Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Guildhall

Contact: 01905 722027, 722085 

Note: To view the live broadcast go to https://www.youtube.com/user/WorcesterCityCouncil 

Items
No. Item

25.

Appointment of Substitutes

Minutes:

Councillor Agar for Councillor Ali, Councillor Cockeram for Councillor Piotrowski, Councillor Lamb for Councillor Udall, Councillor Riaz for Councillor Denham.

26.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

None.

27.

Public Participation

Up to a total of fifteen minutes can be allowed, each speaker being allocated a maximum of five minutes, for members of the public to present a petition, ask a question, or comment on any matter on the Agenda or within the remit of the Committee.

Minutes:

None.

28.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Of the meeting held on 14th November 2022 to be approved and signed.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 14th November 2022 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

29.

Worcestershire County Council - Public Health Update for Worcester City

Presentation item from Matt Fung, Consultant in Public Health, Worcestershire County Council.

Minutes:

The Committee received a presentation from Matt Fung, Consultant in Public Health, Worcestershire County Council. His presentation summarised the main findings of the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) for 2022. The report set out key themes and indicators for Worcestershire, as well as Worcester City-specific red RAG metrics and information about Worcester City taken from the 2021 Census. The presentation concluded by setting out a number of actions which can be taken, based on three themes: Maximise Prevention, Communities and Engagement and Facilitating Healthy Living.

 

Matt Fung answered questions from Committee Members on a wide range of issues.

 

The Chair concluded by thanking Matt Fung for his presentation.

 

 

30.

Update On The Delivery Of The Child Poverty Task & Finish Group Recommendations pdf icon PDF 301 KB

That the Committee -

 

1.     Notes the contents of this report; and

 

2.     Notes that recommendations A-E of the Child Poverty Task & Finish Group have been completed, with further update reports to be presented at 6 monthly intervals in respect of recommendations F-H.

Minutes:

The Committee received an update on this subject. Previous reports had been presented in November 2021 and June 2022. The Corporate Director – Operations, Homes and Communities presented the report and summarised the main points.

 

The report confirmed that that 3 of the 8 recommendations remain in progress with 5 completed. The 3 remaining recommendations will be the subject of future update reports that will continue to be presented at 6 monthly intervals.

 

The original allocation of £50,000 for this project remains unspent. There has been funding available from other sources to support a number of related projects. There is no proposal to withdraw this allocation, and it was proposed that Officers develop an action plan for 2023/24 that will include areas of potential spend.

 

Following the Corporate Director’s presentation, Kate Wilcock, Headteacher at Pitmaston Primary School and Neil Morris, Head at Christopher Whitehead Language College, were invited to speak to give their evidence of child poverty locally. The issues that they highlighted as needing urgent support were improving pupil attendance, providing Education Welfare Officer support in Primary Schools and bringing down waiting lists for access to CAHMS support.

 

Committee Members acknowledged the points raised in the presentations. The Chair thanked Kate Wilcock and Neil Morris for their contributions.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee:

 

1.    notes the contents of this report; and

 

2.    notes that recommendations A-E of the Child Poverty Task & Finish Group have been completed, with further update reports to be presented at 6 monthly intervals in respect of recommendations F-H.

31.

Review of the Worcester City Food Poverty Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) 2022 pdf icon PDF 390 KB

 

That the Committee -

 

1.     Notes the contents of this report, and in particular the Worcester City Food Poverty JSNA 2022 included at Appendix 1; and

 

2.     Notes the work undertaken by the Council directly or through partnership working in responding to the findings of the JSNA.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received an update on the work the Council has undertaken directly or with key partners in responding to each of the recommendations of the Child Poverty Task and Finish Group and as part of that report the Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNA) document “Food Poverty in Worcester City.” The Corporate Director – Operations, Homes and Communities commented that many of the issues highlighted had already been raised in the two previous agenda items.

 

Specific reference was made to providing funding to Worcester Community Trust to help in setting up a Community Fridge scheme at The Green Centre. It was proposed and seconded that the Committee should allocate funds for this purpose. The Corporate Director indicated that if the Council were to support the capital cost and one year’s subscription to Fareshare, the likely expenditure would be £3,200.

 

In response to questions, the Corporate Director stated that a report on proposals for allocation of the £50,000 corporate funding set aside to address food poverty will be presented when Officers develop an action plan for 2023/24. This will be brought to a future meeting of the Committee. Officers will explore how the Council can support schools in this context.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee agree to:

 

1.    note the contents of this report, and in particular the Worcester City Food Poverty JSNA 2022 included at Appendix 1;

 

2.    note the work undertaken by the Council directly or through partnership working in responding to the findings of the JSNA; and

 

3.    make an allocation of £3,200 from the £50,000 set aside to address food poverty to support Worcester Community Trust in establishing a Community Fridge scheme.

32.

Setting of the Budget for 2023/24 and Medium Term Financial Plan to 2027/28 pdf icon PDF 201 KB

1.     That the Committee considers the priorities within each service and recommends any change for the services’ Budgets;

 

2.     That the Committee considers the services’ Capital programme and future projects and recommends any changes or additions; and

 

3.     That the Committee reviews any new budget proposals from members and makes recommendations to Policy and Resources Committee as appropriate.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the priorities within the budgets relating to Health and Wellbeing services for 2023/24. The Corporate Director – Finance and Resources presented the report and asked Members to consider any potential changes for the areas that fall under the remit of the Committee, including any new budget proposals.

 

In the ensuing discussion, it was proposed and seconded that the scheme for Member Covid Community Recovery Grants be extended for a further year. It was proposed to continue this funding in the amount of £1,000 per Member. The Corporate Director explained that he had discussed this proposal with the Chair and Vice-Chair and, if there are insufficient reserves to fund this separately, it could be funded as part of the £150,000 Environmental Sustainability Strategy enabling budget, as substantial elements of that budget have previously been used to support small community activities.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee agree to recommend to Policy and Resources Committee that:

 

1.    funding for the Member Covid Community Recovery Grants be extended for a further year in the amount of £1,000 per Member; and

 

2.    this proposal be funded from the Environmental Sustainability Strategy enabling budget.

33.

Town Investment Plan Active Travel Project Update pdf icon PDF 942 KB

That the Committee notes the contents of this report.

Minutes:

The Committee received a progress report on projects to support the Council’s work to promote active travel. The Deputy Director – Policy and Strategy presented the report and highlighted a number of issues, including the active travel corridor, works to enhance cycle routes, progress with the Kepax Bridge and creating a bike hire scheme. He responded to questions from Committee Members.

 

In the ensuing discussion, the following main points were made:

 

·        A request was made for the Ronkswood project network to be re-named “Ronkswood and Warndon Villages” to reflect the range of routes included.

 

·        The view was expressed that a paved cycle route along the riverside from Kepax Bridge to the Wheatsheaf is essential to create a loop. In response, the Deputy Director advised that the Towns Fund contribution is capped, however it remains an aspiration to achieve this at some point in the future.

 

·        Officers can discuss issues relating to the condition of specific cycle routes with Members outside the meeting.

 

·        The Sustainability Team will look at the provision of safe cycle storage in residential areas as a separate project.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee agree to note the contents of this report.

34.

Worcester City Discretionary Welfare Assistance Scheme (DWAS) pdf icon PDF 334 KB

That the Committee notes the content of the report and approves the recommendation that a review of the Discretionary Welfare Assistance Scheme should be undertaken to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of vulnerable households efficiently and effectively.

Minutes:

The Committee received a report on the Discretionary Welfare Assistance Scheme and its associated budget, responsibility for which had been transferred from Communities Committee to this Committee. The Strategic Housing Team Manager presented the report, which set out the background to the scheme; an overview of the assistance available; performance and financial information; and recommendations for next steps in the development and delivery of the scheme.

 

It was explained that the current scheme policy had been in place since December 2017, with no significant changes since then. At a time of significant financial pressures due to the rising cost of living, it was proposed to now review the whole Discretionary Welfare Assistance Scheme.

 

Officers responded to questions from Committee Members. In the ensuing discussion, reference was made to a scheme operating in Leeds to help children who do not have access to a proper bed to sleep in. Officers agreed to look at this as part of the review.

 

Committee Members welcomed the report. It was proposed and seconded that the Committee delegates authority to the Corporate Director – Operations, Homes and Communities to make any changes to the Scheme as a result of the review, in consultation with the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Committee.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee:

 

1.    agree to note the content of the report;

 

2.    approve the recommendation that a review of the Discretionary Welfare Assistance Scheme should be undertaken to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of vulnerable households efficiently and effectively; and

 

3.    agree to delegate authority to the Corporate Director – Operations, Homes and Communities to make any changes to the Scheme in consultation with the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Committee.

35.

Quarter 3 Performance Report For 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 187 KB

That the Health and Wellbeing Committee notes the Council’s quarter 3 performance for 2022/23.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the Council’s Quarter 3 performance for Health and Wellbeing for 2022/23. The Corporate Director – Finance and Resources presented the report and highlighted the main points. Officers responded to questions and comments from Committee Members.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee note the Council’s quarter 3 performance for 2022/23.

36.

Any Other Business

Which in the opinion of the Chair is of sufficient urgency as to warrant consideration.

Minutes:

None.