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Standard Items
VIRTUAL MEETING - LINK TO VIEW

This meeting will be a virtual meeting and therefore will not take place in a physical location following regulations made under Section 78 of the Coronavirus Act 2020. This meeting can be viewed by following this link:

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Also Present
MIN
In accordance with paragraph 2.6(a) of the Constitution, Councillors Malcolm and Stafford addressed the Cabinet with regard to the following items: 

Item 08 – Thriving Communities proposal for a race equalities commission (Councillors Malcolm and Stafford) 
Item 10 - Award of a 3-year Rough Sleepers Services Contract (Councillor Malcolm)
Item 11 - Housing Delivery Update (Councillor Stafford)
1 Apologies for Absence
MIN1
Councillor Sabiers.
2 Urgent Matters
MIN2
Resolved
There were none.
3 Matters to be Considered in Private
Items 9, 10 and 13 contain information that is exempt from disclosure by virtue of Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

Items 14 and 15 contain information that is exempt from disclosure by virtue of Paragraph 5 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

MIN3
Items 9, 10, 13, 14 and 15 contained confidential appendices but were not taken in private as it was not necessary to discuss the confidential information provided.
 
4 Declarations of Interest
MIN4
There were none.
Public Items
5 Minutes
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 14 July 2020.
MIN5
Resolved:
That the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 14 July 2020 be agreed and signed as a true and correct record.
6 Appointments to Sub Committees and Outside Bodies

MIN6
There were none.
MIN7
Resolved
That Cabinet:
i) notes the General Fund revenue budget non-Covid forecast outturn position of £12.457m overspend (5.02%) for 2020/21 (section 4 of the report), and a break-even position on Housing Revenue Account for 2020/21 (section 8 of the report).
ii) notes financial pressures arising from Covid-19 in 2020/21 were currently causing an estimated in-year net budget pressure of £14.842m (section 5 of the report).
iii) notes the combined General Fund revenue overspend forecast position of £25.999m (section 4 of the report).
iv) notes that in the absence of sufficient government funding to support the financial commitments made by the Council in relation to COVID-19, mitigations had been put in place to address the forecast overspend as at period 4 had taken effect and that efforts continued across the Council with the aim of ensuring the forecasted overspend was brought down as far as possible and further additional measures would be need to be implemented as necessary to deliver a balanced budget.
v) notes the progress on delivering the 2020/21 savings (section 6 of the report).
vi) notes the in-year Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) deficit forecast of £2.700m to be charged to the DSG account (section 7 of the report).
vii) notes the 2020/21 capital programme forecast underspend of £0.554m leading to decommissioning of relevant scheme (paragraph 9.3 and 9.4 of the report).
viii) approves the re-profiling of 2020/21 capital programme net slippage of £47.129m (appendix 3) into future years. 
ix) thanks Ross Brown (Chief Finance Officer) and his team for their hard work producing this detailed report.

Reason for Decision and Options Considered
To forecast the financial position for 2020/21 based on available information at end of 30 June 2020 for non Covid-19 and Covid-19 pressures. The report outlined the council’s forecasted position on revenue, capital, income and expenditure to the end of quarter 1. 
 
MIN8
Resolved
That Cabinet: 
i) agrees the creation of a time limited Commission to identify and develop proposals for an action plan relating to race equality in Ealing, which would be asked to conclude and report to the Council by May 2021. 
ii) agrees the appointment of an independent Chair to lead the Commission, and to appoint the Cabinet member for Community Safety and Inclusion as Vice-Chair.
iii) agrees the appointment of no more than ten independent Commissioners, who would work with the Chair and Vice-Chair to develop their lines of inquiry.
iv) agrees the principles which the Commission would be asked to follow.
v) agrees the objectives for the Commission against which the Commission would be asked to frame their final report.
vi) notes the resource requirements to support the Commission, and asks the Chief Executive, Chief Finance Officer and Director for Community Development to prioritise resources to support the Commission.  The financial impact and funding was noted at section 4 of the report.
vii) notes the wider Thriving Communities work programme and the possibilities for this to contribute to the engagement and learning with the Commission.
viii) authorises the Director of Community Development, following consultation with the portfolio holder, to agree the brief for the Commission, based on the principles set out in the report.
ix) authorises the Director of Community Development, following consultation with the Director of Legal and Democratic Services, the Chief Finance Officer and the Director of HR to agree remuneration if necessary.
x) authorises the Director of Community Development to put in place a mechanism to appoint to the Commission and to make the appointments.
xi) agrees that both leaders of the opposition parties be kept informed of the process of appointing to the Commission.

Reason for Decision and Options Considered
The Future Ealing programme listed nine key outcomes:
1. A growing economy creates jobs and opportunities for Ealing residents to reduce poverty and increase incomes.
2. Children and young people fulfil their potential.
3. Children and young people grow up safe from harm.
4. Residents are physically and mentally healthy, active and independent.
5. Ealing has an increasing supply of quality and affordable housing.
6. Crime is down and Ealing residents feel safe.
7. The borough has the smallest environmental footprint possible.
8. Ealing is a clean borough and a high-quality place where people want to live.
9. Ealing is a strong community that promotes diversity with inequality and discrimination reduced.
Ensuring that individuals in all communities could realise the aspirations that people held for themselves and others was essential in delivering against all of these nine outcomes.

Tackling the multiple inequalities that affected the poorest and most marginalised in our Borough must be a key priority.  Multiple disadvantages not only disproportionately impacted on those directly impacted.  They also impacted on Ealing as a whole, through additional cost of dealing with the impacts disadvantage brought – worklessness, emergency temporary accommodation, additional support at school and so on – and the lost opportunities that stemmed from people not being able to optimise their skills and attributes.  

Establishing a Commission that would look at key areas of race equalities and target the most disadvantaged would enable the Council and its partners to hone a targeted action plan to begin to address these systemic issues.  It would also enable the Council to look at issues of current concern – the opportunities to learn from the issues being raised by the Black Lives Matter movement, and the health inequalities that have been experienced during the Covid-19 crisis were just two of the ways in which race inequality had been highlighted both locally and nationally in recent months.

Other options had included detailed scrutiny panels, and / or smaller inquiries or task specific activities, but it was considered a Commission, independent of the systems and structures within which the Council usually operated, would present the best opportunity for the Council and partners to learn and reflect upon the lived experiences of residents.  It would also enable thorough reflection on how inequality manifests, and thus offer opportunities to work with directly with communities now and with those who will need the services of the Council in the future.
 
MIN9
Resolved
That Cabinet: 
i) notes the progress made with regard to implementing Phase 3 of the new link road (Healum Avenue) in Southall.
ii) a.) agrees in principle to the making of a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) in respect of the land required for Phase 3 of Healum Avenue (shown edged red on the plans in Appendix 1 of the report) generally under the Acquisition of Land Act 1981 and specifically under the Highways Act 1990.
b.) delegates authority to the Executive Director of Place to make any CPO that may be required at the appropriate time and take all the necessary steps to secure confirmation of the order by the Secretary of State and acquire the affected properties pursuant to the CPO once confirmed.
iii) agrees the compulsory acquisition of all rights over the land by the creation of
new rights pursuant to Section 13 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous
Provisions) Act 1976 (as required).
iv) delegates authority to the Executive Director of Place to take all steps, procedures and measures necessary to discharge all rights, easements, liberties, privileges, advantages and incidents to which the land may be subject.
v) authorises the Executive Director of Place to amend the boundary of the land to be acquired as necessary following consultation with the Portfolio Holder for
      Transport and Regeneration.
vi) authorises the Executive Director of Place, both in advance of and after the
      making and confirmation of any compulsory purchase order, to negotiate with
      the owners of interests and rights in the CPO land with a view to acquiring those interests and rights by agreement, to conclude such acquisitions by agreement, and to pay such compensation for the acquisition of the interests and rights as may be proper and reasonable.

Reason for Decision and Options Considered
Pursuant to Cabinet’s decision in February 2019, officers  carried out work to start the implementation of a new link road in East Southall called ‘Healum Avenue’. This road was formerly referred to as ‘Grand Union Avenue’ but its name had been recommended to be changed following discussion with officers in street naming and the name ‘Healum Avenue’ (Healum being the old Saxon name for Southall) was now the assumed name. 

Officers prepared and submitted a planning application for the route (currently awaiting determination); entered into relevant grant agreements to fund the scheme and began formal discussions with affected landowners. More details on these actions was set out in the report under the sub heading ‘update since 2019’.

Now was the time to commence the preparatory work for the CPO and make a CPO and submit it for confirmation to National Planning Casework Unit to ensure that the project could be delivered on time and that the Council had certainty of acquiring the land needed to deliver the scheme.
 
MIN10
Resolved
That Cabinet:
i) authorises the Executive Director for Place to award a contract to St Mungo Community Housing Association, the most economically advantageous tenderer in line with the evaluation criteria for an annual contract value of £0.200m per annum which equated to a total value of £1m over the lifetime of the contract including potential extensions 
ii) agrees that the new contract period runs from 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2023
iii) agrees that the contract contains a clause allowing two 12-month extensions if it was in the Council’s interest to do that.
iv) notes that the new contract cost was to be funded by existing approved budget and Flexible Homelessness Support grant funding. Please refer to section four of the report for more details.

Reason for Decision and Options Considered
The current Rough Sleepers Outreach Service contract would expire on 30 September 2020, having been extended by six months, as an exception to the CPR.  

Ealing had a significant rough sleeping problem.  In 2018/19 (the latest year for which comparative figures are available) Ealing’s outreach team verified 385 individuals sleeping rough in our Borough.  This was a rise on the previous year’s total of 358 and was Ealing’s highest annual figure to date.  The rise in rough sleepers verified between the years 2014/15 and 2018/19 was 76%. The annual figures were shown in Appendix 1 to this report. 

The GLA had, as yet, been unable to produce an annual borough report for 2019/20 because of the Covid-19 emergency response to rough sleeping.  The local calculation for the number of rough sleepers seen in 2019/20 was 485.  This needed to be confirmed from the official GLA annual report for the borough, expected in September 2020.  If it was accurate, it represented a further 35% increase compared to 2018/19.  

Ealing had the fifth highest total of rough sleepers in London, in 2018/19 and had been in the top ten London boroughs for the last 5 years.   The total has risen throughout London; Ealing stood out because it was outside of central London, where rough sleeping had historically been highest.  Annual comparative total for 2019/20 was not provided because of the delay in GLA borough annual disaggregated stats.  However, data from their quarterly reports showed Ealing had 249 absolutely new rough sleepers in 2019/20 and this represented an increase of 30 individuals (equivalent to 14%) from the annual total of 2018/19. 

Ealing’s rough sleeping population differed from that of a typical central London Borough because up to two-thirds of Ealing’s rough sleepers had no recourse to public funds and were therefore difficult to assist.  Such individuals could not easily be housed, as they had no housing benefit entitlement.  Ealing’s rough sleeping population, over the past five years had been made up of roughly one-third UK citizens, one-third Central/ Eastern European nationals, and one-third South Asian nationals.    

The number of rough sleepers coming onto our streets was hard to control but Ealing Council had made use of initiatives to take a preventative approach. In particular they had commissioned a Single Homeless Prevention Service, run by Hestia, to work with single non-priority people at risk of homelessness, in a tailored way.  Ealing also had access to a West London sub-regional rough sleeping prevention service and have made most referrals to this of all the west London boroughs. 

The issues arising from COVID-19 had had a huge impact on the Borough’s rough sleeping numbers and response.  At the end of March 2020, the government announced that it expected all Councils to accommodate all rough sleepers, under an initiative entitled ‘Everyone In’.  Ealing, in common with other Councils, experienced a huge surge in demand after the publicity for this initiative.  We took the decision, common to all London authorities, to offer accommodation to all rough sleepers encountered by outreach services (known as ‘verified’ rough sleepers) and all those who were assessed by our own Housing Solutions team and being at immediate risk of sleeping rough, for example because sofa surfing arrangements broke down as a result of fears about infection.

In total, 481 individuals were booked into emergency accommodation, none of whom were owed normal statutory homelessness duties by Ealing Council.

There were still 302 individuals being accommodated, as at 12 August 2020

The government had subsequently extended its initiative from its original ‘Everone In’ message to one of ‘In for Good’.  This meant that the Council had a responsibility to prevent this cohort of individuals from sleeping rough again, wherever possible.  The effective, expert input of our rough sleeping outreach team would be key to achieving this.

There were significant challenges in assisting people who had no recourse to public funds because the full cost of the accommodation was being borne by the Council.  There were also additional challenges because the cohort included a high percentage of people with significant support needs around substance misuse and, in lesser numbers, mental health.

These issues had always been factors affecting high numbers of rough sleepers in Ealing, but the size of the problem has risen because of the COVID 19 crisis.

Ealing was bidding for additional funding from two pots of money made available by central government, to help off-set these additional costs and provide continued accommodation and move-on support to this group. The success of the bid was likely, in part, to rely on the continued presence of a strong outreach service, able to host additional funded posts and work in partnership with Council and other services who assisted rough sleepers.          

Rough sleeping was detrimental to the individuals who did it and also to the wider community affected by anti-social behaviour and littering and insanitary practices, as well as perceiving risk and feeling less safe, where rough sleeping was unaddressed.

The current contract was funded from the Council’s General Fund and had the value of £0.132m per annum. The current contract price had been too low to fund an adequately resourced service.  In the last procurement, only the current provider submitted a tender and that tender was for a smaller sized outreach team than had been in place in the previous contractual agreement. The increased numbers of cases contacted in connection with COVID 19 made this even more true.  

The contract being recommended for award was procured with an increased envelope of £0.200m using a competitive process under the Open OJEU procedure and had seen a greater response from providers (7 tenders). A full tender report is contained in Appendix 4 of the report.    

In 2019, the government announced that it required all local authorities to produce and publish a rough sleeping strategy, setting out how they would strategically address rough sleeping in their districts and how they would meet challenging government targets to halve rough sleeping by 2021 and to eliminate rough sleeping by 2027. In an announcement from just before the COVID 19 pandemic, the Prime Minister made the target timescale shorter, stating that rough sleeping should be eliminated in the lifetime of the current parliament.

Ealing’s Strategy was published in December 2019, after receiving cabinet approval and was attached at Appendix 2 of the report.

The government  recognised the scale of Ealing’s task and given approval to the approach set out in our Rough Sleeping Strategy by awarding Ealing £1.06m in funding for 2020/21.  This funding could only be used for specified purposes, to add value to existing local funding of rough sleeping initiatives and was not guaranteed beyond this year.  It came with stringent performance expectations and experience had shown it was most effective when used to fund additional specialists within the existing commissioned outreach service, to maximise impact through service planning and setting up defined pathways. A bid was being designed to seek additional funds to minimise the cost to the Council of complying with the government’s ‘Everyone in’ and ‘In for Good’ response to COVID 19. 

It was important for the Borough to have a specialist provider in place, with a demonstrated record of achievement in working with all those who sleep rough, given the complex issues Ealing faced and the need to ensure the very challenging targets could be met and expectations set out by central government.   We believe that St Mungo’s is the right provider to help us to achieve our objectives, based on the quality of their tender and their proven local expertise.

In summary, it was recommended that Ealing Council agrees the award of contract to St Mungo Community Housing Association for a stand-alone specialist outreach team which could focus fully on Ealing’s unique rough sleeping population and which would have priority for hosting any additional posts created through external funding.  This would have the advantages both of local accountability and of flexibility in addressing a changeable problem and in ensuring the best chance of meeting the government’s targets, locally.  It would also give the Council the best chance of securing additional government funding

It was recommended that the contract give the provider priority to host any additional posts for which external funding may be awarded.  
 
MIN11
Resolved
That Cabinet:
i) authorises the Director of Housing Development to invite and evaluate tenders or make a call off from a framework or a dynamic purchasing system for an Employer’s Agent and Quantity Surveyor/Cost Consultant on the Council’s Lexden Road project, as described in para 3.2.1.1 of the report, for a contract with an estimated overall value of £520,000 and delegates authority to the Director of Housing Development to award a contract on receipt of suitable tenders.
ii) authorises the Director of Housing Development to sign a Pre-Construction Services Agreement (PCSA) with the contractor for the Buckingham Avenue scheme subject to BLRP registration to ensure mobilisation was sufficiently progressed to start the works on site before March 2021 as described in para 3.2.1.2 of the report.
iii) authorises the Director of Housing Development to invite and evaluate tenders or make a call off from a framework or a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) for Package 1 Sites to procure a contractor and to award PCSAs subject to BLRP registration and planning consent to ensure mobilisation was sufficiently progressed to start the works on site in March 2021 as described in paras 3.2.1.3 and 3.2.1.4 of the report.
iv) authorises the Director of Housing Development to consult with the residents affected on the infill development proposals covered in Package 2 Sites at Radcliffe Way (Yeading 1 Estate) and at Newmarket Avenue (Northolt Park Estate in order to develop designs prior to planning submission as described in para 3.2.1.5 of the report

Reason for Decision and Options Considered
In October 2018 the Council made a successful bid to the GLA for £99m of grant to support its ambitious target of delivering 2500 GAH by end of March 2022. The bid stated that the Council would deliver 1,138 GAH. Registered Providers are anticipated to deliver 1,362 GAH therefore making up the Council’s overall target of 2,500 genuinely affordable homes. 

In July 2020 the Council’s Cabinet noted and supported a revised list of projects listed in Table 2 in the July report appendix which (subject to GLA approval and officer decision as required) would deliver as a minimum the Council’s required 1,138 GAH.

In that report a number of delegations related to specific schemes were granted to the Director of Housing Development to employ architect-led, multidisciplinary teams to prepare and submit detailed planning applications.

This report presented further schemes for approval and sought delegations to the Director of Housing Development to employ multidisciplinary design teams and also to procure contractors to undertake works to build the Council’s contribution to the GAH target. 
 
MIN12
Resolved
 That Cabinet:
i)   increases the existing capital programme allocation of retained Right to Buy receipts, by way of support to Council new build schemes and Council property purchase schemes and also by way of grant to Registered Providers (RPs) and housing developers working in the borough, to provide affordable housing for rent by a further £15.556m of which a specific allocation of £3.227m will be available for RPs. 
ii)   agrees the continued  allocation of retained Right to Buy receipts to Council new build projects or property purchase schemes and also by way of grant to Registered Providers and housing developers working in the Borough to provide affordable housing for rent under the criteria listed in Appendix 1 of this report and approved previously by Cabinet in November 2017.
iii)   delegates authority to the Executive Director of Place to enter into or modify a Grant or Development Agreements with Registered Providers or housing developers to secure the provision of homes for rent at affordable levels following consultation with the Director of Legal and Democratic Services.

Reason for Decision and Options Considered
Under the terms of the Right to Buy Retention Agreement entered into with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in 2013, the Council was able to retain Right To Buy receipts from sales received on or after 1 April 2012 provided those receipts were (i) used  for the provision of social housing and (ii) the receipts were used within three years, and (iii), the retained sum did not constitute more than 30% of the total development costs of the relevant social housing investment. The remaining 70% of costs must be matched funded.

The Council used these RTB receipts to part fund some of its own schemes to provide social housing. However, due to the necessity for the Council to fund 70% of scheme costs and because there are a limited number of schemes that meet the criteria for qualification, mostly due to availability of GLA grant to part fund all Genuinely Affordable Homes (GAH) schemes currently in the Council’s programme, the Council had looked to part fund Register Provider (RP) schemes securing nominations to those affordable homes or purchasing properties directly from private property developers.

It was a requirement that unless the money was spent within three years of receipt it must be repaid with interest to the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
 
MIN13

Resolved
That Cabinet:
i) notes the acquisitions completed or currently proceeding under the terms of the Temporary Accommodation Acquisitions Framework approved in February 2020 (See Confidential Appendix 2 of the report).
ii) agrees that the Temporary Accommodation Acquisitions Framework be revised as set out in 2.3 of the report, to reflect;
- Changes in funding and the marketplace resulting from Covid-19
- Knowledge gained from the acquisitions completed to date
- Further clarity received in relation to the rent setting requirements governing Temporary Accommodation.
iii) notes the increase to the value of the Capital Programme item incepted at the February 2020 Cabinet meeting by £19.153m to £42.263m funded from Flexible Homelessness Support Grant (£10.500m) and prudential borrowing (£31.763m).
iv) approves a further £19.153m of prudential borrowing up to a total of £31.763m, the revenue costs of which are to be covered within the existing budgets.
v) approves the acquisition of up to 81 further properties, in addition to the 58 approved in February, for the purpose of providing Temporary Accommodation.
vi) delegates authority to the Director of Community Development to acquire up to 139 properties, for the purposes of Temporary Accommodation, subject to the price ceiling values agreed by Cabinet at its meeting in February 2020.
vii) notes that an amendment to council’s Prudential Indicators would be sought from Council at the next appropriate time to reflect the additional borrowing requirement.
viii) agrees that the Council continued to rely on its general power of competence (“GPC”) as the legal basis for acquiring and managing properties under the policy framework. Such power arose under section 1(1) of the Localism Act 2011 and details of that power were set out in the Legal Implications section of this report.

Reason for decision and Options Considered
Cabinet approved in February 2020 a Temporary Accommodation Acquisitions Framework to facilitate the acquisition of property in West London for the purposes of providing cost neutral temporary accommodation. 

Acquisitions were being completed under that approved framework and the current position in respect of such acquisitions was set out in Confidential Appendix 2 of the report.

Between 2011 and 2019, the number of households in temporary accommodation (TA) more than doubled, primarily due to changes in the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) system which reduced the purchasing power of low-income households in Ealing’s private rented sector.

This was evident from P1E statistics that record the ‘main reason for loss of last settled home’. In the last quarter of 2010/2011, 13% of households presented to the authority due to the end of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. In comparison, 49% of cases were recorded as such in the last quarter of 2017/2018. Following the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act, there have been changes to the way in which this data is reported. While the statistics are no longer therefore, directly comparable, the trend has continued. 

The number of households in temporary accommodation had stabilised in more recent years as the council had successfully reduced the number of households coming into the system through enhanced homelessness prevention. Indeed, MHCLG statistics indicated that Ealing was one of the best performing local authorities in the country, achieving the 3rd highest number of preventions across London between January 2018 and March 2019. 

Nonetheless, the cost of providing temporary accommodation was an ongoing financial pressure for the council because housing benefit subsidy rates had remained static at 90% of Jan-2011 LHA rates despite increases in the price that must be paid to secure accommodation.

The Council undertook an Outcome Review of the Housing and Homelessness Function in 2018. That in depth review proposed four key interventions: 
1) Reducing demand for TA through enhanced homelessness prevention work; 
2) Increasing the supply of cost-neutral hostel/modular accommodation as an alternative to Bed & Breakfast accommodation; 
3) Increasing the supply of cost-neutral longer-term accommodation, sitting outside of TA subsidy arrangements, as an alternative to units procured through the Private Sector Leasing (PSL) scheme. 
4) Increasing moves into permanent accommodation. 

The recommendations contained in this report related to the delivery of the third of those key interventions, namely the provision of cost-neutral longer-term accommodation. The Outcome Review proposed the acquisition of 300 new such units - 30 in 2019/20, 240 in 2020/21 and a final 30 in 2021/22.
In September 2013, the Council authorised the acquisition of up to 83 properties on the open market, funded through £21.000m of prudential borrowing. Whilst some of the units acquired were ‘early buybacks’ on Council estates undergoing regeneration, the majority of these properties continued to be held in the General Fund and were rented to homeless households on non-secure tenancies. Under housing benefit rules, these claims were not subject to subsidy caps and were eligible for 100% subsidy up to the level of rent. 
In May 2016, Cabinet authorised a further £5.000m to be added to the capital programme to secure up to 20 properties additional properties. However, it had been challenging to identify a sufficient number of properties within the agreed price ceilings.
In October 2016, a financial evaluation of the original scheme was commissioned. The report confirmed that the rental income generated from the portfolio had been sufficient to meet running costs and interest payments.
In February 2020 Cabinet approved a Temporary Accommodation Acquisitions Framework to support the acquisition of up to 58 properties for the purposes of Temporary Accommodation.

Options Considered
Providing cost-neutral units was challenging given that both house prices and rents in Ealing and surrounding areas were high relative to residents’ ability to pay and given the ongoing constraints on benefits and allowances.

The Temporary Accommodation Acquisitions Framework approved in February 2020 was designed as an interim measure, delivering up to 58 of the 300 Temporary Accommodation Units called for in the Housing and Homelessness Outcome Review.

Changes to funding and the market as a result of COVID-19, knowledge gained from the initial acquisitions and further clarity received on the rent setting requirements for Temporary Accommodation have provided the opportunity to revise a number of the assumptions which underpinned the financial modelling back in February 2020.

Officers had therefore considered the options for amending that financial model and the scope of the Temporary Accommodation Acquisitions Framework.

In brief those options were; 
Option 1: Do Nothing – Discounted – The opportunity to amend the financial model presented opportunities for the Council to reduce its financial input while delivering the same revenue benefit or, alternatively, to increase its financial input to deliver an increased benefit. To do neither would be to precipitate a sub-optimal outcome.

Option 2: Utilise additional Prudential Borrowing supported to reduce the grant input – Discounted – No new properties acquired.

Replacing Flexible Homelessness Support Grant funding with prudential borrowing was an option considered but discounted on the grounds that the revenue benefit being realised by use of the grant was lost if the scheme was fully funded by borrowing. As set out in the February report.

Option 3: Utilise the additional prudential borrowing supported to acquire further units for the purposes of Temporary Accommodation – Recommended

The Recommended Option
It was recommended that the assumptions underpinning the original acquisitions framework be revised in light of;
- Changes in the market resulting from Covid-19.
- Knowledge gained from the initial tranche of acquisitions under the framework approved in February.
- Further clarity received in relation to the rent setting requirements governing temporary accommodation.

And that the further supported prudential borrowing be utilised to support the acquisition  of further units for the purpose of Temporary Accommodation.

The principal amendments and their impacts were set out in detail in confidential appendix 1 of the report.

These amendments, were they to be taken together with a more targeted approach to acquisitions, focussed in West London and with target price points significantly below the ceiling prices approved in February 2020, would allow for the acquisition of up to 81 further properties taking the anticipated maximum number of acquisitions to 139 from the previously approved 58.

In order to deliver ‘cost-neutral’ units in respect of Option 3 it was proposed that councils capital funding continued to be utilised only to the level supported by the assumed rents net of management costs. Beyond that level grant would be deployed to provide funding up to the given ceiling prices.

In order to maximise the reduction in the net cost of temporary accommodation it was proposed that allocations to the newly acquired temporary accommodation continued to be targeted at the current high cost cases. Doing so would ensure the revenue benefit to the Council continues to be maximised.

Amending the Acquisitions Framework in this way would facilitate the purchase of significantly more properties for the purpose of providing Temporary Accommodation to homeless households in Ealing. This would improve the service offer substantially, driving up the availability and standard of temporary accommodation while also reducing the costs incurred by the authority in providing that accommodation.

 
MIN14
Resolved
That Cabinet:
i) authorises the award of a contract for domiciliary care services at Turnberry Court extra care housing unit to CSN Care Group Limited for a period of four years commencing from 3 March 2021 to 2 March 2025 at a cost of £0.775m per annum.  
ii) authorises the award of a contract for domiciliary care services at Moorlands Court extra care housing unit to CSN Care Group Limited for a period of three years commencing from 23 February 2022 to 2 March 2025 at a cost of £0.577m per annum.

Reason for decision and Options Considered
Ealing Council had a statutory duty to provide social care services to eligible service users based on an assessment of their needs. The provision of domiciliary care services to residents in extra care housing is provided in response to these needs. There were two extra care housing schemes in the borough:
 
Turnberry Court: Located in Southall comprised 40 self-contained units with 38 one-bedroom flats and two two-bedroom flats. The building was owned and managed by Notting Hill Genesis.
Moorlands Court: Located in Northolt comprised 35 self-contained units. The building was owned and managed by Hanover Housing Association. 

Adult social care had 100% nomination rights for Turnberry and Moorlands Court. Nominations were made by Adults Services based on a social care needs assessment. Individual tenancies at Turnberry were held with Notting Hill Genesis and with Hanover Housing Association for residents at Moorlands. The care services operated from both Turnberry and Moorlands were delivered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Overnight there are a minimum of two waking staff available on site to meet residents’ needs.  

Adults’ Services currently had contractual arrangements with two domiciliary care providers which were due to expire in March 2021 at Turnberry Court and February 2022 at Moorlands Court.

Notting Hill Genesis had been providing care services at Turnberry Court since 2012 however they gave notice to the Council to terminate this contract in March 2020 following a breakdown in negotiations regarding the hourly rate for domiciliary care. The notice period required under the contract was 12 months, therefore the current contract would end in March 2021.

CSN Care Group Limited (previously Carewatch Care Services Limited) had been providing care services at Moorlands Court since February 2016. An extension to the four-year contract was agreed earlier this year, extending the contract for a further two years to February 2022.

The aim was to make a direct award to a single provider, CSN Care Group Limited, for the provision of domiciliary care services at both extra care units. The following options had been considered:

Option 1: Re-commissioning the services and going out to the market with an open tender. It was not possible to run a full procurement exercise within the timeframe of the remaining notice period for Turnberry Court. The timescale for running a full procurement exercise for Moorlands Court was also challenging given the continued impact of the pandemic and potential for a second wave. This option would result in the Council having to appoint a temporary provider whilst the procurements were completed. This would be an additional cost to the Council and disruptive for vulnerable service users. NOT RECOMMENDED.

Option 2: Decommission the services and not re-procure. The Council had a statutory duty to provide care to vulnerable adults assessed as requiring care. All tenants in the units required personal care support and this would need to continue to be provided. The alternative was likely to be residential care which was more institutional for the service user and more costly to the Council. NOT RECOMMENDED

Option 3: Deliver the services in-house; Adult services did not have an in-house domiciliary care service that could undertake this function. NOT RECOMMENDED

Option 4: Do nothing. The current contract for Turnberry Court would terminate on 3rd March 2021. The provider would cease providing services on this date unless an exception to award a new contract was agreed. The current provider was unlikely to accept an extension to the existing contract without a price review which would result in higher costs for the Council. The contract for Moorlands Court would terminate in February 2022 and there was no further provision for an extension to this contract. The alternative to this option would be to either appoint a temporary provider or move residents into residential care. This option would be more costly for the Council and disruptive for service users. NOT RECOMMENDED

Option 5:  Make a direct award to a single provider for both contracts. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic had diverted Adult Social Care resources to responding to the pandemic and it had not been possible to allocate resources to the procurement of domiciliary care services for Turnberry Court within the timeframe of the notice period. The timescale for running a full procurement exercise for Moorlands Court was also challenging as the service continued to prioritise resources to responding to the impact of the pandemic, supporting the recovery of services as well as planning for a potential second wave. This had a significant impact on the capacity of the service to plan and deliver a full procurement exercise and may impact the market’s ability to respond to a tender at this time. This option would ensure a provider was in place prior to contract expiry, deliver continuity of services and minimise disruption to vulnerable service users. RECOMMENDED

The recommendation was to make a direct award to a single provider, CSN Care Group Limited, for the provision of domiciliary care services at both Turnberry Court and Moorlands Court. The preferred provider was experienced in delivering domiciliary care in an extra care setting and was currently rated ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). 
 
MIN15
Resolved
That Cabinet:
i) authorises the extension of the existing Contract for Children’s Community Health Services with West London NHS Trust ending on 30 September 2020 for a further duration of 2 years from 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2022.
ii) notes the contract value was c£1.47m per annum and that the service was funded by the Public Health budget allocation and Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG).
iii) delegates authority to the Executive Director of Children, Adults and Public Health,  following consultation with the Portfolio holder for Schools and Children’s Services to undertake an options review to either align this contract with the CCG single contract through a direct award of contract, or to invite and evaluate competitive tenders for the children’s community health services contract on the open market without the further need to come back to Cabinet to seek further authority, based on the option that was selected. 
iv) delegates authority to the Executive Director of Children, Adults and Public Health, following consultation with the Portfolio holder for Schools and Children’s Services, to award a contract without the further need to come back to Cabinet to seek further authority for either:
a contract for a period of 5 years, with an option to extend for a further period of 2 years (5 years + 2 years = 7 years) if tendered on the open market; or 
a contract for a period of up to 8 years to align with the remaining period of the Ealing Community Partnership Contract if a direct award is provided to West London NHS Trust (current provider).

Reason for decision and Options Considered
The existing contract with West London NHS Trust was due to expire on 30 September 2020. The contract extension would facilitate a period of time to explore all procurement options whilst maintaining continuity of service during the current pandemic, avoiding potential fragmentation and disruption in the short term. 

The UK Government declared the country to be in a pandemic state as of 11 March 2020 in the light of Covid-19, and subsequently introduced social distancing measures from 23 March 2020. 

Given the difficulties in mobilising a new contract of this size under the present circumstances, the risks would be significantly reduced by extending the existing contract to 30 September 2022. 

The Council had statutory obligations to provide services to meet the need of children and young people with additional needs to ensure they achieved their optimum in health and wellbeing and provide support.                                                                                                

Individual service need had grown incrementally and had been managed within the services. The extension for the existing contract with West London NHS Trust would be for a two-year period with the ability for minor variations to services to be made within the extension period to meet changing service demands and new ways of working as appropriate. Any minor variations to the services during the two-year extension would be formally agreed by the parties by signing a variation agreement.

Services would continue to be delivered within a comprehensive framework of community health services for children and young people with appropriate clinical governance and supervision, aligning with other support services for children and young people in Ealing in particular, supporting transition between children and adult services.

The contract value was in excess of £500,000 and therefore Cabinet approval was required to extend existing contracts and to enter any collaborative arrangem
16 Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on 13 October 2020.
MIN16

Resolved    
That Cabinet:
i) notes that the next meeting of Cabinet would be held on 13 October 2020 at 7pm




Councillor Julian Bell, Chair

Date


The duration of this meeting was 7pm to 7:53pm

 

The minutes should be read in conjunction with the agenda for the meeting. They are subject to approval and signature at the next meeting of this Committee.

Exempt Items
9 Item 09 - CONFIDENTIAL Appendix 2 Healum Avenue CPO
  • Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information);
10 Item 10 - CONFIDENTIAL Appendix 3, Commercial Strategy
  • Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information);
10 Item 10 - CONFIDENTIAL Appendix 4 Outreach Tender
  • Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information);
13 Item 13 - CONFIDENTIAL Appendix 1 Temporary Accommodation Acquisitions Framework Financial Model Summary
  • Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information);
13 Item 13 - CONFIDENTIAL Appendix 2 - Update on Progress of TA Acquisitions Programme
  • Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information);
14 Item 14 - CONFIDENTIAL Appendix B - Legal Advice
  • Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings;
15 Item 15 - CONFIDENTIAL Appendix B - Legal Advice
  • Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings;

Additional Meeting Documents

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NameReason for Sending Apology
Councillor Mik Sabiers 
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