Agenda and minutes
Employment, Business and Investment Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 7th November, 2018 4.00 pm
Venue: Meeting Room 1, Guildhall
Contact: Tracy Davies Scrutiny Facilitator
Apologies for Absence
An apology for absence was submitted on behalf of Councillor Marc Jones.
Declarations of personal interests, if any
Members are reminded of their responsibility, under Paragraph 11 of the Members’ Code of Conduct, to declare the existence and nature of any personal interest in respect of any of the business to be transacted at this meeting
There were no declarations of interest.
To sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 5 September 2018.
AGREED – That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 5 September 2018 be signed as a correct record.
To consider the report of the Head of Finance
The Head of Finance submitted a report (HF/118/18s) to assist the Committee in considering and agreeing its work programme.
The Scrutiny Officer introduced the report, referring to section 4 in particular, which highlighted the proposed changes since the last meeting.
A Member referred to the establishment of a regional Committee as referenced in the North Wales Growth Bid report which had recently been submitted to the Executive Board. She stated that the second phase governance arrangements (GA2) should be considered by the Customers, Performance, Resources and Governance Scrutiny Committee. The Scrutiny Facilitator confirmed that she would report this back to the Scrutiny Chairs Co-ordinating Group.
(i) That the Work Programme, attached at Appendix 1 to report (HF/118/18s), be agreed.
(ii) That the second and more comprehensive proposed Governance Agreement (GA2) for the North Wales Economic Ambition Board be referred to the Customers, Performance & Resources Scrutiny Committee.
To consider the report of the Lead Member for People – Youth Services and Anti-Poverty
The Lead Member for People – Youth Services and Anti-Poverty submitted a report (HF/116/18s) allowing Members to review and comment on the action plan that will form part of the Council’s approved Tackling Poverty Strategy 2018-2022.
In introducing his report, the Lead Member stressed that this was an internal action plan which had been prepared to assist the Local Authority in delivering the key objectives within the Economy theme ‘Help Tackle Poverty’ in the Council Plan. The Local Authority would, however, continue to work with external organisations to promote the delivery of outcomes through collaboration.
During discussion of the report, the following points were noted, in particular:
· Concern that the focus would remain on those already identified as requiring assistance. It was suggested that there was a need to be pro-active and identify those that may need help in the future.
Wrexham Context Indicators
· Confirmation that the ‘% of working age people who were benefit claimants’ indicator included all benefits i.e. pension etc. It was noted that Wrexham was below the Welsh national average for this indicator.
· Suggestion that GDPR would mask a number of improvements. Officers stated that Welsh Government were currently consulting on robust changes to data recording.
· A request for the figures in relation to % treated for mental health to be broken down by age. Officers advised that this indicator remained below the average for Wales.
· Welsh Government had recently consulted on a new measure for free school meals (FSMs) and the introduction of universal credit would impact on the number of FSMs.
· 1.1.2 - A Member stressed the importance of standardising Council reports in order to demonstrate consideration of the well-being objectives. Officers stated that a new process was currently being piloted around the integration of all strategies. The Local Authority was trying to prioritise those areas that had the greatest impact.
· 1.1.3 - Confirmation that e-learning modules were supported by the Workforce Development Team.
· 2.1.1 – The need to define ‘high quality’ jobs within the Strategy in line with the definition in the North Wales Growth Bid to ensure people could access high paid jobs.
· 2.1.2 - Whilst growth work and regional work would have an impact on the Economic Prosperity Strategy, it was primarily a document that allowed the Council to consider what it could achieve and what it could do at a local level in terms of economic development.
· 2.1.3 - Members requested further data to demonstrate the sustainability of new business start ups. Recognition that micro businesses were a big economic driver for Wrexham and Wales.
· 2.2.3 – The need for clearer measures relating to the outcomes from community benefits element within the Strategy.
· 2.3 - Recognition of the link between poor quality housing and poverty. It was suggested that numbers of private sector properties and HMOs should be included as well as percentages to evidence supply and demand.
· 2.4.2 - Whilst there were a number of community learning provides in Wrexham, beyond Coleg Cambria, transport remained a barrier. ... view the full minutes text for item 19.