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           Note of Meeting held on Wednesday, 17th June, 2009

Apologies & Welcome

Councillor Andrew Eade, Chairman of the Partnership, welcomed partners to
the meeting.

Richard Partington, Head of Policy, Performance & Partnership (T&WC) said
that this was the last meeting of some partners and some had already left. He
wished to place on record the thanks of the Strategic Partnership to Gerald
Bennett, Doug Boynton, David Lavender, Steve Wellings and John Pay, for
their stalwart support. He also welcomed Anne Watkins (Wrekin Area
Committee), Jan Ellis (TCAT), Victor Brownlees (T&WC) to their first meeting
of the Partnership and Jon Power (T&WC), who would be providing support to
and taking forward the Partnership.

1.    Note of 18th March 2009 Meeting – Matters Arising

      There were none.

                     Part 1: Developing the Shared Agenda

2.    Responding to the Economic Recession – Peter Smith, Head of
      Economic Development, T&WC

      Peter Smith’s presentation referred to Annex 2 of the agenda, which
      summarised Telford’s Response to the Recession. He drew the
      Partners attention to the following:

      Statistics – unemployment in T&W for May was 4.8%, which was 0.1%
      down on the previous month. He expressed cautious optimism that this
      was a positive trend. The figures were still above the national average
      but below the West Midlands average.                  The relative rise in
      unemployment over the last twelve months had been substantial in
      T&W due to its historic manufacturing base and its position in the car
      supply chain. This was also reflected in the gender split with
      unemployment for men at 6.9% and unemployment for women at 2.6%,
      i.e. manufacturing based products and male blue collar workers.
      Unemployment was concentrated in the three wards of Malinslee,
      Cuckoo Oak and Woodside. With reference to unemployment statistics,
      those people claiming Job Seekers Allowance formed only a part and
      there was large, historic, number of people who claimed incapacity and
      other benefits. However, action tended to be focussed upon the ‘easy’
      unemployed rather than the longstanding ones.
      Telford Economic Summit – at this meeting business leaders had
      identified their priorities through a 7 Point Action Plan.

     Start Up Business Support – he informed the meeting that it had been
     officially announced that the Enterprise HQ for home based businesses
     had won the ‘Enterprise in Britain’ Award, which was very good news. It
     was appropriate that it had won this Award given its location in the
     cradle of the Industrial Revolution. Business Link had seen a 40%
     increase in start up provision across the Region. Although some
     concerns had been expressed about the loss of local responsiveness
     the new structure had proved to be working very well. It was important
     that Partners were aware of the services offered.
     Development of the Town Centre– it was important that ‘the foot wasn’t
     taken off the pedal’. This was a clear message that had come out of the
     Telford Economic Summit.
     Shropshire Chamber Support – it was important that local suppliers and
     partners worked together.
     Unemployment and Locality Working – it was important that agencies
     worked with those people furthest from the job market and for partners
     to have an input e.g. through Future Jobs Funding
     Accessible Local Services for Local People – these had been provided
     already but ‘First Point’ had now made additional resources available
     and allowed for more targeting. The facility was very well used and
     provided many benefits to users.
     Integrated Redundancy Support – Telford was leading the Region in
     this respect. The service had been in place before the recession but on
     an informal basis and had now been made official. He stressed the
     importance of maintaining relationships with companies. A skills
     shortage was still being experienced by some companies and these
     needed to be matched to those workers being made redundant.

     Points Raised:

         Helen Onions (NHS Trust T&WC) said that the key link was that to
         inequalities. Targets were still not being reached e.g. on health
         inequalities and the NHS would continue to work closely with
         partners. The accessibility of services was also important. Peter
         Smith responded that equality of access to skills was a long term
         issue and the best needed to be made of the resources within work

3.   Ending Child & Family Poverty: Making it Happen – Tina Wood,
     Head of Commissioning, Performance & Partnerships (C&YP),

     This report outlined the Government’s proposals for reducing child and
     family poverty and the response of the Children’s Trust to this important

     Between the late 1970s and the mid 1980s child poverty had doubled
     resulting in the UK having one of the highest rate in the industrialised
     world. Therefore, in 1999 the Government had set out an ambitious
     pledge to end child poverty. Child poverty both damaged those who

    suffered it and the families in which they lived and society as a whole.

    Using the indicators set out in the report, between 1989/99 and 2006/07
    some 600,000 children were lifted out of relative poverty and the
    number of children living in absolute poverty was halved from 3.4m to
    1.7m. However, despite this progress, it was estimated that 33% of the
    children in the West Midlands were still living in poverty.

    In T&W 8,000 children lived in families on workless benefits. This was
    23-24% of all children compared to 19-20% nationally. 5 local areas
    currently had 35+% of children who lived in families on workless
    benefits. These were Donnington, Cuckoo Oak, Brookside, Malinslee
    and Woodside. Woodside had the highest percentage in Herefordshire,
    Worcestershire and Shropshire with Malinslee being 5 th. Therefore, to
    achieve the 2020 target of eradicating child poverty, particularly in the
    current economic climate, would require a continued focus based upon
    the 4 key aspirations set out in the report.

    Progress against these would require co-ordinated action across
    service areas and partners and a number of working groups had
    already been set up in T&W.         These aimed to ensure higher
    expectations, more accountability and acknowledgement reducing child
    and poverty was seen as everyone’s business.

    The Government, therefore, intended to introduce a Child Poverty Bill in
    2009 to ensure commitment was enshrined in legislation and to publish
    a National Child & Family Poverty Strategy to provide families with a
    clear route out of poverty. Local Authorities and key partners had a vital
    role in delivering the key building blocks to tackling this agenda. The
    Children’s Trust was currently refreshing the C&YP Plan and had
    agreed a number of new priorities including that of ‘reduce child and
    family poverty’. A Child Poverty Action Group already existed in Telford
    bringing together work on the child and family support building block. It
    included JC+, Children’s Centres, the Family Information Service,
    extended schools and the LSC and already had had a number of

    The Children’s Trust had convened a multi-agency workshop for 8 June
    to consider these issues locally and to map the work already underway,
    which had fed into regional consultation on the Government’s
    proposals. As part of the Council’s response to the ‘credit crunch’ £80k
    had been identified to support childcare provision for non-working
    families. To make an impact upon this important area would require co-
    ordination or work across the four building blocks by recognising that
    this was an issue for the whole family. There was a need for ownership
    of this agenda across partner agencies at the highest level and this
    might best be co-ordinated through the LSP.

                          Part 2: Partnership Issues

4.   Locality Working – Rachel Jones, Strategic Locality Manager,

     The presentation by Rachel Jones set out the context of developing
     Locality Management:

          LAA1 – joined up service delivery to breakdown borough-wide
          Focus on improving service delivery
          Understanding local need
          Developing a joined-up approach
          Community Engagement
          Working with Elected Members and Town & Parish Councils
          Built upon Neighbourhood Co-ordination
          Followed on from C&YP Cluster development
          Neighbourhood Policing and Local Policing Areas

     The presentation also covered Newport and Rural Areas, Focus for
     Locality Management – including working together to solve local
     problems and leading delivery of ‘Your Community Matters’
     engagement on behalf of the LSP.

     With regard to the current position with Clusters, there would be 5
     covered by 4 Locality Managers and 4 Neighbourhood Co-ordinators.
     The Clusters were Wellington, Newport & Rural, North, Central and
     South with further development of the South and Newport & Rural
     Areas. Reference was made to the identification of key partners and
     priorities for the Wellington, North, and Central Clusters.

     The next steps would be:

        Establish appropriate partnership mechanisms for each Cluster and
         develop further links with Change for Children Boards
        Identify community engagement mechanisms and processes for
         gathering local intelligence and build upon existing resources
        Establish priorities, partners, residents and where value can be
         added in remaining Clusters
        Develop performance management arrangements – Cluster
         Agreement/Action Plan to establish most appropriate way for all
        Establish process for Elected Members and Town & Parish Council
        Workshop to further review ‘Your Community Matters’ events

     In conclusion Rachel Jones stressed the need to set a clear vision with
     children and family at the centre. It would be necessary to raise

    outcomes for every child and young person, especially children with
    disabilities and/or in care.      This would require an extension of
    partnership working. Key to achieving this Vision had been early
    political leadership. Proof of its success had been the achievement of
    two Beacon Awards and Pathfinder status.

    Work would also continue on linking Locality Working to Change for
    Children Boards across the Borough and to identify opportunities for
    joint working plus explore the potential for Member involvement.

    Points Raised

       Tina Wood commented that Cluster Teams were very successful
        and were having an impact and improving outcomes through an
        integrated process.
       Councillor Kuldip Singh Sahota referred to the recent Workshop
        held in Newport and asked if there were any plans for this to be
        extended. He emphasised the need to go to the people and talk to
        Rachel Jones responded that this would a good model to adopt and
        was being developed. It was important to make contact with
        residents and to review how information was given to them and to
        identify their queries. But this wasn’t a method of gathering
        intelligence and the event needed to be changed in order to do this
        through consultation, which would then be fed into the Business
        Plan processes of all agencies. Councillor Sahota replied that there
        was not enough advertising of these events and organisers should
        speak to the press. Rachel Jones said that she would look at
        publicising events and engaging with people but not all partners
        were yet up to speed. There was a need to share best practice and
        to use all the different channels available.
       Jan Elllis (TCAT) referred to the South Telford Cluster and future
        BSF plans and the need for skills to be taken to residents and for
        schools to identify gaps in the curriculum offer. Rachel Jones said
        she would pass these comments on to Jas Bedesha,
        Neighbourhood Services Manager.
       Anne Watkins (WAC) said that with regard to publicity it might be
        useful to approach parish councils as they held events such as Fun
        Days and these could be used to reach the heart of communities.
        Rachel Jones agreed that this would be a good idea for the future
        Peter Robinson (WMP) asked whether there was a target date for
        Neighbourhood Management to be in place. He asked if there
        would be an official launch/publicity so that residents could
        understand the structure and what was available. Its introduction
        should not just be ‘slipped in’. Rachel Jones said that some work
        was already ongoing. It would be a good idea to have a launch to
        raise the awareness of Locality Management but it would be
        necessary to decide how this should be done and how to involve
        partners and parish & town councils.

5.   Comprehensive Area Assessment: Self Assessment –Jon Power,
     Policy, Performance & Partnership, T&WC

     Jon Power asked for comments on the draft document, as appended to
     the agenda. This needed to reflect the partnership as a whole and
     contributions would be welcomed. There was a need to highlight that
     this was an open and honest document and to identify how it needed to
     drive future improvements in the Borough. It needed to be completed
     by early July 2009. An electronic copy was available if required and
     partners should e-mail him if they required an electronic copy.

     Richard Partington emphasised that this should not just be a Council
     document but one for the partnership. The CAA process was for
     everyone, it needed joint ownership and there was a need for Partners
     to challenge themselves to identify areas to drive improvement.

     Points Raised

          There was a need for improvements in educational attainment
           and health e.g. female life expectancy, obesity, affordable
           housing supply, NEETS.
          Councillor Kuldip Singh Sahota referred to the need to set targets
           for child poverty.
          Richard Partington replied that all such areas would be picked up
           through the CAA process and the Chairman asked partners to
           respond within the given time scale.

6.   Partner/Partnership Issues

     Jan Ellis (TCAT) informed the meeting of the Multi-Agency working to
     set targets on NEETS. TCAT would be holding a series of summer
     workshops to encourage young people, identified as having attendance
     issues, by tracking and bringing them to TCAT during summer to remain
     in education. This was also a LAA target.

     David Lavender (Telford Christian Council) gave an update on the Race
     Equality & Diversity Partnership and stressed the need for this to
     include all equalities and not just BME. Agreement had now been
     reached with REDP partners to adopt this approach. A Steering Group
     to include all six strands of equalities was being set up as a charitable
     body to replace the REDP with an overall vision and to co-ordinate all of
     the disability strands. This would provide a vision for overall equalities
     and act as a managing group for any funding that was received. He
     hoped that this new structure could be agreed.

     Katie Foster, speaking as member of the Telford & Shropshire
     Marketing Partnership, said that she would remain on the Heritage
     Lottery Fund (HLF) until March 2010. Although Telford was a priority
     area within the HLF it did not seem to have taken advantage of this
     despite the fact that other work supported by the HLF was in line with

     issues that had been raised by partners, e.g. health and education.
     Projects funded by the HLF had been very successful in other areas.
     The HLF had funded individual projects in south Telford, e.g. community
     engagement and healthy living, but not enough connections were being
     made. She said that the Town Park funding had been very difficult to
     get through. The HLF had sub-groups which dealt with issues that the
     Partnership had to deal with on mental and physical health, anti-social
     behaviour, etc. Culture and heritage had a good effect upon these
     issues, particularly in reaching diverse and excluded groups. She
     asked partners to put these connections back in place as T&W was
     more than just its problems and issues.

     The Chairman welcomed the issues she had raised and said that he
     would arrange a meeting at which they could be discussed.

7.   Any Other Business

     Councillor Kuldip Singh Sahota raised the issue of funding and
     reductions in the Community Safety Fund.

     Peter Robinson spoke of his concerns regarding key initiatives in T&W
     and various funding streams one of which was the BCU Fund of £300k.
     Decisions had been made previously that this be used to fund CSOs
     and the Bridge Project (for persistent drug dependent offenders), which
     was reliant on this funding. Over the last couple of years the fund had
     been top sliced by 20% by government with little warning and this had
     resulted in a shortfall. Last year the T&W PCT had contributed £25k but
     the funding stream was now uncertain and projects could not be kept
     stable on such a basis. He did not want to stop either project but
     budgets kept being reduced. There was an emerging need to look at
     key initiatives which the Strategic Partnership relied upon the WMP to
     deliver, but this would be difficult with funding being eroded. There
     would be a need to prioritise in future and he asked if other funding
     streams be added to the BCU.

     Victor Brownlees added that they had discussed funding generally and
     he suggested that partners should look at what they were doing across
     the Borough, as these all added up, in order to see how public services
     were being resourced as a whole. There was a need to identify
     duplications as a way forward.

     Tom Taylor (Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital Trust) spoke of the need for
     the two hospitals to work together and to cease raising Shrewsbury v
     Telford issues. The Chairman responded that he was keen to work with
     the new Shropshire Council & the two PCTs in order to have a co-
     ordinated approach to these issues as the future was going to be very
     difficult. Doug Boynton added that the test of the Strategic Partnership
     would be when times were hard. There was a need to ask difficult
     questions and to reach right solutions.


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