Publication - FOI/EIR release

Glasgow City Council and homelessness after official statistics released: FOI release

Published: 31 Jul 2019

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
31 Jul 2019
Glasgow City Council and homelessness after official statistics released: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/19/01563
Date received: 1 Jul 2019
Date responded: 29 Jul 2019
Information requested

As a follow up to last week’s release of the official homelessness statistics, please see the below request for information:

  1. In the period 1 January 2009 to present, what requests have been made to Glasgow City Council requiring them to prepare a homelessness strategy and/or review their homelessness strategy, in terms of section 1 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001? In particular please clarify the terms of such requests.
  2. For any such request for a homelessness strategy or review of a homelessness strategy, please confirm the date of the request(s) and provide a copy of same
  3. Please confirm (1) the date of submission by Glasgow City Council to the Scottish Ministers of any homelessness strategy/reviewed homelessness strategy, in line with section 1 of the 2001 Act, and (2) what homelessness strategy was submitted on that date.
  4. Following publication by the Scottish Government of the Homelessness in Scotland: 2017 -2018 statistics, did the Scottish Government take any steps in response to Glasgow City Council’s HL3 returns which reported that no temporary accommodation was offered on 3,025 occasions, and if so please specify what steps were taken?
  5. In relation to any such steps, please provide a copy of all correspondence between the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council and Glasgow City Integration Joint Board.
  6. Following publication by the Scottish Government of the Homelessness in Scotland: 2018 -2019 statistics, as at the date of response to this request, have the Scottish Government taken any steps in response to Glasgow City Council’s HL3 returns which reported that no temporary accommodation was offered on 3,535 occasions, and if so please specify what steps were taken?
  7. In relation to any such steps, please provide a copy of all correspondence between the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council and Glasgow City Integration Joint Board.
  8. On what basis have Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government agreed that there should be a “voluntary review” of homelessness provision in Glasgow?  What is the scope of that review?  What is the timescale?
Response

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exemption under section 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to that information.  The reasons why that exemption applies is explained in the Annex to this letter. 

  1. The Scottish Government has no record of any request to Glasgow City Council requiring it to prepare a specific homelessness strategy and/or review its homelessness strategy in the period 1 January 2009 to present. The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 places a statutory duty on each local authority to carry out an assessment of housing provision and the provision of related services in the authority’s area and to prepare and submit to Scottish Ministers a local housing strategy. It also places a duty on local authorities to prepare and submit a strategy for preventing and alleviating homelessness in its area. In 2008 the Scottish Government published revised local housing strategy guidance making clear the expectation that the homelessness strategy requirement should be fully integrated into the local housing strategy and underpinned by accurate and comprehensive information on the extent and nature of homelessness within the local area.
  2. See response to Question 1.
  3. On 26 June 2009 Glasgow City Council submitted its Consultative Draft Local Housing Strategy for the period 2011 – 2016, which sets out its housing priorities and outcomes, including homelessness.   On 27 August 2017 Glasgow City Council submitted its Draft Local Housing Strategy for the period 2017 – 2022, which sets out its housing priorities and outcomes, including homelessness.  
  4. No steps were taken in response to Glasgow City Council’s HL3 return following the publication by the Scottish Government of the Homelessness in Scotland: 2017 -2018 statistics. However, Scottish Government statisticians contacted Glasgow City Council in order to discuss its HL3 return for the period April – September 2018, in relation to the publication of interim homelessness statistics published in January.
  5. Please see attached documents 9-15.
  6. The Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning met Councillor Mhairi Hunter and Suzanne Millar, interim Chief Officer of Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership (GCHSCP).on 25 June following Glasgow’s recent announcement of a £2.6m reduction in funding for homelessness services. During the course of this discussion, the publication of homelessness statistics for 2018/19 were addressed including the numbers recorded in Glasgow as failing to be offered temporary accommodation.  The establishment of a working group to complete a voluntary review into the reasons behind these statistics was agreed and final details, including timescale, are currently being developed by Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council officials. A first meeting is planned for 2nd August.
  7. Please see attached documents 1-8.
  8. See response to Question 6.  

ANNEX

An exemption applies

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to a small amount of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, eg names/contact details of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018.  This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.  

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