Agenda item

Best City Ambition - Refresh

To consider the report of the Head of Policy, Strategy and Resources, as an introduction to a presentation on the Best City Ambition refresh, which provides the Inner East Community Committee with an opportunity to discuss and provide input on local issues.



The Committee received the report of the Head of Policy, Strategy and Resources which introduced a presentation on the Best City Ambition refresh.


In attendance;

Mike Eakins – Head of Policy

Rosemary Armitage – Intelligence & Policy Manager


The Head of Policy presented the report. The Best City Ambition (BCA) was launched two years ago to replace the previous Best Council Plan in order for the plan to utilise city-wide working beyond Leeds City Council (LCC). The BCA has a focus on tackling poverty and inequality. It is based on the three pillars of LCC; health & wellbeing, inclusive growth and zero carbon. A November 2022 peer review by the Local Government Association found that the BCA had wide reaching buy in from partners, stakeholders and staff.


The Head of Policy outlined the Social Progress Index (SPI), a tool which will deliver ward-based insights on a wide range of data points. The SPI has been developed by the global non-profit Social Progress Initiative. Councillors were offered further training on using the SPI.


The BCA will be released around January 2024, and it’s aims will largely have deadlines of 2030.


Following this was a discussion, highlights of which include;

·  The disparity of life expectancy between residents of Burmantofts and Richmond Hill with residents in more affluent areas across the city was noted. Councillor L Farley noted that this was impacted by national policy. The Head of Policy noted that the BCA has aided building an evidence base to negotiate with central government.

·  Data for the SPI is sourced from Leeds City Council, other organisations and national government data. All of the data is available online and can be accessed at

·  The Leeds PIPES scheme was noted as being a successful project supporting inclusive growth due to the issue of families choosing between heat and food.

·  The role of partnership working was discussed, with Councillor K Dye highlighting the Seacroft umbrella network of third sector organisations, ‘We Are Seacroft’, which originated during the pandemic and continues to meet weekly, which has been based on the ABCD principles (Asset Based Community Development).

·  The Chair noted the negative impact of a lack of school places in Gipton & Harehills, with a particularly negative impact felt by single mothers who have multiple schools to take their children to whilst working full time. There is no secondary school within the ward.

·  Councillor L Farley noted that the ‘Team Leeds’ branding to tie in with the BCA felt corporate and may not be relevant to communities.

·  In response to a question from Councillor L Farley regarding how to increase central government funding for social housing, the Head of Policy confirmed there are regular discussions by LCC and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority with government about how to increase powers and funding – including through devolution – on issues such as housing which has a significant impact on communities.

·  Councillor D Jenkins requested that Public Health be invited to the next meeting to discuss the Marmot City programme.


Councillor J Tudor requested that a resident be given permission to speak during this item rather than wait for the Community Comment section.


A resident was granted permission to speak at the end of the item but as the issues raised were not of relevance to this particular item, the Chair moved on to the next item.


RESOLVED – That the contents of the presentation be noted.



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