Agenda and minutes

Employment, Learning and Skills, and Community Policy and Performance Board
Monday, 26th September, 2016 6.30 p.m.

Venue: Civic Suite, Town Hall, Runcorn. View directions

Contact: Ann Jones on 0151 511 8276 or e-mail 

No. Item




          The Minutes from the meeting held on 27 June 2016, were taken as read and signed as a correct record.




The Board was advised that no public questions had been received.


Work Programme Annual Report pdf icon PDF 258 KB


The Board received a report from the Strategic Director – Enterprise, Communities and Resources, which provided an overview of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Work Programme contract currently being delivered by Halton People into Jobs.  This included achievements to date, income and expenditure and future strategy.


The Board was advised that in June 2011, Halton Borough Council entered into a subcontracting arrangement with two Prime Contractors; Ingeus Deloitte and A4E (now PeoplePlus) who had been tasked with delivering the Department for Work and Pensions Work Programme over the next 4-5 years.   It was noted that the programme was mandatory although some voluntary referrals could be made by certain customer groups of which there were 10; as discussed in the report.


Officers presented the delivery of the Work Programme since its commencement in June 2011 and its performance over the past 5 years.  It was noted that the Programme was halfway through year 6 delivery and it was not yet clear if DWP would award a further extension to the Programme into year 7.   Members noted the key successes of the Programme, as highlighted in paragraph 3.5, and that the overall performance, quality and compliance standards had continued to improve year on year, since both Work Programme contracts were implemented in June 2011.


The following points were noted in response to Members queries:


·       Reference to para 3.6.1 – the staffing issues referred to which affected performance on the contract during 2014-16; this was due to staff sickness so only having 50% of the staff available;


·       Long term employment was 26 weeks plus of continuous employment for full and part time hours;


·       Any financial benefit from the Programme was put back into the service;


·       The Work Programme would be replaced by a much smaller Health and Work Programme and the Council had submitted expressions of interest to be part of the supply chain.  The European Social fund (ESF) ‘Ways to Work’ Project had seen the transfer of some Work Programme staff over to the ESF contract as part of the Exit Strategy for the Work Programme, and the Division would continue to source additional funds to sustain Halton People into Jobs (HPIJ) to ensure services continued for residents.  The Ways to Work project would run to December 2018.


RESOLVED:  That the report be noted.




Area Based Review of Further Education Update pdf icon PDF 254 KB


The Board received a report updating them on the Liverpool City Region (LCR) Areas Based Review of Further Education at the mid-point of the process.


It was noted that the Board was advised at the June meeting that an Area Based Review of post-16 education and skills provision had been taking place and that the process formed part of the national reforms to the post-16 education sector, with the stated aim of raising productivity and economic growth.


It was reported that the first stage of the process had been very mechanistic, working to a structured agenda and a set timetable of themed Steering Groups which conclude on 26 October 2016.  Following this it was noted that the process would be less prescriptive as the implementation of the Review outcomes would be further developed.  These outcomes would be the starting point for the future devolution of the Adult Education Budget from 2018-19; and would provide the cornerstone to the LCR’s aspirations for the devolution of further education and skills responsibilities.


The report continued, discussing the key deliverables; the details of the themed Steering Group meetings and the headline issues arising from these.  Areas around specialisation linked to economic growth; SEN provision and apprenticeships were also discussed.


Members commented that they had concerns regarding the individual needs of each area of the LCR; and that there would be differentials that would need to be made between the Wards within Halton, which were all very different.  In response, Officers reassured Members that the Area Based Review would provide opportunities for Halton to participate in dialogue regarding the uniqueness of the Borough, where points such as this would be taken into account.


RESOLVED:  That the Board notes the progress made to date on the Area Based Review. 




Local Economic Assessment 2016 pdf icon PDF 217 KB

Additional documents:


The Board received a report from the Strategic Director, Enterprise, Community and Resources, that presented the Local Economic Assessment – 2016. 


Members were advised that the Local Economic Assessment (LEA) was a key evidence base for the Borough of Halton, providing an accurate picture of the economic performance.  The LEA looked to link in with the strategic priorities of the Liverpool City Region and would be key in providing supporting evidence for funding programmes.


It was noted that the Halton LEA followed previous editions and focused upon the following key themes, which influenced the performance of a given local economy:


·       Economic Value (GVA) and Growth;

·       Employment and Economic Activity;

·       Skills;

·       Economic Inactivity and Unemployment;

·       Housing; and

·       Lane and Property Markets.


The report went on to discuss these themes in detail.  Members were requested to consider whether the intelligence gathered through the LEA should be utilised when formulating the key strategic documents of the Council; and whether an accompanying document to the assessment should be developed (Local Economic Assessment Dashboard).  The Halton Economic Dashboard information was tabled for Members information.


RESOLVED:  That the Board


1)    Welcomed the publication of the report;


2)    Agreed that the Halton Local Economic Assessment should be utilised when formulating the key strategic documents of the Council; and


3)    Agreed that an accompanying document to this assessment should be developed.




Sports and Recreation Annual Report pdf icon PDF 547 KB


The Board received a presentation from the Council’s Sport and Recreation Manager that provided details from the Annual Report for 2015-16.


Members were advised that the Sport and Recreation Team had worked in partnership with a range of stakeholders and had made considerable progress, impact and achievements across the Borough.  The Team was structured to reflect the priorities set out within the Halton Sports Strategy and illustrated how sport had and continued to enrich the lives of people living and working in Halton. 


It was agreed that sporting activities were used as an essential component in supporting and developing the infrastructure of the community and to improve the quality of life both physically and mentally. 


It was noted that the service actively worked with partner organisations such as Halton Sports Partnership, in order to facilitate development through a better understanding of the local issues and a sharing of resources and that without this, much of the work highlighted within this report would not have been possible.


The presentation provided information on the Sport and Recreation Team and the Sports Strategy Delivery 2015/16; and the six Themes contained within this as follows:


1.     Increase participation and widen access;

2.     Club Development;

3.     Coach Education and Volunteering;

4.     Sporting Excellence;

5.     Finance and Funding for Sport; and

6.     Sports Facilities


From the presentation and Members discussions the following points were made:


·       The Get Active project was funded by Sports England and was a two year project;

·       18 of the classes involved in the project were now self-sustainable ie, the instructors ran them from the class fees received from participants;

·       Schools now received funding directly from the Governments PE and Sport premium and some bought in the coaching services from the Council;

·       Congratulations were conveyed to the winners of the Annual Halton Sports Awards and it was commented that anyone could make a nomination to these; application forms where available between June and September;

·       The Frank Myler Pavilion was used as a venue for many of the activities and feedback regarding this venue was noted;

·       The Frank Myler Pavilion hosted 29 classes a week and all were presently full;

·       The demand for children’s activities in the Borough in the summer holidays was noted as was the need for additional staff at this time of year;

·       The geography of the Borough and transport issues often prevented people from participating in activities, eg generally people from Runcorn did not travel over the bridge to participate in activities in Widnes and vice versa;

·       There were no activities for the under 5’s at the moment but this was being looked at with the Health Improvement Team; and

·       Grandparents were often responsible for childcare these days and could also participate in activities with their grandchildren.


RESOLVED:  That the report and presentation be noted.



Councillor J. Lowe declared a Disclosable Other Interest in the following item as her daughter in law was employed by an organisation in receipt of Area Forum funding.




Community Development Service pdf icon PDF 372 KB


The Strategic Director – Enterprise, Community and Resources, presented the annual report on the Community Development service delivery for the period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016.


The report explained that Community Development supported the creation, development and sustainability of independent local community groups, which in turn generated the capacity for effective and inclusive community engagement with Council departments and services, thus enabling the delivery on many hundreds of community initiatives to tackle strategic objectives and community needs.


The work of the Community Development Officers was explained in the report which went on to provide some examples of projects and groups that the team were working with and alongside across the Borough, in the following Area Forum boundaries:


·       Broadheath, Ditton, Hough Green and Hale;

·       Appleton, Kingsway and Riverside;

·       Birchfield, Farnworth and Halton View;

·       Grange, Heath, Halton Brook and Mersey;

·       Halton Castle, Norton North and South and Windmill Hill;

·       Beechwood and Halton Lea; and

·       Daresbury.


It was reported that the Community Development service also administered grants for Starter, Community Development and Voluntary Youth grants as discussed in the report, and a breakdown of expenditure to various groups was presented in tables.


Updates were also provided in the report with regards to the Big Local initiative on Windmill Hill; the Your Life Your Community event; the Armed Forces Covenant; and the strategic approach to community engagement in Halton at partnership level.


Members noted and agreed with the positive feedback on the service.


RESOLVED: That the report be noted.




Liverpool City Region Single Growth Strategy pdf icon PDF 243 KB


The Strategic Director – Enterprise, Community and Resources, presented a report which provided Members with an overview of the Liverpool City Region’s (LCR) Single Growth Strategy.


It was reported that the LCR launched its Single Growth Strategy on 30 June 2016.  It was written to enable the LCR to realise its ambitions for economic growth over the next 25 years.  The document explained how the Strategy for Growth, encompassed the entire City Region, and acknowledged the unique strengths and assets of each of the region’s local authority areas and communities, recognising that they were stronger together.


Members were advised that the Strategy aimed to capitalise on the City Region’s strengths in seven key growth sectors:


1)    Advanced Manufacturing;

2)    Digital and Creative;

3)    Financial and Professional Services;

4)    Health and Life Sciences;

5)    Low Carbon Energy;

6)    Maritime and Logistics; and

7)    Visitor Economy.


It was commented that the focus of the strategy was economic growth.  However, the strategy acknowledged that economic growth was not in itself an end.  It was rather the key factor in ensuring that all LCR residents had the opportunity for a decent quality of life for themselves and for future generations.


The report discussed the Single Growth Strategy Vision; Mission; and guiding principles and themes.   It was noted that a Single Investment Fund (SIF) had been established to fund the delivery of the LCR Growth Strategy and that over the next five years the SIF would invest over £460 million.


RESOLVED:  Members noted how the Single Growth Strategy would shape and inform future economic development activities in Halton.


Scrutiny Topic Items pdf icon PDF 205 KB


Board Members were requested to propose potential scrutiny topic areas that Members of the Employment, Learning and Skills and Community PPB might wish to consider during the Municipal years 2016-17 and 2017-18.


Members discussed the three suggestions made, as described in the report.  It was agreed that the second suggestion would not be pursued due to the current commitments of the Health scrutiny groups.  Members agreed that the other two suggestions were possibilities and suggestions were also made relating to Brexit; transport links and the effects of Brexit on small businesses. 


RESOLVED: That Members give consideration to the scrutiny topic group titles outlined and confirm their preferred topic group items at the next meeting of the PPB in November.





Performance Management Reports for Quarter 1 - 2016-17 pdf icon PDF 219 KB

Additional documents:


The Board was presented with the performance management reports for quarter 1 of 2016-17 and was requested to consider and raise any questions or point of clarification in respect of these.


It was noted that the key priorities for development or improvement in 2014-17 were agreed by Members and included in Directorate Plans, for the various function areas reported to the Board as follows:


·       Enterprise, Employment and Property Services; and

·       Community and Environment


It was noted that the report detailed progress against service objectives and milestones, and performance targets and provided information relating to key developments and emerging issues that had arisen during the period.


Point EEP LI 22 – Number of schools and nurseries engaged in family learning – was highlighted as a concern by Members.   They discussed the importance of early years education and the challenges faced by the authorities and agencies in improving this. 


Councillor Logan advised Members that Child Health Profiles for each Ward could be found at and this was presented at the September meeting of the Children, Young People and Families Policy and Performance Board; as progress of children in their early years remained a priority in Halton.


RESOLVED:  That the first quarter performance management reports be received and comments made be noted.