The item was introduced by the Area Council Manager. The attention of Members was drawn to the priorities of the Area Council and those initiatives delivering against these.
In relation to the Clean and Green Priority, the Area Manager had worked with Twiggs Grounds Maintenance to ensure that the focus of the project was supporting volunteers as part of the delivery. A service request form had now been implemented in order to ensure relevant checks had been undertaken regarding land ownership and the permission to undertaken works.
It was reiterated that the commission should not duplicate the work of Neighbourhood Services, and expectations of service should also be carefully managed due to Neighbourhood Services being the subject of cuts due to austerity.
Under the Health and Wellbeing Priority, Members were reminded that DIAL delivered three projects for the Area Council; Warm Connections; the Advice Service (with CAB); and hOurbank delivered as part of the grant scheme.
In relation to the latter it was noted that this was due to finish on 31st March, 2019 and was just beginning to see the impact of work undertaken. Members noted that up to £85,000 per year had been allocated to the commission to reduce social isolation but DIAL the successful bidder had agreed they could deliver the service, Warm Connections for £75,000 per annum, for 2 years initially with an option to extend for a further year. Given the impact of hOurbank and the desire to see this continue, a suggestion was made to utilise the £10,000 per annum difference to continue hOurbank past 31st March, 2019.
With regards to the Opportunities for Young People priority, it was noted that the participation workers had commenced at the beginning of August and had been involved in a range of work, and Members were encouraged to forward any ideas or opportunities for their involvement to the Area Council Manager.
In relation to the Community Magazine, it was noted that there had been fewer problems with delivery. However the design process had been less than satisfactory.
The financial position of the Area Council was highlighted with an approximate underspend of £162,778 forecast for 2018/19, however it was noted that the annual commitment of £447,400 exceeded the annual allocation of £400,000. Members noted that all of the income from Fixed Penalty Notices had been received.
(i) That the existing budget position and financial forecast be noted; and
(ii) That £10,000 per annum, for the duration of existing Social Isolation and Cold Homes contract be approved to fund the hOurbank project.