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 groups in the community and sometimes leaflet dropping is a better way of engaging. Officers provided an example in the Holbeck ward of work undertaken on leaflet dropping and it was noted that colleagues will confirm how engagement will be moved forward more broadly.
The Localities Managers in attendance provided an overview of the positive work that has been undertaken in their areas, and examples of positive long-term partnerships that have been established in various wards.
The Head of Locality Partnerships and Executive Member summarised by highlighting the positive relationship and support received from the Scrutiny Board, as well as requesting that the Scrutiny Board establish a working group on the review of Community Committees.
The Chair thanked those in attendance.
RESOLVED – To:
a) Note the contents of the report and presentation provided during the meeting.
b) Note the progress and comment on the delivery of the new locality ways of working.
c) Note and comment on the development of the new Local Area Plans.
d) Consider the request to establish a working group on the review of Community Committees and in particular, the Champion Roles.