Brighton & Hove City Council


Policy & Resources Committee


4.00pm7 October 2021


Hove Town Hall - Council Chamber




Present:   Councillor Mac Cafferty (Chair) Druitt (Joint Deputy Chair), Allcock (Joint Opposition Spokesperson), Clare, Evans, Nemeth, Simson, Williams and Yates

Also present: Error! No document variable supplied. Standing Invitee








        Procedural Business


27          Declarations of Substitutes


24.1       Councillor Simson was present in substitution for Councillor Miller

Councillor Nemeth was present in substitution for Councillor Bell

Councillor Williams was present in substitution for Councillor Appich

Councillor Hugh-Jones was present in substitution for Councillor Gibson


28          Declarations of Interest


24.2       Councillor Druitt declared an interest in Item 35 due to his connection with The Big Lemon bus company and advised that he had been given dispensation by the Monitoring Officer to speak and vote on the item


29          Exclusion of Press and Public


24.3       The Committee considered whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of any of the items listed on the agenda.


24.4       RESOLVED: That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the items contained in part two of the agenda.






25.1    RESOLVED:


                That the Minutes of the Policy & Resources Committee held on 1 July 2021 be agreed as a correct record;


                That the Minutes of the Policy & Resources Recovery Sub-Committee held on 22 July 2021 be agreed as a correct record.




        Chair's Communications


26.1    The Chair gave the following communication:


            City Clean

I know many residents are keen to understand what progress is being made on the bin dispute. Talks are ongoing and at a sensitive stage so I can’t say everything just yet sadly. Councillors are not involved in the day-to-day management of drivers at City Clean, but this week we have attended talks as we are keen to listen and ensure concerns of staff are heard. We want to help resolve the dispute raised by the GMB with the employer. For the past few weeks, council management have been meeting with GMB representatives and following a round of talks on Tuesday night the employer made a formal offer to the GMB to address the issues being raised, including about bin lorry rounds being moved. I want to thank residents for their patience over the disruption. We also know from contact with residents both since becoming the leadership of the council and in opposition that people in our city want to see a bin collection service that works. The desire for a well-functioning waste and recycling system is one that we share, and we hope talks can lead to this outcome, both for residents and for staff.  Given the importance of the City Clean dispute and its relevance to the function of Committee as the Lead Committee on Finance and Employment matters, there will be an informal briefing from Officers after this meeting to update Members on the current situation. You are therefore invited to stay behind after the meeting


Universal credit

Other important news for our city this week is the concerning cut to universal credit. All while the cost of food and essentials rise massively. This is so wrong. Calculations show this could harm a massive 30,000 people in Brighton & Hove. The impact will be particularly felt by children- with the cut potentially pushing 200,000 children below the poverty line all over the country – in the same year young people have already been acutely affected by lockdown measures and government failures on free school meals. The huge impact– a hit of £6.2 billion per year across the country – cannot be alleviated by the council alone. But council officials are working to provide more support. We are supporting voluntary organisations that already work to provide food and essential supplies and will do more through a Winter Grant fund. A mental health and debt coordinator will work with our public health teams, to improve mental health support around the distress of debt collection and debt advice. The council’s crisis fund – albeit limited – can also assist with essential items, and we’re looking at how we can make these support funds go further.


The free Local Energy Advice Partnership can fit free energy saving kits, check if people are eligible for insulation of a new boiler, help people find cheaper deals and give practical advice and support. Any residents who need this help can call: 0800 060 7567 or visit On top of this, the council is funding a programme that means community and voluntary groups are able to reach those in greatest need. This includes Moneyworks and advice partnerships who can support families on the brink or concerned about debt. Next month, the council will also report on our proposals to insulate the council’s leaky housing stock, following on from the £5.2m investment made by Greens for this work.


Climate conference

As we turn our attention to the huge crisis facing residents with energy and fuel bills we cannot fail to mention COP26  the climate talks taking place in Glasgow this November.


I am pleased to announce we are working with partners across the region – from Bognor Regis to Lewes, from Brighton & Hove to Crawley to launch a climate change conference focused on how partners can help bring the changes we need to the region. This means working to create green jobs, for the skills we need for the future economy to combat climate change, and will include partners like the University of Sussex as well as global voices such as the sustainability chief of the city of Portland, Oregon, who tackled the worst wildfires in their history, an awful event that has spurred on tough action.


This day will detail practical steps we’re taking to ensure we don’t walk into yet more serious climate disaster. Yes it’s about protecting residents and business, but it’s also about innovation and positive change- because we need action as fast as possible. This conference is crucial as it brings together many of the partners- in both public and private sectors- we need to reduce the lasting impact on our emissions. Councils and residents cannot do this alone – we need everyone to play a part. I’d encourage residents living in the Greater Brighton area to join the debate and watch the conference if they can. We need you to hold us to account on this important issue and also feel that you can play your part no matter how small it might feel.


People will also see from the reports on the agenda today that the council is pushing ahead with our own work to drive down carbon emissions. Among many projects already on the go we’re now also putting investment in to schools energy efficiency, mainly linked to LED lighting; new tree planting, energy efficient replacements at our sports centres, sustainable building materials to name just a few.




        Call Over


26 .1                    The following items on the agenda were reserved for discussion:


Item 30 – Targeted Budget Management 2021/22: Month 5

Item 31 – Corporate Key Performance Indicator Target Setting 2021/22

Item 33 – Managed Services for Temporary Agency Resource

Item 34 – Grant of Option and Lease at Land at Corner of New England Street and New England Road

Item 35 – Allocation of Carbon Neutral Fund

Item 36 – Next Steps – Rough Sleeping and Accommodation During Covid 19 Pandemic and Recovery

Item 37 – Housing Asset Management IT System Replacement


26 .2                    The following item on the agenda was agreed without discussion:


Item 32 – Corporate Procurement of the Council’s Water and Wastewater Services.




        Public Involvement


28(a) Petitions


28.1    There were no petitions.


28(b)  Written Questions


28.1    Ms T Bishton asked the following question:


Carbon Neutral by 2030 is the key strategic priority for the city programme published earlier this year. But beyond the annual metric and reporting milestone, how do we as a city (i.e. everyone working and living here) know the scale of the task, and if we are on track?


28.2    The Chair gave the following response:


Thanks for your question. You’re absolutely right that achieving carbon neutrality is an ambitious goal and requires everyone to understand how they can participate.

You’re right the scale of the task is immense and the signs are all around us. This week once again we have seen serious floods in central London. Extreme weather events are a real risk and reports show there has been a five-fold increase in weather related disasters in our lifetimes. Hurricanes in the United States have dumped record breaking rain flooding New York’s subways. Parts of Thailand are currently underwater  We have an energy crisis spurring huge bills for our residents that only serves as a harsh reminder of both our over-reliance on fossil fuels but also the disaster that it is the UK’s cold, leaky housing stock, that urgently needs proper insulation to keep people warm and reduce carbon emissions.

You’re right that
the council is monitoring the city’s carbon emissions annually and has identified high-emitting sectors to prioritise actions and investment that will have the most impact. In mid-2022 we will provide a detailed progress update on our Carbon Neutral 2030 programme, and annually thereafter.

Everyone has a part to play in helping make clear the challenges we face but also the things we can do to overcome this. Starting with the basics A key next step in the council’s sustainability and climate action work is to build stronger engagement with the people of Brighton & Hove. We need to do this in order to encourage more individual action, to raise public awareness and to be transparent and accountable about progress towards our goals. The council has created a new Climate Communications and Engagement post and part of their work will focus on achieving this, as well as how we keep people informed and up to date on progress. This strategy is currently being developed and we hope to launch it in early 2022.  

On top of the usual reporting we’re also reporting regularly on our climate actions and have a dedicated page on the council’s website, on top of our development of the local climate and youth assembly, our environment committee and our lobbying for local government to have a place at the upcoming COP26 climate talks.

We’re also trying to publicise our efforts and also engage the many partners we need to stay on track. We recently gave evidence to Parliament on the work government needs to do to help local areas reach net zero. We’ve demanded more powers because without national action we’ve a hand tied behind our back. Despite this as I hope you can also see from committee papers today we’re releasing as much funding as we can to support our ambitious goals. Today at committee we will use our dedicated carbon neutral fund to invest in planting more trees, installing solar panels, install retrofit heat pumps, conduct surveys on energy efficiency of council buildings, replace lights and do other energy efficiency works at schools and sports centres, ensure the restoration of Madeira Terrace uses sustainable materials, push forward on air quality monitoring and flood prevention. Already we’ve rolled out school streets, protected cycle routes, and made £100k of grants available to community groups to help tackle climate change in the city through food, circular economy repair projects, and others.


28.3    Ms Bishton asked the following supplementary question:


            How can we call contribute to keep on track?


28.4    The Chair gave the following response:


The plans were ambitious, and it required everyone to participate. Some of that was achieved through the Climate Assembly, and the Youth Climate Assembly (which the City was the first to hold). There was a thriving community and voluntary sector which the Council supported and were working with to deliver some of the sustainability and climate ambitions. There was also a Let’s Talk Climate Change online space for residents to join the conversation, and young people were meeting next week as part of the Youthwise campaign.


28.5    Ms Ente asked the following question:

How will the Council deliver a fair and just energy transition by working with the relevant experts in the community who can support their targets given their track record for engaging expensive consultants?  What is the plan for delivering this?

28.6    The Chair gave the following response:

Thank you for your question.

Thank you for question hope you know we are strong supporters of BHESCO and the excellent work you do.

The council is conscious that climate action needs to be fair and just for everyone in the community, and that communities and residents benefit from the transition to low carbon energy. As you know we have a major programme to improve energy efficiency and heating, and install solar panels in our council housing; and we’re also developing a Warmer Homes programme to help private home owners and renters make their homes warmer and cheaper to heat.


The council is keen to work with the community on tackling climate change. It’s experts like yourselves who can reach different groups of people across our city and business partners too. We have active partnerships with other community groups on, for example, our Environmental Education programme in schools; the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership; and our community grants programme which supports environmental, climate and circular economy initiatives. Organisations like BHESCO are also going to be crucial in my opinion to any successful work on energy and fuel poverty ahead of what will be a difficult winter for many of our residents.


One area where we want to take engagement further is in Planning.

Comments can be made about the sustainability and climate impacts of all new developments via our weekly list of planning applications, available through the council’s website.


Our City Plan Part 2 includes a new policy on Community Energy which says:  “Developers of medium scale and major development schemes are encouraged to actively seek community energy partners to deliver low and zero carbon energy solutions which are led by or meet the needs of local communities”. If this policy is confirmed through the independent planning examination in November, we will be looking at ways to implement it positively.  Developers of larger schemes will be encouraged to actively seek community energy partners to deliver low carbon energy solutions.

However, we recognise that we can and need to go further.


Regarding the council’s use of consultants, we engage consultants from time to time, when we need specific expertise and resources that are not available in-house. Consultants are appointed following strict rules which govern all the council’s procurement. The cost of such consultancies is of course a key factor, as is the quality of their work, and some of this is linked to procurement regulations that we are also looking to see if we can enhance locally. The council is now prioritising local sourcing for smaller contracts for works, goods and services. This means that when tenders are advertised, they will request bidders within local geographic boundaries, Small and Medium Enterprises, and the Voluntary Sector. This builds on the Council’s commitment to Social Value and Community Wealth Building.

I am happy to meet and discuss with you how this can work best for organisations with local community expertise.

28.7    There was no supplementary question.

28       (c) Deputations


28.8    There were no deputations.




        Member Involvement


29.1    There were no Petitions, Letter or Notices of Motion.


            Written Questions


29.2    Councillor Fishleigh asked the following question:


The Council’s website says that a brief for a permanent development at Black Rock will be agreed in Autumn 2021. What are the council’s aspirations for this site? For example, footprint, ice rink, housing, leisure centre, above cliff height, new transport links


The Chair gave the following response:


A brief for a permanent development at Black Rock has not yet been developed.  The council is mindful that great importance is attached to getting the right development on this very important seafront site.   To this end the current Black Rock enabling works will deliver the important first phase of de-risking the site and improving its use and appearance in the medium term, creating a new event space and improving access.  The project team is currently focused on finalising the procurement of the enabling works. The city plan requires us to consider an estimated 7000 sq meters of leisure space on the black rock site and also to take into consideration the need for sensitive development that respects the location including the fact that this is a very unique and bio-diverse environment. We are also presently progressing an Eastern Seafront Masterplan and this will be consulted upon in the new year.   This will form the basic “backdrop” for the future development brief for the Black Rock site.  In producing this final masterplan for the eastern seafront there are a wide range of important interests and factors to get right, and Members will all be very well aware of sensitivities this area of seafront contains.   In addition to the seafront masterplan, we will also be guided by the requirements of our partners at the Local Enterprise Partnership; Coast to Capital, who are seeking strong local economic impacts from any future development in return for their investment in the site.


No decisions have or will be made on the future of the black rock site until a formal process has been adopted to consult with residents, councillors and key stakeholders and a proposal returns to this committee for agreement. We will update our website with the revised timescales.


29.2    Councillor Fishleigh asked the following supplementary question:


Has the Council made a decision to look for an outside organisation to develop the site rather than building something itself?


The Chair gave the following response:


No decision has been made, it was a significant site and all options would be considered.




        Targeted Budget Management (TBM) 2021/22: Month 5 (August)


30.1    The Committee considered the report of the Acting Chief Finance Officer which set out an indication of forecast risks as at Month 5 on the Council’s revenue and capital budgets for the financial year 2021/22.


30.2     Councillor Yates referred to pressure from changes to the Orbis Partnership and asked if they would be a one-off or whether there would be recurrent pressures and what planning there was for the future. The Acting Chief Finance Officer said it was a complex situation and the Council would need to repatriate those services, and the HR service left Orbis on the 1st July. The on-going cost pressure was difficult to assess, and it was not known what money the Council would get back from Orbis in relation to the HR service. This could potentially result in a pressure as there were a number of integrated posts in the joined-up service, and as that was no longer in place there would inevitably be a loss of economy of scale. There were savings predicated for the Business Operations services through bringing together our systems and using common system platforms to create efficiencies, but both Surrey County Council and East Sussex County Council had purchased separate corporate systems for HR and Finance and so those savings were no longer possible. Officers had built in a £500k pressure into the budget forecast for 2023 but would hope to mitigate that as far as possible. The Chief Executive advised that a report on possible changes to the SGL Directorate structure would come to the December meeting of this committee and that report would reference changes to the Orbis Partnership.


30.3    Councillor Yates noted that the Dedicated Schools grant was overspent by £475k of which a significant amount was from the Early Years grant and asked where the pressures were what was being done to address it. He further asked if the impact of the academisation of Mouslecoomb Primary had been referred to in the report. The Acting Chief Finance Officer said that the Council had set aside £317k for the possible academisation, so that sum was currently in reserve. The Executive Director said that the pressure on Early Years was due to the impact of the pandemic and the reduction in children attending Council nurseries. Councillor Clare said that there may be further pressure on budgets due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic, such as a delay in care proceedings going through courts which resulted in children not being able to leave the care system and pressures in SEND funding which many local authorities were also facing.


30.4    RESOLVED: That the Committee –


                Noted the forecast risk position for the General Fund, which indicates a potential forecast overspend risk of £4.159m. This is net of an underspend of £0.843m on the council’s share of the NHS managed Section 75 services;


                Noted the forecast for the Housing Revenue Account (HRA), which is currently an overspend of £0.978m;


                Noted the forecast risk position for the Dedicated Schools Grant which is an overspend of £0.475m;


                Noted the forecast outturn position on the capital programme which is a forecast underspend of £3.959m and approve the variations and slippage in Appendix 6 and new schemes as set out in Appendix 7;


                Agreed to allocate the remaining 2021/22 Contain Outbreak Management Funding of £1.615m to cover pandemic-driven pressures across Homelessness and Rough Sleeping.




        Corporate Key Performance Indicator target setting 2021/22


31.1    The Committee considered the report of the Executive Lead Strategy Governance & Law regarding the Corporate Key Performance Indicator (KPI) set and associated targets with rationales for the reporting year 2021/22. The report was introduced by the Head of Performance, Improvement & Programmes.


31.2    Councillor Allcock referred to appendix 2 and for item 2 (delivery of affordable homes) asked what warranted a 50% reduction between the green and amber targets, for item 9 (council homes which met the governments Decent Homes Standard) it suggested that 100 homes would not meet the relevant standard which was concerning, with regard to item 20 (Living Wage) he asked if the number could be increased as it was important for the Corporate Plan, and for item 37 (street litter) he asked how the targets were set. The Executive Director Housing Neighbourhoods & Communities referred to the delivery of new homes and said that due to the current economic uncertainty officers wanted to be realistic on what could be provided. With regard to decent homes standards, due to the pandemic staff were only able to access properties to undertake emergency work and there was a back log of work to be done.  The Executive Director Economy Environment & Culture said that with regard to the living wage the City and had a high level of take up and wanted to increase that number but the businesses which were being targeted were amongst the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic and needed to allow them time to recover. With regard to street litter the increase was due to a significant increase in visitors once lockdown was lifted.  


31.3    Councillor Simson referred to routine housing repairs and asked if part of the problem were staffing issues. The Executive Director Housing Neighbourhoods & Communities said that there were problems with staffing levels, and since the in-sourcing of the service the Council had begun a major recruitment drive to fill vacant posts.


31.4    Dr Sasidharan was pleased to note that there had been an increase in BME staff, but the RAG rating for management was still red. The management level started at SO1, which was a large group of people, and asked if those figures could be broken down. The report referred to highlighting opportunities for the BME Workers Forum and asked what that would look like. The Head of HR & Organisational Development said that it was disappointing that the number of BME managers was low, but initiatives were in place such as ensuring that panels interviewing for grade M8 (senior managers) and above were diverse and officers were working with the BME Workers Forum on that scheme. Going forward the number of BME managers would be broken down by grade, so that would be included in future reports.


31.5    RESOLVED: That the Committee -


        Approved the Corporate KPI set and associated targets as set out in Appendix 2;


         Noted that target figures may change during the year if new benchmarking figures become available. P&R approval will be sought at a future date if there is a proposal to change the set itself or the rationale for a particular target.




        Corporate Procurement of the Council’s Water and Wastewater Services


32.1    This item was agreed without discussion.


32.2    RESOLVED: That the Committee granted delegated authority to the Executive Director of Economy, Environment & Culture to enter into a call off contract using the YPO (Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation) Central Purchasing Body framework (Water, Wastewater and Ancillary Services – 1008) for the Council’s water supply and wastewater services, for a maximum term of 32 months.




        Managed Services for Temporary Agency Resource


33.1    The Committee considered the report of the Head of Human Resources regarding the supply of temporary agency staff to Brighton & Hove City Council through a Managed Service Provider. The Committee noted that there was a Part Two report to this item.


33.2    The Chair noted that there was an amendment from the Labour Group as set out in Addendum 1 and asked Councillor Evans to propose the amendment.


33.3    Councillor Evans said that when this matter went to the Procurement Advisory Board (PAB) in September it was agreed that P&R Committee would delegate power to the Executive Director Finance & Resources to award the three-year contract, but it did not explicitly add the power to the Executive Director to consider the option to take up the extensions to the contract without referring back to Members and the amendment to the recommendations sought to address that. Councillor Evans formally proposed the amendment as set out in Addendum 1. The Lawyer said that the intention of the amendment was to require officers to consult with Members before exercising their power to extend the contract, but the amendment had removed recommendation 2.1.2 but recommendation 2.1.1 does give authority to officers to do that. He suggested that the best way to address that would be to add the following wording to recommendation 2.1.1:

            “Provided that the Executive Director consults with the Procurement Advisory Board before exercising the power to extend the contract”

            Councillor Evans agreed with the suggestion and added that to the amendment.


33.4    Councillor Yates formally seconded the amendment.


33.5    Dr Sasidharan asked for confirmation that Equality Diversity Inclusion (EDI) would be incorporated into the contracts to ensure that agencies participate in things such as any EDI schemes, looking at best practice across the country, assist agencies in attending EDI training, identify a champion from within their organisation and form better links with voluntary and community groups. The Head of Human Resources that some of those suggestions were already in place and would look at the others.


33.6    Councillor Yates asked how the Council would ensure that we keep the money spent on agencies within the local economy.  Officers advised that the Council used local businesses wherever possible.


33.7    The Committee voted on the amendment, and it was agreed.


33.8    The Committee noted the information contained within Item 39 which was within Part Two of the agenda.


33.9    RESOLVED: That the Committee agreed that the Executive Director Finance & Resources be granted delegated authority to procure and award a contract, in accordance with the approach outlined in 4.3 to provide the Council with a Managed Service for temporary agency staff for an initial term of three years with an option to extend for two further periods of 12 months provided that the Executive Director consults with the Procurement Advisory Board before exercising the power to extend the contract.




        Grant of Option and Lease at Land at Corner of New England Street and New England Road


34.1    The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director for Economy Environment & Culture regarding Grant of Option and Lease at Land at Corner of New England Street and New England Road. The Committee noted that there was a Part Two report to this item.


34.2    Councillor Simson asked what was the longest a person had lived on that site in the containers. The Executive Director Housing, Neighbourhoods and Communities said that they were residents of Brighton Housing Trust and so did not have that information to hand but would find out after the meeting.


34.3    The Chair noted that there was an amendment from the Labour Group and asked Councillor Yates to propose the amendment.


34.4    Councillor Yates said that this was an important site and the amendment sought to ensure that the redevelopment provided affordable housing and that the current residents would be given suitable alternative accommodation. The amendment was detailed in Addendum 1 to the agenda.


34.5    Councillor Williams formally seconded the amendment.


34.6    Councillor Druitt said that the issues raised in the amendment had been considered when looking at options for the site and the Green Group were happy to support the amendment.


34.7    The Committee voted on the amendment and it was agreed with abstentions from Councillor Nemeth and Councillor Simson.


34.8    The Committee considered the recommendations as amended and took into account the information contained within Item 40 which was within Part Two of the agenda.


34.9    RESOLVED: That the Committee –


                Noted the importance of ensuring any redevelopment of the site provides affordable homes at social rents and doesn’t force those existing residents currently living in the shipping containers into poor and unacceptable accommodation, and considers these central priorities at the heart of any redevelopment;


                Granted delegated authority for the Executive Director of Economy, Environment and Culture to finalise legal agreements including an option agreement and the grant of a 250 year lease to QED to facilitate the mixed use redevelopment of the whole site, subject to guaranteeing the points outlined in 2.1, in terms of affordable housing and accommodation for existing residents. Should these requirements not be met then a report to future Policy and Resources would be required prior to finalising any agreement.




        Allocation of Carbon Neutral Fund


35.1    The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director for Economy, Environment & Culture which sets out proposals for the allocation of capital funding to support delivery of the 2030 Carbon Neutral Programme.


35.2     Councillor Allcock asked what steps were being taken to increase the number of electric vehicle (EV) charging points. The Chief Executive said that the Council were quite advanced in developing electric charging points but there was a challenge in the scale and pace of change. He said that he had recently attended a meeting with UK Power Networks who were asking local authorities to engage in developing local energy plans, as their estimate was that 25% of vehicles would be electrically charged in the next four years. The last census showed that there were 19,000 electric vehicles in the city. The Executive Director for Economy, Environment & Culture said that the Council were in top five authorities in country for the role out of electric charging points. The Council had brought in 200 on street charging points, had installed some rapid charging hubs for the taxi fleets, and had identified the location for another 600 charging points. The success meant that officers were positive about the possibility of getting further funding from the Department of Transport. Officers had been looking at the wider equality implications of the shift to electric vehicles and had been awarded funding by Innovative UK to look at the issues of people with disabilities who wanted to switch to an electric vehicle. This was an innovative piece of work which the Council would be national leaders on. 


35.3    Councillor Simson said that those living in the outlying areas of the City had by necessity increased car usage and many of them did have electric vehicles which they charged at home, however if they had a shared drive the electric company would not install an electric charging point. She therefore requested that when new sites for on-street EV charging points were being considered that the suburbs were included. The Executive Director for Economy, Environment & Culture confirmed that the infrastructure would be for the whole city and said that the constraining factor would be the need to have the right power supply, and that was something which was being worked on with UK Power Networks. 


35.4    RESOLVED: That the Committee –


        Approved the allocation of £3.110m of the Carbon Neutral Fund to the climate action projects as set out in Appendix 1 of this report;


         Agreed to delegate the decision to allocate the remaining £0.108m to the Executive Director Economy, Environment & Culture, in consultation with the cross-party 2030 Carbon Neutral Member Working Group as set out in paragraph 3.6.





        Next steps - Rough Sleeping and Accommodation during Covid 19 Pandemic and Recovery


36.1    The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director Housing Neighbourhoods & Communities on rough sleeping and accommodation during the Covid 19 pandemic. The report had been considered by the Housing Committee at its meeting on 22 September 2021 and referred to this meeting of the Policy & Resources Committee.


36.2    Councillor Simson asked for assurance that the correct level of support was being given to homeless people when accommodation was arranged, and whether basic household items were provided for new tenants. The Executive Director Housing Neighbourhoods & Communities said that the Council worked with specialist agencies to ensure sure that the correct support was provided. With regard to household goods, different packages were provided to new tenants depending on their needs, but this could be reviewed where appropriate.


36.3    Dr Sasidharan referred to the Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping and asked if there were plans to look at integrating the homelessness and health strategies and with regard to the rapid rehousing plans, which required local assessment of needs, asked if local authorities had the resources to do that and if not, what would be required and asked for more information of what preventative work was being undertaken to address homelessness. The Executive Director Housing Neighbourhoods & Communities said that this continued to be a challenge for every local authority, but the City did have good resources and worked closely with a range of partners agencies as well as substantial funding for the schemes set out in the report. Officers reported regularly to the Housing Committee and the Homelessness Reduction Board. Officers were focusing on preventative work and had started a homelessness transformation programme to look at all aspects of this area of work to ensure the correct support was provided and that no one returned to the streets.


36.4    The Committee voted on the recommendations which were agreed, with abstentions from Councillor Nemeth and Councillor Simson.


36.5    RESOLVED: That the Committee –


        Approved a capital budget of £2.800m to be included in the HRA Capital Investment Programme 2021/22 financed by HRA Borrowing of £2.100m funded by the rental stream and an MHCLG contribution of £0.700m. This is for the purchase of 12 new homes to deliver a Housing Led Support scheme for higher need rough sleepers;


        Approved a capital budget of £3.240m be included in the General fund Capital Investment Programme 2021/22 for the acquisition of 30 properties on 10-year leases to deliver Rapid Re-housing for lower need rough sleepers. This wouldl be funded by a contribution from MHCLG of £1.163m and will require borrowing of £2.080m, funded by the rental stream;


        Approved the extension of emergency short term hotels from October until March 2022 in light of continuing pressures of those to whom the council owes a statutory accommodation duty under the Homelessness Reduction Act in emergency accommodation;


        Agreed to use the remaining 2021/22 Contain Management Outbreak Fund (COMF) grant (estimated at £1.615m) to support the continuing pressures caused by the pandemic of those in emergency accommodation to whom the council owes a Housing duty;


        Agreed to the acquisition of a hotel to deliver in the region of 15 - 20 rooms to enable provision for the SWEP between October 2021 and March 2022.




        Housing Asset Management IT System Replacement


37.1    The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director Housing Neighbourhoods & Communities. This report was considered by the Housing Committee at its meeting on 22 September 2021 and was referred to this meeting of the Policy & Resources Committee. 


37.2    Councillor Simson asked why the matter had to be referred to this Committee and was advised by the Acting Chief Finance that it was because the funding would come from the Capital Programme which was a P&R Committee function.


37.3    The Committee voted on the recommendations, with all agreeing except Councillor Nemeth and Councillor Simson who voted against.


37.4    RESOLVED: That the Committee –


             Granted delegated authority to the Executive Director Housing, Neighbourhoods & Communities to:

(i)  Procure a new asset management IT system for the councils’ housing service;

(ii)Award a contract with the preferred supplier for a period of five years, with an option to extend by two years subject to satisfactory supplier performance.


        Agreed that the approval of a £0.515m budget to be added to the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) capital programme for the project’s procurement and implementation activity.




        Items Referred For Council


38.1    RESOLVED: It was agreed that no items be referred for the next meeting of Full Council.




        Managed Services for Temporary Agency Resource - Exempt Category 3


39.1    RESOLVED: That the information contained within the Part Two papers be noted.




        Grant of Option and Lease at Land at Corner of New England Street and New England Road - Exempt Category 3


40.1    RESOLVED: That the information contained within the Part Two papers be noted.




        Part Two Proceedings


41.1    RESOLVED: That the items listed in Part 2 of the agenda and decisions thereon remain exempt from disclosure to the press and public.





The meeting concluded at 7.00pm









Dated this

day of