Agenda and minutes

Health & Wellbeing Board - Wednesday 3rd July, 2019 3.30 pm

Venue: Lord Mayor’s Parlour, 19th Floor, Westminster City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP

Contact: Tristan Fieldsend Committee and Governance Officer  Tel: 7641 2341; Email:

No. Item



To report any changes to the Membership of the meeting.


1.1           Apologies for absence were received from, Lesley Watts (Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust), Dr Naomi Katz (West London CCG), Angela Spence (Kensington & Chelsea Social Council), Sue Harris (Executive Director Environment & Communities), Iain Cassidy (OpenAge), Sebastian Adjei-Addoh (Metropolitan Police), Bernie Flaherty (Bi-Borough Executive Director of Adult Social Care), Melissa Caslake (Bi-Borough Executive Director of Children’s Services) and Dr Andrew Steeden (Chair of West London CCG).



To receive declarations of interest by Board Members and Officers of any personal or prejudicial interests.


2.1      No declarations were made.



To receive a report on Westminster City Council’s draft Homelessness Strategy.


3.1      Jennifer Travassos (Head of Prevention) presented a paper setting out proposals for Westminster’s draft Homelessness Strategy. It was explained that the Strategy had a greater focus on preventative work undertaken at an earlier stage with those people who might be at risk of homelessness.


3.2      The Board was interested to note the main causes of homelessness in Westminster which included eviction by family or friends (44%), loss of private rented tenancy and relationship breakdowns. It was highlighted that relationship breakdown was the cause of 16% of applications in 2018/19 of which 67% of these cases involved domestic violence. The evidence also showed that certain groups and communities were more at risk of homelessness. These high-risk groups included women, households with children, lone parents and Black and Middle Eastern households. It was emphasised that the number of single people requiring assistance had been growing since the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act. The Board was also interested to learn of the clear relationship that had been identified between areas of deprivation in Westminster and homelessness.


3.3      The work being undertaken by the Council to prevent homelessness was detailed. A target to develop at least 1,850 new affordable homes by 2023 had been set. Social housing was allocated to homeless households and they were also prioritised for intermediate housing. The Housing Solutions Service had been retendered in 2017 in response to the Homelessness Reduction Act and this had created a partnership which brought together expertise from both the public and voluntary sectors. Homeless households were also offered private rented housing as an alternative to long waits in temporary accommodation. Due to the high cost of private rented housing locally these were often located outside Westminster, however those with the highest social and welfare needs were prioritised for local accommodation. It was noted that the Council had invested £30million in a scheme, called Real Lettings, to provide good quality private rented housing with follow on support from St Mungo’s.


3.4      The Board noted the proposals for Westminster’s Homelessness Strategy and that the public consultation would conclude by mid-September 2019. Once the consultation had ended it was confirmed that the Strategy would be circulated to the Board for feedback. The Board advised that once the consultation had been completed it would then determine what role it would undertake in helping implement the Strategy.