Agenda and minutes

Venue: Remote Meeting. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

To note the appointment of County Councillor S. Howarth as Chair

Minutes:

Councillor Howarth was proposed by Councillor Woodhouse and seconded by Councillor Brown.

2.

To appoint a Vice Chair

Minutes:

Councillor Brown was proposed by Councillor Woodhouse and seconded by Councillor Powell.

3.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

Tony Crowhurst declared a non-prejudicial interest as a citizen panel member for Monmouthshire Housing.

4.

Public Open Forum

Minutes:

No members of the public were present.

5.

Homelessness Transition Plan: Progress report on what are we doing to address homelessness pdf icon PDF 519 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ian Bakewell presented the report and answered the members’ questions, with additional comments from Cath Fallon and Jane Oates.

 

Challenge:

 

The Housing Support provision includes numerous officers, each covering a large aspect of the problem. Housing is just one part of a huge social issue. There have been examples in this authority of working at a multi-agency level to think outside the box. I propose that this authority commissions an academic study to determine the best way to break into this intergenerational cycle.

 

Yes, we agree entirely about the cycle. These comments are timely: when we put forward the Housing action plan, it was part of our social justice strategy update in March. As part of that, we were looking at Phase 3 of our community support network, which we pivoted and developed as part of our response to the pandemic. The community support network is now taking us towards Phase 3, where our Community and Partnership Development team, that previously was working in our communities (volunteering etc.), are now working very closely with our Adult Social Care colleagues, particularly in the ‘Changing Places, Changing Lives’ work. This week, we started talking about looking at more proof of concept and research work, and working with the Welsh School of Social Care i.e. the multi-agency approach that has been suggested. We are considering how to break the cycle, take forward the work that we have as part of our Tackling Poverty And Inequality action plan, and how we align that with the flexible funding that supports our Children And Communities grant and Housing Support grant, and how we can work better with external colleagues and internally.

 

As a council, we don’t seem to be supporting this team adequately, and are letting them down, as a result. Do we have a date for when the buying up of housing will start? Can MCC provide housing in its own right, rather than relying on developers or private landlords?

 

The suggestion to buy properties is being given serious consideration. There is interest from senior management, who have asked me to progress that to a proposal, which should be in the next few weeks. I would welcome the authority becoming a stockholder, but that is a decision for council as a whole. We are well-supported by our partners: housing associations have brought properties forward, Monmouthshire Housing in particular has acquired properties for the team, Melin has agreed to hand over accommodation to us directly.  We still have the challenge of unique circumstances; one of the issues is affordability, which Welsh Government recognises, and about which we have regular discussions.

 

The end of the report mentions problems with the Covid Hardship Fund. What extra finance would be needed, were that fund to cease? How could that funding be obtained in the long-term?

 

That is supporting our B&B expenditure, management costs that are incurred (e.g. losing income from keeping bedrooms empty), the concierge service covering several properties, and incidentals like taxis and provision of meals. If  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Adults Select Committee Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 480 KB

7.

Cabinet, Council and ICMD Forward Planner pdf icon PDF 159 KB

8.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 467 KB

Minutes:

The minutes were confirmed and signed as an accurate record.

 

9.

To confirm the date of the next meeting as 22nd June 2021

Minutes:

Councillor Powell would rather the meetings return to a 10.00 start. Councillor Woodhouse noted that it is 10.00 in the diary, though Hazel Ilett observed that this must be an error as the committee previously agreed a 10.30 start. Councillor Brown and Tony Crowhurst noted that traffic and travel times might need consideration for when meetings resume in the chamber.

 

The Chair moved that the times change to a 09.30 premeeting and 10.00 start for the main meeting.