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 workshop to consider provision to improve emotional wellbeing of children and young people. Following procurement to support those aged 8-14, on 17th December, 2020 a working group met to consider provision for children aged 14+. It was suggested that any service should be best placed to serve those most in need and should provide coverage across all of the five wards of Central Area, and that this would be via a model of outreach and detached youth work.
Members considered proposals outlined within the appendix of the report, including the recommendation that £60,000 be allocated to ‘Youth Work Fund’ and that applications be welcomed from potential providers. It was suggested that a panel be convened to discuss any applications, with representation from each ward. Members noted the suggestion that delivery start in May, with provision able to become established within daylight hours.
In addition to outreach provision it was also suggested that support be provided to volunteers wanting to establish youth work or play work provision. It was likely that this would take the form of training, but also with support and advice provided to help individuals and groups. Members noted that discussion was still taking place with regards to the details of this provision and it was suggested that a further report detailing this be brought to a future meeting of the Area Council.
Members were supportive of upskilling volunteers, whilst also ensuring that anyone wishing to establish provision was aware of the requirements of doing so.
The Area Council Manager provided an overview of the financial situation for the Area Council. £517,053 had been committed for 2019/20, with £181,337 remaining. For 2020/21 £400,760 had been committed, with approvals pending for around £118,000 and other anticipated additional expenditure of around £56,000.
(i) That the overview of priorities, contracts, Service Level Agreements, and Wellbeing Fund Priorities be noted;
(ii) That the feedback on the development of agreed priority areas from 1st April, 2020 including the research undertaken in relation to social isolation across the adult life-course be noted;
(iii) That the outcome of the recent procurement exercise for the service ‘to build emotional resilience and wellbeing of children and young people aged 8-14 years living in the Central Council Area’ be noted, with YMCA Barnsley being the provider appointed;
(iv) That the contract with Family Lives be extended for an additional period of 1 year (1st April, 2020 – 31st March, 2021) at a cost of £50,000;
(v) That the contract with District Enforcement Ltd. be extended for an additional period of 1 year (1st April, 2020 – 31st March, 2021) at a cost of £45,000;
(vi) That the contract with Twiggs Grounds Maintenance Ltd. be extended for an additional period of 1 year (1st April, 2020 – 31st March, 2021) at a cost of £95,000;
(vii) That an Out of Hours Youth Work Grant Fund for young people aged 14+, with a total allocation of £60,000 be established, as outlined within the report, with responsibility for the approval of grants delegated to the Executive Director Communities following liaison with the Youth Work Fund panel and the Central Area Council Manager;
(viii) That £28,000 be allocated in principle to the development of a Training and Development Support Service for Voluntary Neighbourhood Youth Work in the Central Area, with a report providing further details to be considered at a future meeting of the Area Council;
(ix) That the financial position for 2019/20 and project expenditure for 2020/21 to 2022/23 be noted.