Agenda for Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equalities Committee on Monday, 20th July, 2015, 4.00pm

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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Bridge Community Centre, Lucraft Road, Moulsecoomb, Brighton, BN2 4PN

Contact: Ross Keatley  Democratic Services Manager

No. Item


Procedural Business

    (a)          Declarations of Substitutes:  Where councillors are unable to attend a meeting, a substitute Member from the same political group may attend, speak and vote in their place for that meeting.


    (b)          Declarations of Interest: 


    (a)      Disclosable pecuniary interests;

    (b)      Any other interests required to be registered under the local code;

    (c)      Any other general interest as a result of which a decision on the matter might reasonably be regarded as affecting you or a partner more than a majority of other people or businesses in the ward/s affected by the decision.


    In each case, you need to declare

    (i)        the item on the agenda the interest relates to;

    (ii)      the nature of the interest; and

    (iii)     whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest or some other interest.


    If unsure, Members should seek advice from the committee lawyer or administrator preferably before the meeting.


    (c)          Exclusion of Press and Public:  To consider whether, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, the press and public should be excluded from the meeting when any of the following items are under consideration.


    Note:   Any item appearing in Part Two of the agenda states in its heading the category under which the information disclosed in the report is exempt from disclosure and therefore not available to the press and public.


    A list and description of the exempt categories is available for public inspection at Brighton and Hove Town Halls and on-line in the Constitution at part 7.1.



    (A)         Declarations of Substitutes


    1.1       Councillor Penn was present in substitution for Councillor Hill and Councillor Mac Cafferty was present in substitution for Councillor Gibson.


    (B)       Declarations of Interest


    1.2       Councillor Simson declared a personal interest in Item 9 – Third Sector Investment as a trustee of Deans Youth Project.


    1.3       Councillor Moonan declared a personal interest in Item 9 – Third Sector Investment as a trustee of the Brighton Fund.


    (C)       Exclusion of Press and Public


    1.4         In accordance with Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972 (“the Act”), the Committee considered whether the public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any item of business on the grounds that it is likely in view of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the public were present during it, there would be disclosure to them of confidential information as defined in Section 100A (3) of the Act.


    1.5         RESOLVED - That the public are not excluded from any item of business on the agenda.


Chairs Communications


    2.1       The Chair gave the following communications:


    “This meeting is being recorded and will be capable of repeated being viewing viable online webcast.


    Opening message from the Chair


    Welcome – councillors, partners from other public agencies and community and voluntary sector and people of the city to this new committee.


    Aims of new committee – how we are going to work


    ·         Work with communities and partners on how we tackle the impact of budget challenge – in context of the savings to be made over next 4 years

    ·         Focus on tackling poverty and inequality, to ensure everyone shares in the city’s economic success, and how to deliver services at a neighbourhood level.

    ·         Through learning from other local authority areas, challenging what is and isn’t working here and most importantly collaborating with communities and partners we are keen to develop plans that are local, accountable and designed for the unique city that is Brighton & Hove.

    ·         Rotating venue around the city – extending our membership


    Some notable events over the last month


    Three key awards to mention – in recognition of excellent work in our communities:


    ·         Last month Pat Weller from Hangelton and Knoll received MBE

    ·         Dr Hong Lu, from Hove, also received MBE for services to the Chinese community in the city and across the UK

    ·         Band of Brothers a voluntary group that provides mentor for young men from disadvantage backgrounds received queens award for voluntary service


    Events coming up over the next month to mention


    ·         Group of Trans residents have set up and grown in the last three years Trans Pride which will be happening again this year this coming weekend at the Peace Gardens on Dorset Gardens in Kemptown. A section of our city community whilst small in number face some of the worst discrimination, prejudice and inequality of our city residents.

    ·         A Trans needs assessment is nearing its completion and we also look forward to hearing the findings and recommendations.

    ·         We also of course have Pride on 1st August with over 160,000 participants it has international recognition for its celebration of LGBT community and its supporters. And this year marks its 25th birthday. Pride, the council and Police having been working very hard to make it safe and inclusive festival including the street party that has grown alongside it and I look forward to another great day.


    Chair’s activity


    Also Eid Murbarak to our Muslim community who have just finished Ramadan.  I attended the most recent One Voice meeting last month in my role as Chair of this Committee – a powerful and important initiative which has grown out of the need to resist Islamophobia in our city.


    I also attended an event last month as part of Volunteers’ Week which really highlighted the strength and depth of volunteering in our city – something I would like to see grow even more.


    Final remarks


    The remit of this committee is vast and with potential overlap with other committees put I feel strongly and passionately that through its work it will ensure that reducing inequality and creating a fairer city will be integral to every action that the council takes and that our partners and communities are here as an integral part of the journey with us, together.”



Call Over

    (a)          Items (6 – 11) will be read out at the meeting and Members invited to reserve the items for consideration.


    (b)          Those items not reserved will be taken as having been received and the reports’ recommendations agreed.


    3.1       The following items were reserved for discussion:


                Item 8             Brighton & Hove Fairness Commission Ways of Working

                Item 9             Third Sector Investment

                Item 11           Neighbourhood Enforcement Teams


    3.2       The Democratic Services Manager confirmed that the items listed above had been reserved for discussion, and that the following reports of the agenda, with the recommendations therein, had been approved and adopted.


    Item 10           Corporate Plan & Medium Term Financial Strategy 2015-2019: Budget Planning and Resource Update 2016/17


Public Involvement pdf icon PDF 47 KB

    To consider the following matters raised by members of the public:


    (a)          Petitions: To receive any petitions presented by members of the public to the full Council or at the meeting itself.


    (b)          Written Questions: To receive any questions submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 13 July 2015.


    (c)          Deputations: To receive any deputations submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 13 July 2015.



    (B)       Written Questions


    4.1       The Chair noted there was one written question and welcomed Lynne Shields to the Committee and asked her to come forward and put her question to the Committee.


    4.2       Ms Shields asked:


    “The Policy and Resources Committee report July 9th stated that due to reduced funding it is likely the Council will ‘shrink’. 


    The report suggested that as a result the relationship between the council, partners, providers and citizens will need to adapt.


    How will we inform our neighbourhoods and communities about this ‘need to adapt’ and how will these various groups be supported to work together in a positive and effective way?


    I will be joining The Older Peoples Council later in the month and will be representing East Brighton and Queens Park. I would like to know how I can support the Council in its aims to inform and adapt?


    4.3       The Chair responded:


    “The council has been working with communities of place, and communities of identify and interest for many years now through a wide range of mechanisms from funding community development workers in priority neighbourhoods to resident involvement officers on  council housing estates to parent involvement workers through our children centres to support for the Racial Harassment Forum. The purpose of any engagement activity has always been to work with residents to not only identify their needs and concerns but also their assets and work together on developing and delivering solutions within available resources with many community and voluntary groups going on to secure non-council funding.


    This approach will not only continue but be bolstered under the Labour administration which a strong push for more neighbourhood based working,  improved co-ordination and delivery by engagement and participation workers across the council and discussions with a range of forums for example, Older Peoples Council, Local Action Teams about responding to city's challenges and aspirations including the budget challenge.


    I strongly believe that the council and its officers should be playing a greater enabling role that builds an interdependent relationship between residents and public services. I am keen to re-establish a more co-operative relationship between communities, citizens and public services. This will require a significant culture shift for the council and changes to its staff structures, processes and systems to enable new forms of participation, co-production and engagement and volunteering. The Council is developing a programme that aims to support and enable us to work more collaboratively with residents, communities and other partners so we can develop and deliver more services 'with them' rather than 'to them'. This programme will include


    1.    Commissioned and in house community development and community engagement support


    2.    A staff development approach to ensure staff have the right skills to work with communities.


    3.    A communication and information campaign


    4.    A review of the city's 'Community Engagement Framework'


    5.    A coordinated approach to enabling volunteering 6. A review of council engagement to provide a coordinated approach and style to fit with new ways of working.


    This work will be developed and implemented over the next two years and fit alongside the findings of the new Fairness Commission.


    Following the recent OPC elections Policy, Scrutiny and Communities Team met TODAY with Mike Bojczuk from the OPC to review the OPC budget, work programme and delivery arrangements for 2015/6 and beyond. Critically these discussions centred on the OPC developing its mandate for the strategic representation of older people to support the understanding and delivery of the public service reform agenda. These  discussions will be developed at the OPC meeting tomorrow and again in September. To support the development of this work it has been suggested the OPC meets with the Director of Adult Social Care and the Director of Public Health. The Policy, Scrutiny and Communities Team will support the OPC in the implementation of this new programme of work. 


    4.4       There were no further petitions, written questions or deputations.


Member Involvement

    To consider the following matters raised by Members:


    (a)               Petitions: To receive any petitions referred from Full Council or submitted directly to the Committee;


    (b)               Written Questions: To consider any written questions;


    (c)               Letters: To consider any letters;


    (d)               Notices of Motion: to consider any Notices of Motion referred from Full Council or submitted directly to the Committee.




    5.1       There were no items listed under Member Involvement.


Constitutional Matters: Neighbourhoods, Communities & Equalities Committee pdf icon PDF 284 KB

    Report of the Monitoring Officer (copy attached).

    Additional documents:


    6.1       RESOLVED:


    1)        That the Committee’s terms of reference, as set out in Appendix 1 to this report, be noted; and


    2)        That the establishment of an Urgency Sub-Committee consisting of the Chair of the Committee and two other Members (nominated in accordance with the scheme for the allocation of seats for committees), to exercise its powers in relation to matters of urgency, on which it is necessary to make a decision before the next ordinary meeting of the Committee be approved. 


    3)        That the Committee agrees that one representative each from Sussex Police and the Clinical Commissioning Group and two representatives from Community Works in the areas of equalities and neighbourhoods are invited to attend all meetings in an advisory capacity.


    4)        That the Committee agrees to invite further specialist community representatives to attend meetings on an issue by issue, ad-hoc basis.


    5)        That the Committee appoints Councillors: Daniel, Simson and Littman to the Urgency Sub-Committee.


Presentation on Public Health report on inequality


    7.1         The Committee received a report from the Director of Public Health in relation the Public Health Report on Inequality.


    7.2         Following the presentation the Chair noted that there would be a welfare reform paper coming to the next meeting of the Committee. She went on to highlight work that could be undertaken to get GPs into communities more; particular to help reach those that would not normally see a GP.


    7.3         Councillor Simson thanked the Director of Public Health for the presentation, and noted that the report had been very well received at the launch. She acknowledged there was still a great deal of work to do, but was of the view that this would help progress the work. Councillor Simson also noted her agreement with the Chair’s comments in relation to encouraging GPs to get out and see more people within the community. The Director of Public Health stated he was happy to bring regular updates to the Committee.


    7.4         Geraldine Hoban from the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) explained there was already work ongoing with Community Works to add value through commissioning; the work sought to get the city to sign up to measures of social life to help work towards a common set of goals and outcomes, some of this emerging work could be brought to the Committee at a later date.


    7.5         Councillor Moonan stated how feel presented the report was; she was of the view that the data was crucial for the Committee as a means to measure improvement.


    7.6         In response to queries from Councillor Barnett it was clarified that definition of anti-social behaviour could relate to less visible activities, or in some areas there could be a focal point or area. Officers agreed to send Councillor Barnett the relevant data and calculations for Hangleton & Knoll Ward.


    7.7         The Chair thanked Officers for the presentation.


    7.8         RESOLVED – That the Committee note the presentation.


Brighton & Hove Fairness Commission Ways of Working pdf icon PDF 273 KB

    Report of the Assistant Chief Executive (copy attached).

    Additional documents:


    8.1      The Committee received a report of the Assistant Chief Executive in relation to the Establishment of the Brighton & Hove Fairness Commission. The report provided further context to the decision of the Policy & Resources Committee on 11 June 2015 to establish a Fairness Commission, and additional detail on the ways of working with the draft terms of reference.


    8.2      Councillor Bell noted his full support for the Fairness Commission; in response to his queries Officers clarified that the Policy & Communities Section was currently holding post vacant and had a small amount of grant money that it used annually to do focused policy work – the Fairness Commission would form the basis of that work this year.


    8.3      Councillor Simson also noted her support; in response to her queries it was explained that Officers would ensure there was as little duplication as possible between bodies such as the Equality Partnership; however, the same service within the council supported all three main bodies and would be able to ensure this work linked up properly. In terms of timescales it was hoped that the Commission could report in May 2016 to allow the recommendations to be debated and inform budget planning and the Medium Term Financial Strategy.


    8.4      Councillor Littman noted the support for the Commission from the Green Group, and noted that some of the initial work had been undertaken by the previous administration. The previous Green administration had considering setting up a similar Commission, but had decided against it. It was hoped that the whole process would be meaningful; with measurable outcomes and the exercise could take place with constructive working across all political groups. In response to some of the points made by Councillor Littman the Chair stated that some of the data needed pulling together and the independently chaired Commission would allow issues to be considered differently; which was important in a local authority with no overall control. The Head of Policy & Communities also provided reassurance that the Commission would not duplicate work that had already been undertaken, and would look at what other Fairness Commission had produced. The Commission would be centred on considering the impact of the funding gap over the next few years.


    8.5      In response to questions from Councillor Mac Cafferty the Head of Policy & Communities clarified that SMART targets would be key to measuring the success of the Fairness Commission, and it was envisaged that the success would be something all residents in the city could share in. In terms of community engagement this was considered fundamental to the work of the Commission and outreach meetings would be held. The Chair added that the voluntary sector in the city had already express a keenness to be involved in the work.


    8.6      The representative from Community Works stated she was pleased the voluntary sector would be represented on the Commission, and Officers agreed that there was an opportunity to link up with the local strategic partnership, as well as Brighton & Hove Connected and the City Management Board. It was anticipated that the recommendations would not be Councilcentric and the support of all public services would be fundamental.


    8.7      The Chair put the recommendation to the vote.


    8.4      RESOLVED:


    1)        That Committee recommends to the Acting Chief Executive that the ways of working for the Brighton & Hove Fairness Commission contained within this report are adopted; and,


    2)        That the Committee recommends to the Acting Chief Executive that the terms of reference as set out in Appendix 2 are adopted.


Third Sector Investment pdf icon PDF 299 KB

    Report of the Assistant Chief Executive (copy attached).



    9.1       The Committee considered a report of the Assistant Chief Executive in relation to Third Sector Investment. The proposals in the report were based on extensive cross sector consultation and aimed to develop a second Communities & Third Sector Commission drawing in more funding streams from partners and across the Council, including the Three Year Discretionary Grants Programme.


    9.2       In response to Councillor Moonan it was clarified that the annual grants programme would need to be reviewed if it were to better small and medium sized charities. The Head of Communities added that there was a year left of the current programme which ended in 2016/17 and there would be close work with Community Works on the new prospectus.


    9.3       In response to Councillor Littman the Head of Policy & Communities provided assurance that there would be as much collaborative work as possible.


    9.4       Councillor Simson welcomed the work and she acknowledged that the situation had changed and it was now appropriate to move on from three year discretionary grants to a new model. She expressed concern that support for some of the medium sized groups, and asked for assurance that the situation would be carefully monitored going forward. In response the Head of Communities explained that early conversations had taken place with the community and voluntary sector around the annual grants programme, and it was agreed there close attention needed to be paid to the medium sized organisations, there needed to be an investment fund that sat alongside infrastructure support.


    9.5       The representative from Community Works noted support for the approach and welcomed the cross-party support from Members, but asked for as much protection for the grant scheme.


    9.6       Geraldine Hoben highlighted that both the Council and the CCG were facing a situation where funds were becoming increasingly squeezed and had to be used in a targeted manner; with this in mind the CCG were continually looking at how health services could be commissioned in a different way.


    9.10    The Chair put the recommendations to the vote.


    9.         RESOLVED: That the committee:


    1)        Approves the creation of a second Communities and Third Sector Commission commencing in April 2017 made up of funding from across the council our partners including the Three Year Discretionary Grants Programme.


    2)        Approves the extension of the current Three Year Discretionary Grant Programme allocations, the Financial Inclusion Commission and Healthwatch and NHS ICAS Commission until 31st March 2017, subject to funding.


    3)        Approves a full review of the Annual Grants programme to ensure its continued effectiveness in meeting the needs of communities and third sector groups in the city. 


    4)        Instructs officers to bring a further report to the Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equalities Committee in 2016 setting out the proposed Third Sector investment arrangements and outcomes for approval. The report to include complementary proposals for the future of the Annual Grants Programme and to be informed by cross sector consultation and the findings of the Fairness Commission.


Corporate Plan & Medium Term Financial Strategy 2015 – 2019: Budget Planning and Resource Update 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 550 KB


Neighbourhood Enforcement Teams pdf icon PDF 211 KB

    Report of the Director of Public Health (copy attached).


    11.1    The Committee considered a report of the Assistant Chief Executive in relation to Neighbourhood Enforcement Teams. The report sought to launch the process of reviewing the enforcement functions of the Council with the intention of making them more neighbourhood focussed. The Chair added that many of these types of issues were those Ward Councillors dealt with on a daily basis; the report was seeking any views and general support from the Committee.


    11.2    Councillor Simson noted that the concept was still in its infancy, but she stated that there were already projects in her own Ward that attempted to achieve this, and she highlighted the previous role of neighbourhood wardens. In response to a query the Head of Community Safety clarified that the first task would be to facilitate discussions with all key partners and understand what was enforceable; Councillor Simson asked for more information on how communities could become involved as the work progressed.


    11.3    Nev Kemp (Sussex Police) added that there was real opportunity to greater efficiency, but noted that this required a lot of upfront funding where it had been tried in places such as Nottingham.


    11.4    Councillor Littman welcomed this work; in particular more intelligent ways of working. Co-locating services was also a means to achieve closer working.


    11.5    In response to queries from the representative from Community Works the Chair highlighted that the vision was redesign Council services around communities and neighbourhoods; it was hoped that focusing on priorities could help achieve better relationships and outcomes.


    11.6    The Chair put the recommendations to the vote:


    11.       RESOLVED – That the Committee:


    1)        Undertake a review of existing enforcement functions across the council.


    2)        Allows Officers to progress work to draw up options for reconfiguring enforcement functions to be more efficient with a neighbourhood focus utilising officers who are already in neighbourhoods and communities, and a report be brought back to the Committee for consideration.


Items referred for Full Council

    To consider items to be submitted to the 16 July 2015 Council meeting for information.


    In accordance with Procedure Rule 24.3a, the Committee may determine that any item is to be included in its report to Council. In addition, any Group may specify one further item to be included by notifying the Chief Executive no later than 10am on the eighth working day before the Council meeting at which the report is to be made, or if the Committee meeting take place after this deadline, immediately at the conclusion of the Committee meeting



    12.1    There were no items referred to Council.


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