Agenda and draft minutes

Sefton Borough Partnership Operations Board - Tuesday 12th June, 2012 2.30 pm

Venue: Town Hall, Bootle

Contact: Mike Morris  Senior Committee Administrator

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Dr. J. Atherton (NHS Sefton), Rob Pritchard (Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service), Paul Holt (Merseyside Probation Trust), Peter Morgan (Strategic Director - People), Gillian Thomas (Job Centre Plus), Roy Williams (One Vision Housing) and Yana Williams (Hugh Baird College).


Minutes pdf icon PDF 69 KB


It was agreed that the Minutes of the meeting of the Operations Board held on 19 March 2012 be confirmed as a correct record.


Matters Arising

To consider matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting


There were no matters arising.


Update on Welfare Reform


Margaret Carney indicated that the Council was taking the lead in developing a single core message on welfare reform, with various work streams being undertaken, including the development of a corporate policy and financial inclusion.  It was hoped to submit an initial report to Councillors at the end of July.  Angela White indicated that Sefton CVS had also undertaken a piece of work on this subject.  Margaret believed that this issue was likely to have the biggest impact on local communities in the immediate future.  She was concerned about the cumulative impact and anticipated that a report on what could be done collectively would need to be considered by the Board.  Jo Beet confirmed that the reform of social welfare constituted significant changes and she offered to share information she held on the subject, on request.  Steph Prewett stated that an overarching briefing note on the matter had been completed and officers had started to examine possible specific impacts.  For example, illegal moneylenders were active in certain areas where local credit unions had indicated that they had funds available, but people were not taking loans up.  Another problem was the number of people in the community with no access to on-line facilities and information and Angela White recognised that there was a significant “digital divide”.  Jo Beet indicated that facilities were being provided in job centres in order to address this issue.  Margaret Carney suggested that there should be a single item agenda for the Board’s next meeting in order to focus on welfare reform matters.  One specific issue which would be affected was the Council Tax Benefits Scheme.  With effect from next year, such schemes would have to be funded by the local authorities instead of by the Government.  As a result, the Council would have to start consulting in the next few months on a new local scheme and also find a way of identifying the most vulnerable people who may be affected.  Phil Halewood queried whether this would give rise to equality implications in relation to protecting particular groups, for example, pensioners. Margaret Carney accepted that this was a valid concern and she believed that certain issues might have to be tested in the Courts.  It was clearly the case that even in family units with two wage earners, they could still officially be classified as living below the poverty line.  In addition, the reforms may give rise to a disproportionate effect on women.  Margaret felt that it would be useful to have as much data as possible available for the next meeting.  Graham Bayliss asked if Angela White and Jo Beet could let him have as much relevant information as possible.  Jo understood that a coalition of local authorities had been formed in the Manchester area and wondered if any lessons could be learned from their experiences.  If there was a specific report available on the issue, Jo agreed to forward it.  Phil Halewood commented that one of the problems was that the situation was constantly  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Sefton Economic Strategy



It was agreed to defer the planned presentation on this matter.  Margaret Carney explained that the strategy was currently out for consultation and she indicated that all organisations were being encouraged to respond by the deadline of the end of June.


Outcomes of Workshop and Visioning Exercise pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Additional documents:


The Board considered a summary of responses from participants in the workshop session held in Bootle Town Hall on 15 May 2012, together with a detailed report by Sue Holden on the outcomes of the Visioning Workshop held on 25 April 2012 in the Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre.  Sue indicated that the Visioning Workshop was well attended.  It had emerged that what was needed was a single Partnership message and that the challenge was in measuring its effectiveness.  The idea of “mystery shopping” of services was a common theme and participants had been very positive towards the possibility of sharing/pooling resources.  Once political endorsement of the Vision was obtained, the Board would receive a report back and the process of engaging with the public would begin.  Sue added that the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and Wellbeing Strategy had now been drafted and would shortly be put out for consultation.  Margaret Carney stated that the Visioning Workshop had been very positive and she thanked those who had attended.  Although the participants may have been using different words, it was apparent that there was a significant communality of ideas.  Although the Vision would continue to be refined, she wanted to move quickly from articulation to action and to consider the targeting of resources. Angela White thanked everyone for what she regarded as a really valuable exercise.


In relation to the Workshop on 15 May, it appeared that participants seemed to be happy with the summary in general.  Margaret Carney believed that the commitment made by the representatives on the Board was a vital issue, as was linking actions and outcomes to the Visioning principles.


Christina Jones felt that actions and outcomes were key to the Board’s work and she favoured formal meetings of the Board being supplemented by action learning sessions, not necessarily held at Bootle Town Hall, but perhaps at the members’ own premises.  Sue Lowe indicated that she was willing to offer Hugh Baird College as a potential future meeting venue, if required.  Phil Halewood indicated his preference for clear outputs and objectives, with timescales and the use of task and finish groups, as part of an action learning process.


Next Steps


Christina Jones indicated that the next meeting on 17 July should focus on welfare reform.  A subsequent meeting would look at reviewing the Board’s terms of reference.


Margaret Carney felt that we should try to meet at a venue other than Bootle Town Hall.


Any Other Business


Nikki Holland asked if the Council had a specific initiative dealing with troubled families.  Margaret Carney to contact Peter Morgan, who is the appropriate Strategic Director, to  liaise with Nikki about this.


Angela White praised the efficient organisation of the “Olympic Ring” event during the passage of the Olympic Torch through the borough on 1 June 2012.


Angela also referred to the inspiring nature of a citizenship ceremony at which she had been present this morning.


StephPrewett referred to the large number of successful street parties which had been held in the borough recently to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.


Margaret Carney suggested that each Board member should refer to at least one “success story” from their own organisation at the next meeting.