Venue: Ground Floor Committee Room - Loxley House, Station Street, Nottingham, NG2 3NG
Contact: Laura Wilson Senior Governance Officer
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Councillor Nicola Heaton – work commitments
DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS
To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 16 May 2018
The minutes of the meeting held on 16 May 2018 were confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chair.
Report of the Head of Legal and Governance
Councillor Dave Liversidge, Portfolio Holder for Transport and HR, gave a presentation outlining progress within his portfolio against Council Plan priorities and the main priorities and challenges for 2018/19. He highlighted the following points:
(a) all priorities within this new portfolio are on track and rated as “green”, but there is still room for improvement;
(b) work is taking place to extend the reach of the Robin Hood card and allow greater interchangeability between different types of transport and networks;
(c) bids are being submitted for funding to extend the tram network with the priority lines being to Clifton South and Ruddington and to Toton for the advent of HS2;
(d) there has been very good uptake by taxi drivers of the MyTaxi app which will help to decrease the amount of time spent waiting at the taxi ranks in the city centre;
(e) the sky link bus has been reinstated and with the development of HS2 and the linked expansion of East Midlands airport it will be essential to develop a good transport system to allow Nottingham citizens to access jobs at the airport;
(f) work continues to address the issue of potholes. Small grants have been received from the government to address potholes, however the amounts are limited as they are calculated on road length rather than volume of traffic using them;
(g) despite a huge expansion of the network of cycle routes in the city there are a number of improvements still to be made. The ambition is to ensure that all cycle paths are clean and clear, this includes reducing raise ironworks, and ensuring vegetation is kept clear;
(h) there are now 100 apprenticeship posts filled within the City Council. Work within HR is now focusing on embedding new employee schemes;
Following questions from the Committee the following additional information was given:
(i) the number of charging points for electric vehicles is steadily increasing across Nottingham despite difficulty with the existing electrical network in place for the street lighting. This scheme of installation will continue;
(j) at present all wheelchair accessible hackney cabs are able to use all bus lanes/gates within the city centre, this is not the case for private hire taxis and this is unlikely to change;
(k) utility companies will be required to repair roads to a higher standard to ensure that repairs do not sink due to a lack of back fill. Works like this now require a licence and sign off by the Council on completion.
REOLVED to thank Councillor Dave Liversidge for his attendance, and to note the content of his update.
Report of Head of Legal and Governance
Rachael Harding, Housing Strategy Specialist, and Bobby Lowen, Commissioning Lead, gave a detailed presentation on the current work being done and, along with Christine Oliver, Head of Commissioning, Andrew Redfern, Chief Executive of Framework Housing, and Gary Harvey, Head of Housing Solutions, they highlighted the following points:
(a) there are a number of important partnerships in place working to reduce homelessness in Nottingham. These include statutory organisations and public sector organisations as well as community and voluntary organisations;
(b) the multi-agency partnership is drawing up a collaborative strategy that outlines a set of shared aims and values and asks that everyone within the partnership works towards reducing homelessness with a specific set of individual pledges. This 5 year document is due to be consulted on very shortly;
(c) programmes that have come about due to cross department working within Nottingham City Council include the Cold Weather Plan and the winter measures. Partnership working has led to communication campaigns and outreach teams reaching more people;
(d) the Opportunity Nottingham programme is funded through the Big Lottery Fund and has been working with people with multiple and complex needs. The programme is designed to be a person centred approach with services meeting their needs rather than the person fitting into an established framework of services;
(e) the Opportunity Nottingham programme is now half way through an 8 year life. Over the life of the programme it aims to engage with 380 people and has reached that number already. Although the programme has been successful it has also coincided with a significant increase in the rise of numbers of people sleeping on the streets and so its impact has appeared limited;
(f) there are a number of ongoing developments around partnership working: a proposed stakeholder forum held quarterly to ensure a regular channel of communication, a shared information system and a duty to refer pilot;
(g) there has been a reduction in available budget on top of increase demand for services which has led to a review of commissioned services focusing on how to manage the pressures on services, deliver savings and continue to support citizens;
(h) the review formed a joint strategic needs assessment and included stakeholder events, online surveys and shared online feedback. It also included input from those with lived experience;
(i) the outcome of the review has led to few more inclusive contracts being commissioned with extra capacity within temporary and supported accommodation, including provision of different types to suit families as a well as individuals with longer contracts to encourage capital investment;
(j) grant funding for the No Second Night Out has come to an end but mainstream funding has been established to ensure the programme continues;
(k) going forward there are a number of measures being taken, including Ending Rough Sleeping in Nottingham workshops planned, a bid for additional funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and closer contract management with a role for Housing Aid;
(l) there is also ongoing work with the Leaving Care Team, to reduce the number of bed and breakfast placements of care leavers.
Following questions and comments from the Committee the following information was given:
(m) there is a weekly eviction prevention panel which consists of officers from Nottingham City Homes and Revenue and Benefits, as well as support services and they focus on what support can be given to those most at risk of being evicted and being made homeless to sustain their tenancies;
(n) it is challenging to measure the effectiveness of the work, but for each contract there is a set of agreed outcomes to be delivered to citizens, these are being and will continue to be monitored across the life of the contract;
(o) additional support staff have been put in place to support those making benefit claims within the private rented sector as they traditionally have a lower success rate than those in Council or supported housing;
(p) care leavers move from care into semi-independent living accommodation. Their transition is carefully monitored and their move into social housing is planned. The Leaving Care Team and Housing colleagues work closely together to accommodate the individual in the most sustainable and most appropriate housing available;
(q) a Housing First scheme similar to the ones seen in Liverpool and Manchester would be a good way to impact on homelessness. These schemes ensure that a person has a tenancy and then provides wrap around support to ensure that the tenancy is maintained.
The Committee agreed that the roll out of universal credit would create very challenging circumstances and the impact it has on homelessness figures will need to be carefully monitored and addressed. It also agreed that hearing the voice of tenants from the private rented sector should be built into the system.
The Committee was keen to see a reduction in the number of people being accommodated in bed and breakfast accommodation
(1) note the content of the presentations and to thank colleagues and partners for their attendance;
(2) receive a further report on homelessness and the impact of universal credit roll out later in the year.
Report of Head of Legal and Governance
RESOLVED to have a detailed discussion on the work that is currently planned for the 2018/19 municipal year at the next meeting.