Agenda for Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equalities Committee on Monday, 23rd November, 2015, 4.00pm
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Agenda and minutes
Venue: St. Richard’s Community Centre, Egremont Road, Hove
Contact: Penny Jennings Democratic Services Officer
(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.
27a Declaration of Substitutes
27.1 Councillor Taylor was in attendance in substitution for Councillor Barnett.
27b Declarations of Interest
27.2 There were none.
27c Exclusion of Press and Public
27.3 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.
27.4 RESOLVED - That the public are not excluded from any item of business on the agenda.
There will be two presentations before proceeding to the formal business of the meeting:
(a) A presentation by representatives from Brighton & Hove Faith in Action (30 minutes approximately including the opportunity to ask questions);
(b)A presentation by local community representatives in relation to the Hangleton & Knoll area (30 minutes approximately including the opportunity to ask questions).
Following these presentations and the opportunity to ask questions it is intended that there will be a short break before proceeding to the further business of the meeting.
28a Presentation – Hangleton & Knoll Area Representatives
28.1 Pat Weller MBE, Chair of the Hangleton & Knoll Project was in attendance accompanied by Helen Bartlett and Sophie Murphy and Jack Stanford of the Hangleton & Knoll Youth Manifesto Group.
28.2 Helen Bartlett stated that she welcomed the opportunity to address the Committee about the community based important work going on in Hangleton & Knoll. This ward was large with a mixed demographic including areas of affluence and also of deprivation, a number of children deemed to be living in poverty and a concentration of the elderly too. It lay between Hove Park and the railway line and bordered to the north by Portslade and took about an hour to walk round on foot. Her work included the area as a whole but was focused on responding to areas of identified need. Generally, a relatively high number of young people left school with few or no qualifications which gave rise to unemployment and in some instances a propensity for mental health issues.
28.3 Ms Bartlett explained that a number of those she worked with were looked after children and or had caring responsibilities and having struggled at school had become disengaged and then became non-attenders which could in turn give rise risk taking/negative behaviours which in turn had a negative impact on the community in which they lived. This project linked into projects within the wider community and had assisted in raising funding for local schemes and in helping young people to become involved in the community in which they lived.
28.4 Jack Stanford and Sophie Murphy gave their perspectives based on their involvement with the Hangleton Youth Manifesto Group. Both commended the confidence they had gained and the opportunities that they had had as a consequence of their involvement with it.
28.5 Pat Weller, Chairman of the Hangleton & Knoll Project, commended the work of this project which had had a positive impact on the lives of many young people in the area and positive outcomes for the area as a whole. Joana Martindale commended the work undertaken whilst stressing that once such schemes were put into place there was a need for on-going support as was the case here in order for such valuable work to be sustained.
28.6 RESOLVED – That the content of the presentation be noted.
28b Presentation – Brighton & Hove Interfaith Community Representatives
28.7 The Revd. Martin Poole, Chair of Brighton and Hove Faith in Action (BHFA), was in attendance accompanied by Lev Eakins, BHFA Co-ordinator and Anthea Ballam Secretary of the Brighton and Hove Interfaith Contact Group.
28.8 The Chair, the Revd Poole and Lev Eakins, BHFA Project Coordinator explained that the “Inter Faith Audit had recently been published (copies to be circulated to Members of the Committee with the minutes from this meeting). This inter-faith charity had been established in February 2014. It’s purpose was to support and coordinate social welfare (food banks homeless shelters and debt advice) and community facing services (parent and toddler groups, support for the elderly and youth groups) delivered by faith groups in the city.
28.9 It was further explained that the group worked to bring different groups together in order to work with some of the broader networks in the city with a focus on helping those in need without taking an overtly “religious” approach.
28.10 The Chair thanked all those who had attended for their interesting and informative presentations the contents of which were noted.
To consider the minutes of the meeting held on 5 October 2015 (copy attached).
RESOLVED – That the Chair be authorised to sign the minutes of the meeting held on 5 October 2015 as a correct record.
30.1 The Chair explained that the meeting was being recorded and would be capable of repeated viewing via the subsequent on-line webcast. The Chair gave the following communications:
Transgender Day of Remembrance
30.2 The Chair explained that 20 November had been Transgender Day of Remembrance; a day set to remember and honour those who were killed due to hatred or prejudice towards their gender identity and gender expression. It was a matter of pride for the city that whilst remembering those who had died the city was not being passive but was forging ahead with actions to increase inclusion and equality for Trans people and to ensure their right to safe, healthy and happy lives.
Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day
30.3 On the 8 November, Remembrance Sunday and on 11, Armistice Day: the contribution and loss of British and Commonwealth military and civilian lives in the two World Wars and sorrowfully in the many conflicts that had followed had been commemorated and remembered.
Response to Recent Attacks in Paris
30.4 The Chair stated that with great sadness she considered that it was highly appropriate to refer to the abominable tragedy which had occurred in Paris on 13 November which was not the first and unhappily was unlikely to be the last loss of innocent life due to ideological hatred. The response by people in Paris, in France and all over the world had been humbling and uplifting - the resilience, the unity and the solidarity. In fact the standing as one regardless of difference had been an overwhelming message. One already reflected here in the city through the One Voice Partnership which, the most recent meeting of which had taken place on 19 November.
30.5 The Chair explained that these recent events had caused her to reflect once again, on the “why” of this committee and the need to champion and make changes that:
that supported all our communities to be strong and confident in their own identities,
that fostered a greater understanding and appreciation of diversity, and a genuine willingness to embrace that diversity; and
finally that no-one should live in fear of violence because of another’s hatred or prejudice be that based on religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or gender.
30.6 As part of making that change the Chair informed committee members and the public that she had asked for the committee to receive a report on community safety issues and crime trends every six months starting from our January committee meeting. This would enable the committee and the community to regularly hear and consider an accurate and up to date picture of performance and risk and will help us to make informed decisions about how to manage community safety issues in the city to keep people safe from harm.
30.7 The January meeting of the committee would have a particular focus on domestic and sexual violence against women and girls. Information would be provided about “The Portal”, a newly commissioned service set to launch in early January delivering services directly to victims. The meeting would also hear from other service providers and would have the opportunity to ask questions and learn from their experiences in delivering services.
30.8 Additionally, in December the council will be holding, what had become well established and extremely useful challenge sessions on the equality impact assessments that accompany the council’s budget proposals for 2016/17. Community and voluntary sector organisations had been invited to an open event to comment and feedback on these EIAs. The session would begin with a brief introduction to the budget context and would refer to the significant reductions in council funding, with the bulk of the session given over to very robust round table discussions about the EIAs. The feedback received would then be considered as part of finalising the EIAs ready for budget debate and decision making at full council at the end of February 2016. Invitations had already gone out to the community and voluntary sector but as a reminder:
The sessions would be taking place in the morning on Tuesday 15 December at Community Base and in the afternoon on Thursday 17h December at the Brighthelm Centre. Detailed information could be obtained from the Communities, Equality and Third Sector Team.
30.9 Resolved – That the Chair’s Communications be received and noted.
(a) Items (x – x) 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.
31.1 All items on the agenda were reserved for discussion.
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 - report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services in relation to an e petition and a paper petition entitled “Neighbourhood Policing“ received at Council on 22 October 2015 (copy attached);
(b) Written Questions: To receive any questions submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 16 November 2015.
(c) Deputations: To receive any deputations submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 16 November 2015.
32.1 The following petition which had been presented at Council on 22 October 2015 was considered.
“We the undersigned petition Brighton & Hove Council to express support for ‘Neighbourhood Policing’ and to oppose decisions by the Police and Crime Commissioner, together with senior officers of the Sussex Police, to reduce the number of police officers delivering local policing. Brighton & Hove City Council is also requested to confirm its policy on, and commitment to, Local Action Teams (LATs) as initially agreed by Cabinet on 21 May 2009.
Katy Bourne, Sussex’s Police and Crime Commissioner has confirmed there will be 700 police officers delivering local policing over the next 5 years, and a further 300 posts elsewhere in the force will go. In particular, Sussex will lose more Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). 58 (out of 347) have already left and there are another 69 to go. The police often don’t have the time to attend Local Action Team meetings and accountability to local communities is being lost. A significant change in policy is being implemented without consultation and against the clear wishes and needs of local citizens.” (292 signatures)
Mr Parry the lead petitioner was invited by the Chair, Councillor Daniel to speak for 3 minutes in support of the petition, Nev Kemp of Sussex Police was also invited to respond following which the response set out below was given:
“The police locally will have to change the way they work in neighbourhoods to achieve the savings required to meet their reduced budget over the next four years. Significant redesigns are also underway in all other areas of policing. Neighbourhoods will be prioritised where there is the great need or vulnerability.
This does mean that some areas will see a reduction in visible neighbourhood policing. There will however be a named officer for each area although they will often be responsible for a bigger geographical area. Conversely in areas of greatest need visible presence will be maintained by neighbourhood officers. All areas will continue to receive a 24 hour response and secondary investigative service.
By focusing on vulnerability, threat, risk and harm they will be able to ensure those most in need of a service continue to do so. The role of Police Community Support Officers will be enhanced, they will be expected to focus on problem solving with communities with relevant partners whilst maintaining a patrolling function.
Local Action Teams are key partners in delivering safer communities. The police, together with the council fully support LATs. We have renewed or relationships with LATs and are keen to work collaboratively to ensure that LATs fully understand how services operate and can work with us to ensure our communities remain safe. “
32.1 RESOLVED – That the content of the petition and response given be noted.
32b Written Questions
32.2 Notification of the question had been received from Riziki Milanzi a local Youth Trustee:
“One of the ways to strengthen communities to cope with the current financial challenges is to skill up young people for the future. So they have ownership of their community, are able to run things for themselves and voice what they need. But one model of youth work being discussed in the City at the moment is the idea of having ‘hubs’ of youth work, where target areas get youth work and others don’t. Are some young people more deserving than others and is this fair? Will ‘naughty’ kids get lots of input whilst everyone else gets nothing?
By ‘communities’, are we including communities of identity (such as BME and LGBTQ) as well as geographical communities? Having hubs in particular places might exclude equalities group from that frame of reference.”
32.3 The Chair, Councillor Daniel, invited the Executive Director of Children’s Services to respond and then responded herself in the following terms:
“Thank you for your question. I do agree that, as you say, ‘skilling up young people for the future’ is a really important way of strengthening communities to cope with the challenges they face. As you know one of the reasons this committee has been set up is to look at ways of enabling young people to play a full role in their communities, running things for themselves and making sure their voice really is heard and listened to. Last Monday we were both part of the debate about the 2015 Youth Work Review at the Children, Young People and Skills Committee. That review, and the recommendations officers made to committee were based on the idea of a ‘flexible continuum’ of joined up services from open access provision for disadvantaged neighbourhoods and communities, to targeted interventions for the most vulnerable young people and opportunities for all young people to have fun in spaces welcoming to them’.
We don’t think that some children and young people are more deserving than others, but we do recognise that some face greater challenges and have greater needs. Because of this the Children, Young People and Skills Committee has agreed four priorities which includes to: ‘Ensure that the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children receive the council’s support, consolidating services where possible, and targeting resources at those most in need’ The financial challenges the council faces means we have to prioritise how we spend our money, and that often means making difficult decisions. That is why we are targeting services on communities and individuals with the greatest need.”
32.4 RESOLVED – That the question and response to it be noted.
32.5 There were none.
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.
33.1 There were none.
33b Written Questions
33.2 There were none.
33.3 There were none.
33d Notices of Motion
33.4 There were none.
Joint report of the Assistant Chief Executive, the Executive Director of Children’s Services and the Director of Public Health (copy attached)
34.1 The Committee considered a joint report of the Assistant Chief Executive, Executive Director of Children’s Services and Director of Public Health intended to brief the committee on the work carried out to date by two complimentary programmes in the city; City Neighbourhoods and Community Collaboration. These programmes both formed part of the council’s corporate modernisation programme and reported to the Corporate Modernisation Board. The report also set out the next steps for each, including a joint governance structure to ensure that they were aligned.
34.2 Both of these programmes were key transformation strands which would help the council in the delivery of the proposed co-operative working approach required by the administration. Learning from co-operative councils around the country had provided those involved with an understanding of the level of work required in order to create a bespoke co-operative model for Brighton & Hove. It was explained that the City Neighbourhoods Programme Board had agreed four Phase One areas in order to begin this work. The shortlisted areas were:
· Moulsecoomb & Bevendean (including Moulsecoomb Library);
· East Brighton;
· Hangleton & Knoll; and
· Hanover & Elm Grove
34.3 These areas had been chosen because they represented the range of “need” across the city and had varying degrees of infrastructure, both from a community and property perspective. The next steps would be to produce a full and costed business case for creating hubs in these areas and working with service reviews across them to ensure that services delivered from the hubs met the needs of the local community, as well as encouraging greater collaboration with them. Four other areas were currently listed for a subsequent Phase Two:
· Queen’s Park
· Hollingdean & Stammer;
· Woodingdean; and
· North Portslade
34.4 The Executive Director of Children’s Services, explained that these areas had been decided on the basis of the needs analysis, assets and in particular existing infrastructure assessment which had been carried out. This represented steps towards a completely new way of working which would make the best use of assets, buildings, people and communities themselves rather than being “council” based. How that would be delivered and would differ depending on need, diversity and geographical mix of an area and would arise from detailed consultation and involvement of stakeholders and would include input from Ward Councillors.
34.5 Councillor Gibson sought confirmation regarding how this would be rolled out and how across the city and how areas had been chosen, also seeking assurances that individual councillors would be fully involved and properly briefed. The Head of Communities and Equality, Emma Mc Dermott, explained that robust arrangements would need to be place and in some instances difficult conversations would need to take place. The “shape” of the programmes/hubs was likely to be very different depending on the needs of different areas and would reflect that in future these would need to be very different in the face of the fact that there would be far fewer council staff to deliver services directly. The Community Collaboration Programme was delivering a clear direction and coordinated approach to working with residents and communities in order to allow co-production, collaboration and masking services more efficient by reducing dependency. It was developing an internal and external culture change to support a “can do” approach and complimented the City Neighbourhood approach.
34.6 Councillor Simson stated that she was very supportive of the “piloting” suggested approach which sought to build on existing networks within communities across the city. Councillor Taylor concurred in that view.
34.7 The Executive Director of Children’s Services, confirmed that the role of Ward Councillors would be very important in performing an “auditing” role in giving their input and in ensuring that the process was properly held to account. This would involve a lot of work which was why an incremental approach had been decided upon rather than trying to implement this city wide in one go. The Head of Communities and Equality, Emma Mc Dermott, re-iterated that implementation in different neighbourhoods would be different and it was important that no assumptions were made and that development was based on a full understanding of the needs of an area and the knowledge that the necessary skills set was in place.
34.8 Councillor Littman stated that he was broadly supportive and was aware that there was cross-party support for the approach being adopted.
34.9 The Chair, Councillor Daniel commended both the report and the approach being suggested which was intended to manage the shrinking pool of resources that would be available to the council effectively and efficiently whilst seeking to build stronger communities using and improving on the skills sets they had whilst mitigating potential detriment as a result of diminishing resources.
34.10 RESOLVED – (1) That the work undertaken so far by the City Committee Neighbourhoods and Community Collaboration programmes be noted;
(2) That agreement is given to develop proposals for neighbourhood hubs in the four shortlisted wards of phase1 of the City Neighbourhoods programme and confirm that it is appropriate to develop these based on the preferred option set out in section 4.3 of the report;
(3)That members agree and support the work streams in the Community Collaboration programme set out in section 3.6 of the report;
(4) That the proposal to merge governance arrangements for the two programmes be agreed; and
(5) That it is agreed to receive update on the progress of the work programmes at appropriate times in their development and delivery, and as a minimum year on year.
Briefing paper for note and oral update on behalf of the Assistant Chief Executive (copy of briefing paper attached)
35.1 The Committee considered a report of the Assistant Chief Executive detailing progress made to date in establishment of the Brighton & Hove Fairness Commission. At its meeting in July 2015 the Committee had received a report setting out the proposed details on the ways of working for the Brighton & Hove Fairness Commission along with its draft terms of reference. The purpose of the report was to provide an update on the progress that had been since the Committees’ previous meeting.
35.2 It was noted that the five key themes for the monthly meetings to be held in public had now been agreed as had the venues at which the meetings would be held. Councillor Gibson enquired regarding how the meetings would be structured and it was explained that each of the meetings had been arranged to consider specific identified issues and that those addressing the Committee would be providing information and asking questions focusing on those specific areas. It was explained that individuals/groups could feed into the process via the website. Details of the discussions which had taken place at each meeting would be available on the council website immediately after wards.
35.3 Councillor Simson was pleased to note that the meetings had been widely publicised on buses in Brighton & Hove.
35.4 RESOLVED - That the progress made with the Fairness Commission to date be noted.
Joint report of the Director of Public Health and the Executive Director of Finance and Resources (copy attached)
36.1 The Committee considered a joint report of the Director of Public Health and the Executive Director of Finance and Resources the purpose of which was to set out the council’s response to the recommendations contained in the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion’s (CESI) independent report into the impacts of the welfare reform measures which were due to take effect. This work had been undertaken in order to inform commissioning decisions and development of strategies to support those citizens who would face the most significant impacts as a result of the changes, also, to provide context and information to inform policy development and budget decisions generally.
36.2 It was explained that purpose of the report was also to detail the broader actions and activities the council was undertaking in order to respond to the issues raised by the Government’s welfare reform programme and to highlight the key impacts and considerations resulting from the changes set out in the July 2015 summer budget. In summary the changes would be as follows:
· Freezing most working age benefits for four years from April 2016;
· Reducing Social Sector Rents by 1% for four years;
· Limiting benefits in general to the amount for a family with no more than two children from 2017(would not apply to families with more than 2 children born before April 2017);
· Reducing the benefit cap from £26,000 to £20,000 outside London;
· Reducing the Employment and Support Allowance for people able to do some work to the same rate as Job seekers allowance;
· Reductions in tax Credits and Universal Credit from April 2016 for working people (subject to change, more detail would be known after announcement of the autumn statement on 25 November 2015).
36.3 Tony Wilson was in attendance from the CESI and gave a presentation highlighting the key impacts arising from welfare changes which had already occurred which had been identified in relation to Brighton and Hove. Households claiming benefit would be on average £2,300 per year (£44 per week) worse off which represented one of the largest impacts outside of London, a break-down of the financial impact by ward was also included. It was explained that three distinct areas of impact had been identified, financial; going without, cutting back, borrowing, arrears, health and well-being, anxiety and stress: and family and community which could be both strengthening but could also create divisions and tensions. Details were also given based on the feedback received of how those who were/would be affected were responding to date.
36.4 Mr Wilson explained in response to questions that so far there were structural barriers in terms of access to affordable housing, increasing demands on the council’s own housing stock, stable employment and flexible employment. Those who were likely to be impacted could be categorised as those who were coping/struggling; (most of those impacted), often working households with smaller losses, those at risk; disabled people, large families (particularly lone parents) and or with a range of contributory factors, private renter, mental health or with poor networks and those in crisis; where multiple reforms or factors combined often linked to health/housing issues, crisis/debt. Measures were being put into place to monitor the impacts of the changes and to identify key groups in order to communicate effectively with those at the greatest risk to provide targeted support to manage and mitigate the impact of the reforms, also to seek to build resilience into longer term responses, financial employment and housing.
36.5 In conclusion, the Head of City Services (Revenues and Benefits), Graham Bourne, explained that responses to the recommendations would continue to be developed and current service offerings aligned to meet those challenges. Where responses required additional resources a full business case would be developed to support that process.
36.6 Councillor Taylor broadly welcomed the measures being undertaken in order to mitigate people into work in so far this was practicable. Universal Credit had in his view helped to remove barriers to work. He also considered that more should be done to assist and encourage home ownership. He certainly did not consider that the picture was “all doom and gloom”.
36.7 The Chair, Councillor Daniels stated that many of those who were coping/struggling were from working households, high rents and the shortage of affordable housing in the city presented a major challenge. The cost of housing available under right to buy/shared ownership schemes was such that even when discounts were applied it remained beyond many people’s financial means.
36.8 Councillor Moonan was in agreement that access to affordable housing was a key factor and asked for confirmation as to whether this report had been presented to the Housing Committee given its integral role in helping to facilitate future provision. The Welfare reform Programme Manager, John Francis, explained that information was provided to the Housing Committee periodically, however, the information contained in the report before the NCE Committee contained the most up to date information available. In response Councillor Moonan stated that she considered it appropriate for the report to go to the Housing Committee and proposed that copies of this report accompanied by an extract from the minutes be forwarded to the Housing Committee for their information and note. This proposal was seconded by Councillor Gibson, the Committee also indicated their agreement that this would be appropriate.
36.9 Councillor Moonan also referred to the potential knock-on impact of the reforms on homelessness in the city and to the forthcoming Rough Sleeping summit which was due to take place considering that this information and details of proposed mitigation measures needed to feed into that forum too in order to inform any debate there.
36.10 Jo Martindale, Hangleton & Knoll Project referred to measures being undertaken by the Community and Voluntary Sector to dovetail with other measures being put in place across the city. For example, following their encouragement British Gas would be making £395,000 available to be paid out in the form of crisis loans over the coming winter months.
36.11 In answer to questions the Head of Legal and Democratic Services and Monitoring Officer, Abraham Ghebre-Ghiorghis, confirmed that that the Committees’ Terms of Reference had been drawn such that they permitted referral to other Committees.
36.12 Following the presentation and Members’ initial discussion in relation to the report the following amendment was put by Councillor Littman on behalf of the Green Group and seconded by Councillor Gibson. It was noted that the amendment, circulated immediately prior to the meeting had been amended further to reflect the fact that as this fell outside this committees’ financial responsibilities it was unable to make a direct recommendation to the Policy and Resources Committee on this matter related to the budget setting process. It was proposed that an additional recommendation be added as follows:
“2.5 That, in the spirit of fairness, the Policy and Resources Committee be requested to consider the possibility of recommending to Council that it limits the percentage increase in Council Tax paid by the City’s poorest households to no more than that faced by the City’s other households to the extent it is permitted by law and having regard to available resources.”
36.13 The Chair, Councillor Daniel, responded that she did not support the addition of a further recommendation referring this matter to Policy and Resources Committee, given that all aspects of the 2015/16 budget would be considered fully at that Committee by those who were members of it. It would be far more appropriate for the Green Group representatives who sat on that Committee express their views directly at the relevant meeting, particularly given that this fell outside the budgetary responsibility of NCE Committee. Councillor Daniel also considered that it was very important to point out that the Council had not imposed these changes or removed funding from any individual.
36.14 Councillor Simson agreed wholeheartedly with the Chair that comments relating to the budgetary process should to be raised directly at Policy and Resources Committee as part of the debate and decision making process.
36.15 Councillor Littman whilst noting all that had been said expressed concern that the impact of these changes which would have a deeply negative impact on large numbers of people across the city needed to be highlighted fully. A reference from this Committee would in his view give this issue greater prominence.
36.16 A vote was taken on the proposed Green Group amendment but it was lost on a vote of 8 to 2.
36.17 The Chair then put the substantive recommendations set out in the report to the vote including the request by the Deputy Chair, Councillor Moonan that the report also be circulated to the Housing Committee. Members voted unanimously that the recommendations set out in the report be agreed and also that a copy of the report accompanied by an extract from the minutes should be forwarded to the Housing Committee for information and noting
36.18 Councillor Gibson also requested that the report and accompanying extract also be forwarded to Full Council for information.
36.19 RESOLVED – (1) That the Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equalities Committee endorses the responses to the recommendations set out in the CESI independent report into the impacts of welfare reform in Brighton and Hove;
(2)Notes the current mitigation strategies which are in place to manage the impacts of welfare reform in the city;
(3) Notes the work of the council and partners around employment and apprenticeships;
(4) Directs officers to report to the City Management Board to highlight key impacts and considerations arising from the provisions set out in the Government’s July 2015 budget and the CESI report to generate a city wide response. Subsequently the City Management Board’s response be reported back to this committee; and
(5) That a copy the report accompanied by an extract of the minutes from this Committee be forwarded to the Housing Committee for information and noting.
Report of the Director Public Health (copy attached)
37.1 The Committee considered a report of the Director of Public Health which presented a Food Poverty Action Plan for Brighton & Hove setting out how the city planned to prevent and alleviate food poverty. It was owned by strategic partners via Brighton & Hove Connected, including the City Council, CCG and the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership.
37.2 A joint presentation was given by the Health Promotion Specialist, Becky Woodiwiss and Vic Borrill and Emily O’Brien of the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership detailing the underlying issues and the measures which were to be put into place to address them. It was recognised that good nutrition supported both mental and physical health and evidence demonstrated the impact of nutrition on educational attainment in children. Poor diet was linked to 30% lower life expectancy and disability. It had been estimated that malnutrition cost UK health services up to £7.4 billion a year.
37.3 The Food Poverty Action Plan (FPAP) aimed to:
· focus the city’s limited resources most effectively;
· reduce the impact of food poverty on the health and well being of local people; and
· mitigate against the likely impact of future health and social care budgets.
37.4 The Committee were being asked to approve this three year FPAP as a strategic approach which would commit the council to delivery of relevant actions.
37.5 Councillor Hill, commended this excellent piece of work and the work which underpinned it and wholeheartedly supported the approach proposed.
37.6 Councillor Taylor concurred in that view, the FPAP represented a positive approach and way forward which represented a practical approach to this issue.
37.7 The Chair, Councillor Daniel also welcomed this report which sought to address and respond to the underlying issues surrounding food poverty and to realise practical and achievable solutions. The focus on the broader context and to ensure that every child in the city had at least one hot meal per day was important and could not be overstated.
37.8 RESOLVED - (1) That the Neighbourhoods Communities and Equalities Committee (NCEC) agree the Food Poverty Action Plan (Appendix 1) to the report as a strategic approach acknowledging that food poverty is unacceptable and that action should be taken to prevent and address this issue in Brighton & Hove;
(2) That the NCEC agrees to facilitate those Council actions within the plan that can be delivered within identified resources; and
(3) That a progress report comes back to the NCEC at the half way point and the end of the 3 years.
Items referred for Full Council
To consider items to be submitted to Council 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
Community Venues for Future Meetings
Please Note, Community Venues for meetings the remainder of the Municipal Year are as set out below :
25 January 2016, South Portslade Community Centre, Church Road, Portslade;
14 March 2016, Valley Social Centre, Whitehawk Way, Brighton.
Brighton & Hove Interfaith Presentation Document