These were received from Councillors Bull, A. Hannan, D. Henson, Hill, Simon Bowkett and John Laramy.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 22 September 2016 be taken as read and signed by the Chair as a correct record.
No representations or questions had been received under the Open Forum arrangements.
Councillor John Hart, Leader of Devon County Council
The Chair welcomed Councillor John Hart, Leader of Devon County Council who spoke on the future direction and plans of the County Council in light of Government policy and continued cuts to local government funding - 2017/18 set to be the 8th consecutive year since 2009 of further restrictions, the precise nature of cuts to become clearer as part of the budget setting process in the New Year.
Having recently met Sajid Javid, the Communities Secretary, Councillor Hart expanded on latest developments in the Devolution debate. A number of areas such as Norfolk and Suffolk had withdrawn interest and, whilst the Secretary had urged a joint Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset bid, Councillor Hart outlined the disparity of views across the region for this approach. Quarterly meetings for the Leaders of Devon, Cornwall, Torbay and Plymouth councils continued to be held and, although Somerset now also participated, within that County the views of districts diverged. Whilst funding of £15 million per year associated with the adoption of the Mayoral system would be available there was no enthusiasm for an extra tier of local government and this sum represented a fraction of the overall County Council budget. With regard to two independent studies looking into potential local government reorganisation in county areas for the County Councils Network, he asserted that County/District relationships in Devon were much improved since the previous ruling on re-organisation as evidenced by various joint initiatives with the Districts, the National Parks and the LEP. However, he suggested that some Devon Districts would face increased financial challenges with changes in New Homes Bonus rules.
In his meeting with the Secretary he had urged greater funding commitment for training and skills given the gap of some 20% between the SE and the SW in productivity and he emphasised the value of apprenticeships, including for small businesses.
He thanked the voluntary/community sector for the role played in supporting the County in the delivery of many of its services referring to Senior Voice, Age Concern and CAB which were valued and supported by the authority. He also referred to ICE where again the input of this sector was invaluable, this initiative being a pilot for the rest of the UK. Community self-reliance was a growing theme and he referred to County initiatives encouraging collaboration between parishes.
Members referred to the impact of the reshaped County Council services on areas such as youth, libraries, reduced rural transport funding of 1.7 million, day care, closure of residential homes, the sale of old people’s homes as well as responsibilities under the Care Act legislation. Responding, Councillor Hart stated that the old people/residential homes had no longer been fit for purpose and that this was also being reflected in the private sector, the County was retaining its overall £4million County wide bus service subsidy and that the transfer of the library service to Charitable Trusts would facilitate business rate relief.
Responding to the concerns of Members regarding the changes emerging from the Care ... view the full minutes text for item 31.
The Chair welcomed Wayne Pearce, the Chair of the Exeter BID, who detailed the work and Business Plan of the BID since its creation in March 2015 and the appointment of its Chief Executive Officer, Craig Bulley in August 2015. The BID levy at 1% from some 600 City Centre businesses generated in excess of £470,000 per annum totalling £2.4million over five years with a collection rate of 95% to date. A key element was promoting the City Centre and attracting more people to visit and, to this end, One Voice Media based in Southernhay had been engaged as a marketing partner with a website - inexeter.com - created for businesses to promote themselves. Other achievements in Year I were:-
For the future, it would be important to maintain high standards of cleanliness and tidiness, to undertake a survey visitors to the City, to increase cultural events such as arts and food festivals and to maintain City Centre vibrancy beyond 5.30pm to link into the night time economy. A consistent City wide shop opening until 6.00 pm would help in this regard and it was suggested that this could help attract non Exeter residents to come into the City Centre.
Rough sleeping and homelessness remained a serious concern and the BID was committed to working with its partners including the Community Safety Partnership, the City Council Customer Access and homelessness teams and the Street Attachment Group.
It was noted that the parking problem issue identified in Cathedral Green would be resolved by bollard provision once a subsidence issue had been resolved and that St. Stephens House would operate the bollard.
The Chair thanked Mr Pearce for attending.
Councillor Barry Parsons, the Cabinet Member for Performance and Engagement, presented the report on the development of the Exeter Youth Strategy and its findings. The strategy had been developed with the support and engagement of Exeter Community Forum, Exeter City Council and Devon County Council to identify young people’s needs. The three bodies were committed to working together to help make Exeter a Young People-Friendly City where the views and aspirations of young people are heard and responded to, and where young people can access the best possible services wherever they live and whatever the wider economic, social and political context. The views of young people should be at the centre of the strategy.
The six priority issues identified within the strategy were:-
The Chief Executive Officer of DYS Space Ltd. (formerly Head of Youth Services, Devon County Council) advised that organisations that worked with young people had identified mental health as the highest priority group for intervention. He also referred to work at Lewisham Borough Council where 29 young people including a Directly Elected Young Mayor had been elected and a youth manifesto drawn up. Other Members referred to opportunities within the civic programme for young people engagement.
Members welcomed the report which it was hoped would provide a step change in youth provision following the closure of the City’s youth centres. Even though there had, at one time, been nine centres in Exeter together with a dedicated street team, it had still not been possible to engage all of the City’s youth. Opportunities for working jointly with cultural groups and Exeter BID were suggested, with potential to encourage the latter to offer free WiFi. A need to improve communication with young people was identified and greater use of social media would help in this respect and would be pursued.
Reference was made to the impact of the loss of the centres particularly in the West Exe/Exwick area and possible linkage with recent disruption at the local high school was suggested. The Beacon Centre in Beacon Heath had been a notable success.
Next steps involved the co-ordination of stakeholders and a launch in the New Year.
(1) the Board noted the draft strategy and encouraged its constituent bodies including Exeter City Council, Devon County Council and Exeter Community Forum to adopt the priorities it identifies;
(2) support a launch event for the Strategy, to be held during February half-term 2017, as a platform to engage wider stakeholders in the development of the strategy priorities, alongside young people; and
(3) encourage partner agencies and bodies and youth focused organisations to collaborate on campaigning to achieve the priorities identified through the strategy.
(a) Exeter Health and Wellbeing Board
Minutes of the meeting held on 13 September 2016.
(b) Community Safety Partnership – Executive Group
Minutes of the meeting held on 13 July 2016.
(c) Exeter Community Forum – Feedback from Diana Moore.
Exeter Health and Wellbeing Board
The Board noted the minutes of the meeting held on 12 April 2016.
The Programme Manager (Communities) was requested to update Councillor Morse on progress with the Health Board priority of improving diet.
Community Safety Partnership
The Board noted the minutes of the meeting held on 14 January 2016.
Councillor Hannaford reported that Devon County Council Early Help Provision were now represented on the Partnership.
Exeter Community Forum
The Chair welcomed Diana Moore who, as Chair of the Exeter Community Forum, reported on the work of the Forum. A grants panel had been formed with funding guidance developed, the first round of funding to commence in the New Year. The initial fund would be £50,000 and applications could be up to £10,000. She asked Members to encourage local organisations to apply. A larger grant round would be held, probably in Autumn 2017, which would be asset based for bids up to and over £50,000.
Cormac Russell, an academic and leading exponent of asset based community development, would speak to a forthcoming joint Exeter Community Forum/ICE event.
It was the ultimate intention to increase the number of community organisers in the City and for their work to cover health issues and to work with GP surgeries.
The Chair thanked Diana Moore for the update.
The Funding sub–group, at the meeting on the 1 November 2016, had discussed priorities for funding for this financial year.
It was considered that Exeter Board funding priorities should in the main help to reduce (economic, social, environmental and health) inequalities in the City by promoting community activity that addressed one or more of these, preferably in co-operation or partnership with others in the City, in order to affect a change in the capacity across the whole City.
RESOLVED that the:-
(1) minutes of the Funding Sub Group of 1 November 2016 be noted; and
(2) the inequalities to be supported would be:-
1. Economic: Homelessness, Community Level Social Enterprise initiatives, Job creation, Skills and training for disadvantaged groups, Food Poverty
2. Social: Older People Isolation, Youth, greater integration for Black and Minority Ethnic groups, Hate Crime, Domestic Violence
3. Environmental: Community led initiatives connected to Green Spaces, and Disabled Access to Green Spaces
4. Health: Initiatives to promote greater Health and Wellbeing, Dementia initiatives, Mental Health issues, Alcohol and Drug use
It would be at the discretion of the Funding sub-group of Exeter Board to award funding outside of this criteria.
Each year there will be a review of what will be supported within the context of these inequalities.
Dates of Meetings and Future Business
Board Meetings – at the Civic Centre starting at 5.30pm
Thursday 2 February 2017
Monday 27 March 2017
Thursday13 July 2017
Thursday 21 September 2017
Members are asked to consider topics and themes and whether to have sight of the forward plans of the City Council’s Executive and the County Council’s Cabinet and of Scrutiny Committees.
Items for 2017
Exeter Cycling Strategy/Transport issues
Social Prescribing and Community Resilience Programme/Personal Support Unit
Ending Domestic Sexual Violence and Abuse- reference from Community Safety Strategy Group on request of Councillor Hannaford
The following dates of future Board meetings were noted, all commencing at 5.30pm in the Civic Centre:-
Thursday 2 February 2017
Monday 27 March 2017
Thursday13 July 2017
Thursday 21 September 2017
RESOLVED that sustainable transport in general including a cycling strategy for Exeter be agreed as the theme for the 2 February Board meeting.