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Contact: Sheila Dykes Email: email@example.com
Membership of Committee
To receive apologies for absence of Members who are unable to attend the meeting.
All Members of the Committee were in attendance.
To approve the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 29th October 2020.
That the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 29th October 2020 be approved as a correct record.
The Chair provided updates to Members as follows:
· The WYCA Overview and Scrutiny Committee had agreed to pursue Option 1 - Enhanced Select Committee System (Minute 95, Devolution).
· In respect of the Communities Partnership Plan (Minute 96);
- Members’ comments in respect of utilising technology for victim support and restorative justice had been noted and the Partnership continued to use various platforms to engage and support victims. The Victim Hubs remained closed due to the latest lockdown restrictions. A Victims’ Strategy was being developed and comments from Scrutiny would inform this.
- The plan would be amended to reflect the local, regional and national cooperative working that takes place through the Kirklees Partnership, particularly in relation to other West Yorkshire Districts.
- The comments made in relation to communication with the victims of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) and how this could be improved would be taken on board and the ASB Strategy Group would give consideration to how this could be improved; noting that this should also include communication with Elected Members.
- The plan would be amended to reflect the range of strategies and action plans that sat beneath it.
- The Drugs and Alcohol Strategy Group that had been created pre-pandemic was to reconvene in early 2021 to continue to progress this area of work.
- The Communities Board continued to review its governance arrangements and how it could continue to improve its visibility and outcomes.
· In relation to the Domestic Abuse Strategy (Minute 97);
- The Service Manager was to explore with the Police if it would be possible to split call sources to establish whether there had been a different split between the level of third party and direct reports prior to, and during, lockdown.
- In terms of information for Members in terms of repeat calls:- repeat incidents were considered through the Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) and data provided in the Police Monthly updates. The next update was due shortly and the Service Manager could then share the most up to date information.
- The first meeting of the West Yorkshire Funding Group had taken place on 24th November, providing the opportunity to establish the Terms of Reference and discuss upcoming funding opportunities.
The Councillors will be asked to say if there are any items on the Agenda in which they have disclosable pecuniary interests, which would prevent them from participating in any discussion of the items or participating in any vote upon the items, or any other interests.
No interests were declared.
Admission of the Public
Most debates take place in public. This only changes when there is a need to consider certain issues, for instance, commercially sensitive information or details concerning an individual. You will be told at this point whether there are any items on the Agenda which are to be discussed in private.
All items were considered in public session.
The Committee will receive any petitions and hear any deputations from members of the public. A deputation is where up to five people can attend the meeting and make a presentation on some particular issue of concern. A member of the public can also hand in a petition at the meeting but that petition should relate to something on which the body has powers and responsibilities.
In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10 (2), Members of the Public should provide at least 24 hours’ notice of presenting a deputation.
No deputations or petitions were received.
Public Question Time
Due to current covid-19 restrictions, members of the public may submit written questions to the Committee.
Questions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 10.00 a.m. on 2nd December 2020.
In accordance with Council Procedure Rules:-
· 51(10) - each person may submit a maximum of 4 written questions.
· 11(5) - the period allowed for the asking and answering of public questions will not exceed 15 minutes.
No public questions were received.
Council Response to Covid-19 - Update
The Committee will be given an update in respect of the Council’s response to Covid-19, including looking forward to 2021.
Emily Parry-Harries, Head of Public Health
Jane O’Donnell, Head of Health Protection
Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Director of Public Health and Strategic Director – Corporate Strategy, Commissioning and Public Health; Emily Parry-Harries, Head of Public Health and Jane O’Donnell, Head of Health Protection attended the meeting to provide an update for the Committee in respect of the Council’s response to Covid-19, including a look forward to the first half of 2021.
Rachel began by acknowledging that the present situation was unprecedented; it had proved to be challenging for the Council and its partners and a robust test of the ambitions in terms of place-based working. She explained that the Council and its partners had worked together extremely well and this had enhanced their ability to manage the effects of the pandemic and respond to the needs of the district’s residents.
It was anticipated that the next six months would provide continued challenges in: keeping the rate of infection down; facilitating community testing; increasing coverage of contact tracing; providing financial and welfare support for people in self isolation; managing any outbreaks; and supporting the NHS in rolling out the vaccination programme. It was recognised that a key element would be the provision of the necessary resources to do this whilst ensuring that vital services continued to be delivered.
The Kirklees Outbreak Control Board, a cross-party body, had responsibility for overseeing the Outbreak Control Plan which had been published online.
Questions and comments were invited from Committee Members and the following key issues were covered during discussion:
· Lateral flow testing provided results in 30 minutes and thus had the advantage of self-isolation being immediate in cases of a positive result; it was also effective in identifying people with a high viral load, even if they were asymptomatic, so that they could self-isolate and reduce the risk of transmission.
· In terms of capacity to undertake the lateral flow testing and targeting particular groups or areas; lessons were being learned from the community testing pilot undertaken in Liverpool and the detail of the offer to Kirklees was still under consideration. Engagement with communities around testing and what support they might need in terms of self-isolation and contact tracing was an important element of the approach. The most vulnerable members of the population would be prioritised.
· The provision of testing/vaccination to large numbers of residents offered an opportunity to disseminate information to them on other issues such as employment support, benefits, debt advice, mental health support and investment into the local economy, although it was recognised that there would be a need for these services to be ready to be able to deal with the increase in demand this might create.
· The inevitable increase in demand for certain services and how this could be addressed was being considered as an integral part of the ongoing recovery planning work.
· In respect of recovery; it was important for community morale that there was visible positive change such as the physical improvements to town centres.
· The level of inequality throughout the district had been brought into focus by the impact of the ... view the full minutes text for item 106.
The Committee will consider a progress report in respect of the development and establishment of the Kirklees Climate Commission.
The report also includes an update on the Council’s annual internal carbon emissions reporting, against the target set in 2010.
John Atkinson, Project Manager, Public Protection
Colin Parr – Strategic Director, Environment and Climate Change and John Atkinson - Project Manager, Public Protection presented a progress report in respect of the development and establishment of the Kirklees Climate Commission. The report also included an update on the Council’s annual internal carbon emissions reporting, against the target set in 2010. Councillor Paul Davies, the Portfolio Holder for Culture and Greener Kirklees was also in attendance.
The presentation highlighted the following points:
· The background to the establishment of the Climate Commission, based on a model developed by the University of Leeds.
· The Commission would be an independent body which would utilise a collaborative and partnership approach to promote leadership on climate change, provide advice to inform policy and shape the actions of local stakeholders, enable and encourage the sharing of ideas and best practice, and consider the development of a Kirklees Green Charter.
· The ‘road map’ for implementation and priority actions.
· Achievement of the target set in 2010 to reduce the Council’s carbon emissions by 40% by 2020/21.
· The transition, in 2021, to reporting against a ‘net zero’ target for the district as a whole, which would be a significantly more challenging target to achieve.
Members asked questions and commented on the issues raised with the following key issues being covered:
· Achievement of the target set in 2010 was applauded. It was acknowledged that achieving a district wide target of net zero would present a greater challenge.
· The creation of the Commission was welcomed.
· It was important that the Commission became accepted as a ‘critical friend’.
· It would be beneficial to take a more global perspective of action on climate change and link to organisations/networks such as ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability or the Global Covenant of Mayors on Climate Change.
· Actions should be framed in terms of their contribution to national goals and this approach recommended to the Local Government Association (LGA) to encourage other local authorities to do the same and to feedback to national government.
· It was essential that the Commission retained its independence and considered Kirklees as a whole.
· It was acknowledged Professor Andy Gouldson from Leeds University, who was assisting in the implementation of the Commission, was recognised as an expert in best practice in this area.
Councillor Davies said that he welcomed the creation of the Commission and resultant partnerships and acknowledged that part of the role may be to challenge and act as a ‘critical friend’. He undertook to discuss the adoption of a global perspective and framing actions in terms of national/international goals with officers.
Further comments and questions were made as follows:
· The move from carbon reduction to carbon capture/offset in order to achieve the net zero target would be challenging and would encompass a wide range of issues/actions at both local and national level.
· There were positive initiatives that could be progressed now, such as expanding woodland planting and creating/restoring quality green infrastructure.
· The development of a ‘road map’ to achieving the 2038 target would be part ... view the full minutes text for item 107.
To consider items for inclusion in the Work Programme 2020/21.
Date of next meeting: 11th February 2021.
Sheila Dykes, Principal Governance and Democratic Engagement Officer
The Committee’s Work Programme for 2020/21 was noted.
Any Other Business
The Chair reported that urgent items had been submitted to Cabinet, as set out below:
· An item in relation to the development of land at Southgate, Huddersfield, to the meeting held on 18th November 2020.
· An item in relation to the Additional Restrictions Grant Scheme, to the meeting held on 26th November 2020. It had been agreed that this item would be exempt from call-in, so that the grant monies can be made available as quickly as possible to businesses that were in need, but that a report on the grants and how they work together should be submitted to the next possible Economy and Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Panel.
She also reported that the Scrutiny Annual Report 2019/20 had been submitted to Council on 25 November 2020.