Meeting date: 20th April 2015
1. Homelessness update
Report outlined an increase of 30% in formal housing applications which is putting more pressure on the service. However, temporary placements are, generally, being managed without the need of out of borough B&B. Some funding has come in to support domestic violence refugees. They are awaiting the outcome of a court ruling regarding definition of vulnerability.
2. Action against poverty
A lot of work has been focused on supporting homeless as well as these affected by the bedroom tax. Univeral Credit currently is not having the impact that was anticipated and help is being given to those who need it, giving messages around getting employment, setting up bank accounts, getting people online to help them manage the new system.
49 families were identified as needing support re benefit cap and support was offered but, to date, this support has not been taken up. This is being researched.
A presentation was given for the purpose of Partnership Plus – to reduce inequality within the borough.
It was recognised that this will always be a slow process as it requires a culture shift. However, there were some challenges that, despite the focused approach, there was no clear evidence of a significant shift in equality being reduced.
There was an agreed plan to focus on small areas and support communities to help themselves. Recognised that success depends on local residents owning the process.
3. Families First Update
A report was given on outcomes and it was recognised that one area that hadn’t been as successful as we would have liked is the access to work element.
The programme will be continuing for a further five years.
Due to success in Payment by Results, SMBC are able to fully fund the programme.