Why we are engaging with Dumfries and Galloway Council (Dumfries and Galloway)
We are engaging with Dumfries and Galloway about its services for people who are homeless and its sites for Gypsy/Travellers.
COVID-19 has significantly impacted the services provided by social landlords in 2020 and will continue to influence how services are provided in 2021. We will continue to monitor, assess and report upon how each landlord is responding and we will keep our regulatory engagement under review so that we can continue to respond to the challenges of COVID-19.
In December 2019 we published a report on our inquiry into Dumfries and Galloway’s Housing Options and Homeless Service. We found that the Council had significantly improved the service and the outcomes for people at threatened with, or are experiencing, homelessness and that it had a clear plan to deliver further improvement.
The Council accepted our findings and has implemented an improvement plan which has addressed our recommendations.
Dumfries and Galloway failed to comply with the Scottish Government’s minimum standards for its Gypsy/Traveller sites by the deadline date of June 2018. The sites remain non-compliant and Dumfries and Galloway told us that following some delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Glenluce site will comply with the standards from May 2021. However, it cannot confirm when the Collin site will comply. The Council is currently reviewing options for the site however this has also been delayed due to COVID-19.
What Dumfries and Galloway must do
Dumfries and Galloway must:
- provide us with the information we require about the improvements it has made to its homelessness service;
- provide us with monthly reports from the end of April 2021 showing progress in meeting the minimum standards for its Gypsy/Traveller sites; and
- confirm that its site at Glenluce complies with the minimum standards by the end of May 2021.
What we will do
- meet with Dumfries and Galloway to discuss its homelessness service and decide whether we require any additional assurance;
- monitor Dumfries and Galloway’s delivery of the minimum standards for its Gypsy/Traveller sites;
- consider our regulatory engagement with Dumfries and Galloway if the minimum standards are not met for the Glenluce site by the end of May 2021; and
- update our published engagement plan in light of any material change to our planned engagement with Dumfries and Galloway.
Dumfries and Galloway must provide us with the following annual regulatory returns and alert us to notifiable events as appropriate:
- Annual Assurance Statement; and
- Annual Return on the Charter.
It should also notify us of any material changes to its Annual Assurance Statement, and any tenant and resident safety matter which has been reported to or is being investigated by the Health and Safety Executive or reports from regulatory or statutory authorities or insurance providers, relating to safety concerns.