Agenda, decisions and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 16th September, 2021 5.00 pm

Venue: the Banqueting Hall - City Hall, Bradford. View directions

Contact: Mustansir Butt 

Items
No. Item

17.

ALTERNATE MEMBERS (Standing Order 34)

The City Solicitor will report the names of alternate Members who are attending the meeting in place of appointed Members. 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Salam for Councillor Akhtar.

Councillor Wood for Councillor Arshad Hussain.

18.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

(Members Code of Conduct - Part 4A of the Constitution)

 

To receive disclosures of interests from members and co-opted members on matters to be considered at the meeting. The disclosure must include the nature of the interest.

 

An interest must also be disclosed in the meeting when it becomes apparent to the member during the meeting.

 

Notes:

 

(1)       Members may remain in the meeting and take part fully in discussion and voting unless the interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an interest which the Member feels would call into question their compliance with the wider principles set out in the Code of Conduct.  Disclosable pecuniary interests relate to the Member concerned or their spouse/partner.

 

(2)       Members in arrears of Council Tax by more than two months must not vote in decisions on, or which might affect, budget calculations, and must disclose at the meeting that this restriction applies to them.  A failure to comply with these requirements is a criminal offence under section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. 

 

(3)       Members are also welcome to disclose interests which are not disclosable pecuniary interests but which they consider should be made in the interest of clarity.

 

(4)       Officers must disclose interests in accordance with Council Standing Order 44.

 

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest in matters under discussion.

19.

MINUTES

Recommended –

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 22 July 202 be signed as a correct record (previously circulated).

 

(Yusuf Patel - 01274 434579)

 

Minutes:

Minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 22 July 2021, be approved.

20.

INSPECTION OF REPORTS AND BACKGROUND PAPERS

(Access to Information Procedure Rules – Part 3B of the Constitution)

 

Reports and background papers for agenda items may be inspected by contacting the person shown after each agenda item.  Certain reports and background papers may be restricted. 

 

Any request to remove the restriction on a report or background paper should be made to the relevant Strategic Director or Assistant Director whose name is shown on the front page of the report. 

 

If that request is refused, there is a right of appeal to this meeting. 

 

Please contact the officer shown below in advance of the meeting if you wish to appeal. 

 

(Yusuf Patel - 01274 434579)

 

Minutes:

No request to remove the restriction on a report or background paper was made.

21.

REFERRALS TO THE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

None

 

Minutes:

There were no referrals to the Committee.

22.

VOLUNTARY COMMUNITY SECTOR AND SOCIAL ENTERPRISE (VCSE) INFRASTRUCTURE PROCUREMENT STRATEGY pdf icon PDF 132 KB

The report of the Strategic Director, Place, (Document “G”) is provided for information to advise members of the forthcoming procurement of a combined VCSE grant with a value in excess of £2 million in line with the requirements of Contracts Standing Orders (CSO 7.2.1) prior to the commencement of the procurement process.

 

Recommended -

 

1.    That the proposal not to make changes to the current funding support available to the VCSE sector be considered.

 

2.    That the option to review the grant with the input of the VCSE sector and the integration of the funds into one grant to simplify access to funds and avoid duplication, be considered.   

 

(Ian Day – 01274 433507)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Officers from the Department of Place informed Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee members of the forthcoming procurement of a combined Voluntary Community Sector Enterprise (VCSE) Infrastructure Procurement Strategy.

 

Members learned that this was a combined VCSE grant with a value in excess of £2million, in line with the requirements of Contracts Standing Orders (CSO 7.2.1) and members were being informed of this, prior to the commencement of the procurement process.

 

Members were keen to understand how the contract would be monitored, especially in terms of value for money.

 

In response, officers indicated that a team would be created to monitor this.

Members of the committee were extremely concerned that they had not been given enough time and opportunity, before the contract was due to go to the market, as well as not knowing what members were actually considering and that members had not actually been consulted with on this.  In addition to this, as this contract would have to be advertised nationally, potentially there could be a national charity bidding for the work and they would not have any local knowledge.

 

Officers replied by saying that a baseline was undertaken in 2019, where a number of Councillors were consulted.

Members were unanimous in their agreement that they did not have enough information to make an informed decision, especially in the areas relating to:

 

§  Associated costs;

§  Actual project specifications;

§  Performance management;

§  Consultation process.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)  This Committee requests that a completed and detailed specification, along with options and recommendations be presented to the Committee in early October 2021.

 

(2)  That the appropriate Strategic Director and Assistant Director, also attend the meeting in early October 2021, when this is re-considered by members.

 

(Ian Day – 01274 433507)

23.

ANTI-POVERTY STRATEGY pdf icon PDF 1005 KB

The report of the Strategic Director, Corporate Resources, (Document “F”), presents a progress update on the District Anti-Poverty Strategy from the District’s Anti-Poverty Coordination Group. This Group leads the strategy, developed the accompanying delivery plan and submits an annual monitoring report to Corporate Overview and Scrutiny.  It is a multi-partner group, consisting of representatives from the Council, Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), health, Incommunities and the voluntary and community sector.

 

Document “F” also outlines the current position on addressing Period Poverty in the Bradford District.

 

Members are asked to consider the report and it is suggested that an update on progress be requested in twelve months’ time.

 

(Michelle Taylor – 01274 431831)

 

Minutes:

Bradford Council officers provided Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee members with an overview of the Anti-Poverty Strategy, along with a review of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to poverty work being undertaken across the District.

 

As well as this, officers also provided members with examples of the work being undertaken across the District to support the poorest and most vulnerable communities through and beyond the pandemic, including work being carried out to address Period Poverty.

 

Members of the Committee heard that the Anti-Poverty Strategy is centred around the following themes:

 

§  Boost income and reduce costs;

§  Deliver an effective benefit system;

§  Promote long term inclusive growth benefitting everyone;

§  Improve education standards and raise skills;

§  Strengthen families and communities.

 

Members were keen to understand what the outcomes and benefits of the financial advice, as this was not contained in the report.

In response, Officers informed members that they would bring this back to the Committee for consideration.

 

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee members stressed the importance of working with local employers to help support and upskill individuals and recruiting to jobs that people have left due to Brexit. 

 

Moreover, as there are a large number of people not in jobs, employers needed to be on board with the training and upskilling of people.

 

Furthermore, members stated that a lot of food banks were not accessible as others, so residents were missing out on food for their families, as well as some residents being turned away from food banks.  Members were concerned about this and stated that this needed to be reviewed. Also, members felt that Bradford Council needed to be much clearer on supporting poverty and that even though there was a lot of data, it was not being used.

 

Continuing on, members highlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic had demonstrated the level and how common food poverty was across the District and members were astonished to notice the level at which food poverty in the District was currently at.  Moreover, members expressed that wider views of poverty needed to be gathered as to what poverty actually is and that to do this, it was imperative to speak to those people who are actually living in poverty; rather than Bradford Council developing its own approach to poverty.

 

Moving forward, Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee members wanted to see what poverty is; what the Council is doing to address poverty; what is the livid experience of people living in poverty actually is.

Members stated that food parcels were not sustainable, especially in terms of the types of foods that were contained in food parcels and a more sustainable system was needed that provided food to all the communities in the District, who needed it.

 

In response officers indicated that the level of food poverty had increased and acknowledged that a lot more work needed to be done in relation to this.

Councillors indicated that the Council should have been better prepared for COIVID-19, given the level  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.

24.

CORPORATE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE WORK PROGRAMME 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 89 KB

The Chair of the Committee will provide a report (Document H”) which presents the Committee’s work programme for 2021/22. 

 

Recommended –

 

1.    The Committee may choose to add to or amend the topics included in the 2021-22 work programme for the Committee.

 

2.    That Members consider any detailed scrutiny reviews that they may wish to consider.

 

(Mustansir Butt - 01274 432574)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Corporate Overview & Scrutiny Committee members discussed the work programme and commented on the ongoing detailed scrutiny reviews being undertaken by the Committee.

 

Resolved –

 

Members discussed and agreed the work programme.

 

                                                                        (Mustansir Butt - 01274 432574)