The Area Council Manager introduced the item, reminding Members of the starting balance at the beginning of the financial year, which stood at just over £208,000. The Area Council had agreed to continue with the environmental enforcement, private sector housing and environmental, education and volunteering service and had allocated £65,000 to the Dearne Development Fund in order to meet area priorities. In addition, matched funding had been approved with Nesta for the social isolation project bringing total spend during 2018/19 of £210, 579.76, a slight overspend of 32,111.80. It was anticipated that the finance accrued from Fixed Penalty Notices would more than cover this deficit.
To date for 2019/20 the Area Council had agreed to commission and fund the education, environment and volunteer service, housing and Migration officer and community newsletter for which just over £119,500 had been allocated. A detailed financial breakdown was appended to the report
With regard to the Dearne Development Fund from a starting budget of around £46,800, Members noted that £9,572.10 remained.
It was noted that an evaluation Panel had met on the 4th December, 2018 to evaluate and receive presentations from two providers for the Education, Environmental and Volunteering Service and the current provider, Twiggs, had been successful in winning the tender the contract for which would start on the 1st April, 2019. A meeting had been arranged for the 28th January, 2018 to start the scheduling of work and Elected Members, the core neighbourhood’s team and groups delivering environmental activities in the Dearne had also been invited to attend. In addition, Twiggs were to give a presentation to the May Area Council meeting.
The Area Council Manager then reported on the success and importance of the Employability initiatives within the area and outlined various alternatives for provision. The recommended option was to formalise the arrangements through the commissioning of an Employability Service and should members wish to pursue this option, a draft specification was appended to the report. The estimated cost involved was approximately £33,000 which was around the same cost as the previous arrangements
There was a detailed discussion of the options and it was suggested that in future, financial arrangements should include payment by performance. The Area Council Manager commented, however, that the contract would be performance managed and it was anticipated that, given past experience, all targets would be exceeded.
(i) that the updates and financial position be noted;
(ii) That the procurement and specification (as detailed within the appendix to the report) for the Employability Service be approved at a total cost of £33,000 per annum;
(iii) That the Service be tendered initially for one year with the option to extend the contract for two further periods of one year subject to satisfactory performance; and
(iv) That the current financial position and the impact of future budgets for 2019/20 onwards be noted.