Agenda and minutes

Central Area Council - Monday 11 January 2021 2.00 pm

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Venue: Held Virtually

Contact: Peter Mirfin  Council Governance Officer


No. Item


Declaration of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests

Additional documents:


Councillor Williams declared a non-pecuniary interest in minute 10 due to his wife being chair of Barnsley YMCA.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting of Central Area Council held on 2nd November, 2020 (Cen.11.01.2021/2) pdf icon PDF 144 KB

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The meeting received the minutes from the previous meeting of Central Area Council held on 2nd November, 2020.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the Central Area Council held on 2nd November, 2020 be approved as a true and correct record.


Procurement and Financial Update (Cen.11.01.2021/3) pdf icon PDF 291 KB

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Andrea Battye and Emma Turton from Barnsley YMCA were welcomed to the meeting to speak about the Unity Project.  This had been commissioned by the Area Council to help young people improve their resilience and promote positive emotional health and wellbeing.  Members noted the programme of activities delivered with partners, which included schools.  Members were reminded of the original organisation of the project, which aimed to deliver two sessions every week in each ward within the Central Area and also provided specific provision within school holidays. The sessions were led by young people and the service also also offered opportunities for peer support and volunteering.


Those present heard of the changes necessary due to restrictions in place to address the pandemic.  However, positive relationships had been maintained and nurtured throughout. Where possible lunchtime clubs in schools continued, as well as detached street-based activities, and virtual online sessions amongst others arranged in Covid safe ways. 


Despite lockdowns, the service had delivered 211 sessions and reached 213 children and young people in 2020/21 with other performance targets also being met. 


Members received case studies from the work undertaken in each Ward and praised the work of the service, continually adapting delivery in order to meet the needs of young people.  Members acknowledged the significant challenges, and thanks were given for the continuity the programme provided for young people who had been affected by the pandemic. 


Questions were raised in relation to access to IT, as an increasing number of services were provided virtually.  It was noted that young people did miss face-to-face contact and, now that teaching was online, felt increasingly overloaded by the use of technology. Members heard that detached sessions were still provided when possible to address this, and to include those who had poor access to digital services.  It was noted that support was available those not digitally enabled, and it was suggested that the service highlights any issues they are aware of with families struggling due to a lack of IT.


The Area Managers then spoke to the report previously circulated.   Members were reminded of previous discussions about the service to support new and expectant mothers.  The Area Council approved the service in December 2018. Following a procurement process the service commenced in April 2019 for a year, with an option to extend this for two further periods of a year.


In year 1 it was noted that reports regarding the impact of the service were positive, however referrals were still considerably below target. Members had agreed for the service to be continued into year two, with efforts to increase the numbers being referred.


It was noted that in the second year Covid had severely impacted the service. Referrals were still below target, but the service still engaged volunteers successfully, and the impact on those accessing the service was significant.


Members discussed the service and the impact it would have in light of current restrictions which meant that new and expectant mothers were increasingly isolated. Concerns were expressed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Notes of the Ward Alliances (Cen.11.01.2021/4) pdf icon PDF 388 KB

Central – held on 28th October and 25th November, 2020

Dodworth – held on 3rd November, 2020

Kingstone – held on 21st October and 2nd December, 2020

Worsbrough – held on 26th November, 2020


Additional documents:


The meeting received the notes of the following meetings:-

Central Ward Alliance, held on 28th October, and 25th November, 2020;

Dodworth Ward Alliance, held on 3rd November, 2020;

Kingstone Ward Alliance, held on 21st October, and 2nd December, 2020;

Worsbrough Ward Alliance, held on 26th November, 2020.


RESOLVED that the notes from the Ward Alliances be received.


Report on the Use of Ward Alliance Funds (Cen.11.01.2021/5) pdf icon PDF 414 KB

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The report was received for information


RESOLVED that the report be received.


Covid-19 Update - Cath Bedford, Kay Tinkler and Laura Dixon (Cen.11.01.2021/6) pdf icon PDF 584 KB

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Cath Bedford, Public Health Principal – Communities; Kay Tinkler, Neighbourhood Engagement Officer; and Laura Dixon, Neighbourhood Engagement Officer, were welcomed to the meeting.


Members were reminded of the national lockdown which commenced on 5th January, 2021 and it was noted that the rate of infection was steadily but persistently rising with around 100 new cases per day across the borough.  Rises were generally seen in the working age population, especially in those aged 50-59 and 20-39.  The message of ‘Hands, Face, Space’ remained and Members were also reminded of the need to open windows for fresh air.


Members heard that situation report meetings were held twice a week to consider data, and it was noted that cases seemed distributed across the borough.  Members were encouraged to feed in any intelligence which may result in understanding any patterns.


16 Covid Marshals had been employed and though they have no formal powers of enforcement, they will work closely with Police and Regulatory Service staff who do. Their recent observations included lack of face coverings being worn, poor social distancing, and a lack of signage in commercial premises.  Also noted were recurrent gatherings of young people in outdoor public places.


Those present heard how six Neighbourhood Engagement Officers were now in post.  One was assigned to each Area Council. Members also heard about the community insights work, with workshops being organised to understand behaviour in relation to Covid.  Additional finance had been secure to support engagement with disabled and BAME communities.


Members noted the work to support vulnerable communities impacted by Covid, and to understand and support the management of any outbreaks.


Members heard about the Covid Support Service in place to support the national test and trace efforts, with welfare telephone calls being made and even house visits for those unable to be reached. 


Details of the Community Testing Centre at the Metrodome were provided. This had opened recently with a pilot focusing on the routine testing of critical frontline workers.  Members noted that the lateral flow tests used were less accurate and any individual tested positive would be referred for a more accurate PCR test.


Members noted that Barnsley currently had three testing sites for those with symptoms, and a mobile testing unit.  It was acknowledged that routine testing would also be undertaken in secondary schools, but further detail on this was outstanding.


Vaccinations had commenced with sites at Priory Campus, Apollo Court and Goldthorpe Medical Centre.  Members were asked to encourage residents to wait to be called for their vaccine rather than making enquiries.

Members were provided details about the role of Neighbourhood Engagement Officers. They supported compliance in businesses, and referred any issues for enforcement where necessary, working closely with Covid Marshals and Community Responders.  The role also included raising awareness of financial support to businesses in the area.    Members were asked to report any breaches of Covid guidance which would provide useful intelligence for all agencies supporting this effort.


It was noted that the Central Area covered  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.