Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 16th May, 2018 2.00 pm

Venue: LB 31-32 - Loxley House, Station Street, Nottingham, NG2 3NG. View directions

Contact: Laura Wilson  Senior Governance Officer

No. Item




Councillor Sue Johnson – leave

Councillor Gul Nawaz Khan – other Council business

Councillor Cate Woodward – other Council business






MINUTES pdf icon PDF 123 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 4 April 2018


The minutes of the meeting held on 4 April 2018 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Overview and Scrutiny Committee Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 199 KB

Report of Head of Legal and Governance


RESOLVED to approve the terms of reference for the Committee, as approved at Council on 14 May 2018


Establishment of the Overview and Scrutiny Call-in Panel pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Report of Head of Legal and Governance


Additional documents:


RESOLVED to approve


(1)  the terms of reference of the Call-In Panel, as detailed in Appendix 1 of the report;

(2)  the membership of the Call-In Panel as detailed below:


Labour Group

Conservative Group

Councillor Brian Parbutt (Chair)

Councillor Jim Armstrong

Councillor Azad Choudhury


Councillor Cate Woodward


Councillor Mohammed Ibrahim

Councillor Andrew Rule

Councillor Patience Uloma Ifediora


Councillor Sue Johnson (Vice-Chair)


Councillor Gul Nawaz Khan


Councillor Anne Peach (Vice-Chair)





Councillor Mohammed Saghir

Councillor Nicola Heaton


Councillor Glyn Jenkins




Homelessness pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Report of Head of Legal and Governance

Additional documents:


Gary Harvey, Head of Housing Solutions, introduced the report and gave a presentation to the Committee on the Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) and its implications, highlighting the following:


(a)  the HRA amends the Housing Act 1996 Part VII and will have an impact on the way in which homelessness prevention services are delivered and how services should link to wider support such as training, employment and health to increase resilience to homelessness;

(b)  after receiving all party support, the HRA received royal assent in April 2017 and commenced in April 2018;

(c)  the period that a person may be threatened with homelessness if they have been served a valid notice for shorthold tenancy has extended from 28 to 56 days;

(d)  there is now a duty on the Council to provide advice  and information free of charge on preventing homelessness, securing accommodation when homeless, the rights of people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness, the help available in the district and how to access that help;

(e)  everyone who is homeless or threatened with homelessness must have a Personal Housing Plan (PHP) assessing their circumstances, housing needs and support needs. They must have at least one face to face interview and be notified of the outcome of the assessment in writing. The PHP must have agreement from the applicant;

(f)  the legislation includes a duty to prevent homelessness, for a period of 56 days of homelessness being threatened, and take reasonable steps to ensure the accommodation does not cease to be available. This duty can be ended early for a number of reasons including if the applicant refused an offer of suitable accommodation that had reasonable prospects of being available for at least 6 months;

(g)  the legislation also contains a duty to relieve homelessness to all who are homeless, meaning that the Council must take reasonable steps to help ensure accommodation for at least 6 months. At this stage applicants can be referred to another authority area based on local connections;

(h)  applicants are required to cooperate with reasonable steps that the Council sets out as part of its prevention and relief duties. If they do not, a warning must be served, agreed by at least 2 officers, giving clear notice of the need to comply along with the consequences of non-cooperation;

(i)  care leavers will be able to demonstrate a local connection to the Local Authority area where they have been looked after, or an area where they have lived for at least 2 years including some time before they were 16 years old;

(j)  a duty for public bodies to refer known cases of homelessness or threat of homelessness to the Local Authority will come into force in October 2018. This will require the consent of the individual and a choice as to which authority their case is referred to;

(k)  suitability checks of accommodation have been extended to include offers of accommodation within the Private Rented Sector (PRS). Offers for non-priority households under prevention or relief duties are exempt from this, although Nottingham City Council intends to only make offers of suitable accommodation in all cases;

(l)  all Housing Aid staff have been trained on the new legislation and new IT systems have been implemented for compliance. Support services have also been re-commissioned including independent living support and rough sleeping.


The following points were raised during the discussion which followed:


(m)the Council does not have a duty to refer ineligible cases to the Home Office, and is prohibited from providing assistance to those that are ineligible for it. There can be exceptions for particularly vulnerable people and these will be referred to Social Services;

(n)  the legislation has been implemented earlier in Wales and has resulted in more homelessness prevention and relief. However, it is difficult to compare due to Wales’s relatively small population. It remains to be seen whether the legislation will improve resilience to homelessness;

(o)  further issues causing homelessness that the legislation does not solve include a lack of affordable accommodation, the introduction of Universal Credit, cutbacks to health service and local authorities, and a lack of services for the homeless;

(p)  the duty to prevent and relieve homelessness is regardless of whether somebody has intentionally made themselves homeless or not;

(q)  all new cases after 3 April 2018 are considered under the new legislation, with  cases still pending from before this date being dealt with under the old legislation. Introduction of the new legislation has resulted in an influx of new cases, 614 so far, with 236 at the prevention stage, 167 at the relief stage and 196 cases closed;

(r)  applicants may express a preference of a specific area in their PHP, though some areas have high demand and will not be possible. Applicants must also take an active role in seeking accommodation themselves;

(s)  the number of applications will be monitored and the Council will make annual returns to the government. Currently 4-5,000 households need some help in Nottingham every year. The top causes of homelessness are Section 21 notices from private landlords and family breakdowns;

RESOLVED to thank Gary for the information provided


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Report of Head of Legal and Governance



RESOLVED to note the work that is currently planned for the 2018/19 municipal year


Dates of future meetings

To consider meeting at 2.00pm on the following Wednesdays:


2018  2019

6 June  9 January

4 July  6 February

5 September  6 March

3 October 

7 November

5 December 



RESOLVED to meet at 2.00pm on the following Wednesdays:




6 June

9 January

4 July

6 February

5 September

6 March

3 October


7 November


5 December