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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 08/11/2005
CHOICE BASED LETTINGS – BID FOR EXTRA GOVERNMENT RESOURCES



Summary & Purpose
The purpose of this report is to advise members of a joint bid for extra resources from Central Government to help implement a Sub Regional Choice Based Lettings scheme with Guildford, Rushmoor and Hart Borough/District Councils

APPENDIX L
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE – 8TH NOVEMBER 2005
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Title:
CHOICE BASED LETTINGS – BID FOR EXTRA GOVERNMENT RESOURCES

[Wards Affected: All]
Summary and purpose:

The purpose of this report is to advise members of a joint bid for extra resources from Central Government to help implement a Sub Regional Choice Based Lettings scheme with Guildford, Rushmoor and Hart Borough/District Councils


Environmental implications:

There are no environmental implications arising from this report.

Social/community implications:

It is believed that by giving people more choice over where they want to live, communities are more stable and cohesive.

E-Government implications:

Choice based lettings can take many forms but, in all of them, use of IT is a key component and therefore Choice Based Lettings makes an important contribution to extending E-Government.

Resource and legal implications:

The Choice Based Lettings Bid has been undertaken within existing resources. If the bid is successful, Choice Based Lettings will have significant resource implications but receipt of additional Government funding and working with other Councils will reduce the cost to the Council.
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Background

1. The Government announced, in the summer, the availability of additional funding to help Councils introduce Choice Based Lettings. The bid deadline was 7th October 2005 and bids needed to demonstrate partnership and regional working. Members will recall an earlier Committee report in March 2005 where officers advised of the requirement for all Councils to have implemented a Choice Based Lettings scheme by 2010 and that this would have significant resource implications. In the report, Officers explained that joint discussions would be taking place with neighbouring Councils such and Hart and Guildford to see if economies could be achieved through joint working.
Introduction

2. Following a series of meetings with representatives from Guildford, Rushmoor and Hart Councils and discussion with Waverley’s Housing Portfolio Holder, a joint bid was made on 7th October 2005 to secure some additional funding to help implement Choice Based Lettings. Unfortunately, the tight timescales within which the bid had to be made and the evolving nature of the discussions between the partner Councils, meant officers were unable to go through the usual Committee process to advise members of the bid.

3. A copy of the bid document is available in the Member’s Room. To stand the best chance of success the bid needed to demonstrate a partnership/regional approach, innovative approaches to reduce homelessness, include the majority of housing stock in each partners control, incorporate private sector and shared ownership properties (as well as social rented properties), the ability for applicants to move between districts and member support.

4. If the partnership bid is successful, further discussions will take place between officers of the partner Councils to clarify details of how a regional scheme would operate. Member approval will then be sought to progress the implementation of Choice Based Lettings in Waverley with the benefit of knowing that the core costs would be borne by the partnership, with some financial assistance from Central Government.

5. If the bid is unsuccessful, officers will still explore the benefits of working in partnership with Guildford, Hart and Rushmoor as there are likely to be savings even without additional Government funding.

Financial Implications

4. The bid to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for joint funding of the Sub-Regional Choice Based Lettings Scheme ensures that some of the core costs of funding such a scheme are shared between four Councils. The Government aim to announce the outcome of the bids at the end of November 2005 and Officers will then report further on the implications for Waverley.

Recommendation

It is recommended that Waverley’s participation in a consortium, bidding for additional Government funding to help introduce a Choice Based Lettings Scheme to Waverley and some of its neighbouring Councils, be noted.

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Background Papers (DoH)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.
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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Mike Rivers Telephone: 01483 523013
E-mail: mrivers@waverley.gov.uk
Comms/exec/2005-06/163