Agenda and minutes
Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 2nd December, 2020 2.00 pm
Venue: Virtual Meeting - Webcast at - https://youtu.be/P3sQyC3m5l4
Contact: Lee Walker
Note: You can watch the meeting live here, https://youtu.be/P3sQyC3m5l4
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 4 November 2020.
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 4 November 2020 as a correct record.
Report of the Director of Homelessness
The report provides the Committee with an update on the work that is taking place to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in the city.
The Committee considered the report of the Director of Homelessness that provided an update on the work that was taking place to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in the city.
The main points and themes within the report included: -
· The numbers of homeless presentations by month in 2020;
· Number of homelessness presentations by recorded area of where the applicant presented from;
· Data on the number of Section 21 and Evictions;
· An overview of the Housing Solutions Service;
· Facilities to support and accommodate Homeless People;
· Voluntary sector providers who support homeless people with accommodation and other services;
· An update on the Bed Every Night scheme;
· Describing the 2020/2021 Cold Weather Plans
· ‘Everyone In’ - accommodation during the Covid Crisis update;
· Next Steps Accommodation Programme (NSAP) overview;
· Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme (RSAP) overview;
· Information on the ‘Protect Programme’, a new scheme to help protect some of the most vulnerable people in our communities from COVID-19;
· Inspections of Temporary Accommodation information;
· The length of time people stayed in temporary accommodation; and
· Information on the work of the Homeless Partnership and Prevention Work.
The Committee heard from Jo Walby, CEO, Mustard Tree and John Ryan, Hub Manager, Shelter who had been invited to the meeting to discuss their experience of responding to homelessness in Manchester.
Jo Walby provided an overview of the history and work of Mustard Tree, describing that they aimed to combat poverty; support the homeless and offer support around training and employment. She stated that during the pandemic they had used their furniture vans to deliver food to vulnerable and shielding residents. She described that they had worked closely with Officers from the Council to coordinate this activity. She said that Mustard Tree also offered support to those that were digitally excluded to access welfare benefits and other means of support.
Jo Walby described that they had experienced an increased number of people seeking advice and support on the issue of debt and Mustard Tree were using the Hardship Fund that they had available to pay off rent arrears and avoid evictions. She commented that issues of mental health, addiction and relationship breakdown were all contributing to the issue of homelessness within the city, noting that funding cuts had been experienced in drug and alcohol services and she called upon the Government for an equality of funding for these services. She commented that she predicted that there would be an increase in homelessness in the new year.
Jo Walby paid tribute to the Homelessness Team within Manchester City Council and when asked what the Council could do to support the work of Mustard Tree she stated that the issue of eradicating homelessness should be a high priority for the Council and the Planning Policy, and all other available Council strategies should prioritise addressing homelessness.
John Ryan, Hub Manager, Shelter provided an overview of the service that Shelter provided that included offering advice on debt; welfare benefits; housing and homelessness. He described that Shelter had experienced a significant increase in ... view the full minutes text for item 52.
Report of the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods)
This report provides Members with an update on demand for and performance of the Compliance and Enforcement service during 2019/20.
The Committee considered the report of the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods) that provided an update on demand for and performance of the Compliance and Enforcement service during 2019/20.
The main points and themes within the report included: -
· An overview of the teams that make up the Compliance and Enforcement services;
· Information and data on overall demand;
· An update on Proactive Activity;
· A breakdown by ward of the number of fly-tipping cases by month with comparisons against the previous year’s figures;
· Information on where the additional investment to tackle fly-tipping had been spent;
· Data by ward on the number and nature of calls to the Out of Hours service during the first Covid-19 lockdown period; and
· Case studies.
Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -
· Waste and fly tipping in areas of North Manchester remained an issue;
· What work was being undertaken with the Universities to address Anti-Social Behaviour caused by students;
· What action was being taken to address waste generated by HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation);
· Further information was sought on the work of the Biffa Investigation Team;
· Data on the types of enforcement action by ward was requested;
· Noting the prevalence of commercial waste, often in district centres and asking what was being done to address this;
· Did Officers engage with Letting Agents when seeking to address issues;
· Clarification was sought on the reported number of prosecutions generated as a result of the 2-year pilot scheme that saw the introduction of 8 overt mobile CCTV cameras and 6 concealed cameras that were deployed across the city to tackle fly tipping;
· Was the money from fines issued following a successful prosecution invested back into the service;
· Issue arose related to terraced properties and the imposition of communal bins as opposed to individual household bins;
· What were the priorities for the service next year;
In response to the questions raised the Head of Compliance, Enforcement and Community Safety explained that the Biffa Investigation Team, in addition to removing fly tipping would seek to identify any persons who were responsible for the fly tipping and using the evidence obtained enforcement action could be taken against those who illegally disposed of their waste.
The Head of Compliance, Enforcement and Community Safety stated that any money from fines was retained by the Treasury, only monies generated through the issuing of a Fixed Penalty Notices and and civil penaly notices could be retained by the local authority.
The Neighbourhood Compliance Manager (Neighbourhoods) addressed the question regarding the rates of prosecutions generated by the investment into CCTV cameras by describing the challenges in obtaining evidence as a result of criminality, however he expected the figures to increase as the judicial system had been delayed due to the impact of the pandemic.
The Head of Compliance, Enforcement and Community Safety stated that a lot of work had been undertaken with landlords of HMO properties around a range of issues, including student behaviour and appropriate waste management and the report provided ... view the full minutes text for item 53.
Report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit
This report includes details of the key decisions due to be taken that are relevant to the Committee’s remit as well as an update on actions resulting from the Committee’s recommendations. The report also includes the Committee’s work programme, which the Committee is asked to agree.
The report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit which contained key decisions within the Committee’s remit and responses to previous recommendations was submitted for comment. Members were also invited to agree the Committee’s future work programme.
A Member recommended that in addition to the items already scheduled a report be included for consideration at the February 2021 meeting that describes the progress made to date against the Council’s Climate Change Action Plan. In addition to this, the report would include details of progress to deliver on the specific actions as prescribed within the Motion that was adopted in July 2019 when the Council declared a climate emergency.
A Member recommended that a progress report on the delivery of the Extension to Selective Licensing Schemes, previously reported to the Committee be considered at the March 2021 meeting.
The Committee endorsed these recommendations.
To note the report and agree the work programme, subject to the above and noting the decision taken during consideration of a previous agenda item to include an item on the revised Housing Allocations Policy, to be added for consideration at the March 2021 meeting.