Suffolk Strategic Housing Partnership Terms of Reference

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1 Suffolk Strategic Housing Partnership Terms of Reference 1. The Vision 1.1 The Vision for the SSHP is to bring together the key housing stakeholders into one partnership to champion and promote the wider housing agenda, and in particular the critical contribution it makes to improving and maintaining the associated activity like economic health and wellbeing of all people in Suffolk. The aim of the SSHP is to provide a countywide group that can provide strategic integration of housing activity for Suffolk. The SSHP will work to agreed terms of reference and a code of conduct. 1.2 The SSHP will ensure that the housing agenda is interpreted as holistically as necessary so that all elements of housing and housing support provision are included 1.3 To achieve this, the partnership will require full representation and positive engagement of stakeholders. 2. Aims 2.1 To champion and promote action and the housing agenda 2.2 To provide strategic leadership and integration of housing activity within Suffolk 2.3 To co-ordinate and join up strategic working on housing issues between key Housing stakeholders in Suffolk. 2.4 To work with other relevant key agencies regarding strategic housing issues 2.5 To proactively respond to and address changes taking place in the national, County and local housing agenda 2.6 To raise awareness of strategic housing activities and best practice 2.7 To ensure appropriate governance and infrastructure to achieve the SSHP aims, including creating sub groups where required 2.8 To identify, facilitate and maximise funding opportunities through a co-ordinated approach 3. Outcomes 3.1 Strategic integration and joined up housing activity delivered at an appropriate pace 3.2 A strong Suffolk voice on strategic housing and associated activity eg: Health and Wellbeing Board 3.3 Improved awareness and profile of strategic housing issues 3.4 A clear vision, statement of aims and delivery framework

2 3.5 Added value to strategic thinking and smarter outcomes from collaboration and joint working 3.6 Shared housing aims which are more effective and easier to achieve 3.7 Pro-active management of changes taking place in the national, County and local housing agenda 3.8 Increased access to and better targeted funding 4. Chair and Members 4.1 There will be a Chair elected by the members of the Partnership prior to the first meeting in the financial year and will hold their posts for a period of 12 months. The Chair will then hold the position of deputy Chair for a period of 12 months to aid continuity. In the absence of the Chair the meeting will be chaired by: The Deputy Chair or if not available the representative of the organisation hosting the meeting. 4.2 The Chair will approve the minutes of meetings prior to their circulation and these will normally be circulated within2 weeks of the meeting. 4.3 If any decision is required between meetings this will be agreed by by consensus. 4.4 The voting membership of the Partnership will be 1 vote for each core member of the Partnership with the Chair having the casting vote if agreement cannot be reached. 4.5 It is desirable to have a broad representation from a range of key partners and therefore it is proposed that the core members of the partnership should be:- 4x Local Authority Chief Housing Officers 3x SCC Assistant Directors for Adult Social Care, Children & Young People and Public Health 1x Registered Provider representative 1x Representative of the housing related support sector 1x Health representative 1x Voluntary Services Sector 4.6 That the core membership can be varied by a majority vote of the Partnership providing prior notice is provided to the meeting. 4.7 For the Partnership to function as a strategic entity representation would normally be at senior management level with ability to make decisions on behalf of the organisation(s) they are representing (unless it is an issue that will require political approval.)

3 4.8 All members on the Partnership are to ensure adequate support/consultation arrangements within their own organisations and those they represent. 4.9 To facilitate the effectiveness Partnership, Members will ensure that, for the organisation(s) they represent: information is effectively cascaded and disseminated within that organisation(s) the Partnership is aware of relevant activity and responses of those organisations 4.10 Members of the Partnership may send a substitute at any time to meetings, who should have the same delegated authority to take decisions as the nominated representative 4.11 All members of the Partnership will adhere to the Code of Conduct and in particular section 3 of the Code that covers the declaration of interests The Partnership will meet at least four times each year. In order to be quorate the Partnership must have as a minimum 5 core members present The Partnership can request and receive information from other sub groups and invite representatives from other groups as required. 5 Other Groups 5.1 To fulfil its objectives the Partnership will maintain links with appropriate established County wide Groups. If gaps are identified then the Partnership may establish either new county wide Groups or set up Start and Finish Groups to assist in the delivery of particular pieces of work, as appropriate. 5.2 The SSHP Partnership will aspire to establish appropriate links with the Health and Wellbeing Board (HWBB) to ensure that strategic housing and housing support issues are an integral part of the work of the HWBB. 5.3 Any Task and Finish Group formed should be time-limited, be set a specific and measurable task, and deliver an agreed outcome. 5.4 Reporting arrangements to the Partnership should be proportionate to the scale and duration of the project, the achievement of key milestones, and whether any obstacles arise that might impact on the delivery of the final outcome. 6. Administration 6.1 The organisation represented by the Chair will provide facilitation and basic administration. 6.2 Venues for meetings to rotate round the offices of the core members. 6.3 To assist the process of informed debate, reports for the Partnership will be circulated in advance and placed on the SSHP Website (once developed), no less than one week before the meeting.

4

5 1. Introduction Suffolk Strategic Housing Partnership Code of Conduct 1.1 The Terms of Reference for the Suffolk Strategic Housing Partnership (SSHP) Partnership set out the work to be undertaken by the group and the mode of working, but not the standards expected of its members. 1.2 It is important that a set of standards is agreed and understood 1.3 It is important for members to be clear about their responsibilities and duties at Partnership meetings. 2. Key Principles 2.1 The Committee on Standards in Public Life 1 set out expectations according to seven key principles. These are: selflessness integrity objectivity accountability openness honesty leadership 2.2 These provide a useful set of nationally agreed principles which members should apply to themselves when considering their actions and responsibilities and in particular for avoiding situations where there may be a potential conflict of interest. 3. Conflicts of Interest 3.1 A conflict of interest arises in a situation where an individual with responsibility to act in the interests of others may be affected in their action by a relevant personal interest including a business interest or association of their own. 3.2 Regulatory Action. The Partnership, and the Chair in particular, must take effective steps to ensure regulatory action is, and is seen to be, unaffected by 1 NOLAN COMMITTEE'S FIRST REPORT (1995)

6 conflict of interest. The agreed procedure in this code for dealing with conflicts must be adhered to in order to ensure that the impartiality of the Partnership is not affected and that the risk of an action being called into question can be averted. 3.3 Disclosure. All relevant interests which could conflict with the role of a Partnership member must be disclosed. In such cases, disclosure shall take place at the outset of the meeting and the person should withdraw from any deliberations in relation to that matter and not vote on it. The member will not be physically present during the discussion if their presence could inhibit free debate. 3.4 Use of Information. As a public body, all business will be conducted in a transparent manner. Information received while acting as a Partnership member should be used appropriately. 3.5 Relationships. Personal and professional relationships should not be exploited or appear to be exploited to gain personal advantage 3.6 Confidentiality. Partnership members must retain confidentiality at all times in order not to compromise their position. This will include sharing information appropriately with staff in their own organisation. 4. Conduct of Partnership Members at Meetings 4.1 Partnership members will use their judgement and take decisions for the benefit of Suffolk residents and vulnerable people generally. Where support for a course of action or policy is driven by the corporate view of their organisation for a particular interest, this will be declared 4.2 Partnership members are expected to share information and contribute in an open manner to ensure that the Partnership can achieve its aims and outcome aspirations. 4.3 Adherence to the guidance on the procedures explained above for conflicts of interest will be observed 4.4 Partnership decisions will be respected and supported 4.5 Adherence to usual meeting rules and procedures is expected. Partnership members will aim to create a constructive and positive environment in which to have debate and informed decision-making 4.6 Partnership members will attend meetings regularly or arrange for suitable deputies, with a similar level of delegated authority to attend in their place.

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