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The Board took part in a minute’s silence in honour of Councillor Morley, who had sadly passed away last week.
The Minutes from the meeting held on 21 September 2020, were taken as read and signed as a correct record.
The following updates were provided –
ELS8 – a response had not yet been received from Government following the request to increase the number of apprenticeships. A report is to be presented at the Liverpool City Region’s Employment and Skills Board meeting on the same issue and would be shared with Members following the meeting.
A brief update was provided on the JETS Programme which went live on 5 October 2020.
It was reported that no public questions had been received.
The Board received a report from the Strategic Director – Enterprise, Community and Resources, which provided information on the introduction of the Government’s Kickstart job creation scheme.
It was reported that the Government had recently launched its job creation scheme Kickstart for young people aged 16 – 24 which aimed to provide wage subsidies to employers that created new 6-month work experience placements.
Members were advised that the Executive Board agreed at its meeting held on 15 October 2020 that the Council should apply to become an intermediary in Halton, for the delivery of the Programme. If successful, the Employment, Learning and Skills Division would act as an intermediary for the Programme. It was noted that the forecast number of 6-month placements to be administered by the Division between November 2020 and December 2021 was 100, with the Programme scheduled to end in December 2021 the final placements would therefore run for 6 months up to June 2022.
The report provided detailed information on the Kickstart Programme; Halton’s approach to this and the resources available and costs associated with becoming an intermediary.
Following Members’ queries, the following was noted:
· If an employer was unable to continue with the employment of the young person they would have 6 months’ work experience behind them which could assist with securing another job;
· The Council had approximately 30 local companies who were participating in the Programme each with between one and five placements available;
· The Programme was also aimed at working with employers as well, to assist them with their recovery, following the effects of the Pandemic; and
· The costs and calculations discussed in paragraph 5.3 where set following advice from DWP and were agreed by all participating local authorities in the Liverpool City Region, so all were using the same figures.
RESOLVED: That the Board
1) notes the report; and
2) supports the proposal for the Council’s Employment, Learning and Skills Division to act as a Kickstart Programme intermediary.
The Board was presented with an update on the preparations being made to deliver Halton’s Borough of Culture (BoC) year in 2021.
It was reported that the award of Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture was inspired by the UK City of Culture Programme, which followed Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture in 2008. The new initiative was launched in 2018 as Liverpool celebrated its 10th Anniversary as the UK’s only European Capital of Culture.
The Borough of Culture initiative was a non-competitive process, which rotates around the City Region with the aim of encouraging each Borough to develop collaboratively its local talent and potential, whilst reflecting the ambitions and aims of the Regional Culture and Creativity Strategy, which looked to build sustainable capacity across the City Region.
The progress made so far was outlined to Members, which included the emerging programme of activities and also described the potential risks and challenges that could be faced, in light of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Members welcomed the presentation and progress made to date with the programme of activities and events. They made the following comments / suggestions:
· The opportunity to explore and highlight the ‘climate emergency’ should not be missed during this year;
· Public art could be displayed in each Borough as well as in a central point;
· There was no reference to the written or spoken word – it would be an opportunity to include schools with a poetry writing competition for example;
· Councillors should be encouraged to participate, particularly those with musical or artistic talents;
· Providing transport for people to cross the bridges would help encourage participation from all communities;
· The immigrant community should be invited to showcase their cultures in some form;
· A mascot would help promote the BoC year as it would be easily recognisable and they could be placed in different locations in the Borough; and
· The BoC could be advertised outside of the area, which could attract more investment in the Programme.
In response to some comments, Officers advised that the BoC could be used as a toolkit from an inward investment perspective to get businesses involved in celebrating part of history and encouraging them to contribute any artefacts they may have. Although businesses had not been approached yet, due to the Coronavirus complications, this task would be revisited when some improvement in the situation was made. It was also commented that Halton would be producing a booklet to be used to advertise the BoC.
Members were invited to submit any further suggestions they may have to Chris Patino. The Chair requested an update on the BoC for the next meeting.
RESOLVED: That the update and Members comments and suggestions be received.
The Strategic Director – Enterprise, Community and Resources, presented the Board with information on the Council’s Community Centres Service for the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.
It was noted that the incorrect report had been published for this item but the correct one had been circulated to Board Members prior to the meeting.
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. They were also referred to Appendix 1, which gave examples of community centre activities and events in 2019/20, with internet links to the Council’s events page where photographs and further details on these events could be found.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.
The Board received a report and accompanying presentation on how the Hospitality and Leisure Grant (HLG) provided by the Liverpool City Region (LCR) had gone some way to support local businesses during the Coronavirus outbreak.
It was noted that at the time of writing the report the LCR was placed in a Tier 3 Lockdown. Businesses most affected by the lockdown were identified in order to offer some level of support. It was noted that many of Halton’s businesses had been severely affected with many losing several months of trade since the initial lockdown in March, and some were still not fully operational.
An allocation of £1,060,792 had been provided to Halton and Members were provided with an update on the number and the types of businesses eligible for support and the grant allocations awarded to Halton’s businesses so far.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.