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That the minutes of the meeting held on 12 December 2018 be confirmed and signed as a correct record.
Update on Panels
Lead Members to update the Committee on the progress of their Panels (10 mins)
Council Tax Support Scheme - Councillor Baverstock reported that the full report and draft scheme would be considered by Council on 23 January 2019.
Parking Panel – Councillor Baverstock advised the Committee that the next meeting of the Panel would be held on at the end of January 2019 where they would discuss the 4 issues identified.
Audit Panel – The next Audit Panel would be held on 11 March 2019.
Budget Panel - The next Budget Panel would be held on 27 June 2019.
The Future of Hospitals in Andover and Romsey – Councillor Baverstock reported that she would submit a proposed scope for this review, in due course.
The Future of the High Street – A workshop would be held to gather views/evidence from stakeholders and the community on the future of the high street. The areas of focus would be to gather evidence about predictions for the future of retail and examine good practice from elsewhere and to consider what key documents and policies, such as the new Local Plan, Corporate Plan and Corporate Action Plan, can do to respond.
Round table discussion on the Armed Forces Covenant and Test Valley Housing Services – A round table discussion had been held before the Committee to discuss the Armed Forces Covenant and how it related to the Housing Services provided by the Council. It was agreed that a panel be set up comprising of Councillors Borg Neal and Hamilton, as joint lead members, together with Councillor Hurst and Councillor Neal. A scoping report would be produced for consideration by the Committee prior to the onset of the review.
To provide an update on the progress on the delivery of the developmental pilot approaches to tackle homelessness alongside the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 (HRS) (20 minutes)
Consideration was given to a report of the Head of Housing and Environmental Health which updated the Committee on the progress of the pilot approach to tackle homelessness, alongside the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 (HRA). There had been a range of successful outcomes arising from the Council’s investment in a 12 month developmental pilot.
The majority of provisions in the HRA came into force in April 2018, with the new “Duty to Refer” provision (affecting specified public bodies) coming into force later in the year, on 1October 2018.
In March 2018, Cabinet agreed that the Housing Service would monitor and evaluate progress in the context of delivering the requirements of the HRA and to report back to members. Further recommendations learning from operational experience in 2018/19 would be brought to Cabinet in March 2019.
The Council had invested in the delivery of HRA compliance and followed through on a commitment to go beyond what is required by law. Since April 2018, whilst demand for housing services had increased, a range of positive outcomes resulting from the developmental approach could be demonstrated.
The Head of Housing and Environmental Health answered a number of questions around priority need and statutory duties in relation to accommodation for those with disabled needs.
The Chairman thanked the Head of Housing and Environmental Health for his presentation and detailed responses to members questions.
1. That the progress made in achieving Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 compliance and the results of an initial evaluation of the first 8 months of operations, be endorsed.
2. That the progress made in embedding and implementing the pilot approach approved by Cabinet in March 2018, be endorsed.
To provide an update on the budget setting process for 2019/20 and provide information on proposals to close the budget gap (20 minutes)
Consideration was given to a report of the Head of Finance which updated the Committee on changes to the 2019/20 budget strategy was presented in November. This included; the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement, the Local Council Tax Support Scheme, New Homes’ Bonus provisional allocations and changes to revenues savings and pressures.
It also provided an updated Medium Term Financial Forecast covering 2020/21 and 2021/22.
In order to achieve a balanced budget, it would be necessary to close the remaining gap of £21,000 before figures are finalised in February 2019.
Members asked questions regarding income from business rates, new homes bonus and homelessness grant.
The Chairman thanked the Head of Finance for his presentation.
1. That the savings options, income generation proposals and budget pressures, shown in Annexes 1 - 3, be endorsed.
2. That the budget position for 2019/20 and Medium Term Financial Forecast, shown in Annex 4, be endorsed.
3. That the feedback from businesses on the budget consultation, shown in Annex 5, be noted.
To enable members to keep the Committee’s future work programme under review (10 minutes)
Councillor Hamilton reported that a Disability Review scoping report would be produced for consideration by the Committee in the near future.
The Committee considered and updated the Work Programme as follows:
· Emerging Corporate Plan – round table discussion prior to OSCOM on 20 February
· LGA Peer Review – move to 20 February
· Add in Draft Corporate Plan – 20 March
· Round table discussion on Social/Affordable Housing – date to be confirmed
· Round table discussion on Community Planning with a rural emphasis – date to be confirmed
· Invite Hampshire Fire and Rescue to update OSCOM on how the new structure is working – date to be confirmed
· Add Town Centre Review Panel report – 24 April
· Change Review of Community Toilet Scheme from briefing note to round table discussion – date to be confirmed
· Briefing Note on Hampshire County Waste Strategy to be added for November
That the future work programme be approved.