Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item; no longer than 10 minutes for presentation of the report and then up to 3 minutes for each question to be put and answered.
The Portfolio Holder for Housing and Health and Well Being presented an annual report which outlined the work that had been undertaken within the remit of her portfolio over the preceding 12 months.
Council was informed that the portfolio covered a range of areas that involved the Council working closely with many partner organisations. For example, the Sports Development team had worked closely with NHS bodies in respect of the provision of new exercise classes and on social prescribing. The Portfolio Holder for Housing and Health and Well Being expressed her gratitude to the Bromsgrove District Housing Trust (BDHT) for their provision of office space free of charge for initiatives, such as St Basil’s Bistro, which helped young people develop healthy cooking skills. The Bromsgrove Partnership Manager had an integral role in terms of managing the Council’s working relationship and joint activities with partner organisations and she was thanked for her hard work.
A Dementia Meeting service was available in the District for residents with dementia and their family members to attend. Support was made available to people with dementia and their carers at these meetings. The example of a gentleman with dementia who had attended the service and had always enjoyed the refreshments was highlighted as a positive example of the outcomes of this work.
After the report had been presented, Members discussed the following points in detail:
· The work that was undertaken by partner organisations in the District, particularly the contributions from Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations, which helped to address issues experienced by residents in respect of their health and well being.
· The activities that had been delivered for the social prescribing model of health service delivery and the extent to which communities located outside of the Bromsgrove Primary Care Network (PCN) benefited from this work. Members commented that GP practices in locations, such as Alvechurch and Wythall, were not in the Bromsgrove PCN. The Leader advised that this issue had been raised at meetings of the Bromsgrove Partnership Board where it had been noted that 25 per cent of the population in the District were not covered by the Bromsgrove PCN.
· The supported accommodation available to Bromsgrove residents. Council was informed that BDHT provided supported accommodation to residents where needed.
· The new offer of a free Lifeline Service for six weeks and the arrangement in place should customers be unable to pay for this service at the end of that trial period. The Portfolio Holder for Housing and Health and Well Being explained that discussions would be held with the customers in an attempt to provide a solution and Members were advised that further information on this subject would be provided after the meeting.
· The extent to which bed and breakfast accommodation was used to house people at risk of homelessness in the District. Council was advised that there was emergency bed and breakfast accommodation available on standby in case it needed to be used. Members were advised that further information would be provided after the meeting about the number of times this had had to be used in the preceding two-year period.
· The number of houses in large developments that needed to be social housing and the extent to which sufficient numbers of social houses were being built in the District.
· The numbers of First Homes that were in the process of being developed and whether they should be included in the figures for the numbers of affordable homes developed in the District.
· The extent to which First Homes could be classified as affordable housing if buyers were offered a 30 per cent discount on the purchase price, particularly if the average house price in the District was in excess of £300,000. Members were advised that further information would be provided about First Homes outside the meeting.
· The number of new energy efficient homes that were in the process of being developed in the District. Members were informed that there would be 61 properties developed at the Burcot Lane site. The Portfolio Holder for Housing and Health and Well Being undertook to check whether any further such homes were planned for development.
· The potential for at least one of the properties developed at the Burcot Lane site to be allocated to student housing. The Portfolio Holder for Housing and Health and Well Being explained that this would be discussed with representatives of Worcestershire County Council further.
· The financial costs to the Council involved in upgrading the Council’s Lifeline system from an analogue to a digital system. Members were informed that further information on this subject would be provided after the meeting.
· The housing and support provided to victims of domestic abuse in the District. Council was advised that the Council had legal duties in relation to victims of domestic abuse. Safe houses were provided both locally and through Worcestershire County Council. The authority also had close working links with Women’s Aid.
· The fact that both women and men could be victims of domestic abuse as could their children.
· The need for the availability of support services to victims of domestic abuse to be communicated effectively, including the Ask for Angela service.
· The potential for children and young people to be educated about healthy relationships and domestic abuse.
· The extent to which an audit had been undertaken of the number of locations in the District where victims of domestic abuse could enquire about the Ask for Angela service. Council was informed that further information on this subject would be provided after the meeting.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.