Agenda item - Notices of Motion.

skip navigation and tools

Agenda item

Notices of Motion.

(a)               Personal Care at Home Bill.  Proposed by Councillor Ken Norman.

 

(b)               Letting Agents.  Proposed by Councillor Randall.

 

(c)               Maternity Services in Brighton and Hove.  Proposed by Councillor Kitcat.

Minutes:

(a)       Personal Care at Home Bill

 

71.1         The Notice of Motion as detailed in the agenda was proposed by Councillor Norman and seconded by Councillor Barnett.

 

71.2         Councillor Taylor moved an amendment, seconded by Councillor Wrighton which was not accepted by Councillor Norman.

 

71.3         The Mayor noted that the amendment moved by Councillor Taylor had not been accepted by Councillor Norman and therefore put the proposed amendment to the vote which was lost.

 

71.4         The Mayor then put the Notice of Motion in its original form to the vote:

 

“This Council believes in the principle of helping more people with care needs to stay in their own homes where they wish to do so and, therefore, welcomes the broad intentions of the new Personal Care at Home Bill.

 

However, this Council has serious concerns that local authorities are being asked to fund a substantial part of the costs of implementing the new Bill. The proposed Government funding to meet the costs of the scheme is inadequate and the proposed council efficiency savings entirely unrealistic.

 

Further, this Council shares the concerns of the Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services who suggest that the total cost of the proposal will be much higher than the Government’s estimated figure of £670 million due to a significant underestimate of the number of people likely to be entitled to, and take advantage of, free care.

 

Locally, it has been estimated that the cost of the Bill to Brighton & Hove’s council taxpayers will be between £1.3 and £1.8 million per annum.

 

This Council notes that the Government is committed to ensuring that any new centrally-imposed responsibilities falling on local authorities are fully funded via the ‘New Burdens Doctrine’. New Burdens are defined as ‘any new policy or initiative which increases the cost of providing local authority services.’

 

This Council believes that without adequate funding, more pressure will be placed on services for people who have significant, but not critical, needs and that the shortfall may require either an increase in council tax or cuts to other council services. In their current form, these irresponsible proposals threaten to destabilise the Council financially, put undue and unfair strain on our staff and risk councils’ ability to properly care for those that most need it.

 

Therefore, this Council resolves to request that the Chief Executive writes to the Secretary of State for Health – Andy Burnham MP – requesting that he:

 

·         Honours the Government’s commitment in the New Burdens Doctrine by fully funding the provisions of the Personal Care at Home Bill.

 

·         Delays implementation of any proposals until at least 1 April 2011 to enable a more accurate and realistic assessment of the costs of the scheme to be undertaken and to allow social care staff more time to get to grips with the proposed new assessment procedures.”

 

71.5         The motion was carried.

 

 

(b)       Letting Agents

 

71.6         The Notice of Motion as detailed in the agenda was proposed by Councillor Randall and seconded by Councillor Wrighton.

 

71.7         Councillor Simpson moved an amendment, seconded by Councillor Meadows which was not accepted by Councillor Randall.

 

71.8         Councillor Peltzer Dunn moved an amendment, seconded by Councillor Caulfield which was accepted by Councillor Randall.

 

71.9         The Mayor noted that the amendment moved by Councillor Simpson had not been accepted by Councillor Randall and therefore put the proposed amendment to the vote which was lost.

 

71.10    The Mayor then put the following Notice of Motion as amended to the vote:

 

“This council notes the findings of the national Citizens Advice report Let down (1) on the activities of private rented sector letting agents, which revealed:

 

·         73 per cent of tenants interviewed were dissatisfied with the service provided by their letting agent. Common concerns included difficulties in contacting the agent, serious delays in getting repairs carried out, inadequacies in the protection of clients’ money and the frequency with which additional charges were made.

 

·         94 per cent of letting agents surveyed imposed additional charges on tenants on top of the tenancy deposit and rent in advance. The size of these charges varied hugely.  The charge for checking references ranged from £10 to £275 and the charge for renewing a tenancy ranged from £12 to £200.  In some cases additional charges for a tenancy amounted to over £600.

 

·         Less than a third of agents willingly provided full written details of their charges to CAB workers when asked.

 

·         61 per cent of the tenants surveyed said that paying these charges was a problem.  Some had to borrow the money, others had difficulty paying other bills or went into debt.

 

This council further notes:

 

·         That Brighton & Hove has the sixth largest private rented sector in the country with tens of thousands of its residents having dealings with letting agents in the City.

 

In addition, the Citizens Advice proposals call for:

 

(1) The licensing of letting agents who should be required to demonstrate professional competence, have adequate client money protection arrangements and operate a system for handling complaints and redress;

 

(2) The introduction of regulations specifying that no additional charges should be made to tenants for activities that are part of the routine letting and management process.  The cost of this work should be included in the rent paid by the tenant and/or the management fee paid by the landlord.  The ultimate sanction against letting agents breaching the regulations should be the withdrawal of the licence to operate.

 

It therefore calls on the council to request the Chief Executive to:

 

1.      Write to the Government and the major political parties seeking their support for the Citizens Advice proposals; and

 

2.      Ask the Office of Fair Trading to carry out an investigation into the activities of letting agents.

 

71.11    The motion was carried.

 

Note:  Councillor Harmer-Strange having declared a personal and prejudicial interest in the matter withdrew from the meeting and took no part in the debate or voting thereon.

 

 

(c)       Maternity Services in Brighton & Hove

 

71.12    The Notice of Motion as detailed in the agenda was proposed by Councillor Kitcat and seconded by Councillor Kennedy.

 

71.13    Councillor Turton moved an amendment, seconded by Councillor Allen which was not accepted by Councillor Kitcat.

 

71.14    The Mayor noted that the amendment moved by Councillor Turton had not been accepted by Councillor Kitcat and therefore put the proposed amendment to the vote which was carried.

 

71.15    The Mayor then put the Notice of Motion as amended to the vote:

 

“This council welcomes the news that Brighton & Hove PCT are planning to introduce a midwife led unit in the city, and recognises that this decision reflects the findings of a recent survey into local residents’ views about the kinds of maternity services they desire.

 

This council notes that the survey also found that:

 

·         88 per cent of respondents said they would like the same midwife throughout pregnancy and post natal care;

 

·         99 per cent of respondents thought it was a good idea to offer free counselling to women who have had a difficult birth.

 

Furthermore, this council notes and supports the aims of the National Childbirth Trust’s Reclaiming Birth campaign, which is also calling for more midwives carrying their own caseloads and looking after parents-to-be from conception to birth and post-natally, and for more women to be able to give birth in free-standing midwifery units (Birth Centres) or at home.

 

This Council notes that the Government has:

 

·         provided record investment to the NHS including the education, training and recruitment of midwives which has led to 35,305 midwives recorded as practicing on the professional Register in 2008 – a ten year high;

 

·         provided an additional £330 million since 2008 specifically to improve maternity services over the three year period to 2011 and;

 

·         established the Midwifery 2020 programme to examine how best to maximize the contribution of midwives to improving the experience of women during their maternity care. 

However, this Council also notes that the NHS had a surplus of £1.7 billion in 2008 and shares the concern of the Royal College of Midwives that despite the Government providing additional funding to improve maternity care services, this funding is not being consistently passed on to local heads of midwifery in England.

 

Therefore this council requests the Chief Executive to:

 

·         Write to the PCT urging them to act on the other findings of the survey with regard to midwife provision and post-natal counselling services;

 

·         Write to the Health Secretary, Andy Burnham requesting that he instructs all NHS providers to ensure that the additional funding to improve maternity care services is passed on in full to local heads of midwifery in England”

 

71.16    The motion was carried.

 

Supporting documents:

 


Bookmark this page using:

Find out more about social bookmarking

These sites allow you to store, tag and share links across the internet. You can share these links both with friends and people with similar interests. You can also access your links from any computer you happen to be using.

If you come across a page on our site that you find interesting and want to save for future reference or share it with other people, simply click on one of these links to add to your list.

All of these sites are free to use but do require you to register. Once you have registered you can begin bookmarking.

Brighton & Hove City Council | Hove Town Hall | Hove | BN3 3BQ | Tel: (01273) 290000 | Mail: info@brighton-hove.gov.uk | how to find us | comments & complaints