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Declarations of Interest
There were no disclosable pecuniary interests.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 18 October, 2022, were agreed and signed as a true record.
Further to Minute 24/22, the Committee noted that the issue of training on Arms- length Companies will be considered at the Members Training and Development Advisory Panel next week.
Briefing Note of the Chief Partnership Officer
The Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee considered a Briefing Note, together with a detailed presentation at the meeting, that provided an outline of the potential impact of the Cost of Living Crisis on Coventry’s communities and the cross-organisational One Coventry response to this.
The Cabinet Member for Policy and Leadership, Councillor G Duggins, the Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Councillor D Welsh and the Cabinet Member for Strategic Finance and Resources, Councillor R Brown, attended the meeting and outlined their concerns in relation to the Cost of Living Crisis and the impact on residents and businesses in the City.
The Committee welcomed a number of representatives from partner organisations who attended the meeting and contributed to the discussion.
The presentation covered:-
· Key messages:-
o The Cost of Living Crisis is a national issue
o Ability for the Council to respond is limited
o A significant range of support is already in place with solid foundations created through the work done with partners and communities
o The actions taken to deliver the One Coventry Plan priorities will create longer term positive change for people who live, work or study in the City
· The One Coventry approach to tacking inequalities and responding to the Cost of Living Crisis:-
o The need to work differently in order to respond to current and future needs of communities
o The Council’s partnership work means that the Council is in a strong position to support residents through the Cost of Living Crisis
o The Council will continue to work creatively with collective resources, in collaboration with residents, communities and partners to:-
§ Make the biggest possible positive impact and;
§ Enable the Council to deliver the One Coventry Plan priority to improve outcomes and tackle inequalities in communities
· Details of current research, including a breakdown of the rising cost of living and examples of the challenges being faced, including fuel poverty and the impact on this on communities across the City
· Current and potential impacts on residents, workforce and the organisation including:-
o Increase in debt issues
o Likely increase in demand for public grant support
o Foster carers struggling with costs )particularly fuel) may impact recruitment and retention
o Increased demand on Children’s Services
o Health issues including cold-related hydration and nutrition issues and increase in people with mental health challenges. More people into health system and then care
o Likely increase in domestic violence, crime, and anti-social behaviour
o Increased demand for business support services
o Increased support for culture and sports organisations struggling to meet costs and demands; voluntary and community sector organisations experiencing increase operating costs and fewe donations
· Support available:-
o Current Council support
o Support commissioned or provided in partnership
o External support
· Details of the Cost of Living Forum held on 3 October, 2022, attended by 35 organisations including:-
o Focused discussions on areas for action:-
§ Equipping people to provide immediate help or action
§ Maximising income
§ Integrated/holistic approach
§ Food distribution/procurement and other food support
§ Shared ... view the full minutes text for item 30.
Briefing Note of the Director of Streetscene and Regulatory Services
The Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee considered a Briefing Note, together with a presentation at the meeting, which outlined the Community Trigger process, which was introduced as part of the Anti-social, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
The process is designed to act as a review mechanism if people feel that their complaints regarding crime or anti-social behaviour has been ignored or dealt with in an unsatisfactory manner by members of the community safety partnership within the City. This process is administered by the local authority on behalf of the Police and Crime Board (PCB)
Currently the process involves representatives from the key agencies, usually the Council, Police and Housing Associations. In a recent review of a case in Coventry, the Local Government Ombudsman determined that the voice of the victim needed greater prominence and that an advocate or independent representative is required.
It is proposed that a member of the Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee becomes that independent voice/advocate for the victim and the revised Community Trigger process flowchart, detailing that role, was appended to the report. The Committee noted that the Member appointed for each review would not be a Ward Councillor for the Ward in which the victim lives and that training would be provided to enable Members to undertake this role.
RESOLVED that the Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee:-
1) Notes the contents of the Briefing Note
2) Agrees that the Chair of the Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee (or their nominee) be a part of the Community Trigger process, as detailed in the flowchart appended to the Briefing Note
3) Requests that the training to be provided be offered to all Scrutiny Members.
Report of the Director of Law and Governance
The Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee considered their Work Programme and Outstanding Issues for the current Municipal Year.
RESOLVED that the Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee note the Work Programme and Outstanding issues.
Any Other Items of Urgent Public Business
Any other items of public business which the Chair decides to take as a matter of urgency because of the special circumstances involved.
There were no other items of urgent public business.