To revise and update Kent County Council’s (KCC) Gypsy and Traveller Service Allocations Policy for managed sites.
This review work is part of ongoing, council-wide activity to update and improve our processes, policies and practices.
The priorities for the Gypsy and Traveller service are to:
· Improve current service efficiency whilst also planning for future demographic pressures within the Gypsy and Traveller community through better planning and countywide coordination on the provision of good quality sites.
· Manage the growing financial challenge by ensuring that pitch allocations are made in a clear and transparent manner and that rent affordability is confirmed prior to pitches being allocated.
· Improve licensee vetting, licence agreements and enforcement policies to ensure our sites’ residents understand accepted levels of behaviour, including requirements for rent payments, both prior to being allocated a pitch and for the duration of their tenancy.
Decision type: Key
Decision status: For Determination
Division affected: (All Division);
Notice of proposed decision first published: 01/07/2019
Decision due: Not before 30th Jul 2019 by Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services
Reason: In order that the proposed decision can be publsihed for a minimum of 28 days, in accordance with statutory requirements
Lead member: Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services
Lead director: Stephanie Holt-Castle
Department: Growth, Environment & Transport
Contact: Palminder Sandher 03000 413451 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The proposed decision will be discussed at the Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee on 16 July 2019.
Financial implications: TThe new Pitch Allocation policy will seek to redress historic issues around rent affordability and ongoing rent collection by setting out clear guidelines to all prospective tenants of the required rent arrangements and the subsequent enforcement action that will be taken if rent payments are not recovered in line with requirements. Increased, consistent vetting of tenants will ensure that affordability of pitches is checked prior to licences to occupy being issued. Recovery of 100% of rent costs for all tenants is critical to enable the ongoing quality, sustainable management of the sites in the future.
Legal implications: Kent County Council (KCC) does not have a legal duty to provide sites in Kent for the Gypsy and Traveller community. This is a statutory duty placed upon the district and borough councils to discharge as part of their local plans. All local councils are required to produce an up-to-date Local Plan for their area, to guide the spatial development of the borough.
Equalities implications: Gypsies and Travellers are protected groups under the Equality Act 2010. EQIA’s have been completed to ensure impacts of policy changes have been considered and mitigations factored in where appropriate.