Covid-19 Recovery & Renewal Programme Update

Date of Meeting:

22 July 2021

Report of:

Executive Director of Economy, Environment & Culture

Contact Officer:


Julie Nichols, Corporate Portfolio Lead


01273 291656



Ward(s) affected:








1.1         This 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 28 April 2021.


1.2         It should be noted that the report provides an update on progress to mid/late June and given the fast moving nature of the pandemic, aspects of the report may have been superseded by events by the date of the committee meeting.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 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 balancing work on response, restart and recovery simultaneously.


3.3         In recent weeks/months, the city has been unlocking in line with the Central Government roadmap. It has seen a resurgence in visitor numbers, and in activity across the cultural and hospitality sectors, and a spike in retail following pent up demand. There is a multi-agency approach to the reopening of the city and weekly meetings are being held to plan for the week ahead. With the reopening of the city, there have been some challenges, such as the congregation of young people on Hove Lawns, and these are being worked through with partner organisations. Whilst Brighton & Hove, like other seaside destinations, is experiencing a higher than average rebound in its visitor economy, there are many people within the city who remain on furlough and whilst a number of businesses may survive during the summer, their longer term position may not be so positive.


3.4         The delay of Step 4 of the Central Government roadmap from 21 June to 19 July has seen some impact upon planned events within the city, particularly the Fringe venues. Large events with long lead-in times had already cancelled for 2021. The inability of businesses, particularly in hospitality, culture and leisure, to operate close to full capacity over a significant portion of the 2021 visitor season has reduced revenues and viability, which continues to be a concern for the city’s economic recovery.


3.5         A report is being presented to the Greater Brighton Economic Board on 20 July regarding the next steps for Greater Brighton recovery.


3.6         Enhanced Recovery Area (ERA) status


3.6.1    Following a significant rise in Covid-19 case numbers locally, particularly amongst those aged 18-29 and in school aged children, additional support has been deployed in the city from 12 July. This builds upon the extensive work already underway to keep those in the city safe and the city itself open for business. The vaccination programme is a fantastic success and is weakening the link between infection, serious illness and people having to go to hospital. The aim of the additional ERA support is to slow down the rate of Covid-19 infection in the city, allowing time for more people to receive both vaccinations as restrictions begin to be lifted. The additional support package includes:


§  Additional testing in the city via two symptom free walk-in PCR Mobile Testing Units at the Peace Statue on Hove seafront and in Jubilee Square by Jubilee Library.

§  Additional advertising and campaigning support and materials to further promote both testing and vaccination, aimed at the highest risk groups. 

§  An engagement team to supplement the work the city’s Covid Marshalls and other council teams are doing in bars and restaurants and heavy footfall areas to promote testing and vaccination.

§  The ‘green light’ to ask all secondary schools and colleges with children and young people aged Year 7 or above to reintroduce face coverings in classrooms and communal areas for staff and pupils.


3.6.2    As part of the ERA support, extra guidance will be set out on the steps people can take, such as minimising travel in and out of the affected areas, in order to keep their loved ones and communities safe. This further support is a short term measure and case rates in the city will be regularly reviewed to determine if it is still needed.


3.6.3    Alongside the ERA support, the council continues to advise those in the city to:


§  Take a test if they are offered to do so. Those aged 18-29 who live or work in the city are asked to get tested for Covid-19 at the new symptom free testing sites. This will help to find cases quickly, so individuals can self-isolate and stop the spread.

§  Everyone, but especially 11-18 year olds at schools and colleges, and their families and support bubbles, should still be taking Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests at home twice a week and reporting the results. This ask will continue over the summer holidays.

§  Get vaccinated. Convenient, no appointment, no documentation vaccination sessions are open every day in the city at Brighton Racecourse, Hove Lawns, and the Brighton Centre, as well as other mobile locations. People are also encouraged to text their friends and family to support them to get their vaccinations.

§  Keep washing hands, wear a face mask indoors and in crowded spaces, maintain a safe distance from others, keep rooms well ventilated and meet outdoors as much as possible.


3.6.4   Brighton & Hove is open for business, however, many bars, cafes, restaurants and pubs in the city have had to close in recent weeks as staff in the more ‘at risk’ age groups have contracted Covid-19 and needed to self-isolate. The ERA support and council advice is aimed at enabling residents and visitors to continue enjoying what the city has to offer.


3.7         Recovery & Renewal programme


The following items provide updates on each of the council’s Recovery & Renewal working groups:


3.7.1    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

§  Visiting Directorate Management Teams with Workstyles business partners to discuss Future Ways of Working and impacts upon customer service and accommodation needs.

§  Taking account of results from Covid specific questions within the survey into the Accessibility Review implementation.

§  Facilitated increased appointment capacity for Housing Needs service to assess those placed in accommodation through the ‘Everyone in’ programme.

§  Working with the Council Tax team to deliver a Covid secure face to face service for their first ‘court day’ since February 2020.



Key forthcoming activities

§  Annual Customer Insight report, including results from customer surveys, to be approved and published in August.

§  Equality Impact Assessments for proposed changes to service provision signed off.

§  Refine future options for telephone support in consultation with the Customer Experience Steering Group and Customer Experience Ambassadors, and seek agreement from the Corporate Modernisation Delivery Board and Councillors.

§  Work with the Communications Team to inform customers that the council’s offer will go live in September, in order to manage customer expectations (subject to approval of future plans).


3.7.2    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

§  The working group conducted a review of the lessons learned from 2020 and updated its Equalities Impact Assessment and risk log as a result.

§  Vaccination is now a standing item at working group meetings.


Key forthcoming activities

§  Consider further themed discussions at future working group meetings. One maybe whether there is a reduction in young people attending post 16 provision.


3.7.3    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

§  The emergency food network gives food to people who cannot afford it and are in crisis. They are generally the most vulnerable in society who are also more likely to be affected/disadvantaged by Covid-19. In addition, there is a new cohort of people who have been pushed into poverty because of Covid related job loss and insecurity. A 374% increase was seen in people needing emergency food from July 2019 to July 2020.

§  Support is being provided to Impact Initiatives with money from the Local Outbreak funding (£48k) to provide shopping access help. This is for people who might have to isolate at home or have trouble accessing food but who have money to pay for food. The need for this service increases when Covid rates are high.

§  We have a new process for ‘emergency on the day’ help. This is for people who need emergency food (who cannot afford to pay) but have to isolate at home. People who need this help are identified through the Community Hub and then passed over to Impact Initiatives, who have a small budget to buy shopping for them (this is done by staff and volunteers). The need for this service fluctuates with Covid rates. Previously, this service was provided by Brighton & Hove Food Partnership’s central hub which finished on 28 May (where pre-made parcels were delivered).

§  A snapshot survey of the emergency food sector has identified 5,300 people receive emergency food per week (including 1,300 children). The estimated food budget is £34k per week.

§  The annual emergency food survey is happening now (results July/August) asking the emergency food providers many questions, including the reasons people are accessing their food bank.

§  There have been a couple of recent closures of food banks set up in response to the crisis - the closure of Brighton Table Tennis Club in Kemptown and Cornerstone Community Centre in Hove. However, some of this need has been addressed by the opening of two new food banks - Parish Church at Fitzherbert Centre and Emmanuel Church food bank in Hove at Clarendon Villas.

§  The letter which was provided to help emergency food delivery vehicles park has been stopped and therefore, there has been an agreement to fund volunteer parking permits for essential operations from July 2021 to June 2022.

§  Emergency Food Network Focus Group fed into work to look at the strategy to support the sector.

§  Demand on the Local Discretionary Social Fund and emergency food providers still high but not as high as same period in 2021.

§  Brighton & Hove Food Partnership shut the food processing hub at Moulsecoomb Hall.

§  Food funding from the Local Outbreak fund given to support the Coldean Hub and Black & Minority Ethnic Community Partnership (BMECP) who have critical funding issues.


Key forthcoming activities

§  Survey/evaluation of emergency food providers, community meal delivery schemes and affordable food pilots until August 2021 to feed into a report to help look at a more sustainable emergency food response going forward. Also, to identify where any funding shortfalls are and where support is needed.

§  Distribution of the £100k allocation to help support capacity and resilience across the emergency food sector (as agreed at the June Food Policy working group meeting).

§  Potential closure or phasing down of Brighton Cauldron (delivering parcels to Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic residents).

§  Searching for new premises for the storage and processing of emergency food.

§  Exploration of the Healthy Start voucher campaign.


3.7.4    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:

§  Survey/evaluation of emergency food providers, community meal delivery schemes and affordable food pilots over the next few months until August 2021 to feed into a report to help look at a more sustainable emergency food response going forward.

§  Decision making about the £100k allocation to help support capacity and resilience across the emergency food sector, to take to the June meeting of the Food Policy working group.

§  Brighton & Hove Food Partnership shutting the food processing hub at Moulsecoomb Hall, potential closure or phasing down of Brighton Cauldron (delivering parcels to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) residents), food funding being given to support Coldean and BMECP who have critical funding issues.

§  From 29 May, a reduction in the amount of food being provided for residents in emergency accommodation (one meal a day but no packed lunch or breakfast).


            Mental Health:

§  Secured access to bereavement services for people affected by suicide. Continuing to work with the Samaritans to increase signage across the city, having identified locations for fifty extra signs.

§  The first meeting of the Mental Health & Debt Co-ordination Steering Group took place on 19 May, with good attendance and terms of reference drafted.

§  Continuing to support the emerging needs of vulnerable young people.



§  “Don’t let Covid spoil our fun” and “Welcome back to the city” campaign. Shared in public spaces across the city, in printed advertisements, local media, through radio and digital music players and targeted social media. The message is for everyone but shared through channels that reach digitally excluded residents.

§  Working with the NHS to share the vaccination messages to vulnerable groups, particularly focusing on the mobile testing units going out around the city.

§  Weekly public health statement - sharing simple details on cases, vaccinations, testing and key messages or advice. This is published on the website, shared with local media, on social media, with staff and through networks. Translations also shared in Arabic, Bengali, Farsi, Gujarati, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese and Spanish.



§  Development of the vaccination buddies project.


Equalities & Access:

§  Continue to meet with all groups to capture intelligence. Have been prioritising vaccination; BAME, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ), Faith, Gypsy Roma Travellers, young adults and working in geographical areas as business as usual. Carried out engagement work with all of these groups.


Key forthcoming activities


            Community Hub:

§  A review has commenced to look at how the activities of the working group align with business as usual and directorate redesigns. This includes ensuring the group can stand up again offering the full support service, if needed.


            Mental Health:

§  Outbreak response for short and long term provision.

§  Schedule for recruitment of new Mental Health Promotion Specialist within the Community Roots contract.

§  Plan to refresh the Suicide Prevention Strategy.

§  A task and finish group is being established to enable older people back into the community and to build confidence in restarting physical activity.



§  Continue to provide updates on guidance, easing of restrictions, and re-opening the city (Central Government roadmap), as well as supporting the uptake of vaccines (particularly focusing on younger people) and promoting regular testing. Shared across a variety of channels, including print advertisements, radio, bus stop advertisements, social media, digital music channels (for example, Spotify and Alexa) and through local media.

§  Promoting support available for those who need to self-isolate.



§  Ensure sufficient volunteer capacity for vaccination sites and engagement with communities.


Equalities & Access:

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


3.7.5    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

            Further engagement with partners to progress City Employment Skills Recovery:

§  The Special Education Needs (SEN) Young People Employability Network,  Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) Network, ESOL Network and Learn and Work Networks met in May and June feeding into the wider Adult Learning and Skills Partnership (ALSP). The ALSP continues to support and deliver the City Employment & Skills Recovery Plan 2021-2023 through collaborative working involving new schemes as they develop, for instance Fedcap were introduced to the partnership. Fedcap will start delivering the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) Restart programme for five years from July 2021 and are now linked with key partners in the city.

§  The Curriculum Plan for 2021/22 has been finalised. The new Adult Learning Hub will open in August 2021.

§  The Employment Hub opened its doors to DWP clients on 1 June 2021. An online Youth Employment Hub will be published on the council’s website in July.

§  The Local Employment Scheme moved across from City Development & Regeneration to Employment and Skills on 1 June 2021.

§  Youth Employment Hub Stakeholder Engagement Sessions were held in June 2021 for providers, the voluntary sector, employers and internal council teams. The sessions were very well received, resulting in several offers to support and run activities in the Hub.

§  The council commissioned and sponsored the City Apprenticeship Graduation Ceremony on 30 June 2021. The event, delivered by the Sussex Council of Training Providers, included many inspirational stories and was an opportunity to recognise the fantastic achievements of apprentices, employers and training providers over the past eighteen months. Sponsors included South East Apprenticeship Ambassador Network, Greater Brighton Metropolitan College, Chichester College Group, QA and Nettl, including Face Media Group.

§  The Business & Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) Brighton, based at Jubilee Library, is now part of a regional ‘hub and spoke’ model with East Sussex and West Sussex County Councils. The Brighton centre will now be the Sussex Hub with spokes located in county libraries.

§  The successful ‘Reset Restart’ business support programme funded by the BIPC is coming to an end this month. Open to all business owners, especially those in the first years of trading, the programme helps to transform, future-proof or grow businesses through the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. Sessions include topics such as digital marketing and assessing their social and economic impact.

§  Over 700 businesses in Brighton are now signed up as Living Wage employers. The success of the scheme funded by the council and Unison, and administered by Brighton Chamber, has seen businesses continue to sign up throughout the lockdown period; the current total of sign-ups is now 738.

§  The European Regional Development Fund project Invest4 business grants scheme, which is part of the University of Chichester Business Hot House programme, has awarded grants in excess of £1million (against a total budget of £2.8m). Applications have ranged from established businesses wishing to pivot their business in light of Covid-19, business wishing to digitise, start-ups looking to test proof of concept to businesses wishing to invest in state of the art tools and machinery to maintain their competitive edge.

§  The council has joined the European Union Interreg circular economy project called Blueprint. Led by Essex County Council and including partners such as Anglia Ruskin University, the project aims to provide practical solutions for designing out waste and pollution by reusing, repairing and recycling existing resources. The project includes training for those who need help finding employment or changing their job and will support residents and schools in changing their behaviour to reduce waste and increase recycling.

§  Brilliant Brighton Business Improvement District has been approved for another five years following a successful ballot in June with 82.5% of business vote in favour of renewal. The new business plan includes additional street cleansing and a programme of events to attract footfall to the area. The council supported the balloting and consultation process.

§  Members recently approved a raft of measures to support the safe reopening of the city following the Covid19 lockdown. Using Contain Outbreak Management Funds, the measures included a new Information Officer team to offer advice and guidance on reopening; Covid Marshalls, new Trading Standards, Health & Safety and Event planning staff; sector specific training on reopening for businesses in hospitality and retail, new signage, additional street cleansing (including night time deep cleans); and additional toilets on the seafront.

§  For the period 1 December 2020 to 4 July 2021, the council allocated £69.776m of grants to business, a total of 28,562 grants (note: this sum includes multiple top-up grants to eligible businesses for the various lockdown extensions).


Key forthcoming activities

§  Launch the Youth Employment Hub virtual site at the end of July

§  Establish extension of the Think Futures European Social Fund project with West Sussex County Council to 2023.

§  The new Food Policy Co-ordinator is taking a paper to the Greater Brighton Economic Board to propose the scoping of a food plan for the city region. If approved, this work has the potential to support sector growth and jobs, food security and resilience, and seek to address some of the supply side and workforce challenges with the food economy.

§  A campaign to raise awareness of the Invest4 Grants is planned for the coming months.

§  The new BIPC Sussex Project Board will meet in July to agree working protocols and future ways of working.


3.7.6    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 Restart Grants and Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) funding:

§  The Communications Team have completed and distributed an applications guide to businesses to help with the grant process. Multiple communications have been sent directly to businesses to maximise take up.


Retail & City Centre:

§  Sales are down 18%, footfall is down 22%, 17 stores have closed since 2019 and there has been a lot of pent-up demand with a strong reopening compared to previous reopening from lockdown. There has been interest in vacant properties, such as Debenhams.


Tourism & Events:

§  The Fringe Festival has successfully opened and has been operating with restricted numbers.

§  It is anticipated that there will be a high level of business until September/ October due to events being displaced from earlier in the year.

§  Ticket sales for events are strong but there is nervousness among conferences and recovery is slow in this sector with furlough rates still at 40%. There is less forward planning of events for 2022-23, as event managers are focusing on short term uncertainties/cancellations.

§  Actions within the Tourism Recovery Plan (see Appendix 1) are now in progress and the Welcome Back Fund will provide additional resources to attract visitors to Brighton and Hove into the Autumn/Winter 2021 and Spring 2022.



§  There is a focus on ensuring that different communities, for example, people with disabilities, are welcomed to attend events and can access the city centre.

§  Links are being made with the Voluntary & Community Sector to translate and interpret messages with different groups across the city.

§  There is a gradual process of supporting the sector to return to face-to-face events.

§  A sector report regarding poverty and debt has been produced, with some data on impacts across different demographic groups.


Arts Programme

§  Looking to produce alternative guides for the city centre, and building up training to diversify knowledge and skills. There has been a lot of damage to freelance employment, the full scale of which has yet to be seen. There is the need for further engagement with the sector to support long term recovery. Freelancers are the ones who have been less able to obtain help through the grants programme.

§  Cultural organisations have been open for a few weeks and have enjoyed positive visitor numbers, assisted by the Fringe and Brighton Festival events.


Key forthcoming activities

§  Consider and promote Covid safety training schemes for cultural/visitor venues as part of the recovery programme.                                                                                                                                         

§  Messaging businesses who are eligible for Restart Grant funding but who have not yet applied.                                                                                                                                                

§  Working across the UK t to promote Brighton & Hove as a visitor destination.

§  Planning to extend the season into the autumn/winter to give the visitor economy more of a window of opportunity to recover.

§  Rapid testing requirements placed on many visitor economy businesses and venues pose a challenge. Planning and further discussion is required to prepare Covid testing arrangements for venue and event spaces.

§  Share useful evidence/data with the working group that could help to shed light on local impacts and contribute to funding bids on an ongoing basis.

§  Discuss and co-ordinate skills training provision to support recovery at a citywide level.

§  Link up with the Citizens’ Advice Bureau around poverty and debt issues, and invite them to a future working group meeting.

§  Co-ordinate communications campaigns/messaging with other groups and throughout the visitor economy sector.


3.7.7    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

§  Our key focus remains on the Move-on plan for people accommodated under Covid-19 Emergency Accommodation.

§  As agreed by the Housing Committee, we have moved to end the ‘Open Offer’ to those assessed as at risk of rough sleeping where no accommodation duty is owed by the council, in line with opening up council prevention and housing option services, along with the national roadmap post-lockdown. The council continues an accommodation offer to verified rough sleepers where it has the power to do so.

§  Regarding the Home Purchase Housing First homes acquired under the Next Steps Accommodation Programme (NSAP), thirty home purchases have been completed of which twelve properties have been let.

§  The Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI4) funding proposal has been awarded in the amount of £3,301,305.

§  Out of borough placements continue to be stable. This is kept under weekly review.

§  The Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme (RSAP) proposal for capital funding to deliver homes (first cycle) was submitted on 29 April. The proposal included two schemes aimed at a Housing Led Support model (for rough sleepers with complex and multiple needs) and a Rapid Re-housing Model for people with lower needs who are newer to the streets. A formal announcement is awaited on the outcome.

§  An update report was shared with the Housing Committee in June.


Key forthcoming activities

§  The Move-on plan for Covid1 and Covid2 clients in emergency accommodation (hotels) to sustainable accommodation by October 2021 is the council’s key focus.

§  Continue to hold meetings for the co-production of RSAP proposal in partnership with Registered Providers and with support from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government Advisers and Homes England’s Affordable Housing Growth Team. The next proposals should be returned by 2 September.

§  Identify the eligible cohort for the RSAP and undertake needs assessments of all individuals accessing RSAP homes.

§  Two additional workers are being recruited to progress reconnections. 

§  Continued oversight of the Homeless Reduction Board and the first Homeless Reduction Operational Board held in July.


3.7.8    Supporting Members


Aim of working group

Explore with Members the issues they face day to day, and their short and longer term development needs, in order to formulate an improvement plan relating to: ​

§  engagement with communities and residents​;

§  relationship between Members and officers​;

§  ways of working; and ​

§  training and development​.


Key recent activities

§  A meeting of the Member Development Working Group held to brief Members on the programme of work and obtain initial thoughts.

§  A meeting of the Supporting Members Officer Working Group held to feedback from the Member Development Working Group and discuss next steps.

§  Catch up meeting held with the Sponsor from the Executive Leadership Team.

§  Discussions held with colleagues within Democratic Services, Workforce Development and Future Ways of Working to understand existing plans for Member development and to plan for Member Development Working Group discussions.

§  Existing training and development opportunities for Members collated.


Key forthcoming activities

§  A training and development plan for Members to be drafted as a starting point for discussion.

§  Engagement with a wider selection of Members.

§  Further research into Local Government Association support and resources, and approaches within other local authorities.

§  Engagement with relevant Recovery & Renewal working groups.

§  Second meeting of the Member Development Working Group convened.

§  Next meeting of the Supporting Members Officer working group held.

§  Initial thoughts presented to the Executive Leadership Team and Leader’s Group.


3.7.9    Future 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

§  Extra dates have been added to the focus groups to give more staff the chance to attend.

§  Staff are continuing to feedback their thoughts on Future Ways of Working (FWOW) via the inbox.

§  Work has commenced on the updating of the e-learning, managers’ toolkit and virtual briefings.

§  Resource requirements for the project have been identified.


Key forthcoming activities

§  Focus groups to be run from 22 April to 23 June 2021. Feedback will continue to be collated.

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

§  Hybrid Hub will be launched (target date 25 June 2021).

§  Virtual briefings to be run in early July 2021.




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 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: 25/06/21


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: 23/06/2021


            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 working 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. Progress towards delivery of each EIA is checked regularly as part of the governance of the programme.


Equalities & Access Workstream (EAW) meetings have moved from monthly to two-monthly. This will be kept under review until September, whilst considering how the work can be embedded into existing equalities mechanisms. The Equalities & Access Action Plan will be updated shortly and an update to the initial Interim Report produced. Funding secured through Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) is being used to fund the new Community & Voluntary Sector grants programme. The outcomes for projects under this programme are based upon the findings of the Interim Report. COMF monies are also be used to fund the pilot of three third party reporting centres for hate crime. The EAW continues to support the work on vaccinations, in particular liaising with the Muslim community and supporting the work of the Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic Vaccination Confidence Working Group. Switchboard have now completed their survey on the impacts of lockdown for LGBTQ communities and the EAW will be looking at what the findings mean for work moving forwards. The EAW has flagged to the Vulnerable People Working Group issues raised by diverse communities regarding coming out of lockdown, including the long term impact on mental health, social/digital inclusion and the impact of the ending some support set up during Covid.


A presentation regarding equalities work in relation to the pandemic forms a separate item on this committee’s agenda.


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 were considered alongside the implications of Brexit. Services were 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 were identified, including the identification and management of risks. Issues now arising, potentially as a result of Brexit, such as labour shortages and the impact upon recovery, are being explored.


            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. The links between the Partnership and Strategy, and work on recovery, were discussed at a recent ELT Gold Recovery meeting.


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 co-ordinating 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 - Tourism Recovery Plan


Background Documents