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Apologies for Absence
Apologies for Absence were received from Councillor J Jones and Councillor J Oates.
The minutes of the previous meeting held on 21st June 2023 were approved and signed as a correct record.
(Moved by Councillor S Daniels and seconded by Councillor R Claymore )
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of Members’ interests (personal and/or personal and prejudicial) in any matters which are to be considered at this meeting.
When Members are declaring a personal interest or personal and prejudicial interest in respect of which they have dispensation, they should specify the nature of such interest. Members should leave the room if they have a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of which they do not have a dispensation.
There were no Declarations of Interest.
Update from the Chair
Responses to Reports of the Health & Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee
(Update on responses to the Reports of the Health & Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee)
Consideration of matters referred to the Health & Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee from Cabinet or Council
Update on health related matters considered by Staffordshire County Council
(To receive the Digest from Staffordshire County Council’s Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee and an update from County Councillor T Jay)
Councillor T Jay confirmed that there had not been any meetings since his last update.
He apologised for his absence at the previous meeting as he had only received an invite on the day.
(Report of the Assistant Director, Partnerships)
The Assistant Director, Partnerships introduced the report which is being presented to Cabinet on the 20th July 2023 to reaffirm the signing of the Armed Forces Covenant following the Armed Forces act in 2021.
It was highlighted that recommendation number 5 should state 2024 not 2023.
The Portfolio Holder commented that taking on the role of Champion was an honour following his experience first hand in the armed forces.
The Committee acknowledged that a number of members had Armed Forces experience and therefore recognised the importance of this item.
The Committee made then made following comments/observations and asked the following questions:
1. Clarification over how we meet our Commitment to give Armed Forces personnel extra weighting for housing with the reduction in housing stock? The Assistant Director Neighbours confirmed that households containing one or more former veterans or member of the Armed Forces is currently 7.3%. The Council has seven active applications on the Housing register from former Armed Forces personal who are prioritised in line with the allocations policy and Government guidelines as well as being supported in line with the Covenant. It was confirmed that data does not show that there is an issue with the onward housing solution.
2. Why there were no communications around Armed Forces Day last month? The Assistant Director offered apologies and confirmed that this was an oversight but that this is now on the calendar for next year and that the flag on Marmion House will be the Armed Forces flag on that day.
3. Further Clarification was sought around the employment recognition scheme. The Assistant Director confirmed that by signing up to the Covenant the Council were awarded bronze award status. It was confirmed that all HR policies are compliant and give due regard to Army Service and ex personnel. Information is available on the Website for resettlement teams. The Assistant Director Confirmed that there is further work to carry out.
4. The Committee expressed their support for the delegation of Councillor Cooper as the Champion. It was highlighted that under Section 2.7.9 of the Constitution that a Member of the Executive could not be appointed a Member Champion and was suggested that instead it could be requested that this be written into his Portfolio.
5. It was requested by the Committee that when the report returns to the Committee that there are examples/evidence of positive action which have been taken to support Veterans within the community. The Assistant Director confirmed that this is the intention upon bringing the report back to Committee, this was reinforced by the Portfolio Holder who confirmed he would ensure that examples of positive action would be included in future reports.
(Update on the Homelessness Hub)
The Assistant Director, Neighbourhoods Tina Mustafa and the Head of Homelessness and Housing Solutions, Sarah Finnegan introduced a presentation to the Committee to provide an update on Housing Solutions and the Homeless Hub.
The Assistant Director, Neighbourhoods and The Head of Homelessness and Housing Solutions highlighted the following information –
· Ensuring access to Council services including housing and adequate supply of affordable housing is at the heart of Homelessness.
· The Council have approximately 1000 people per year presenting as homeless which is a fairly static figure. Around 47% of those cases are closed with advice and assistance without the need for triggering a formal homelessness duty.
· The team were appointed to a taskforce due to their best practise around homelessness by the homelessness advisory support team.
· figures in Bed and Breakfast remain low (single figures or 0) and the last Rough Sleeper count was 2 and are recognised for using creative and innovative approaches to homelessness.
· The challenges faced from neighbouring authorities including Birmingham, and the need to continue working with partners and invest in Third Sector as well as the need to continue to monitor external pressure such as impact of the War in Ukraine.
· Homelessness services costs are just over 1 million pounds per year but over half of this is met from a range of Government grants.
· The Data within the presentation shows that strategy is making a difference.
· The data shows that the ‘reason for approaches’ and ‘support needs’ have remained the same but the numbers have reduced significantly showing that strategic interventions including partnership working are having an impact.
· The principles of the Homeless Hub that were agreed at Cabinet on the 16th March.
· Evidence base shows that homeless household have a range of support needs as well as accommodation needs and therefore they are working with partners to provide a hybrid package of support.
· The aim of the service to support those in Tamworth who may have accessed the service.
The Committee made the following comments/observations and asked the following questions:
· Whilst the Government pledge is to eliminate rough sleeping by 2027 this does not take into account those that chose to live that way without removing their freedom.
· Rough sleeping is not a major problem in Tamworth, historically Sofa Surfing is a greater problem, and therefore hidden homelessness is where efforts should be concentrated. Officers confirmed that Tamworth does not have an entrenched rough sleeper issue, but there is an issue with begging which presents as homelessness and this is being looked at as part of the strategy.
· Clarification with regards to slide on page as to what ‘left institution’ covers. officers confirmed that this related to leaving prison on a mental health institution.
· Aspirationally, how we would work with other authorities? Officers confirmed that this is recognised as important but that there is a varied repose from other authorities. Local partners within the county are keen to work together and that best practise is currently shared.
· Clarification around how we ... view the full minutes text for item 21.
Please see the link to the Forward Plan:
The Committee did not identify any new items.
Working Group Updates
The Committee discussed the items that were previously on the workplan and asked the Vice-Chair to update them on these.
It was confirmed that the Migrant Travelling Community item was looked at by the Committee in the previous year but that the work had been completed.
There was another item on the plan related to Attainment and Skills in Tamworth. Councillor Daniels volunteered to liaise with Councillor Kingstone who had raised this item for an update.
Health & Wellbeing Scrutiny Work Plan
To Review the Health & Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee Work Plan
The Chair asked for the Workplan to be added as a major item at the next meeting.
Exclusion of the Press and Public
To consider excluding the Press and Public from the meeting by passing the following resolution:-
“That in accordance with the provisions of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meeting and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012, and Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act and the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information to the public”
To consider excluding the Press and Public from the meeting by passing the following resolution :
“That in accordance with the provisions of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meeting and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012, and Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act and the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information to the public”
RESOLVED: That members of the press and public be now excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item on the grounds that the business involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).
(Moved by Councillor T Clements and Councillor D Maycock)
Councillor Cook gave his apologies and left the meeting at 19:05
Anker Valley Sports and Community Complex 3G
(Report of the Portfolio Holder for Entertainment and Leisure)
Report of the Portfolio Holder for Entertainment and Leisure to detail the work to date and the decisions required in order to progress the grant claim in order to deliver the proposed Football Foundation/Football Association project.
The Chair closed the meeting at 19:50