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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre

Contact: Kate Clark  Email: committee@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

29.

Declarations of Interest

Members of the committee should declare any interests which fall under the following categories:

 

a)    disclosable pecuniary interests (DPI);

b)    other significant interests (OSI);

c)    voluntary announcements of other interests.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Shoob declared a DPI in respect of the item relating to Draft Business Plan – Otterpool Park LLP (Minute No 33), in that she was a Director of the Board of Otterpool Park LLP. She left the meeting prior to the consideration of this item of business, and Councillor Keutenius took the Chair.

30.

Minutes

To consider and approve, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting held on 6 October 2020.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 6 October 2020 were submitted and agreed. The Chairman confirmed that her electronic signature could be added to the minutes.

31.

Minutes of the Finance and Performance Scrutiny Sub-Committee

To consider and approve the minutes of the meeting held on 3 November 2020. 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 3 November 2020 were submitted and approved.  The Chairman’s signature will be added to these minutes as approval. 

 

32.

Draft Homelessness Prevention Strategy 2020/25 Consultation Responses

Report C/20/54 sets out the responses received during the public consultation for the draft Homelessness Prevention Strategy 2020/25. The 8 week period of consultation ended on 2nd October. Subject to the proposed amendments in the report, it is recommended that the Strategy be adopted by the Council.

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Housing, Transport and Special Projects, and the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities introduced the report which set out the responses received during the public consultation for the draft Homelessness Prevention Strategy 2020/25. The 8 week period of consultation ended on 2 October. Subject to the proposed amendments in the report, it was recommended that the Strategy be adopted by the Council.

 

  • The strategy had been shared with all partners on the CSU for their comments.
  • The street count the previous week had shown 11-12 cases, but this was being verified by partners.
  • Those who had been sofa surfing were not necessarily classed as intentionally homeless, and each case was judged on the individual circumstances.
  • There had not been any recent increase in homelessness presentations due to rent arrears or domestic abuse, but this was being closely monitored, and the council continued working to maximise the accommodation options available.
  • Affordable rents made up a large proportion of new affordable homes. The key issue was due to government policy, and the funding available. The council’s programme had been agreed in line with government policy.
  • The rainbow centre provides daytime facilities for those living on the streets. The council were also looking at a strategy for the use of Next Steps funding, which included the delivery of units to support those with more complex needs, such as addiction.  This work was in progress, and suitable accommodation was being sought.  It was hoped six units would be acquired and in use by the spring of 2021. A support service will be in place to support people living in the accommodation.
  • The Next Steps units and Housing First units were different projects.
  • The Homelessness Forum would move the Working Group forward. The Working Group is likely to be a sub-group of the forum, made up of key local partners.
  • Cabinet would be considering the Strategy at their meeting on 9 December, and both Cabinet and the Council would be very committed to the Strategy.
  • There were around 35-40 people presently in temporary accommodation, but this changed on a daily basis. The council tried to avoid placing people in Bed and Breakfasts, but around 15 households (couples and single people) were presently placed in B&B accommodation. 
  • An annual review of the strategy would take place, involving all partners, and would be reported back to Members.
  • In general terms, some single households were in Bed and Breakfast accommodation for longer than anticipated, sometimes 8-10 weeks. The council’s aim was that families were in temporary accommodation for no more than 3 months.  More detail on these figures would be provided to Members after the meeting.
  • More one bedroom accommodation was being sought.

 

Proposed by Councillor Shoob,

Seconded by Councillor Keutenius; and

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.         That report C/20/54 be received and noted.

 

(Voting figures: 8 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions).

 

33.

Draft Business Plan - Otterpool Park LLP

This report presents the draft proposed business plan of Otterpool Park Limited Liability Partnership for the Committee’s consideration.

 

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, in his capacity as Cabinet Member for Otterpool Park, introduced the report which presented the draft proposed business plan of Otterpool Park Limited Liability Partnership for the Committee’s consideration.

 

Prior to the consideration of the report, Councillor Shoob left the meeting and Councillor Keutenius took the Chair. Councillor Mrs Hollingsbee also left the meeting.

 

The Chairman read out a statement reminding all members that it will not be possible for Officers to discuss commercially sensitive/confidential information during the open session of this meeting, and if members wished to discuss commercially sensitive / confidential information then it was recommended that a vote take place to move into private session.

 

The Director of Place, as representative of the council, gave a brief introduction and advised that consideration of the Draft Business Plan was a significant milestone in the development and delivery of the project.

 

The Director of Development, as representative of the LLP, outlined the Business Plan and introduced the Consultants (Tim Mitford-Slade from Strutt and Parker and Victoria Seal from BNP Paribas Real Estate) who were present at the meeting to address any detailed technical questions, should they be asked by members.

 

The Committee Members commented on various issues including the following:

 

·        With regard to community engagement, how were current communities, such as Lympne, being engaged? This was vital in order for the new community to blend in.

·        Under Phase one of the infrastructure, were other incomes being pursued?

·        Could the project commit to zero carbon housing as the council could act as a trail blazer. 

·        Was there a transport strategy, particularly in relation to walking and cycling links?

·        The term relating to new schools ‘opening and filling up from the bottom’ would benefit from clarification.

·        There appeared to be inconsistencies between the report (paragraph 3.1.1) and business plan (paragraph 5.2) around enabling the LLP to deliver without further approval being required.

·        How did the council arrive at the decision to form the LLP?

·        Members asked whether the term ‘shareholders’ should be removed from the plan, given that there were no shareholders?

·        What process was in place for the LLP to draw down additional funding?

·        Members had control over the council and its processes.

·        The project was ambitious and exciting.

 

The Director of Development and the Leader of the Council both responded to issues raised by Members, and made points including the following:

 

·         Consultation and engagement was resource intensive. Due to the importance placed on the matter, a new member of staff had recently been recruited to provide more capacity to help develop relationships within the local communities. The team were tendering to establish a ‘virtual community’ to bring together the community and local businesses, with an opportunity to engage on different aspects of the project such as design, etc.

·         The numbers reflected the assessed need of the development. If there was a need for more funding, other ways to bring in investment would be considered and sought with the necessary approvals being put in place.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.