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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection): 16th January 2013

 

Report of the Director of Visible Services and Housing

 

Supporting People Regional Collaborative Committee

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To update Members of the Committee on the progress made to develop the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Regional Collaborative Committee (RCC) for Supporting People.

Recommendation

1.             THAT the Committee endorses the report and refers the same to Cabinet for consideration.

Reason for the Recommendation

1.             In order that the views of the Committee are sought and the report referred to Cabinet for consideration.

Background

2.             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.

3.             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 White Paper issued by Welsh Government for consultation in May 2012.

4.             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.

5.             Following a review of Supporting People commissioned by Welsh Government, new guidance was published on 27th July 2012, which set down a new delivery structure for the Supporting People Programme. It recommended the transfer of all Supporting People funding to local authorities to administer and whilst decisions on local planning, data collection, unmet support needs and future service priorities would continue to be made and agreed by local Members, there was a requirement for six regional collaborative committees to be formed across Wales to oversee the Programme.

6.             The aim and overall focus of the RCC is to provide advice to local authorities and other stakeholders and through the Supporting People National Advisory Board to Welsh Ministers.

7.             Whilst the RCC does not have any executive powers or functions, it s expected to advise on regional and local delivery compliance with the national Supporting People Programme Guidance, regional and local needs mapping, commissioning and procurement practice and the quality of regional and local services.

8.             Whilst the local planning and decision making processes will continue and Local Commissioning Plans will be developed for adoption by Members, local authorities are required to use this information to develop both a regional spend and  regional commissioning plan for the RCC to agree and monitor. The RCC will report this information to Welsh Ministers to use to determine the allocation of grant against agreed priorities.

9.             Membership of the RCC is defined within the new Supporting People Guidance and is made of both statutory and voluntary sectors. There is also a requirement to ensure that there is parity between the number of local authority representatives and the number of support provider and registered social landlord representatives on the RCC and for service user views to be taken into account in all decision making.

Relevant Issues and Options

10.        The planned date for the implementation of the new Supporting People Guidance and the transfer of funding to local authorities was 1st August 2012. However, before this could take place all local authorities in Wales were expected to meet a number of requirements, one of which was to have an RCC in place.

11.        Numerous meetings and discussions took place prior to this deadline between the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Councils at both Officer and Member levels. However, despite progress being made, Cardiff Council was unable to agree at that time to set up an RCC. Consequently only five regions were formed on 1st August, consisting of twenty local authorities. For this reason the Supporting People budget for the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff did not transfer to the Councils and the Welsh Government continued to administer it.

12.        Cardiff Council has now agreed for the RCC to be set up.  The Vale of Glamorgan Council is the regional co-ordinating authority.

13.        The first meeting of the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff RCC subsequently took place on 7th November 2012, Chaired by the Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety (Minutes attached at Appendix A). At this meeting, the Committee agreed its Terms of Reference and Forward Work Programme. Meetings will continue monthly for the next six months to ensure that future Welsh Government deadlines are met.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

14.        There are no direct resource implications associated with this report. The Council has successfully bid for funding from Welsh Government to appoint a Supporting People Regional Development Coordinator for a period of two years to facilitate the RCC. All other changes for to the administration of the Supporting People Programme resulting from the new Guidance will be covered from existing resources within the Supporting People Team.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

15.        None.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

16.        The development of the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Regional Collaborative Committee is a requirement of Welsh Government to comply with the Supporting People Programme Grant (SPPG) Guidance (Wales).

Crime and Disorder Implications

17.        The development of good quality supported housing 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 have a beneficial impact upon reducing crime and disorder in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

18.        The Supporting People Programme improves the quality of life of some of the most socially and economically disadvantaged people in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Corporate/Service Objectives

19.        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

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

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

21.        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

22.        Housing and Public Protection.

Background Papers

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

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.