Minutes for Scrutiny Board (City and Regional Partnerships) meeting, Feb 26 2009, 10.00AM official page
Venue: Civic Hall, Leeds. View directions
Contact: Andy Booth Telephone: (0113) 24 74325Items No. Item
Chair's Opening Remarks
The Chair welcomed councillor Jack Dunn to his first meeting of the Scrutiny Board (City and Regional Partnerships)
Apologies for Absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillor Kendall.
Minutes of the Previous Meeting PDF 66 KB
To receive and approve the minutes of the previous meeting held on 15 January 2009.
RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 15 January 2009, be confirmed as a correct record.
Matters Arising from the Minutes
Further to the presentations that had been received regarding the new Leeds City College, it was reported that Peter Roberts had been appointed as principal of the new college.
Concern was expressed that minutes of the last meeting were not open for discussion at the meeting of Council on 25 February due to the lack of time.
Session 4 - Inquiry Into Skills PDF 66 KB
(a) Local Area Agreement
To receive and consider the attached report of the Head of Scrutiny and Member Development (pages 5-6)
(b) Skills Targets in the Leeds Strategic Plan
To receive and consider the attached joint report of the Assistant Chief Officer (Planning, Policy and Improvement) / Director of City Development (pages 7-16)
- LAA report 2009 - 02 - 26 Report Skills, item 60. PDF 86 KB
- Approved t of r Skills includes final RN comments, item 60. PDF 80 KB
The Head of Scrutiny and Member Development, and Assistant Chief Officer (Planning, Policy and Improvement) and Director of City Development submitted reports regarding the Board’s Inquiry into Skills. The reports focussed on following two areas:
a) Local Area Agreement
b) Skills Targets in the Leeds Strategic Plan
The Chair welcomed the following to the meeting:
- Dylan Griffiths – Project Manager (Policy), Policy, Planning and Improvement
- Paul Stephens – Chief Economic Services Officer, City Development
- Teresa Brookes - Skills Development Manager, Environment & Neighbourhoods
- MandyCrawford-Lee – Learning & Skills Council
In response to Members comments and questions, the following issues were discussed:
- Responsibility for funding for under 19’s was transferring back to local authorities.
- Government policy was employer and demand led.
- Government initiatives that focussed on employees:
- Train to Gain
- Skills Pledge
- Concern was raised regarding the meeting of targets that were set before the recent economic downturn. It was reported that the view of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) was to maintain current targets and aspirations and that employers and providers should also retain the same focus.
- Effects of the economic downturn on the Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA). The Council was due to be visited by CAA Assessors and it was felt that if it could be proved that everything had been done within reason and that aspirational targets had been set, that there would be no detrimental effect on the CAA results.
- How to multi-skill the workforce in preparation for changes in employment opportunities.
- How to address the training needs of the workless, particularly those who have been in long term unemployment. This would involve working at a local level and would include various services and organisations including the local authority. There was a need to promote awareness of training that was available to hard to reach groups.
- There was a focus on school leavers obtaining at least level 2 qualifications and there had been a recent increase in these figures. There was also an emphasis on getting employees qualified to level 2 and 3.
- Work would be undertaken with the new college in an attempt to ensure that the curriculum would meet the occupational areas that would have future recruitment needs.
- Responding to the economic downturn – Yorkshire Forward had taken a lead on this at a regional level and it involved working with all key partners including the Learning and Skills Council and Government Office for Yorkshire and Humber. There was a recognition that there needed to be a better use of resources available for training.
- How to achieve Level 2 and 3 targets within the Local Area Agreement – there was responsibility not just on employers and providers, but on individuals undertaking training.
- How to make employers aware of their skills needs and training opportunities available.
- It was reported that Leeds City Council had a census of qualifications within it’s own workforce that could be made available to the Board.
- Members were asked to participate in a small working group to meet with Igen Leeds Careers Advisors.
(1) That the reports be noted.
(2) That Councillors Bentley, Driver and Pryke form a working group to meet IGEN Careers Advisers on 11 March 2009.
To receive and consider the attached report of the Head of Scrutiny and Member Development
- Draft3VCFS, item 61. PDF 714 KB
The Head of Scrutiny and Member Development submitted a report regarding the Board’s completed Inquiry into the role of the Voluntary, Community and Faith Sector (VCFS) in Council Led Community Engagement. A copy of the draft final report into the Inquiry had been sent with the Agenda for Member’s consideration along with a summary of evidence considered during the Inquiry.
The Chair welcomed Sue Wynne, Head of Regeneration, Policy and Planning and Julie Staton, Resources Manager to the meeting.
In brief summary, the following issues were discussed:
- Difficulty for and reluctance from some VCFS groups, particularly smaller groups, in applying for funding due to systems which were often felt to be too bureaucratic.
- It was reported that the Council had a corporate led group with representatives from all directorates to consider issues such as grants, monitoring arrangements and acoountabily of the VCF Sector.
- How to get communities to help themselves and empower local people.
- How the VCFS groups could often provide services in areas that are hard to reach by the Council and other organisations and how to target these groups.
- Sustainability of smaller VCFS groups, particularly where dependence on the running of the group may fall to one or two individuals.
In response to the draft report, Members suggested amendments in relation to issues that had been discussed.
(1) That the draft final report be agreed subject to recommendations in the draft report being amended in line with the discussion, and these amendments be circulated to Board Members.
(2) That the Director of Environment and Neighbourhoods formally respond to the Board’s recommendations within 2 months of receipt of the Board’s report.
Work Programme PDF 53 KB
To receive and consider the attached report of the Head of Scrutiny and Member Development.
- appendix 1 C&RPcurrent work programme, item 62. PDF 55 KB
- Full Forward Plan, item 62. PDF 125 KB
- Exec Mins, item 62. PDF 95 KB
The report of the Head of Scrutiny and Member Development provided Members with a copy of the Board’s current work programme. Also appended to the report was a copy of the Forward Plan of Key decisions along with the minutes of the Executive Board held on 14 January 2009.
It was reported that the proposed item on Marketing Leeds had not been taken at this meeting due to a delay in the announcement of funding arrangements and this would be now taken at the March meeting. Members were also informed that the Leader of the Council had been unable to attend today and would be invited to future meetings of the Board.
RESOLVED – That the report be noted.
Date and Time of Next Meeting
Thursday, 26 March at 10.00 am (Pre-meeting for all Members at 09.30 am)
Thursday, 26 March 2009 at 10.00 a.m. (pre-meeting for all Board Members at 09.30 a.m.)