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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 23 March, 2015

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

Disabled Facilities Grants Performance Report for Quarter 3 2014-15

Purpose of the Report

1. To set out the Council's performance in delivering Disabled Facilities Grants during quarter 3 of 2014-15 and to report on the progress made in relation to changes in processes that have been introduced recently.

Recommendations

1. That the report on performance in delivering Disabled Facilities Grant during quarter 3 of 2014-15 be noted.

 

2. That the progress made on changes to processes to improve the delivery of Disabled Facilities Grants be noted.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. To apprise Cabinet on the Council's performance delivering Disabled Facilities Grants during quarter 3 of 2014-15.

 

2. To apprise Cabinet of the progress made in improving the Council's delivery of Disabled Facilities Grants.

Background

2. The Council has a statutory duty to consider and approve applications for Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG) where there is an identified need and the property can be reasonably adapted. Disabled Facilities Grants fund the adaptation of privately owned homes to allow residents to live as independently as possible in their own home for as long as possible.

 

3. The delivery time for Disabled Facilities Grant is a national performance indicator. The Council has previously acknowledged its performance in delivering Disabled Facilities Grants had to be improved.  Despite further improvement in 2013/14, the Council remained in the bottom quartile of performance for local authorities in Wales. 

 

4. The graph below shows the trend in relation to reducing the time to deliver DFGs over the past 6 years by this Council.

 

DFG-23-March

Relevant Issues and Options

5. Performance of the DFG Service continued to improve during quarter 3 of 2014-15.  The average time to deliver a DFG has reduced to 201 days. 

 

6. A detailed breakdown of the DFG service performance at the end of quarter 3 is attached in the DFG Performance Review in Appendix 1.  Compared to the published DFG performance figures for 2013-14 for Welsh Authorities, this performance would have ranked the Council as being in 6th position in Wales.  If the trend of improvement is replicated across all local authorities, this ranking is likely to be lower. However, it is expected that the performance of the Vale of Glamorgan will be above the Welsh Average.

 

7. The improvement in Quarter 3 is in part due to the introduction of the framework contract.  Below is a table comparing the delivery times of DFGs completed this financial year that have progressed through the old tendering system and the new framework.  The table shows that the time to deliver DFGs through the framework reduces the delivery time in two stages: between the receipt of the OT recommendation and grant approval and between grant approval and the works completing on site.

 

DFG-Table-23-March

 

8. The first DFG consultation event will take place on 3rd March 2015.  This event will concentrate on obtaining qualitative feedback from customers on the information with which they were provided throughout the DFG process.  The outcome and feedback from this event will be included in the end of year report.

 

9. The Business Improvement Team has been working with the DFG service, using the Business Improvement Toolkit to identify potential improvements.  The first stage of this process was completed in January 2015 and a report detailing recommended improvements will be produced during quarter 4.  Any significant changes to existing arrangements will be included in the end of year report on the DFG performance.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

10. There are no direct resource implications as a result of this report.  There is an identified capital budget for the approval and payment of Disabled Facilities Grants.  Public Protection and Adult Services have identified revenue budgets to deliver the service.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

11. Adaptations to property that allow owners and occupiers to remain at home contribute to a sustainable community.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

12. In meeting their responsibilities under the Housing Act 1985 (to consider housing conditions and provision in their area), Housing Authorities are required by the Chronically Sick & Disabled Persons Act 1970 (CSDP) to have specific regard to the special needs of chronically sick and disabled people.

 

13. There are duties and powers under a range of legislation including the CSDP to assist in carrying out adaptation work or provision of additional facilities and, in relation to Children In Need under the Children Act 1989, to provide services which may include accommodation.

Crime and Disorder Implications

14. There are no crime and disorder  implications as a result of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

15. There are no specific equal opportunities implications as a result of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

16. Corporate Outcome - Vale of Glamorgan residents have access to affordable, good quality, suitable housing and housing advice and support.

 

17. Development Services Outcome 1 - Residents of the Vale feel safe in their communities, are healthy and have a good quality of life.

 

18. Development Services Objective 1 - To improve the health and wellbeing of the residents and visitors by delivering a range of targeted and accessible services.

Policy Framework and Budget

19. This report is for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

20. This report is not ward specific and no ward member consultation has been undertaken.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

21. Social Care and Health

 

22. Housing and Public Protection

 

23. Corporate Resources

Background Papers

None

Contact Officer

Elen Probert, Principal Housing and Pollution Officer - Tel. 01446 709833

Officers Consulted

Legal Services - Irene Thornton, Lawyer, Legal Services

Financial Services - Laura Davis, Finance Support Manager

Social Services - Lance Carver, Head of Adult Service/ Locality Manager

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services

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