Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room, Council Offices, Urban Road, Kirkby-in-Ashfield

Contact: Julie Robinson  Email:

No. Item


Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary and Non Disclosable Pecuniary/Other Interests


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 147 KB



that the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 20th September, 2016 be received and approved as a correct record.


Scrutiny Review - Access to Homelessness Services pdf icon PDF 188 KB


The Chairman introduced the item and explained that the topic had been placed on the Scrutiny Workplan to enable the Panel to consider access to homelessness services and how we work with partner agencies in addressing and preventing homelessness at the earliest possible stage.


The Chairman explained that this initial scoping meeting was to enable the Panel to discuss the priorities and establish the methodology for the review.  At the next scheduled meeting the Housing Strategy Team Leader and the Senior Environmental Health Officer would be in attendance to assist the Panel.


The Scrutiny Manager informed the Panel that the report aims to provide Members with an overview of the topic, including how the Council’s homelessness service works, national legislation and requirements and details of the current Homelessness Reduction Bill following its recent second reading in Parliament. 


The Scrutiny Manager briefly outlined the definitions of homelessness, statutory homelessness and ‘priority need groups’.  He emphasised that homelessness is a problem faced by people who lack a place to live that is supportive, affordable, decent and secure.  Each local housing authority is required to consider housing needs within its areas, including the needs of homeless households.  Priority need groups include households with dependent children, pregnant women and people who are vulnerable (mental illness/physical disability).


The Scrutiny Manager explained that Ashfield and Mansfield District Council have been operating a shared service delivering their front line homeless services since March, 2015.  During 2015/16 a total of 93 people approached the Council for assistance. 


The Council are developing priorities for 2016-2020 to support those deemed homeless and those groups particularly at risk of becoming homeless.  The Council are therefore working in partnership with other agencies to assist a number of vulnerable groups.


The Scrutiny Manager then referred to the Homelessness Reduction Bill which was passed through to the next stage of Parliament on 28th October, 2016.  The Bill, which has cross-party support, enhances the legal duties placed on Local Authorities to prevent homelessness.


Amongst the Bill’s measures the following points were proposed:-


·       Recognising a household is ‘threatened with homelessness’ if they are at risk of losing their accommodation within 56 days, rather than within 28 days as is currently the case;

·       A stronger duty on Councils to provide information and advice on homelessness and ensuring advice services are designed to meet the needs of people who are at particular risk of homelessness, including people with mental health problems;

·       A duty on Councils to provide a meaningful assessment and personalised plan for everyone who is homeless or threatened with homelessness and eligible for assistance;

·       A duty on Councils to help prevent anyone threatened with homelessness from losing their accommodation, providing they are eligible for assistance;

·       A duty on Councils to help secure accommodation for anyone who is already homeless, providing they are eligible for assistance;

·       A duty on other public authorities, such as hospitals and prisons, to refer cases of homelessness to the local housing authority.


Members were also informed that a new £40 million programme  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.