Agenda and minutes

Venue: QEII Room, Shoreham Centre, Pond Road, Shoreham

Contact: Simon Filler
Democratic Services Officer
01903 221364  Email:

No. Item


Declaration of Interests

Members and officers must declare any disclosable pecuniary interests in relation to any business on the agenda. Declarations should also be made at any stage such an interest becomes apparent during the meeting.


If in doubt, contact the Legal or Democratic Services representative for this meeting.


Councillor Dan Hermitage declared an interest as the Ward Councillor for Selden Ward


Councillor Noel Atkins declared an interest as a member of the Worthing Borough Council Planning Committee and as debt councillor for Worthing, having clients in Castles guest house, 6 Windsor Road.


Confirmation of Minutes

To approve the minutes of the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting of held on To approve the minutes of the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 6th July 2023, copies of which have been previously circulated.


Resolved: that the minutes of the meeting of the 6 July 2023 were approved as a correct record and be signed by the Chairman


Public Question Time

So as to provide the best opportunity for the Committee to provide the public with the fullest answer, questions from the public should be submitted by 12.00pm on Thursday 20th July 2023


Where relevant notice of a question has not been given, the person presiding may either choose to give a response at the meeting or respond by undertaking to provide a written response within three working days.


Questions should be submitted to Democratic Services 


(Note: Public Question Time will operate for a maximum of 30 minutes.)



A member of the public asked, “The report published on the 19th May 2023, is far from being transparent, open and honest. It is difficult to evaluate the agreement and consider its impact, as despite section 4.3 'Full terms of the contract and the services included can be viewed upon request in the form of a Heads of Terms agreement ' visibility of the agreement has been refused.

From what limited information that has been provided, I note that in section 11.2 'The saving in the first year against the cost of bed and breakfast for year one is ~£176k'   This appears to be based upon a calculation of £57.95 per night and yet in the report, it clearly states in section 4.1 'The average nightly cost of emergency accommodation is currently £46 per night'.

If I use the figure of £46 per night, it would appear that this agreement means there are no savings in the first year, indeed the cost is an additional expense of £16k in the first years alone.

Can we assume therefore that this report has to be re-considered, given that the financial numbers being used to help justify the contract are not correct ?”


Officers answered that the Heads of Terms had been agreed but were non legally binding and did not create a binding contract with SDR Living.  The terms of the contract were in final draft format pending the outcome of the planning application. The reference from the report to ‘Full terms of the contract and the services included can be viewed upon request in the form of a Heads of Terms agreement’, was included for the benefit of the decision makers only, who had a right to view confidential information prior to making a decision.  When a contract was executed it became a public document although information that was deemed to be commercially sensitive would be redacted.    

The average cost of £46 per night was based on all temporary accommodation and included uncontracted nightly 'spot booked' and B&B accommodation as well as 'long term contracted' services acquired via leases or service agreements which tended to be cheaper due to the certainty of business given to the provider. When acquiring long term contracted temporary accommodation they used the cost of spot booked accommodation as a comparator for financial appraisals as the aim was to reduce the use of the most expensive spot booked accommodation to bring down the total expenditure.

The cost comparison of £57.95 per night was based on a snapshot of the average gross nightly cost of 57 spot booked single person placements from four different accommodation providers. It was also worth noting that Travelodge was at the time charging as much as £193 per night and the Councils were having to use this (albeit in relatively small numbers) to meet demand for temporary accommodation due to the lack of available alternatives.


A member of the public asked, “The community is concerned about a lack of transparency regarding Worthing  ...  view the full minutes text for item JOSC/27/23-24


Members Questions

Councillors who are not members of this committee can ask questions under CPR 12  Questions should be relevant to the committee where the question is being asked and also relevant to an item on the agenda. Please contact Democratic Services for more information


Members question time is 30 minutes and questions should be submitted no later than 12.00pm Thursday 20th July 2023.


Questions should be submitted to Democratic Services 

(Note: Members’ Question Time will operate for a maximum of 30 minutes.)



A Member asked “to what extent did the Cabinet Members investigate with the officers the detail within the financial analysis and was a sensitivity analysis requested to see how far the figure of seven million plus, could go up or possibly down?”

The Member was informed that the Cabinet Member had worked closely with officers in preparation of the decision, being given a detailed analysis of varying options. The Cabinet Member also looked at the financial cost of not addressing the current situation and the projections should the situation go unchanged.


Items Raised Under Urgency Provisions

To consider any items the Chairman of the meeting considers to be urgent


There were no urgent items


Consideration of any matter referred to the Committee in relation to a call-in of a decision pdf icon PDF 180 KB

At the time of publication of this agenda, the committee has received a call-in of decision JAW/002/23-24 Emergency Accommodation Contract Award. A report is attached as Item 7.

Additional documents:


Before the committee was a report by the Monitoring Officer, which had been circulated to all members and a copy of which is attached to the signed copy of these minutes as item 7. 


The report before members set out the background to a decision ‘called in’ by three members of Worthing Borough Council. A joint service decision was made and published on 13th June 2023 by the Worthing Cabinet Member for Citizen Services, Cllr Emma Taylor-Beal and the Adur Leader, Cllr Neil Parkin (in the absence of the Cabinet Member for Adur Homes & Customer Services). The decision concerned the approval of a service contract to acquire nomination rights to emergency accommodation and the delegation of authority to the Director for Housing and Communities to enter into a service contract for the purpose of acquiring temporary accommodation.


On 15th June 2023 the Councils’ Monitoring Officer received a request for a call-in of the decision from three Members of Worthing Borough Council, Councillors Daniel Humphreys, Kevin Jenkins and Elizabeth Sparkes. The request was considered by the Monitoring Officer, who accepted the request as it was deemed to be in compliance with the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules. The matter was referred to this meeting of the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee for consideration and determination.


The chairman of the committee reminded Members that discussions relating to planning decisions were excluded matters. The committee was there to discuss the Cabinet Member decision to enter into a service level agreement subject to determination of the planning application.


Representations by those members who called the item in


Councillor Sparkes was invited to speak in support of the request for call-in which is summarised as follows:


  • Planning permission for the Windsor House Hotel had already been refused in January 2023
  • Details of the agreement that Worthing Borough Council had entered into were not included in the decision
  • The decision was published prior to a public consultation event
  • At the public consultation, Adur & Worthing logos were used on promotional boards but available literature only made reference to Worthing Borough Council
  • There had been a lack of consideration in regards to the needs of the Residents


Representation by the decision makers 


The Worthing Cabinet Member for Housing and Citizen Services and the Leader of Adur District Council were invited to make their representation which is summarised as follows:


  • The public consultation was held by SDR not Worthing Borough Council
  • SDR had purchased the building and were free to offer it to outside bodies such as London Boroughs or the Home Office
  • By being involved, Worthing Borough Council and Adur District Council retained some control of the situation
  • The consultation event did not include anybody who was currently being placed out of area.
  • The decision was viewed as a Worthing matter by the Adur Leader
  • There was the potential for the site to help Adur residents
  • No Worthing councillors contacted either decision maker between the report being published and the decision being taken


Representation by Officers  ...  view the full minutes text for item JOSC/30/23-24