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The Minutes from the meeting held on 25 June 2018, were taken as read and signed as a correct record.
ELS6 – Website links would be sent to Members regarding next year’s International Business Festival (IBF).
ELS8 – The Household into Work Programme was targeted Boroughwide; a briefing was available and would be sent to the Board Members.
The Board was advised that no public questions had been received.
The Board received a report informing them of the operational delivery for the Community Development (CD) Service for the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.
It was reported that Community Development activity helped support the creation, development and sustainability of independent local community groups. This generated the capacity for effective and inclusive community engagement with Council departments and services, thus enabling the delivery of a wide range of community initiatives to help tackle strategic objectives and community needs. It was noted that Officers had a strategic and neighbourhood role in co-ordinating support to respond to community concerns and aspirations and create cohesive neighbourhoods which were participative and vibrant.
The report outlined the role of the Community Development and Project Officers’ work in the community and referred to the performance framework in place for community development activity. This was shown in the table in paragraph 4.3 for 2017-18 and showed a comparison to the previous year. Members were pleased to note that for every £1 it costs to provide the CD service a further £1.19 was levered into the Borough to support community groups and initiatives.
The report then provided some examples of projects and groups that CD were working with and alongside across the Borough, for each of the 7 Area Forums. Members noted the starter and development grants awarded and the summary of spend for each Area Forum.
RESOLVED: That the Annual Report be received and comments made noted.
The Board received the Community Centres Annual Report for 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.
The report advised that the Community Centres Service provided the management and delivery of services from five buildings: Castlefields, Ditton, Grangeway, Murdishaw and Upton. The Centres delivered programmes of community activity; varying models of community cafes; and service outlets such as children’s centres, youth centres and day services. It was stated that these Centres provided a community hub; a central point at the heart of the communities within which they were located for residents to enjoy activities and receive services in their neighbourhoods. They were based in deprived wards in the Borough and were well utilised.
The report provided detailed performance information for each Centre, as set out in section 4 of the report, which included results of customer satisfaction surveys as described by Officers. It was noted that overall community centre usage continued to increase annually, up by 3,535 visits for 2017-18 with an increased income of £21k.
One Member queried the public website link to the community centres; this can be found at http://haltoncommunitycentres.co.uk/
RESOLVED: That the report be received and comments made be noted.
The Board received a report from the Strategic Director – Enterprise, Community and Resources, that provided an overview of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Work Programme contract currently being delivered by Halton People into Jobs.
Members were reminded that in June 2011, Halton Borough Council entered into a subcontracting arrangement with two prime contractors (Ingeus Deloitte and A4E now PeoplePlus). They were tasked with delivering the DWP Work Programme over the next 7 years. The contract was now in its final year of delivery, due to end on 31 March 2019.
The report provided the Board with an overview of the achievements to date, income and expenditure and future exit plans.
Further to Members’ queries the following was noted:
· Over the 8 years a total of 3905 customers had started on the Work Programme with 1745 customers being supported into employment;
· Employers were encouraged to employ ex-prisoners via the ILM Programme (Intermediate Labour Market Placements), which payed the customer’s salary for the first 6 months of employment, this way the customer was given a chance to gain some experience;
· Education and support staff were available to offer advice to customers with learning difficulties or disabilities;
· It was hoped that Halton Council would soon reach Level 3 in Disability Confident status;
· As the Programme would soon come to an end, it was hoped that the staff employed here would be re-employed in another area of the Council, as per the staff at risk protocol;
· Those customers who were successfully employed at the end of the Programme did a variety of jobs, depending upon their abilities and skills; and
· The whole process of getting people into work had a knock on effect for the local economy.
REESOLVED: That the report be noted.
The Board received a report from the Strategic Director – Enterprise, Community and Resources, which provided an overview of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Work and Health Programme (WHP) contract currently being delivered by Halton People into Jobs.
It was noted that the WHP was the new contracted employment provision that would help people with a disability, the long term unemployed (LTU) and specified disadvantaged groups to find sustained work. The WHP would target those who were most likely to benefit from the additional support of the Programme. It was reported that in 2017 the WHP contract was awarded to Ingeus for the North West Contract Package Area. Halton Borough Council / Halton People into Jobs were successful in being awarded a sub-contract agreement by Ingeus to 100% of the WHP in Halton.
Members were advised that the service went live in November 2017 and would run for 7 years. Officers outlined what the WHP hoped to achieve; its performance indicators; and progress to date.
The following was noted following Members’ questions:
· Customers had to be aged 18+ with a referral from the DWP;
· Extra staff would be employed by the WHP as the demand for the service increased; and
· There were no direct financial implications to the Council as the Programme was funded by the DWP.
As an example, one customer’s scenario was provided where they had a temporary mental health issue and had since been successful in gaining employment.
RESOLVED: That the progress of the delivery of the Work and Health Programme be noted.
The Board received a report from the Strategic Director – Enterprise, Community and Resources, which gave an overview of the European Social Fund (ESF) Ways to Work Programme currently being delivered by Halton People into Jobs.
The Board was advised that in January 2016 Halton Borough Council, as part of the Liverpool City Region (LCR) Combined Authority submission, successfully secured a grant for the ESF. The total cost of the Programme was over £40 million. The Programme would run until December 2018 and Halton’s contract was up to a maximum of £3.3 million. It was reported that the ESF Ways to Work Programme provided funding to reduce the barriers to employment to those residents furthest away from the job market. Participants on the Programme were able to access a personal budget for items such as training, interview clothes and travel costs. The funding also supported 6 – 12 month work placements known as Intermediate Labour Market Placements (ILMs). It was noted that the project had placed 142 people from Halton into ILM placements.
The report discussed the Programme’s achievements to date, income and expenditure; and future strategy for delivery. Officers advised that funding to extend the 16-29 year old element of the contract had been approved by DWP and was extended to the end of March 2020. Confirmation of the request to extend funding for the 30+ year old element of the contract was still awaited.
It was agreed that an update report be submitted to the Board in 6 months’ time.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.
The Board received a report from the Strategic Director – Enterprise, Community and Resources, updating them on the Halton 2030 document and advised on the proposed recommendations arising from the research undertaken. A presentation was given to Members to accompany the report and appendices.
Members were informed that Halton 2030 set out an economic vision for how Halton’s economy would look in the future. It also considered how we might respond through a ‘whole community’ approach to the economic and social challenges the Council and its partners faced over the next few years.
It was reported that the proposed vision would be that “by 2030 Halton’s residents would have access to good quality housing, excellent education and suitable jobs in a safe, strong and sustainable local economy. Halton’s businesses would have the skills, investment environment and infrastructure to achieve their goals. Further, Halton would be a place healthy people enjoyed, with excellent access to vibrant local town, shopping and entertainment centres”.
Members were referred to Appendix 1 – the full Economic Assessment and Halton 2030 analysis and Appendix 2 – a table of indicators and measurements, within which the basis of the conclusions were explained and how success would be gauged.
Members debated the topics raised by the presentation relating to recruitment of staff for higher level jobs, skills shortages amongst local people; quality housing provision in the Borough, quality leisure facilities; and the Widnes and Runcorn Town Centres. The Board agreed that Halton 2030 be recommended to the Executive Board for use as a reference tool for setting the priorities of the Council and for the development of the Corporate Plan.
RESOLVED: That the Board
1) receives the report and notes the comments made; and
2) recommends that Halton 2030 be used as a reference tool by the Executive Board for setting the priorities of the Council and for the development of the Corporate Plan.
Members received a report from the Strategic Director – Enterprise, Community and Resources, informing them about the current performance and future work priorities of the Business Improvement and Growth Team (BIG). The last update was provided in June 2017 and this update was presented to the Board at the request of the Chair.
The main functions of the Business Improvement and Growth Team were outlined in the report in section 3. It was reported however, that the BIG Team were currently undertaking a broad range of activities and driving a diverse range of projects, beyond the scope of those objectives described. It was important to note that the delivery of business support across the wider Liverpool City Region was also in a period of transition.
Members were presented with a modified delivery model of the Team which ensured that they were focussed on those activities which would have the greatest impact upon the economic regeneration of Halton.
It was agreed that the Officer’s presentation would be sent to Members of the Board after the meeting, so that they could revisit the information provided.
RESOLVED: That the Board
1) notes the activities and performance of the Business Improvement and Growth Team; and
2) supports the emerging delivery model which would better reflect the priorities of the Council, seeking to align local delivery with emerging City Region business support delivery.
The Board received the performance management reports for Quarter 1 of 2018-19 and were requested to consider and raise any questions or points of clarification in respect of these.
It was noted that the key priorities for development of improvement in 2017-18 were agreed by Members and included in Directorate Plans for the various function areas reported to the Board as follows:
· Enterprise, Employment and Skills; and
· Community and Environment.
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.
Members raised queries relating to the following:
· The status of Runcorn Swimming Pool;
· Training courses for people to become swimming instructors, in light of the shortage;
· Which schools were involved in the Summer Reading Challenge and numbers involved; and
· How were the income targets for the Community Centres calculated?
It was noted that responses to these queries would be sent to Members after the meeting as they were not to hand.
RESOLVED: That Quarter 1 performance management reports be received.