Session 2008-09, 31 March 2009
New Inquiry and Call for Evidence
The Communities and Local Government Committee has decided to undertake an inquiry into the Government's "Supporting People" programme. The Committee is inviting written submissions on the programme, particularly on the points raised below.
"Supporting People" provides housing-related support to prevent problems that can lead to hospitalisation, institutional care or homelessness, and aims to help the smooth transition to independent living for those leaving an institutionalised environment. The programme is intended to assist in providing a better quality of life for vulnerable people, helping them to live more independently.
In June 2007, the Government published a strategy for the Supporting People programme, following a consultation exercise begun in November 2005. This strategy, entitled Independence and Opportunity: Our Strategy for Supporting People, was based on four key themes:
- Keeping people that need services at the heart of the programme;
- Enhancing partnership with the Third Sector;
- Delivering in the new local government landscape; and
- Increasing efficiency and reducing bureaucracy.
Under each theme, the Government set out what it would do to achieve the aims of the programme, what it expected Supporting People commissioners and providers to do, and what service users should therefore be able to expect from housing-related support services. In the strategy, the Government made a number of commitments to action as the programme moved forward.
From April this year, funding for the Supporting People programme will no longer be paid as ring-fenced grant to local authorities, as it was previously. Instead, the Government will pay the money through its "area-based grant", a sum of money which local authorities are able to spend however they see fit, according to their own local priorities.
The Committee's inquiry will consider the extent to which the Government has, so far, delivered on the commitments it made in Independence and Opportunity: Our Strategy for Supporting People. The Committee will also consider the implications of the removal of the ring-fence, asking what needs to be done to ensure that the successes of the programme so far are not lost, or services cut, following the change; and what opportunities this change in the funding mechanism will offer for innovation and improvement in the delivery of housing-related support services.
Submissions are invited by Friday 8th May 2009
Guidelines on submitting evidence
Each submission should:
- Be accompanied by a covering letter containing the name and contact details of the individual or organisation submitting evidence.
- Begin with a short summary in bullet point form; and
- Have numbered paragraphs.
Ideally, submissions should be sent in electronic form, preferably in MS Word format, and sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and marked 'Supporting People'. If you are unable to send an electronic version, please send a paper copy to:
Communities and Local Government Committee
House of Commons
It is helpful, for Data Protection purposes, for contact details not to be included in the text of submissions, but sent separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
A guide for written submissions to Select Committees may be found on the parliamentary website at: http://www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/witguide.htm
Please also note that:
- Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work may be included.
- Memoranda submitted should be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless specifically authorised. Authorisation to publish your submission, which is normally granted, should be sought from the Committee Clerk.
- Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or making it available through the Parliamentary Record Office. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.
Committee Membership is as follows: Dr Phyllis Starkey MP (Chair, Lab), Sir Paul Beresford MP (Con), Mr Clive Betts MP (Lab), John Cummings MP (Lab), Andrew George (Lib Dem), Mr Greg Hands MP (Con), Anne Main MP (Con), Dr John Pugh MP (Lib Dem), Emily Thornberry MP (Lab), Neil Turner MP (Lab), David Wright MP (Lab).
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