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					                           East Sussex Strategic Partnership
     Notes of the meeting of the East Sussex Strategic Partnership Executive Board
      Thursday 6 March 2008, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters
                                    IN ATTENDANCE


Executive Board Members present:
Jeremy Leggett                         Action in Rural Sussex (Chair)
Cllr Bob Tidy (Vice Chair)             East Sussex County Council
Hamish Monro                           East Sussex Economic Partnership
John Barnes                            East Sussex Downs and Weald PCT
Chris Large                            East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service
Martin Ray                             Eastbourne Borough Council
Chris Wick                             Environment Agency
Ken Stevens                            Federation of Small Businesses
Cllr Peter Pragnell                    Hastings Borough Council
Charles Everett                        Hastings and Rother Primary Care Trust (PCT)
Cllr David Gray                        Lewes District Council
Cllr Carl Maynard                      Rother District Council
Andrea Saunders                        Sussex Probation Service
Ian Chisnall                           VOICES
Steve Manwaring                        VOICES
Cllr Pam Doodes                        Wealden District Council
Di Woolloff                            Government Office for the South East (GOSE)
Gilly Bartrip                          SEEDA

In attendance:
Becky Shaw                             East Sussex County Council (ESCC)
Alison Horan                           East Sussex County Council
Lisa Schrevel                          East Sussex County Council
Gill Cameron-Waller                    Wealden District Council
Cynthia Lyons                          East Sussex PCTs


                                         NOTES


1)     Welcome and Apologies
       a) Martin Ray was welcomed as the new permanent representative from
          Eastbourne Borough Council, replacing Cllr Tester.
       b) Apologies were received from:
          i) Bexhill and Hastings Economic Alliance (representative to be confirmed)
          ii) Chris Piper, Learning and Skills Council
          iii) Cllr Carl Maynard, Rother District Council
          iv) Nick Wilkinson, Sussex Police

       c) Absence for which no apology was received:
          i) David Walters, Sussex Association of Local Councils
          ii) Steve Hare, VOICES
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2)   Notes of the meeting held on 27 November 2007
     a) The notes were agreed as a correct record of the meeting.
     b) Matters arising:
         (1) Item 5: a report summarising findings from the sustainable community
             strategy consultation, proofing exercises and evidence check, focusing on the
             countywide sections of the strategy was produced. A re-draft of the strategy
             was postponed pending guidance on re-drafting options, which were
             discussed and provided at a special ESSP board meeting held on 21
             February. The sustainable community strategy (Pride of Place) has
             subsequently been re-drafted and circulated for approvals.
         (2) Item 6: members proposed future presentations on public sector
             procurement focusing on business sector, and procurement of services
             from the Voluntary and Community Sector.
         (3) Item 7a): Members were informed that the Migration Research Project
             Group had been established and will have its first meeting on 14 March.
             ESSP members on the group are Nick Wilkinson, Chris Piper, Chris Large,
             Ian Chisnall and Ken Stevens. Members were encouraged to support
             Anna Czepil in her task of collecting information from partners. SEEDA
             encouraged the group to make use of work that was being done regionally
             and nationally on migration. Nick Wilkinson and Anna Czepil had attended
             a Police conference where others noted with interest the partnership
             approach being taken in East Sussex.
         (4) Item 8: A letter on the Local Area Agreement (LAA) timetable was sent to
             Rt Hon Hazel Blears. It took 2 months before a response was received
             from John Healy MP.
           Actions
           1. Formally thank Barbara Pratt for her contribution to the Sustainable
              Community Strategy. Subsequent to the meeting the Chair agreed that
              Sally Harper and Enda Dowd, who have also moved on to new jobs,
              should also receive a letter of thanks.
           2. Append the letter sent to Rt Hon Hazel Blears and the response from John
              Healey MP with the 6 March board meeting notes1.

3) Declarations of Interest
    a) John Barnes has been appointed as a Director of Weald Woodnet.

4) Urgent items of business
    a) None.

                                        FOR DECISION


5) LAA Quarter 3 Performance Monitoring Report
    a) The Quarter 3 Performance Monitoring Report was introduced. Overall,
       performance had dropped this quarter, but there had also been some significant
       achievements. The availability of data for performance and risk judgements
       remained a problem in some areas, with 44 of the 79 indicators rated amber due
       to insufficient data.

1
 Copies of these letters can be viewed at http://www.essp.org.uk/essp/reports.htm#executive; 29
November board meeting papers.
                                                                                                  2
     b) Members noted that:
          i) Those involved in delivering falls prevention (7.2) are hopeful that the right
               approach would be found and performance would improve.
          ii) There was a need to find the right indicators for the breastfeeding
               objectives (2.1.1) if progress was to be made in this area.
          iii) Awarding public service contracts to local enterprise (16.1.2) has always
               been difficult and it is useful to have evidence of this. It has to be worked at
               over a long steady period, in different ways and through partnership to
               make it happen. It was noted that the LAA statistics reported related to
               LEGI work in Hastings, and that procurement is also being developed in
               other areas. (See 2 b) (2) for agreement on future discussions).
          iv) Lessons learnt should be carried forward to the new LAA. Targets should
               be measurable and not perceptions and opinion which are subject to day
               to day influences.
     c) GOSE stated that it was helpful to have evidence of what the problems are and
        what is being done to tackle it but that it would be helpful for the Partnership to
        have more information on what is being done, noting that some targets had little
        commentary. GOSE felt that perceptions are important as local people want to
        offer up a view, but recognised that these can sometimes be skewed by e.g.
        media or events near to or at the time perceptions are being gathered.
     d) Members were informed that a full report for Quarter 4 (end of year 2) would be
        presented at the June board meeting. This would be the last monitoring report
        on the current LAA.
     e) Members noted that it would be helpful to have a discussion on what reward
        monies will be available and how the monies will be spent, whilst recognising
        that reward monies will not become available for another 2 years.
   ESSP members agreed:
   1. That a report on the trajectory to achieving reward targets, how much reward
   payments might be available and options for spending the reward monies be
   produced after Quarter 4 data was available, and
   2. That this report be presented to a future ESSP board meeting.

6) Final draft East Sussex Integrated Sustainable Community Strategy
     a) The Sustainable Community Strategy final draft for approval was introduced.
     b) The strategy will be considered by all LSPs and local authorities for their
        approval during April and May. Recognising that some amendments may be
        required but to avoid the strategy having to go through a lengthy approvals
        process again, LSPs and Councils will be asked to nominate a representative
        (such as the Chair and Chief Executive respectively) to negotiate any
        amendments with all the other LSPs and local authorities once all the approvals
        meetings had taken place.
     c) Members considered the strategy and felt that it reflected feedback received
        during the consultation period and represented the key issues partners wished
        to see included. Members noted the following as suggested amendments:
          i) A key task on climate change adaptation in the Environment and Climate
               Change section. However, this was considered a minor point as climate
               change is a strong thread throughout the document.
          ii) Re-introduce ‘increase supply of homes’, not just ‘affordable homes’.
          iii) Articulate better the balance needed between protecting and enhancing
               land for employment/business sites and land for housing.


                                                                                             3
          iv) Reflect a shifting of resources to tackling the causes of the issues the
              strategy aimed to address rather than just the effects (and for this to also
              be reflected in the action plan/s).
     d) Members agreed that the strategy needs to be seen as a living document with
        interactive changes linked to social, economic and environmental changes and
        the delivery (or otherwise) of associated action plans, and that the focus now
        should be on action planning and delivery.
     e) Members also suggested that the strategy be subject to a rolling programme of
        reviews by theme (rather than one annual review), and that the Environment
        and Climate Change theme might be an appropriate starting point.
     f) Members commended the strategy as a great achievement and a testament to
        the strength of partnership working in the county – not just between individual
        partner organisations, but also between the six LSPs and six local authorities.
        Members also acknowledged and thanked the Project Team for the work they
        had done in producing the strategy.
   ESSP members agreed:
   1. To approve the strategy
   2. To delegate authority to the Chairman to negotiate any final amendments with the
   other LSPs and local authorities, should any issues arise during the approvals
   process
   3. To receive a paper at a future meeting setting out options for rolling strategy
   reviews, and
   4. To record thanks to all partners and the Project Team for their contributions to
   developing the strategy.

7) New landscape – LAA, NIS, CAA
    a) Becky Shaw briefly outlined East Sussex County Council’s understanding of the
       landscape within which the Sustainable Community Strategy (SCS), Local Area
       Agreement (LAA) and the new performance management framework (including
       the Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA)) will evolve.
    b) It was noted that the SCS and LAA cannot capture everything that partners do
       but that they can capture those things partners can do together to tackle cross-
       cutting issues; and that the LAA was one of a number of delivery mechanisms
       for tackling local priorities – not the only mechanism. It was also noted that, as
       the ESSP Executive Board was made up of key delivery partners, its
       membership may change once the new LAA was finalised if the new LAA
       brought on board new partners.
    c) The National Indicator Set (NIS) represents a significant change in the way
       Government and its departments work. The welcome and helpful reduction in
       the monitoring burden on Local Authorities from around 1,400 to 198 targets
       needs to be supported by feeding back to CLG any divergence from this
       approach e.g. if additional targets emerge through Government departments or
       agencies. Government will want to be reassured that this new, reduced,
       performance regime will deliver performance, but collecting data on all 198
       indicators will be challenging especially, for example, where baselines do not
       exist. Some NIS targets will be included in the LAA, but some may also be
       included in the SCS action plan/s.
    d) Government is changing the inspection regime, the details of which are still
       being worked through. However, it is thought that the regime will assess:
          i) Delivery against the 198 NIS indicators



                                                                                             4
          ii) Data quality – a more rigorous process to help us understand the problems
               we are trying to solve and that the ways we are attempting to solve them
               are based on robust evidence.
          iii) Use of resources, and
          iv) Direction of travel.
     e) The LAA and the CAA will be very significant to local authorities. Whilst reward
        grant proposals are not yet available but are anticipated to be much less than
        previously (around £2.4 million compared to £10.4 million). Also, there will be no
        pump priming money – as there was for the current LAA. A good score will
        therefore build good reputations and therefore indirectly help attract funding.
        Another likely outcome of the CAA will be advice to Government and ESSP on
        changing targets within the LAA (to address underperformance), which will in
        turn make the LAA a more dynamic process than previously.
     f) GOSE stated that the LAA is seen by Government as central to delivering
        national priorities locally, and that reward monies will be available and will
        provide an incentive. SEEDA endorsed this point by stating that SEEDA
        recognises the LAA as the key mechanism for delivering regional strategy and
        for delegating funds for delivery

8) New LAA – process and timetable
    a) The paper outlining the process and timetable for negotiating and approving the
       new LAA was introduced. A number of principles for the development of the
       LAA have been proposed along with suggested criteria for the identification of
       suitable indicators.
    b) Members recalled that the ESSP sought a relaxation from the Secretary of State
       Hazel Blears, to the Government timetable. However ESSP were notified in mid-
       January by John Healey, Minister for Local Government that this was not
       possible. Since then, the Secretary of State has issued a direction to local
       authorities to prepare an LAA for submission by 30 May 2008. This is earlier
       than the June deadline originally proposed by Government, curtailing a short
       timescale even further.
    c) The timetable now therefore is to develop and submit a list of possible indicators
       for inclusion in the LAA to GOSE by 28 March 2008. This will be followed by a
       period of intense negotiation prior to the final list being submitted to Government
       on 30 May 2008. The final LAA is due to be signed off by Government in June
       2008, but will take effect from 1 April 2008.
    d) Members expressed concern over selecting indicators for which definitions
       remained unclear, including those relating to the Voluntary and Community
       sector. GOSE noted that other local authorities were comfortable with including
       undefined indicators so long as there was negotiation on related targets. GOSE
       also confirmed that the LAA refresh provided an opportunity to amend indicators
       and targets based on the sustainable community strategy and progress made.
    e) Members were encouraged to engage with the process, and have already had
       the opportunity to state any indicators they would like to see included. Members
       nevertheless expressed concern about not being able to consider collectively
       which indicators should be put forward. It was noted that engaging all ESSP
       board members in defining the list would not be possible due to the timetable
       imposed upon us by Government and that a Project Board comprising ESSP
       board members had been established with delegated decision making authority
       but that members could feed in their ideas on specific indicators through Alison
       Horan.
    f) Members were reminded that the LAA was only one mechanism for delivering
       strategic priorities, that the sustainable community strategy action plan/s could
                                                                                        5
        include indicators not included in the LAA if they were felt to be relevant and
        measurable, and that actions also needed to be embedded in partners’ own
        plans so that the LAA is not perceived to be a separate process.
     g) As elected members are not on the LAA Project Board, members asked how the
        LAA would be endorsed to ensure elected members felt they had an opportunity
        to engage with the process. The timetable again posed a difficulty. Given the
        three monthly cycle of committee meetings the LAA would have been submitted
        to Government for approval before it had gone through all local authority council
        meetings. The draft will go to East Sussex County Council, as the Accountable
        Body for the LAA and options for other councils needed review.
     h) Members were informed that Government has appointed Julie Taylor, Director
        of National Offenders Management Service at the Ministry of Justice as the East
        Sussex LAA ‘champion’ – providing a conduit between ESSP and central
        government should difficulties arise during the negotiation period.
   ESSP members agreed:
   1. To ask the Project Team to consider ways in which District and Borough Councils
   and LSPs could be consulted, within the constraints of the timetable.

9) Recommendations on the existing Local Area Agreement (LAA)
    a) A paper was introduced setting out recommendations on which targets within
       the existing LAA should continue to be measured and which should be dropped
       in the light of the development of a new LAA, and the criteria underpinning
       these recommendations.
    b) The rationale for recommending an overall reduction in targets was that it would
       not be possible to monitor two LAAs simultaneously, although ‘stretch’ reward
       targets must continue to March 2009. However, continued monitoring of some
       targets should be considered where they could help demonstrate to the
       Partnership progress towards joint delivery of a priority outcome.
   ESSP members agreed:
   1. To delegate decisions to the LAA Project Board.

9a) AOB: The future of East Sussex Economic Partnership (ESEP)
     a) Hamish Monro, Chairman of ESEP, raised concerns about the future of ESEP.
        He believed the review would result in SEEDA not renewing its contract with
        ESEP but with East Sussex County Council (ESCC) instead – although no new
        contract had been issued. He referred to a letter from Cheryl Miller to SEEDA
        proposing that future support to the business sector in the county could be
        channelled through a strengthened ESSP. He asked whether the Chair of ESSP
        was aware of the letter and whether the ESSP felt it could represent local
        business.
     b) Becky Shaw, invited by the Chair to respond, stated that a number of events
        had occurred to create the need to review ESEP:
          i) Government’s sub-national review of economic development, which
               recognised the role of local authorities in engaging business in economic
               development.
          ii) The end of significant Area Investment Framework funding.
          iii) Becky Shaw explained the purpose ESCC’s letter to SEEDA was to
               explore whether creating a ‘sounding board’ of businesses and interested
               parties to support ESSP rather than maintaining ESEP was acceptable as
               a principle. The intention of ESCC has always been to consult fully with


                                                                                        6
             partners, including businesses, once the potential for exploring other
             models for engaging with businesses was agreed with SEEDA.
   b) SEEDA confirmed that the future of ESEP related to SEEDA’s review of
      partnership arrangements in the region, and that ESEP was part of that review.
      The review recognised the need for partnerships which local authorities could
      work with, in order for local authorities to engage with business and for the
      business voice to be heard. There are a range of partnership models across the
      region, some old, some newer. Within East Sussex, SEEDA has been working
      with ESCC on future options and has ESCC asked for more details, including
      arrangements with ESSP.
   ESSP members agreed:
   1. To receive a paper on future arrangements to support business engagement to
   the next ESSP board meeting.


                           FOR INFORMATION SECTION


     Due to the previous, unscheduled debate, presentation and discussion of the items
     for information was curtailed.
10) Progress through Partnership (PTP) update
     a) The Working Together event in February for ESSP members and elected
          members highlighted a lack of understanding amongst councillors regarding
          strategic partnerships. As a follow up, a guide for elected members is being
          jointly commissioned by all LSPs using pooled PTP funding.
     b) Remaining un-pooled funding will be used to develop the ESSP website with an
          online ‘resource centre’, more dynamic home page and new, locally relevant,
          content.
   ESSP members asked:
   1. That a report on the Working Together event be circulated to members.

11) LSP Mapping Project
    a) Members were informed that a mapping exercise had been undertaken.
   ESSP members asked:
   1. That a report on the LSP Mapping project be circulated to members and to
   reconvene a meeting of the Form and Function Group.

12) Dates of future meetings
     a) Members were asked to note the dates of future meetings.

The Chairman thanked East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service for hosting the
meeting. There being no other business, the meeting closed at 1.00pm.




                                                                                       7
                   East Sussex Strategic Partnership Executive Board
                                Thursday 6 March 2008
                            SUMMARY OF AGREED ACTIONS
Item   Action
 2     Notes of the meeting held on 27 November 2007
       1. Formally thank Barbara Pratt for her contribution to the Sustainable Community
          Strategy. Subsequent to the meeting the Chair agreed that Sally Harper and Enda
          Dowd, who have also moved on to new jobs, should also receive a letter of thanks.
       2. Future presentations on public sector procurement focusing on business sector, and
          procurement of services from the Voluntary and Community Sector
       3. Append the letter sent to Rt Hon Hazel Blears and the response from John Healey
          MP with the 6 March board meeting notes.
FOR DECISION SECTION
 5     LAA Quarter 3 Performance Monitoring Report
       1. That a report on the trajectory to achieving reward targets, how much reward
          payments might be available and options for spending the reward monies be
          produced after Quarter 4 data was available, and
       2. That this report be presented to a future ESSP board meeting.
 6     Final draft East Sussex Integrated Sustainable Community Strategy
       1. To approve the strategy
       2. To delegate authority to the Chairman to negotiate any final amendments with the
          other LSPs and local authorities, should any issues arise during the approvals
          process
       3. To receive a paper at a future meeting setting out options for rolling strategy
          reviews, and
       4. To record thanks to all partners and the Project Team for their contributions to
          developing the strategy.
 7     New landscape – LAA, NIS, CAA
       None
 8     New LAA – process and timetable
       1. To ask the Project Team to consider ways in which District and Borough Councils
          and LSPs could be consulted, within the constraints of the timetable.
 9     Recommendations on the existing Local Area Agreement (LAA)
       1. To delegate decisions to the LAA Project Board.
 9a)   AOB: The future of East Sussex Economic Partnership (ESEP)
       1. To receive a paper on future arrangements to support business engagement to the
          next ESSP board meeting.
FOR INFORMATION SECTION
 10    Progress through Partnership (PTP) update
       1. That a report on the Working Together event be circulated to members
 11    LSP Mapping Project
       1. That a report on the LSP Mapping project be circulated to members
 12    Dates of future meetings
       Members were asked to note the dates of future meetings:
       22 May 2008 at 9.30am, County Hall, Lewes - Special ESSP meeting to endorse the
                                                                                     8
LAA prior to submission
26 June 2008 at 10am, County Hall, Lewes
10 July 2008 East Sussex Assembly, 9.30-1.30 (including lunch), Cumberland Hotel,
Eastbourne
25 September 2008 at 10am - venue tbc
27 November 2008 at 10am - venue tbc
12 March 2009 at 10am - venue tbc
25 June 2009 at 10am - venue tbc




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