The Area Manager presented a report giving an update on the current position of services commissioned and procured by Penistone Area Council. The report also incorporated, at Appendix 1, a financial analysis of the commissioning budget for 2014/15 to 2016/17.
The meeting noted that the countryside skills training commission had not necessarily achieved its initial objective, of providing practical skills for young people in developing stone walling and hedge laying businesses, but had had considerable success in re-engaging people in a work routine. In particular, an initial assessment of the social return in investment from the project was considered to be extremely positive, and the full results from this assessment would be reported to the Area Council in April. Members commented on the approach of GrowForest in taking forward the commission, which suggested that the proprietor's skills could be used to motivate young people in other fields of activity.
In relation to the clean and tidy commission, the meeting noted good progress against targets, and the particular impact in the work to clear verges and litter on the main routes in the Penistone area, that is A616, A628 and A629.
The meeting went on to discuss the arrangements to consider priorities for commissions in 2016/17, and the proposal to arrange a workshop meeting for this purpose. The meeting discussed whether the experience of the countryside skills commission could be used to develop a further project, perhaps with Enterprising Barnsley, to seek to develop new businesses or self-employment. Members commented that they would like to revisit the issue of a rural bus service commission, particularly given the extent of rural isolation. The Area Manager commented that she would make the necessary arrangements for a workshop, with relevant supporting information and expert contributions to assist in Members' consideration of this issue.
(i) that the update on current commissioned projects, as set out in the report now submitted, be received;
(ii) that the current financial position of the Area Council commissioning budgets for 2015/16 and 2016/17 be noted; and
(iii) that the Area Manager make appropriate arrangements for a workshop session to consider commissioning and procurement priorities for 2016/17.