Venue: COUNCIL CHAMBER
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors S Slater and L E Smart
Declarations of Interest (including whipping declarations)
Members of the Committee are reminded of their personal responsibility to declare any personal and prejudicial interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act 2000, the Council’s Constitution and the Members Code of Conduct. In addition, Members must declare any prohibited party whip which the Member has been given in relation to the meeting as per the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011.
a. Members are reminded that they must identify the item number and subject matter that their interest relates to and signify the nature of the personal interest; and
b. Where Members withdraw from a meeting as a consequence of the disclosure of a prejudicial interest they must notify the Chair when they leave.
Councillor W R Smith declared his interest in Item 4 – Safer Merthyr Tydfil – Update on Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence, as he sits on this Panel.
See attached report.
The Chair welcomed Steve Peters, Jackie Evans and Jill Bow to the Meeting.
Councillor D Jones referred the Committee to ‘An Update Report on Performance and Progress on Delivering the Housing and Homelessness Action Plan, including a Focus on Supporting People & Housing Related Support’.
Steve Peters gave apologies for absence from Julian Pike.
Steve Peters then referred to the report in detail and together with Officers responded to the following questions raised by Committee:-
· When do you plan to undertake the review.
· Homeless people, does the Local Authority Officers go around checking areas of concern, such as the bus depot.
· What other partners are we involved with and is there any resistance from them.
· At a time that the authority is looking to shift service provision towards self-service such as more use of the website and online facilities, the requirement for an interview means that there will be more one to one contact at the Civic Centre. What impact will this have on the Authority.
· Staffing / Funding what will happen with a reduction and how can we access additional monies. Can we work with RSL and is there a plan to take this forward.
· Hafod Housing, why aren’t they the Local Authority’s providers of choice, what is this all about?
· Performance, what is the timescale before we can have indicators as scrutiny need to monitor this data.
· With this New Act being implemented how will we inform the public of this and show it is to improve quality of life?
· Are we as a Local Authority responsible to get Landlords on board?
· We need to do something next April to let the people know and feed this information to them.
· Do we have a data base on private renting and any penalties the Local Authority enforces, do we get this back?
· There is a duty to Local Authorities to pursue and enforce upon the landlords and when it goes to court the penalty monies go back to Cardiff Council. Is this the case?.
· What are the costs to Local Authorities and where is funding coming from.
· Private Landlords are more likely to accept a homeless household if support mechanisms from the local authority for them are assured. Will you be offering any local authority support for private Landlords?
· Who are the third sector providers involved and what are the major repercussions of a 20% budget reduction?
· Is this authority looking to reduce its own budget in this area, and what was the case last financial year?
· What needs to change with regard to interaction with neighbouring local authorities and other RSL’s that don’t operate in Merthyr Tydfil. Do we work with RCT for example when looking for housing options?
· There is a lack of housing for people with mental health problems, what plans are in place to rectify this?
The Chair thanked the Officers.
See attached report
The Chair welcomed Nicola Mahoney and Julie Beck to the meeting.
Councillor D Jones referred the Committee to the ‘Safer Merthyr Tydfil – Update on Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence’ report and outlined the content.
Nicola Mahoney then referred to the report and the following questions were raised by the Committee:
· Do you have a figure for drug related problems?
· Has there been an increase in drug and drink issues in the last year and what is the percentage?
· What is the difference between Male and Female percentages?
· How successful is the ‘White Ribbon’ Campaign.
· Do people who have committed a crime get invited to participate in this White Ribbon Campaign?
· What do you do about teenagers abusing parents?
· When ‘Create’ was operating did you see a change in behaviours?
· SMT now facing challenging financial pressures, how will this affect your organisation and its ability to deliver on its priorities?
· How much longer is your contract or agreement with this Authority?
The Chair thanked Nicola Mahoney, Julie Beck and Steve Peters.
Scrutiny Referrals, Feedback and Follow up Actions
To receive any referrals from the other Scrutiny Committees and Audit Committee; an update from the Chair on their attendance at the Service Performance Challenge Meetings and to consider any follow up actions from the previous Meeting(s).
The Chair advised that there was no update in relation to this item.
Reflection and Evaluation of Meeting
To receive an update from the Chair.
The Chair and Committee reflected in detail on the issues that had been considered at the Meeting.
RSL’s be invited to a future meeting.
Item 3 - Defer recommendation of report until the Committee meet with the RSL’s.
See attached report.
The Committee considered and agreed the Forward Work Programme.
Special Scrutiny for all Committees 14th January 2016.
Any other business deemed urgent by the Chair
The Chair advised that there was no business deemed urgent.