Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Friday, 17 July 2020 10.30 a.m.

Contact: Committee Services 

Link: View Live Stream of the meeting here

Items
No. Item

O&S/14

Chairman's Introduction

Minutes:

Following confirmation that the live stream of the meeting had commenced, the Chairman welcomed everyone to the second virtual meeting of South Lakeland District Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

The Chairman referred to the new Government legislation allowing councils to conduct remote meetings and explained in detail to all taking part, and for the benefit of members of the public, the procedures for the meeting. She then invited Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to introduce themselves, to advise whether they were taking part by video or audio and to confirm that they were able to see (where practicable) and hear all Members participating in the meeting. All Members present, including the Chairman herself, indicated that this was the case. The Chairman then referred to Members of the Council’s Cabinet who were also present at the meeting, to participate and answer questions, although without voting rights. The Chairman invited Cabinet Members to introduce themselves and to advise whether they were taking part by video or audio and to confirm that they were able to see (where practicable) and hear all Members participating in the meeting. The Chairman then referred to officers present at the meeting who would introduce themselves when asked to address the meeting.

O&S/15

Minutes pdf icon PDF 591 KB

To authorise the Chairman to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 22 June 2020.

Minutes:

RESOLVED - That the Chairman be authorised to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 22 June 2020.

O&S/16

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations by Members of interests in respect of items on this Agenda.

 

Members are reminded that, in accordance with the revised Code of Conduct, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests or other registrable interests which have not already been declared in the Council’s Register of Interests.  (It is a criminal offence not to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest either in the Register or at the meeting.)

 

Members may, however, also decide, in the interests of clarity and transparency, to declare at this point in the meeting, any such disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared in the Register, as well as any other registrable or other interests.

 

If a Member requires advice on any item involving a possible declaration of interest which could affect his/her ability to speak and/or vote, he/she is advised to contact the Monitoring Officer at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

Minutes:

For the purpose of transparency in relation to Agenda Items No.12 (Cumbria Choice Based Lettings Allocations Policy Review) and 15 (Tenancy Strategy Update 2020), Councillor Suzie Pye raised the fact that she was a tenant of South Lakes Housing and that, having sought legal advice, she would remain in the meeting as a Cabinet Member, with no voting rights.

 

Similarly, Councillor Suzanne Long, for the purposes of transparency, raised the fact that she held a position as South Lakeland District Council’s nominated representative on the Board of South Lakes Housing, in relation to Agenda Items No.12 (Cumbria Choice Based Lettings Allocations Policy Review) and 15 (Tenancy Strategy Update 2020).

 

Councillor Eamon Hennessey declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item No.17 (Locality Development Update Report), by virtue of the fact that he was a Member of Friends of Fletcher Park, a group listed as a stakeholder in Appendix 2 of the Agenda.

 

RESOLVED – That it be noted that no declarations of interest were raised.

 

O&S/17

Declaration of the Party Whip

In accordance with Rule 17 of the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules, any Member who is subject to a party whip on any item must declare the existence and nature of the whip.

Minutes:

RESOLVED - That it be noted that no declarations of the party whip were raised.

O&S/18

Local Government Act 1972 - Excluded Items

To consider whether the items, if any, in Part II of the Agenda should be considered in the presence of the press and public.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that there are no excluded items on the Agenda.

O&S/19

Public Participation

Any member of the public who wishes to ask a question, make representations or present a deputation or petition at this meeting should apply to do so by no later than 0:01am (one minute past midnight) two working days before the meeting.  Information on how to make the application can be obtained by viewing the Council’s Website www.southlakeland.gov.uk or by contacting the Committee Services Team on 01539 733333.

 

(1)        Questions and Representations

 

To receive any questions or representations which have been received from members of the public.

 

(2)        Deputations and Petitions

 

To receive any deputations or petitions which have been received from members of the public.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that no questions, representations, deputations or petitions have been received in respect of this meeting.

O&S/20

Medium Term Financial Plan 2020/21 - 2025/26 pdf icon PDF 227 KB

To consider the draft Medium Term Financial Plan 2020/21 – 2025/26.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) was a key element of the Council’s corporate planning framework, to ensure the Council had sufficient financial resources in the short - to medium term to deliver its statutory responsibilities and its Council Plan priorities.

 

Due to the impact of COVID-19, the report included high-level projections based on the information available as at early July 2020. The situation was changing significantly and quickly. The projections would be regularly reviewed and reported during the 2021/22 budget preparation process. The Council was required by statute to set a balanced budget in February 2021.

 

The Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder highlighted to Members the great fluidity of the situation and referred Members to section 4 of the MTFP, which outlined the impact of COVID-19 on the budget. Namely, £1.8 million was the current impact, which would be funded from reserves, with a drop in income of £3.8 million across the year. An income shortfall of £1.35 million could be seen in car parking in the first quarter despite car parks being fully open due to the income being much weaker in Town areas. Significant shortfalls were emphasised in other areas such as the caravan site, operating at restricted capacity. Additionally, there was a costing of £1 million in leisure services due to COVID-19, well beyond original budget costs. However, this was partly offset by additional government funding of £1.2 million in the form of grants in two trenches. Lastly, on top of loss of income and additional costs there was a reduction in Council Tax income, though this would not affect this financial year.

 

There would be further impacts of COVID-19 in the coming years, such as lower receipts from domestic rates and Council Tax income and a higher level of defaults on bad debts predicted between 2021/2 and 2025 with the Council expecting to retain this.

 

Moreover, fees and charges would be in a shortfall, cumulatively at a loss of £2.5 million in future years where there would be no expected government support to cover such shortfalls. The Portfolio Holder explained there would be a need to rebuild the reserves that would cost per annum for each of the next 3 years.

 

In summary, in the remaining years, there would be a loss of £3 million in tax and other income, which would leave the Council close to the level of allocated reserves, a major challenge to the Medium Term Financial Plan. The Council agreed the net draft budget on 25 February 2020, nevertheless there was a growing deficit around business rates and future government funding and the impact of COVID-19 needed to be factored into this. Indeed, the situation could worsen if there were a second wave or other related COVID-19 issues in occurrence.

 

The Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder closed, assuring Members that officers were already looking at ways to cut costs and increase profits. Despite the grim Medium Term Financial Plan there was a need to offset costs of COVID-19 and in light  ...  view the full minutes text for item O&S/20

O&S/21

Shaping the COVID-19 Pandemic Response pdf icon PDF 229 KB

To consider the main issues facing the Council in responding to the COVID 19 pandemic.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Strategy, Innovation and Resources presented the report and explained the scale of financial challenges facing the Council, stating that the item sat neatly between finances and the discussion of the Committee’s future Work Programme.

 

The response aimed at providing the Committee with a focus to shape the Council’s response to COVID-19 as part of the Committee’s future Work Programme. The Director of Strategy, Innovation and Resources thanked Officers for their hard work and can do attitude during the pandemic. He explained that due to the positive staff response in light of COVID-19 assisted by technology processes and systems, as part of the Customer Connect programme, the Council had been in a position to respond in a proactive and timely manner. He explained that despite the pandemic continuing to manifest, there were still requirements for the ongoing dedication of staff and of resources. The Director expressed his thanks for the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to look into this matter.

 

The Director of Strategy, Innovation and Resources drew Members’ attention to the report and explained that the depth of crisis was not known at this point in time. There was a definitive change in how the Council would work through its recovery with a shift in discussions to focus on recovery, rather than the immediacy of crisis. He reminded Members of the Medium Term Financial Plan and the messages this had for the organisation. He highlighted to Members Section 3 of the report, which provided a short retrospect on a countywide response with service disruption and additional activity. The Director discussed the different weights of work, the re-issuing of Business Rate Tax relieve, and that of business grants. In the form of information and communication, the Council was best placed to communicate issues. He then further discussed business continuity, the flexibility of Human Resources and the work between Officers and Members to keep the Council functioning.

 

The Director of Strategy, Innovation and Resources highlighted to Members the provision of services and explained the Council would need to ensure the reinstatement of services such as the re-opening of leisure centres. He explained that legislation was changing, an example of being able to respond to the pandemic and what ways the government can assist in our recovering economy. He stated that Customer Connect had enabled the Council to reassess and update the risk register with muted virtual decision-making, robust decisions and the re-join transition.

 

Section 5 of the report focused on possible solutions and how would they would work, how would they formulate and how the Council’s resources were being best deployed. As highlighted in Section 5.4 of the report there were areas of operation that faced additional demand from the crisis such as the role of Housing and Tax collection, Licensing, Public Protection and many other areas including Finance, Human Resources and Democratic Services, all if which had additional demands placed on the services.

 

The Director of Strategy, Innovation and Resources highlighted to Members, at Pages 86-87 of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item O&S/21

O&S/22

Work Programme 2019/2020 pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To consider the outcome of the Committee’s 2019/20 Work Programme and the recommended course of action.

Minutes:

The Legal, Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist (Monitoring Officer) provided Members with an update following last year’s Overview and Scrutiny Work Programme. She explained the Committee’s previous work on Locality would be discussed later in the Agenda at Items No.16 and 17.

 

The Monitoring Officer explained last year’s work on climate change fed into the Climate Change Action Plan, considered at the Committee’s last meeting on 22 June 2020, which then later fed into discussions at Cabinet and then at Council.

 

The Monitoring Officer then clarified the Private Water Supplies Workshop report held on 23 February 2020 would next be presented at the Overview and Scrutiny meeting on 04 December 2020. Moreover, she explained the Morecambe Bay and Clinic Commissioning Group were to provide an update at the cancelled April 2020 meeting; however, these updates would be re-arranged in due course and provided when appropriate. Lastly, she updated Members that the work with Northern Rail would continue and so would the work with the Community Safety Partnerships.

 

RESOLVED - That

 

(1)  the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s Work Programme 2019/20 update be noted.

O&S/23

Work Programme 2020/2021 pdf icon PDF 120 KB

To consider the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2020/21, and the contents of the latest Forward Plan.

Minutes:

The Legal, Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist (Monitoring Officer) delivered an update on the Work Programme for 2020/21. She explained it was a recommendation that the Committee focus on the Council’s COVID-19 recovery in the form of a one-day workshop. Members would be asked to work on particular themes and the Sub-Group of the Committee who met also discussed that the Committee were to agree that the next Overview and Scrutiny meeting would take place in December 2020 with a full day workshop to be held in October.  This would allow the Committee to feedback any recommendations into the December 2020 meeting and consider any other items that would feed into Council and Cabinet decision making.

 

RESOLVED - That

 

(1)  the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s Work Programme 2020/21 focus on the Council’s COVID-19 recovery; and

 

(2)  the Overview and Scrutiny Committee hold a one-day workshop in October and a full Committee meeting in December.

O&S/24

Council Plan Performance Monitoring Quarter 1 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 356 KB

To monitor progress against the measures of success as detailed within the current Council Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder introduced the Council Plan Performance Monitoring report for quarter one of 2020/21. The Leader thanked the Director of Strategy, Innovation and Resources, the Legal, Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist (Monitoring Officer), and all Officers within the Monitoring Officer’s team for their work over the previous months in running the Council’s Virtual Meetings with such efficiency.

 

The Council had gone through a phase of discontinuity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this in turn, had created a new state of living, ultimately changing the risks of the Council. This had impacted society, and as a result, unemployment rates and claims for Universal Credit had increased. The Leader brought to Members’ attention that South Lakeland had one of the highest furlough rates in the country demonstrating that businesses had struggled during this time, although Government measures had helped tremendously.   

 

The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder praised the Council’s resilience and adaptive capacity in its continuance to work during this time. He then drew Members’ attention to the Council’s Strategic Risk Register within the report. The matrix provided an ‘at a glance’ view of the Council’s priority risks in which the Leader highlighted to Members those areas considered a higher risk. He then welcomed questions and comments from Members.

 

Members had hoped the Council were looking at these risks on a weekly basis since the percentages were very concerning, they also sought clarification on what was meant by ‘above tolerance’, a term used within the risk register. Assurance was sought that the Council would be acting upon these risks on a weekly, and even daily, basis.  The Leader, in response, stated those top risks were being given great attention on a daily basis, as demonstrated earlier in the Draft Medium Term Financial Plan presented by the Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder.

 

The Health, Wellbeing and Financial Resilience Portfolio Holder, a Member of the Local Community Resilience Group who met fortnightly, provided further clarification on those risks affecting welfare and poverty. She explained the local representative for the Department of Working Pensions provided weekly material and Karen Evans, Manager of South Lakes Citizens Advice Bureau, provided weekly updates in between meetings. It would be difficult to project with any accuracy, as a Council, what could be put in place in the future. The government’s furlough scheme would end in October 2020, resulting in an increase in redundancies and claims for job support. Therefore, re-training and re-skilling may need to occur in order for local residences to secure jobs outside their ordinary areas and possibly travel outside the district of South Lakeland.

 

The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder provided assurance that all areas would be monitored closely on a regular basis.

 

Members discussed the lack of business opportunities at the moment and the need to support young people at college, emphasising that many were worried, particularly those graduating from education as to what opportunities would be available to them. The Director of  ...  view the full minutes text for item O&S/24

O&S/25

Cumbria Choice Based Letting Allocations Policy pdf icon PDF 159 KB

To consider the draft Cumbria Choice Allocations Policy for recommendation to Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee were asked to consider the draft Cumbria Choice Based Letting Allocation Policy. Approval of this Policy would ensure that there was greater clarity for households in South Lakeland who were currently registered for social housing or who may register in the future. The proposed Policy would help to ensure that there was a consistent and fair approach amongst registered providers with regard to letting homes in South Lakeland to meet the greatest housing needs. It was expected that the proposed changes would simplify the operation of the Policy to the benefit of all who use it and to customers.

 

The Deputy Leader and Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder expressed the critical importance of the policy to the Council. The policy had sought affordable rent across Cumbria policy since its operation begun in 2011, which its last review taking place in 2016. Since then, there had been the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act alongside other significant changes to the process by which people could apply to housing. These changes had been incorporated into the policy. The Portfolio Holder thanked the Chair and passed over to the Principal Specialist (People) to provide further information to Members on the details of the policy.

 

The Principal Specialist (People) had previously met with a small Sub-Group of the Committee on 06 July 2020 who had addressed various points surrounding the policy. Questions were raised on tenant representation, data by district, banding and qualification amongst others. The Board had appointed a specialist advisor, Andy Gale, a former Government Minister who had reviewed the policy.

 

The Principal Specialist (People) explained the bands within the policy and made reference to the Homelessness Reduction Act which prevented homelessness from happening in the first instance. The Principal Specialist (People) discussed the issue of downsizing for those who had close family in the area and a local connection, explaining that the section 106 agreement would take precedent. The Specialist provided clarification on what stipulated a reasonable offer and explained that the Appeals process was not entirely clear with a right to review. From the Local Consultation there had only been a small number of replies namely from the Parish Council of Coniston who had set out a number of different points with little comment from individual responses. 

 

The Chairman thanked the Principal Specialist (People) for her proactive response to questions and expressed her gratitude to the Specialist’s hard work on the policy.

 

As outlined in the document the total number of active applicants was nearer to 4000 people whereas this had previously been 3000 people. Members sought clarification if this was a true representation of the current problem. In response, the Principal Specialist (People) provided a breakdown of household composition and make-up; 40% of the register related to single applicants, 16% to couples and 38% to families with children, representing approximately 7,592 in total including dependants. The register had around 3000 applicants but housing need had increased as a result of COVID-19 and this would continue to  ...  view the full minutes text for item O&S/25

O&S/26

Council Tax Discretionary Relief Policy pdf icon PDF 148 KB

To consider the Council Tax Discretionary Relief Policy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder presented the Policy to Members that was approved by the Council following Government funding as set out in Appendix 2 of the report. The Portfolio Holder explained the details of the scheme, as set out in points 2.3, where the Council had discretion on using the remaining amounts and that it was expected some funding would be available for other discretionary grants. The policy, now live, helped those residents in the most need. The Council were to vary funds and give consideration to each applicant on their own merits, leaving any judgements to Officers.

 

The Portfolio Holder drew Members’ attention to Section 5 of the policy where support would stop when funds had been distributed. Age UK South Lakeland had stated clients were returning to pay full Council Tax through methods of communication and access to online facilities. The Portfolio Holder had hoped the Committee would welcome the policy to help residents during such times when facing hardship.

 

Members expressed their satisfaction in the operation of the scheme and approved the Policy.

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)  the Council Tax Discretionary Relief Policy actions to date to give additional support to Council Tax payers be noted;

 

(2)  the Overview and Scrutiny Committee have considered the proposed Council Tax Discretionary Relief Policy at Appendix 1, page 329; and

 

(3)  the comments made by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee be considered by Cabinet at their meeting on 22 July 2020.

O&S/27

Commissioning Strategy 2020 pdf icon PDF 225 KB

To consider the Commissioning Strategy 2020 and provide any comments to Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder presented the new Commissioning Strategy for 2020. He drew Members’ attention to a statement within the document, ‘customer and community needs drive how we design our services’. He explained that commissioning is about how we cycle in an equitable and sustainable way and how services and programmes were designed for the community and that the Council must incorporate more efficient commissioning practices. He further explained to Members the changing mind-set, local needs and priorities of communities and revealed the ways in which the Council must meet those while considering cost and value of the service. He highlighted to Members the graphics in Appendix 1 of the report, which significantly demonstrated the different scales of commission. In order for the Council to align with the new Commissioning Strategy certain constitutional requirements needed to be met, as outlined by the Monitoring Officer in Appendix 2 of the report.

 

Members stressed how the strategy linked in with the Strategic and Innovation Review, which looked at recovery from COVID-19. They felt it was a useful policy to think Local since the Council was an authority with a large area with many furloughed workers and with a rise in unemployment. It was suggested some of the commissioning ideas could be transferred and passed on to Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and private strategy and investment groups, this would be a way to assist local communities.

 

RESOLVED - That

 

(1)   the Overview and Scrutiny Committee approve the Commissioning Strategy 2020; and

 

(2)   any comments be considered by Cabinet at their meeting on 22 July 2020.

O&S/28

Tenancy Strategy Update 2020 pdf icon PDF 141 KB

To consider the Tenancy Strategy Update and proposed modification and forward any comments to Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader and Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder commended the recent activities of Officers through their continued engagement during the pandemic and congratulated them on their flexible working abilities. The South Lakeland District Council Tenancy Strategy was published jointly with Eden District Council in 2013 and gave Registered Providers, i.e. housing associations, a steer on how they should implement their policies relating to flexible tenancies and affordable rents and ensure that the Council’s view was taken into account.

 

The Housing Strategy and Delivery Specialist explained the only modification being proposed as a result of the Review was to protect the Council’s more rural areas from the ‘Voluntary Right to Buy’ (‘VRTB’) should the Government decide to roll it out nationally. The proposed modification reflected the current regulations on Right to Buy and Right to Acquire in minimising the impact of loss of housing on rural areas. The current regulations protected homes in designated rural areas from the Right to Buy and the Right to Acquire. The main pilots ended in March 2020 whereby the Government made no comment. The Housing Strategy and Delivery Specialist did liaise with registered providers and they did not oppose, and she anticipated good working relationships with them in the future.

 

Members highlighted within the report that there were various warnings; those reliant on benefits and rental payments would be worse off each month and the wording suggested that if we could not hold back on Government strategy on what it might bring then no one else would. Specifically, it was stipulated in paragraph 30 of the Strategy ‘in 20 years we may no longer have social rented homes available’. One Member stated the Council should fight against this and asked if these warnings could be emphasised more in a press release. The Housing Strategy and Delivery Specialist undertook to these warning being of greater emphasis going forward.

 

Members were also concerned about the long standing promise about replacement housing as in the past this had not numerically always been validated by what had happened. One Member sought clarification on if the provider was a national company could this replacement take place anywhere in the country and not just in that particular area. The Specialist agreed the rules were very vague and that this was a risk and could be applicable anywhere, she explained the protection was encompassed in the report.

 

RESOLVED – That:-

 

(1)   the Overview and Scrutiny Committee note the Tenancy Strategy Update; and

 

(2)   any comments be taken to Cabinet at their meeting on 22 July 2020 as appropriate.

O&S/29

Development of Locality Working Through Customer Connect - Overview and Scrutiny Task and Finish Group Recommendations pdf icon PDF 135 KB

To consider the report and recommendations arising from the work of the Task and Finish Group, determining if these recommendations should be forwarded to Cabinet for further consideration.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Customer and Commercial Services presented the Locality report and outcomes of the communities. He explained that Members would be aware of the Council’s embarkation on a whole scale transformation process whereby new job families were created, and following this process, Members’ wished to explore the area of Locality. He explained a scoping meeting had taken place in March 2019 alongside various Workshops. One Sub-Group had met to consider measuring success while another Sub-Committee had met with other responsible authorities with a final meeting taking place to summaries recommendations.

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)   the Overview and Scrutiny Committee note the report and recommendations, as detailed in Appendix 1, pages 411 - 412, arising from the work of the Task and Finish Group; and

 

(2)   these recommendations should be forwarded to Cabinet for further consideration as part of the design of the locality working arrangements.

O&S/30

Locality Development Update Report pdf icon PDF 130 KB

To receive an update on the development of the Locality Service since inception in October 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Customer and Commercial Services and People Portfolio Holder passed over to the newly appointed Operational Lead for Locality Services to provide Members with a more in depth update.

 

The Locality Team had spent a lot of time working in response to COVID-19. Within the report Officers had looked at activity in terms of customer requests and house visits. The team was divided in terms of responsibility for certain areas and specialisms, with more complex work being allocated to Specialists. ‘My Account’ was now operational and the Lead provided details of upcoming work including a briefing to all Members on Thursday, 31 July at 5.00.p.m. to clarify channels for Members for activities and issue reporting. This would include insightful data and address target areas where problems may occur. A similar briefing would occur in August 2020 to Parishes and to CALC in September 2020.

 

The Operational Lead for Locality Services explained a pack would be produced to be sent out to all Members following the briefing with further information. One Member sought clarification on paragraph 3.7 of the report however it was explained this would be summarised at the briefing. Within the packs all different channels of communication would be explained in order to simplify contact methods with a great deal of information being available providing emails and relevant websites. The most efficient way for requesting a service would be through the website and the use of online forms from ‘My Account’. The Lead explained requests to the Chief Executive would be delayed as they would go through various departments and personnel instead of a direct channel.

 

The People Portfolio Holder, in response to a comment on the increased workload of Locality Officers, agreed that Councils should not be burnt out and was mindful of this comment.

 

Members congratulated the Operational Lead for Locality Services on her new appointment.

 

RESOLVED – That the progress of the Locality Service be noted.

 

Noted – At this point in the proceedings Councillor Brian Cooper left the meeting.

O&S/31

Equalities Verbal Update

To receive a verbal update from Officers on Equalities.

Minutes:

The Director of Strategy, Innovation and Resources provided the Equalities update to Members, on behalf of the Strategy Specialist, Simon Blyth, whom sent his apologies. The Council Plan committed the Council to this policy explaining that no one would be left behind. The Equality and Inclusion Strategy was based on the Equalities Act and could be reviewed by the Committee on an annual basis.

 

There were four objectives of the Strategy and the Director provided details to the Committee on employee inclusion and the strengthened internal arrangements of the Council. He highlighted to Members the work of the Corporate Equalities Group, which was made up of varying Specialists and the Leader of the Council, with an aim to fulfil the strategy of developments.

 

The Director of Strategy, Innovation and Resources provided further equality examples and improvements such as the Council’s website and equalities impact being updated and fully accessible and following completion, all areas of the Council offices would be accessible.

 

The Council worked in partnership with the Members of South Lakeland Equality Partnership Group with an aim of reducing inequality. The Director talked of hidden migration such as the life experiences of people who call Cumbria their home and discussed how religion should be understood and tolerated. The Council aimed to connect communities and challenged prejudice with a third party hate crime reporting centre and multi-cultural forum. The Director used Millerground as an example of an inclusive play area winning a Bronze Award. The Council was compliant with all equality duties with a deeper understanding having eight different strategies. 

 

Following a request from a Member, the Director of Strategy, Innovation and Resources undertook to circulate the equalities update document to Members.

 

RESOLVED – That the update be noted.


O&S/32

Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee Update

To receive a verbal update on the work of the Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee from the Council’s representative or substitute.

Minutes:

Councillor Mark Wilson provided a verbal update on the work of the Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee to Members. He suggested that an invitation should be extended to Claire Donovan in order to address the Committee to provide a more in depth update at a future meeting.

 

RESOLVED – That the update be noted.