Agenda item

Quarter 4 Performance Report (Pac.08.06.2023/5)


The Area Council Manager provided members with an overview of performance for Quarter 4 covering January to March 2023 and all contracted Services.


Members were provided with an overview of the contracts funded by the Penistone Area Council and their start dates and terms.  A review of the statistics was provided, and it was highlighted that some volunteer numbers had slightly decreased.  It was thought that this could be due to people returning to work and some volunteers feeling they weren’t able to carry on due to ill health or age.  The number of people achieving a qualification or accreditation had increased significantly, this was due to Penistone Grammar Schools mentoring programme and Angel Voices.


The Clean, Green and Tidy contract continued to meet their targets, 28 individual projects had been carried out during the period with a target of 10, this had included some winter repair work and volunteer activities.  10 Groups and parishes had been supported and 15 businesses had been worked with.  Work within schools had picked up including the planting of a memorial tree at St Johns Primary School.  Volunteer numbers had increased during the quarter at 123 including 18 new adult volunteers and 1 new young volunteer.  A joint initiative had been brought together with a local resident, Barnsley MBC and employee volunteers in support of a community orchard at Cubley Brook. 


Members were informed that Twiggs Grounds Maintenance Ltd were trialling 2 intensive days a week work pattern but there were concerns around the flexibility of meeting the needs of groups who met on specific days of the week.


Members received a brief overview of the Supporting Vulnerable and Isolated Older People’s Age UK contract following the comprehensive presentation provided at the beginning of the meeting.


Barnsley Citizens Advice Service had seen a significant increase in client contacts with a target of 25 and a total of 107 for the quarter.  It was reported that 42% of client contacts had centred around health and disability issues.  There had been an increase in benefit related issues for people returning to work but requiring a top up to their low incomes.  Housing issues had also risen due to rent increases resulting in tenants struggling to pay the costs and having to move home.  Whilst the contract remained non face to face, visits had been made to Penistone Library to look into suitable accommodation for the service to return to face to face in the near future.


DIAL had returned to face to face appointments which had resulted in lowered numbers of enquiries due to limitations of how many clients could be seen.  It was noted that many cases were complex and took time to resolve and that a review of the target numbers would be taking place to reflect this going forward.  Members heard that there was added value from the centrally funded contract with DIAL which had resulted in 130 phone contacts.  In addition, 16 hygiene packs had been distributed in the Penistone area an they continued to provide warm connections energy support.


The Working Together Grant Fund had supported Angel voices who had commenced adult singing workshops which were being held in Cawthorne Village Hall.  It was reported that there had been a slow uptake due to lack of confidence in adults but that it was building momentum and that a workshop session was planned for weekends to help those that work to be able to take part.


The Ad Astra project had seen a decline in referrals through Penistone Grammar and the teacher strike action had impacted on the number of sessions that the project had been able to deliver.  This had since been addressed and progress was being made on referrals.  Members were informed that some Year 8 pupils had attended some sessions and issues relating to lack of confidence, anger and families were raised.  It was recommended to members that Ad Astra be invited to attend the Penistone Area Council in July to give members a more in depth insight into the work they undertake.


Angel Voices continued to go from strength to strength and had taken part in the Area Council 10 Year celebrations, linked in with Penistone Arts Week and held a concert at Penistone Paramount.  Members heard how Angel Voices had started to earn their own money for future delivery of the service.


Members were provided with an overview of the work being undertaken by the Area Team including work to set up Cost of Living events in collaboration with 18 different service providers.  A cost of living booklet had been produced and been well received at the 3 events which had seen 100 residents in attendance.  These were deemed a success for networking to different service providers.


The food options were still under discussion with a proposal to hold a consultation event and invite anybody who delivers food in some way to show possible models to and discuss which would work well.


An update was provided to members about the work the Barnsley Safer Neighbourhoods Service had been undertaking in the Penistone Area.  Fly tipping investigations had been flagged as one of the biggest demands in the area for Neighbourhood Services, with Penistone West having higher incidents than Penistone East.  However, compared to other areas of Barnsley, Penistone remained quite low. 


RESOLVED that the report be noted.


Supporting documents: