Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Housing & Community Safety Select Committee (ceased to operate 03/06/2015) Minutes

Date:
Thursday, 18th July, 2013
Time:
2.30pm
Place:
Jim Cooke Suite, Stockton Central Library, Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 1AU
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Julia Cherrett (Chair); Cllr Derrick Brown, Cllr Michael Clark, Cllr Evaline Cunningham, Cllr Robert Gibson and Cllr David Wilburn.
Officers:
J Trainer, P J Mennear, P K Bell (LD); J Nixon, J Higgins (DNS).
In Attendance:
Cllr Jean O'Donnell, Cllr Eileen Johnson (Chair and Vice Chair of Arts, Leisure and Culture Select Committee.
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Mohammed Javed and Cllr Tina Large.
Item Description Decision
Public
HCS
23/13
COMMITTEE BRIEFING.
Members prepared their approach to the meeting.
HCS
24/13
EVACUATION PROCEDURE
The evacuation procedure was noted.
HCS
25/13
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest.
HCS
26/13
MINUTES FROM THE MEETING WHICH WAS HELD ON THE 2ND MAY 2013
The minutes of the meeting held on 2nd May 2013 were signed by the Chair as a correct record.
HCS
27/13
DRAFT MINUTES OF THE MEETING WHICH WAS HELD ON THE 22ND MAY 2013
AGREED that the draft minutes be agreed.
HCS
28/13
DRAFT MINUTES FROM THE MEETING WHICH WAS HELD ON THE 6TH JULY 2013
AGREED that the minutes be agreed.
HCS
29/13
SCRUTINY REVIEW OF WELFARE REFORM AND FINANCIAL INCLUSION



AGREED the presentation and information be noted.
HCS
30/13
WORK PROGRAMME
AGREED that the Scope and Project Plan be noted.
HCS
31/13
CHAIR'S UPDATE
There was no Chair's Update.
2.30 pm - 4.00 pm

Preamble

ItemPreamble
HCS
27/13
Consideration was given to the draft minutes of the meeting held on 22nd May 2013.
HCS
28/13
Consideration was given to the draft minutes of the meeting held on 6th July 2013.
HCS
29/13
Members were requested to consider the information provided in order to set the scene for the welfare reform and financial inclusion review.

As agreed at the previous meeting, it was proposed to use this meeting to set the scene on the emerging impact of welfare reform on the Borough.

An update report was considered at Cabinet on 11 July. This was clearly relevant to the review and was attached to the report.

The Cabinet report also suggested an approach to data collection in order to measure the impact of welfare reform.

The Institute for Local Governance carried out an analysis of the potential impact of the reforms on Stockton's residents and organisations in the borough. This report was also provided to Members.

Julie Nixon (Head of Housing) was in attendance at the meeting and gave Members a presentation on Welfare Reform. The presentation covered the following key areas:-

* Welfare Reform in Stockton
* Welfare Reform Board
* Expected Impact in the Borough
* Local Council Tax
* Disability Living Allowance
* Universal Credit
* The Benefit Cap
* Small Resources to Assist
* Additional Help and Support for Residents
* Review of the Common Housing Allocations Policy
* What Registered Housing Providers Are Doing to Prepare
* Communicating the Forthcoming Changes
* What Next?

Members were then given the opportunity to ask questions and make comments on the presentation. These could be summarised as follows:-

* Joint working with registered providers
* We need to stress in any of our literature that Discretionary Housing Payments are time limited and a report on their impact from Vela Group was requested
* We need further information on food banks
* Any system that is produced will have to be fluid as people are often moving about
* We need to get an early heads up and look at what might happen, for example regarding the impact of payday loans
* The Chair and Vice Chair of Arts, Leisure and Culture Select Committee indicated that they would like to continue to come to future meetings while the topic is being considered as it linked to their review of child poverty.

Officers reported that the demand for 3-bed properties was low even though they are now available due to the under-occupancy charge. This may be because people had tried before but had been put off when these were unavailable in previous years.

The local Social Fund scheme hadn't paid out as much as expected which may reflect too tight criteria, although it had to be controlled as funding was limited. Critical pathways and some detailed case studies would be provided for Members.

It was suggested that the review should focus on the services directly provided by the Council, an how they interact with residents; the work of the registered housing providers, including support for tenants their eviction policy; and the work of the third sector including advice services and food banks.

Members agreed that the issue of local food banks - overview of services provided, opportunities and SBC policy on joint working be considered at the next meeting of the Committee on 12th September 2013.
HCS
30/13
Consideration was given to the Scope and Project Plan for the Review of Welfare Reform and Financial Inclusion. Representatives of local foodbanks would be invited to the next meeting.

Can't find it

Can't find what you're looking for? Let us know and we'll do our best to point you in the right direction