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The Government’s response the CLG Select Committee’s report on local authority implementation of welfare reform was published on 6 June. Among the items on which the Committee focused and expressed concerns were direct payments to tenants of housing benefit, the transfer of parts of the Social Fund to local authorities, the localisation of Council Tax Support, the ‘bedroom Tax’, and new administrative and financial burdens.
Southwark Council’s Housing Commission Report published last autumn took an in-depth look at the state of the council’s housing stock. Councillor Gavin Edwards, Chair of Southwark’s Housing Scrutiny Sub-Committee explains the difficult choices that lie ahead.
This briefing reviews the work of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee in the current UK parliament. It considers what to expect of a select committee – its role and remit – and what scope it has for influence. Information is provided on recent reports and current inquiries.The briefing is of interest to all concerned with the implementation of localism, and it draws attention to reports and inquiries on planning, housing, welfare reform, regional policy, the mutual and co-operative provision of services, and the role of councillors
Few of us like to talk about dying. Despite the fact that death is a universal prospect for all of us, we often shy away from discussing the topic – uncomfortable to share our fears, let alone our hopes …
This briefing outlines the findings of a new LGiU report, supported by Home Group. ‘A Good Death: the role of the local authority in good end of life care’ looks at the role of local authorities in end of life care provision and considers how councils can best develop their part in this important service provision.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has published a report on the affordable homes programme (“Financial viability of the social housing sector: introducing the Affordable Homes Programme”) informed by a detailed National Audit Office study (NAO). This briefing draws from both.
- The Committee concluded that it is not yet clear whether the Programme will deliver better value for money and were concerned that funding does not fully target the people and areas of greatest housing need.
- They warned the Government that it needs to do more work to understand the impact of the Programme on tenants and its interaction with welfare reform.
- This briefing will be of interest to executive members, cabinet portfolio members and senior officers with responsibilities for housing, finance and regeneration.
* Fuel poverty is a serious and deepening national problem affecting households with low incomes and high energy costs in particular.
* This briefing summarises the findings of the Hills Review of Fuel Poverty which recommended a new way of defining and measuring fuel poverty, and the Government’s response which is consulting on implementing the proposals and revising its Fuel Poverty Strategy.
* Local authorities have been at the forefront of tackling fuel poverty, spanning action on housing and regeneration to climate change and sustainability to poverty and health.
* Local authorities are encouraged to respond to the consultation, drawing on views from across the council, on the practical and policy implications of the changes proposed and the Government’s review of its fuel poverty policies. The deadline for responses is 30 November 2012.
Measuring National Well-being – Where We Live explores the way in which our homes and the areas in which we live influence our well-being. This briefing provides a summary.
* The report forms part of the Measuring National Well-being programme which aims to measure the nation’s well-being and promote its importance to policy and decision makers at all levels.
* It draws on a wide range of subjective and objective evidence to consider headline measures including housing tenure, provision and quality, the housing market, the local area and access to services and amenities.
* The report has particular relevance for officers involved in housing, community and neighbourhood planning, as well as local members.
This briefing provides a summary. It follows a briefing we published on 19 September with an overview of the National Well-being Programme – see below.
* Making Every Contact Count, published by the Ministerial Working Group on Homelessness, puts forward a strategy based on early intervention to tackle the root causes of homelessness.
*It contains a number of Government commitments in key areas such as childhood, health, crime, unemployment and immigration.
* It also promulgates a list of ten “local challenges” that it encourages local authorities to consider.
Why is planning in the news again? In March 2012 the government launched its National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) with a clear, if ambitious, timetable for LPAs to work to, and a sense that the dust had settled after months …