Agenda for Overview and Scrutiny Board on Tuesday 11th October 2022, 6.00 p.m.

Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Board - Tuesday 11th October 2022 6.00 p.m.

Venue: Parkside Suite - Parkside

Contact: Joanne Gresham 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence and Named Substitutes


An apology was received from Councillor P. McDonald with Councillor H. Rone-Clarke attending as a substitute.


Declarations of Interest and Whipping Arrangements

To invite Councillors to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Disclosable Interests they may have in items on the agenda, and to confirm the nature of those interests.


There were no declarations of interest nor whipping arrangements on this occasion.


To confirm the accuracy of the minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board held on 5th July 2022 pdf icon PDF 236 KB


The minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting held on 5th July 2022 were considered.


The Chairman advised that a recommendation made by the Board with regards Air Quality Annual Update on 5th July 2022 (Minute No. 18/2022 refers) would be submitted to Cabinet at its meeting of 12th October 2022.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting held on 5th July 2022 be agreed as a true and correct record.





Worcestershire Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy - pre-scrutiny pdf icon PDF 326 KB

Additional documents:


The Housing Strategy and Enabling Manager and the Housing Development and Enabling Manager presented a detailed presentation, included as an Appendix A to the minutes, on the development of the county-wide Worcestershire Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2022-25 and action plan. During a detailed presentation, the following matters were highlighted by the Officers:


  • The Homelessness Act 2002 placed a statutory duty on all housing authorities to have a homelessness strategy in place, which had to be based on a review of all forms of homelessness in the county/district. The current Worcestershire Homelessness Strategy was due to expire on 31st December 2022.
  • The new Worcestershire Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy set out how the Worcestershire local housing authorities and Worcestershire County Council would work together to prevent and relieve homelessness.
  • In developing the new Strategy, a comprehensive assessment of the nature and extent of homelessness and rough sleeping across the County was carried out by analysing homelessness data and taking account of the views of customers and partner organisations.
  • Subject to approval by Cabinet, there would be a public consultation on the draft Worcestershire Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2022-25 and action plan, from 17th October to 4th December 2022.


Following presentation of the report, Members discussed a number of areas and Officers responded to questions – this included:


  • Typographical error in respect of data in Table 3 of the Worcestershire Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2022-25, detailing the temporary accommodation (TA) units in the District Officers advised that the Council had an agreement in place with Bromsgrove District Housing Trust (BDHT) to provide static units and temporary accommodation.  In total, there were up to 50 units available.  This provided flexibility in the system in order to meet demand, so there was a net surplus of units. Officers undertook to rectify the typographical error in the report. 
  • Explanation of the variance in funding allocated to councils through the Government’s Homeless Prevention Fund for 2022/23 (for example £362,524 to Wychavon District Council in comparison to £163,348 to Bromsgrove District Council). It was explained that the amount of funding was based on level of incidence of homelessness. Compared with most neighbouring authorities, Bromsgrove District had a lower incidence of homelessness and lower number of people towards whom the Council had a relief duty (i.e., duty to take reasonable steps to help the applicant to secure suitable accommodation), which resulted in a smaller grant allocation.
  • Clarification around the Relief Duty. Officers explained that local authorities had a duty to provide accommodation to residents who were in priority need group and unintentionally homeless, even if the housing was provided in another local authority area (i.e., the resident’s home council had to cover the cost). It was noted, however, that Bromsgrove District Council would generally use its temporary accommodation to house Bromsgrove residents only. 
  • Reasons as to why the number of rough sleepers in the Borough declined during the Covid-19 pandemic period and what lessons were learned. Officers explained that initiatives such as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28/2022


Finance and Budget Working Group - Update



Task Group Updates


Councillor R. Hunter, the Chairman of the of the Fuel Poverty Task Group, reported that the Task Group held a number of meetings over the last month, which focused primarily on issues of signposting and access to support services and funding in response to the cost of living crisis. The Fuel Poverty Task Group had interviewed numerous stakeholders and had managed to gather a lot of evidence. The Task Group had now produced a draft version of the final report, which contained recommendations that would be presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Board.


Councillor R. Hunter explained that although he would be unable to physically attend the next meeting of the Board on 24th October, he hoped to appear via a video link to provide a more comprehensive update on the Fuel Poverty Task Group’s activities.


RESOLVED that the Task Group Updates be noted.



Worcestershire Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Update



Cabinet Work Programme pdf icon PDF 349 KB

This is the latest version of the Cabinet Work Programme which was published online on 3rd October 2022.


The Cabinet Work Programme was presented for Members’ consideration.


RESOLVED that the contents of the Cabinet Work Programme be noted.


Overview and Scrutiny Board Work Programme pdf icon PDF 758 KB


The Chairman requested that the item on Climate Change Policy be added to the work programme for the January meeting of the Board.


Following a discussion around enforcement, Councillor A. Kriss reiterated his request from previous meeting that an item be included on the work programme which covered the effectiveness of enforcement across the Council. It was envisaged that this would include such areas as litter picking, fly tipping and planning enforcement.


RESOLVED that subject to the pre-amble above the Overview and Scrutiny Board Work Programme be noted.


Appendix A to the minutes - presentation pdf icon PDF 422 KB