reserve budget built up over several years which will ensure that if a decrease in the budget is imposed by WG for one year, the stability of the services will be maintained and there will not be any financial resource implications for the Council.

16.        It should be noted that the Council has not developed an exit strategy for all supporting people funded services, as the effect of a total loss of funding from WG would affect support services throughout Wales, leading to the closure or severe restrictions to services of voluntary support organisations that are funded in this way. This is an unlikely scenario given that the system was only introduced by WAG in 2003.There is also a requirement on the Supporting People Team to continue, on an annual basis, to ensure that all projects remain strategically relevant to the Council and to reconfigure them if they are no longer required. In addition to this, projects are monitored by the Team to ensure that they continue to provide value for money.

 

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

17.        The development and publication of the Supporting People Operational Plan is a statutory requirement of the Welsh Government under the Homelessness Strategy as set out in the Homelessness Act 2002.

Crime and Disorder Implications

18.        The development of good quality supported housing services will protect and support very vulnerable clients who are likely to be more susceptible to experience crime and disorder difficulties if these projects were not developed. The provision of the services to very vulnerable clients will have a beneficial impact upon reducing crime and disorder in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

19.        The adoption of the Supporting People Operational Plan will do much to improve the quality of life of some of the most socially and economically disadvantaged people in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Corporate/Service Objectives

20.        This report  is consistent with the following Corporate and Service Objectives of the Council:

Health inequalities are reduced and residents are able to access the necessary services, information and advice to improve their wellbeing and quality of life.

Policy Framework and Budget

21.        This report is consistent with the Policy Framework and Budget and is a matter for executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

22.        The Supporting People Operational Plan enshrines the principles of consultation and has been developed through detailed dialogue with service users, service providers, voluntary sector organisations, Housing Associations and statutory agencies.

23.        The prioritisation of future service developments has also been subject to consultation via the Supporting People Liaison Group meetings with service providers, voluntary sector organisations, Housing Associations and statutory agencies.

24.        There has been no individual ward member consultation in respect of this report as it is an issue that affects the whole of the Vale.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

25.        Housing & Public Protection

Background Papers

(i)     Welsh Assembly Governments Guidance to Local Authorities - 'The arrangements for 

        the implementation and administration of Supporting People in Wales'.

 

(ii)    Minutes of the Supporting People Planning Group Meetings.

 

Contact Officer

Pam Toms- Strategy & Supporting people Manager, Housing Services. (01446) 709788

 

Officers Consulted

Not Applicable, a number of Council officers/services were involved in preparing the SPOP.

 

Responsible Officer:

Pam Toms- Strategy & Supporting people Manager, Housing Services. (01446) 709788.