Agenda item - Rough Sleeping Strategy 2016: Consultation Draft

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Agenda item

Rough Sleeping Strategy 2016: Consultation Draft

Joint report of the Director of Adult Services and the Acting Director for Environment, Development & Housing, together with an extract from the Housing & New Homes Committee meeting held on the 2nd March 2016 (copies attached).


65.1         The Head of Adults Assessment introduced the report which outlined the Council’s intention to address the issue of rough sleeping and to remove the need to sleep rough in the city by 2020.  He noted that the issue impacted on the public health care system and required a city-wide response if the strategy was to be effective and therefore it was being taken to a number of meetings.


65.2         The Housing Strategy Manager noted that incidents of rough sleeping had been increasing in recent years and currently there were 78 known rough sleepers in the city, which placed Brighton and Hove as the 3rd highest in the country below Westminster and Bristol.  The street services team had worked with 1,100 people last year and 300 hostel places had been provided with 200 people still on the waiting list.  He noted that 74 years was the national average for a person to live whilst for a rough sleeper it was 47.  The aim of the strategy was to provide a common approach to this situation and enable the various providers who were doing a great deal of good work to work together and ideally achieve the goal by 2020. 


65.3         The Chair of the Adult Safeguarding Board noted that the Board had commissioned two pieces of work relating to rough sleepers, a desk-top review looking at the number of deaths in the last year and a Safeguarding Adult Review in relation to a death at the end of 2014.


65.4         Councillor Barford welcomed the report and thanked the officers for their work to date and hoped that the strategy could be finalised and action then taken to address the situation and achieve the outcome by 2020.


65.5         The Director of Public Health stated that it was an ambitious target and asked what monitoring of numbers on the street was being undertaken, given the incremental rise shown on page 48 and where would the overall accountability for the strategy sit.


65.6         The Head of Adults Assessment stated that it was an immense challenge and one that would require a fully joined up approach.  There was an officer/Member Steering Group which would oversee the strategy and report to committee on a regular basis.  In regard to the numbers of rough sleepers an annual count was undertaken.


65.7         Councillor Penn welcomed the report and queried how the cycle of having temporary allocated and then losing it and thereby ending up back on the street could be broken.


65.8         The Public Health Consultant stated that a review of hostel providers was being undertaken and it was recognised that there had been a failure in terms of how they met the needs of those referred and how the provision could be maintained. He noted that the council had recently appointed St Mungo’s to lead on the provision of temporary accommodation and hopefully a more integrated approach would be developed.


65.9         Councillor Mac Cafferty noted that there was a long waiting list for hostel accommodation already and that there would be a need to address this bottleneck if priority 5 of the strategy was to be met.  He therefore queried whether any discussions were being held directly with rough sleepers and how information from consultations with providers and rough sleepers would be reported.


65.10      The Housing Strategy Manager stated that the Homelessness Strategy had been developed in partnership with landlords and it was hoped that this would encourage a more co-ordinated approach.  The consultation on the Rough Sleepers Strategy would have an impact on the final development of the strategy and an event had been set up to which rough sleepers were invited so that their views could be taken into account.  He also noted that the report and draft strategy had been considered and welcomed by the Housing & New Homes and Neighbourhoods, Communities & Equalities Committees.


65.11      Frances McCabe referred to the Board’s earlier discussion around GP practices and queried how the primary care hub referred to in the draft strategy connected with Morley Street.


65.12      The Public Health Consultant stated that it would fit with the proposals for Morley Street and the ‘better care’ approach with the co-ordination of multi-disciplinary teams and should lead to the model being taken further forward.


65.13      Councillor K. Norman welcomed the report and thanked the officers for their work on the strategy.  He supported all five priorities but felt that they would be difficult to achieve.


65.14      The Chair noted the comments and added his thanks to the officers for their work on developing the strategy and hoped that following the consultations an agreed strategy would be in place.


65.15      RESOLVED: That the report and the drat strategy as detailed in appendix 1 to the report be noted.

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