Agenda and minutes
Venue: Hendon Town Hall, The Burroughs, London NW4 4BQ. View directions
Contact: Andrew Nathan 020 8359 7029 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 24 May were agreed as a correct record.
Apologies for Absence
In the absence of Councillor Cornelius at the start of the meeting, Councillor Harper took the chair.
Apologies for absence were received from the following:
Cllr Daniel Thomas Deputy Leader of the Council
Cllr Robert Rams Cabinet Member for Customer Access and Partnerships
David Byrne Principal, Barnet and Southgate College
Tom Nathan General Manager, Brent Cross Shopping Centre
Ceri Jacob NHS North Central London Acting Borough Director
Nick Walkley Chief Executive, LBB
Andrew Travers Deputy Chief executive, LBB
Update from Partners on Strategic Priorities
London Borough of Barnet
Julie Taylor reported that the Council was now in advanced dialogue with shortlisted suppliers on two major contracts upon which Cabinet would shortly be making a decision. The New Support and Customer Services Organisation contract would start from 1 April 2013 and would present opportunities for partnership through a single offer to partners on customer services. The Development and Regulatory Services contract would start in May 2013 and would play a major role in the regeneration and growth issues discussed elsewhere on the agenda.
Councillor Harper reported that Cabinet had agreed that waste, recycling and street scene services were to be brought together as a transformed in house service.
Ms Taylor further reported that the Council was concluding its senior management review as part of developing a new ‘Commissioning Council’ model, constituting a Commissioning Group, a Delivery Group and an Assurance Group. Once all top level appointments had been confirmed, she would send details to all partners.
ACTION; Julie Taylor/Andrew Nathan
Andrew Travers’ appointment as Interim Chief Executive on Nick Walkley’s departure had been agreed by the Chief Officers Appointment Panel. Ms Taylor confirmed that in future Andrew Travers would attend as Chief Executive, but on this occasion he had a prior commitment in East Sussex. She outlined that he would be giving considerable personal attention to the growth and regeneration agenda, as a priority for the next eighteen months, and he would therefore be expecting to make some time to see key partners individually in January.
Steve Knight reported on changes in the University including a rebranding, a reorganisation to reduce support costs by centralising professional support, and the further transfers from Trent Park and Archway to the Hendon Campus which by 2013 would host 95% of the University’s provision. Student numbers following the imposition of tuition fees had been affected less than at most universities.
He reported that the University were still in the process of trying to create a student village at Colindale and also emphasised the need for a greater supply of light industrial and office space. The Leader of the Council highlighted that proposals for greater retention of business rates would assist in this.
Julie Willoughby was welcomed to her first meeting as District Operations Manager and it was noted that a new District Manager Paul McKeown had been appointed. Her current challenge was to engage with those who would be affected by the Benefits Cap, for whom additional support in areas such as money advice and job searching was being rolled out, as well as other welfare reforms including changes to the social fund, preparations for Universal Credit and rolling out a new Universal Job Match Service which would include equipping JobCentres with internet access for customers to search for jobs.
The synergies with the Council’s own welfare reform agenda, specifically the changes to Council Tax benefit were noted.
Dr Sue Sumners reported that many of those affected by welfare changes were presenting to GPs ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
Stephen McDonald delivered a presentation on progress with each of the large scale regeneration schemes in Barnet, highlighting key facts and current issues with each of the five major schemes, as well as updating on significant recent progress, for example the signing of a Principal Development Agreement for the redevelopment of Dollis Valley and additional funding being secured for Grahame Park.
He stressed how the housing schemes were intended to stimulate mixed tenure communities, and the extent of growth, for example Colindale (including Grahame Park) would see an increase in population equivalent to a town the size of Canterbury.
It was agreed the significance of these changes could not be underestimated and that partners should disseminate the issues further. Mr McDonald offered to deliver the presentation to any management teams to assist.
The Leader of the Council also highlighted that successful regeneration depended on other partners, for example TfL investment in the Northern Line infrastructure to increase capacity.
ACTION; Stephen McDonald
Dr Sumners confirmed the CCG’s support for this agenda, highlighting the differential of over seven years life expectancy between the Borough’s most affluent and deprived wards.
Councillor Harper and Stephen Evans introduced a paper, outlining the Council’s forward looking growth strategy which had been agreed by Cabinet alongside the budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy. This set out the Council’s focus on economic growth as a means of mitigating the challenges of continued austerity and how the Council would work with partners to create the environment for growth in the Borough.
Mr Evans reported that there would now be greater financial incentives to go for growth- such as the New Homes Bonus or Business Rate retention, and that HM Treasury was increasingly interested in a dialogue with authorities such as Barnet. The Council had a major role in supporting local infrastructure in its broadest sense through ensuring an attractive street scene, enhancing Town Centres and working with the vulnerable people who were in most need of support and assistance to share in the Borough’s overall success.
It was agreed that partners consider their support for this agenda through responding formally to the Council’s business plan that was about to go out to formal consultation and Mr Nathan agreed to circulate links to the consultation.
ACTION: All Partners/Andrew Nathan
A report was circulated with the papers summarising progress with the Platforms Programme, developed by the Council and partners to provide a package of support for young people who are NEET covering apprenticeships, internships, employability and enterprise support. A Barnet Apprenticeship Training Agency was being created.
Over 300 workplace opportunities had been created, which the Board noted and welcomed. Mr Evans highlighted that this had been designed as a time limited, targeted scheme and the next challenge was to sustain this level of engagement by embedding into mainstream services.
Ms Willoughby reported that Job Centre Plus would shortly be launching a new programme of ‘day 1 support’ for young people which would provide 13 weeks of work experience as well as some job search.
Councillor Harper stressed the importance of ensuring the supply of labour met the expressed needs of businesses and it was noted the Council was aiming to improve engagement, specifically with small business. Mr. Knight stressed the emphasis the University placed on employability and ensuring its graduates had the right mix of skills to become employable.
Ch Supt Adrian Usher outlined a new policing model being rolled out by the Metropolitan Police in which resources would be restructured into a number of teams including enhanced neighbourhood policing teams: these would build on existing Safer Neighbourhood teams in working with local communities and solving problems but with enhanced powers including investigation, stop and search and arrest. This was welcomed by Councillors present who emphasised the value of SNTs in providing an accessible presence in the community,
Further details were still being finalised and expected on December 11th, and he would communicate these with partners when received. The Council agreed to help disseminate through their own channels.
Ch Supt Usher reported that burglary was the police’s current priority, as the recent decrease had not been sustained and work was taking place to interrupt criminal networks and deal with particular communities disproportionately responsible for the increase. The Board acknowledged the significance of this work, highlighting that if unchecked burglary could affect community confidence and indirectly the Borough’s successful growth.
He further reported that a new Custody Suite was reopening at Colindale Police Station on 3rd December which would improve offender management services, and that he was holding a Community Crimefighters meeting in late November as a way for the Police both to be held to account by the community, but also identifying where the community could do more, e.g. through Neighbourhood Watches or more volunteering to become Special Constables.
DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS
23RD May 2013
7TH November 2013
At 8.30am at the Town Hall.