Agenda and draft minutes

Community Executive Advisory Board
Thursday, 4th April, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford, Surrey GU2 4BB. View directions

Contact: Andrea Carr, Committee Officer Tel no: 01483 444058  Email: andrea.carr@guildford.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

C29

Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitute Members

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Murray Grubb Jnr and Bob McShee.

C30

Local Code of Conduct and Declaration of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

In accordance with the local Code of Conduct, a councillor is required to disclose at the meeting any Disclosable Pecuniary Interest (DPI) that they may have in respect of any matter for consideration on this agenda.  Any councillor with a DPI must not participate in any discussion or vote regarding that matter and they must withdraw from the meeting immediately before consideration of the matter.

 

If that DPI has not been registered, the councillor must notify the Monitoring Officer of the details of the DPI within 28 days of the date of the meeting.

 

Councillors are further invited to disclose any non-pecuniary interest which may be relevant to any matter on this agenda, in the interests of transparency, and to confirm that it will not affect their objectivity in relation to that matter.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests.

C31

Minutes pdf icon PDF 224 KB

To confirm the minutes of the Executive Advisory Board meeting held on 14 February 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Executive Advisory Board held on 14 February 2019 were confirmed as a correct record, and signed by the Chairman.

C32

Guildford Home Adaptations and Improvement Policy Review - Financial Assistance pdf icon PDF 357 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Lead Councillor introduced a report which proposed a revised Private Sector Housing, Home Adaptation and Improvement Policy for Guildford that would allow the Council to extend the range of assistance available to vulnerable residents to assist them to remain living safely and independently in their own homes.  Officers presented the report and delivered an accompanying presentation.  The presentation summarised the Policy giving its context and provided recommendations and rationale in relation to discretionary policies, prevention grant, increasing the maximum grant, support for people in financial hardship and the relocation grant.

 

The policy had been written in response to increased funding, through the Better Care Fund, Housing Capital Grant.  This was a combined fund provided by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department of Health to enable Councils to assist their residents to access housing improvements and adaptations, which would enable them to live independently at home, for as long as possible.

 

The changes in policy were also planned to implement recommendations made to Surrey Councils through Foundations (a national Home Improvement Agency charity) Adaptation and Equipment Report 2017.  Each of the Surrey District and Borough Councils were working together, through the Surrey Equipment and Adaptations Project, to review, plan and implement the recommendations made within the Foundations report.

 

The key features of the policy review were to introduce discretionary elements within the support provided through the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG), to complement the mandatory provision.  The discretionary policy would be available to all grant applicants, however, the Council anticipated it having a positive impact on approximately 90 people.  The key changes were:

 

·             Exemption from means testing for works that prevented falls, i.e. rails, ramps, steps and stairlifts;

·             Introduction of a Prevention Grant to fund installation of rails and associated measures to prevent falls in the home without charge, in addition to works in the home to facilitate discharge from hospital, prevent ill-health and emergencies, such as minor repair or adaptations, assistive technology, emergency heating or electrical repairs, or clearing hoarding;

·             Flexibility to the upper limit of DFG from £30,000 to £45,000 per application for major works.  This additional funding would be means tested for adults and children with disabilities (the latter were exempt from means testing for works valued up to £30,000).  The policy would allow more rapid decision making for complex cases, where funding was required from Surrey County Council funds, as well as from this Council;

·             Discretion for the Regulatory Services Manager to waive means testing for those who would struggle financially to meet their contribution to the cost of works.  The flexibility would have a maximum value of £12,000 for residents with financial hardship of income, or less than £24,500 savings.  Any client contribution costing less than £1,000 would be waived;

·             The introduction of Relocation Grant of up to £10,000 to assist home owners or tenants to move to a suitable property, when their current home was not suitable for adaptation; and

·             To continue to provide discretionary assistance to applicants meeting the  ...  view the full minutes text for item C32

C33

Procurement Update Presentation

Minutes:

The Chairman read out a procurement update paper which advised that:

 

·             Transformation of the Procurement service was underway since the recruitment of a permanent Procurement Manager in October 2018 and was ongoing.

·             The Procurement Manager was working with the Future Guildford workstream to develop detailed proposals relating to the future model of procurement services.

·             A Procurement Strategy had been drafted covering the period 2019-2021 and included key themes around Commissioning, Category Management and Contract Management.  The Strategy would work closely with the Future Guildford workstream.

·             The Corporate Management Team had approved the Terms of Reference of the Corporate Procurement Board and these had now been implemented, the Procurement Procedure Rules (PPR’s) were currently being examined and updated.

·             The Contracts Register continued to be a working document and had improved significantly.  It was published to the Council’s website on a quarterly basis in line with the Transparency Agenda.

·             The Procurement function remained significantly under resourced and an exceptionally busy work area.  Transformation work would continue with the addition of resources.

·             Once more detailed proposals were developed around the agreed Procurement Strategy and suggested format of the future procurement team, they would be placed on the Work Programme and brought to the EAB for review and analysis.

 

In response to a query concerning the Transparency Agenda, the Board was advised that it was a national code that local authorities were obliged to comply with and share information with residents and businesses in respect of matters including spend and contractors.  Further explanatory information would be provided to the Board.  The update was noted.

C34

Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 696 KB

Minutes:

The expanded Executive Forward Plan was noted.

C35

EAB Work Programme pdf icon PDF 134 KB

To consider and approve the EAB’s draft work programme.

Minutes:

It was noted that a Procurement Update item would be added to the Work Programme.

C36

Progress with Items Previously Considered by the EAB pdf icon PDF 166 KB

Minutes:

As previously requested, the format of this summary report had been reviewed and improvements made as far as possible.

C37

Thanks pdf icon PDF 294 KB

Minutes:

As this was the last meeting of the EAB before the Borough Election, the Chairman took the opportunity to thank the members of the Board, particularly the Vice-Chairman, officers and the Committee Officer for their contribution and support in recent years.