There’s just one thing left from last weeks Cabinet meeting which might be
worth a brief mention, it was a report on how Bexley Council has contracted out
some of its homelessness responsibilities to Southwark Council.
It is not as bad as that might sound, Southwark is only reviewing Bexley’s decisions on the homeless. In fact it is almost certainly a good idea.
Mr. Paul Moore (Director of Regeneration, Communities and Customer Services) made a rare contribution to a Council meeting, he said that Southwark has a much bigger commitment to housing than Bexley and it made sense for them to help “balance Bexley’s workload pressures”.
Housing applicants are authorised to request a review of decisions under the Housing Act and there are 90 to 100 of them each year and Southwark charges £100 for each case. About 15% of decisions reviewed are changed.
A trial system has been running since last August 2015 and been judged a success. The Cabinet voted for it becoming standard practice.
This relatively minor matter had been brought before the Cabinet because a similar procedure in the borough of Welwyn & Hatfield had been challenged in court and the judge ruled that Cabinet approval, which the officers of Welwyn Council had not sought, was required.
As Councillor David Leaf pointed out, an independent review is in principle a good idea.