Agenda Item No. 6
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION): 10 SEPTEMBER, 2014
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 14 JULY, 2014
C2398 DRAFT LOCAL HOUSING STRATEGY – PUBLIC CONSULTATION (HBMCS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) –
Approval was sought to conduct public consultation on the draft Local Housing Strategy 2014-19, attached at Appendix 1 to the report.
The Council had a statutory role to play in the functioning of the housing market, as set out in two pieces of legislation:
- Section 8 - Housing Act 1985 - required local authorities to consider housing conditions/needs in their locality;
- Section 3 - Housing Act 2004 - required local authorities to keep housing conditions in private sector housing in their area under review.
The draft Local Housing Strategy 2014-19 as attached at Appendix 1 to the report set out the locally agreed, long term vision for housing; it provided a statement of local strategic housing-related objectives and target outcomes.
The strategy covered a period of five years; however the vision was viewed over a longer period of time within the context of the Community Strategy. The wording of the aims and objectives of future strategies could vary, but the intentions remained the same.
The approach adopted locally followed the national approach taken by the Welsh Government, that the aims and objectives of the strategy were designed to improve people’s lives, it would:
- Provide more housing of the right type and offer more choice.
- Improve homes and communities, including the energy efficiency of new and existing homes.
- Improve housing-related services and support, particularly for vulnerable people and people from minority groups.
The draft Local Housing Strategy 2014-19 set out the vision for housing in the Vale of Glamorgan which was:
'all residents in the Vale of Glamorgan had access to good quality, suitable, housing and were able to live happily and independently in vibrant, sustainable communities'.
In order to achieve the vision for housing in the Vale four key aims had been identified, each of which was supported by a number of objectives which would form the basis of the actions identified in a strategic partnership Action Plan :
Aim 1: To provide more homes and more choice; ensuring that all residents had access to suitable and affordable accommodation.
Aim 2: To improve homes and communities; by ensuring housing was maintained and fit for purpose, increasing the supply of good quality, energy efficient homes in vibrant and sustainable communities.
Aim 3: To provide better housing advice and support; ensuring that residents had access to the housing and services they needed to live independently and plan their housing futures.
Aim 4: To promote equality of access to housing and housing services.
The draft Local Housing Strategy 2014-19 had been informed by the views of partners including relevant Council departments. A Local Housing Strategy Evidence Gathering Day was held on 19 February to inform the development of the strategy.
The Local Housing Strategy Evidence Gathering Day included presentation, workshops and consultation exercises focusing on a number of housing topics.
The results of the Local Housing Strategy Evidence Gathering Day would be published on the Councils website as part of the public consultation exercise. A summary of the Local Housing Strategy Evidence Gathering Day was provided in Appendix 2 as attached to the report which included a list of partner organisations.
Approval was sought for the consultation strategy which detailed the ways in which consultation with the public would be facilitated. The period of public consultation would provide the public and partner organisations with the opportunity to provide feedback on the draft strategy.
The public consultation strategy would include:
- A press release to the local media.
- A page on the Councils website advertising the consultation opportunity, highlighted to the public by the e-news and social media.
- A feedback questionnaire, including an online version and the ability to use Contact One Vale to provide feedback over the phone.
- Hard copies of the draft Local Housing Strategy 2014-19 in Vale libraries, Council buildings and the Members Room.
- A 'drop in' event, where a Council Officer would be available to speak to the public.
- The draft Local Housing Strategy 2014-19 will also be sent to all relevant partners, Council departments and neighbouring Local Authorities for comment.
- Consultation in partnership with the Vale Centre for Voluntary Service; ensuring their members were made aware of the Strategy and the consultation opportunity.
- Consultation with the Citizens Panel; utilising the contact details available to send a link to the strategy and the consultation opportunity to members.
This was a matter for Executive decision
(1) T H A T the consultation strategy as detailed in the body of the report be approved.
(2) T H A T the draft Local Housing Strategy 2014-19, as attached at Appendix 1 to the report be approved as a consultative document for a period of 4 weeks with effect from 1 September, 2014.
(3) T H A T the report be referred to Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) for consideration as part of the consultation process and that a pre-scrutiny meeting be held with Members of the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) to further consider the details of this report.
(4) T H A T a further report be provided back to Cabinet with the final Local Housing Strategy 2014-19 along with feedback from the public consultation exercise and with an estimate of any extra resources required to meet the strategy.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To obtain feedback from council stakeholders interested bodies and the public on the draft Local Housing Strategy 2014-19.
(2) To enable the draft Local Housing Strategy 2014-19 to become a public document available for consultation.
(3) To allow Scrutiny Committee to consider the report.
(4) To seek Cabinet approval for the final Local Housing Strategy 2014-19 and provide a summary of the results of the public consultation exercise.
Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 14 July, 2014