Agenda and minutes

Policy Overview Committee
Tuesday 14 June 2016 8.00 pm

Venue: B12

Contact: Email: memberservices@dartford.gov.uk 

Items
Note No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors B Garden, B K Kaini, M B Kelly and R J Wells.

2.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of interest from Members including the terms(s) of the Grant of Dispensation (if any) by the Audit Board or Managing Director.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

Confirmation of the minutes of the Policy Overview meeting held on 8 March 2016 pdf icon PDF 150 KB

Minutes:

            RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Policy Overview Committee held on 8 March 2016 be confirmed.

4.

Urgent Items

The Chairman will announce his decision as to whether there are any urgent items and their position on the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

SD (IS)

5.

Policy Overview Committee Terms of Reference and Protocol pdf icon PDF 44 KB

This report presents to Members the current Policy Overview Committee Terms of Reference and Protocol.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This report advised Members of the Terms of Reference for the Policy Overview Committee, which were agreed at the Annual Meeting of the Council on 11 May 2016. The report also presented the Policy Overview Committee’s Protocol, which describes the procedures that must be followed for the Committee to operate effectively.

 

     RESOLVED:

 

1.         That the Terms of Reference for the Policy Overview Committee, attached at Appendix A to the report, be noted.

 

2.         That the Protocol for the Policy Overview Committee, attached at Appendix B to the report, be noted.

6.

Change in Order of Agenda

Minutes:

As there were guest speakers present for agenda item 9, Dartford Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group, and agenda item 10, Pharmacy Services, the Chairman proposed that the referred item be taken after item 11, Ebbsfleet Garden City Update.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the item entitled ‘Referral from Scrutiny Committee Meeting held on 19 April 2016: Affordable Housing Completions - Cabinet Report of 3 March 2016’ be taken after item 11.

7.

Regulation 9 Notice pdf icon PDF 57 KB

To consider any issues arising from the Regulation 9 notice for the period 16 May 2016 to 30 September 2016.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the contents of the Regulation 9 Notice, for the period 16 May 2016 to 30 September 2016, be noted.

SD (IS)

8.

Action Points Arising from the Policy Overview Committee Meeting held on 8 March 2016 pdf icon PDF 53 KB

To note the list of action points arising from the Policy Overview Committee meeting held on 8 March 2016.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This report asked Members to note the list of action points arising from the Policy Overview Committee meeting held on 8 March 2016.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the list of action points arising from the Committee meetings held on 8 March 2016 be noted.

SD (IS)

9.

Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group pdf icon PDF 45 KB

To receive an update on the progress being made within the Dartford,

Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group.

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Julie Hunt, Director for Performance Delivery for Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group (DGS CCG) to the meeting, who was present to provide an update on progress being made within DSG CCG.

 

The Director for Performance Delivery began by providing an update on the successful Healthy New Garden City bid that they had made, which was awarded in March 2016, and said that Ebbsfleet had been one of ten housing developments selected to shape the health of communities, and to rethink how health and care services can be delivered. She said that although the award will not provide additional funding in itself, it would allow access to additional funding opportunities and enhanced levels of support.

 

The Director for Performance Delivery then outlined the key priorities of the project and said that there would be appropriate planning around protected green spaces, clear cut housing standards, and support for active travel with the provision of cycle paths and walkways. She also noted how community safety would be taken into consideration by developing away from major roads and said that facilities that would enable elderly people to lead independent lives in a multi-generational neighbourhood would also be included, with innovative technology solutions being provided to support independence and self-management of long term conditions.

 

The Director for Performance Delivery then referred to associated growth issues and noted how the current DSG CCG population of 258,000 was predicted to increase by 57,000 or more in the next 10 to 15 years, at least 27,000 of which would be as a result of the Ebbsfleet Garden City development. She noted the impact this increase would have on health service provision and said that many existing primary care facilities were not fit for purpose and/or didn’t have capacity to manage the required growth. She said that a new model of care was required due to workforce and premises issues and that some services currently provided from hospitals should be moved to other locations with a renewed focus on prevention. She then noted how an Estates Strategy would have to be developed and reviewed based on the emerging clinical model.

 

The Director for Performance Delivery then described the new clinical model and said that it aimed to deliver improved access to primary and community support and to prevent, where appropriate, acute admissions and A&E attendances. She said that Integrated Primary Care Teams would be based around GP practices and would provide resources to address those who can be treated at home. She had then referred to a pilot which was being carried out which had demonstrated how it had been possible to avoid repeated visits to hospital by having a team with the required skills on hand to visit a patient at home. She then described the services that would be delivered by Hubs who would be able to address primary care illnesses and minor injuries of an urgent or non-planned nature. Finally she referred to Specialist Services, e.g. for acute conditions, which  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

SD (IS)

10.

Pharmacy Services pdf icon PDF 50 KB

To receive a briefing on the services that can be provided by pharmacies.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Rakesh Patel and Cheryl Clennett to the meeting, who were present to provide Members with a briefing on the services that are provided by pharmacies.

 

Mr Patel and Ms Clennett began by outlining their current roles and describing how pharmacies can be large corporate national companies, groups of independent multiples, or small independent businesses.

 

Ms Clennett then referred to the presentation given by the Director for Performance Delivery for Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group (DGS CCG) and noted how there had been no mention of the benefits that can be provided by pharmacists and the fact that they can provide services and advice that can prevent the need for a GP or hospital visit. She then referred Members to the handout that had been included as an Appendix to the report in the agenda which listed all the services that are currently provided by pharmacists and noted how they went far beyond the dispensing of medicines. She noted how lifestyle advice can be given and drew Members’ attention to the advanced services that are also provided which includes Medicines Use Reviews (MURs), Appliance Use Reviews (AURs) and a New Medicines Service (NMS) whereby customers who are in receipt of a new medication are advised of its aims and contacted later to see if any problems are being experienced. She also noted how the NMS helped to address the 50% of people who are inclined to stop taking their medication in the first week.

 

Ms Clennett also referred to the flu vaccination service that is provided by pharmacies and noted how patients can receive one at their convenience rather than having to wait for a doctor’s surgery appointment. She also noted how this service fully met the NHS criteria for its delivery. She then referred to the range of health checks available and said that these could also be carried out by pharmacists if commissioned by the local CCG.

 

Mr Patel then explained the benefits of a yearly MUR which helps patients to understand the reasons for taking medicine and possible side effects. He said that this understanding meant that fewer would be inclined to stop taking their medicine, which would reduce the amount of wastage caused by prescribed medication not being used. He then noted how MURs cannot be carried out at home which meant that the 30% who have their medicines delivered would have to visit their pharmacy in order to make use of this service. He said that pharmacies are able to carry out 400 MURs a year and that they are free.

 

Ms Clennett then noted those services that are commissioned and funded by Public Health and also those that are freely provided by pharmacies who fund these services from their profits.

 

Ms Clennett then referred to a predicted crisis in community pharmacy due to Government plans to cut the funding that is currently provide to pharmacies, which would reduce their profits by 6% and remove the funding which enables them  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

SD (ES)

11.

Ebbsfleet Garden City Update pdf icon PDF 58 KB

This report updates Members on the Ebbsfleet Garden City development and the work of the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation (EDC).

Minutes:

This report updated Members on the Ebbsfleet Garden City development and the work of the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation (EDC).

 

In response to a question relating to Dartford’s involvement in the development of the area the Head of Regeneration replied that a Memorandum of Understanding was being agreed and that this would set out arrangements for Dartford Officers to be involved in planning applications coming forward and EDC projects. There were already arrangements in place for statutory consultation on any planning applications that had been submitted. She said that Dartford Members were represented on the Planning Committee that had been established to consider applications as well as on the EDC Board. She then explained Dartford’s involvement in the development of the Masterplan for the area and anticipated that it would be made available for consultation later in the year. She also noted how representatives from the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation would be providing an update for Members prior to the General Assembly of the Council meeting scheduled for 11 July 2016.

 

Members referred to the status of the London Paramount project and asked whether the proposed road access routes were being changed. The Head of Regeneration replied that their Masterplan was being reviewed, and that a review of access routes was being undertaken concurrently. She said that their revised plans were currently scheduled to be published for public consultation in the Autumn.

 

Members noted how the house building programme was being accelerated and asked whether the provision of the associated infrastructure was also being progressed at the same rate. The Head of Regeneration replied that £310 million funding had been approved by Government and that paert of this was to be used to deliver a utilities service channel to support the new housing. She then explained how Section 106 agreements were being used to ensure that the required schools and other community facilities are being provided and said that delivery of these was linked to defined trigger points as each phase of development progresses. She noted how the first Primary school for the area, which would also include community facilities, was scheduled to be open in 2017.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the contents of the report be noted.

SD (ES)

12.

Referral from Scrutiny Committee Meeting held on 19 April 2016: Affordable Housing Completions - Cabinet Report of 3 March 2016 pdf icon PDF 52 KB

To advise the Policy Overview Committee of the concerns that have been raised by Scrutiny Committee Members relating to the provision of social housing in the Borough.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This report advised Members of the concerns that had been raised by Scrutiny Committee Members relating to affordable housing.

 

During their debate Scrutiny Members had specifically referred to the current level of provision of social housing in the Borough (including new build) to meet resident need, in particular, the continued requirement for the social housing of the 900 residents currently on the Council’s Housing Register; and the impact that the Government’s Housing and Planning Act might have on the future provision of social housing in the Borough, with particular regard to those achieved through Section 106 (s106) agreements.

 

The Head of Housing referred to the debate that had taken place at the Scrutiny Committee meeting and said that it had originally been raised because the performance indicator for the delivery of affordable housing had indicated that there may be a shortfall. He then noted how the Committee had referred to the Housing and Planning Act but said that he felt that there was not enough detail available as yet to allow a full assessment of the likely impact of this Act. He also noted the concern that had been expressed in relation to ‘Starter Homes’.

 

Members began by considering the specific concerns that were detailed in the report and echoed the feelings that had been expressed by the Scrutiny Committee. It was then suggested that a forum be established to further explore the impact that the Housing and Planning Act would have on the Council’s ability to provide affordable housing. The Head of Housing advised that the scope of the Act went beyond the provision of affordable housing and said that the Council’s planning strategy for the provision of affordable housing was included in the Local Plan. He then noted that the Council already had a cross-party Local Plan Members’ Working Group (LPMWG) which was best placed to perform a review.

 

The Head of Regeneration advised that amendments to planning policy on affordable housing are developed through the LPMWG and noted it to be a thorough process that has been prescribed by Government requiring detailed associated evidence. She said that in order to change the current affordable housing target a housing needs assessment would need to be carried out and considered against viability factors before making Policy amendments, which are normally undertaken as part of a Plan review. She then said that currently the Development Policies Local Plan was being finalised. Work on a full Plan Review, which was the appropriate mechanism for consideration of housing needs, would commence immediately following adoption of this Plan, and was expected to take place during the winter. The new Plan would be able to consider the additional information that she anticipated would be published relating to the Housing and Planning Act and Starter Homes regulations. She then confirmed that the LPMWG would be the correct forum to consider changes to the Borough’s affordable housing policies and said that, once drafted, planning policies have to be agreed by Cabinet for public consultation before being  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

SD (ES)

13.

Temporary Accommodation pdf icon PDF 86 KB

This report outlines the Council’s approach to the supply of Temporary Accommodation to homeless clients and the Council’s current policy in relation to the delivery of this statutory service.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This report outlined the Council’s approach to the supply of Temporary Accommodation (TA) to homeless clients and the Council’s current policy in relation to the delivery of this statutory service. It also outlined the current issues faced by both applicants and those who deliver the service and described potential options in relation to future service delivery.

 

The Head of Housing began by describing the statutory role of a local housing authority and explained how Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 placed a statutory duty to provide advice and assistance to households that are homeless or threatened with homelessness. He said that the statutory duty to secure interim (TA) accommodation is triggered when the Local Authority has ‘reason to believe’ that an applicant may be ‘homeless’, may be ‘eligible for assistance’ and may have a ‘priority need’. He then noted how the service had changed over the years and the fact that more investigation now takes place before deciding whether someone needs housing assistance to ensure that they are genuinely homeless.

 

The Housing Options and Private Sector Manager then described how demand on the service was increasing. She said that there were 3 housing options officers who deal with 2,000 calls in a typical month and carry out 1,000 housing options interviews per year. She said that the current wait for an appointment had increased from 1 week between 2013 and 2015 to 3 to 4 weeks currently, which meant that people were often not being seen before they had reached a crisis point. She also noted that they had emergency procedures which enabled them to address those who are found to be already homeless. She said that they make up to around 250 homeless decisions and prevent 100 applicants from becoming homeless every year.

 

The Housing Options and Private Sector Manager then talked Members through the application process and described how options to prevent homelessness are explored and how single applicants are advised to contact Porchlight for assistance. She then explained the interview process, where the possible outcomes are explained to the applicant, and said that the same officer is involved throughout the process. She said that the option of TA is only considered at the point of eviction.

 

The Housing Options and Private Sector Manager then referred to a graph which showed the number of decisions and acceptances that had been made since 2001/02 and described how the numbers had been affected by changes to priority need categories and the introduction of prevention mechanisms but noted how the figures were now starting to rise again.

 

The Housing Options and Private Sector Manager then described the term ‘temporary accommodation’ (TA) and said that it is used to describe properties procured for an applicant facing homelessness. She said that it is only possible to remove someone from TA if a permanent solution is found via an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) or Assured Tenancy, or if they lose the TA due to their own actions (e.g. through having arrears or anti-social  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

SD (IS)

14.

Corporate Plan - Performance Indicators pdf icon PDF 44 KB

This report provides the latest set of Corporate Plan performance indicators for quarter 4 of 2015 – 16.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This report provided the latest set of Corporate Plan performance indicators for quarter 4 of 2015-16.

 

One Member suggested that the Council’s waste recycling policy be considered at a future meeting. Other Members noted how the issues associated with the management of waste had recently been considered by other Committees and felt that a further review was not required and that the issues associated with the Council’s failure to meet its waste recycling target were already understood.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the contents of the Performance Indicators Monitoring Report, attached at Appendix A to the report, be noted.

SD (IS)

15.

Policy Overview Committee Annual Report 2015 - 2016 pdf icon PDF 41 KB

To consider the work carried out by the Policy Overview Committee during the municipal year 2015 – 2016.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This report presented the work that had been carried out by the Policy Overview Committee during the municipal year 2015 - 2016.

 

Members thanked the Committee Co-ordinator for compiling the report and agreed for it to be referred to Cabinet.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That the annual report of the Committee be noted and referred to Cabinet for their consideration.

SD (IS)

16.

Policy Overview Committee Work Plan pdf icon PDF 47 KB

This reports sets out the Policy Overview Committee’s work plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This report set out the Policy Overview Committee’s Work Plan.

 

The Chairman confirmed the following additions, which had been agreed during discussion of previous agenda items:

 

  • Dartford Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group – March 2017
  • Pharmacy Services - June 2017

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Work Plan, together with the amendments minuted above, be noted.