Agenda for Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equalities Committee on Monday, 11th July, 2016, 4.00pm
navigation and tools
You are here - Home : Council and Democracy : Councillors and Committees : Agenda and minutes
Agenda and minutes
Venue: Main Hall, Friends Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton
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.
Before proceeding to the formal business of the meeting, The Chair, Councillor Daniel stated that it was with great sadness that she felt compelled to commence the meeting by observing a minutes silence in remembrance of so many innocent lives which had been lost recently:
· The 50 people who died in the Orlando nightclub shooting
· Jo Cox member of parliament
· The 44 people who died in the Ataturk airport in Istabul
· The 28 people who died in the attack in a café in Dhaka, Bangladesh
The Chair stated that these were she was keenly aware that these were not the first and sadly will not be the last of these types of attacks. However she was strongly of the belief that we must stand up and speak out against these atrocities driven by hatred and bigotry.
Through the Neighbourhoods, Equalities and Communities Committee she wanted to send a message that diversity was welcomed and valued in this city, and as Chair she heard the concerns of our BME, faith and LGBT communities, who, with the recent despicable rise in hate crime in our nation, were understandably concerned about their safety. She wanted to state loud and clear that racist, xenophobic and homophobic attacks would not be tolerated in our city.
She had had the privilege of being invited to an Iftaar dinner, the breaking of the fast meal, with members of the local Muslim community in late June. Sadly it was the evening of the airport attack in Istanbul, and whilst sadness pervaded the evening the acceptance and welcome that she and others, many from other faiths received was inspiring and humbling. Not only did those present welcome and respect each others differences but they spent time seeking to understand them, and inevitably finding the common ground between them. It was clear that there is far more that united than divided them.
In closing the Chair explained that there was one more individual that she would like to remember Gary Townsend, the Chief Executive of “Albion in the Community”. Another taken away from his family and friends suddenly, without warning. Gary had been hard working and dedicated to the charity and had raised large sums of money to increase participation of disabled people in sport.
Members of the Committee and the public then joined together with the Chair in observing one minutes silence.
1a Declaration of Substitutes
1.1 Councillor Penn declared that she was in attendance in substitution for Councillor Horan.
1b Declarations of Interest
1.2 Councillor Hill declared a personal and non-pecuniary interest in item 13 “Third Sector Investment Programme 2017-2020 by virtue of her role as a Trustee of Hollingdean Development Trust. Councillor Simson also declared a non-pecuniary interest in the same item by virtue of her role as a Trustee of Deans Youth Project, based in Woodingdean. Councillor Littman also declared a non-pecuniary interest in the item in his capacity as a Trustee of the Brighton and Hove Independent Mediation Service.
1c Exclusion of Press and Public
1.3 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.
1.4 RESOLVED - That the public are not excluded during consideration of any item of business on the agenda.
There will be presentation(s) before proceeding to the formal business of the meeting by the following:
Presentation from two Independent Visitors
Independent Visitors are volunteers who spend quality time with a child or young person in care for a few hours every couple of weeks. Independent Visitors do not take on a parenting role, they are there to provide a sense of “normal” life to a young person who is living in a children’s home or who has moved among numerous foster placements. Committee will hear why people volunteer to be Independent Visitors, about the benefits of volunteering for the volunteers and for the children and young people, and lessons that other services considering volunteering could learn.
Following the presentation(s) 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.
2.1 Before proceeding to the formal business of the meeting a presentation was given by Kat Green about her role as an Independent Visitors. Georgina Collins, the Independent Visitor Coordinator was also in attendance.
2.2 It was explained that Independent Visitors were volunteers who spent quality time with a child or young person in care for a few hours every couple of weeks. Independent Visitors did not take on a parenting role, but were there to provide a sense of “normal” life to a young person living in a children’s home or who had moved among numerous foster placements.
2.3 Kat Green explained that she was a Head Teacher at an infant school in West Sussex and had been working as an Independent Visitor with a child with whom she had been matched since October 2015. She saw this role as providing something back to the community and an opportunity to help a young vulnerable person to have a sense of “belonging”, she was finding it a very rewarding experience. As well as being able to use her professional experience, she had also learned a lot too. In answer to questions Kat confirmed that she met with the young person 1 to 2 times per month and that her involvement was directly with her, she did not get involved with her carers.
2.4 In answer to further questions it was explained that involvement as an Independent Visitor was intended to be a long-term commitment which would last for at least two years and dependent on the age of the young person and their needs and wishes could continue until such time as they left school or until they reached eighteen. Kat responded that as the girl she was visiting was only 13 she was happy to continue to work with her for as long as she wanted to do so.
2.5 Following the presentations there was the opportunity for Members to ask questions followed by a short break before proceeding with the further business of the meeting. The Chair thanked the attendees for their interesting and enlightening presentation which had provided the Committee with an insight into this important role which served to enrich and provide “normalcy” to the lives of vulnerable young people.
2.6 RESOLVED – That the contents of the presentation be noted.
To consider the minutes of the meeting held on 14 March 2016 (copy attached).
3.1 RESOLVED – That the Chair be authorised to sign the minutes of the meeting held on 14 March 2015 as a correct record.
Report of Executive Lead for Strategy, Government and Law (copy attached)
4.1 The Committee considered a report of the Executive Lead for Strategy, Law and Governance providing information on the Committee’s “Terms of Reference” and on related matters including the appointment of the Urgency Sub-Committee.
4.2 RESOLVED – (1) That the Committee’s Terms of Reference, as set out in Appendix A to the 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.
5.1 The Chair welcomed everyone to the Friends Centre, in the heart of the city and stated that on behalf of Committee Members she would like to wish Muslims in our city belated Eid Murbarak. Ramadan had ended the previous Thursday and many residents had been celebrating Eid Al-Fitr. She also wished to draw Members’ attention to awards that had recently been bestowed on voluntary organisations and individuals in the city.
Health Watch Brighton
5.2 Health Watch Brighton and Hove was highly commended at a recent awards ceremony hosted by Health Watch England, in the diversity and inclusion category for improving advocacy for transgender people.
5.3 “Impetus” had received the Queens Award for Voluntary Service for their Neighbourhood Care Scheme. The award was given for their work in the city enabling people to befriend and support their isolated older and disabled neighbours.
Golden Handbag Awards
5.4 At the Golden Handbag Awards, the city’s very own gay Oscar’s, Mindout and Sussex Beacon had won awards.
Corporate Membership of East Sussex Credit Union
5.5 The Chair stated that it gave her great pleasure to announce that the city council was now officially a corporate member of East Sussex Credit Union. She wished to encourage all members of the Committee to spread the word about the excellent, ethical and affordable financial services the credit union was able to offer to the city’s residents.
Trans Needs Assessment Conference
5.6 The Chair stated that on Friday 22 July, the city would be holding a Trans conference. A year on from the Trans Needs Assessment the conference will look at what had been achieved and what further action was needed. Participants would have the opportunity to consider how to be a trans ally and to hear about the Trans Kite mark being developed by the Trans Alliance and LGBT HIP. If members wished to attend or to find out more information, either D Humphreys at the council or Barbara Harris at BSHU could be contacted hear by July 15. As it was not far off, the Chair stated that she wished Pride and LGBT residents and visitors a great and safe celebration.
Award of CBE to Councillor Steve Bell
5.7 Lastly, but not least, the Chair wished to place on record her congratulations and those of the Committee to Cllr. Bell who had recently been awarded a CBE for political service, in particular his work as president of the National Conservative Convention.
5.8 RESOLVED – That the content of the Chair’s Communications be received and noted.
(a) Items (7-15) will be read out at the meeting and Members invited to reserve the items for discussion. Any items raised under Items 7 and 8 are automatically reserved.
6.1 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.
(b) Written Questions: To receive any questions submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 4 July 2016.
(c) Deputations: To receive any deputations submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 4 July 2016.
Proposal for Coldean to be Designated as a Village – Referred from Council, 24 March 2016.
7.1 There were none.
7b Written Questions
7.2 There were none.
7.3 It was noted that a Deputation had been referred from the meeting of Council held on 24 March 2016 (as set out on the agenda front sheet) relating to proposals by local residents that Coldean be designated as a village. Those who had made the original Deputation were not in attendance at the meeting and it was understood that a series of meetings had been held following the meeting of Council and agreement had been given that the Council would fund signage for the area and the matter had been resolved. The Clerk to the Committee undertook to provide members with an update on that information as necessary.
7.4 RESOLVED – That the position be noted.
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.
8.1 No items were raised.
Report of the Acting Director of Public Health (copy attached)
9.1 The Committee considered a report of the Acting Director of Public Health seeking committee approval to a new single corporate Volunteer Policy for the council and an associated toolkit to support its implementation. This Policy and toolkit set out the council’s commitment to developing and expanding the role of volunteers within and across council services.
9.2 It was explained that the council’s Volunteering Policy supported the city’s “Power of Volunteering” Pledge by setting out the local authority’s clear commitment to volunteering with the council. It would also provide a valuable and consistent approach to the management of volunteers.
9.3 The City Neighbourhood Co-ordinator, Sam Warren explained that the Volunteering Policy and toolkit would support and promote volunteering across all directorates and would form an integral part of the council’s Community Collaboration Programme. It was part of a wider modernisation programme aimed at developing a coordinated approach to working with residents and communities, enabling co-production, collaboration and making services more efficient by reducing dependency and demand.
9.4 Councillor Moonan welcomed this piece of work which represented a bringing together and sharing good practice which could be used as benchmark for a collaborative framework.
9.5 Councillor Simson concurred stating that this was an excellent piece of work which set clear expectations objectives which could be refined further over time as appropriate.
9.6 Councillors Gibson and Littman both expressed their support for the document commending the emphasis on “neighbourliness”, but considered that in some instances the wording should be amended slightly for instance replacement of the word “should“ with “does” on Page 27 of the document. The Chair explained that the published document was an evolving piece of work and that the suggested changes, which were welcomed could be incorporated when the document was updated. Councillors Gibson and Littman confirmed that they were happy with that approach.
9.7 Councillor Penn noted that this document had brought together twelve separate policies and streamlined them in order to make them more accessible and user friendly. The positivity around mental health was especially welcomed.
9.8 A vote was taken and members voted unanimously to agree the recommendations set out in the report.
9.9 RESOLVED – (1) That the Volunteering Policy and toolkit as the corporate policy document, which sets out a formal and consistent organisational approach to volunteering across all council services; and
(2) That the Committee endorses the expansion of volunteers within the council’s services to create additional social value and deliver services that are more inclusive, collaborative and accountable to their communities and service users
Joint Report of Executive Director of Health, Wellbeing and Adults and Acting Executive Director of Economy, Environment and Culture (copy attached)
10.1 The Committee considered a further joint report of the Executive Director, Health and Wellbeing and Adults and Acting Executive Director of Environment, Economy and Culture setting out the Rough Sleeping Strategy 2016 for approval. It was noted that this report had previously been considered by the Housing and New Homes Committee and that an extract from the minutes of that Committee had been circulated for information.
10.2 The Rough Sleeping Strategy Manager, Andy Staniford reiterated his comments made when the Committee had considered an earlier update report, that the issue of rough sleeping had become more acute on the city’s streets recently with a visibly increased presence on the streets. This problem not only impacted on an individual’s life chances, but also the city’s reputation and costs to public services and businesses. The city’s current approach to rough sleeping had been re-assessed in order to ensure that the city’s commissioners, service providers and those supporting people sleeping rough were working in partnership to a clear strategic plan. It was intended that this plan would reduce rough sleeping in the city and improve outcomes for people sleeping rough and for those at risk of rough sleeping.
10.3 Councillor Daniel, the Chair wished to place on record her thanks to Councillor Moonan and others for their commitment in bringing this piece of work to fruition and for the level of “buy in” from others partners which had been achieved. Cross agency buy in was a critical feature in ensuring Governance and ownership in order to achieve positive outcomes. Superintendent Collis concurred in that view stating that the Police fully supported this strategy.
10.4 The Head of Community Safety, Peter Castleton explained that he was leading on a group which would be providing targeted support at “hot spots” across the city during the summer months, seeking to engage with the wider street community. A sensitive and pro-active approach was used with enforcement action being used only as a last resort.
10.4 Councillor Moonan stated that all germane findings had been fully discussed and a programme of action formulated, it was important that in carrying the strategy forward that the process was monitored and it was ensured that there was clear accountability for the aims and goals which had been set.
10.5 Councillors Bell and Gibson commended the work which had taken place in formulating the policy and Councillor Penn welcomed the recognition of the need to address mental health issues if that was appropriate.
10.6 A vote was taken and members voted unanimously in support of the recommendations set out in the report.
10.7 RESOLVED – That (1) The Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equalities Committee approves the Rough Sleeping Strategy 2016 (set out in Appendix 1 to the report; and
(2) Authorises the Executive Director, Health Wellbeing and Adults and the Acting Executive Director, Economy, Environment and Culture to carry out any actions necessary to implement the strategy and respond appropriately to related Fairness Commission recommendations set out in section 5.12 of the report.
Report of the Chief Executive (copy attached)
11.1 The Committee considered the report of the Brighton and Hove Fairness Commission which had met and conducted its research between September 2015 and June 2016. The report summarised the findings of the Commission and set out in detail the short and longer term approach to responding to its recommendations, which had been made to a wide range of partners in the city including those made to the council itself.
11.2 It was explained that the last public meeting of the Commission had been held in March 2016, following which it had met to review evidence and to produce its final report and recommendations which were attached at Appendix 1 and a headlines document, Appendix 2.Also attached as Appendix 3 was the University of Brighton/Community University Partnership Project (CUPP) analysis of the public consultation work undertaken. In answer to questions it was explained that the Corporate Policy Team would take on an overarching role carrying this work forward in order to ensure that the element of this work which vested with the council was supported and monitored, this was already being done to inform the work of the newly created directorate and was proving to be a valuable tool in that respect.
11.3 Councillor Littman stated that he had been impressed by the manner in which the work of the Commission had been under taken from the outset and was very pleased to note that examples of good practice had been identified which would provide a benchmark for further work.
11.4 Councillor Simson concurred that this was a valuable piece of work which was already being used to inform future working practices all who had contributed and worked towards this process should be thanked.
11.5 Joanna Martindale, Hangleton and Knoll Project, also commended this piece of work citing the importance of ensuring that the voluntary sector were fully involved in the process welcoming the strong message that had been given that this would be so.
11.6 Councillor Norman also welcomed the report stating that it was also important to ensure that sufficient resources were in place to ensure that those who volunteered were able to be appropriately utilised, given the training necessary to carry out their work and that all necessary health and safety assessments were undertaken; details of how this work would be carried out in practice were welcomed. Councillor Simson concurred in that view and it was agreed that an update would be provided for Members to a future meeting detailing progress. It was confirmed that the “how to” elements of this had been incorporated and that discussions had already taken place with a number of partners and local businesses and that it was anticipated that this would evolve further over time.
11.7 The Committee agreed that Councillors Bell and Littman be appointed to the Member Woking Party and voted unanimously in support of the recommendations set out in the report.
11.8 RESOLVED – (1) That the Committee welcomes and notes the reports of the Fairness Commission; including the public consultation report produced by the University of Brighton;
(2) That the Committee agrees the proposed approach to responding to its findings and recommendations; including the establishment of a short life Member Working Group, Councillors Bell and Littman to be appointed from this Committee; and
(3) That the Committee notes that the recommendations are the responsibility of city wide partners as well as the council and that Brighton and Hove Connected is therefore well placed to also receive and consider the report and its role going forward.
Joint Report of the Acting Director of Public Health and Executive Director of Finance and Resources (copy attached)
12.1 The Committee considered a joint report of the Acting Director of Public Health and the Executive Director of Finance and Resources seeking the Committee’s endorsement for a new “Social Value Framework” (Appendix 1 to the report) for the city and a new Social Value Guide” for Commissioners, Procurement Teams and Providers (Appendix 2 to the report). It was noted that the report was also intended to provide an update on work carried out to achieve the recommendations from the scrutiny panel on Social Value which had been completed in January 2015.
12.2 The Social Value Guide for Commissioners, Procurement Teams and Providers would ensure that a practical toolkit was available to commissioners and procurement officers on how they should apply social value in the commissioning and procurement process including measuring and monitoring performance. The Framework and the Guide had been developed by a cross sector citywide steering group as part of a national action learning programme on embedding and increasing social value in health commissioning with the programme itself funded by the Department of Health and independently facilitated by the Institute for Voluntary Action (IVAR) and Social Enterprise UK.
12.3 The Community Engagement Coordinator, and the Category Manager, Corporate Procurement, detailed the work which had been carried out in concert with and with the support of other partners which had resulted in the Framework being put forward for approval by this Committee and to the forthcoming meeting of the Policy, Resources and Growth Committee for approval.
12.4 It was explained that the Social Value Scrutiny Panel had identified that in these times of financial constraints, Social Value needed to be viewed as a tool to facilitate discussion with other organisations in the city on how to provide the best services possible with enhanced benefits for individuals and communities locally. It had been clearly identified that business cases needed to be made and all had been strongly of the view that this did not conflict with social value. It was intended that the framework would provide a toolkit which would give a clear and easily understandable context going forward.
12.5 The Chair, Councillor Daniel, commended the report and the work undertaken place in order to bring it forward, stating that the contribution made by voluntary sector, health partners and others had been valuable in shaping the framework.
12.6 Councillor Simson commented that having sat on the original scrutiny panel she also welcomed the work which had been undertaken in preparing the framework and asked for clarification of some of the terminology used. Councillor Simson stated that the definition of the social framework and guide referred to in recommendation 3 on page 289 of the agenda was in line with that used by the scrutiny panel. This appeared to differ from the explanation used elsewhere in the report. Councillor Simson was also of the view that it was important for the council to use the framework as far as practicable as part of a broader approach when assessing how it provided and delivered its own services, not only in relation to procurement.
12.7 The Community Engagement Manager, responded that the terminology used was not contradictory as in some instances it would be used as part of the broader added value framework to include for example economic and environmental benefits, how it was used/applied could differ and could be complex to define. Examples were given to illustrate this point, for example in the case of volunteering in relating to mental health services different types of volunteering could result in response to differing identified needs, the framework would be used in order to stretch that process. It was further explained that this process was being applied to the council itself when services were being redesigned.
12.8 The Category Manager, Corporate Procurement, explained that in concert with the framework it had been recognised that it was important to look at what data was collected and what use that data was put to in order to ensure that structures and processes were streamlined.
12.9 Joanna Martindale, Hangleton and Knoll Project welcomed the report and the opportunity for the voluntary sector to be involved and to guide the process. It was important to note that long term aims could be achieved by short term funding. The work carried out by the University of Sussex was valuable. It was also important for like to be compared with like and for data and data sharing to be consolidated as within the community and voluntary sector different organisations could have different expectations.
12.10 Councillor Gibson welcomed the report and in particular the fact that the framework would also be used to inform assessment of what we “the council” did as an organisation and how we could do it better. He considered it would be beneficial for training to be provided for members in order that they had a good understanding of how this could work in practice. Councillor Gibson asked whether and to what extent this would come into play when contracts were awarded, for example given issues around supply of affordable housing in relation to low wages in the city, whether consideration could be given to ensuing that “living rent” could be applied to new development(s).
12.11 The Chief Executive, explained in response that whilst all elements were weighted and taken account of when decisions were taken in respect of planning or housing for example, factors such as the capital cost of a scheme and how that would be paid back had also to be considered. All those factors had to be balanced against one another when formulating recommendations and reaching decision(s).
12.11 Councillor Moonan noted Councillor Gibson’s point in respect of the desirability of providing further training for Members, stating that she was happy to bring that suggestion forward at the Member Development Working Group of which she was a member.
12.12 Councillor Penn referred to the examples that had been provided detailing the work carried out by other authorities, referring to the IT assessment which had taken place at the London Borough of Lambeth and asked whether similar work would be put into place in the city. It was explained that now the guidance was in place implementation and examples of best practice elsewhere could and would be looked at.
12.13 Councillor Littman stated that he was pleased that the framework had been brought forward considering that it would become increasingly important over time, asking whether this would be applied to services and goods the council sold, as well as when they were buying in. The Assistant Director, Property and Design explained that when bids were made this was taken into account and there was usually a quality/price split. Councillor Simson asked whether the percentage applied would be different for different contracts and it was confirmed that this was so.
12.14 In moving to the vote, the Chair, Councillor Daniel proposed an additional recommendation that any proposed exceptions be approved by officers following the recommendations of the Procurement Board. This was seconded by Councillor Simson. The proposed additional recommendation was put to the vote and members voted unanimously in support of it.
Recommendations for Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equalities Committee:
12.15 RESOLVED – That the Neighbourhoods and Communities Committee:
(1)Notes the work completed by the Communities, Equality and Third Sector Team and Procurement to progress the recommendations of the Social Value Scrutiny Panel report January 2015 (Appendix 3)
(2)endorses the Social Value Framework and recommends that the Policy, Resources and Growth Committee sign up to the Framework and Pledge on behalf of the city council;
(3)Endorses the Social Value Commissioner, Procurement and Providers Guide and instructs commissioners and procurement officers to use it with immediate effect; and
(4) That any exceptions to the agreed framework be approved by the Procurement Board.
Recommendations for Policy, Resources and Growth Committee:
(1)That the Policy, Resources and Growth Committee sign up to the Framework and Pledge on behalf of the city council; and
(2) That any exceptions to the agreed framework be approved by the officers following the recommendations of the Procurement Board.
Note: Members voted unanimously that the recommendations including the additional one proposed by the Chair, Councillor Daniel and seconded by Councillor Simson be approved.
Report of the Acting Director of Public Health (copy attached)
13.1 The Committee considered a report of the Acting Director of Public Health detailing the proposed arrangements and funding outcomes of the Third Sector Investment Programme 2017-2020. The report also included details on the programme’s two constituent parts: a second Communities and Third Sector three year commissioning prospectus and an annual Communities Fund.
13.2 It was explained that the council had a clear and strong commitment to the Third Sector in Brighton and Hove and that this was set out in its Corporate Plan and the Communities and Third Sector Policy. It was recognised that public services were under increasing pressure as a result of both demand and reducing resources. The Third Sector remained key to helping the council and its partners to respond to that challenge. In order to support the required changes the council had reviewed its Third Sector investment and Commissioning arrangements to seek to ensure that they were delivering maximum value for money, meeting community need and effectively supporting the Sector to improve and thrive.
13.3 Improvements to the council’s Third Sector investments had been made in 2013 through the first Communities and Third Sector Commissioning Prospectus and in July 2015, this Committee had approved the development of a second Communities and Third Sector Commission which had drawn in more funding streams from partners and from across the council, including the Three Year Discretionary Grants Programme. Officers had been instructed to review these to ensure that the annual grant scheme continued to be effective in meeting the needs of third sector groups in the city.
13.4 Joanna Martindale, Hangleton and Knoll Project commended the programme stating that the approach proposed lay at the heart of obtaining future results and gave an important perspective on the needs and benefits of collaborative working. Within the Third Sector itself there was certainly an appetite for more collaborative working going forward.
13.5 Councillor Littman commended the work that had been undertaken and the bottom up approach which had been adopted, rather than seeking to impose a “one size fits all”. Councillor Simson concurred in that view.
13.6 The Chair, Councillor Daniel, stated that the importance of good governance arrangements could not be over stated and it was very promising that points raised during the dialogue which had taken place had been addressed and taken on board in formulating the Programme.
13.7 A vote was taken and members voted unanimously in support of the recommendations set out in the report.
13.8 RESOLVED – (1) That the Committee approves, in principle, the Communities and Third Sector commissioning principles and outcomes as set out in Appendix 1 to the report subject to a final review and deliberation by the Members Advisory Group (MAG) in light of the Fairness Commission report and recommendations;
(2) That the Committee approves, in principle, the new annual Communities Fund (from 2017) as set out in paragraph 3.4 of the report and detailed in Appendix 2, to complement the second Communities and Third Sector Commission, subject to a final review and deliberation by the Members Advisory Group in light of the Fairness Commission report and recommendations;
(3) That the Committee notes the continued pooling of budgets from the Council and NHS, CCG for community engagement and infrastructure support which enables more joined up provision by the chosen providers and more seamless experience for communities, maximising the impact of funding. Brighton and Hove City Council, Adult Social Care has also included their engagement commissions; and
(4) That Delegated Authority be granted to the Chief Executive to :
Use the outcomes agreed above to procure, in partnership with NHS, CCG, the third sector infrastructure, community development and engagement, financial inclusion, Healthwatch and NHS ICAS and strategic investment in the community and voluntary sector, using a commission prospectus approach and subject to final review by MAG and budget setting agreements.
Report of the Chief Executive, Acting Executive Director of Economy, Environment and Culture, Acting Director of Public Health and Executive Director of Finance and Resources (copy attached)
14.1 The Committee considered a joint report of the Chief Executive, Acting Executive Director, Economy, Environment and Culture. Acting Director of Public Health and Executive Director for Finance and Resources, the purpose of which was to provide members with an update on two of the council’s modernisation programmes: city neighbourhood hubs (Appendix 1) and community collaboration (Appendix 2), following their endorsement at the Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equalities Committee in November 2015.
14.2 The Chief Executive introduced the report stating that he was doing so in order to show that there was buy in to the Programme across the Council from the top down. As part of the update from the November meeting of the Committee, additional information had been provided on the Enforcement and Inspection Modernisation Programme (Appendix 3) and details had also been showing how the three programmes had been brought together under the Neighbourhoods and Communities Modernisation Board which he Chaired. All of these elements together formed the component parts of the council’s changing approach to working with communities at neighbourhood and city wide level. It was also important to note that work in relation to Local Action Teams would also be drawn into the work of the Board as well as the modernisation programme for libraries and housing, a result of the creation of the new Neighbourhoods, Communities and Housing Directorate.
14.3 The Chairman, Councillor Daniel welcomed the work that had been undertaken in bringing this report forward and the clear explanation given as to how it was envisaged the programme would evolve in practice.
14.4 The Environmental Health Manager, Annie Sparks explained how the enforcement and inspection programmes would operate in future. The Senior Improvement Consultant, Value for Money and Workstyles, Ben Miles and the Assistant Director Property and Design, Angela Dymott explained how the other constituent programmes would dovetail together.
14.5 Councillor Lewry noted that housing was one of the areas being looked at sought clarification as to why Hangleton and Knoll had been chosen as one of the pilot areas also seeking confirmation that hubs would be rolled out across the city as a whole. It was explained that the resources were in place for Hangleton and Knoll, that there was already a hub based on the Whitehawk area and that these would be implemented across the city incrementally.
14.6 The Chair, Councillor Daniel stated that if it was considered that the council was not the “best” front door for service delivery in some instances, how that would be addressed. It was explained that strong business cases would need to be forward in every instance and a detailed assessment would need to be made. The Chief Executive explained that was why in depth preparatory work at this stage would be so important.
14.7 Councillor Moonan explained that the four integrated strands of work which clearly underlined this piece of work were integral to its future success and was pleased at the level of preparatory work being undertaken at this pilot stage. It was explained in answer to further questions that the detailed buildings assessment being undertaken was anticipated to take six months and would inform the process.
14.8 Councillor Bell commended the work undertaken and the excellent report submitted enquiring whether it was possible to provide a timeline for completion at this stage. The Chief Executive explained that following further consultation it was hoped that this information would be available at the next scheduled meeting of the Committee. It was however, important that community consultees felt that that they were guiding the process rather than being imposed upon by it.
14.9 Councillor Penn commended this new approach referring to her own ward and the joined up streamlined approach which was being used for example in relation to the handling of noise complaints. The process sought to address problems expeditiously and without duplication.
14.10 Councillor Simson was supportive of the programme but had some concerns that monies generated from the sale of assets for example could just end up “lost” in the overall corporate “pot”. Councillor Littman considered the point to be well made, a lot of this work was new work which was in fact not “new” work although it represented new approaches. It was important that the impetus was not lost due to lack of funding going forward. The Chief Executive explained that all options would undergo detailed scrutiny and would inform the decisions carried forward to budget council. Ultimately, decisions would lie with Members who be provided with detailed information in order to guide that process.
14.11 Joanna Martindale, Hangleton and Knoll Project stated that she was pleased to note that what differing approaches would be used in different parts of the city dependent on local need. In some localities the focus would be on buildings but that would not be the same in every instance. The Chair, Councillor Daniel agreed.
14.12 A vote was taken and Members voted unanimously in support of the recommendations.
14.3 RESOLVED – (1) That the Committee notes the work undertaken so far by the city neighbourhoods, the community collaboration and the enforcement and inspection programmes; and
(2) That the Committee gives agreement for all three work programmes to be worked up as detailed financial business cases and that it be acknowledged that there was a need to define the resources required to scope and produce business cases and deliver the implementation phases for all three programmes.
Items referred for Full Council
To consider items to be submitted to the 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.
15.1 There were none.