Gateshead Strategic Partnership Steering Group
22 October 2003
Present: Cllr Mick Henry Chair
Cllr Ian Mearns Gateshead Council
Pauline Nelson GVOC
Christine Brown Gateshead Primary Care Trust
David Cheetham Lifelong Learning Partnership
Christine Robson Gateshead Community Network
Rob Chapman Gateshead Community Network
Clare Satow Environment
Peter Smith Gateshead Health Partnership
Michelle Duggan Business Forum
In Attendance: Tom Magin Government Office North East
Ronnie Johnstone Empower Gateshead
Elaine Snaith Gateshead Council
Alison Rigg Gateshead Council
Gillian Warnes Gateshead Council
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Linda Green (Early Years
Development and Childcare Partnership), Ruth Bullen (Learning and Skills Council)
Superintendent Graham Stafford (Northumbria Police), Ian Prescott (Housing
Partnership Forum) Lesley Bessant and Leslie Elton (Gateshead Council).
The minutes of the meeting held on 11 September 2003 were agreed as a correct
3. MATTERS ARISING
There were no matters arising.
4. REGIONAL REVIEW OF BUSINESS SUPPORT
Michelle Duggan of Business Link Tyne and Wear gave a presentation to the
Steering Group on the Regional Review of Business Support.
Eighteen months ago One North East in conjunction with the DTI carried out some
work on the provision of business support in the region and found that there were
too many business support schemes and that too many had low value and low
impact. It was also found that customers perceived that effective help was not
accessible or understandable in the North East.
The rationale behind the review was that to address the productivity gap, more
businesses needed to be accessing more, better quality support. In the current
business support network, customers can access support through brokers or direct
from suppliers but they cannot always be sure that they are receiving the right sort
of support. The new model of business support is a system where all customers go
through brokers to access services. Brokers work across a partnership of
organisations and are able to deal with more customers in an objective manner, as
they are not delivering services. Brokers can also capture the knowledge of the
customer which helps improve the service and promote supplier and broker
The new model will be managed through Area Brokerage Partnerships and will use
common systems such as supplier databases and quality systems. Funding will be
directed through the customer and not the supplier and a Regional Network Board
will oversee the ‘marketplace’. There is also One North East and Objective 2
European funding behind the model.
At the current time extended brokerage is being piloted with NatWest bank, Project
North East and two local authorities with a view to rolling out the scheme in 2004. A
draft Area Brokerage Partnership plan has been developed through the TyneWear
Partnership and in future all funding allocations will only be approved if they fit into
The new model will have implications for the ongoing development of the
Gateshead Community Strategy and in the long term, more funds will be available
for more support for businesses.
The Steering Group queried whether the definition of ‘customers’ for the model
included the voluntary sector. The group were informed that community and social
enterprise organisations would be able to access the model in the same way as
profit-making organisations. In developing the new Business Support model, links
had already been made with the Pentagon Partnership and the Tyne and Wear
Social Enterprise Partnership. The ongoing delivery plan will also include targets for
social enterprise and social inclusion and will aim to enhance the ability for all
organisations to access mainstream funding.
The group were concerned as to how the amount of money available to the
customer would increase when it would appear that the new brokerage
arrangements would take money out of the system. It was a target to increase the
proportion of money available to the customer and after the initial setting up of the
model the plan was clear that the restructuring of services would free more money
for use by the customer. However, the evaluation of the pilot projects which were
ongoing would also inform this aspect of the model.
The Steering Group also questioned where the quality control would be built into
the model. It was highlighted that the Brokerage Partnership Plan had built in
resources for evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the model and the operating
plan would be the quality framework for the process.
The group enquired about how the health and social care might be able to link in
with the new Business Support model. It was noted that partial brokerage was
being looked into and that there was the possibility of establishing consortia for
specific sectors, although funding would still sit within the Area Brokerage
It was reported that the Diversity Forum had enquired about the take up of business
support in black and ethnic minority communities and also about the possibility of
outreach so that customers could be aware from the outset about the support
available. The group believed that there was a clear link between the richness and
success of diverse communities and the level of business start up and business
success in those communities and were keen that the Area Brokerage Partnership
supported this. Business Link had previously secured funding to do locally based
enterprise roadshows which had been very successful and this method could be
used again to inform communities about business support.
The group were also concerned that the Area Brokerage Partnership board
monitored the uptake of services by district across the sub region to ensure that
resources did not flow disproportionately to one area at the expense of another.
The group were informed that wide consultation had been undertaken on the draft
Area Brokerage Partnership Plan and that comments could still be submitted.
RESOLVED - That the presentation be noted and any comments from the
Local Strategic Partnership on the review of Business Support
be passed to Michelle Duggan.
5. AREA PROFILE – AUDIT COMMISSION PILOT
The Audit Commission have invited Gateshead to take part in a pilot exercise
intended to develop profiles of small neighbourhood areas so that the impact of
services in local areas can be assessed and baseline figures established.
In Gateshead, the pilot will develop an area profile of Birtley which will also tie in
with the ongoing Best Value Review taking place there. The local authority will
undertake a lot of work in developing this profile but there will be opportunities in
the future to work with partner organisations to develop a profile of the whole
RESOLVED - That the information be noted.
6. UPDATE ON COMMUNITY STRATEGY CONSULTATION
The Steering Group received an update on the Community Strategy consultation
events which have taken place. The key issues from the Housing, Community
Safety and Environment consultation events were highlighted as the basis from
which common themes and key priorities would be drawn to inform the Community
Members of the group commented that they felt the consultation events had been
positive and provided a good staring point for the development of the strategy.
RESOLVED - That the information be noted.
7. LSP DEVELOPMENT ACTION PLAN UPDATE
The Partnership underwent an accreditation process earlier in the year and as part
of this, an action plan was devised for future development of the local strategic
partnership. The particular issues addressed by the action plan are: -
continuing to develop the relationship with the Community Empowerment
continuing to work to involve hard to reach groups, especially BME, young
people and the business sector
further development of the Local Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy including
the development of neighbourhood management
developing a performance management framework that will track progress of
the partnership itself as well as progress towards agreed targets
further work on the partnership’s wider structure and engagement with the
‘family’ of partnerships including greater emphasis on the delivery of the
community strategy and local neighbourhood renewal strategy through these
completing a partnership review of the community strategy
The issue of representation from the Diversity Forum on the local strategic
partnership was raised. The Diversity Forum are currently briefed on the agenda for
the Steering Group prior to the group meeting and their comments reported to the
group. It was proposed that this arrangement could be looked at again and
consideration given to appointing one member of the forum to the partnership
It was also requested that the Steering Group include a standard item where
partners are able to report any relevant information or developments from their
RESOLVED - (i) That the progress made on the action plan be noted;
(ii) That discussions about representation on the LSP be
held with the Diversity Forum;
(iii) That future agendas for the Steering Group include an
item for updates from partner members.
8. SRB6 PROJECT PROPOSALS
Two projects seeking SRB funding were presented to the Steering Group for
Small Projects and Publicity – Bleach Green Community Partnership
A proposal has been put forward for a small dedicated budget to be used for
small projects and publicity and promotion costs associated with the production
and delivery of the Bleach Green Newsletter. The Community Partnership are
requesting a ringfenced budget of £20,000 for small projects and publicity.
It was also proposed that small projects being funded from this budget should
be limited to £1,000. Anything greater that £1,000 would go through the
standard process. To promote flexibility and responsiveness it is proposed that
approval for small projects be delegated to the Chair of the Strategic
Highfield Community Facility – Highfield Community Partnership
The Steering Group have previously approved maximum SRB allocations for
community facilities, play court and associated infrastructure at Highfield with
the value of £150,000, £62,000 and £28,000 respectively.
The tenders have now been received and the total cost for the community
facilities will be £186,000. As the facility is seen as a local priority it is proposed
that the full cost of this element is met through the SRB budget and that the
provisional allocation for the play court is used to meet any shortfall. The
development of the play court will be temporarily delayed until alternative
funding can be sought.
RESOLVED - (i) That £20,000 SRB funding be allocated for a small
projects and publicity budget;
(ii) That the Chair of the Strategic Partnership be delegated
to approve applications made to the small projects fund;
(iii) That the Highfield community facility be allocated
£186,000 SRB funding from the combined allocation
already approved and alternative funding sought for the
(iv) That the Steering Group receive future updates on the
progress of the Highfield Community Partnership
9. LSP NETWORK EVENTS
The Steering Group were informed of forthcoming network events being held by
Government Office North East. Members who were interested in attending any of
the events were asked to let Alison Rigg know.
RESOLVED - That the information be noted.
10. GATESHEAD HOUSING COMPANY – INDEPENDENT DIRECTORS
In January 2004, the Council will transfer management of its tenanted and
leasehold properties to an arms length management organisation – the Gateshead
The company will have 15 directors, five of these are councillors, five are tenants
and the remaining five are to be independent. The company has ten directors in
place and is currently recruiting the five independents. The closing date for
applications is 7 November 2003 and members of the Steering Group were asked
to make the person specification and application details available to others as
RESOLVED - That the information be noted.
11. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Protocol between Community Networks and Local Strategic Partnerships
The Neighbourhood Renewal Unit has issued draft guidance on the development of
protocols between community networks and local strategic partnerships. The
guidance suggests the one or two members of the local strategic partnership meet
with representatives from the community network as a small working group to
develop the protocols.
Pauline Nelson would establish this process for the Gateshead Strategic
Partnership and Gateshead Community Network and members who were
interested in forming part of the working group were asked to contact her.
Gateshead Community Network Event
The members of the Steering Group were invited to an event being held on 6
December 2003 by the Gateshead Community Network. The event, which would
take place at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art between 1.00 and 8.00 pm, would
showcase the work of the Community Network over the last year.
12. DATE AND TIME OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting will be held on Monday 1 December 2003 at 10.00am in the
Blaydon Room, Civic Centre.