Venue: Reception Room, Barnsley Town Hall
Contact: Peter Mirfin Council Governance Officer
Declaration of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests
Councillor Williams declared a non-pecuniary interest in minute numbers 28 and 31 due his membership of YMCA.
Councillor Carr declared a non-pecuniary interest in minute numbers 28, 29 and 31 due to her position as trustee of DIAL.
Members received the minutes from the previous meeting of Central Area Council held on 4th November, 2019.
The Chair congratulated everyone involved in the organisation of the networking event which had been a success, offering an opportunity for members of the Ward Alliances and those delivering services to network.
Questions were asked regarding the organisation of the Clean and Green Visioning Conference, and it was noted that this would take place on 20th February.
Members noted that there was also an opportunity to feed any concerns in relation to recycling in to the Overview and Scrutiny Task and Finish Group considering this, which was led by Councillor Fielding.
With regards to queries relating to the payment of Fixed Penalty Notices, it was acknowledged that these could be paid in instalments through PayPoint.
Members discussed whether the issuing of Fixed Penalty Notices still featured in the press, and it was noted that the Barnsley Chronicle often ran stories when offenders refused to pay and the case went to court.
Members noted that the figures relating to residents of Central Ward accessing DIAL services had been circulated and would be considered later on in the meeting.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Central Area Council held on 4th November, 2019 be approved as a true and correct record.
The Area Council Manager introduced the item, which contained an overview of performance for quarter two. To date 251 people had received one-to-one advice, much of which was provided through the DIAL contract. 27 Young people had also received one-to-one support primarily through TADS.
Members noted that since April 2018 1,577 fixed penalty notices had been issued. As a result of Area Council investment 9.5 full time jobs had been created along with 32 part time/sessional jobs. 92% of contract value had been spent locally, which was significantly higher than the Council as a whole.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
The Area Council Manager introduced the item referring to the Wellbeing Fund which was launched in early 2019, which was made up of finance from the Area Council and Public Health. Applications were invited from organisations that met at least one of the Area Council priorities and two of the five ways to wellbeing. Seven grants in total were approved, with DIAL and The Youth Association being two of the successful organisations.
Jill Morton, Nigel Brown and Wes Kenyon were welcomed to the meeting. An overview of DIAL and the service delivered through the Wellbeing Fund was provided. Members noted that so far the service had been delivered to 429 residents, and £226,560 of additional income had been generated in unclaimed benefits. For each £1 invested, £12.95 had been generated.
Four new volunteers had been recruited and trained, and were supporting sessions, with 430 volunteer hours being dedicated. 81% of those accessing the service had reported a reduction in anxiety and improved wellbeing.
13% of those accessing the service had a declared primary mental health condition, and 63% a long term health condition.
Members heard that the service would continue until June, 2020, with the outcomes continually monitored. Four welfare benefit workshops were to be delivered to help encourage self help by upskilling participants, and these would be held in community venues.
Case studies were provided from a resident and a volunteer perspective, highlighting the impact of the service.
Questions were raised about where sessions were advertised, and it was noted that posters were displayed throughout the area, as well as publicising the sessions through social media. Where the service was not already doing so, it was suggested that posters highlighting the date and times of all sessions be displayed on noticeboards in all of the wards of Central Area Council.
i) that thanks be given for the presentation and for the positive work undertaken by all involved in the delivery of the service; and
ii) that the the Area Council Manager explores ways to continue the provision of Advice Services in the Central Area.
Dmitry Fedotov and Rebecca Coyne were welcomed to the meeting to provide an overview of the work of The Youth Association.
Members heard of the background of The Youth Association as a charity rooted in Yorkshire. The work mixed traditional principles together with a progressive approach.
The work done in Barnsley, funded by the Wellbeing Fund, was under the Street Smart scheme and took place in Kendray. The street based work engaged groups of young people, and included informal learning. Members heard how the funding from the Wellbeing Fund had been matched with funds from Yorkshire Sport Foundation in order to provide extra sessions with a sporting theme.
Street based workshops took place around themes such as cooking, treasure hunts, self-awareness, tent building and drug awareness. Group work was also undertaken in outdoor spaces, and it was noted that Kendray was unique in that young people were always outside whatever the weather. Engaging positive role models was also used to help increase aspiration.
Those present heard how green spaces throughout Kendray were utilised, as were the 5ive football pitches, however traditional pastimes such as conkers and kerby were also introduced to young people.
The scheme linked directly to Central Area Priorities, and although was largely informal it provided personal and social development, helped to build emotional resilience and increase aspirations.
Approximately half way through the scheme, there had been 413 attendances by 156 individuals.
Members noted that case studies and stories were provided on the website and on Twitter. Feedback was continually sought from young people, who valued the sessions, and highlighted how they helped them grow as individuals.
Members questioned the gender split for the programme, and it was noted that more males than females participated but that further activities aimed at engaging more females had been arranged.
Questions were asked in relation to the age range engaged and it was noted that this was largely between 12-18 years, but the scheme didn’t exclude those aged under 12 if they attended.
Queries were raised as to whether any concerns had been raised in relation to county lines and Members heard that staff were aware and had policies and procedures in place to deal with such issues, but this had not been an issue in the area. Conversations had taken place with young people around gangs and knife crime, with the belief that if young people had access to a wider range of life choices they would most likely take the right decision.
RESOLVED that thanks be given for the presentation and all the good work taking place in Kendray as part of the scheme.
The Area Council Manager spoke to the item, referring to the report which provided a brief update on the development work for each of the priority areas.
With regards to social isolation, Members noted that independent research would be undertaken to understand the issues faced across the life course, support available, and any gaps in provision. The outcome of this research and any proposals for intervention would then feed into a future meeting of the Area Council.
With regards to the procurement of a service to build emotional resilience in children and young people aged 8-14, Members noted that Barnsley YMCA was the successful contractor following a full procurement exercise. Pre-contract meetings were being arranged and the contract was due to commence on 1st April, 2020.
Members were reminded of the service for new mothers, which had commenced on 1st April, 2019 for a 12 month period. The project had staff in place and was well managed, reporting as required by the contract. There had been recruitment and training of volunteers, and a number had been matched with new mums. However, it was acknowledged that the referrals could be higher in number and could have been received sooner.
A meeting had been held between the Area Council Manager, Health Visitors and Community Midwives, where assurances had been given that the service was still required and that more referrals would be forthcoming once the service became more well established.
The contract was procured with the opportunity to extend for further 12 month periods and Members discussed whether it was appropriate to do so. Although the numbers of referrals was below target, the consensus was that there were a number of variables impacting on the take up of the service, but that the service needed to be given the opportunity to grow, and in future that this ought to be taken into account in target setting.
It was recognised that the Area Council often piloted interventions which were new and innovative, and that this often would be expanded and learning taken account of in core services.
The attention of Members was drawn to the Environmental Enforcement service delivered by District Enforcement, which too was procured with the ability to extend for future periods of 12 months. Given that performance had been positive, with 336 fixed penalty notices issued within the first 6 months, 45 of which were for dog fouling, it was recommended that the contract be extended.
Members’ attention was drawn to the contract held by Twiggs Grounds Maintenance, which again was procured for one year with the option to extend for further periods of a year. All targets had been met with 52 social action interventions in quarters 1 and 2 and 41 new adult volunteers engaged. It was therefore recommended that this contract be extended for a further year.
Those present discussed the issue of providing Christmas trees across the area, and the need to find a sustainable, affordable solution.
Members were reminded of discussions from the ... view the full minutes text for item 31.
Central – held on 23rd October and 27th November, 2019
Dodworth – held on 19th November, 2019
Kingstone – held on 20th November, 2019
Stairfoot – held on 11th November, and 9th December, 2019
Worsbrough – held on 21st November, 2019
The meeting received the notes of the following meetings:-
Central Ward Alliance held on 23rd October, 27th November, 2019;
Dodworth Ward Alliance held on 19th November, 2019;
Kingstone Ward Alliance held on 20th November, 2019;
Stairfoot Ward Alliance held on 11th November, and 9th December, 2019;
Worsbrough Ward Alliance held on 21st November, 2019.
It was noted that the notes from the Stairfoot Ward Alliance on 11th November, 2019 were inaccurate as both Councillors Gillis and Bowler had been in attendance.
RESOLVED that the notes and feedback from the Ward Alliances be received.
The Area Council Manager drew attention to the balances remaining within each of the Ward Alliance Funds. It was noted that, as per previous agreement at the Area Council, any funding devolved from the Area Council to the Ward Alliance Funds must be allocated by the end of March, and spent by the end of July, with any remaining to be returned to the Area Council.
Members discussed difficulties, with delays in the delivery of certain services, especially those provided by core Council departments. The frustration this resulted in was acknowledged as was the need to plan for such expenditure over the longer term where possible.
In the discussion it was noted
that recent changes in contract procedure rules meant that,
although best value needed to be demonstrated, procurement under
£10,000 only required one quote.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
The Chair placed on record his thanks to the Area Council Manager, who had announced that she would be retiring in May, 2020. The hard work and commitment was recognised, and best wishes were given for her retirement. The sentiment was echoed by all Members present.