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The minutes of the previous Health & Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee held on 14th July 2020 were approved as a true record.
(Moved by Councillor R Rogers and seconded by Councillor S Peaple)
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of Members’ interests (personal and/or personal and prejudicial) in any matters which are to be considered at this meeting.
When Members are declaring a personal interest or personal and prejudicial interest in respect of which they have dispensation, they should specify the nature of such interest. Members should leave the room if they have a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of which they do not have a dispensation.
Councillor S Peaple declared a non-pecuniary interest as a trustee of Heart of Tamworth in agenda item 7.
Update from the Chair
The Chair welcomed Councillor M Oates as a new member of the Committee and thanked the retiring member, Councillor R Kingstone.
The Chair reported that he had presented this Committee’s recommendations to Cabinet on 30th July 2020 on the Council Response to COVID-19 – Vulnerable People and that Cabinet had RESOLVED that a joint letter from all the Leaders of each political group and the Chief Executive be issued to thank all anchor organisations involved in the response to COVID-19 in the Borough.
(To receive the Healthy Staffordshire Digests for the meetings held on 6 July and 8 August 2020 and an update from County Councillor T Clements)
The Chair reported that two Digests from Staffordshire County Council’s Healthy Staffordshire Select Committee meetings were issued with the agenda and a further Digest had been circulated to members which covered the business of the 14th September 2020 meeting and which would be appended to the minutes of this meeting.
The Chair reported that at its 14th September meeting the Healthy Staffordshire Select Committee received an update on the impact of COVID-19 Pandemic and Winter preparedness plans from Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), the County Council and various local NHS hospital trusts. The Chair reported that this committee would be receiving an update from representatives of the local CCGs and the Derby & Burton Hospital Trust at its October meeting with a similar focus.
Impact on Young People of COVID-19
(To receive an update from the Assistant Director Partnerships and a representative of SCVYS)
The Chair welcomed the Portfolio Holder, Councillor J Chesworth, Mr Phil Pusey, Chief Executive, SCVYS and Ms Jo Sands, the Assistant Director Partnerships to the meeting for this item, which would provide members with an overview of the voluntary organisations involvement in Staffordshire in the provision of youth services and the impact of COVID-19 on young people.
The Chief Executive of SCVYS explained that SCVYS was a specialist youth and children’s sector infrastructure support provider in part funded by Staffordshire County Council. It aimed to:
· support other organisations to build their capacity;
· represent those organisations at strategic partnership level
· support governance arrangements;
· provide information, guidance and support.
It was reported that SCVYS had grown over the past 9 years in terms of the organisations it represented, its volunteer and paid workforce and in terms of the number of participants reached.
At the start of COVID-19, SCVYS continued with its normal activities, including working with partners, issuing publications and continuing with research, as well as working with the county council to identify any additional activities. Rather than delivering a centralised response to COVID-19, SCVYS continued to work with organisations to represent, provide support and signpost information in areas such as teenage mental health self-care packages, supporting digital delivery, supporting safe re-opening of youth services.
The Chief Executive, SCVYS, reported that in terms of the impact on young people of COVID-19 many of the issues remained the same as before. From a young person’s perspective they want somewhere safe, warm and dry to go, something fun and positive to do, and someone to talk to if needed. Pre-COVID-19 issues identified for young people included:
· mental health,
· education and employment,
· early years intervention, and
· inactivity and obesity
During COVID-19 some issues for some young people had improved and some worsened depending on circumstances, although in terms of education and employment the impact of COVID-19 on young people was disproportionately adverse. Furthermore there was evidence of some inequality with some groups being disproportionately impacted.
The Committee’s attention was brought to recent research undertaken and the recommendations from the National Youth Agency (NYA) Take the Temperature survey which identified the need for:
· Clear and ongoing public health messages specific to young people
· Keeping services for young people open
· Mobilising youth workers as critical workers
Furthermore members were reminded that there was a current local consultation open which was seeking local young people’s views on what the issues and challenges were for them post COVID-19, and could be used to inform the commissioning of local services. It was highlighted that research had shown that young people do not always feel part of their local community and that they do not have a real voice or influence to bring about change.
The Committee sought and received clarification in the following areas:
· Whether the voices of youth leaders could be fed into the current local consultation. The Chief Executive, CSVYS, agreed to seek clarification on that and confirm.
· What the Chief Executive’s, SCVYS view of local priorities ... view the full minutes text for item 15.
(Report of the Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods)
The Chair welcomed the Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Councillor M Cook, the Assistant Director, Neighbourhoods, Ms T Mustafa and the Head of Homelessness and Housing Solutions, Ms S Finnegan to the meeting.
The Chair reported that a report on the Council Response to COVID-19 had been circulated with the agenda and that the attendees would update the members on homelessness; specifically on:
· Response during COVID - 19 to homelessness
· Challenges arising from government legislation &/or guidance ending around furlough scheme and ban on evictions
· Range of housing solutions
The Assistant Director, Neighbourhoods reported that:
· As part of the overall context, the Government’s homelessness vision was to half rough sleeping by 2022 and end it by 2024/25;
· At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic the Government announced its “Everyone In” scheme, which aimed to move rough sleepers into settled accommodation;
· Government funding to councils was allocated based on the rough sleeping count in November 2019, which included £1600 being allocated to Tamworth, additional funding of around £13000 was also received from Staffordshire County Council;
The Head of Homelessness and Housing Solutions updated the Committee on:
· how the council had housed put in place measures to house rough sleepers following the announcement of the Government’s Everyone In scheme and ensured that those who utilised the night shelter were offered a bed and a pathway into more settled accommodation, which utilised some additional temporary accommodation units. This was managed in a remote way.
· The delivery of the Allocations Policy to programme in June 2020.
· Strategies to encourage the sustaining of private tenancies between landlords and tenants.
· The Prevention, Intervention and Recovery process implemented and which will be supported through the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy.
· The process followed and next steps for approval of the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy, which was aligned with Tamworth’s vision of “Tamworth, its people and economy at the heart of everything we do”. The proposed key priorities to support homeless prevention in Tamworth were highlighted to the Committee and the feedback of the Committee was sought. The five proposed priorities were:
Ø Prevention and early intervention through working with partners and stakeholders;
Ø Develop rapid pathways for rough sleepers;
Ø Improve the supply of and access to affordable and supported housing;
Ø Offer a high quality and innovative service to homeless households and those threatened with homelessness;
Ø Improve health and well-being aspirations.
The Assistant Director, Neighbourhoods highlighted that an informal consultation had taken place around a year ago, and that a further targeted update to that consultation would be undertaken shortly, before the strategy was presented to Cabinet for approval in December 2020 with proposed implementation thereafter.
The Committee sought and received the following clarifications:
· Whether the Government target of 2025 was now out of date? The Assistant Director, Neighbourhoods reported that the “Everyone In” scheme had relied on hotel accommodation being available for those presenting as rough sleeping and clearly as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and this could not be sustained as hotels and/or B ... view the full minutes text for item 16.
(To receive an update from the Assistant Director Growth & Regeneration)
The Chair welcomed the Portfolio Holder for Heritage and Regeneration, Councillor J Oates, the Assistant Director, Growth and Regeneration, Ms A Miller, the Assistant Director, Operations and Leisure, Ms S McGrandle and the Business Support Coordinator, Mr R Holder to the meeting.
The Assistant Director, Growth and Regeneration reported that the Government had made available a fund to councils to establish safe trading practices in the high street. Tamworth Borough Council had received access to up to £67,455 just a few weeks before the non-essential shops were allowed to start re-opening. The funding was provided by the European Regional Development Fund and was aimed at the high street and neighbourhood local shops.
The Assistant Director, Growth and Regeneration introduced the Business Support Coordinator who took the Committee through the circulated presentation. The Business Support Coordinator highlighted to the Committee that:
· The Town Safe project had four key strands which focussed on a highly visible presence by the team to support business and public confidence
· The project was temporary with enough funding until the end by October 2020
· A Shop Safe team was created with team members seconded from within the council, who visibly engaged and communicated with business and the public
· Action plans for the pre-recovery and recovery phase were developed, a tender had been issued to support developing the transformation phase
· A five step guidelines to safer working together was implemented, with 272 businesses in the town centre and 143 businesses across the neighbourhood having been visited and briefed by the team
· Signage to remind shoppers of social distancing requirements was out early, before non-essential shops re-opened on 15th June 2020 and tailored to Tamworth with the shield yourself like a saxon theme
· In the main feedback had been really positive
· The development of the Council’s knowledge of the business community, and increased engagement had forged positive relationships
· The Shop Safe team had no enforcement powers and relied on building relationships with business community as well as the environmental health team and local police
· The footfall within the town centre remained around half or pre-COVID-19 levels, with a focus on transactional activity, and less social activity, including less browsing
The Assistant Director, Operations and Leisure provided an update on the reopening of sports provision, in particular the Anker Valley football pitches. Since 4 July 2020 the focus had been on re-opening facilities and undertaking risk assessments. One key difference at the facilities was reported to be the access to the building which was currently limited to the use of the toilet provision only with a one way system. Junior football had recommenced with limited spectators and staggered start times. Adult football was recommencing on 27th September with no spectators. Hand sanitisation stations had been installed and all facilities were under constant review. All outlying grass pitches were also open for use.
Resolved that the meeting be extended beyond 8.30pm following a motion under schedule 1 Rule 9.1.13 of the Constitution.
(Moved by Councillor R Ford and seconded by ... view the full minutes text for item 17.
Please see the link to the Forward Plan:
The Chair reported that the only item identified from the Forward Plan for consideration by the Committee at this time was the Housing Strategy which had been added to this Committee’s work plan for consideration at the meeting on 20th October 2020.
To consider items for Health & Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee Work Plan
The Committee discussed the work plan and the number of items for consideration at the October 2020 meeting. It was noted that two additional items had been added during this meeting for inclusion:
· Young People working group - aims and objectives; and
· consideration of recommendations on homelessness and rough sleeping strategy
The Committee updated the Work Plan as follows:
Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Work Plan