Communities, Housing and Environment Committee

29 June 2021

 

Access to Service Review Membership

 

Final Decision-Maker

Communities, Housing and Environment Committee

Lead Head of Service

Angela Woodhouse, Head of Policy, Communications and Governance††††††

Lead Officer and Report Author

Orla Sweeney, Senior Policy and Engagement Officer

Classification

Public

Wards affected

All

 

Executive Summary

 

The Communities, Housing and Environment Committee appointed a Task and Finish Panel in February 2020 to undertake a review on Access to Services. An update report was taken to the Committeeís April meeting.

 

Following the local elections in May 2021, the membership of the panel has reduced from five to three member, therefore the Committee is asked to renew the membership of the Panel.

 

Purpose of Report

 

Decision

 

 

This report makes the following recommendations to this Committee:

1.   The Head of Policy, Communications and Governance, in consultation with the Chairman and Vice Chairman, be given delegated authority to renew the membership of the Access to Services Task and Finish Panel.

 

 

Timetable

Meeting

Date

Communities, Housing and Environment Committee

†29 June 2021



Access to Service Review Membership

 

1.       CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES AND IMPLICATIONS

 

Issue

Implications

Sign-off

Impact on Corporate Priorities

The four Strategic Plan objectives are:

 

         Embracing Growth and Enabling Infrastructure

         Safe, Clean and Green

         Homes and Communities

         A Thriving Place

 

We do not expect the recommendations will by themselves materially affect achievement of corporate priorities.  However, the review will support the Councilís overall achievement of its aims through the delivery of a final report and recommendations.

 

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Cross Cutting Objectives

The four cross-cutting objectives are:

 

         Heritage is Respected

         Health Inequalities are Addressed and Reduced

         Deprivation and Social Mobility is Improved

         Biodiversity and Environmental Sustainability is respected

 

The report supports the achievements of ĎHealth Inequalities are Addressed and Reducedí and ĎDeprivation and Social Mobility are Improvedí cross cutting objectives by proposing actions which support their delivery.

 

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Risk Management

Please refer to paragraph 5.1 in the report.

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Financial

The proposals set out in the recommendation are all within already approved budgetary headings and so need no new funding for implementation.

Section 151 Officer & Finance Team

Staffing

No current implications but the proposed recommendation would be delivered within our current staffing.

 

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Legal

Accepting the recommendations will help fulfil the Councilís duties under the Public Sector Equalities Duty. Failure to accept the recommendations without agreeing suitable alternatives may place the Council in breach of Equality Act 2010.

 

Legal Team

Privacy and Data Protection

No current implications but accepting the recommendations will increase the volume of data held by the Council.  We will hold that data in line with our retention schedules.

 

Policy and Information Team

Equalities

The recommendations do not propose a change in service therefore will not require an equalities impact assessment.

 

Policy & Information Manager

Public Health

 

 

We recognise that the emerging recommendations will have a positive impact on population health or that of individuals.

 

Public Health Officer

Crime and Disorder

No impact identified.

Head of Service or Manager

Procurement

No impact identified.

Head of Service & Section 151 Officer

 

 

2.        INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

 

2.1     Following a Councillor request made to Communities, Housing and Environment Committee to revisit the Access to the Councilís Services for disabled people Overview and Scrutiny Review carried out in 2006, it was agreed by the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee in February 2020 that a Task and Finish panel would be formed to review Access to Council Services.†

 

2.2     The Access to Services review was scoped and agreed by the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee.† Its focus is on three key areas: Digital Accessibility, Communications and Buildings (the physical environment).

 

 

2.3     Five members of the Committee originally put themselves forward to form the Task and Finish panel, Councillors Burton, Mrs Joy, Mortimer, Powell and Mrs Rose.

 

2.4     An update on the progress of the review was provided to Committee at its April 2021 meeting. The report and minutes of this meeting can be found here and provide a good background into the Panelís undertakings so far.

 

2.5     In order to continue the review, the Committee are asked to consider appointing new members to the Panel.

 

2.6     The Panel have held a series of meetings on Digital Accessibility and have begun to gather evidence on Communications and the Councilís engagement with its wider community.† The Panel are at the evidence gathering stage of the review, so this is an opportune time for new members to join and build on its learning in order to make meaningful recommendations as part of a final report. New Members will be fully supported by the Senior Policy and Engagement Officer.

 

 

 

3.   AVAILABLE OPTIONS

 

3.1        The Committee could decide to stop the review; however, the review has been included in the Councilís Equalities Action Plan and stopping the review could reduce the Councilís formal activities to meet its Equality Duty.

 

3.2        The Committee could decide to do nothing and continue with the remaining membership. However, this is not recommended as it would leave the Panel under resourced and could impact negatively on the outcomes of the review.

 

3.3        The Committee could replace or add more members to the Access to Services review to enable the organisation to continue to improve on the way in which it fulfils the Public Sector Equalities Duty.

 

 

 

4.        PREFERRED OPTION AND REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

 

4.1        To replace the members of the Access to Services review Task and Finish Panel and continue with the review.

 

 

 

5.       RISK

5.1 † The review has already been agreed and is progressing. Recommendations will be made at the conclusion of the review.†

 

 

6.       CONSULTATION RESULTS AND PREVIOUS COMMITTEE FEEDBACK

 

None.

 

 

 

7.       NEXT STEPS: COMMUNICATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECISION

 

 

7.1†† The Senior Policy and Engagement Officer, along with the existing membership, will support the new panel members, providing them with an appraisal of the action to date and the next stage of the review.

 

 

 

8.        REPORT APPENDICES

 

None

 

 

 

9.        BACKGROUND PAPERS

 

None