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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 13 January, 2014

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety

 

Supporting People Local Commissioning Plan 2014 - 2017

Purpose of the Report

1.         To adopt the draft Supporting People Local Commissioning Plan 2014 - 2017 and seek authorisation for its submission to the Regional Collaborative Committee for the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff.

2.         To update Cabinet on the budget savings identified to meet the cuts in the Council's Supporting People Programme Grant for 2014/15 and 2015/16.

Recommendation

1.         THAT the Supporting People Local Commissioning Plan 2014 - 2017 be approved and Cabinet agrees to its submission to the Regional Collaborative Committee for the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff.

Reason for the Recommendation

1.         To ensure that the Council complies with the requirements of the Supporting People Programme Grant (SPPG) Guidance (Wales) July 2012 (updated June 2013).

 

Background

3.         The Supporting People (SP) programme is the policy and funding framework for delivering housing related support to vulnerable people in different types of accommodation and across all tenures.

4.         The programme contributes to meeting the aims of 'Improving Lives and Communities - Homes in Wales' the National Housing Strategy and the ten year Homelessness Plan, with a strong emphasis on the prevention of homelessness. Its importance is also recognised in the first Housing (Wales) Bill launched by Welsh Government in November 2013, which takes forward the proposals set out in the Housing White Paper (Homes for Wales) published in 2012.

5.         At a local level the programme takes forward a number of strategic aims, reflecting Community Safety and Health and Social Care and Wellbeing objectives. It aims to deliver high quality and strategically planned housing-related support services that are cost effective, complement existing services and provide service users with the best possible outcomes.

6.         In accordance with the Welsh Government Guidance for Supporting People, all Local Authorities are required to develop a three year Local Commissioning Plan, which must be submitted to the Regional Collaborative Committee for the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff and Welsh Government by 31st January 2014.

7.         The development and coordination of the Local Commissioning Plan was undertaken by the Supporting People Local Planning Group (SPLPG) as required by Welsh Government. Membership of the SPLPG is made up of Officers from the Housing Division, Social Services Department, the Wales Probation Service, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and the Voluntary Sector (the Vale Housing and Homelessness Forum).

8.         The SPLPG met on five occasions to agree the information and priorities to be included in the Local Commissioning 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

9.         Attached at Appendix 1 is a copy of the Local Commissioning Plan 2014 - 2017.

10.      Following the announcement of the Welsh Governments draft budget in October 2013, local authorities received notification of their amended indicative Supporting People Programme Grant for 2014/15 and 2015/16. The impact in the Vale of Glamorgan were reductions in funding of £91,912.30 in 2014/15 (from £3,773,446.27 to £3,681,533.97) and £262,365.87 in 2015/16 (from £3,911,318.27 to £3,648.952.40) when compared to the earlier indicative budget notification received, which showed growth for the periods.

11.      In order to mitigate the impact of these budget cuts and to continue to develop two new planned services identified in the Local Commissioning Plan for 2013-2014 for which the capital funding had already been identified, Officers undertook individual meetings with all service providers. Discussions focused on where savings could be made to existing service costs such as reducing organisations central charges, potential increases in the staff: client ratios and the potential capacity in services to support additional service users. In addition, an all Wales benchmarking exercise was undertaken on the housing related support costs of long term supported accommodation services that are jointly funded with Social Services Departments.

12.      This work has resulted in sufficient savings being identified to meet the budget cuts in 2014/15 and 2015/16 (as not all of the expected growth in the budget in 2015/16 had yet been allocated) with no adverse impact on front line support services or service users. These savings are list on page 20 of the Local Commissioning Plan along with the additional number of new service users that will be supported from April 2014. Discussions are also continuing with some support providers to release additional savings and any underspend will be used to commission new service priorities from the list identified on pages 17 and 18 of the Plan.

13.      In addition, the two new services that were identified as a priority in the Local Commissioning Plan 2013-2014 continue to be developed. A twenty-four hour supported housing project for young and vulnerable people is due for completion in April 2014 and a housing related floating support service for the 42 unit extra care scheme will be in place to undertake pre-tenancy work with the new tenants prior to it opening in July 2014

14.      The main issues from this new three year Plan for 2014 -2017 in respect of the development and provision of supported accommodation services for the Vale of Glamorgan are outlined below.

15.      An assessment of the support needs of 591 individuals who have contacted the Housing Division and other voluntary and statutory sector agencies in 2012/13 has been undertaken and through this 'self-assessment' process 94.0% of these identified a support need. The most important serious issues self selected by clients are homeless/potentially homeless and mental health issues.

16.      A total of 2,612 units of support funded by Supporting People have been mapped throughout the County. The current supply of services in the Vale shows that there are high levels of support for older people and moderate numbers for people with mental health issues and learning disabilities. There are lower levels of support specifically for clients who are homeless or potentially homeless, those with physical mobility issues, the young and vulnerable, those with alcohol or drug issues, those that have suffered domestic abuse or who are in danger of suffering domestic abuse, ex-offenders and those with a chronic illness. This information is detailed in Graph 1 below.

Graph 1: Data on Clients Needs identified 2012/13 compared to the Supply of Services funded through the Supporting People Programme apart from Older People due to high levels of services and no unmet need.

 

 supporting people-graph

 

 

17.      The SPLPG has determined that from the needs analysis, that under the Supporting People Programme the highest priority is to develop a floating support service for clients with mental health issues in partnership with Health. All of the new service priorities identified 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.

18.      The total annual revenue costs of the new support services identified in the Local Commissioning Plan is estimated to be in the region of £655,000. There would also be a capital funding requirement 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 continue to try to address with our partners and Welsh Government.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

19.      There are no direct resource implications associated with this report. All funding requirement identified for resourcing under the Supporting People Programme is financed through grant funding from Welsh Government.

20.      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 Welsh Government 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 Supporting People was introduced in 2003 and the recent commitment made by the Welsh Housing Minister to protect the budget, which resulted in a much lower budget cut than expected. There is also a requirement on the Supporting People Team in the Council 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, the projects are monitored by the Team to ensure that they continue to provide the appropriate support to vulnerable people and are value for money.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

21.      None.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

22.      The development and publication of the three year Supporting People Local Commissioning Plan is a requirement of Welsh Government to comply with the Supporting People Programme Grant (SPPG) Guidance (Wales).

Crime and Disorder Implications

23.      The development of good quality housing related support 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 also have a beneficial impact upon reducing crime and disorder in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

24.      The adoption of the Local Commissioning 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

25.      This report is consistent with the Corporate Objective of the Council:

To work with partners to meet the diverse needs of our residents in ways that will safeguard and support those who are the most vulnerable and in greatest need; help people to keep fit and healthy; and increase social cohesion and equality of opportunity for all.

Policy Framework and Budget

26.      This report is consistent with the Policy Framework and Budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

28.      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.

29.      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

30.      Housing and Public Protection.

Background Papers

(i) Welsh Government Document - Supporting People Programme Grant (SPPG) Guidance (Wales) July 2012 (updated June 2013).

 

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

 

Contact Officer

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

 

Officers Consulted

Clive Teague, Head of Financial Services

Mike Walsh, Legal Services

 

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter - Director of Visible Services and Housing

 

 

 

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