Venue: The Forum, Moat Lane, Towcester, Northants NN12 6AD
Contact: Emma Faulkner / Lesley Farrell, Democratic and Elections Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. 01327 322043 / Email: email@example.com, 01295 221591
Declarations of Interest
Members are asked to declare any interest and the nature of that interest which they may have in any of the items under consideration at this meeting.
There were no declarations of interest.
Appointment of Vice-Chairman of Scrutiny Committee for the Municipal Year 2019/20
That Councillor Elaine Wiltshire be appointed as Vice-Chairman for the municipal year 2019-2020.
To confirm the Minutes of the meetings of the Committee held on 7 April 2019 and 15 May 2019.
The minutes of the meetings of the committee held on 4 April 2019 and 15 May 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
The Chairman to advise whether they have agreed to any items of urgent business being admitted to the agenda.
There were no items of urgent business.
To receive communications from the Chairman.
There were no Chairman’s announcements.
Officers from the Housing Options team will attend the meeting to give an overview of the Homelessness Service provided by South Northamptonshire Council. A briefing note and appendices are attached for information.
Representatives from Shelter will also attend the meeting, to present the results of a recent ‘health check’ on the service.
The Strategic Housing Manager gave a presentation which provided an overview of the work carried out by the Housing Options Team and how changes in legislation had meant that local authorities had to offer a wider service to people at risk of homelessness. Legislation also required local housing authorities to formulate and publish a homelessness strategy based on the result of a review of homelessness in the district.
In response to questions from the Committee, the Strategic Housing Manager gave examples of how homelessness occured and how it can be prevented. A worker from Adult Social Care had been assigned to help with South Northamptonshire’s cases and a very good working relationship had been built which had proved very valuable.
The presentation also covered the achievements of the Housing Options Team, examples of help given to prevent homelessness and assistance options which were available for residents.
In response to Members questions regarding those residents who could not be prevented from becoming homeless, the Committee was informed that anyone who needed help received help and procedures were in place if homelessness could not be prevented .
Harinder Birring from Shelter gave a presentation to the Committee sharing a framework designed by Shelter which had received input from Local Authorities. She explained that the main change in the Homeless Reduction Act was the prevention of homelessness.
Shelter had given South Northamptonshire Council a ‘Health Check’. They had looked at case files, and been a mystery shopper via email, telephone and face to face. The overall score had been very good but a number of recommendations had been made on how to improve the service and help improve prevention.
The Chairman thanked the Strategic Housing Manager and Harinder Birring for their very informative presentations.
(1) That the briefing note and presentations be noted.
The Committee will be invited to discuss possible subjects for inclusion on the work programme for the 2019-2020 Municipal Year.
An indicative work programme for the year is attached for information.
The Committee received a presentation from Democratic and Elections Officers that explained the role of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and outlined how different subjects could be added to the work programme.
The Committee worked in small groups to discuss potential topics for consideration over the course of the new Municipal Year and asked that the following be added as potential topics for scrutiny review:
· Silverstone Update
· Towcester by-pass
· Management of Salcey Forest Treetop walk
· Renting of garages in Deanshanger
· Traveller’s policy and Unauthorised Encampments
· Street lighting and strategy – who pays and who is responsible
· Superfast Northants Broadband progress
· Mobile Phone connectivity
· Local Government Reform – link between services. How are districts working together to prepare, timelines and costs
· S106 monitoring
· Housing supply – have received conflicting reports about the number of years supply for SNC
· Local Grants – how are they decided?
The Chairman thanked Members for their suggestions and explained that Democratic and Elections Officers would liaise with officers regarding the suggested topics and provide an update at the next Committee meeting.
(1) That Democratic and Elections Officers liaise with officers regarding suggested topics for consideration, with a view to providing an update and suggested next steps at the next meeting of the Committee on the following topics:
• Universal Credit
• Silverstone Update
• Towcester by-pass
• Management of Salcey Forest Treetop walk
• Renting of garages in Deanshanger
• Traveller’s policy and Unauthorised Encampments
• Street lighting and strategy – who pays and who is responsible
• Superfast Northants Broadband progress
• Mobile Phone connectivity
•Local Government Reform – link between services. How are districts working together to prepare, timelines and costs
• S106 monitoring
•Housing supply – have received conflicting reports about the number of years supply for SNC
• Local Grants – how are they decided?
•Local Plan part II – what will be the effect of joining 3 local plans in the light of the creation of the West Unitary Authority?