Agenda item

Welfare Services Review (Pac.15.09.2022/7)


The Area Council Manager provided members with an update and background information to the Welfare Services Review.


Members were informed that the Healthier Communities Service funded a town centre based core welfare provision which offered information and guidance through a consortium of services such as CAB, DIAL and Age UK and were looking at the feasibility of a universal borough wide provision. 


A review of the existing provision funded by all the Area Councils and Ward Alliances across the Borough was held and it was deemed that there were insufficient funds to expand the centrally commissioned provision to cover all areas.

Each Area Council had provided data on their locality-based advice services to evidence the level of demand spanning from 2019 to 2022 which had indicated a significant need across the borough for the services commissioned. 


A number of opportunities were set out to members if they were to opt for combined commissioning including condensing management fees, encouraging collaborative tendering by providers to co-deliver, all providers operating to the same standards and AQS accredited, the approved provider list would be concise and would give the opportunity to collect performance data in a standardised way between the areas. 


Threats identified would be the unknown impact for the cost of living crisis which would require an uplift in contract values to ensure the same standard of provision is provided or a reduced delivery expectation.


A number of options were set out to members on how they could progress.  Members raised concerns around the option to align commissioning cycles, with the potential to lose control of funding to other areas that would be deemed more in need.


The consensus of members was to continue to commission a welfare provision for Penistone on an independent cycle based on local need through the Penistone Area Council grant funds.   




(i)         that the report be noted;


(ii)        that Option 7.2 set out in the report, to continue to commission a welfare provision service for the Penistone Area on an independent cycle, based on local need through the Penistone Area Council grant funds be the preferred choice for the Penistone Area; and


(iii)       that the proposal to take the preferred option to an Area Council Workshop to be arranged in the future be agreed.

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