Chairs and Secretaries Minutes February 2020

Minutes of the Regional Networks Chairs & Secretaries Meeting

Tuesday 25 February 2020, Park Inn Hotel, Glasgow

Present:

Cameron Grant (Chair)

CG

North of Scotland

1

Leonora Montgomery

LM

North of Scotland

1

Colin Stewart

CS

North of Scotland

1

Gerald Low

GL

North of Scotland

1

Alan Dunton

AD

South East Scotland

2

David Rintoul

DR

South East Scotland

2

Heather Cuthbert

HC

South West Scotland

3

Helen Westwater

HW

South West Scotland

3

Hugh McClung MBE

HMcC

Central Scotland

4

Mary Niven

MN

Central Scotland

4

Shona Gorman

SG

Central Scotland

4

Georgia McCamberly

GMcC

Central Scotland

4

Frances McGonagle

FMcG

Central Scotland

4

 

In Attendance:

Susan McLellan

SMcL

Scottish Government

SG

Annabel Hoatson

AH

Scottish Government

SG

Islay McLauchlan

IMcL

Scottish Government

SG

Lindsey McKean

LMcK

Scottish Government

SG

 

Apologies:

Bill Chapman

BChap

North of Scotland

1

Lillias Reid

LR

South East Scotland

2

Bruce Cuthbertson

BCuth

South West Scotland

3

Margaret Dymond

MD

South West Scotland

3

 

 

Item

 

Action

 

1

 

Welcome and Introductions

CG, Chair, North of Scotland, welcomed everyone to the meeting. Round table introductions was made to introduce the newer observers to the meeting.

 

Apologies were received from Bill Chapman (Region 1), Lillias Reid (Region 2), Margaret Dymond (region 3) and Bruce Cuthbertson (Region 3) 

 

 

2

 

Previous Minutes of 6 November 2020 and matters arising.

Minutes:

The minutes were proposed by Leonora Montgomery, seconded by Heather Cuthbert and agreed as an accurate record of the last meeting.

There were no matters arising from the previous minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

Ending Homelessness Action Plan: Annual Report – update from Lynsey McKean, Homelessness Unit, Scottish Government

LMcK gave a brief update and summary of Homelessness Action Plan including a time line of progress.

After consultation in October 2017 there was 70 recommendations, which were developed into 49 actions and published as of November 2018. From the 49 actions , 39 of those are either completed, nearly completed or currently in progress. The other 10 are planned for 2021.

Person-Centred approach

LMcK then went on to talk about the creation of the ‘Change Team’ and the collaboration between Housing Network Scotland and the SG.

A training tool kit has been developed to help LA’s improve standard of training and allow all LA’s to have a more streamlined approach to training. The aim is for the training to be more person centred and additionally will look at changing public perception of homelessness.

LMcK acknowledged in the past had been no differentiation between women and men who find themselves homeless. This  led to a dedicated piece of work where careful consideration is taking place in terms of gender centred approach.

Prevent homelessness from happening in the first place

Pathways are also being developed to prevent homelessness in the first place, with a focus on those leaving an institution. A pathway for care leavers has already been developed and will be implemented soon and work has now begun on a pathway for those suffering domestic abuse and veterans.

There is also currently a review of the implementation of the SHORE ( Sustainable Housing On Release for Everyone) standards.

Acknowledging that homelessness is often a symptom and culmination of various issues. Some of which start in early years and child hood, either with abuse or a difficult childhood. There is an acknowledgment that these issues can lead to substance abuse or family breakdown and eventually homelessness, and if these were addressed earlier either by the health service or other care and social services then it may be preventable.

Prioritise settled housing for all

Rapid rehousing transitions plan (RRTPS) are attempting are to bypass temporary accommodation and get people set up in tenancies. Providing help and support to them and allowing  tenants to keep the tenancy and avoid recurring homelessness.

There are 5 Housing First Pathfinder cities that are at the forefront of this, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee, Stirling and Perth.

Respond quickly and effectively when homelessness happens

The SG are working with groups in Glasgow city centre who have a street presence, and members who talk with those on the street.

There are provisions and plans in place for extreme weather with £354k of funding in place to help with those efforts.

There are both here and now issues and solutions as well as strategic planning taking place.

There will be a consultation in May 2020 regarding local connections. This will be about avoiding and breaking down the legal barrier regarding being housed in an area which isn’t your own. There is a view to extend the unsuitable accommodation order

Review of Glasgow city council homeless prevention – about why they aren’t meeting the need to house people and their rapid re-housing policy.

We will join up planning and resources

A systems wide approach is being considered for peer support as some services won’t have those who have been homeless working for them. (justice and health) Services are aiming to pinpoint indicators to prevent homelessness in the first place. The UK wide charity Crisis is giving support.

Other actions

Impact assessments largely haven’t been carried out by SG but these will start happening in future.

A system will be created for collecting rough sleeper data more coherently

Economic impact of homelessness is under review and more funding is required. The aim is to stop/ease recurring homelessness to lessen the impact on the economy

Points noted by Network members

HMcC raised the issue of staffing and training and when officers already in post in are being seconded to homeless action teams and leaving other teams with vacancies.

HMcC also mentioned Stirling, one of the Pathfinder areas, has had a 16% increase and one fatality which is a disaster for homelessness prevention.

GL mentioned the gap between LA figures and Shelter figures about homelessness population in each area. LMcK stated how LAs collect homelessness data and how Shelter interpreted data and publish this a matter for Shelter[MI(1] .

AD would like to see more peer support ie those who have been homeless support those who are homeless.

Affordability factor and Private Sector lets were also discussed and how this can push families into homelessness. A private rented sector cap should also be considered.

LMcK stated that the SG could work smarter in future for the care and prevention of homelessness but this will take time. The chair thanked LMcK for her presentation and for answering questions.

 

 

4

Meetings held – Updates

SHR Liaison Group – LM and SG gave feedback on the last meeting of the group in the absence of BCuth.

  • Annual Return of the Charter (ARC) returns are currently at 97%. 179 replies have been received and 7 are outstanding.
  • 2 videos are available on the website about the results and the report is coming out on March 2020.
  • SHR are encouraged at the information received from the ARC returns.
  • SHR are wanting to go out and about to meet with more tenant and resident groups.
  • Rent setting was discussed but the SHR have no jurisdiction on how landlords set their rents.
  • Publication on rent regulations should have been sent round. CG asked that a copy be sent to the next Chairs and Secretaries for further comment[HA(2]  at the next meeting.

HMcC mentioned accountability and raising complaints with landlords and SHR and Outcome 14 of the Scottish Social Housing Charter could be used as a basis for tenants to raise a complaint with the SHR.

CG mentioned affordability and the definition of affordability in the context of tenant’s rent. A monetary value is required to consider affordability.

CS stated that all the board members of the SHR would be at the CIH conference on Tuesday 3rd March 2020.

Action – SMcC to contact SHR to find out if they would like to attend any of the Regional Network AGMs in May.

Action – SMcC would contact BCuth and ask him to send on the publication on rent setting

JHPDG – no attendance so no update

Housing and Social Security – no attendance so no update

Age, Home and Community Group  - Steve Byrne (Region 1) attends meeting and can provide update if and when asked. CS attended as a deputy and gave an update in his absence. A presentation was given on integrated care and disabled living areas. A response to Housing 2040 consultation was also undertaken by the group and has been submitted.

Fire Safety Review Group – initially there was a lack of leaflets outlining High Rise Fire Safety Policy when it was launched in December but this has now been rectified.

 

 

5

Housing 2040 consultation

R1 and R2 feedback – CG, DR, AD

Committee members for Region 1 and Region 2 attended a joint event in the Apex Dundee to respond to the Housing 2040 consultation. It was meant to be a joint meeting and a submission issued from both Regions. The feedback from the meeting was that it was not a joint response and tenants were divided into their networks to discuss the consultation. Many members felt this was not an effective use of the time and it would have been better if the Regions had collectively worked together on a response. The Regions are still waiting for their response to be sent round the members for comment.

Action – SMcL to contact TPAS for response to be submitted.

R3 and R4 feedback, HC, HW and HMcC

Committee members from both regions stated their meeting was successful and they have received a response, which has been approved. The Meeting was encouraging and well received. All attendees engaged in the discussion.

There was general discussion about Housing 2040. HW mentioned lack of LA engagement and involvement. CG stated that communities and infrastructure need to be built up and put in place alongside housing in the future. SG mentioned that the poor attendance at Scottish Government events about this consultation.

Funding was discussed and there was an agreement that this is always an issue when it comes to moving forward with any housing development.                

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

Housing Revenue Account (HRA) update.

HMcC gave a brief update on the HRA.  He stated it has been under scrutiny for some time. A review had been conducted and completed by 6 November with mixed results. 16 LA’s were complying and 16 were not and this was brought up with Audit Scotland.  This was mentioned to the Minister at the last meeting and the Minister wrote to COSLA. HMcC reminded tenants that the 2001 act obligated LA’s to consult with tenants on the HRA.

 

 

7

Minutes of the meeting with minister – 6th November 2019

No comments or questions

 

8

Network attendance at working groups

The TP team suggested a selection protocol when a role or place is over subscribed. This was agreed by the Networks.

Action: SMcL will take this forward.

 

 

 

9

AOCB

Website

CS requested an update on the progress of the website which is still not been updated. There was a large amount of concern about the website, its current state and how long it has taken the work to be fixed.  SMcL and AH agreed that it had taken far too long to be resolved.

Action: SMcL will be contacting the team who deals with this to escalate the problem and AH will be taking this forward in the future.

Newsletter

CG suggested a combined newsletter for all 4 networks together provided once a year to allow for more content.

There will be a co-ordination rota about which network takes lead.

Members taking lead are:

  • Region 1 – Steve Byrne or Alastair McKenzie
  • Region 2 - Margaret Dymond
  • Region 3 – Volunteer required
  • Region 4 -  Volunteer required

Audit Scotland

Audit Scotland will be in touch with a future meeting date.  

[HA(3] Annual Event

HMcC suggested planning early to avoid rush. Volunteer subgroup will be created to plan event. Go back to committees to suggest people for subgroup. Suggested date: February/March 2021

Action – AH to take this forward and arrange the planning group.

 

 

10.

Close of meeting

Vote of thanks was given to the Chair. The next meeting will take place on 26 May 2020  in Atlantic Quay 5, Fleming C and will be chaired by Region 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 [MI(1]Not sure this sentence makes sense? Maybe missing a comma or a word

 [HA(2]Not sure what publication was called that was to be sent to the Chairs and Secretaries?

 [HA(3]Susan, I can’t remember the audit Scotland chat?

 
 
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