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The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 21 September, 2015

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

Disabled Facilities Grants Performance Report for Quarter 1 2015-16

Purpose of the Report

1.    To set out the Council's performance delivering Disabled Facilities Grants during quarter 1 of 2015-16 and progress made on process changes.  

Recommendations

1.    That the report on performance for delivering Disabled Facilities Grant during quarters 1 of 2015-16 be noted.

 

2.    That Cabinet agree an additional £200k is allocated to the DFG capital budget in the 2015/16 Capital Programme, funded by a contribution from the Policy revenue budget, and to refer this request to Council for approval.

 

3.    That the report be forwarded to Scrutiny Committees (Housing and Public Protection) and (Social Care and Health) for consideration.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.    That the report on performance for delivering Disabled Facilities Grant during quarters 1 of 2015-16 be noted.

 

2.    That Cabinet agree an additional £200k is allocated to the DFG capital budget in the 2015/16 Capital Programme, funded by a contribution from the Policy revenue budget, and to refer this request to Council for approval.

 

3.    That the report be forwarded to Scrutiny Committees (Housing and Public Protection) and (Social Care and Health) for consideration.

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

 

4.    However, for 2014/15, the Council's performance continued to improve dramatically both in real terms but also in relative terms when compared to other Local Authorities.  The Local Government Data Unit has recently published its Local Government Performance Report for 2014/15 and one of the indicators included within that Report relates to the time taken to deliver DFG's.  This indicates that for 2014/15 the average number of days taken to deliver DFG's across Wales stood at 231.  This compares to 199 in the Vale of Glamorgan.  The Vale of Glamorgan is now (for 2014/15) ranked 8th in Wales and sits in the second quartile.  For 2014/15, the Vale of Glamorgan showed the third fastest improvement in performance when compared against 2013/14 figures.  This demonstrates that the improvements in delivery illustrated graphically below, is sustainable.

 

5.    The graph below shows the trend in the Council with regard to reducing the time to deliver DFGs over the past 6 years.

DFG graph 21-9-15

Relevant Issues and Options

6.    Performance of the DFG Service continues to improve during quarter 1 of 2015-16. During this period the average time to deliver a DFG has reduced further to 180 days, compared to a year end performance for 2014/15 of 199 days.

 

7.    A detailed breakdown of the DFG service performance at the end of quarter 1 and DFG capital expenditure profile to 25th August 2015 is attached in the DFG Performance Review in Appendix 1.

 

8.    The continued improvement in Quarter 1 is in part due to the introduction of the framework contract and that the more complex cases have also gone through the process with the new framework contract.  

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

9.    There is an identified capital budget for the approval and payment of Disabled Facilities Grants. There is now a predicted shortfall in the capital budget for DFGs as shown in Appendix 1.  It was envisaged that once the backlog of applications had been dealt with the number of applications being processed would reduce to normal throughput levels.  £900k per annum is included in the Council’s currently approved Capital Programme between the years 2015/16 and 2019/20 for DFG’s.  However, there has been a steady increase in the number of applications being received which is a trend that is likely to continue.  It is therefore proposed that in order to properly plan for further applications and in order to meet demand a further £200k be added to the DFG 2015/16 capital budget, to be funded by a contribution from the Policy revenue budget.  This will ensure there is sufficient funding to complete this year's applications without creating a new backlog.  A capital bid will also be made to ensure sufficient funding is identified in the Council's Capital Programme for future years.

 

10.    Public Protection and Adult Services have identified revenue budgets to deliver the service.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

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

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

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

 

13.    Social Services have duties and powers under a range of legislation including under the CSDP to disabled adults and children 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 is a matter for Executive and Council decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

21.    Social Care and Health.

 

22.    Housing and Public Protection.

Background Papers

None.

Contact Officer

Alun Billinghurst, Head of Public Protection - Tel. 01446 709720

Officers Consulted

Legal Services

Financial Services - Victoria Lloyd: Accountant

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

Development Services - Bob Guy: Operational Manager - Countryside and Economic Projects

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Managing Director