Agenda and minutes

Employment, Learning and Skills, and Community Policy and Performance Board
Monday, 23rd September, 2019 6.30 p.m.

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

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

No. Item


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 96 KB


          The Minutes from the meeting held on 24 June 2019, were taken as read and signed as a correct record.




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


Presentaton Sci-Tech Daresbury Talent and Skills pdf icon PDF 63 KB


The Board received a report from the Strategic Director – Enterprise, Community and Resources which introduced Mr Phil Atkinson from the Science Technology Facilities Council, who presented an update on the development of a Talent and Skills Strategy at Sci-Tech Daresbury.


It was reported that the Talent and Skills Strategy responded to the objective of growing the campus to 10,000 – 15,000 people by 2037.  The Strategy helped understand what the skills challenges were; how interventions would benefit the campus; and what evidence was available to support these interventions.  Further, the aim of the Strategy was to attract, develop and retain the wide range of sector talent and skills essential to Sci-Tech Daresbury, Halton, the Liverpool City Region and beyond.


It was noted that the focus would be to enable science and technology companies on Campus to readily access the talent and skills necessary, to enable their growth and scale up.  The report provided details of the focus of the Strategy, its actions and the intended outcomes.


Following Members’ questions, the following additional information was noted:


·       A jobs portal was being developed as part of the Strategy and a link to jobs/careers would be on the Daresbury Sci-Tech website as well.  The Divisional Manager for Employment, Learning and Skills also received job vacancy alerts from Daresbury Sci-Tech which were circulated locally;

·       One aspect of the Strategy was to give advice to SME’s that were struggling to expand due to lack of locally skilled staff;

·       Outreach work within the community was being focussed on to highlight the opportunities available to young people by involving local schools, teachers and parents etc; and

·       Open days at the site had taken place previously and more were planned in the future – an open week was planned for 2020, more details would be provided to Members when finalised.


RESOLVED:   That the Board notes the presentation and comments made.







Presentation Riverside College pdf icon PDF 49 KB


The Board welcomed the Principal from Riverside College, Mary Murphy, who presented an overview of the College’s strategic priorities, quality of teaching and learning, enrolments, funding and key developments.


Members welcomed the information provided and were pleased to note the College’s successes and examples of case studies where students had gained entry to Universities throughout the Country or were successful in securing permanent employment. 


RESOLVED:  That the Board notes the presentation and action points.


Employment Learning and Skills Update Report pdf icon PDF 96 KB


The Board received a report from the Strategic Director – Enterprise, Community and Resources, which presented to them an overview of employment, learning and skills activities in Halton.


It was reported that the Employment, Leaning and Skills Division sat within the wider Economy, Enterprise and Property Department and consisted of the following services:


·       Adult community Learning;

·       Family Learning;

·       Halton Employment Partnership and Employability Programmes;

·       Halton People into Jobs, delivering on the following contracts:

Ø  DWP Work and Health Programme

Ø  DWP Households into Work

Ø  DWP/ESF Ways to Work; and

Ø  ESF/Big Lotto Digital Inclusion Project

·       Liverpool City Region (LCR) Apprenticeship Hub (managed on behalf of the Combined Authority).


It was noted that the services / contracts that the Division delivered were 100% externally funded for the past 5+ years by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).  Additionally, the Division had been successful in being awarded European Social Funds (ESF) to deliver a number of projects.


The report provided Members with updates relating to:


·       Devolution of the Adult Education Budget (AEB);

·       Skills Capital;

·       ESF Calls; and

·       The Skills and Apprenticeship Hub.


Members noted the introduction of new courses teaching website design, marketing and digital advertising and marketing with film, which would fill a gap that existed in these areas.  They also welcomed the bid that was being made by Halton on behalf on the Liverpool City Region (LCR) for the National Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) funding. 


Further, since the publication of the agenda, it had been confirmed that the Apprenticeship Hub would continue to be hosted and managed in Halton on behalf of the LCR (discussed in paragraph 3.4.13), this was also welcomed by the Board.  


RESOLVED:  That the report be noted.




Community Development Service Annual Report for 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 124 KB


The Board received a report from the Strategic Director – Enterprise, Community and Resources, informing them of the operational delivery for the Community Development Service for the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.


It was noted that the Community Development Service helped support local community groups or organisations with their formation and facilitated the delivery of community led initiatives and activities.  The team also had a combined role in managing Area Forum projects delivery, enabling Elected Members to respond to community concerns and aspirations.  This combined role generated effective community engagement with Council departments, services and partner organisations and contributed to building resilience in Halton’s communities.


The report set out how the Community Development Team’s Officers worked within their respective neighbourhoods and described the relationships fostered over the years.  It was noted that the amount of funding from external sources in the year 2018/19 had increased considerably from the year before, this was welcomed by Members.  Examples were also provided of projects and groups that the Community Development Team were working in partnership with across the Borough.  Detailed information was provided on projects funded through the Local Area Forums, which included the costs and areas  (with reference to the Council’s priorities) where the spend had been made for each.


The consensus of the Board was that the work, knowledge and guidance provided by the Community Development Team was invaluable to Members and assisted in the harnessing of community spirit within their respective Wards.


RESOLVED:  That the report and comments made be noted.




Community Centres Annual Report for 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 402 KB


The Strategic Director – Enterprise, Community and Resources, presented the Board with information on the Council’s Community Centres Service for the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.


It was reported that the Community Centres Service provided for the management and delivery of services from five buildings: Castlefields, Ditton, Grangeway, Murdishaw and Upton.  The centres delivered programmes of community activities with varying models of community cafes and service outlets.  It was noted that these centres provided a community hub, a central point at the heart of the communities where they were located, for residents to enjoy chosen activities and receive services in their neighbourhoods.


Members were provided with a summary of service performance which included centre usage and operating costs.  The report went on to include the profile for each community centre which included key performance indicators to illustrate the performance of each over a three year period.


RESPOLVED:  That the report be noted.


Economic Progress and Economic Profile pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Additional documents:


The Board received a report from the Strategic Director, Enterprise, Community and Resources, which presented Halton’s current economic profile and provided an update to Members on developments in the economy in recent years.


Members were referred to the current economic profile at Appendix 1 and Officers presented an in-depth assessment based upon the information provided as an evidence base for ‘Halton 2030’ which was a vision for how Halton’s economy would look in the future; set out the future challenges; and how the Borough might respond to these challenges. 


In summary the update included: The Economic Overview; Enterprise and Jobs; The Resident Population; Skills; and Land, Infrastructure and Transport.


A query relating to economic inactivity and the definition of a ‘discouraged worker’ would be provided to Members following the meeting along with the presentation slides.


RESOLVED:  The Board notes the update.


Scrutiny Topic Group Items 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 55 KB


The Board received a report which requested them to propose the establishment of a topic group for Members during 2019/20.


It was noted that each year the PPB chose a scrutiny topic that had the potential to inform and/or change service delivery and may result in an amendment or improvement of a Council policy.  Members discussed ideas for this year’s topic and provided several suggestions – the effects of Brexit on the Borough; the Local Industrial Strategy; and Traded Areas in the Borough.


The Board agreed that Traded Areas in the Borough would form the Scrutiny Topic for 2019/20, and that it would be open to all Members of the Board.  In the first instance the date of the initial meeting and agenda would be forwarded to all Members of the Board.


RESOLVED:  That the Board


1)    agrees to the establishment of a scrutiny topic group named Traded Areas of the Borough; and


2)    agrees that all Members of the Board were welcome to participate.


Performance Management Reports for quarter 1 of 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Additional documents:


The Board received the performance management reports for Quarter 1 of 2019-20 (1 April 2019 to 30 June 2019) 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 2018-19 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.  Also, progress concerning the implementation of any high risk mitigation measures relevant to this Board was included.


          Further to a query, it was noted that Halton’s Year of Culture within the LCR was 2021 and themes were being looked at for this that would celebrate what the Borough had to offer, as well as its heritage and industrial past. 


RESOLVED:  That the Quarter 1 performance management reports be received.