Covid-19 Recovery & Renewal Update

Date of Meeting:

4 November 2021

Report of:

Nick Hibberd, Executive Director (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 22 July 2021.


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on progress to early/mid October and given the fast moving nature of the pandemic, aspects of the report may have been superseded by events by the date of the committee meeting.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


That the committee:


2.1         Note the work being done to help businesses mitigate the economic impact of Covid 19, and the use of funds from the Additional Restrictions Grant to provide targeted business support through the Business & Intellectual Property Centre Sussex (see Section 3.8.6 of this report for details).


2.2         Notes the progress updates in this 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 has been managed alongside ongoing response activity, throughout lockdowns and restart following 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 months, the city has unlocked 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 has been a multi-agency approach to the reopening of the city and weekly meetings have been held to plan for the week ahead. With the reopening of the city, there have been some challenges, which have been worked through with partner organisations. Whilst Brighton & Hove, like other seaside destinations, is experiencing a higher than average rebound in its visitor economy, this must be viewed alongside other factors, such as national labour and materials shortages, recent issues concerning fuel and the need for businesses to start repaying their debts. Also, furlough ending, the removal of the Universal Credit uplift, and likely increases in welfare and Housing Benefit claims, make for a challenging winter period for many. This is also within the context of seasonal winter planning activities. The council is awaiting confirmation of its allocation of the recently announced £500m Local Support Grant.


3.4         The Community Hub will be in place for Winter 2021/22 for people who need additional support due to the impact of Covid-19. The Community Hub will be in addition to existing council support services, funded by dedicated Central Government funding for Covid-19. The Community Hub is also delivering Local Tracing Partnership working with NHS Track & Trace to contact confirmed Covid-19 cases and support self-isolation. The Community Hub is currently reviewing the Welfare Support offer in place for Winter 2021/22 to ensure it meets the current needs of residents and anticipated upcoming challenges.


3.5         The National Health Service (NHS) and council system are working closely, as happens each year, in preparation for winter and the anticipated impact upon the hospital. This year, particular challenges are being anticipated not only directly from Covid related admissions but also, the potential increase in flu and respiratory related infections, the increasing demands on the NHS and the NHS sustaining its focus on recovery and reducing the long waiting lists resulting from the pandemic. A Winter Plan has been prepared and will be submitted to NHS England by 22 October. This was due to be presented to the Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee on 13 October and as this meeting was cancelled, will be discussed at the reconvened meeting and will also be presented to the Health & Wellbeing Board on 2 November. This has been prepared in partnership across the system and is supported by an eighteen month Hospital Discharge programme intended to optimise utilisation of NHS funding, and support both the health and social care market to meet the desired outcomes of patients and service users through what will be a very challenging period.


3.6         There is a Cold Weather Plan for Brighton & Hove. The plan is a statutory requirement and has been produced in support of Covid-19 recovery. It sets out what needs to be done by different organisations across the city to help keep people safe and well during cold weather, and is in line with the national Cold Weather Plan for England. It aims to reduce pressure on the health and social care system during winter through improved anticipatory actions with vulnerable people and complements the NHS Winter Plan. The plan ensures the following are in place:


§  Systems for alerts and severe weather warnings to be routinely shared and organisations are aware of actions to take;

§  organisations are aware of their responsibilities for risk assessments and putting in place support for the most vulnerable;

§  partnership approach to preparedness and response; and

§  work on the reduction of Excess Winter Deaths, cold homes and fuel poverty.


3.7         The council has a range of additional winter preparedness plans in place, including a Highways Winter Service Plan and Flood Plan. These are supported by multi-agency plans, such as the Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF) Adverse Weather Plan and SRF Multi-agency Flood Plan. Each council service has a Business Continuity Plan in place, which highlights contingencies and these are reviewed annually each September/October. The council’s Emergency Planning Team is part of the SRF, which includes the NHS.


3.8         Supporting roll out and increasing uptake of Covid-19 1st and 2nd dose and boosters as well as flu vaccinations is a priority for the NHS and the council. There is a comprehensive programme of work to increase uptake of vaccinations for different eligible cohorts supported by enhanced communications and engagement and delivery by the Mobile Vaccination Unit, as well as in care homes, schools and vaccination sites across the city.


3.9         Recovery & Renewal programme


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


3.9.1    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 the Covid-19 pandemic.


Key recent activities

§  Updated information, posters and handouts produced for Hove Town Hall Civic Reception to better signpost customers who present in person (August 2021).

§  Briefings for Councillors and press releases for the public to communicate changes to the customer offer (September 2021).

§  Improved telephone offer for customers went live (September 2021).

§  Drop in self-help facilities at the Brighton Customer Service Centre (CSC) went live (September 2021).


Key forthcoming activities

§  Work with Communications and Graphic Design on improved signage for Hove Town Hall and Brighton CSC (October 2021).

§  Prepare and deliver briefings and communications to Councillors (August-October 2021).

§  Freephone for contacting council services to be installed at Hove Town Hall (October 2021).

§  Data gathering at all Reception points to inform next phase (October 2021 – January 2021/22).


3.9.2    Children & Young People


Aim of working group

§  Provide strategic leadership to the recovery and renewal work for children and young people’s 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 Children & Young People Working Group held a discussion around Covid rates being very high still in young people, especially with the return to education.

§  Supporting education settings – Public Health and Families, Children & Learning continue to support settings with higher numbers, offering bespoke advice and supporting decision making at the school. Autumn term activities, such as open evenings for prospective parents, are taking place, albeit with some additional precautionary measures. Healthy 12–15 year-old vaccination programme now announced and lots of planning taken place with city education providers including independent sector. CO2 monitors announced by the Department for Education for all schools and delivery has commenced in Brighton & Hove to the special schools. Guidance is shared with the monitors on their use and the council’s risk assessment template for schools gives a range of advice about ventilating spaces. 

§  Supporting vulnerable children and young people – Further return to face-to-face work for social care during this period. Staff being well supported to make those changes and greater numbers working back in the offices helping deliver the full relationship-based practice model. Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND) children being well supported in their return to education after the summer break, with some distancing remaining in home to school transport arrangements. Clinically Extremely Vulnerable children being supported to get their Covid vaccines.

§  Reviewing Early Help for families and development of a Disadvantage Strategy - work on the Early Help review continues and workshops have taken place with a range of stakeholders to identify gaps in the current system, mapping and talking through potential new ways of working. A Project Manager has been appointed to support this work and starts in early October. 



Key forthcoming activities

§  Children & Young People working group - Discussions will continue about vaccinations for children and young people and monitoring the schools programme. A detailed discussion is due at an upcoming meeting on the Foundations for our Future programme to improve mental health support for children and young people across Sussex.

§  Supporting education settings - Headteacher drop-in surgeries are being held throughout September in order to respond to any issues or concerns raised in schools. Guidance about the use of CO2 monitors will be shared as it comes out.

§  Reviewing Early Help for families and development of a Disadvantage Strategy – Project Manager starts who can support the full mapping of the next steps in the review and the engagement programme for the development of the Disadvantage Strategy. 

§  Supporting vulnerable children and young people – Full return to face-to-face visits for social work. Concerns continue on the availability of social care placements, with the long term impact of Covid starting to be felt more with carers retiring or unable to offer placements to children with more complex needs. Year 1 of SEND Strategy implementation with regular progress reports being shared with the SEND Partnership Board.


3.9.3    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. There is a separate, detailed report on Food Policy being presented to this committee meeting.


Key recent activities

§  Emergency Food Network (EFN) annual report completed.

§  Work on the strategic direction of council support to Emergency Food Providers.

§  Premises search to identify potential sites for use.

§  Work outlined for the Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) monies has started, including allocations to organisations. The Trust for Developing Communities and the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership have started new food development work, including one-to-one support for capacity and resilience for EFN providers.

§  Meeting held to decide Local Outbreak Plan (LOP) funding for food allocation to be split equitably between Emergency food providers who are short of food supplies.

§  Food cell interim meeting held to discuss food supply chain shortages (lack of HGV drivers, lack of migrant workers and lack of surplus for food banks) and any strategic ideas.


Key forthcoming activities

§  Report to help look at a more sustainable Emergency Food response going forward. Community meal research still ongoing.

§  LOP funding for food allocation and COMF funding for capacity and resilience small grants to go to organisations.

§  Developing a plan for running shared premises for storage and recruiting staff. Looking for further premises beyond January.

§  Developing a Healthy Start campaign and developing a donations campaign.

§  Continuing strategic work on food supply chain shortages.


3.9.4    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:

§  Public Health are managing and leading the Test &Trace/Community Hub team, and Public Health are progressing with a service redesign in partnership with colleagues from Revenues & Benefits.

§  Activity is broken down into two primary areas: Test & Trace managed by Public Health and Finance & Welfare managed by Revenues & Benefits.

§  All activity has been in relation to Test & Trace and self-isolation support due to large up-tick in people testing positive locally or those being asked to isolate. The volume had been a challenge for the Community Hub to manage within its existing resource, so recruitment was undertaken. There is the need to ensure that the positives from the way the Community Hub has operated, ie. staff  triaging customers’ needs and partnership working with Community & Voluntary Sector and other council services, is not lost.


            Mental Health:

§  Refreshed Suicide Prevention Strategy currently on track for delivery October 2021.

§  World Suicide Day on 10 September was online and successfully delivered by Grassroots, including an online panel session and launch of the new resource First Hand for those who have witnessed incidents of suicide.

§  World Mental Health Day on 10 October was also the day of the half marathon and a skate ramp was installed outside of Jubilee Library.

§  Re-recruiting to the Mental Health Promotion Worker post.

§  A mental health and debt webinar was held on 29 September with over eighty registered to attend.

§  New Five Ways to Well-being booklet launched. It is accessible via the council’s website and there are a limited number of printed copies also available​.



§  “We are a mask friendly city” campaign continues in the city centre and on social media, alongside conversations with local business about next steps and support. 

§  Working with the NHS to share the #MaxTheVax vaccination messages and details of walk-in sessions, particularly focusing on vulnerable groups with low take up, younger people, migrants and advertising the mobile testing units. Messages are being shared in public spaces across the city, in printed advertisements, local media, through radio and targeted social media. 

§  Weekly Public Health statement sharing simple details on cases, vaccinations, testing and key messages or advice. The statement is published on the council’s website and on social media, and shared with local media, staff and via networks. Translations are also shared in Arabic, Bengali, Farsi, Gujarati, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese and Spanish​.



§  Development of a volunteer model of 'welcomers' for mobile vaccination units and associated best practice support​.

§  Standing up of the Sussex-wide Volunteering Cell to support testing and vaccination​.

§  Recruitment of volunteers is becoming increasingly difficult.

§  All services to consider the use of, and support to, their volunteers to prevent burn out.


Equalities & Access:

§  The Equalities & Access Workstream (EAW) met and agreed to close down after its September meeting. Going forward, EAW discussions will take place within business as usual.

§  Continued meeting with all groups to capture intelligence. Have been prioritising vaccination amongst Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ) and Faith, and working in geographical areas as business as usual (online, phone calls and some face to face (small groups and 121s). Carried out engagement work with all groups above. Results of the LGBTQ survey on the Impact of Covid have been shared, see Switchboard's Health & Inclusion Project report​.


Key forthcoming activities


            Community Hub:

§  The review is ongoing to look at how the activities align with business as usual and directorate redesigns. This includes ensuring it can stand up again offering the full support service, if needed.


            Mental Health:

§  Refreshed Suicide Prevention Strategy to be delivered in October 2021​.



§  Provide updates on national guidance and local advice. Key priority continues to be the uptake of vaccines especially 16-18 year olds and Clinically Extremely Vulnerable 12-15 year olds. Information shared across a variety of channels including radio, bus stop advertisements, targeted social media advertisements and young social influencers, printed advertisements in local magazines and via local media.



§  Co-ordination between the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, the council and Community Works to ensure effective recruitment and management of increased volunteering opportunities and being mindful of preventing burnout in this key workforce​.

Equalities & Access:

§  Final EAW update report being prepared. 


3.9.5    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

§  Internal Kickstart scheme launched. Ten vacancies launched so far and recruitment is underway.

§  Employer and provider events have taken place during the month at the Employment Hub, including TIM talks (This is Me Talks) with employability professionals in the city.

§  Adult Learning Skills Partnership met on 8 September 2021 with external guest Ana Christie (Chief Executive, Sussex Chamber of Commerce) to discuss the Skills Accelerator Programme to create a Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP). Vacancy statistics by sector were discussed with partners and more Sector Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs) are planned by providers to support gaps.

§  Young people, employer and provider participation at the Youth Employment Hub has been increased.

§  Promoted the Employment Hub through a bus stop campaign, films and social media.

§  Recruited to Adult Learning tutor roles and Business Support. The Adult Education Hub opened in September.

§  Promotion of the Adult Education Hub courses via Newsquest Media.

§  The Task and Finish Group to review the use of Section 106 for the Employment Scheme met on 23 September 2021.

§  Apprenticeship Levy applications have been processed with two successful applications to support Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). Transfer opportunities re-advertised.

§  Note the Government has extended some of the plan for jobs schemes:

-          Kickstart extended by three months to March 2022.

-          Bonuses of £3,000 for every apprentice a business hires ended in September but now to be prolonged by four months until the end of January.

-          One-year extension to the Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) scheme for those who have been unemployed for more than three months.

-          Extending a Youth Offer of guaranteed support for all young people on Universal Credit until the end of 2025.


Key forthcoming activities

§  Continue promotion of the Employment Hub through a bus stop campaign, films and social media.

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

§  Launch of key internal partnerships for the Adult Education team, commencing with CityClean - running courses in Functional Skill Maths, English, Digital and English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) onsite at the Brighton Depot to help upskill staff. Start a pre-employment training course for adults in the city to help them get into jobs at the council - ‘Get Started in the council’ for various services, which will  include how to complete applications and interview skills.

§  Blueprint project training launch – the Adult Education team will deliver training as part of the Blueprint circular economy project with the key objective of supporting people into more circular economy jobs. From the autumn term, will be looking to run a level 2 qualification in Climate Change & Environmental Awareness with progression pathways into working with local social enterprises and organisations within the circular economy.

§  Publish a six month report back on City Employment and Skills Recovery Plan Actions (CESRP) in October.

§  Adult Learning & Skills Partnership to meet. Key areas of discussion will be the six month report back on CESRP and future actions where there are gaps or further work is required.

§  16-19 Curriculum & Standards Group, Special Education Needs Young People’s Network and Education & Skills Funding Agency Group due to meet.

§  Re-launch Apprenticeship Levy Transfers Application in mid October to November to support SME’s £150k.

§  Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) first stakeholder meeting will take place.  Head of Service in conversation with the Sussex Chamber LSIP Project Director to ensure city partners are involved in their stakeholder process that ends in February 2022.

§  Commence priority recruitment to the Local Employment Scheme.


3.9.6    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


Grant to business

§  10,878,798.37 of Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) funds have been awarded to 5,651 businesses (September 2021).

§  £57,000 of the residual ARG will be used to fund a dedicated Business & Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) manager post to oversee the delivery of targeted business support, the BIPC expansion and help secure longer term funds for the service.

§  The balance of funding from the ARG will be used to support the Events and Live Music venues that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic mitigation measures.

§  Businesses and residents continue to seek business support for start-up and to pivot their business post Covid.

§  The BIPC Brighton based at Jubilee Library has proved to be very popular and the programme of targeted support through the ‘Reset Restart’ programme has been extended due to popular demand.

§  The centre provided advice and support to 500 people in the first two quarters of this year, (despite the lockdowns) which equals the full year target; of those supported 50% were women, 11% Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) and 5% were disabled.

§  The BIPC is a positive example of community wealth building; using the library (a community asset) to build local entrepreneurship, with particular success in opening up opportunities for women, BAME communities and disabled people.

§  The British Library, which leads the BIPC National network, has asked Brighton to be the Sussex Hub with spokes in East and West Sussex County Councils; the first of these has been launched in Crawley Library. BIPC Brighton is now known as BIPC Sussex.


Tourism and hospitality:

§  Hotels at 84% occupancy, average cost per room per night £136 (jump from £100 previously). Huge demand for September/October.

§  Much positive press coverage.

§  The Brighton Centre has reopened and is very busy with displaced business and the Labour Conference. It does, however, have significant staff shortages.


Events on council land 

§  Three very busy weekends in September, catching up with displaced business.

§  Foodies Fest and Boundary will be well attended.

§  Big marathon number drop – 7,000 down from the 12,000 expected​.

§  Event bookings strong long-term, with a great deal of new and returning business.

§  Key shortage in security staff.


Third sector

§  Skills shortage is still a big issue and needs a citywide conversation involving multiple sectors and forward planning.


Skills and recovery 

§  New Adult Education Hub supporting skills issues through their budget and Department for Work & Pensions working with the Employment & Skills working group to address what is a UK-wide issue.​​

Arts and culture

§  Continued support of ABCD for Cultural Recovery project.

§  Welcome Back Fund projects - Wayfaring and 1st Thursday, a collaboration with the Business Improvement District, including projections in public spaces and shop windows.

§  Culture Recovery Fund – short turnaround to apply.

§  Digital Festival will go ahead in October.



Wider city view

§  Hatch report currently being followed up with an action plan to set out new priorities for the Greater Brighton Economic Board.

§  Greater Brighton Economic Board Climate Summit on 12 October

§  Push on business grants (more information on the council’s website). Campaign running from the autumn.


Key forthcoming activities

§  The working group will turn its attention to business financing, skills and tourism as winter approaches, given the multiple challenges of, for example, supply and labour shortages and price pressures. It will consider the possibility of inviting others to the group and will review analysis undertaken by Hatch Regeneris on economic impacts to inform planning.


3.9.7    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


Move on plan, including Next Steps Accommodation Programme for people accommodated under Covid-19 Emergency Accommodation (hotels)

§  Eligible cohort for Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO) rooms identified.

§  Transformation of Housing Needs service underway with Transformation Manager appointed.

§  Additional bid submitted under RSAP for three schemes on 2 September 2021​.

§  Two additional Reconnection Workers have been recruited.


Open Offer

§  Approved by Housing Committee, the ‘open offer’ to those assessed as at risk of rough sleeping where no accommodation duty is owed by the council has ended, in line with opening up council prevention and housing option services, along with the national roadmap post-lockdown. Verified rough sleepers are continuing to be accommodated where there is no capacity in commissioned services.​



Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme (RSAP)

§  The bid for the first cycle of funding has been awarded.

§  The second cycle to deliver thirty properties under ten year leases is being scoped.

§  The next official street count is on 2 November 2021.


Key forthcoming activities

§  Move-on planning for Covid 1 and 2 clients in Emergency Accommodation is the key focus. The plan will enable the remaining people to move from emergency provision to sustainable accommodation by mid November 2021.

§  The outcome of the RSAP bid will be known in late October 2021.

§  Developing more comprehensive project plans as part of Move-on.​

§  Continued oversight of the Homeless Reduction Board.​

§  Central Government has announced an aim to reduce the need for anyone to rough sleep by the end of this Parliament. The action plan aligned to the Homeless & Rough Sleepers Strategy will be refreshed to support achievement of this goal.​

§  Develop access to a number of private rented properties to deliver the Ex-Offender Accommodation Scheme.​


3.9.8    Supporting Members


Aim of working group

To explore with Members:

§  the role of a Member, how that is changing and what it looks like going forward;​

§  the relationship between a Member and their ward/communities and with officers; and​

§  how Members want to work;​

informed by experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic. This will lead to a series of actions, including the creation of a Training, Development & Improvement Plan for Members.


Key recent activities

§  Draft Member Training & Development (T&D) Plan and Member Performance & Development Plan (PDP) template presented to Leaders’ Group on 8 September.

§  Member Training & Development Plan and Member PDP template finalised. Both documents agreed by the Member Development Working Group (MDWG) on 5 October and Leaders’ Group on 6 October.

§  Standard objectives created for use in Member PDPs.

§  Costs of Member training researched.

§  Launch plan for Member training and PDPs developed and shared with Democratic Services. Meeting held with ELT Sponsor and Democratic Services regarding the practicalities of implementing the T&D Plan.

§  Meeting held with Workforce Development regarding using the Learning Gateway for Member training.

§  Update presented to Supporting Members Officer Working Group on 30 September.

§  Meeting held with Democratic Services regarding Charter Plus. Charter Plus accreditation booked.

§  Discussion facilitated at MDWG regarding Future Ways of Working.

§  Improvement Plan reviewed and updated.

§  Member T&D Plan and PDP template launched on 11 October.


Key forthcoming activities

§  Outline process of evaluating and quality assuring Member training.

§  Scope work on attracting Members to the role and increasing diversity.

§  Promote Member T&D Plan and PDPs.

§  Continue planning for Charter Plus accreditation.

§  Moving forward work on Future Ways of Working for Members.




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 co-ordinated, multi-agency actions during the recovery stage(s) following the pandemic affecting the communities and/or environment of Brighton & Hove. Those leading Recovery & Renewal have worked closely throughout with colleagues supporting outbreak control and emergency response to ensure a co-ordinated approach .




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 restart of the city, and each working group will review its approach as circumstances change. The organisational capacity required to respond to the crisis, restart the city, 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.


Clause 20 of the Additional Restriction Grant guidance for Local Authorities, 22 March 2021 states that, “Local Authorities can use ARG funding for business support activities. This may primarily take the form of discretionary grants, but Local Authorities could also use this funding for wider business support activities.” The sum of £57,000 will be taken from the residual ARG to fund a dedicated BIPC manager post and oversee the provision of targeted business support services.


            Finance Officer Consulted:     James Hengeveld                        Date: 21/10/21


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, the Coronavirus Act 2020 and function-specific laws.


            Lawyer Consulted: Elizabeth Culbert                                           Date: 21/10/21


            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.


The Equalities & Access Workstream (EAW) is being stood down as work is embedded in wider equalities mechanisms. The EAW has built really positive collaborative relationships, will remain as a virtual network and can be stood up again, if needed. At its last meeting, community representatives raised questions around vaccines and the winter period - these have been raised with the Vulnerable People Working Group for inclusion in communications and winter planning, and flagged to other relevant Recovery & Renewal working groups. Learning from the EAW has been discussed and there was very positive feedback regarding the collaborative approach, links made with community groups and strong inclusion of community voice. A closedown report for the workstream is being drafted, which will update on progress towards the EAW’s Interim Report.


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. The council’s Carbon Neutral programme is one of the underpinning activities of Recovery & Renewal.

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.


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 risks are managed by the relevant working group and only reported to the Programme Board if they need to be escalated. Strategic risks to recovery are being discussed alongside business continuity and winter planning. The Programme Board will escalate risks to the Sussex Resilience Forum, as appropriate. 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.








Background Documents