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 made.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 150 KB



that the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 8th November, 2016 be received and approved as a correct record.



Scrutiny Review of Access to Homelessness Services - Update pdf icon PDF 185 KB


The Chairman introduced the item and briefly summarised the business from the last meeting whereby Members were introduced to the new topic regarding the provision of homelessness services and how the Council was working with partner agencies to endeavour to prevent homelessness at its earliest stage.


The Panel were introduced to Ian Scholes, Homelessness Prevention Officer, Eileen Jackson, Housing Strategy Team Leader and Jason Marriott, a representative from the Framework Street Outreach Team (currently working within Nottingham city).


Housing Options Shared Service

To assist with the review, the Council’s Homelessness Prevention Officer undertook a presentation to the Panel in relation to the delivery of homelessness services through the Housing Options Shared Service Team.


The shared service with Mansfield District Council commenced in March 2015 with the team remaining based at the Council Offices in Kirkby in Ashfield.  The sharing of resources and expertise has led to greater resilience and easier access to advice, assistance and emergency accommodation.


As an example the Panel were informed that in 2014/15 the cost for bed and breakfast accommodation was in the region of £150,000.  Since the inception of the shared service only one person has been placed in bed and breakfast accommodation with alterative solutions being found for the majority of people/households presenting as homeless including use of the hostel facilities in Mansfield.


Legislative requirements obligated local authorities to provide advice and assistance to all households who sought it.  In addition, the Council had a duty to make accommodation available to household who were:


·         eligible for assistance

·         unintentionally homeless

·         in priority need

·         have a local connection.


Demand for this service in Ashfield was increasing year on year but not at the same rate as was presenting nationally. 


Current demand was as follows:-




Number of homelessness applications taken in first 3 quarters 2016/2017:



Number of new service requests taken to date 2016/2017:



Number of households attending drop-in to date in 2016/2017:



Number of households prevented from being homeless in first 3 quarters of 2016/2017:

151 (compared to 68 in 2014/2015)


Estimated number of rough sleepers in Ashfield (November 2016):

9 (compared to 8 in 2015 as estimated)


Officers within the Housing Options team utilised a variety of prevention tools to assist people or households under threat of homelessness and these included a Bond Guarantee Scheme, Sanctuary Scheme, informal mediation and referrals for specialist debt advice.  All the preventative work was undertaken in partnership with key organisations who offered different areas of expertise and support i.e. Youth Homeless Forum, Social Services, Women’s Aid, Framework and many more.


It was recognised by the Panel that accessibility to the service was of vital importance and various methods of contact included telephone, drop in sessions, appointment at the Council offices, home visits and an out of hour’s service.


To conclude the Homelessness Prevention Officer took the opportunity to convey some of the challenges facing the team for the future.  It was almost inevitable that demand would rise due to an increasing lack of housing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.