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.
During 2021/22, we reviewed and compared the data for all Councils from the Scottish Government’s national homelessness statistics and the Annual Returns on the Charter. We also spoke to all Councils to gather further information and assurance about their homelessness services. To assess the risks to people who are threatened with or experiencing homelessness we will engage with all Councils during 2022/23.
We will engage with Highland in particular about the following areas:
- the provision of temporary accommodation by Highland to people who are homeless; and
- outcomes for people who are homeless.
Highland has told us that it does not meet all of its fire safety obligations at its Gypsy/Traveller sites. Highland tells us it will comply with fire safety obligations by March 2024.
What Highland must do
- provide us with the information we require in relation to its homelessness service;
- comply with fire safety obligations as soon as possible and no later than March 2024; and
- provide us with monthly reports from the end of April 2022 on its progress in meeting all fire safety obligations for its Gypsy/Traveller sites.
What we will do
- review the information Highland provides about its homelessness service;
- meet with Highland to discuss its homelessness service and decide whether we require any additional assurance;
- monitor Highland’s compliance with fire safety obligations for its Gypsy/Traveller sites;
- review Highland’s progress with meeting fire safety obligations and review our regulatory strategy in light of this;
- have ongoing engagement with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service as the enforcing authority for fire safety at Gypsy/Traveller sites; 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:
- 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.