The Chair recommended that this item be
withdrawn due to the absence of the Partnership Manager, Policy and
Improvement who was currently unwell.
Members made various comments as follows:-
The Deputy Chair reported of
concerns from both S2 Foodbank and S6 Foodbank regarding an
increase in clients seeking benefits and/or debt advice. Demand on
the related advisory services was expected to increase as energy
prices continued to rise.
Councillor Otten was aware of a
client of the Grace Food Bank (Lowedges) who was living in
temporary accommodation in the area and had to fund their
child’s bus travel to a school in High Green.
It was noted that, at the Full
Council meeting of 2 February, 2022, the Council had resolved to
reinstate the Food Poverty Working Group and expand its remit to
cover all elements of rising living costs and to formulate an
action plan to tackle the crisis.
Issues referred from/to Local Area Committees
Verbal report of the Policy and Improvement
Leasing Scheme and Rough Sleepers Accommodation Programme
Following the meeting of the Committee on 10
February, 2022, Deborah Glen had received the following written
update from the Lead Officer:
Any issues arising with asylum
seekers should be directed to Beth Storm (Communities), who leads
the work liaising with the Home Office’s nominated Asylum
Accommodation Contract provider (Mears) on its provision within the
city. Any asylum seeker supported by
the Home Office will be entitled to accommodation and support from
Individuals who are
rough sleeping who have no recourse to public funds are currently
supported by Housing Solutions under their ‘Rough Sleepers
Winter Plan’ and are currently placed in hotel accommodation.
Whilst accommodated, people are given support to find legal advice
to help them seek their status or be clear on their future options.
To date, there are 11 individuals being supported and on average we
have seen a need for approximately 8 individuals requiring this
support at any one time. There is no
legal requirement to offer accommodation, but it has been strongly
encouraged by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and
Communities during the course of the pandemic, with some additional
funding made available for this. The service has recently applied
for further funding for the following 3 years (April 2022 onwards)
for a limited amount of support for rough sleepers who fall into
this category and expect to hear the outcome of this funding in
April/May 20022. The support given by
the service has seen improvements on the number of individuals
rough sleeping in the city, and numbers are remaining low at
present – even seeing a ‘zero’ count in recent
Solutions service works with all rough sleepers to find long term
solutions to their housing situation but cannot provide or source
longer term housing to these individuals whilst they have no
recourse to public funds. However, the temporary placements have
been ongoing throughout the pandemic to ensure that they have been
protected from the risks of the pandemic, and the winter
The lead officer in
Housing Solutions is Zoe Young. Zoe is
off ill currently. David Wilkinson is
covering immediate priorities while Zoe is off.
Members made comments as follows:-
It was expected that refugees from Ukraine
would be arriving in Sheffield and it was important to ensure that
safeguarding and support was put in place for all those that may
have suffered harm whilst fleeing conflict. The support needed was
expected to be wide-ranging and would require adequate resourcing.
It was anticipated that this would form part of the work programme
for the relevant subsequent committee.
The Policy and Improvement Officer (Deborah
Glen) submitted a report containing an activity report which set
out the topics and activity of work the Committee considered in
this Municipal year, 2021/2022. She noted that the two working
groups that had yet to complete their work would report their
findings into the new committee structure.
Resolved: that the Committee:-
notes the content of the report;
give thanks to the Policy and Improvement Officer for her efforts
in preparing this final report; and
give thanks to the Governance Committee for their work and
commitment into putting in place the new committee structure.