Venue: Remotely via Microsoft Teams
Contact: Committee Services on 01323 410000
Note: This meeting is being held remotely using Microsoft Teams in accordance with section 78 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 and section 13 of the related regulations. You can view the meeting via the Council’s YouTube page.
It was agreed that the minutes of the previous meeting and proposed amendments would be dealt with at the Committee’s next scheduled meeting on 12 July.
Apologies for absence / declaration of substitute members
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Morris. Councillor Lamb was welcomed back to the Committee as a full member, replacing Councillor Di Cara.
Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPIs) by members as required under Section 31 of the Localism Act and of other interests as required by the Code of Conduct
Visiting member, Councillor Holt declared personal interests for transparency in the following item as he was employed by Your Eastbourne BID (Business Improvement District):
Item 7. Homelessness Placements into Eastbourne by Brighton and Hove City Council.
Questions by members of the public
On matters not already included on the agenda and for which prior written notice has been given (total time allowed 15 minutes).
There were none.
Right to address the meeting/order of business
The Chairman to report any requests received to address the Committee from a member of the public or from a Councillor in respect of an item listed below and to invite the Committee to consider taking such items at the commencement of the meeting.
The following members of the public attended the meeting and addressed the Committee:
Christine Ewbank (Chief Executive, Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce) and Luke Johnson (Operations Manager, Your Eastbourne Business Improvement District).
Representations from Kristian Hayter (Vice Chair, Eastbourne Hospitality Association) and Jane Cook (Health and Homelessness Adviser, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) were read out at the meeting.
Visiting Members, Councillors Shuttleworth and Holt also addressed the Committee.
The Chair provided a background to the reason for this item being called to Committee, he thanked all those who were in attendance, and outlined the format for the meeting and the order in which he would call those present to speak.
He invited the members of the public who attended as public speakers to speak first.
Christina Ewbank, (Chief Executive, Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce) addressed the Committee and expressed the following concerns:
· The impact from use of hotels. For example, a hotel in Eastbourne town centre had increased its accommodation capacity and was operating more as a house of multiple occupation. Incidents of drug misuse, criminality and anti-social behaviour had increased locally to the hotel unchecked, which had impacted on Chamber of Commerce members, residents and businesses. Employment was also at risk.
· There was concern that the level of support being provided by Brighton and Hove City Council was insufficient to those in temporary accommodation with complex needs.
Luke Johnson, Your Eastbourne Business Improvement District (BID), addressed the Committee and raised the following points:
· Many of the individuals placed in Eastbourne had high, complex needs and were in hotels that were not dedicated to emergency accommodation. The number of placements had escalated and a number of those placed in Eastbourne had been identified with previous criminality and anti-social behaviour in Brighton and Hove.
· The number of placements had escalated and there had been a direct impact on the members of Your Eastbourne BID. The level of support provided by BHCC for many of the people being placed was not sufficient and the need was having being met by Eastbourne’s Rough Sleeper initiative and local emergency services.
Kristian Hayter (Vice- Chair, Eastbourne Hospitality Association (EHA)) had provided a representation which was read out by the Committee Officer and which raised the following points:
· Many EHA members had been closed for almost a year and were only able to open for short period in 2020. Others did not open at all as it was considered unviable. The placement of people in Eastbourne by BHCC was causing reputational damage.
· Online reviews posted by visitors during the brief reopening and more recently referenced safety as an issue. The effect of the placements had driven cheaper room rates down further.
· BHCC had been provided with greater resources to deal with the situation. The hospitality sector in Eastbourne formed a large part of many business’s revenue and suppliers to the hospitality sector in Eastbourne were struggling. An urgent solution was needed to avoid permanent damage to the industry.
Jane Cook (Health and Homelessness Adviser, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) also provided a statement which was were read out by the Committee Officer. The points raised were:
· The housing of people from Brighton in Eastbourne had an impact on local services.
· Funding from the Rough Sleepers Initiative (RSI)for East Sussex was based on figures for rough sleepers who are housed, and were the responsibility of Councils in East Sussex, especially rough sleepers placed by ... view the full minutes text for item 42.
Date of the next meeting
To note that the next scheduled meeting of the Scrutiny Committee is to be held on Monday 12 July commencing at 6:00pm.
RESOLVED: to note that the date of the next meeting of the Scrutiny Committee is scheduled for Monday, 12 July 2021.