Agenda item

Procurement and Financial Update (Pac.02.12.2021/6)


The item was introduced by the Area Council Manager who drew members attention to the Supporting Vulnerable and Isolated Older People Grant. 


Members were reminded that a number of contract extensions had been agreed in previous meetings in order to defer the procurement exercise for a new service and that these decisions had been made due to the impacts of the pandemic.  Members were informed that a change in the procurement procedure rules required a more detailed process which would take around 3 months to complete resulting in the need for a further short term extension to the contract.  Initially a 3 month extension was proposed at a cost of £17,500 but following discussions members were concerned whether that would be a long enough period of time and it was agreed that it would be more preferable to be cautious and have a 5 month extension at a pro rata cost.


Members heard how no further applications had been received for the Working Together Fund and that the figure for allocation remained at £33,699. 


It was reported that the Working Together Grant Fund – Supporting Young People projects that had been funded were initially delayed in starting due to the pandemic but that 4 out of the 5 had been able to start from July, 2021 with updates on those projects being made at the meeting. 


Members were informed that the Clean, Green and Tidy Service was in the second year of its contract and it was agreed that they would be asked to provide a full year 2 performance report at the Penistone Area Council meeting to be held on 10th February, 2022 ahead of any decision to continue a further years delivery.


It was noted that the Penistone Ward Alliance had commenced the 2021/22 financial year with a budget of £26,925 with a further ring fence of £10,000 to encourage groups to come forward to submit applications for summer holiday activities during 2021.  Members were informed that a number of applications had been received for Ward Alliance funds resulting in further approved projects totalling £6,000 which left a budget total of £12,295.13.  From the £10,000 ringfenced budget, projects totalling £1590 had been approved leaving £8410 which, if unspent would be returned to the Penistone Area Council budget.  Due to the upsurge in applications being received members agreed to allocate a further £10,000 from the Penistone Area Council budget in order to support the Ward Alliance budget to the end of the 2021/22 financial year.


A briefing workshop was held on the 4th November, 2021 in order to present Penistone Area Council members with information from the Housing Stock Modelling and database report which had been commissioned by Barnsley MBC to provide a detailed housing stock condition survey, details of which were being used to create a Private Sector Housing Plan for the Borough.  Members were informed that, compared to the rest of the Borough, private sector housing stock in Penistone East and West Wards demonstrated the highest risk to occupants from excess cold and fuel poverty. 


Following the workshop members were asked to consider a number of options in relation to a Private Sector Housing Support Officer who, amongst other things, would be the first point of contact within the community to identify early indications of neglect and inability to cope with properties in disarray leading to a possible health hazard to those living there and/or others in the area. 


Members agreed there was a need in the area for something to help tackle the issues highlighted at the workshop, but also raised their concerns as to what type of support or enforcement the Housing Officer could have against a private landlord or a householder who did not wish to, or could not afford to improve their home/living arrangements.  There was also a concern that this could be seen as an interference resulting in causing offence to people.  


The 4 options for members to consider were:


·         Commission a full time Housing Officer post for 12 months

·         Commission a half time Housing Officer post for 12 months

·         Commission a half time Housing Officer post to undertake research and feasibility and report back after 6 months

·         No additional support and continue as


Following a lengthy discussion, members decided that Option 3 would be the most suitable to allow for the officer appointed to report back with their findings and whether it could make a difference in the area.  The Area Council Manager agreed to bring a report to a future Area Council Meeting for a decision.




(i)      that members noted the update of contracts funded by the existing Supporting Isolated and Older People Grant fund and agreed a 5 month extension from January 2022 to the end of May, 2022 at a cost of £29,166 to accommodate the procurement process for future provision in support of this priority;


(ii)     that the update on the current financial position of the Penistone Working Together Fund be received;


(iii)    that the update on the ringfenced funds within the existing Working Together Fund to establish specific activities that will support young people in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic be received;


(iv)    that the update on the Clean, Green and Tidy contract which commenced in April, 2020 be noted and that the recommendation of a Year 2 update to be given at the Penistone Area Council meeting to be held in February 2022 be agreed;


(v)     that the update on the Ward Alliance budget be noted and that the allocation of £10,000 from within the Penistone Area Council budget 2021/22 to enhance current Ward Alliance funds be agreed with approvals to be made through previously agreed mechanisms;


(vi)    that the proposed options to procure a Private Sector Housing Support Officer resource be received and that Option 3 be agreed as the preferred way forward with a detailed report to be presented to members for approval at a future meeting of the Area Council; and


(vii)   that the current financial position for the 2021/22 budget in light of the decisions made at the meeting be noted



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