Agenda Item No.
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION): 14TH DECEMBER, 2011
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 29TH NOVEMBER, 2011
"C1535 SUPPORTING PEOPLE CONTRACTS (HCS) (SCRUTINY - HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) -
Authority was sought to renew contracts with existing support providers for the continuing provision of specialist and complex needs housing related support services for selected schemes, and to further obtain authority to waive the Council's Contract Standing Orders because of the nature of the services referred to.
Legacy funding to pay for existing housing related support services transferred to the Council in April 2003 through the Supporting People agenda, under two funding streams:
· Supporting People Grant (SPG) - this funds sheltered housing, elderly people services and projects jointly funded with Social Services or Health
· Supporting People Revenue Grant (SPRG) - this funds floating support schemes and supported housing projects across all tenures that were set up to assist vulnerable people to achieve independence and remain in their own home.
Both funding streams were paid by the Welsh Government (WG) in the form of a grant to the Council, and these funds were ring-fenced for expenditure on housing related support services only in accordance with WG requirements.
In order to ensure overall compliance with the Council's Contract Standing Orders the Financial Regulations and other procurement requirements together with WG guidance, the Housing Department recently undertook a formal tender process for the future provision of SPRG services, and the result of this exercise was reported to Cabinet on 6th July, 2011. Most of the SPG funded contracts would also be re-tendered in partnership with the Social Services Department in 2012, as reported to Cabinet on 19th October, 2011.
However, five of the SPG services were of such specialist nature that it would be inappropriate to follow a formal tendering process because of the adverse effect this would have on the services provided.
These contracts were now due for renewal and therefore authority was being sought to again award the contracts to the existing providers for a period of three years.
The services were as follows:
(a) Two external contracts between the Council and single support providers who had one vulnerable client each that they had taken into their own home.
(b) One external contract with a service provider (Opportunity Housing Trust) who provide housing related support to a service user who has a learning disability and requires high levels of personal care at the service user's own home. This service user was also part funded by Health.
(c) Two external contracts between the Council and Newydd and Wales and West Housing Associations respectively for warden and alarm services provided in properties owned and run by these housing associations.
In respect of the two service users who each lived with the single support providers, they had been supported in excess of 20 years each in the individual support providers property. Moving out would be very traumatic and could de-stabilise the service users and impede their progress in achieving their desired outcomes. The contract with each support provider was specific and personal to each service user and if, for instance, the service user no longer required the support or left the accommodation for any reason the contract would end and no alternative service user would be automatically allocated to the service. The two contracts had the maximum annual value of £11,615.76 and £6,900.92 and both service users were means tested each year to ensure that they still qualified for financial assistance.
The service user who was part funded by Health had lived in his own property and received the support and care from the same organisation, Opportunity Housing Trust since prior to April 2003. There was therefore a need to ensure that the stability of the service user was maintained. The maximum annual value of this contract was £19,681.48 and the service user was also assessed annually.
The warden and emergency alarm services provided to Newydd and Wales and West Housing Association tenants were provided by the housing associations as a condition of their respective tenancy agreements in properties owned by them. It would therefore not be appropriate and indeed complicated to change the service provider. The maximum contract values were £10,389.08 and £36,219.56., however, as it was paid on behalf of individual tenants and was means tested, the total amount paid in 2010/11 under these contracts were £5,846.69 and £26,231.36 respectively.
Given the factors set out above, it was felt inappropriate to commence any sort of formal tender process for these services. However, all of these services had been and would continue to be monitored and extensively reviewed on an annual basis by the Supporting People Team. They were considered to be vital services for vulnerable clients. The service providers/landlords and support staff had built up a close relationship with the service users, and to change these could impede a service users progress in achieving the desired outcomes of independence maintaining their home and integrating successfully into the community. It was felt to be in everyone's best interest to maintain the current arrangements.
This was a matter for Executive decision.
(1) T H A T the Council awards renewed contracts for a small number of services identified in the report for a three year period.
(2) T H A T the Council Contract Standing Orders be waived to allow the specialist contracts detailed in the report to be put into place.
(3) T H A T the report be referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection).
Reasons for decisions
(1) To ensure the stability of services provided to very vulnerable people in the Vale of Glamorgan.
(2) To comply with the Council's Contract Standing Orders and Financial
(3) For information."
Attached as Appendix - Report to Cabinet: 29th November, 2011