Minutes of a Meeting of the Manchester Board Held on 27 March 2007 Present: Councillor Sir Richard Leese MCC (in the Chair) Councillor Paul Murphy GMPA Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch Faith Communities Wadi Nassar MCCR Evelyn Asante Mensah Manchester PCT Peter Fell The University of Manchester Also Present: Steve Mycio Deputy Chief Executive, MCC Geoff Little Assistant Chief Executive, Performance Improvement, MCC Kath Smythe Manchester Partnership Manager Peter Jones MPSL Apologies: Councillor Roger Jones (GMPTA), Davy Iredale (CN4M) and Gail Porter (GONW) 1. Minutes of the meeting held on 19 December 2006 The minutes of the meeting of the Manchester Board held on 19 December 2006 were presented for consideration. Resolved/- that the minutes be received. 2. Matters Arising (a) Composition of Board (minute 2) In response to a query from the Chair, Kath Smythe confirmed that there were currently three vacancies for community members to be filled on the Board. It was hoped to complete the appointment process by the July meeting of the Board. The Board discussed membership of the appointments panel and concluded that it would be appropriate for the panel to have a semi-independent membership. Resolved/- (i) that the report be noted. (ii) that Board members be circulated details of the appointment process together with options for the composition of the semi-independent recruitment panel. 3. Public Service Board Minutes - January, February and March 2007 The minutes of the meetings of the Public Service Board (PSB) held on 16 January, 13 February and 13 March 2007 were noted. The Chair requested that future minutes be circulated as soon as possible after PSB meetings so that Board members could make comments or ask questions as necessary. Resolved/- (i) that the minutes of the three meetings be noted. (ii) that PSB minutes be circulated to Board members as soon as possible after meetings. 4. Community Cohesion Steve Mycio introduced a report on Community Cohesion in Manchester. There had been a number of co-ordinated initiatives and activities over the last few years that had helped to build the Council’s knowledge and understanding of communities and strengthened partnership working with public and voluntary agencies. More recent events, however, meant that there was the need to revisit our approaches towards creating a shared sense of belonging and what brought people together. Community Cohesion underpins the three spines of the Community Strategy. Overall, the aim was to develop a community cohesion framework and toolkit for assessing the impact of existing strategies and initiatives on longer term community cohesion issues and to identify any gaps in the current strategies. Such a framework should ensure that public services are being delivered with a focus on promoting Community Cohesion. Within the City, a Community Cohesion Task Group has been set up, chaired by the Leader, whose main aim was to consider longer term community cohesion issues in Manchester. It was also intended that one of the two Deputy Leaders would have specific responsibility for community cohesion. The Public Service Board had already started to consider the issue at a strategic level and intended to support local activities and staff to encourage community cohesion. A number of issues arose in discussion, including (a) there was broad support for the strategy set out in the report; members emphasised that although there had been a large influx of people from other cultures into some parts of Manchester in a relatively short time, there were some factors that bound them to existing communities, such as churches, and often the new members of a community were in work or in business on their own account; this information needed to be disseminated so that people had an accurate view of the current situation; (b) age and demographics were key issues; in some faith communities, the ways that present and previous communities share values was no longer happening; (c) there were a number of local and national groups on faith issues where Manchester was providing a lead; the Muslim Heritage Advisory Group, for example, included two local head teachers in its membership and advised on curriculum development; the CofE Bishop of Bolton was chair of the Christian/Islam Forum and the CofE Bishop of Manchester was chair of the Christian/Jewish Council; (d) it was important not to focus excessively on Muslim communities; there was a need to look at all communities and develop commonalities. Resolved/- (i) that the report be noted. (ii) that the approach and strategy set out in the report be broadly endorsed. (iii) that the Public Service Board progress the delivery of the strategy and make periodic reports to the Board. 5. Community Strategy and Manchester Partnership Geoff Little gave a presentation on the Community Strategy and its links to the Manchester Partnership. The Community Strategy 2006-2015 set out a vision to make Manchester a world class city by 2015. This would be achieved through the performance of the economy of the city and the sub-region and through the three spines of the Strategy: Reaching Full Potential in Education and Employment, Individual and Collective Self-Esteem and Neighbourhoods of Choice. The implementation of the Strategy should result in a larger population that would be wealthier, living longer, healthier and happier lives, with a good diverse and stable demographic mix. The Manchester Partnership had a key role in delivering the Strategy. The Delivery Framework comprised the Local Area Agreement (LAA), which set out a number of targets negotiated with Government Office, Partner Agreements, which were agreed between Partners without any central government involvement, and the Mancunian Agreements, which set out a way for residents to participate in the vision and to show commitment to making Manchester a better place. Seven pilots Agreements were currently underway. There were a number of indicators that would measure the delivery of the Strategy. There were three levels of State of the City indicators: high level indicators, linked to the vision of the Strategy, key indicators linked to the three spines of the Strategy and high level thematic indicators from the thematic partnership action plans that incorporated all LAA and LPSA targets. A fourth level of indicators comprised the thematic early warning indicators from thematic partnership action plans. There were named accountabilities at the Public Service Board (PSB) for the indicators and targets. The revised structure for the Partnership aimed to establish appropriate links between the PSB and thematic, neighbourhood and cross-cutting partnerships. The PSB in turn was accountable to the non-Executive Manchester Board. The PSB needed to ensure that the PSB was providing effective leadership, effectively communicating the Community Strategy, enabling staff to take risks and being innovative and creative in their approach. The current challenge for the Partnership was to ensure that partnerships were fit for purpose and working to deliver the priority actions. This required integrated planning across agencies and a robust system of performance management. It was essential that the Partnership added value to activities that would deliver the three spines, particularly aspiration and well being. Key priorities for the non-Executive Board were to hold the PSB to account, to review annually through the State of the City indicators progress on the delivery of the Strategy, to champion the Strategy within members’ own organisations and to lobby for change where appropriate at local, sub-regional, national and international levels. A number of issues arose in discussion, including (a) the Board would find it useful to have information on areas where there had been rapid change in the city; this would also help to compare Manchester’s progress with other similar cities; (b) although the yearly State of the City review was essential, there needed to be more frequent assessment of activities, particularly at ward and neighbourhood levels; this should include feedback from ward councillors and staff; it would be useful for the Board to consider the current work on the demographics in the city; (c) people’s perceptions of well being and happiness were also key issues; work was being done by Professor Layard of the London School of Economics on these issues and how they related to economic prosperity; there was also currently a project on resilience in a number of Manchester’s schools that sought to inform and challenge students. Resolved/- (i) that Geoff Little be thanked for his informative presentation (ii) that the Board at their next meeting consider the annual State of the City report and receive a presentation on the current work on demographics and perception indicators. 6. Manchester Partnership Review Kath Smythe introduced a report on the outcomes of the review of the Manchester Partnership, as part of the need to increase accountability to ensure the delivery of the Community Strategy and the Local Area Agreement. Following on from the concerns raised at the last Board meeting, the PSB had undertaken work to re-affirm their focus on the spines and had identified work streams to be progressed to gain a better understanding of what will impact most on the spines and to ensure that resources and capacity were adequately focused on those issues that will have the greatest impact. Thematic Partnerships have each undergone reviews and, with the exception of Transport, all have moved towards smaller, more focused performance boards with links to wider forums. The Thematic Partnerships had started to look at their wider role in delivering the spines and the linkages across Thematic Partnerships. The idea of having two “sponsor” partnerships per spine with responsibility for co- ordinating activity across the thematic areas, area and cross-cutting partnerships had been proposed. They were also considering how to link to the regeneration framework and to the review of ward co-ordination. In short, the focus of the PSB and the other partners would now be on ensuring activities added value and contributed to the delivery of the three spines. In discussion, there was broad support from the Board on the proposals for the new structure; it was felt, however, that further work needed to be done on a number of issues, including the need to avoid duplication in the partnerships boards, the need to establish the relationships between Thematic Partnerships and the over-arching relationships within the structure. Resolved/- (i) that the progress report be noted. (ii) that the Board broadly support the proposed new structures. (iii) that a further report be made to the next meeting of the Board on the hierarchy of the various groups in the new structure, what the links across the structures would be and on membership of the various boards set out in detail in the report. 7. Overview and Scrutiny Geoff Little introduced a report on forthcoming changes to the City Council’s Overview and Scrutiny process. The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill included provision to extend the overview and scrutiny function of local authorities to cover partner organisations. If passed, the legislation would come into force in 2008. The report set out a number of proposals to strengthen the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny process in anticipation of the legislation. These would include the opportunity to raise issues with elected Members that would benefit from their input, the opportunity to gain a neighbourhood level perspective on the impact of key policies, the opportunity to involve elected Members in developing policies that met local needs and the opportunity to raise the profile of the work that partners were progressing. The Chair added that the aim was to ensure that the process became more co-operative and positive and to build on some existing innovative work. Resolved/- (i) that the report be noted. (ii) that the proposals to introduce the changes to the overview and scrutiny process as set out in detail in the report be endorsed. 8. Public Attendance at Board meetings The Chair gave a verbal report to the meeting on public attendance at Board meetings. The Board members agreed that the public had the right to attend meetings as observers and could be excluded only for those items that considered private and confidential information. In a more general discussion, the Board considered the timing of meetings, as it was felt that that could be a factor in whether members of the public would attend Board meetings. There was broad support for keeping the start time at 8.00am but to keep the matter under review. Resolved/- (i) that the Board formally endorse the policy of the public having the right to attend meetings of the Board as observers. (ii) that notice of Board meetings together with agendas and reports were placed on the Partnership website. (iii) that the meetings continue to start at 8.00am and this be kept under review. 9. Action Planning/Next steps The Chair said that as there were already a number of items for consideration at the July meeting, a medium term agenda/strategy for the Board be discussed at that meeting. 10. Any Other Business There was no other business. 11. Date for next meetings The next meeting was set for 17 July 2007 at 8.00am. ACTION NOTE FROM MEETING OF BOARD HELD ON 27 MARCH 2007 1. Minutes of the Meeting held on 19 December 2006 Noted. No Action. 2. Composition of Board Action A. Details of appointment process to be circulated to Board members for comment. (Kath Smythe) 3. Public Service Board Update Action A. PSB minutes to be circulated to members as soon as possible after meetings. (Kath Smythe) 4. Community Cohesion Action A. PSB progress delivery of the delivery of the strategy and make periodic reports to the Board. (Public Service Board) 5. Community Strategy and Manchester Partnership Action A. A report be submitted to the next meeting on the annual State of the City Indicators and the current work on demographics and perception indicators. (Kath Smythe) 6. Manchester Partnership Review Action A report be submitted to the next meeting of the Board on the hierarchy of the various MP groups, links across the structure and membership of the various Boards. (Kath Smythe) 7. Overview and Scrutiny Noted. No action. 8. Public Attendance at meetings Action A. Notice of Board meetings, agendas and report be placed on MP website. (Kath Smythe) B. Starting time of meetings be kept under review. (Board) 9. Action Planning/Next steps Action A. A report on a medium term agenda/strategy be submitted to the next meeting of the Board. (Kath Smythe) 10. Date for next meeting 17 July 2007 at 8.00am.
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