Agenda, decisions and minutes

Regeneration and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 22nd February, 2022 5.30 pm

Venue: the Banqueting Hall - City Hall, Bradford. View directions

Contact: Su Booth - 07814 073884 

Items
No. Item

79.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

(Members Code of Conduct - Part 4A of the Constitution)

 

To receive disclosures of interests from members and co-opted members on matters to be considered at the meeting. The disclosure must include the nature of the interest.

 

An interest must also be disclosed in the meeting when it becomes apparent to the member during the meeting.

 

Notes:

 

(1)       Members may remain in the meeting and take part fully in discussion and voting unless the interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an interest which the Member feels would call into question their compliance with the wider principles set out in the Code of Conduct.  Disclosable pecuniary interests relate to the Member concerned or their spouse/partner.

 

(2)       Members in arrears of Council Tax by more than two months must not vote in decisions on, or which might affect, budget calculations, and must disclose at the meeting that this restriction applies to them.  A failure to comply with these requirements is a criminal offence under section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. 

 

(3)       Members are also welcome to disclose interests which are not disclosable pecuniary interests but which they consider should be made in the interest of clarity.

 

(4)       Officers must disclose interests in accordance with Council Standing Order 44.

 

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest received for matters under consideration.

 

80.

MINUTES

Recommended –

 

That the minutes of the meetings held on 11 January 2022 be signed as a correct record (previously circulated).

 

(Su Booth -07814 073884)

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That the minutes of the reconvened meeting of 21 December 2021 and the meeting of 11 January 2022 held on 11 January 2022 be signed as a correct record.

 

Action – City Solicitor

81.

REFERRALS TO THE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

Any referrals that have been made to this Committee up to and including the date of publication of this agenda will be reported at the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no referrals to the Committee.

 

82.

INSPECTION OF REPORTS AND BACKGROUND PAPERS

(Access to Information Procedure Rules – Part 3B of the Constitution)

 

Reports and background papers for agenda items may be inspected by contacting the person shown after each agenda item.  Certain reports and background papers may be restricted. 

 

Any request to remove the restriction on a report or background paper should be made to the relevant Strategic Director or Assistant Director whose name is shown on the front page of the report. 

 

If that request is refused, there is a right of appeal to this meeting. 

 

Please contact the officer shown below in advance of the meeting if you wish to appeal. 

 

(Asad Shah - 01274 432280)

 

Minutes:

There were no appeals submitted to review decisions to restrict documents.

 

83.

CLIMATE AND SUSTAINABILITY pdf icon PDF 550 KB

The report of the Strategic Director, Place (Document “M”) will be submitted to provide an overview of progress on sustainable development and climate action by the Council. It includes key headlines and summarises the wider context for this work including West Yorkshire, national legislative and policy changes from Government.

 

Recommended –

 

That Members note the report and that an update report will be submitted in 2022-23

 

(Jamie Saunders – 01274 434123)

 

 

Decision:

Resolved –

 

That the report be noted and that an update report be submitted in 2022-23

 

Action: Strategic Director, Place

 

 

Minutes:

The report of the Strategic Director, Place (Document “M”) was submitted to the Committee and provided an overview of progress made in relation to sustainable development climate action by the Council.  It also included details of key headlines and a summary of the wider context for the work including West Yorkshire, national legislative and policy changes from the Government.

 

A sustainable development plan was approved by Executive in March 2020, was followed by the adoption of the Council Plan 2021-25 plus the approval by the Wellbeing Board of the District Plan 2021-25.

 

The disruption of the Covid pandemic was well known and acknowledged and had impacted on the context and progress of developmental challenges and opportunities.  The report also specified the substantial legislative, policy and operational changes relating to environmental management, climate action and sustainable development.

 

The report detailed a considerable number of actions, initiatives and projects taking place including woodland trust work, sustainable development involving a private sector led Sustainable Development Partnership, engaging with key local businesses to improve food supply systems, low carbon infrastructure and low carbon for fleet vehicles.  The Council continued to work collaboratively with WYCA to take clean growth and environmental resilience forward.  The West Yorkshire Climate and Environment Plan was approved in October 2021 to address decarbonisation.  Engagement work carried out in the summer of 2021 had already led to clean air compliant, low carbon vehicles as part of the Clean Air Programme, contributing to the overall emissions reduction.  The programme was due to run over seven years and the progress already achieved had earned the Authority an award from the LGC in the Climate Response Awards 2021.

 

The North Sea BEGIN project was now a benchmark for projects to demonstrate innovative and inclusive approaches to regional development, the overall objective being to demonstrate at target sites, how cities could improve climate resilience with Blue Green Infrastructure involving stakeholders.

 

Funding allocated had not been fully spent due to the ongoing disruptions caused by the pandemic, but these had been rolled over into 2021-22 with capital re-profiled for future years’ delivery.  The report also outlined the external funding and how it was to be used.

 

The Clean Growth ambition would develop through the next six months to provide improved programming and reporting on initiatives, schemes, delivery and impact across all place-based investment. 

 

Members were then given the opportunity to comment and ask questions.  The details of these and the responses given are as below.

 

·         The Chair asked who had benefitted, how, were there any targets in place and how were Wards inputting their ideas etc?

·      Officers advised that a dedicated report would go to each Area Committee and was presented at the relevant meetings.  Officers were looking at the total impact, working with Area Co-ordinators to see what projects had been completed.  Funds were allocated via the Grants Advisory Group (GAG) process

 

·      Members requested that the details of the works carried out was circulated to them

 

·      A Member asked for an explanation of what  ...  view the full minutes text for item 83.

84.

SKILLS FOR WORK UPDATE pdf icon PDF 284 KB

The report of the Chef Executive (Document “T”) will be submitted to provide Members with an update on Skills for Work - the Council’s delivery arm for Apprenticeships, and Adult, Family and Community learning - including details of achievements, the impact of Covid and future plans.

 

Recommended –

 

1.            That Members note the content of this report, the challenges posed by the pandemic to the service, and mitigating actions undertaken;

2.            That Members welcome the continued success of SfW’s Apprenticeships programme across the District, and the progress made in recovering Adult and Community Learning provision in 2021/22 to date;

3.            That Members promote and support the Community and Family learning provision available in the localities to stimulate residents’ engagement with the programme; and

4.            That Members consider current delivery data (Appendix 2) and community settings (Appendix 4) and facilitate appropriate connections to additional venues and/or community groups that may increase the reach of the service within disadvantaged communities.

 

(Phil Hunter - 07896 727653)

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

1.         That the contents of the report be noted, that members noted the challenges posed by the pandemic to the service, and mitigating actions undertaken

 

2.         That Members welcomed the continued success of SfW’s Apprenticeships programme across the District, and the progress made in recovering Adult and Community Learning provision in 2021/22 to date

 

3.         That Members would promote and support the Community and Family learning provision available in the localities to stimulate residents’ engagement with the programme

 

4.         That Members considered current delivery data (Appendix 2) and community settings (Appendix 4) and would facilitate appropriate connections to additional venues and/or community groups that could increase the reach of the service within disadvantaged communities.

 

Action: Chief Executive

 

 

Minutes:

The report of the Assistant Director Office of the Chief Executive (Document “T”) was submitted to the Committee to provide an update on the Council’s delivery arm for Apprenticeships, Adult, Family and community learning.  The ‘Skills for Work’ (SfW) programme was intended to address skills inequalities and have a positive impact on residents by enhanced equality of opportunity.  The report included details of achievements, the impact of Covid and future plans.

 

SfW was a fully traded service with all funding coming from external sources and was within the scope of Ofsted’s common inspection framework.  In response to Ofsted’s recommendation for a discrete Board, SfW had its own Governing Body to provide effective governance.

 

SfW was inspected in 2017 by Ofsted and was judged as Good.  A further self-assessment using the Ofsted framework also was judged as good using specific headline inspection measures.

 

SfW was dependant on generating income from learners’ participation, success and types of course, the numbers of which fell significantly for a variety of reasons during the Covid pandemic.

 

The reduction or venue closures severely restricted the more successful methods of marketing.  Numbers dropped from 1200 to 300 and whilst there was a subsequent increase in December 2021 back up to 594, a significant portion of the client group remained unable or reluctant to engage, even when restrictions eased.  Digital access and inclusion continued to be a barrier to learning and the success of the actions taken to mitigate the impact of less engagement through provision of online learning, IT equipment and staff training, still left barriers to success.

 

Over 600 young people have started on Kickstart placements for 18-24year olds, coordinated by SkillsHouse.  Of these, 319 were within Bradford Council and 293 across the employer partnership which included a range of employer types and sizes covering all sectors of the economy. SfW were the preferred training provider for Bradford Council for Apprenticeships, enabling and supporting learners to gain skills and qualifications.

 

Adult and Community learner numbers fell and were much lower than pre-pandemic and achievement success also fell.  A refreshed action plan was implemented and reviewed regularly in 2021 and indicated that achievement rates had recovered somewhat and were approaching the same levels as achieved in 2017/18.

 

The report concluded with thanks being given to partners and schools who had helped with engagement.

 

The Chair commented on the positive work and engagement at community level.

 

Members were then given the opportunity to comment and ask questions, the details of which, and the responses given, are as below.

 

·      In relation to the applicant success rate – did this mean those who had passed or did it refer to the number undertaking education?

·      Officers confirmed that it was the pass rate which was measured locally and nationally

 

·      Applications for apprenticeships as a preference over the academic route, was this being taken into consideration to draw down funding to make it available to young people?

·      Officers stated that is was an important pathway that could see more  ...  view the full minutes text for item 84.

85.

WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 129 KB

The report of the Chair (Document “U”) will be submitted to the Committee to provide the latest version of the work plan for 2021-22.

 

Recommended –

 

That the Work programme 2021-22 continues to be regularly reviewed during the year.

 

(Caroline Coombes - 07970 413828)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Chair (Document “U”) was submitted to provide Members with the work plan for the current municipal year for review and comment.

 

Resolved –

 

That the Work Programme continued to be regularly reviewed during the year.

 

Action: Overview and Scrutiny Lead