Agenda item

Public Question Time

The procedure for submitting public questions in writing no later than 12:00 on 12 November 2018 is available upon request from Democratic Services (the contact details for which appear on the front page of this agenda).


Local resident Linda Boize asked the following public questions (officer responses are indicated in italics). 




As required by the new Homelessness Reduction Act, CDC will seek to prevent homelessness by working with people at risk of becoming homeless”. How and when do you or will you measure how you’ve done, and against what criteria of success or failure? In measuring how you’ve done, do you take account of the successes or shortcomings of the efforts of charities and other organisations you signpost to or hand responsibility to?




Under the Homelessness Reduction Act the Council are legally required to assess: the housing needs of the household, identify the cause of homelessness and the support needs of the household.  Once the assessment is complete officers must take reasonable steps to prevent or relieve homelessness which will include working in partnership with other organisations to address the identified needs.  The Council are able to end this legal duty once they have secured suitable accommodation which is available for the household’s occupation and has a reasonable prospect of being available for at least 6 months. 


Performance is measured at both a local and a national level. Details of local performance indicators can be found on the Council’s web-site, they include a specific indicator on the % of cases where homelessness is threatened and prevented. All Local Authorities are required to record the work they undertake to prevent and relieve homelessness on a government system called HCLIC, the data required for the return is comprehensive so that Local Authorities and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will be able to evaluate performance and the need for future funding using meaningful and quality data. The data recorded does include referrals and support provided by both statutory and voluntary organisations.




Regarding the possible £6m cuts to housing support by the County Council, a decision proposed for April 2019 and now delayed until September 2019 – my question is: “how closely are you being kept informed of County’s thinking as their consultations proceed so that you are able to manage your efforts to take timely actions depending on County’s continued funding?




The Council is aware of the proposal for West Sussex County Council to reduce, or cut, it’s budget for housing related support. We have been working closely with other District and Borough Councils across the county, the County Council and providers of the services to fully understand the impacts of any potential reduction in service. As you correctly say the contracts for housing related support have now been extended until September 2019 by the County Council and there is a full consultation underway which closes in early December.  The results of that consultation will be considered by the Health and Adult Social Care Select Committee of the County Council in December and will inform a decision to be taken by the West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Adults and Health on future funding for housing related support following that meeting.


Mrs Apel permitted Ms Boize to ask a supplementary question. Mrs Rudziak responded. She explained that officers were working with WSCC to try to fully understand the impact of the proposed cuts and the council has and would continue to work closely with WSCC and the districts and boroughs to consider all future options.