Venue: This will be a meeting held in line with The Local Authorities & Police & Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority & Police & Crime Panel Meetings) (England & Wales) Regulations 2020
Contact: Democratic Services 01775 764626
Election of Chairman
Councillor Woolf was elected Chairman for the duration of the meeting.
Apologies for absence
The Panel was advised of the following substitution for this meeting only:
Councillor A M Newton was replacing Councillor M Hasan
Declaration of Interests
Where a Councillor has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest the Councillor must declare the interest and leave the meeting without participating in any discussion or making a statement on the item, except where a councillor is permitted to remain as a result of a grant of dispensation.
There were none.
Homelessness - Horizon scanning
The Panel will receive a presentation from the Housing Landlord Services Manager
The Housing Landlord Services Manager provided the Panel with a presentation on Homelessness in the District, the current situation and how the Authority planned to address the issues.
The presentation provided information on the following:
· A definition of homelessness;
· The homelessness position in South Holland in the first week of November 2020;
· The 2020 year to date figure for households in interim accommodation (the average for the year was higher due to in year Covid19 pressures, largely impacted by the Everyone In initiative, where the Council was required to accommodate 29 rough sleepers, or those at risk of rough sleeping in hotel accommodation);
· Rough sleeping – Significant interventions into this problem were being addressed. South Holland, together with South Kesteven, North Kesteven and West Lindsey District Councils, had obtained grant monies from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) under their RSI3 scheme in the region of £600,000 – the project was aimed at targeting rough sleepers and those at risk of rough sleeping. South Holland had been awarded a small amount of revenue funding from another MHCLG fund, Next Steps Accommodation Programme (NSAP) towards short term winter pressures. Finally, South Holland had recently been awarded a further MHCLG funding allocation from the Cold Weather fund, to provide enhanced winter support to rough sleepers or those households who the Council would not ordinarily have a duty to assist;
· Resources (People and Places). This detailed the various ways in which the team aimed to respond to homelessness: 1) Pathfinder - The Housing Options team were temporarily refocused into prevention, relief and private sector through a Tenancy Relations Officer role. Officers were being recruited to take on the role of Housing First Responder to assess, support and give basic advice to the increasing number of applicants contacting the Council for more general advice; 2) Change4Lincs – This project included access to a Rough SIeeping Coordinator, 4 Street Outreach Workers, 4 Supported Tenancy Officers, 2 Intensive Support Workers (1 dedicated to South Holland) and 2 Lettings Officers; 3) NSAP – In addition to accommodation solutions the Council could develop, there would also be access to additional support services through the provision of revenue funding for an additional Intensive Support Worker; 4) Help2Rent – The Council was currently in final negotiations with this insurance provider. This was a government backed service where local councils could purchase an insurance policy to support access to the private sector. The policy provided cover in place of a deposit, missed rent, damage, abandonment and legal fees. Additional cover was also being added in for pets. The scheme would be adopted by all other Lincolnshire District Councils offering the same product to ensure continuity for private sector offers; 5) Affordable Housing pipeline – There had been 31 rented unit completions for the year to date, with a further 42 expected. There were also 82 units planned for 2021/22; and 6) Void turnover – For the year to date - 207 Council properties had become void and available ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
Town Centre Improvement Programme
The Panel will receive an update on the Town Centre Improvement Programme from the Director (Acting) and the Executive Manager for Growth.
The Interim Director and the Executive Manager Growth provided the Panel with a presentation on the Town Centre Improvement Plan (TCIP), and how this would affect the towns of Spalding and Holbeach. The presentation included information on the following:
Background to the Town Centre Improvement Plan
Council had considered a report on 27 November 2019, concerning support for town centres, and the following had been agreed:
· A remit to develop an improvement plan for both Spalding and Holbeach. The TCIP was a programme of activity to support town centres, rather than a wholescale regeneration programme;
· Approval of a £500,000 budget, spread across three years, to support the programme. Funding to go to delivery projects directly, but also to support wider initiatives and make the case for further funding;
· Creation of a new Town Centre Improvement Co-ordinator role;
· Establishment of a partnership governance structure for the TCIP work;
· Acceptance of government funding to progress a business case for capital investment into Holbeach town centre.
Spalding TCIP – activity so far
· A successful launch event was undertaken in February 2020 with over 50 partners. This was used as a forum to bring partners into the project and share ideas. A number of short, medium and long term themes were identified by partners – Identity/Brand; Town Centre Living; Digital; Business and Enterprise; Making the town clean, safe and vibrant; Access and transport; and Culture and leisure offering. A small number of attendees were invited to form the Spalding TCIP Steering Group.
· In March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic and national lockdown commenced:
o This had had a huge immediate impact on all town centres with a 12 week period of retail closure. Cultural venues such as the South Holland Centre still remained closed;
o This had brought about a fundamental shift in immediate priorities during Spring/Summer for both SHDC and its Steering Group partners;
o £18.4million in grants had been allocated to businesses across the district;
o The TCIP co-ordinator had commenced her role in May 2020, with an immediate focus on the safe reopening of the town centres, rather than undertaking TCIP work;
o Covid had accelerated a number of trends that created challenges for town centres.
Spalding TCIP - Current activity
· Detailed work around devising the Town Centre Improvement Programme had re-commenced. The Steering Group had been established, with 22 partners. Initial engagement was very positive. A long list of project proposals for the programme, led by partners involved, was being developed, with themes around – Improving appeal (street scene, untidy areas, aesthetics, sense of safety); Travel and accessibility (bus connectivity, car parking incentives); Covid-safe events and activities (heritage, arts, Christmas trails); Enhancing and diversifying the market; and Business and economy (business incubation, digital infrastructure).
· The TCIP Co-ordinator was taking forward various other activities, including a town centre user survey and prioritisation of projects within the programme.
· Covid challenges persisted, with the planned November and December events programme, funded by the TCIP, affected by the second lockdown.
Principles underpinning the Town Centre ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
Any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent
There were none.