Agenda Item No
The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Cabinet Meeting: 12 January, 2015
Report of the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety
Supporting People Local Commissioning Plan 2015 - 2018
Purpose of the Report
1. To adopt the draft Supporting People Local Commissioning Plan 2015 - 2018 and seek authorisation for its submission to the Regional Collaborative Committee, for the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff.
2. To update Cabinet on the Council's indicative allocation of Supporting People Programme Grant for 2015/16 from Welsh Government.
1. THAT the Supporting People Local Commissioning Plan 2015 - 2018 be approved for submission to the Regional Collaborative Committee, for the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff.
2. THAT the report is referred to the Housing and Public Protection Scrutiny Committee for information.
Reasons for the Recommendations
1. To ensure that the Council complies with the requirements of the Supporting People Programme Grant (SPPG) Guidance (Wales) July 2012 (updated June 2013).
2. For information.
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 Housing (Wales) Act 2014 due for implementation in April 2015.
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 for consideration. The Final Plan must be agreed by Welsh Government and this will be submitted to WG for approval at the end of February 2015.
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 2015 - 2018.
10. Following the announcement of the Welsh Government draft budget in October 2014, local authorities received notification of their indicative Supporting People Programme Grant for 2015/16 on 7th November. The impact in the Vale of Glamorgan is a reduction in funding of £199,859.51 or 5.45% (from £3,666,688.74 in 2014/15 to £3,466,829.23).
11. In order to mitigate the impact of these budget cuts, work has been ongoing by the Supporting People Team to identify possible savings with the aim of minimising the impact on front line services and in turn the very vulnerable service users requiring support in the Vale of Glamorgan.
12. The decisions were made based on the needs mapping information and service priorities and in the knowledge that higher than required savings had already been identified for 14/15 which would in part mitigate the impact of the additional cuts to the Supporting People budget in 2015/16. This approach was endorsed by the Supporting People Local Planning Group and the Regional Collaborative Committee for the Vale of Glamorgan. The analysis and approach taken are outlined on pages twenty to twenty-six of the Local Commissioning Plan attached at Appendix 1. The result is a protected Supporting People budget in the Vale of Glamorgan for 2015/16 with no impact on services. However work will continue on the required changes to subsidy entitlements and the retendering of services in order to identify more savings for subsequent years in line with the Supporting People Guidance issued by Welsh Government.
13. In addition to addressing the approach to be taken to the budget cuts, the Local Commissioning Plan outlines the evidence collected on the support needs of vulnerable people in 2013/14 and the existing services being delivered, in order to evidence their continuation and the decisions on new service priorities for development. Whilst these are outlined below, given cuts to the budget in 2015/16 and the expected future cuts it is very unlikely that any new services will be developed next year.
14. An assessment of the support needs of 468 individuals who have contacted the Housing Division and other voluntary and statutory sector agencies in 2013/14 has been undertaken and through this 'self-assessment' process 99% of these identified that they had a support need. The most important serious issues self selected by clients are homeless/potentially homeless and mental health issues.
15. A total of 2,543 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 difficulties. There are lower levels of support specifically for clients who have a chronic illness, those with alcohol or drug issues and those who have offended or who are in danger of offending. This information is detailed in Graph 1 below.
Graph 1: Data on Clients Needs identified 2013/14 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.
16. The Supporting People Local Planning Group has determined from the needs analysis, that under the Supporting People Programme the highest priority is to develop a twenty-four hour supported housing service for clients with Personality Disorders 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.
17. The total annual revenue requirement for the new support services identified in the Local Commissioning Plan is estimated to be in the region of £364,000. 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)
18. There are no direct resource implications associated with this report. The funding requirement identified for resourcing under the Supporting People Programme is financed through grant funding from Welsh Government.
19. It should be noted that the Council has not developed an exit strategy for 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 the 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 number of people requiring the services is continuing to increase across Wales. It is expected that this trend will continue in the future with the introduction of the changes to the Homelessness Legislation in April 2015 from the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 and the continuing roll out of Universal Credit.
20. 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 provide value for money.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
21. Ensuring that all sectors of the population have access to housing and support builds sustainable and cohesive communities.
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.
25. This report is consistent with the Corporate Objective of the Council.
Vale of Glamorgan residents have access to affordable, good quality suitable housing and housing advice and support.
Policy Framework and Budget
26. This is a matter for Executive decision.
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, registered social landlords 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, registered social landlords 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.
(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 2014/15.
Pam Toms, Strategy & Supporting People Manager, Housing Services. (01446) 709788
Lori Bigglestone, Accountant, Resource Management.
Committee Reports, Legal Services.
Miles Punter, Director of Visible Services and Housing.