Covid-19 Recovery & Renewal Programme Update

Date of Meeting:

28 April 2021

Report of:

Executive Director of Economy, Environment & Culture

Contact Officer:


Julie Nichols, Corporate Portfolio Lead


01273 291656



Ward(s) affected:







1.1         The report provides an update on the progress of the Covid-19 Recovery & Renewal Programme, following a previous update to the Policy & Resources (Recovery) Sub-committee on 3 March 2021.


1.2         It should be noted that the report provides an update on progress to early/mid April and given the fast moving nature of the pandemic, aspects of the report may have been superseded by events by the date of the committee meeting.


2.         RECOMMENDATIONS:    


2.1         That the committee notes this progress update report.




3.1         The Recovery & Renewal Programme was established in May 2020 to help prepare and steer the council and city through the transition from emergency response to the Covid-19 pandemic towards recovery. The programme seeks opportunities for the city to emerge from the pandemic as fairer, greener and healthier.


3.2         Circumstances with regard to the pandemic have shifted throughout this period. Whilst the focus on recovery is being maintained, it is being managed alongside emergency response to the pandemic, throughout the lockdowns, restart of the city as we move out of the most recent lockdown and business as usual/statutory responsibilities. Since the initiation of the Recovery & Renewal programme, its working groups have been working on response, restart and recovery. In recognition of the most recent escalation in Covid-19 cases and the third lockdown, the Food, Vulnerable People and Welfare Reform & Financial Hardship working groups have focused solely upon emergency response. All other working groups have continued to balance recovery and response but the Recovery & Renewal programme reduced its requirements on them in terms of reporting and meetings during January to March. The programme’s Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) and Programme Manager maintained contact with the working group leads during this time to keep track of progress and pick up on any issues.


3.3         As a matter of good practice, the scope of the programme was reviewed in March 2021 based upon experience to date and to ensure it remained fit for purpose. The scope has been slightly revised in order to refocus on working groups that are cross-cutting and require corporate oversight in the context of recovery, and are not just business as usual for the services involved. They have been reframed into those pertaining to People, Place and Resources to emphasise the need to continually balance these key aspects of recovery (see Appendix 1). Working group highlight reporting and meetings resumed from 1 April 2021.




Children & Young People

Food Policy

Vulnerable People


Employment & Skills

Events & Economy

Homelessness & Housing


Supporting Members

Ways of Working


3.4         Recovery of each council directorate and its services remains outside the scope of the programme. Each directorate has, however, devised its own roadmap out of lockdown and to restart the city, following the published roadmap from central government. These roadmaps are reviewed fortnightly by both the Directorate Management Teams and the Executive Leadership Team to ensure they adapt as circumstances change and significant issues are planned for, and responded to, corporately.


3.5         The following items provide updates on each of the Recovery & Renewal working groups:


3.5.1    Customers


Aim of working group

§  Develop and deliver the Customer Experience Strategy, which includes the Customer Promise and Customer Experience Vision.

§  Monitor progress in relation to the delivery of the Customer Experience Strategy.

§  Promote best practice in delivering services in a fair and inclusive way.

§  Consider and respond to the impact on customers of the changed customer service delivery of the council due to Covid-19 pandemic.


Key recent activities

§  Customer Experience survey updated in March to include specific questions on Covid and annual mail out sent to customers.

§  Accessibility Review: Preferred medium-term option for face to face agreed by the Customer Experience Steering Group (CESG) in April. This was also the preferred option for the Customer Experience Ambassadors (CEAs).

§  Accessibility Review: Preferred short-term option for telephone agreed by the CESG in April.

§  Accessibility Review: Wave story launched in April to seek feedback from wider staff groups to capture accessibility barriers.


Key forthcoming activities

§  Collate and circulate customer survey results to services in May.

§  Take account of results from Covid specific questions within the survey into the Accessibility Review implementation (May to August 2021).

§  Refine future options for telephone support in consultation with the CESG and CEAs, and seek agreement from the Corporate Modernisation Delivery Board in June.

§  Work with the Communications Team in May to inform customers that our offer will go live in September, in order to manage customer expectations.


3.5.2    Children & Young People


Aim of working group

§  Provide strategic leadership to the recovery and renewal work for children and young people services in the city.

§  Focus on Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME), disadvantaged, education and early years, Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND), emotional wellbeing and mental health, safeguarding and youth.

§  Be a point of escalation for the task and finish groups linked to the working group.

§  Represent children and young people’s matters in within the Recovery & Renewal programme.

§  Link into partnerships and commissioning groups in the city.

§  Highlight and mitigate risks.

§  Consider equalities impacts of decisions made.


Key recent activities

§  Themed discussions taken place around mental health, employment and skills, and disadvantage.

§  The working group has continued to meet and cover immediate response needs as well as longer term recovery and renewal discussions.


Key forthcoming activities

§  Review the lessons learnt exercise from 2020.

§  Consider further themed discussions at future working group meetings.


3.5.3    Food Policy


Aim of working group

Provide an all-age citywide response to issues relating to food arising from the Covid-19 crisis emergency phase, through recovery and in readiness and response to local outbreaks/other waves.


Key recent activities

§  Interim Food Policy Co-ordinator in post and Food Policy Co-ordinator recruited.

§  Local Outbreak Funding allocated to support Children’s Centres Food Bank provision, Impact Initiatives to help with food access for elderly and vulnerable people, Food Partnership to continue to support the Emergency Food Network and eight pilot ‘affordable food schemes’.

§  Demand on Local Discretionary Social Fund and Emergency Food providers is increasing from pre-December levels but not as high as same period in 2020.

§  At the Policy & Resources Committee on 3 March, it was agreed that the Food Policy Co-ordinator continue to work with the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership and wider emergency food network on developing stronger analysis of options for moving to a more sustainable emergency food network. The Brighton & Hove Food Partnership is undertaking research on the emergency food sector, new affordable food schemes and cooked meal providers. The annual food bank survey is expected to conclude in late July.  Therefore, a more in-depth report about findings from this will be available in August.


Initial research (from discussions with eight providers) so far suggests that each organisation has different issues and needs and there is not a ‘once size fits all’ approach. Findings so far:


Consideration of funding or paying all volunteers:

§  Most volunteers do not claim expenses (even if they are entitled to) as they want their volunteer work to contribute to the cause. Therefore, unless the Emergency Food Network survey states differently, it is not anticipated that this is a requested option.

Consideration of funding or paying key co-ordinating posts/roles within the council, community development organisations or within the organisations themselves:

§  Each organisation had a different opinion on whether they need help at all and who they would accept help from.

§  Most projects stated that they need more funding or help with fundraising.  Therefore, if a post was created that could help with fundraising, this could help leverage in more capacity for the sector.

§  At Craven Vale, where council officers helped with contacting beneficiaries to help them ‘move on’, this was seen as a successful partnership.

What do the Emergency food projects need?

§  Storage, food processing space and access to kitchens are common requests. This is because community halls and churches want to open back to the community in April and May 2021. Spaces need to be close to the localities served, otherwise they do not meet the need. Otherwise, funding to be able to pay for the rent or waived rents if council owned properties, would also help the sector.

§  Funding is needed across the sector. The Winter Grant Funding had to be spent by the end of March. Some food banks have only a few weeks’ funding left and are expecting/hoping for a new fund to be made available because so many were last year.

§  Where given, food banks stated that receiving the Councillor area pots of money had been very helpful.

§  Clarification being sought on any implications for grant funding to churches.

How do we move towards a more sustainable emergency food system, which has fair and inclusive access?

§  Reducing the amount of people who need emergency food is the main priority. A letter has been drafted to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and to the Chair of the Government’s National Food Strategy (copied to the city’s three Members of Parliament and the Local Government Association) by the Chief Executive urging for the ‘Right to Food’ to be incorporated into the government’s National Food Strategy and into law.

§  Most food banks are supporting individuals and families who have long term need for food support (rather than just emergency). Moving people on to ‘affordable food schemes’ where they pay a small subscription (making the project more financially sustainable) is the most viable, sustainable option for the sector. However, the new affordable food schemes are at capacity. Therefore, looking into how existing emergency food providers can transition across to this model, helping increase capacity and setting up new schemes is a priority. The council has funded Brighton & Hove Food Partnership to work with eight affordable food schemes for the next six months through the Local Outbreak Funding.

§  The idea of a secure shared referral system/database is of interest amongst the food banks consulted (who accept referrals). This would decide allocation on postcode, avoid duplication and provide knowledge about what other financial support the client had received.


In term of emergency food, the following data gives an indication of provision for one week in March 2021:



§  29 emergency food (parcel) projects are included in this data. Five also provide meals (either themselves or through working with a meal project).

§  Seven affordable food projects.

§  Eight projects providing free meals (either delivered or collected).

§  The data does not include information from projects primarily supporting homeless people.

§  Venues, storage and space are referenced as challenges.


Numbers supported with food parcels

§  1,825 households. This is at least 2,400 adults and 900 children.

§  295 of these households also get a meal from the emergency food provider.


Numbers supported affordable food projects

§  323 households. This is at least 500 adults and 285 children.


Numbers support with meals

§  1,225 people. This is at least 1,110 adults and 115 children.

§  Of these, 660 are delivered.



§  445 people.


Key forthcoming activities

§  Food Policy Co-ordinator starts in role on 26 April.

§  Survey/evaluation of Emergency Food providers, community meal delivery schemes and affordable food pilots over the next few months until July 2021 to feed into a report regarding a more sustainable Emergency Food response going forward.

§  Brighton & Hove Food Partnership will be phasing down the food processing hub at Moulsecoomb Hall.

§  Brighton & Hove Food Partnership and the Trust for Developing Communities are putting on ‘Issues to consider when opening back up to community’ training for Emergency Food providers as we move out of lockdown.

§  Exploring provision of ‘Emergency on the day parcels’ from June.

§  The Food Policy Coordinator will continue to work with Brighton & Hove Food Partnership to develop options for a more sustainable emergency food network.


3.5.4    Vulnerable People


Aim of working group

Work collaboratively across the public and voluntary sector to reduce the spread and limit the morbidity and mortality from the COVID-19 pandemic in Brighton & Hove and ensure the health and wellbeing of vulnerable people. This working group has an assurance role.


Key recent activities

§  Community Hub:

§  Supporting those who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable or recently added to the Shielded Patients List in terms of providing information of what support is available from the council and its commissioned Community & Voluntary Sector (CVS) providers.

§  Now fully recruited and staff are working in partnership to develop the local Test and Trace service. This is complemented by the Community Hub staff’s knowledge of the services available to meet need and support with self-isolation requirements, eg. self-isolation payments.

§  Mental Health:

§  All mental health services continue to operate, provided mainly by video and telephone calls, and face to face only provided where clinically appropriate.

§  Reprinted mental health and crisis cards, Bereavement cards and  Wellbeing Booklet (25 pages) distributed out via food banks.

§  Recruited a Mental Health and Debt Mental Health Co-ordinator for improving integration of mental health and financial support services.

§  Communications:

§  A Stay at Home" campaign shared in public spaces across the city, in printed adverts, local media, through radio and digital music player advertisements, and targeted social media. The message is for everyone but shared through channels that reach our digitally excluded residents.

§  A weekly public health statement to share simple details on cases, vaccinations, testing and key messages or advice is published on the council’s website, and shared with local media, on social media, with staff and through networks. Translations also shared in Arabic, Bengali, Farsi, Gujarati, Polish and simplified Chinese.

§  Volunteering

§  Hundreds of volunteers recruited and trained for all vaccination sites. Community Works linking to national discussions around development of a ‘Volunteering Passport’ to enable sharing of volunteers across organisations and the impact of ‘Vaccination Passports’ on volunteering.

§  A meeting of the City Volunteering Partnership considered future stress points for volunteering, including support for residents nervous about re-engaging and ensuring access to volunteering for all, including young people and those in poverty.

§  Equalities & Access:

§  The workstream continues to meet with all groups to capture intelligence. Has been prioritising vaccination; BAME, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ), Faith, Gypsy Roma Travellers, young adults and the geographical areas of Queen’s Park, St Peter’s North Laine and Brunswick & Adelaide. Engagement work carried out with all of these groups.


Key forthcoming activities

§  Community Hub:

§  A review will commence in April to look at how the activities align with business as usual  and directorate redesigns.

§  Mental Health:

§  Re-procurement within the Community Roots contract and recruitment of a new Mental  Health Specialist.

§  Progressing work on having Specialist Mental Health Support Workers within Primary Care (General Practitioner) practices to increase integration between services.

§  Plan to refresh the Suicide Prevention Strategy.

§  Communications:

§  Continue to provide updates on guidance and easing of restrictions (Government Road Map), as well as supporting the uptake of vaccines and testing. Shared across a variety of channels including print advertisements, radio, bus stop advertisements, social media, digital music channels (eg. Spotify and Alexa) and through local media.

§  Volunteering:

§  Continued multi-agency collaboration to ensure sufficient volunteer support for the vaccination and testing programme.

§  Explore potential for targeted work focused on enabling young people and people living in poverty to volunteer.

§  Equalities & Access:

§   Over the next two months, predominantly continue to work on the vaccination programme and engaging with groups where take up is low.


3.5.5    Employment & Skills


Aim of working group

To come together to discuss matters relating to economy, skills and employment that cut across the Recovery & Renewal programme.


Key recent activities

§  The City Employment and Skills Plan (CESP), approved by the Policy & Resources (Recovery) Sub-committee on 3 March, has since been designed and published on the council’s website.

§  The Adult and Learning Skills Partnership met on 31 March to discuss the implementation of the Plan. Further work to develop the high level action plan with Members and stakeholders is being planned. Presentations delivered by the Chief Executive Officer of CXK (the prime contractor of the National Careers Service (NCS) in the city). Followed by discussion on the take up of the service and opportunities for further engagement locally to ensure the city is fully benefiting from the funding for this service.

§  The Career Leader Network, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Network, Work & Learning Network and Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) Networks have met.

§  Facilitated a discussion with secondary heads on the role of Career Leaders in school in partnership with the Enterprise Adviser Network to provide contextual information regarding the Careers Strategy, educational and policy reforms.

§  Ongoing development work with the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) to progress the plans to open the Youth Employment Hub. The contract with the DWP for the Hub is due to start on 1 May.

§  Commenced discussions with post-16 providers regarding the implementation of ‘T’ Levels through the 16-19 Standards & Curriculum Group.

§  Adult Education: Procured two further providers of adult learning courses for this academic year. The development of a curriculum plan for 2021/22 is being designed to support those furthest away from the labour market, and to support new and transferable skills for those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. This area is a current priority. The curriculum plan will align with key objectives set out in the CESP.


Key forthcoming activities

§  Further engagement with NCS who wish to pursue opportunities in the city. Continue to engage a wide range of partners on the CESP.

§  Attend the Work & Learning Network to discuss the CESP and further develop the action plan in relation to residents in supported and temporary accommodation.

§  Launch the virtual Youth Employment Hub and continue planning for the opening of the physical Hub in Montague House.

§  Prepare for the SEND Young People Employability Network to focus on actions which will support young people with a disability into volunteering or work.

§  Progress discussions with post-16 providers with regard to the implementation of ‘T’ Levels.

§  Commence collation of projects and work funded by external funding sources that may be at risk when European Union funding ends.

§  Publish the council’s Adult & Community Learning offer for 2021/22.


3.5.6    Events & Economy


Aim of working group

§  Understand and quantify the impact of the spread of Covid-19 on the city’s events, culture programme and visitor numbers, which leads to a wider impact on the city’s economy.

§  Align the city’s businesses and event organisations around a common set of messages and actions, minimising (where possible) the impact upon the city, in accordance with Public Health England (PHE) guidance.

§  Ensure government and council support gets to as many organisations as possible so that key sectors in our economy are able to survive, retain employment and recover.



Key recent activities

§  Covid Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) funding:

§  Allocation will be based upon the number of businesses rather than population, as has been the calculation in the past.

§  All schemes appear to be closing by 30 June.

§  A paper agreed by a special meeting of the Policy & Resources (Recovery) Sub-committee on 29 March recommended there be delegated authority to the Executive Director for Economy, Environment & Culture with regards to ARG funding.

§  The application progress from businesses will include supplementary questions which will be required on the portal.

§  Business Restart Grant conversation initiated but there are complications arising from timing and guidance.

§  Retail:

§  Business Improvement District (BID) are keen for a further training session on how to merchandise.

§  The Contain Outbreak Management Fund includes options on cleaning and preparing the city ahead of reopening, which has been well received.

§  Tourism & Events:

§  The sector is planning for a busy summer with domestic visitors.

§  There are some concerns over the end of the furlough scheme.

§  The Destination Experience Group are meeting to discuss a two year recovery plan.

§  A Managing the City Safely report was presented to the Policy & Resources (Recovery) Sub-committee, including reports on Restart Grants and the opening of leisure centres.

§  Containment Funds:

§  A City Co-ordination Group will be meeting weekly to manage this spend to protect the city’s residents and visitors.

§  Communities Fund:

§  The Communities Fund Programme has gone live with updates planned for the council’s website, along with press releases.


Key forthcoming activities

§  Continue Business Restart Grant conversations as guidance becomes clearer.

§  Add messaging regarding ventilation to communication plans.

§  Explore using European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for Business Starter Packs.

§  Discuss voluntary donations to support local community groups.


3.5.7    Homelessness & Housing


Aim of working group

§  Covid Response amongst the homeless and rough sleeping population.

§  Prevention and management of cases and outbreaks in homelessness and rough sleeping settings.

§  Enabling individuals accommodated in emergency accommodation during the Covid Response (‘Everyone In’) to move on from rough sleeping into sustainable accommodation.

§  Achieve a sustainable reduction in rough sleeping.

§  Collaboration between housing, finance, planning, development, health protection, social care and local stakeholders and partners, in the development of submissions for the funding included in the Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme (RSAP) from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG).

§  Delivery of both MHCLG Programmes - Next Steps Accommodation Programme (NSAP) and RSAP.


Key recent activities

§  Housing Committee and Policy & Resources Committee received an update on the Next Steps Accommodation Programme, including progress with move on arrangements, and agreed extension and acquisitions approval for accommodation for verified rough sleepers and those at risk of rough sleeping that we continue to accommodate and support after 31 March 2021.

§  Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI4) funding proposal submitted. Outcome to be announced.

§  Housing Committee agreed to a route map for the council to continue an offer of accommodation for verified rough sleepers (where this is within local authority powers) while ceasing the offer of accommodation for those at risk of rough sleeping made for the duration of the pandemic by the end of restrictions by 21 June 2021. This is aligned to return of our usual customer facing homeless prevention and housing options services for those at risk of rough sleeping.

§  Progress on delivery against Next Steps Accommodation Programme funding for Housing First Home Purchase properties continues to be reported to the Housing Committee and Homeless Reduction Board. We are on target to meet thirty Housing First homes to be acquired.

§  Progress on reducing rough sleeping continues to be reported to the Housing Committee and Member-led Homeless Reduction Board.

§  The Lead Member and officers attended Eastbourne Borough Council’s Scrutiny Committee meeting to discuss ‘homeless placements into Eastbourne by Brighton & Hove City Council’. Out of borough placements continue to reduce, at this time, in line with more accommodation becoming available in Brighton & Hove.

§  Fortnightly meetings with advisers from MHCLG.

§  Updated the Equalities Impact Assessment based upon feedback from Voluntary Sector partner representatives.

§  Fortnightly Homelessness & Housing Working Group meetings held.


Key forthcoming activities

§  Identify the eligible cohort for the ‘Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme’ (RSAP) and undertake needs assessments of all individuals accessing RSAP homes.

§  Submit a proposal bid for capital funding to deliver homes via the RSAP.

§  Develop a Move-on Plan for those we continue to accommodate in emergency accommodation under the Next Steps Accommodation Programme to ensure we meet move on targets to more sustainable accommodation by October 2021.

§  Plan return of our usual customer facing homeless prevention and housing options services for those at risk of rough sleeping to support ceasing the offer of accommodation to those at risk of rough sleeping before 21 June 2021.

§  Submit second cycle of RSAP bid proposal based on collaboration with Registered Providers of social housing in July.

§  Meet with Register Providers (via Voluntary Community Sector link) and Homes England about the bid before submission on 29 April.


3.5.8    Supporting Members


Aim of working group

Explore with Members the issues they face day to day, and their short and longer term development needs/career aspirations, in order to formulate a training and development plan including:​

§  Engagement with communities and residents​.

§  Relationship between Members and officers​.

§  Ways of working.​

§  Training and development​


Key recent activities

§  Working group mandate drafted and shared with the Corporate Modernisation Delivery Board​, Executive Leadership Team Covid-19 Gold Recovery Co-ordination Group, Week Ahead meeting and Opposition Leaders.​

§  Member Development Working Group being arranged to share the mandate and gather initial views​.

§  Supporting Members officer working group being arranged to plan and oversee the work at officer level, and ensure links with the Ways of Working group​.

§  Research initiated into Local Government Association support and resources​.


Key forthcoming activities

§  Further research including into approaches within other local authorities​.

§  Engage with other Recovery & Renewal working groups​.

§  Engage with Democratic Services to understand existing plans for Member development​.

§  Build in feedback from the Local Government Association review​.

§  Hold Member Development Working Group.​

§  Hold Supporting Members Officer working group.​

§  Present initial thoughts to the Leader’s Group​.

§  Plan for engagement with a diverse selection of Members, including focus group(s)​.


3.5.9    Ways of Working


Aim of working group

§   Scope future ways of working for the council through engagement with services and staff. From this, develop a vision for the council that will inform Our People Promise, Accommodation and Digital Strategies.

§   Consolidate emerging workplace needs and deliver a programme and model for a different return to the workplace in 2021/22, taking account of changing service delivery models and working practices.



Key recent activities

§  Engagement Plan developed.

§  Executive Leadership Team awayday held in January to start the discussion on Future Ways of Working (FWOW).

§  FWOW email inbox created to enable staff to provide feedback to the project.

§  Focus groups have been designed for staff and manager engagement.

§  Focus group facilitators and note takers identified.

§  Facilitator toolkit shared with the facilitators.

§  Focus group pilot session carried out and session reviewed as per the feedback.

§  Corporate communications issued to the organisation inviting staff to be part of the engagement exercise.

§  Dates for the focus groups have gone live on the Learning & Development Gateway and staff are starting to book onto the sessions.


Key forthcoming activities

§  Focus groups to be run from April to June inclusive.

§  Collate feedback from the focus groups.

§  Continue to collate feedback that is received via the FWOW email inbox.

§  Communications will go out to the Leadership Network with an engagement toolkit to use with frontline staff/staff without IT access.

§  Programme governance structure to be defined.

§  Refresh the Human Resources offer for remote/hybrid working.

§  Plan the induction for the expansion of office space.




4.1         As the democratic body of the city, the council has a role in leading the governance and delivery of the recovery phase of the pandemic. The consequences of this public health crisis force the city to respond in ways that are different from what has been considered normal. The recovery programme is designed to ensure that the city is able to respond in an agile way as it transitions through different phases of the pandemic and moves in and out of response.


4.2         The pandemic represents an unprecedented challenge for Brighton & Hove and a major shock to the city’s economy and communities. It also presents the city with an opportunity to shape its future. The recovery programme is designed to provide the governance structure for initiating and organising a series of coordinated, multi-agency actions during the recovery stage(s) following the pandemic affecting the communities and/or environment of Brighton & Hove. Those leading Recovery & Renewal are working closely with colleagues supporting outbreak control and emergency response to ensure approaches are co-ordinated.




5.1         The programme is engaging with the city’s partnerships and governing bodies, and the Community & Voluntary Sector (CVS) as part of the recovery process. The city’s partnerships were consulted as part of the programme’s initiation via a scenario planning exercise where they were asked to consider the implications of the pandemic on their sectors and a response. The CVS and Clinical Commissioning Group are represented on the Covid-19 Recovery & Renewal Group, where the leads of each working group share progress in order to identify issues, links and dependencies, and cross-cutting areas of work. Each working group has also been reviewed to determine whether it has appropriate CVS representation. The working groups will undertake engagement and consultations specific to their theme, as appropriate.


6.         CONCLUSION


6.1         The Covid-19 pandemic and the council’s response to it have been fast paced, agile and in partnership with others, and this ethos is being carried forward into recovery. The programme will plan ahead as far as it is able, adapt in line with outbreak control, emergency response and the need to restart the city, and each working group will review its approach as circumstances change. The organisational capacity required to continually respond to the crisis, restart the city and begin recovery from it, and manage business as usual and statutory responsibilities cannot be under-estimated. Officers remain committed to delivering for the city, and the council and its staff, and will continue to update Members as the programme progresses.




Financial Implications:


7.1         The governance structure of the Recovery & Renewal Programme is provided for within the council’s existing resources. Except where specific delegations have been approved by committee, actions or recommendations arising from the programme that have financial implications are reported through the council’s recognised governance and decision-making routes, normally Policy & Resources Committee, or its Recovery Sub-Committee, and in accordance with Financial Regulations.


            Finance Officer Consulted:     Nigel Manvell                                Date: 07/04/21


Legal Implications:


7.2         This report is for information only. There are therefore no legal implications arising directly from it. The Recovery and Renewal Programme is entirely consistent with the Council’s powers and duties under the Local Government Act 2000 (economic, social and environmental wellbeing) the Coronavirus Act 2020 and function-specific laws.


            Lawyer Consulted:                   Abraham Ghebre-Ghiorghis       Date: 07/04/2021


            Equalities Implications:


7.3         Equality is fundamental to the city’s and council’s recovery from the pandemic, along with addressing the inequalities that it may have worsened. Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) have been completed, as required, by the working groups and include actions to gain the best outcomes for all service users and staff. Each group is considering what existing inequalities have been revealed by the pandemic and social restrictions, what inequalities have been created or worsened, and what can be done to tackle these by the council, its partners and communities. In addition, the groups are also considering whether recovery from the pandemic creates any opportunities to narrow pre-existing inequalities. The council’s Equalities Managers are supporting the process. Progress towards delivery of each EIA is checked regularly as part of the governance of the programme.


The Equalities & Access workstream, which is part of the Vulnerable People working group, meets monthly and has produced an interim report, which was shared with the Policy & Resources Committee in December and the Equality & Inclusion Partnership. An action plan was developed alongside and has been shared with the Corporate Equalities & Diversity Group and a progress update will be presented to a future meeting. Recent Equalities & Access workstream meetings have focused on linking diverse groups with digital inclusion support, financial support, and provision regarding social isolation and mental well-being. Updates and information regarding support continue to be shared with around eighty diverse community contacts.The recent priority has been vaccinations, with the group working to understand vaccine hesitancy amongst diverse communities and working with Communications, Public Health and the Clinical Commissioning Group to develop appropriate communications and engagement to encourage vaccine uptake. This has included work to arrange a series of webinars with diverse groups where community members can hear from Public Health in person and ask their questions directly. This has included sessions with diverse Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic groups, LGBTQ groups, disability groups, and sessions with British Sign Language interpreters. All actions resulting from the workstream’s interim report have been completed or are a work in progress. These include a series of mental health films made with diverse community members to raise awareness of mental health support; escalation of gaps in support (for example, for taxi drivers) to central government; lobbying of central government to review the impact of immigration-based exclusions from welfare and homelessness assistance; and securing funding for the Ethnic Minority Achievement Service to contact parents in community languages to pass on Covid mitigation and prevention messaging.


Finally, a range of data is available in relation to the impact of the pandemic on the city and its communities. Themed analysis and reporting can be drawn from that available but there are often time lags or a lack of baseline data. It will also be important when analysing the data to distinguish Covid-19 as the determining factor and to appreciate the data may change over time in line with local and national circumstances.        


Sustainability Implications:


7.4         The sustainability of its recovery plans is a key aspect of the programme’s approach. This ranges from the plans to facilitate the movement of people around the city, to the sustainability of food provision, to the sustainability of the council’s finances. As well as responding to the challenges thrown up by the pandemic, the programme will similarly seek to optimise any opportunities that are presented to support delivery of the council’s priorities.



Brexit Implications:


7.5         The challenges of city and council recovery from the pandemic are being considered alongside the implications of Brexit. The council’s Brexit Implementation Lead attends Covid Recovery & Renewal Group meetings and those of the working groups, as required. Services have been encouraged to plan their delivery in light of both Covid-19 and Brexit, and business continuity plans were refreshed with a similar focus. Opportunities to join up messaging and actions around Covid-19 and Brexit are being proactively identified, including the identification and management of risks.


            Crime & Disorder Implications:


7.6      The implications for crime and community safety/cohesion in relation to the pandemic are embedded within the work of the Community Safety Partnership and Strategy.


Risk and Opportunity Management Implications:


7.7      Risk management is an integral part of programme management and is being considered throughout the recovery process. The working groups have conducted risk analyses to identify the risks relevant to their area of focus and have captured these in risk logs, which are regularly monitored. Working group level risks are managed by the relevant working group and only reported to the Programme Board if they need to be escalated. Programme level risks are included in working group highlight reports and reported monthly to the Programme Board, if the working group feels they are of corporate interest. The Covid-19 Programme Manager will maintain a programme risk log comprising the programme level risks from the working groups, escalated risks, corporate risks and those that cut across more than one working group. The Programme Board will escalate risks to the Sussex Resilience Forum, as appropriate. As mentioned previously, opportunities that arise in the course of the city and council’s recovery from the pandemic will be explored and pursued, as appropriate.


            Public Health Implications:


7.8      Public Health is at the heart of the council’s response to, and recovery from, the pandemic and is mainstreamed throughout the Recovery & Renewal programme. Colleagues from Public Health and the Recovery & Renewal programme are coordinating their responses to the pandemic and meet regularly to discuss progress and any issues.


Corporate / Citywide Implications:


7.9      The programme is structured around the council and city’s recovery from the pandemic and the implications to both are integral to the plans of the respective working groups.






Appendix 1: Revised Recovery & Renewal scope


Background Documents