Integrated Home Improvement Service
The following item was submitted as urgent business with the Chair’s agreement in accordance with Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the reason being to ensure the latest consultation response was included in the report.
The Deputy Leader of the Council reported on behalf of the Portfolio holder for Housing and Regenerationwho had submitted a report to seek Cabinet approval to Hyndburn Borough Council’s response to Lancashire County Council’s Integrated Home Improvement Service consultation exercise.
Approval of the report was not deemed a key decision.
Reasons for Decision
Lancashire County Council (LCC), like many councils across the country, is going through financially challenging times. This is as a result of funding not keeping pace with the increasing demand and cost of services being delivered. LCC need to continue to look at ways of reducing costs to help balance the books for future years.
This means they have to consider changes to some of the services currently provided, as they do not have the resources to continue to deliver what they have done in the past. These changes were considered by County Councillors and they are now looking to consult on what impact the proposals may have.
The Integrated Home Improvement Service (also known as Care and Repair) provided help to people in need of extra support to make their homes safe and accessible, by assisting homeowners to maintain, repair and improve their properties. In Hyndburn this service is provided by Homewise.
This service supported independent living for older people, people living with physical
disabilities and people living with long term health conditions. The Integrated Home
Improvement Service is currently contracted to six local providers based across Lancashire for service delivery.
LCC will continue to provide funding for minor aids and adaptations (under £1,000) to
people who are eligible for this service. However, they are proposing to cease funding the Home Improvement Services that they are not legally required to provide.
LCC was currently consulting with partners, stakeholders and service users.
The consultation period runs from 18 February to 15 April 2019. The Council’s response to this consultation is attached at Appendix 1 for your consideration and approval.
Alternative Options Considered and Reasons for Rejection
Hyndburn Borough Council could choose not to respond to the LCC Consultation exercise however as the future of Homewise was at risk, should the funding for the Home Improvement Service be removed this was not a sensible course of action.
The withdrawal of the Homewise Home improvement Service would have a significant impact on many vulnerable households across the Borough especially elderly and disabled households and therefore the Council wants to express its strongest objection. This is a LCC run service and therefore Hyndburn Borough Council is not in a position to propose alternative options other than oppose the proposed withdrawal of the service.
Resolved (1) That Cabinet strongly disagrees with Lancashire County Council’s proposals to cease funding Home Improvement Services; and,
(2) That Cabinet agreed and approved Hyndburn Borough Councils’ response to the Lancashire CC Integrated Home Improvement Service consultation exercise as attached at Appendix 1 in the report.