Agenda and draft minutes

Scrutiny Board (Environment, Housing and Communities) - Consultative Meeting - Thursday, 1st December, 2022 10.30 am

Venue: Zoom

Contact: Rebecca Atherton (Principal Scrutiny Advisor)  Email:

Link: to View Meeting Recording

No. Item


Declarations of Interests

To disclose or draw attention to any interests in accordance with Leeds City Council’s ‘Councillor Code of Conduct’.


Although members did not raise any interests, Councillor L Cunningham made the Board aware that in relation to Agenda Item 4: Tackling Inequality and Disadvantage in Communities – Locality Working, she is part of the volunteer front for the Armley Action Group and other associated organisations. Minute No. 21 refers.




Introductions and Apologies

Chair to facilitate introductions and to receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies were received on behalf of Councillors Akhtar, Brooks, Khan and Finnigan. Councillor E Thomson attended on behalf of Councillor K Brooks.



Ensuring the Resilience of the Third Sector pdf icon PDF 687 KB

To receive an update from the Chief Officer for Safer Stronger Communities on the approach being taken to support a thriving third sector in Leeds.  


The report of the Director of Communities, Housing & Environment outlined the new challenges faced by the third sector due to the current Cost-of Living crisis, and the work taking place to establish shared principles which have emerged over the years in the developing relationships between the third sector and statutory partners to navigate the current financial challenge presented by pressures on statutory funding and the Cost-of-Living crisis. It also outlined the collaborative approaches taken forward by the public and third sector which enabled a city response to local communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Appended to the report included:

·  Appendix 1: Ensuring Resilience of the Third Sector

·  Appendix 2: Leeds Third Sector Ambition Statement

·  Appendix 3: Response to the cost of living Crisis: Third Sector Leeds September 2022

·  Appendix 4: Third Sector Leeds position statement: cost of living and third sector resilience


The following were in attendance for this item:

Leeds City Council

·  Councillor Harland, Executive Member for Communities

·  Paul Money, Chief Officer, Safer Stronger Communities

·  Nadeem Saddique, Head of Community Relations, and Cohesion

·  Samantha Powell, Third Sector & Migration Partner Manager

External Guests

·  Hannah Bailey, Chief Officer, Voluntary Action Leeds

·  Chris Hollins, Chair of Third Sector Leeds

·  Francesca Wood, Forum Central


The Executive Member for Communities introduced the item by highlighting the importance of Third Sector partnerships in Leeds and their valued work during the Covid-19 pandemic, and ultimately the cost-of-living crisis.


The Chief Officer (Safer Stronger Communities) explained that for Leeds to be a thriving city, we require a thriving Third Sector. There are exciting opportunities to work with individuals and facilities, particularly around communications in the city and working more closely with Third Sector organisations in the city through established links. The report details how the service intend to move forward in increasing their collaboration with the Third Sector, public & private sector.


The Chief Officer (VAL) commended the city’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the role VAL had in supporting arrangements for communities, due to already established partnerships in Leeds. It was noted that the cost-of-living crisis highlights a period of uncertainty for VAL, due to rising levels of demand on communities and the impact of organisations less resilient from the pandemic. Recent third sector workshops have established valuable principles to build upon and there is a recognition that longer-term work will be required to secure the on-going resilience of VAL. Moving forward, a Third Sector Strategy is being established to articulate the value of the Third Sector and how it contributes to the city.


The Chair of the Third Sector Leeds reiterated the importance of growing relationships between Local Authorities and the Third Sector and acknowledged the difficult times ahead in terms of the cost-of-living crisis.


The representative from Forum Central explained that established partnerships in the city will enable a collective response to the difficult times ahead. The need to minimise duplication between statutory partners was highlighted and the need to make best use of the Third Sector. Forum Central are involved in the city’s health  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Tackling Inequality and Disadvantage in Communities: Locality Working pdf icon PDF 883 KB

To receive an update from the Director of Communities, Housing & Environment on the city’s locality working model and the next stage of its implementation.


The report of the Director of Environment, Housing and Communities provided the Scrutiny Board with an update on the work that has taken place so far on expanding the city’s Locality Working model and the next stage of its implementation.


Appended to the report included:

·  Appendix 1 – Locality Working – Priority Ward Activation and Prevailing Issues

·  Appendix 2 – Development of Community Committees

·  Appendix 3 – Examples of Locality Working Activity


The following were in attendance for this item:

·  Councillor Harland, Executive Member for Communities

·  Paul Money, Chief Officer, Safer Stronger Communities

·  Liz Jarmin, Head of Locality Partnerships

Localities Programme Managers

·  Andrew Birkbeck

·  Taj Virdee

·  Rachel Marshall

·  Jane Pattison


The Head of Locality Partnerships introduced the annual update report and provided the Board with a PowerPoint presentation on the following key issues:

·  An overview of progress (since 2017) in terms of the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Leeds (1%); the number has decreased from 16 areas in 1% to 12 areas.

·  The development of a more focused approach across the 6 most disadvantaged wards where these neighbourhoods reside, to tackle inequality and poverty and build more thriving and resilient communities.

·  LGA Corporate Peer Review Feedback which highlights the councils Locality Working as a model of good practice but highlighted the need to accelerate progress.

·  An overview of the three strands of the Locality Working Framework: Citywide, Seasonal and Responsive and Priority Neighbourhood and Ward.

·  There is a particular focus on several priorities for Locality Working including the cost of living, life expectancy, crime & anti-social behaviour, skills & employment, and housing & environment.

·  Development of Community Committees and reviewing the role of Community Committee Champions that better outlines what the role and its responsibilities entail.

·  Locality Working governance and accountability structure were discussed.

·  Timetable of implementation in terms of team structure and finalising the Local Area Plans.

·  The establishment of a Locality Working Development Group involving anchor organisations and the Third Sector.


Prior to discussion of this item, Councillor L Cunningham made the Board aware that she supports work undertaken by Armley Action Team and associated working groups on a volunteer front.


Board members raised the following points:

·  The Board would welcome more information about volunteers. It was noted a number of issues with volunteer groups have been identified with regards to funding received.

·  Opportunities identified for closer working collaboration between members in each ward to provide better outcomes.

·  It was acknowledged that there are pockets of deprivation across all wards, and clarity was sought on scope to expand on priority neighbourhoods. Officers confirmed that the current scope is to focus on the 1% areas assigned in the city and where issues are identified in other parts of the city, officers will examine those to identify a suitable response. The approach to Locality Working is reviewed on a regular basis.

·  Local issues in terms of community centre funding. Officers will work with members outside of the meeting to discuss local issues.

·  Acknowledgement that social media isn’t often the best way to reach various  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Work Schedule pdf icon PDF 331 KB

To consider the Scrutiny Board’s work schedule for the 2022/23 municipal year.


Additional documents:


The report of the Head of Democratic Services provided the Board with the work schedule for the 2022/23 municipal year.


The Board were informed of dates for upcoming remote working groups relating to:

·  Initial Budget Proposals – Monday, 12th December 2022 at 3.15 p.m.

·  Social Progress Index as part of the Best City Ambition update and performance monitoring – Wednesday, 14th December 2022 at 11:30 a.m.

·  Air Quality Action Plan – Monday, 27th February 2023 at 2 p.m.


RESOLVED – To note the appended work schedule for the 2022/23 municipal year.



Date and Time of the Next Meeting

The next public meeting of the Scrutiny Board (Environment, Housing & Communities) will take place on Thursday 5 January 2023 at 10.30am. There will be a pre-meeting for all members of the Scrutiny Board at 10am.


To note the date and time of the next formal meeting as Thursday, 5th January 2023 at 10.30 am (pre-meeting for Board members at 10:00 am)