Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Venue: Essex Hall - Town Hall, Station Road, Clacton-on-Sea, CO15 1SE. View directions

Contact: Ian Ford Email:  iford@tendringdc.gov.uk or Telephone  01255 686584

Note: Please note that this meeting will now take place in the Essex Hall as the Committee Room is unavailable due to technical issues. 

Items
No. Item

61.

Apologies for Absence

The Cabinet is asked to note any apologies for absence received from Members.

 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors E T Allen (Leader of the Tendring First Group), G V Guglielmi (Deputy Leader of the Council & Portfolio Holder for Corporate Finance and Governance) and L A McWilliams (Portfolio Holder for Partnerships).

62.

Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 245 KB

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet, held on Friday 7 October 2022, be approved as a correct record and be signed by the Chairman.

63.

Declarations of Interest

Councillors are invited to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Personal Interest, and the nature of it, in relation to any item on the agenda.

 

Minutes:

There were no Declarations of Interest made by Councillors at this time though later on in the meeting as reported under Minute 71 below, Councillor Chapman BEM declared a Personal Interest in the subject matter of item A.4 of the Report of the Leisure & Tourism Portfolio Holder insofar as her family held a licence for a beach hut in Brightlingsea.

64.

Announcements by the Leader of the Council

The Cabinet is asked to note any announcements made by the Leader of the Council.

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council (Councillor N R Stock OBE) announced that the previous week that he had attended a meeting of the Leaders and Chief Executives of North Essex Councils (i.e. Harlow, Epping, Uttlesford, Chelmsford, Braintree, Colchester, Maldon and Tendring) who together represented 1 million people, included two cities and whose areas covered from a London Underground station at Epping to one of the longest stretches of coastline in the country.

 

That meeting had demonstrated a combined will to look at sharing services and delivering services remotely in an effort to bring about budget savings, efficiencies and to help with the recruitment and retention of staff. An example of where such savings and efficiencies could potentially be made lay in waste management. At present in Essex, 12 waste collection authorities undertook the same essential task in many different ways but all delivered their waste to the one Waste Disposal Authority. A uniformity of waste collection could result in a great financial saving for the local council tax payer who did not greatly care about municipal boundaries.

 

There was a collective recognition of the need to avoid financial calamities such as those that had afflicted Thurrock and Slough and also to look closely at any devolution proposals that came down from the Government.

 

The Leader stated that, in due course a Memorandum of Understanding would be entered into. That and any other related decision would, of course, be subject to the Council’s usual decision-making processes.

65.

Announcements by Cabinet Members

The Cabinet is asked to note any announcements made by Members of the Cabinet.

Minutes:

There were no announcements by Cabinet Members on this occasion.

66.

Matters Referred to the Cabinet by the Council

There are no matters referred to the Cabinet by the Council on this occasion.

Minutes:

There were no matters referred to the Cabinet by the Council on this occasion.

67.

Matters Referred to the Cabinet by a Committee - Reference from the Planning Policy & Local Plan Committee - A.1 - Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Plans for Great Oakley and Kirby-Le-Soken pdf icon PDF 191 KB

To enable the Cabinet to consider the recommendations made to it by the Planning Policy & Local Plan Committee in relation to the third tranche in a series of ‘Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plans’ that have been prepared for the Council by Essex Place Services.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that –

 

(a)    the new Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plans for: Great Oakley (Appendix 1) and Kirby-le-Soken (Appendix 2) be approved for consultation with the public and other interested parties; and

 

(b)    the Assistant Director (Finance & IT), in consultation with the Corporate Finance & Governance Portfolio Holder, the Housing Portfolio Holder, the Planning Portfolio Holder and the Director (Planning), be authorised to include a leaflet to inform residents, in basic terms, of the purpose, implications and controls in relation to conservation area status with the 2023 Council Tax Bill to be sent in due course to the relevant households within those Conservation Areas.

 

Minutes:

Cabinet was informed that the Planning Policy & Local Plan Committee (“the Committee”), at its meeting held on 10 October 2022 (Minute 23 referred), had considered a comprehensive report (and appendices) of the Acting Director (Planning) which had reported to it the third in a series of ‘Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plans’ that had been prepared for the Council by Essex Place Services. That report had also sought the Committee’s recommendation to Cabinet that they be approved for public consultation purposes.

 

The Committee’s decision at its meeting held on 10 October 2022 had been as follows:-

 

“RESOLVED that the Planning Policy and Local Plan Committee:

 

1.   endorses the new Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plans for Great Oakley (Appendix 1) and Kirby-le-Soken (Appendix 2) Conservation Area;

 

2.   recommends to Cabinet that the above documents (forming Appendices 1 and 2) be published for consultation with the public and other interested parties;

 

3.   notes that Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plans for the District’s other un-reviewed Conservation Areas will be brought before the Committee in due course over the next 6 months; and

 

4.   recommends to Cabinet that a leaflet be produced by Officers for the residents of properties in all of the District’s Conservation Areas and areas proposed, through the Conservation Area reviews, to be included in the Conservation Areas. Such leaflet to inform residents, in basic terms, of the purpose, implications and controls in relation to Conservation area status; and that the leaflets be distributed to the relevant households in those areas with the 2023 Council Tax Bill.”

 

The Planning Portfolio Holder (Councillor Bray), in response thereto, had submitted the following comments:-

 

“I thank the Planning Policy and Local Plan Committee for its consideration of this latest tranche of Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Plans and I sincerely welcome, once again, their recommendation to Cabinet that these be published for consultation. Reviewing all of the District’s Conservation Areas is one of the key actions in the Council’s Heritage Strategy and the progress so far has been very good. Ensuring we have an up-to-date appraisal for each and every Conservation Area will enable residents, developers, planners and our Planning Committee to understand the key characteristics that make each area special and which need to be preserved and enhanced when making planning applications and determining them. They will also enable us to reconsider the boundaries of each area and determine whether any Article 4 Directions are needed to provide an extra level of protection and control.

 

I also very much welcome and endorse the proposal that explanatory Conservation Area leaflets be distributed to the relevant households with the 2023 Council Tax Bill if this is viable and practicable.”

 

Having duly considered the recommendations submitted to it by the Planning Policy & Local Plan Committee, together with the contents of the Great Oakley Conservation Area Appraisal and the Kirby-le-Soken Conservation Area Appraisal:-

 

It was moved by Councillor Bray, seconded by Councillor P B Honeywood and:-

 

RESOLVED that –

 

(a)    the new Conservation Area  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.

68.

Matters Referred to the Cabinet by a Committee - Reference from the Resources and Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee - A.2 - Scrutiny of the Decision to give Consent for an Event by Frinton Summer Theatre pdf icon PDF 167 KB

To enable the Cabinet to consider the recommendations made to it by the Resources and Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee in relation to the Environment & Public Space Portfolio Holder’s decision to give consent for an event by Frinton Summer Theatre.

Decision:

RESOLVED that the recommendations made by the Resources and Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee be noted and that the response of the Environment and Public Space Portfolio Holder thereto be endorsed.

Minutes:

It was reported that, in accordance with the decision of Council on 12 July 2022 (Minute 29 referred), the Resources and Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee (‘the Committee’) had undertaken an enquiry at its meeting held on 17 October 2022 of the following decision taken by the Portfolio Holder for Environment and Public Space on 1 April 2022:

 

“a)     To give consent for the use of the section of Frinton Greensward identified between 14 August 2022 and 5 September 2022 by the Frinton Summer Theatre subject to any necessary licences being obtained and conditions being adhered to; and

 

b)      That the details of any consents given make it clear that consent is given for this event only and that future events will be evaluated on their merits at the time.”

 

The Assistant Director (Building and Public Realm) had submitted a report to the Committee to support its enquiry.  That report had attached the full Portfolio Holder decision, the supporting report prepared by Officers for the Portfolio Holder, the revised application for the use of the Greensward submitted by Frinton Summer Theatre and representations received and considered by the Portfolio Holder on the proposed use.

 

Members of the Committee had been advised at the meeting that:

 

“The Council was the freehold owner of The Greensward at Frinton. That Frinton Summer Theatre, Registered Charity No: 1170429,had applied to erect a temporary tent on the Greensward in order to put on a main summer production, a secondary production and community outreach activities.  An initial application from the Theatre had been refused by Officers as the detail provided by the Theatre was limited at that stage.  Ward Councillors had been consulted on the proposal.  The applicant then submitted a revised application with greater detail.   Officers had the delegation to make a decision on the revised application.  However, following consultation, the Portfolio Holder had agreed to make the decision.

 

Consultation with the Ward Councillors had indicated that they remained opposed to the revised application.  The evidence in the report to the Committee, and as outlined orally by the Portfolio Holder during the meeting, had indicated that there were a number of Town Councillors and businesses in Frinton who had supported the revised application.  So had relevant Portfolio Holders at Essex County Council and the Leisure & Tourism Portfolio Holder at this District Council. 

 

The Portfolio Holder outlined to the Committee the extent to which he had considered matters around the revised application and had determined that the use of the Greensward was appropriate in this case. 

 

Upon payment of all charges by the Theatre Company, there was no residual cost to this Council arising from the authorised use of the Greensward by the Theatre Company as a consequence of the decision taken by the Portfolio Holder. 

 

The Committee was also made aware that there was no policy in place that managed the authorisation of usage of the District Council’s public spaces for events.”

 

The Portfolio Holder had further assisted the Committee with its  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68.

69.

Leader of the Council's Items

There are none on this occasion.

Minutes:

There were no items referred to the Cabinet by the Leader of the Council on this occasion.

70.

Cabinet Members' Items - Report of the Environment & Public Space Portfolio Holder - A.3 - Detailed reply to the Resources and Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee's Recommendations in respect of the Waste, Recycling and Littering Enquiry pdf icon PDF 485 KB

To enable the Cabinet to consider the detailed reply of the Environment & Public Space Portfolio Holder to the recommendations made to it by the Resources and Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee in respect of the Waste, Recycling and Littering Enquiry.

Decision:

RESOLVED that the detailed response of the Environment and Public Space Portfolio Holder to the recommendations made by the Resources and Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee be noted (both being set out in the Appendix to the Portfolio Holder’s report) and that they thereto be approved.

Minutes:

Further to Minute 37 (15.7.22) Cabinet considered the Environment & Public Space Portfolio Holder’s detailed reply to the Resources and Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s recommendations to Cabinet following its inquiry into elements of the waste, recycling and litter collection service. That detailed reply was set out in the Appendix to item A.3 of the Report of the Environment & Public Space Portfolio Holder.

 

Having duly considered the recommendations submitted by the Resources and Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee together with the Environment & Public Space Portfolio Holder’s detailed response thereto:-

 

It was moved by Councillor Talbot, seconded by Councillor Bray and:-

 

RESOLVED that the detailed response of the Environment and Public Space Portfolio Holder to the recommendations made by the Resources and Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee be noted (both being set out in the Appendix to the Portfolio Holder’s report) and that they thereto be approved.

71.

Cabinet Members' Items - Report of the Leisure & Tourism Portfolio Holder - A.4 - Tendring Beach Hut Strategy Revisited pdf icon PDF 378 KB

To present a draft emerging Beach Hut Strategy Review for Cabinet approval for public consultation purposes and to request authority to invite stakeholder comment on the document.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet approves the content of the revised draft Beach Hut Strategy for consultation purposes and authorises Officers to seek stakeholder comment on the document for a minimum six-week period.

Minutes:

Councillor Chapman BEM declared a Personal Interest in the subject matter of this item insofar as her family held a licence for a beach hut in Brightlingsea.

 

Cabinet considered a report of the Leisure & Tourism Portfolio Holder (A.4), which presented it with a draft emerging Beach Hut Strategy Review for its approval for public consultation purposes and which sought its authority to invite stakeholder comment on the document.

 

Members were informed that the Council had adopted its Beach Hut Strategy in 2013, in order to provide a consistent approach to the management of that service in subsequent years.  This revision of the existing strategy was in order to update a number of issues relating to beach huts; to ensure beach hut conditions were adhered to; and appropriate resources were considered to monitor the service.

 

It was reported that, along the Tendring coastline there were currently 3,057 beach huts directly under the operation and management of Tendring District Council (TDC).  The objectives for the Beach Huts Service at TDC, as set out in the strategy, were to provide a customer focused, efficient, quality service, seeking income opportunities, which had potential (subject to further business case and decisions), to facilitate:

 

·  Improved seafront assets and infrastructure

·  Increased awareness of local seafront issues

·  Support for tourism and inward investment strategies of the Council

 

Cabinet was aware that beach huts were a key part of the Tendring seafront landscape and were regularly captured in tourism images, as features of the District, in Brightlingsea, Clacton-on-Sea, Holland-on-Sea, Frinton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze, Harwich and Dovercourt.

 

Cabinet was informed that TDC had contacted all beach hut licence holders in April 2022, to inform them of an intention to review the existing Beach Hut Strategy.  In the summer of 2022, the Council had consulted on seven key issues, which would form the basis of a review of the existing Strategy. Those issues were as follows:

 

o  Limiting the onward renting of beach huts by issuing a number of new commercial agreements through a transparent tender process;

o  Limiting the issue of future beach hut agreements to one per household;

o  Revising/updating the existing Beach Hut Specification;

o  Where licence holders have adapted their huts to include extensions, such as patios and verandas which are not covered by the specification, look to work with those parties to ensure their removal;

o  Developing a future funded business plan to consider additional staffing resources to ensure beach hut conditions are adhered to and to take appropriate enforcement action where necessary;

o  Improving customer service through exploring the feasibility of an improved digital platform for those with beach huts;

o  Developing a business plan for developing new beach huts and utilising the additional income for increased resources and seafront investment.

 

Members were advised that a pre-consultation questionnaire exercise had been carried out on those seven points and that 2,673 people had completed it.  A breakdown of those responses was summarised within the Portfolio Holder’s report and the full consultation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 71.

72.

Cabinet Members' Items - Report of the Corporate Finance & Governance Portfolio Holder - A.5 - Financial Performance Report 2022/23 & 2023/24 - General Update at the end of Quarter 2 pdf icon PDF 422 KB

To provide a general update and overview of the Council’s financial position against the 2022/23 budget and looking ahead to 2023/24 and beyond.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet –

 

(a)    notes the Council’s in-year financial position at the end of September 2022 along with the updated financial forecast for 2023/24 and beyond;

 

(b)    approves the proposed adjustments to the 2022/23 budget, as set out in Appendix 1A and agrees that the budget adjustments for 2023/24 as set out within the same appendix be included as part of developing the forecast and detailed estimates for further consideration by Cabinet at its December 2022 meeting;

 

(c)    requests the Resources and Service Overview and Scrutiny Committee to comment on the latest financial position of the Council set out in this report; and

 

(d)    in respect of the Council’s Treasury Management Practices, the aggregate amount of money that can be placed overnight with the Council’s bankers be increased temporarily from £1.000m to £1.500m over the Christmas break.

 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report of the Corporate Finance & Governance Portfolio Holder (A.5), which provided it with a general update and overview of the Council’s financial position against the 2022/23 budget and looked ahead to 2023/24 and beyond.

 

At the invitation of the Leader of the Council, the Council’s Section 151 Officer (Richard Barrett) presented to Members a summary of the contents of the report and its implications going forward for the Council’s financial position.

 

Section 1 – Items for inclusion in the budget / forecast for both 2022/23 and 2023/24. 

 

In consultation with Services, forecasts had been made of potential variances that would remain at the end of 2022/23 along with their impact in 2023/24. For 2023/24, further items had been included as part of developing the longer term forecast.

 

Although the budget remained subject to further updates as the forecast continued to be developed over the next few months, the current estimated net additional costs in 2022/23 totalled £3.389m, with a forecast budget ‘gap’ of £4.079m in 2023/24. Further details were set out in Appendix 1Ato the Portfolio Holder.

 

Section 3 of Appendix 1A set out how those budget ‘gaps’ were proposed to be funded, which included the refocusing of existing budgets / reserves.

 

Section 2 – Detailed commentary on the in-year financial position 2022/23.

 

The position to the end of September 2022, as set out in more detail within Appendix 2, showed that overall the General Fund Revenue Account was underspent against the profiled budget by £10.960m.As usual at this time of the year, a key influence on the position to date was the timing of general expenditure and/or income budgets, although it was acknowledged that further variances could emerge over the second half of 2022/23. In terms of the timing against expenditure budgets, a significant level of the variance to date reflected the COVID 19 Business Grant Schemes, where a final reconciliation process remained in progress in consultation with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

 

As highlighted above, rather than reporting / adjusting the position at the end of Q2, Services had been asked to estimate if any variances to date were likely to remain at the end of the year rather than being due to timing issues. Although variances to date were set out within Appendix 2, the proposed budget adjustments for 2022/23 set out in Appendix A1aimed to address the expected year-end position.

 

As highlighted within previous related reports to Cabinet, the Chief Executive continued to chair the regular Budget, Performance and Delivery meeting of Senior Managers where any emerging issues were discussed.

 

In respect of other areas of the budget such as the Housing Revenue Account, capital programme, collection performance and treasury activity, apart from additional details set out in the Portfolio Holder report, there were other no major issues that had been identified to date.

 

Any emerging issues would be monitored and updates provided in future reports, which would include their consideration as part of updating the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 72.

73.

Cabinet Members' Items - Joint Report of the Housing Portfolio Holder and the Corporate Finance & Governance Portfolio Holder - A.6 - The Local Council Tax Support Scheme, Discretionary Council Tax Exemptions / Discounts / Premiums for 2023/24 and Annual Minimum Revenue Provision Policy Statement 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 393 KB

To enable Cabinet to consider and agree for recommending to Full Council the following:

 

·  Local Council Tax Support Scheme 2023/24 (including associated exceptional hardship policy);

·   Discretionary Council Tax Exemptions, Discounts and Premiums for 2023/24; and

·   Annual MRP Policy Statement for 2023/24.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet -

 

a)  agrees that the LCTS scheme for 2023/24 remains the same as the current year, as set out as Appendix A and recommends to full Council:

 

i)    that the LCTS set out as Appendix A be approved with the maximum LCTS award being 80% for working age claimants;

 

ii)   that subject to a)i) above, delegation be given to the Assistant Director Finance and IT in consultation with the Housing Portfolio Holder to undertake the necessary steps to implement the LCTS scheme from 1 April 2023;

 

b)  agrees the Council Tax Exceptional Hardship Policy as set out in Appendix B;

 

c)   agrees the discretionary Council Tax exemptions, discounts and premiums for 2023/24 as set out in the appendices and recommends to full Council:

 

i)    that the locally determined council tax discounts as set out in Appendix C be approved;

 

ii)   that the council tax discount policy for young people leaving care as set out in Appendix D be approved;

 

iii)  that the discretionary council tax premiums set out in Appendix E be approved;

 

iv)  that the Assistant Director Finance and IT, in consultation with the Housing Portfolio Holder, be authorised to undertake the necessary steps to implement the council tax exemptions, discounts and premiums from 1 April 2023; and

 

d)  recommends to Council that the Annual Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Policy Statement for 2023/24, as set out in Appendix F, be approved.

 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a joint report of the Housing Portfolio Holder and the Corporate Finance & Governance Portfolio Holder (A.6), which enabled it to consider for onward recommendation to Full Council the following:

 

·      Local Council Tax Support Scheme (LCTS) 2023/24 (including associated exceptional hardship policy); 

·      Discretionary Council Tax Exemptions, Discounts and Premiums for 2023/24; and

·      Annual MRP Policy Statement for 2023/24.

 

It was reported that given the impact on residents from welfare reforms, including universal credit along with the on-going impact from COVID19 / cost of living challenges, it was proposed to continue with the principle of providing financial stability wherever possible to Tendring claimants. It was therefore proposed to keep the 2023/24 LCTS scheme the same as for 2022/23, which provided for a maximum discount of 80% for working age claimants.

 

Cabinet was informed that the associated exceptional hardship policy had also been subject to annual review and it was not proposed to make any changes from the scheme operating in 2022/23 and so would remain available to support eligible claimants. Additional financial support remained available to claimants via this scheme, which was supported by associated COVID 19 grant funding from the Government.

 

In respect of discretionary council tax discounts, exemptions and premiums (including discounts for young people leaving care), it was also not proposed to make any changes for 2023/24, with the same levels applying as in 2022/23.

 

Members were further informed that the Annual Minimum Revenue Provision Policy Statement had also been reviewed for 2023/24 with no changes proposed.

 

Cabinet was advised that if it was agreed that no changes were necessary to the proposed LCTS scheme, there would be no need for public consultation. However, if any amendments were proposed and approved at Full Council on 22 November 2022, then public consultation would be required before the final scheme could be agreed and adopted.  Consequently, if consultation was required, this Council would have to notify the precepting authorities that the final council tax base would be delayed and not available until late in the budget cycle.

 

Given the recommendation to continue with the existing LCTS scheme, it was not proposed to formally refer it for scrutiny to the Resources and Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee, but it would be considered by Full Council on 22 November 2022.

To enable the implementation of an LCTS Scheme in 2023/24 along with the required council tax discounts, exemptions and premiums and an MRP Policy Statement:-

 

It was moved by Councillor P B Honeywood, seconded by Councillor Bray and:-

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet -

 

a)  agrees that the LCTS scheme for 2023/24 remains the same as the current year, as set out as Appendix A and recommends to full Council:

 

i)    that the LCTS set out as Appendix A be approved with the maximum LCTS award being 80% for working age claimants;

 

ii)   that subject to a)i) above, delegation be given to the Assistant Director Finance and IT in consultation with the Housing Portfolio Holder to undertake the necessary steps to implement the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 73.

74.

Management Team Items - Report of the Monitoring Officer - A.7 - Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman Findings pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To report omissions that the Local Government and Social Ombudsman has determined were maladministration by this Council in two separate housing cases.

Decision:

RESOLVED that Cabinet notes the report.

 

Minutes:

Cabinet was aware that the Constitution (Article 12.03(a)) required the Monitoring Officer to report to Cabinet (or to Council for non-executive functions) if any decision or omission had given rise to maladministration.  This report concerned omissions that the Local Government and Social Ombudsman (‘the Ombudsman’) had determined were maladministration.  There were two separate cases. Both related to applications for housing by the Council (with one also concerning Council Tax recovery).  Both households had been in private rented accommodation at the time. 

 

Case 1

 

In the first case, the Ombudsman had determined the complaint on 1 July 2022.  The investigation had identified that the Council had adjusted the effective date of the application for housing from September 2018 to April 2019 and had not notified the applicant of the adjustment.  There had also been a delay of five months in notifying the applicant of a request for additional medical information and an occupational therapist assessment of the applicant’s accommodation at the time.  The medical panel had not considered the evidence of the applicant until June 2021.  Whilst the pandemic had contributed to some of the delay, in referencing the case to the medical panel, it was not the only factor.  The assessment of the medical panel had been backdated to April 2019.  Prior to submitting the complaint to the Ombudsman, the Council had considered these circumstances.  The Council had, as part of its processes, apologised and offered the complainant £200 to recognise the time and trouble they had been put to in making the complaint and for any distress it had caused.  The Ombudsman considered that this offer had remedied the injustice caused.

 

The Ombudsman had not found that the delays incurred in this case had affected the applicant’s opportunity to be rehoused by the Council.

 

It was reported that, since the period to which the complaint related, the Council had introduced a new digital self-service system to manage applications to the housing register, which was relieving the pressure on its housing team. It had also restructured its housing team to provide a more effective service.  In a further measure, it had reviewed the process for handling medical assessments and had carried out further work to ensure medical assessments were timely and outcomes communicated to applicants.

 

Case 2

 

In the second case, determined on 1 September 2022, the Ombudsman had considered that the medical circumstances associated with an application for housing should have been reviewed in response to a representation received.  The representations had been made in June 2019.  Whilst the case had not been subject to a full review, with a call for fresh evidence made, the existing position had been re-examined and an offer of support to the complainant had been made.  The Ombudsman had been of the view that the Council knew, or could reasonably conclude, that the needs of the household had increased since the last set of medical assessments had taken place.  On that basis, a full review and call for fresh assessments should have been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 74.