To receive and consider the attached report of the Head of Stronger Communities.
The report of the Head of Stronger Communities brought Members’ attention to an update of the work which the Communities Team was engaged in, based on priorities identified by the Community Committee. It also provided opportunities for further questioning, or to request a more detailed report on a particular issue.
Kimberly Frangos, Localities Officer presented the report. Community Champions were invited to contribute.
The following was discussed:
· Children & Families – The sub-group meeting scheduled for December 1st was to be re-scheduled and would be held before Christmas. There would be a Youth Summit in the first quarter of the New Year and this would be held on line.
· Environment – Councillor Dawson had volunteered to fill the vacant role of Community Committee Champion for Environment. This was supported by Members.
· Community Safety – It was proposed to hold a meeting of the Community Safety Forum as soon as public meetings could be held again. There had been a noted rise in domestic violence during the pandemic restrictions. There had also been an increase in the anti-social use of vehicles and parking issues in Ardsley & Robin Hood. These issues had been attended to by the Police and Members expressed their thanks for this. Members also discussed the possibility of concentrating on issues that affected all wards. This was something that had been planned for the Community Safety Forums. There had been over 900 calls to West Yorkshire Police regarding the misuse of fireworks – none of these had been classed as serious incidents.
· Employment, Skills & Welfare – There had been a rise in Universal Credit claimants across the Outer South area but these were lower than other areas in Leeds and national figures.
· Health & Wellbeing & Adult Social Care – A positive meeting of the Older Person’s Sub Group had been held in November and there would be an extra meeting on 7 December. Further issues highlighted included the delivery of Afternoon Teas across the area and preparations for next year’s International Day of the Older Person. Members discussed holding events on days other than the International day of the Older Person which may meet local needs in a better way. Further discussion included physical activity and how this could be addressed across the Outer South Area – it was suggested that Active Leeds be invited to a future meeting and a suggestion that representatives of the Local Care Partnerships update the Committee or Sub-Group on health issue across the area.
· Community Centres Sub-Group – The sub-group had met earlier in the day. Reference was made to security issues at Morley Town Hall but the main focus had been regarding the future of the Lewisham Park Centre and the Windmill Youth Centre. It was noted that the community centres had been referenced in a report to the 18th November 2020 Executive Board entitled, ‘Revenue Budget Update 2021/22 and Budget Savings Proposals’. Disappointment was expressed by some Members that the matter had not been brought to the attention of the sub-group to date, and that the sub-group should be part of any consultation exercise and have an opportunity to study the possible business plans for the centres, taking the communities needs into consideration. Further to this it was noted that there would be a period of consultation undertaken before any final decision was made on the future of the centres.
The following motion was then moved by Councillor Finnigan and seconded by Councillor Hutchison:
The Outer South Community Committee notes that the responsibility for community centres is a Community Committee function. This Community Committee rejects the decision made by Executive Board at its meeting last week to close the Lewisham Park Centre in Morley and the Windmill Centre in Rothwell. This Community Committee believes that democratic decisions should be taken at a local level and agrees that both the Lewisham Park Centre and the Windmill Centre will remain open under Leeds City Councils community centre portfolio. This Community Committee agrees that the Community Centre Sub Group should work on a plan to expand the use of both centres so they have a sustainable future under Leeds City Council ownership.
In considering the motion, Members discussed the accuracy of it, in terms of whether it reflected the Executive Board resolution of 18th November 2020. . However, having been moved and seconded, the motion as moved was voted upon, with a request that the Committee’s vote be recorded, and it was
(1) That the update report be noted.
(2) That Councillor N Dawson be appointed as Community Champion for Environment for the remainder of the 2020/21 Municipal Year.
(3) *The Outer South Community Committee notes that the responsibility for community centres is a Community Committee function. This Community Committee rejects the decision made by Executive Board at its meeting last week to close the Lewisham Park Centre in Morley and the Windmill Centre in Rothwell. This Community Committee believes that democratic decisions should be taken at a local level and agrees that both the Lewisham Park Centre and the Windmill Centre will remain open under Leeds City Councils community centre portfolio. This Community Committee agrees that the Community Centre Sub Group should work on a plan to expand the use of both centres so they have a sustainable future under Leeds City Council ownership.
(*That with regard to resolution (3) above, Members of the Committee voted as follows:…For: Councillor D Chapman, Councillor J Elliott, Councillor R Finnigan, Councillor B Gettings, Councillor S Golton, Councillor A Hutchison and Councillor W Kidger. Against: Councillor N Dawson, Councillor B Garner, Councillor L Mulherin and Councillor K Renshaw)