Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Katie Coughlan  Governance and Civic Officer


No. Item


Public Participation

Up to 15 minutes are allowed for public participation.  Participants are restricted to 3 minutes each.

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There was no public participation.



Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 165 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting of the Prosperous Communities Committee held on 16 July 2019.

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(a)          Meeting of the Prosperous Communities Committee – 16 July 2019.


RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Meeting of the Prosperous Communities Committee held on 16 July 2019 be confirmed and signed as a correct record.



Matters Arising Schedule pdf icon PDF 162 KB

Setting out current position of previously agreed actions as at 2 September 2019.

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Members gave consideration to the Matters Arising Schedule which set out the current position of all previously agreed actions as at 2 September 2019. 


It was noted that all outstanding actions were marked as completed.  Members’ attention was particularly drawn to the action entitled “RSN Campaign – Letters of Support”.  A response had now been received from the Government Minister; this had been circulated via the Members Newsletter.  Members were encouraged to sign up to the newsletter if they had not already done so, as this was now a recognised method by which such information would be communicated.


RESOLVED that progress on the Matters Arising Schedule, as set out in the report be received and noted.



Members' Declarations of Interest

Members may make any declarations at this point but may also make them at any time during the course of the meeting.

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Councillor Jessie Milne declared personal interest in agenda item 6 i) (Modern Slavery Statement) as she had previously considered the report at the Joint Staff Consultative Committee on 5 September 2019.


Modern Slavery Statement pdf icon PDF 131 KB

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Members gave consideration to a report which sought to implement a Modern Slavery Statement across all working practices of the Authority.


In March 2015 the Modern Slavery Act gained royal assent which enabled enforcement agencies to pursue allegations of modern slavery under one piece of legislation instead of several different complicated ones.  It gave prominence to the offence and meant statutory guidance was issued in how to identify victims and the type of services to be offered to victims. 


October 2019 would see the publication of the Serious Adult Review (SAR) into Modern Slavery across Lincolnshire. This would include the involvement of West Lindsey District Council (WLDC) during the criminal prosecutions related to Operation Pottery, which included offences relating to activities on the Drinsey Nook site within West Lindsey as well as further involvement of all agencies across the broader term of modern slavery across Lincolnshire. 

As a result of the SAR a list of recommendations would be published to ensure future learning was taken on board within agencies who may come into contact with modern slavery.  Part of the recommendations would be a modern slavery charter, the modern slavery statement would form part of the charter and ensure that West Lindsey District Council was committed to identifying and working with partners to prevent and stop practices of modern slavery. 


The statement ensured that there was a formal commitment by West Lindsey District Council to acknowledge the crime and impact of modern slavery within the District, whilst ensuring the Authority did not unwittingly support or further any acts of modern slavery. The statement would also ensure that all services operated, and all policies initiated by the Authority had reference to understanding any potential risks to the Authority in regards to practices of modern slavery. 


Debate ensued and Members questioned whether the word “appropriate staff”, in respect of training, was adequate enough or whether in fact it should simply state “all staff”, as in their view it was important all staff received all training.  In responding Officers clarified that there would be different levels of training dependent on an employee’s role within the organisation, outlining the varying roles and the varying levels of engagement with the public each role had, to demonstrate why different levels of training were appropriate. 


In response to Members’ questions Officers advised that as the Statement affected all corporate policies and staff, it would also be submitted to Corporate Policy and Resources Committee for approval.  Officers also confirmed that the requirements of the Statement would form part of any due diligence undertaken by the Council in respect of commercial investments and appropriate action would be taken against any contractor or partner, for example, who failed to meet the requirements.


In response to suggestions the Council was not doing enough to identify modern slavery it was stressed that the Statement, the proposed training and all actions on the action plan would lay the foundations to ensure all staff were well trained and well placed to identify and know  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.


Housing Assistance Policy Review pdf icon PDF 174 KB

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Members gave consideration to a report which sought approval of a revised Housing Assistance Policy.


The West Lindsey Housing Assistance Policy was approved in 2018. The policy had two different elements; the Independent Living Grants which were funded through the Better Care Fund Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG),  received from Lincolnshire County Council (LCC), and the Capital Grant works, funded via the Council’s Private Sector Renewal Capital Budget.


When the policy had originally been devised, criteria was included to ensure that funding was allocated to the most in need for both grant types. the policy was now a year old and a review was required to ensure that the criteria was still relevant and to look at how more can be done to assist those in need.


Section 4 of the report detailed the revisions made to the Policy and offered rationale for the changes having been made.


In opening the debate, the Opposition Leader expressed concern at the length of time DFG applications took to complete, suggesting that a large number of people died waiting for the adaptations.  Whilst he acknowledged that the lengthiest delay was as a result of the time taken to secure an Occupational Therapist (OT) visit, he questioned why the Authority, despite being aware of the situation did not appear to be putting any pressure on the County Council to try and resolve this situation.


It was questioned whether there were other options the District Council should be considering for example procuring the OTs direct on an ad hoc basis.  Opposition Members were strongly of the view that the most vulnerable people were being failed, and these lengthy delays had impacts across a number of other areas of the NHS.


In response, Officers’ offered assurance that the District Council’s element of the process was being progressed as quickly as possible, and strongly refuted the allegation that a large percentage of people passed away whilst waiting for the grants.  Officers were aware of the delays with OT appointments, but again stressed that this was a statutory function of the County Council, and the District Council’s role was to influence where possible.


Officers indicated they could provide the number of cases open within the District but not across the County, this was county data not accessible by all.


By way of re-assurance the Chairman of the Committee advised he was a member of the Housing Health and Care Delivery Group and outlined some of the work the group were undertaking.  The Group were fully aware of the issues surrounding OTs and had already taken some steps to address the matter.


The reasons for the underspend in this area were explained and this was fundamentally as a result of referrals not being made quick enough.  The District could only commence an adaptation on referral from the County.


In respect of the Private Sector Renewal element of the grant, some councillors expressed concern at the means testing and suggested this should be scrapped, as there was concern this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.


Workplan pdf icon PDF 47 KB

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Members gave consideration to the Committee Work Plan. 


RESOLVED that the workplan as set out in the report be received and noted.