Decision details

Contract Extension Approval for Look Ahead - Accommodation Based Housing Related Support Service

Decision Maker: Executive

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To seek approval to extend the current contract with Look Ahead for accommodation-based housing related support services for a period of 12 months


       i.         the Executive delegate authority to the Executive Director: People to approve a 12 month extension of the current Look Ahead contract via a waiver, effective from 1st September 2022 to 31st August 2023.


     ii.         the Executive  approve the contract extension, which will be recorded as a key decision to ensure compliance with the Council’s Contract Standing Orders (CSO) and the legal advice in section 6.1.


    iii.         the Executive Director of People  approve the approach and timeline proposed for a strategic commissioning review of the current service model, development of proposals around the preferred route to market, and procurement of the accommodation based housing related support service.

Reasons for the decision:

1.     Continuation of the Look Ahead Contract will enable continuity of support for 54 young people with housing needs, and 26 young people open to Children Social Care (Children Looked After, Care Leavers and Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children).


2.     The current contract supports BFC to meet the following Housing and Statutory Duties under:

·       The Homelessness (Priority Need for Accommodation) (England) Order 2002 – Prioritising accommodation for Children Looked After, Young People under 21 and other vulnerable young people.

·       Housing Act 1996 - Provide interim accommodation for those who are, homeless, eligible for assistance or in priority need.

·       The Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) 2017 – Duty to prevent homelessness and Duty to relieve homelessness.

·       Children Act 1989 – Providing accommodation for Children Looked After (CLA) and Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) within the local area.

·       The Care Leavers (England) Regulations 2010 – Providing assistance in order to meet the relevant child’s needs in relation to education, training or employment as provided for in the pathway plan.

·       Statutory Guidance on Securing Sufficient Accommodation for Looked After

Children – Secure sufficient accommodation within the authority’s area which

meets the needs of children that the local authority are looking after.

Alternative options considered:



1.     Not extending the current contract – there would not be adequate time to commission an alternative Housing Related Support Service to meet our duties, creating significant pressure on the Housing team to source accommodation to rehouse 80 young people and potential delays in sourcing accommodation for additional young people requiring support, which will result in an increased risk of homelessness.


2.     Increasing the use of Semi-Independent providers for CLA and Care Leavers – there would be sourcing challenges around placing many CLA and Care Leavers with Semi- Independent providers. This option will put significant pressure on existing budgets, increase the number of CLA and Care Leavers in high cost placements and significantly increase the number of young people placed in unregulated provision potentially out of Borough in the short term.


Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:


Reason Key: Affects more than 1 ward;

Wards Affected: (All Wards);

Financial Impact: An inflationary uplift will be applied to the annual contract cost.

Declarations: None

Subject to Urgent Proceedings: No

Making Representations: In writing to the Executive Director: People

Contact: Mark Barratt, Interim Assistant Director: Early Help and Communities Email: Tel: 01344 351447, Thom Wilson, Assistant Director: Commissioning Email: Tel: 01344 354142, Grainne Siggins, Executive Director People Email:

Publication date: 21/06/2022

Date of decision: 21/06/2022

Effective from: 29/06/2022