Agenda for Adult Social Care & Housing Overview & Scrutiny Committee on Thursday, 5th March, 2009, 4.00pm

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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Hove Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Kath Vlcek, Scrutiny Support Officer 

No. Item


Procedural Business

    (a)  Declaration of Substitutes – Where Councillors are unable to attend a meeting, a substitute Member from the same Political Group may attend, speak and vote in their place for that meeting.


    (b)  Declarations of Interest by all Members present of any personal interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the Members regard the interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct.


    (c) Exclusion of Press and Public - To consider whether, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted, or the nature of the proceedings, the press and public should be excluded from the meeting when any of the following items are under consideration.


          NOTE:  Any item appearing in Part 2 of the Agenda states in its heading the category under which the information disclosed in the report is exempt from disclosure and therefore not available to the public.


              A list and description of the exempt categories is available for public inspection at Brighton and Hove Town Halls.


    59A.    Declarations of Substitutes


    59.1   Councillor Averil Older substituted for Councillor Tony Janio.


    59B.    Declarations of Interest


    59.2    There were none.


    59C.    Declarations of Party Whip


    59.3    There were none.


    59D.    Exclusion of Press and Public


    59.4    In accordance with section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, it was considered whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of any items contained in the agenda, having regard to the nature of the business to be transacted and the nature of the proceedings and the likelihood as to whether, if members of the press and public were present, there would be disclosure to them of confidential or exempt information as defined in section 100I (1) of the said Act.


    59.5    RESOLVED – That the press and public be not excluded from the meeting.



Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 75 KB


    60.1    RESOLVED - That the minutes of the meeting held on 8 January 2009 be approved and signed by the Chairman.



Chairman's Communications


    61.1    The Chairman highlighted that a number of late reports had been tabled to the Committee. She advised that discussions with the directorate had taken place to ensure that this would not happen again as it affected the function and running of the Committee. This had been raised on previous occasions and it was disappointing that it had happened again. It also meant that the reports had not been in the public domain for the constitutionally required time period.


    61.2    There was cross-party endorsement for the Chairman’s comments from other members of the committee and all members wished it to be formally minuted that the Adult Social Care and Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee found the late tabling of reports unacceptable and furthermore the lack of senior officers present at the meeting unhelpful.



Public Questions

    No public questions have been received.



    62.1    There were none.


Letters from Councillors

    No letters have been received.



    63.1    There were none.


Notices of Motions referred from Council

    No Notices of Motion have been received.



    64.1    There were none.


Member Development Session on Single Homeless Strategy


    65.1    James Crane, Housing Options Manager, Single Homeless & Work and Learning and Emma Gilbert, Single Homeless and Work & Learning Manager, Housing Needs and Social Inclusion, gave a joint presentation in which members were informed about the range of work taking place in Brighton and Hove with regard to single homeless clients. Both officers addressed Members’ queries following the presentation.


    65.2    In response to a query about seasonal differences in homeless numbers, the committee heard that there was a rise in numbers in the summer months. The team worked to relocate rough sleepers who did not have a local connection; last year, approximately 400 rough sleepers had been relocated around the country. The team ensured that there were support services in place for the client in their intended location.


    65.3    In response to a query about how ‘hidden homeless’ clients became aware of the housing help available to them, members heard that there was a network of information that was passed between the client group. The team worked proactively with services and businesses throughout the city to engage and locate rough sleepers. In addition, support workers operated varying street shifts in order to try and reach as many people as possible.


    65.4    The panel welcomed the introduction of the Teenage Parent Pilot scheme. They heard that it comprised of ten units of supported accommodation with an intensive support package for each resident. There would be a focus on getting residents back into employment, education or training.


    65.5    The committee thanked both Mr Crane and Ms Gilbert for their presentation


Councillor Maria Caulfield, Cabinet Member for Housing

    Presentation on Councillor Caulfield’s role and her priorities.


    66.1    Councillor Caulfield was unable to attend the Committee meeting. The presentation was rescheduled for the June 2009 Committee meeting.


    66.2    RESOLVED – that Councillor Caulfield be invited to speak to the June Adult Social Care and Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee.



Update on the Student Impact Ad hoc Panel pdf icon PDF 31 KB

    Update from the Chairman of the ad hoc Panel, Councillor Anne Meadows and discussion on the report and recommendations.

    Additional documents:


    67.1    The committee received an update from the Chairman of the ad hoc Panel, Councillor Anne Meadows. Councillor Meadows explained that the initially published set of recommendations were not the correct version and drew Members’ attention to the revised version included in the full report.  The Chairman said that the panel had worked hard to make the recommendations robust and measurable, and wanted residents to be able to see improvements in their neighbourhoods.


    67.2    Councillor Georgia Wrighton, who also sat on the ad hoc Panel, commented that it had been encouraging to see the number of non-students and students who had attended the first meeting; she was pleased to see the positive relationship between students and non-students. The panel felt that the solution to some of the issues that they had heard about lay in joint working and encouraging a commonsense approach.


    67.3    There was general discussion about the 37 recommendations that the panel had made. Some members commented that the Budget Committee had recently voted against extending the noise patrol’s operating hours and asked whether it was still reasonable to include this as a recommendation? The Head of Overview and Scrutiny advised that the Committee was free to make any recommendations that it wished, and that if the Committee felt that it was a valid recommendation, they were entitled to put it forward to Cabinet.


    67.4    The Committee voted to approve the set of recommendations.


    67.5    RESOLVED – That the Panel’s recommendations be approved.



Housing Adaptations pdf icon PDF 119 KB

    Report of the Director of Adult Social Care and Housing (papers to follow)


    68.1    A member proposed that the report was postponed until a later date as it had not been received until the committee meeting and members had not had the opportunity to consider the report. The member felt that this was disgraceful, particularly given that n o apologies had been given from the directorate. The proposal to postpone the report was seconded by another member.


    68.2    Following a discussion about whether to accept the report, the Committee voted not to accept it at today’s meeting. There was cross-party agreement that the Directorate should be made aware that it was not acceptable to table reports at Committee.


    68.3    RESOLVED – that the Directorate should be made aware of Committee’s views on late reports.



Scoping Paper on Possible Future Ad hoc Panels pdf icon PDF 89 KB

    Report of the Director of Adult Social Care and Housing (papers to follow).


    69.1    The special circumstances for non-compliance with Council Procedure Rule 23, Access to Information Rule 5 and Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act as amended (items not considered unless the agenda is open to inspection at least five days in advance of the meeting) are that the report could not be concluded prior to the despatch of the agenda.


    69.2    Philip Letchfield, Interim Head of Adult Social Care and Performance and Development presented the report to the Committee. Mr Letchfield apologised for the lateness of the report and said that he would feed back the Committee’s views to the Directorate.


    69.3    The committee received a report on two possible ad hoc panel topics for consideration; these were the new dementia strategy, and the anticipated Green Paper regarding the future funding of social care.


    69.4    A member commented that the Green Paper was certainly an important piece of work but felt that it would be likely to vary before it was published, so perhaps it was more appropriate to look at the dementia strategy first. A number of members supported this approach and said that they would be interested in sitting on the proposed ad hoc panel into the dementia strategy.


    69.5    There was discussion about whether it would be appropriate to carry out joint working with the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and whether the topic was more suited for a select committee, as this had the scope for more meetings than an ad hoc panel. The Chairman agreed to speak to the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee to seek their views on the above options and to feed back at the May ASCHOSC.


    The Head of Scrutiny suggested that a report should go from the ASCHOSC to the Overview and Scrutiny Commission, advising that this was the favoured ad hoc panel topic and outlining the various work options.


    69.6    RESOLVED – It was agreed:       

    • That the next Panel’s preferred topic was the new dementia strategy;
    • The Chairman of the ASHCOSC will talk to the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee about potential joint working
    • A report to be taken to the Overview and Scrutiny Commission from the ASCHOSC outlining the favoured topic option.



Revised Housing Strategy pdf icon PDF 114 KB

    Report of the Director of Adult Social Care and Housing.


    70.1    The Committee received a report updating them on the Housing Strategy since June 2008 from Andy Staniford, Housing Strategy Manager.  The Committee heard that the whole city had been affected by the recession and that the draft Strategy had been revised to reflect this. Mr Staniford explained that there had been two months of consultation on the draft strategy. The draft strategy had been used as an example of good practice in numerous locations, both nationally and internationally.


    70.2    A member asked whether there would be any more opportunity for consultation or comment. Mr Staniford explained the strategy would be subject to ongoing review once published.


    70.3    Members congratulated Mr Staniford and his team for the good work and good practice that they had developed. They were pleased to note that student housing would have its own strand within the strategy.


    70.4    RESOLVED – That the department be congratulated for their good work and good practice.



Report on Extra Care Housing and Choice Based Lettings

    Report of the Director of Adult Social Care and Housing.(papers to follow)


    71.1    The report has been withdrawn by the Directorate.



Report on the Physical Disability Strategy pdf icon PDF 101 KB

    Report of the Director of Adult Social Care and Housing.

    Additional documents:


    72.1    The Committee received a report from Karin Divall, General Manager, Adult Social Care. Ms Divall then responded to questions from the Committee.

    72.2    A member queried the level of support given to people through self-directed support. Ms Divall explained that there were varying levels of support, which was provided through the Brighton & Hove Federation of Disabled People. Other service users received support through the Money Advice and Community Support Service, whilst there would always be some service users who did not want to have any support at all. 

    72.3    A member asked about the role of the Community and Voluntary Sector in delivering the strategy. Ms Divall said that it was proposed that the Community and Voluntary Sector would be on the strategy’s steering group.

    72.4    RESOLVED – That the Committee’s comments be noted by the department.



Presentation and update on Short-term Care Commissioning Plan pdf icon PDF 42 KB

    Presentation and verbal update of the Director of Adult Social Care and Housing.


    73.1    Jane MacDonald, Service Improvement Manager, gave an update statement on the Commissioning Plan. There was a perceived inequality about how people accessed services and funding.


    73.2    There was a query about whether reablement had a fixed or a variable cost; Ms MacDonald confirmed that the costs were mean-tested but offered to find out the full information and forward this to the councillor.


    73.3    RESOLVED- It was agreed:

    • That the update be noted
    • That further information about reablement costs be circulated to the relevant councillor.



Performance Reports from Adult Social Care and Housing Directorate. pdf icon PDF 77 KB

    Report of the Director of Adult Social Care and Housing.

    Additional documents:


    74.1    Members considered performance reports from Adult Social Care and from Housing. Philip Letchfield, Interim Head of Adult Social Care and Performance and Development and John Austin-Locke, Policy, Performance and Community Participation Manager, responded to members’ questions.


    74.2    Mr Letchfield explained that Adult Social Care was coming to the end of one system of regulators; the new regulator was carrying out consultation on how they would operate in the future. Mr Letchfield said that he would keep the Committee updated with progress.


    74.3    Mr Austin-Locke said that the Housing performance report was the standard report that would go to Housing Cabinet, Area Panels etc.


    74.4    Both officers invited members to email them directly with any queries or concerns about the performance reports.


    74.5    RESOLVED – That the performance reports be noted.



Items to go forward to Cabinet or the relevant Cabinet Member Meeting

    To consider items to be submitted to the next available Cabinet or Cabinet Member Meeting.


    75.1    Item 67 – the Update on the Student Impact Ad Hoc Panel- will go to Cabinet and then on to Council.



Items to go forward to Council

    To consider items to be submitted to the next Council meeting for information.


    76.1    Item 67 – the Update on the Student Impact Ad Hoc Panel- will go to Cabinet and then on to Council.



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