Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet
Wednesday, 5th June, 2019 5.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 3, Third Floor - Civic Centre, St Peter's Square, Wolverhampton WV1 1SH

Contact: Philippa Salmon  Tel: 01902 555061 or Email: philippa.salmon@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

No apologies for absence were received.

2.

Declaration of interests

Minutes:

Councillor Harman Banger declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 6 – ‘Implementation of The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations in the Private Rented Sector’ as a private sector landlord.

3.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 312 KB

[For approval]

Minutes:

That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 10 April 2019 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

4.

Matters arising

[To consider any matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting]

Minutes:

There were no matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting.

5.

Tackling Homelessness Together - a proactive service approach in line with prevention strategy pdf icon PDF 322 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

1. That a review of the 2019-2020 Housing Options Service and Temporary Accommodation provision be approved.

2. That the setting up of a supplementary expenditure budget of £718,000 in 2019-2020 as a result of receipt of Homelessness grant funding be approved and authority delegated to the Cabinet Member for City Assets and Housing and the Director of City Housing to allocate the grant.

3. That the use of an additional ten Council housing properties for temporary accommodation use be approved.

4. That the transition in 2017 transferring operational homelessness and support services from the City Council to Wolverhampton Homes, the City’s management agent, be noted.

5. That the initial findings in relation to the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 on service delivery be noted.

6. That the City’s partnership working that has arisen as a direct response to the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 be noted.

Minutes:

Councillor Peter Bilson presented the Tackling Homelessness Together - a proactive service approach in line with prevention strategy for approval, subject to an amendment to paragraph 7.1 of the report to replace 31 March 2018 with 31 March 2019.

 

The report provided an update following the transfer of Council homeless and prevention services to Wolverhampton Homes. The report also outlined the new service proposals and the way in which the service would be

structured and funded in order to meet the needs of current legislation and contribute to meeting the aims of the City’s Homelessness Prevention Strategy 2018 2022 priorities. The implementation of a restructure would enable the service to meet the requirements of current legislation and the increasing demands for temporary accommodation.

 

It was noted that rough sleeping was a nationwide issue with many causes. City of Wolverhampton Council had undertaken targeted work to reduce homelessness in the City and was now in a position where every rough sleeper had a meal and a place to stay available to them. An alternative giving page would be created in the coming weeks and the Council would request that any monetary donations be made through the site rather than directly to rough sleepers. All donations would be directed towards work to assist rough sleepers in Wolverhampton.

 

Resolved:

 

1. That a review of the 2019-2020 Housing Options Service and Temporary Accommodation provision be approved.

2. That the setting up of a supplementary expenditure budget of £718,000 in 2019-2020 as a result of receipt of Homelessness grant funding be approved and authority delegated to the Cabinet Member for City Assets and Housing and the Director of City Housing to allocate the grant.

3. That the use of an additional ten Council housing properties for temporary accommodation use be approved.

4. That the transition in 2017 transferring operational homelessness and support services from the City Council to Wolverhampton Homes, the City’s management agent, be noted.

5. That the initial findings in relation to the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 on service delivery be noted.

6. That the City’s partnership working that has arisen as a direct response to the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 be noted.

6.

Implementation of The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations in the Private Rented Sector pdf icon PDF 155 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

1. That penalty charges be adopted for breaches of the regulations.

2. That the penalty charge levels as set out in Appendix 2 to this report be approved.

3. That authority be delegated to enforce the requirements of the Energy Act 2013 section 150 and any Regulations or Orders made thereunder (and specifically the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations) to the Director of City Housing.

4. That it be noted that the Council has a duty to respond to the discovery or suspicion of significant residential hazards under the Housing Act 2004. These regulations introduce a new requirement to serve a remedial notice where smoke or carbon monoxide alarms are absent or defective.

5. That it be noted that the Local Housing Authority must prepare and publish a statement of principles which it proposes to follow in determining the amount of a penalty charge (attached at Appendix 2 to the report).

Minutes:

Councillor Peter Bilson presented the Implementation of The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations in the Private Rented Sector for adoption and approval. The report set out the implementation of penalty charges and the penalty charge level under the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Regulations. The adoption of the regulations would underpin existing powers and ensure a more robust, proactive and targeted approach to non-compliant landlords in the City. The authority to enforce the regulations would assist Council officers in ensuring that all Wolverhampton residents would not be at risk and would have a safe place to live.

 

Resolved:

 

1. That penalty charges be adopted for breaches of the regulations.

2. That the penalty charge levels as set out in Appendix 2 to this report be approved.

3. That authority be delegated to enforce the requirements of the Energy Act 2013 section 150 and any Regulations or Orders made thereunder (and specifically the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations) to the Director of City Housing.

4. That it be noted that the Council has a duty to respond to the discovery or suspicion of significant residential hazards under the Housing Act 2004. These regulations introduce a new requirement to serve a remedial notice where smoke or carbon monoxide alarms are absent or defective.

5. That it be noted that the Local Housing Authority must prepare and publish a statement of principles which it proposes to follow in determining the amount of a penalty charge (attached at Appendix 2 to the report).

7.

Principal Social Worker Annual Report 2018-2019 pdf icon PDF 215 KB

Decision:

That the main priorities for the Principal Social Worker identified for 2019-2020 be approved.

Minutes:

Councillor John Reynolds introduced the Principal Social Worker Annual Report 2018-2019. The report provided an update on progress made over the previous year and requested approval for the main priorities for the Principal Social Worker identified for 2019-2020. The work of the Principal Social Worker was praised and the progress made noted.

 

Louise Haughton, Principal Social Worker, presented the report and illustrated key areas of impact. City of Wolverhampton Council would be training 36 new social workers in 2020. This would be more than the number required in Wolverhampton so would help to assist with the lack of trained social workers regionally. The Council had ensured that newly qualified social workers were properly supported. This had helped to significantly reduce the amount of staff leaving the service, which in turn had seen a reduction in the need for agency staff. This had also had a positive impact on the relevant budgets and ensured a more stable workforce. Work in children’s services had seen a reduction in the number of children being taken into care, which had been recognised by Ofsted. In adult’s services the implementation of the Three Conversations initiative had seen a reduction in waiting lists to zero in participating sites. No service user would wait more than three weeks for contact and the average waiting time was two days. The workforce had reported that they felt happier and more fulfilled working under the new initiative and the feedback from users was also positive. The work of the Principal Social Worker was delivered within budget and savings and efficiencies could be seen across the services supported by the work.

 

Resolved:

 

That the main priorities for the Principal Social Worker identified for 2019-2020 be approved.

8.

Exclusion of press and public

[To pass the following resolution:

 

That in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business as they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information on the grounds shown below.]

Decision:

That in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business as they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

Minutes:

That in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business as they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

9.

WV Living Business Plan Update

Decision:

1. That the update to the WV Living Business Plan, as detailed in Appendix 1 to this report, to incorporate the former Northicote School Site and provide 198 additional homes, be approved.

2. That the successful progress in delivery of the WV Business Plan to date, delivering wider housing outcomes as part of City of Wolverhampton Council’s Corporate Plan be noted.

3. That it be noted that the revised Business Plan reflects the estimated viability for the residential development of the former Northicote School Site.

4. That it be noted that further Business Plan updates will continue to be sent by WV Living’s Board to the Council and brought before Cabinet for consideration and approval.

Minutes:

Councillor Peter Bilson presented the WV Living Business Plan Update that was exempt as it contained information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

Resolved:

 

1. That the update to the WV Living Business Plan, as detailed in Appendix 1 to this report, to incorporate the former Northicote School Site and provide 198 additional homes, be approved.

2. That the successful progress in delivery of the WV Business Plan to date, delivering wider housing outcomes as part of City of Wolverhampton Council’s Corporate Plan be noted.

3. That it be noted that the revised Business Plan reflects the estimated viability for the residential development of the former Northicote School Site.

4. That it be noted that further Business Plan updates will continue to be sent by WV Living’s Board to the Council and brought before Cabinet for consideration and approval.