Agenda and minutes

South Hams Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 5th October, 2023 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Follaton House. View directions

Contact: Email: [email protected] 


No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 168 KB

to approve as a correct record the minutes of the Committee held on 20 July 2023;



The minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 20 July 2023 were confirmed as a correct record


Declarations of Interest

In accordance with the Code of Conduct, Members are invited to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, Other Registerable Interests and Non-Registerable Interests including the nature and extent of such interests they may have in any items to be considered at this meeting;



Members and officers were invited to declare any interests in the items of business to be considered during the course of the meeting, but there were none made.


Public Forum pdf icon PDF 198 KB

A period of up to 15 minutes is available to deal with issues raised by the public;



In accordance with the Public Forum Procedure Rules, the Chairman informed that no questions had been received for consideration.


Homelessness and Temporary Accommodation

An opportunity for Members to ask questions on the current position regarding Homelessness and Temporary Accommodation across the District



Lead Executive Member for Housing, Environmental Health and Licensing reported on the shortfall in affordable housing and the increase in rent for rental properties.  It was further reported that preventing homelessness was a statutory duty and need for temporary accommodation was rising and this was in line with national trends.  SHDC owns 8 properties and looking to increase this to 11 properties.


In discussion, the following points were raised:


   The 8 properties owned by SHDC comprise of 1, 2 and 3-bedroom properties in across the district.

   They looked at the cohort and areas with the highest housing need when looking for suitable properties.  Historically in Dartmouth properties were used the least.

   When people present as homeless and have health issues, they would inform the local GP to provide additional support.  With regard to the individual in Dartmouth would have to investigate.

   The KPI on % of cases where homelessness was prevented meant avoid accepting the homelessness in some other way, such as mediating with landlord or remain with family.   The national average was 40% and the remaining 37% of people not able to fix the problem before they left their existing address.

   We aim to prevent or relieve homelessness. 

   That it was very usual for people to stay in temporary accommodation for over year, however the length of time was starting to increase.

   If a family made homeless, they would work with the family to achieve the best outcomes and undertake an assessment of their needs and the offer of accommodation has to be reasonable. 

   There had been in an increase in the number of nights people in temporary accommodation and this pressure was increasing but was dealt with efficiently and promptly.  They also have a social lettings enterprise who manage properties through SHDC and offer lower rents.

   They report on Government returns and the real focus was to stop people from becoming homeless and this was increasingly difficult to stop and the KPI was a good indicator for success rates.


It was then:




The Committee noted the update on Homelessness and Temporary Accommodation.


Task and Finish Group Updates pdf icon PDF 343 KB

a)     Set up SW Water Research Task and Finish Group

b)     Set up Fusion Task and Finish Group

c)      Set up Planning Enforcement Task and Finish Group



The Chair reported that that the following task and finish groups would be convened, and membership sought via the Leaders of each of the political groups:


   SW Water - To establish SHDC’s statutory powers and how they could be implemented and SW Water’s capacity to service drains and homes adequately on new housing developments.

   Fusion – to identify any issues to be addressed prior to the February meeting.

   Planning Enforcement – request from the Executive.




O&S Annual Work Programme pdf icon PDF 206 KB




The Committee agreed the following item to be added to the work programme:


   Executive Forward Plan as a standing agenda item.


The Committee also requested:


   An informal meeting to be set up on KPIs before next meeting in December.

   A list of outside bodies funded by SHDC.