Why we are engaging with Highland Council (Highland)
We are engaging with Highland 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.
We have reviewed the information on homelessness in the COVID-19 monthly returns. We will discuss with Highland the impact of the pandemic on outcomes for people who are threatened with, or are experiencing, homelessness, how it is working with its Registered Social Landlord partners to provide accommodation, and review our engagement.
Highland has told us that it does not meet all of its fire safety obligations at its Gypsy/Traveller sites.
What Highland must do
- provide us with the information we may require in relation to its homelessness service;
- provide us with bi-monthly reports showing progress in meeting all fire safety obligations for its Gypsy/Traveller sites as soon as possible; and
- confirm that its Gypsy/Traveller sites comply with all fire safety obligations as soon as possible.
What we will do
- meet with Highland to discuss its homelessness service and decide whether we require any additional assurance;
- monitor Highland’s delivery of the fire safety obligations for its Gypsy/Traveller sites;
- consider our regulatory engagement with Highland if the fire safety obligations are not met as soon as possible;
- have on-going engagement with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service as the enforcing authority for fire safety at Gypsy/Traveller sites and with the Scottish Government about Highland’s progress; and
- update our published engagement plan in light of any material change to our planned engagement with Highland.
Highland 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.