Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Adults and Health
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
As part of the Council’s budget proposals consideration has been given to aims and responsibilities underpinning the Councils’ expenditure on Housing Related Support Services (HRS). These currently total £6.3 million per annum.
These services are delivered by multiple providers in a variety of forms across the County, the remit of which is to support individuals and families through services connected with their housing needs and provision and to support the prevention of homelessness.
Funding for HRS was originally provided through the ring fenced “Supporting People” grant from 2003. This was subject to annual reductions until 2011 when the ring fence was removed. Funding for these services is now met from the core County Council budget. Some of the procured services enable the Council to fulfil statutory responsibilities and others are discretionary in nature.
The Council has decided that it must consider options for changing or removing investment in HRS so as to focus funds on areas of greatest benefit in relation to defined responsibilities. This has been undertaken by opening consultation to consider the impact on individuals and families, service providers and local strategic relationships, and the practical, statutory and legal implications of any change. The evaluation of this impact is summarised in the report and provided in detail at Appendix one. On the basis of this analysis it is proposed that the Council implements a measured approach to these changes, retaining commitments to discharge statutory duties and support the wider prevention agenda.
For that purpose a budget of £2.3m is assessed as being appropriate. This will result in a spending reduction of £4m, which will be implemented over two financial years to enable time to remodel services and explore impact mitigation.
The Cabinet Member for Adults and Health has approved that;
1. The County Council allocates a core budget of £4.6 million in 2019/20 and £2.3 million in 2020/21 for investment in Housing Related Support, this investment to be used to meet the Council’s statutory duties and address the risk that reducing targeted prevention will lead to increased demand pressure in other areas,
2. All current Housing Related Support Contracts to be terminated by 30th September 2019 and new contractual arrangements developed to commence on the 1st October 2019. Additional assurance on the implementation period and impact mitigation will be provided through a continuous review process with providers and partners between January and September 2019 to ensure that the revised contracts are deliverable and the impact of these changes are minimised.
3. The County Council works closely with strategic partners, providers and stakeholders to remodel the service offer in line with statutory responsibilities, revised service priorities and the financial envelope.
4. The County Council will collaborate with the District and Borough Councils to facilitate a county wide Homelessness Reduction Strategy so that funding streams available from Central Government can be sourced.
Publication date: 18/12/2018
Date of decision: 18/12/2018
Effective from: 02/01/2019