Minutes of Furness Partnership Co-ordinating Group
10 September 2004, Age Concern, Abbey Road, Barrow
1. Attendance and Apologies
See attached list
2. Declarations of Interest
Members were reminded of the procedure for declarations of interest that had been
agreed for the Partnership.
3. The Learning and Skills Council in Barrow
The meeting received a presentation by Mick Farley, Executive Director of Cumbria
LSC. He explained that, as part of its commitment to central government, the LSC
was only allowed to have one office in Cumbria and that the previous LSC presence
in Barrow had been an ad hoc arrangement rather than a branch office. National
budget cuts had indicated a 22% reduction in the administrative budget for Cumbria
LSC and this had necessitated post cuts, including posts based in Barrow.
Details were given of over £16 million funding that is being directed into Barrow
through the LSC. The largest part of these funds, £12.6 million, relates to FE and
work-based learning. The LSC is also committing £250K to fund activity to support
those facing redundancy, where funding is not available from other sources.
Cllr Waiting asked why additional resources were not being directed towards Barrow
when the problems of redundancy and worklessness in this Borough are worse than
elsewhere in the County. MF repeated that the LSC is working with Job Centre Plus
and West Lakes Renaissance to plug gaps in the provision.
(There was a discussion about the time limit for making applications to the Job
Centre Plus Rapid Response Fund following redundancy. Job Centre Plus has since
confirmed that this funding is available for 12 weeks from the date of redundancy,
however this time limit does not apply simply to making an application for funding. In
addition to a funding application, the training to be funded must also be arranged
(e.g. a place on a training course secured) within the 12-week period.)
Chair closed the discussion and asked Mick Farley to consider attending meetings of
West Lakes Renaissance New Visions group. MF said that he would consider this. It
was also agreed that MF would be sent a copy of the awaited report from Colin
Pritchard on location of a Social Care Learning and Resource Centre in Barrow.
4. Report from Neighbourhood Level Working Group
The meeting received a report from Stephen Robson on the proposed model for
neighbourhood working. With general consensus that this work should be central to
the work of the LSP and its members, the meeting resolved that:
The working group should not be established as a Tasking Group of the Furness
Partnership, nor should a “lead agency” be identified to co-ordinate the activity.
The working party should continue in its currently established form and the
importance of Neighbourhood Level Working should reflected by its inclusion as a
standing agenda item for future meetings of the Coordinating Group.
The roll out of the proposed model should begin immediately in Barrow Island,
Walney North and South, Hindpool, Ormsgill, Central and Risedale.
5. Minutes of meeting of the Co-ordinating Group of 25 June 2004
5.1. Arnold Lee, GONW, asked for the minutes to be amended to state that
additional resources to help balance the housing market in Furness and
West Cumbria had not yet been secured. In addition, while such funds will
probably be routed through the regional Housing Board, this too has yet to
be confirmed. These changes were accepted.
5.2. Otherwise, the minutes were accepted as a correct record.
5.3. Matters Arising
5.3.1. Cllr Waiting noted that, notwithstanding the presentation received from
Mick Farley, the position of the LSC in Barrow-in-Furness and their
ongoing commitment to the Borough remains a cause for concern.
5.3.2. Chair reported that he and Tom Campbell had met with Leigh Griffin of
MBPCT, to discuss the relocation of services from Barrow. LG had
urged Furness Partnership to respond to the consultation document
(later agenda item refers) and agreed to further meetings on this issue.
5.3.3. Cllr Burns declared an interest in this issue as a member of the Health
and Wellbeing Public Scrutiny Committee.
5.3.4. A letter confirming the findings of the annual review of the LSP by
GONW is likely to be issued during the week beginning 13 September.
5.3.5. A letter from Furness Partnership to John Hutton, MP, expressing
concern at the changes in MBPCT „s Management Structure and asking
him to investigate, has not been sent, pending further discussions with
Leigh Griffin. (See 5.3.2 above)
5.3.6. In addition to the amendment detailed at 5.1 above, Arnold Lee
confirmed that any funds that may become available for work to balance
the housing market outside pathfinder areas would be subject to a
tendering process. In order to secure any funding to deal with low
demand housing in this area, Furness and West Cumbria Housing
Market Partnership would need to produce an acceptable proposal.
5.3.7. Colin Pritchard‟s draft proposals for establishing a Learning Centre for
Social Care Workers in Barrow will be available soon. Chair will meet
with CP and others to discuss the proposals in October and a document
a document will then be submitted to the Coordinating group.
6. Task Group Presentations
6.1. Health Inequalities
Heather Lofthouse presented an update on the work of the Health Inequalities
Task Group. Work continues to finalise the HI Action Plan, and the Task Group is
about to begin a mid-year review of NRF spending on HI projects to ensure
forecasts are accurate.
6.2. Lifelong Learning
The appointment of a new School Food Project Officer, with expertise in the
impact of nutrition on learning, is an example of cross-theme working as the post
is funded from Health Inequalities budgets. The Officer will initially be working with
Alfred Barrow, St George‟s, Barrow Island, Greengate and Cambridge Primary
schools, but learning will be sharing more widely in future.
If all 10 trainee-plumbers pass their exams then they can expect to complete
CORGI registration by the 3rd quarter of 2005, while electricians taking 16th
Edition Regs courses expect exam results in October.
Of the 11 participants on the Health Learning Works programme (which had a
100% success rate with all 11 participants finding employment), 6 had come
through Furness Enterprise‟s Workshop Programme.
Harry Knowles restated Furness Enterprise‟s aim to offer the best, coordinated
response for those facing redundancy, based on their individual needs. HK also
recorded his appreciation of the efforts of members of the Furness Partnership
and others in securing LSC funding to deliver redundancy support activity through
FE. In particular the contributions of Cllr Terry Waiting and Terry McSorley (Office
Manager, John Hutton MP‟s Office) were noted.
6.4. Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership
CDRP is undertaking a mid-term review of funding with the caveat that any funds
identified as unlikely to be spent in year may be vired within CDRP‟s project
portfolio, or could be used to fund Neighbourhood Level Working Activity.
Garry Horlacher gave some background on the Prolific and Other Priority
Offenders (POPO) scheme. The scheme is prescriptive about who the CDRP
must work with and there is a potential for the CDRP to be excessively influenced
by external agencies. The CDRP may require support from the Coordinating
Group in maintaining its distinct identity in that case.
Keith Williams presented an update on the work of the Housing Task Group.
Phil Huck confirmed that the Urban Design Framework Document should be
available in draft form this month, and that the Housing Task Group would be free
to comment on the draft.
The Housing Task Group has a new member: Patricia Wilson, manager of Barrow
Citizen‟s Advice Bureau will join the group from the date of its next meeting.
7. Cumbria Sub-regional Strategy Action Plan
The agenda item was removed because, following a change to the requirements, the
document is not yet complete.
Cumbria LSP are arranging a number of away days with learning workshops open to
all members of Cumbrian LSPs. Details of the events are available from Phil Huck.
8. Mental Health In-Patient Services Consultation Paper
The Morecambe bay PCT Consultation Paper on proposals for restructuring Mental
Health In-Patient Services was discussed. It was agreed that Furness Partnership
should respond formally to the consultation, with copy to John Hutton M.P., and that
the response should indicate the following:
FP supports Option 1, for local mental Health Units in Lancaster, South Lakes and
Barrow. These units should provide enhanced and additional services and
community support services must be in place before any reduction in bed numbers.
If, despite FP‟s preference, MBPCT choose to pursue Option 2, for a larger, single
unit to serve the whole area, then FP believes that for this unit should be located in
Barrow. This would place services in the area of greatest need and offer support to
economic regeneration of the Borough.
Action: Phil Huck to draft response and circulate to members of the Coordinating
Group for comments. Deadline for submission to MBPCT is 30 September.
9. Any Other Business
Stuart Evason highlighted the need for a discussion on Local Area Agreements and
their potential impact on LSPs. It was agreed that a briefing from GONW on this
subject should be an agenda item for the next meeting of the Coordinating Group.
10. Date of next meeting
The next Coordinating Group meeting will be 15 October 2004, 10.00 a.m. at Age
Concern Offices (unless otherwise notified).
Cllr T L Waiting Barrow Borough Council
Cty Cllr Alan Nicholson Cumbria County Council
Cty Cllr Anne Burns Cumbria County Council
Chief Supt Garry Horlacher Cumbria Constabulary
Keith Williams Accent Group
Mason Minnitt BCLP
Karen Johnson Cumbria County Council
Harry Knowles Furness Enterprise
Steve Murray (Chair) Furness Enterprise
Stuart Evason Furness Community Network
Joanne Barlow Furness Community Network
Heather Lofthouse Morecambe Bay Primary Care Trust
Phil Huck Barrow Borough Council
Stephen McKinnell Barrow Borough Council
Alison Morgan MBE Morecambe Bay Primary Care Trust
Stephen Wilds Cumbria County Council
Richard Perry GO-NW
Tom Campbell Barrow Borough Council
Chris Jones Barrow Borough Council