Safer Stronger Communities Select Committee - Wednesday, 9th September 2020 at 7:00pm - Lewisham Council Webcasting

Safer Stronger Communities Select Committee
Wednesday, 9th September 2020 at 7:00pm 

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Start of webcast
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1 Confirmation of Chair and Vice-Chair
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2 Minutes of the meeting held on 4.3.20
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5 Select Committee work programme
3 Declarations of interest
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4 Response to Referrals from this Committee
5 Select Committee work programme
6 Financial Stabilisation Budget

1 Confirmation of Chair and Vice-Chair

good evening everyone welcome to this meeting of Safer stronger Communities Select Committee I am Hayward scrutiny manager and I'd like to start by inviting the Committee to confirm the appointment of Councillor junior Campbell as Chair and Councillor James Rathbone as Vice Chair of the 20 20 21 Europol year it all those in favor raise their hands in front of this thing
they thank you that is carried and I'll pass over to Councillor Campbell in the Chair
good evening everyone and welcome to our Safer and stronger can be key and welcomed anybody who's listening from home could I just ask all the Committee members to keep their screens on if you're not a Committee member could you turn your screen off please so we can have all the Committee members visible at all times so anyone who is not a member of the Committee later in the video off that'd be great
could we also remember to keep our thousand neutered until you were actually speaking
we have done that if you would like these are just some house rules so if you'd like to ask the question if you just put a queue in the text box that'd be great and if you get disconnected from the meeting or you get any technical difficulties please please do let as
please do contact us so that we can pause the meeting and then continue because we need to make sure that everybody is present that OK as this is our first meeting I'm just going to introduce the members of the Committee so what our do is I'll call your name as I see on the screen and then if you just put your hand up so people know who you are so Councillor Rathbone Vice Chair
Councillor Mallory put your hand up
as the shake
and Councillor Hanley thank you thank you very much I came we're going to proceed with the meeting could I check if there any apologies please

2 Minutes of the meeting held on 4.3.20

I Councillor Davis had sent apologies the ex-officio member OK thank you and will move swiftly on to the minutes of the last meeting and can we check that they are an accurate record please can we confirm that there an accurate record
if you just put your hands up brilliant thank you Councillor Slater I see you on screen
I thought I thought of ex-officio because you said proud but baby I've been proper member so I'll have a camera off care

5 Select Committee work programme

it's really for the people at home so they are very clear about who are members of the committee that's OK and K could I invite any Members to declare any interest that they have in any of the items on the agenda Councillor shake

3 Declarations of interest

thank you Chair and congratulations to you at the vice turn your appointment lovely to be part of the first Committee meeting of the year minus per year and I'm not sure if it's necessary relevant to their agenda items that were flagging that I'm a trustee of adverse of under suspicion
thank you thinking

4 Response to Referrals from this Committee

Councillor Rathbone thank you Chair on on a similar basis in relation to the according review I'm a member of the Management Committee for Metro vow on which is part of arm the Metro charity which gave evidence as Pottle fever in report brilliant thank you very much duly noted and case to the next item on the agenda is we are just noting that there were two responses to referrals made by the Committee in the last municipal year and I'll just asked the Committee to note those responses thank you
1 to axe M Select Committee work programme

5 Select Committee work programme

thanks to answer and this report provides information on the Committee's 20 20 21 work programme including the prioritisation process a draft work programme has been drawn up at Appendix E and that's based on suggestions from members of Phoebe scrutiny and at the last committee and suggestions from officers and from the terms of reference of big Mitie
the Committee the Committee are invited to consider the themes and agreed the the 20 21 worth 0 Graham
2 7 anybody would anyone like to contribute all Devaney in thing they want to raise with the work programme
no fabulous moving swiftly on great

6 Financial Stabilisation Budget

item number 6 we have the financial stabilisation budget and updates we've got three speakers David Austin acting chief finance officer Tom Brown executive director of the community services and so keeping job Directive law of an it's HR so over to David thank you good evening thank you very much Chair this paper is before you this evening as it is going to all the scrutiny committees in September really has an Overview into the financial position of the Council currently not least because of Kobe but also as we prepared five-set our budget for next year
number of hours per se and considers the budget because it's challenging times and I'll take you through some of the numbers in a moment but also as we bring forward the more specific details in the November December period for scrutiny I think it's helpful that everybody understands the wider context as well and not least for this committee because with your equalities remit you orphaned taken a very strong interest in not just the qualities of individual proposals but also what they do in in the round as well so in all discussions I think the the financials again to be a consideration and also for that reason around the the consultation and equalities agenda as well unconscious an area of interest for the committee so just to the paper itself and my colleagues Tom and Sookie can interject on their more specific areas may be able or at the end but the Cup the context we're in at the moment is much as we plan prudently and has our financial management were facing for real threat at the moment which is more than we would ever normally really expect to one is the impact of the current pandemic that song going to we have continuing financial pressures in both in terms of the cost of our services and the demand for them as the population Lewisham continues to grow there's significant uncertainty as we look forward around the public funding for local government
both what we may get from government and also what we may be able to raise in taxes and so that adds a level of complexity and finally
the economy more generally is also facing what the costs of the Brexit negotiations negotiations may be possibly a second wave of covert very curly in people's minds today and just the economy more generally what it may well how it may be impacted through all of this so those four areas really give us a financial challenge which
Even after the decade of austerity put the financials back right at the centre of the Council's priority thinking in terms of the report itself it looks both at the in-year position so that tends to the impact of the Covid a pandemic overspending pressures we face and there is a gap there so that's the pressure before we start and then also goes on to discuss the Medium Term financial Strategy and some of the assumptions were making their acknowledging the uncertainty that I mentioned around our funding position and in that it looks to
the gap that we face there and it also talks to the approach we're going to be taking to cuts because another thing that Members of challenges on in previously is is to ensure that we don't look at services individually and as its terms salami-slice than but the actually look at the council services in the round as they
meet the needs of of the population and a community and that we consider that those priorities first and work back to to the numbers so the numbers themselves in year we've got a gap of approaching 20 million on on the covert mending we've got overspending currently of around 70 million although we believe that we can bring that down to under 12 and continue to work on bring it down with some Indian management measures that were taking that are in the report looking forward are best assumptions and using the assumptions to model the Council's budget at the moment we believe there's going to be a need to find at least 40 million pounds of cuts in the coming three years the majority of those for the next financial year so 24 million for next year alone
the report then turned to the timetable and as I said in when I started the intention is having gone through the general discussion were of the same thing about the approach and the scale and and sure everyone's got that understanding officers working with members will be working up options and developing proposals so the officers will present those in draft for the November round of scrutiny so you'll get the real detail then and then based on the decisions that are taken around those proposals in December we will an unknowing then what the chancellor may say in his budget in the autumn and the Local government Settlement in December we'll be able to build the budget in January with any further measures needed to be taken before finalising it with our Council in February
sorry that's that's what the report covers and why it's with you and the see evening and very happy to invite Tom or circuit saying further if if they feel a need or open it up to questions a thank thank you David and Tom also key did you want to come in no Chernoff nothing from me and happy to take questions on the data rutting David spelled out the background I came sucky and sending with me chair David are it's very helpfully set out for the four main options I've got nothing to add unless of course questions for me and I can't thank you thank you very much David and when I was reading the papers us thinking there seemed to be a lot of unknowns and a knave said that any leaves us Elise me with more anxiety when we just don't other very clear picture of where we're at and were waiting for other people to come back and let us know I'm really keen to know the bottom line and really keen to know where where we actually going to get even though you are hopeful that you know we will get additional funds saying out really like to know where we're at right now without thinking of all the hopeful things
and also I note that your team has been working really really hard on this and I think that we have to be very clear that we are in this current position and because of a decade of austerity and because the government also hasn't given us all of the funds they promised us for Kofi Annan I think we ought to get that message out as well and I look forward to the updated version of the report and then I open it up to four questions I can see Councillor Mallory's hand up I think in the message yes would anybody else like was a question
Councillor Rathbone so OK so we'll take Councillor Mallory and then Councillor Booth thank you
thank you Chair
share your concern about the lack of of detail that we have as yet and and nurses inter criticism of officers and if the government is basically leftish in alert they're not a and and very clear to me that they won't meet providing all of the funds that we've had needed in order to respond and germ do whatever's necessary which they and encouraged us to do during the pandemic and and and so it's difficult as you say what a distant of fittings about among public accounts and we'll be taking a longer look at some of the issues but just to raise two issues which returned aren't really so did well sorry one of as we had Thom Browne near I was gonna raise something which is actually probably more appropriate to healthier community saw leave that are for the minute and preparation at public accounts but I'm I am concerned about the lack of of detail in the monitoring device Department figures of to see what I can
fine
yes it section 7 8 3 or the Tate table 1 and then the other issue I I have an and any might 1 pocket and come back to it in a couple of minutes after the people of had their say but as we got officers here I would be keen and don't want to have to wait until November to hear the some of the thinking that officers may have in order to deliver the in year cuts we've we've been told
it may not feel relative to our other problems like me big figure but nevertheless it's going to involve service is going to have an impact on service selects ever officers are able to give us an some of their thinking in the areas that are festival I'm thinking of both the Johnson era cabinet member I'm thinking of libraries I'm thinking of some of the issues that to that we got Tom Brown here forest well cuter
can we can take James and the lassi stickiness got a question to save will take all three and then allow officers to answer and key
thank you Chair David obviously like Councillor Duncan Bell and also Councillor Mallory my thanks to yourself and everyone your department and in advance of in working with it's obviously been an incredibly difficult set of circumstances in that as well as having to deal with the pandemic we now also have to deal with the financial consequences and obviously those financial consequences are going to be very very severe arm I was wandering really if we are if we are to stage I suppose where you can give any indication of what
we are likely going to be talking about in terms of budget cuts for the various areas which is scrutinised by this committing so obviously we be looking at public safety we'd be looking at be Community and cultural sectors we'd be looking at anything which has a particular impact on equalities
I wouldn't expect any kind of detail at this stage but I was wondering really if we had even arm early indicators I suppose of what is going to be on the table and how considerable those cuts are in before knowledge obviously but as well as be in your deficit but having to cover the impact of Covid produced on our reserves and also the funding gap it's Drym with reduced revenue and the anticipated further cuts to council funding from the government in Westminster despite the financial crisis we're all in
incurred Infantino
thank you very much Chair just to echo my colleagues thanks officers for their hard work both during the at pandemic and front line delivery but also now in in kind of thinking about a very difficult as the future that face of local government budgets I don't think this is why any of us got into this job at both being council officer to make cuts and I think you're right even after a decade of austerity particularly painful to be considering further cuts I just wanted to echo my colleague's comments on obviously at a desire for more detail and I guess in order to meet even tease out I just wanted to ask whether you had any anything you could anticipate about the local government finance settlement and what kind of impact that might have on the next six months of budget planning you thought that would be welcome I know that speculation not something officers enjoying dodging and but just a set of instincts maybe come thank you
OK
all ground floor windows in order and then maybe come back as a number of them were maybe most particularly toward Tom I think in particular
so your point about wanting to know the bottom line I think I've tried in the report with the weakest side report to set that out
as as clearly as we can so as well as picking a base case we've given given arrange because we have to recognise the uncertainty but we need to get on top of the overspend we need to recover from Coburn and plan how to do that but I also then impacts plan to manage an and run our services within the financial resources we have going forward so approach what I believe to be realistically the 40 million mark for the next two years based on on current Sumption so
this report really is trying to get as close to their bottom line as I can't I recognise your you're gonna instinct to London but I can't be more specific than that as to Councillor Rees questions around issues that he may have arising and indifferent Committees a monopoly that's why the the report is going to get going to yours so that we can get those different perspectives and views on on the detail in table 1 this is the summary the greater detail for the previous month was in a Mayor and Cabinet report on the 9th July so that detail and explanation is is available to members should they wish it and the next one of that more detailed financial monitoring which we bring courtly will be before Merrick cabinet in October I recognise the point I apologise it may have been more helpful to have all that detail here but we weren't trying to end up trying to do everything in 1 report either we were trying to keep them manageable in size so it's not that detail isn't available it's just elsewhere but as we get closer to the the November discussions and and may certainly for the budget where it will all be in one report we will we will try and make sure you have that detailed it's rather them and supports your your interest to to your question Councillor madmen which I think also picks up an element accounts the Mallory's about indication of what areas may need to cut and Councillor Murray's point was very much rally in year one and that set out at 7 12 really in terms of the general approach is holding vacancies it's ensuring that we're monitoring carefully and and and capturing the charges and an income that we we are heard where we can although even with that we have to be very sensitive in some respects where for example where chasing come from people who may be now facing hardship so we have to work with them as well it's not just about us chasing our money we're also providing the service and support where it's none event and ensuring that as ever were tight on contract where we were we can be and particularly the last one about recognising where activity has moved and it will probably come back but it has moved to the covert period and and and when services were disrupted and we were that good art fixed on critical services so as much as we have spent more time in focus on certain areas there may be
other things that we haven't been able to do that we would have wanted not least in the cultural sector as was suggested in terms of going forward
well I mean all areas are on the table the point of taking the thematic approaches that we we don't look to do two things one treat everybody individually and sat hard targets because that loses the
the quality of the discussion and the ability to think differently and and plan for recovery that is a different Council to the one that get went into this so that we can think about working from me
but also because it it it doesn't constrain thinking by setting percentage targets on certain things so it's that's not what we're trying to do I mean you can do with the numbers feels out from in the 40 million a 17 percent of the net General Fund budget but we're not saying everything needs to be cut by 17 percent we need to have a more mature discussion than that around how do we blend Solness's Mason together but to your specific and the relevance to the Committee's remit around crime and disorder yes will be looking enforcement activities and the scale and and and and the way in which they operate and and and have backed clearly would be relevant yes we will be looking at the cultural offer not least in the context of going into the the urban the Borough of culture as well you know this is this is something that only to be considered and and yes the library service as well both in terms of the service but also the the provisional from from the building from which is run as well because one of the aspects were looking at his you're doing it to run on the same sites will can we run the services in a different way so all of those things would be under consideration and as I say Tom may want to come back or other officers on the call Mount come back on those and then finally to the question about anticipating what might be in the Local government Finance Settlement
I think
the the best assumption will have is that the government won't have the space to do a lot of the thinking that it was planning to do already so it was planning to do the Fair funding Review planning to the business rates recent planning to look at consolidating a number of actually Grant into a base settlement possibly I mean no longer term they might want to look at Council Tax cause for a long time mean that's been Crozen back line 32 valuations and as everyone knows it's regressive in nature I don't think there will be that capacity to do all that just because of where the government will need to focus I'm given everything else that's going on so I suspect we might anticipate a roll over year or best of our current funding and then they'll come back to those things that they have already said deferred but the bigger challenge will be what the chancellor does with the allocations to Departments so
where local government ranks you know compared to the demands of the health service for education for policing defence which are typically the areas that might get more focus in the current time and what she in in any time because they rank very very highly intensive than demand so it just depends where local government comes out of that those discussions the consultation is open on that to the 24th of September so local government is lobbying and where we will support and in particular the London Council's view on that so you know cases are being made as to why it's not just the health services also the social care service and there's a balance in there that has to be burden but I think it's clear that the the papers around even those changes again to be delayed as well hence again coming back to the likelihood of a roll over but that's as far as I can speculate unafraid Councillors
the on that I don't know if Tom wants to come in more of the specific questions about services
yes I am very happy charity if if it's helpful
I think building on David's point we've had some services that we just haven't been able to run the part of this year and that enough been the sad reality of life and that's as
for example we know best we've still only got
a partial library service open we haven't even yet been able to open those two buildings properly
we've so we've got to libraries that we we haven't opened and that that the plan is that we ensure that we don't reopen them because we're not sure we can do it safely in this in this climate and in this year
but we will you we we can then make savings and some of the at the vacant posts and the agency staff we aren't looking at redundancies or anything like that from this it's an we aren't making long-term decisions we just need to accept the reality likewise some of the the staffing vacancies we've had them in community safety in the first half of the year we have been able to contribute those towards some of the savings and of course the end the other thing is the Assembly's programme just isn't isn't it hasn't been happening and so we've got some real savings in terms of the the costs of hiring buildings and think that at that we haven't had to incur so those are the sorts of things from this Committee's perspective I think that are going into the into the savings the in year savings pot and and clearly we need we need to see if we can identify anything further as we go through the rest of the year because we've got to did to balance the books but got also got to make sure it's it's fair it's not penalising and marginalised people any in any way shape or form and that we we keep the necessary services ticking over
OK thank you Uncle Tom thank you I can see Carl has a question and then there's a follow from Councillor Mallory and Councillor Ratho but I want to spend too much time on on this but I did want to just raise a concern about the libraries and the fact that libraries are not open
no overlap is not open and children or young people are back at school and one of the things that we get land showing CofE it was around digital poverty and so if young people are not able to access libraries it really is a big impact on Bakkal people and so I know that libraries are relevant to this committee and there are lots of things to consider the out really really really like to see and some real thought around how we manage our libraries because I am very concerned around digital poverty and young people not been retouched a service that is to comment on a K thanks
Karl Taylor and and James Fisher retired really old one the other officers
Trump touched on about saving money on hiring property for her of weightings for those Senlis had we got any business premises which are currently vacant and thinking of the Catford regeneration scheme
nothing to assist a child is covert gonna be with us for this time next year in some respect and not a people's changing people's were working and there are no I think more people be working from home or working locally rather than travel I think that Soviet won't go back
I am just asking the question is there any chance I short term leases that helping people that probably are changing their lifestyle but Riley were locally and we got premises are currently empty or something other Catford be generation which way I spec I then aware we owe an atlas bays a long way off that we can't help and get back to ensue sensual business and obviously takes a money at the same time or was he not going to pull back all the moves that we need but it just an idea and send helping people of all the way I share
Jim and then James
we were not going to anticipate something to dream Sivasspor me
where it's kind of the challenge facing us is is absolutely immense and so for it it's a little bit of a little bit difficult to be talking about a worrying about some services which might be vulnerable I think we are going to have to look at every single service really radically and so just to touch on something Coral said about the increase in people working from from home or the what there certainly will be is an increase in remote working and remote learning so for me and now having Jonathan here and I'm I'm jumping up now too much but I'm not sure and certainly in the in the in the immediate or interim period when the virus may still was at be with us the opening or re-opening or keeping libraries open I think of the bigger issue is the digital divide and so it's it's making sure the young people and other people actually have better access it doesn't necessarily it doesn't necessarily have to be through libraries but what we do as you say Chair for digital divide needs to be addressed that's one of the lessons of of code of covert of them some of us were pretty aware of it already but it's it's it's it's a highlighted into an even greater extent this we are in a really severe situation and
it's early days so it's difficult but we don't want to set alarm bells running in some way but I think we have to say that every single service is going to be up to be looked at in the way it operates and some of them will have to take severe there will have to be cut back some of the main be the company compensated for because of the but by using a remote better at remote ways of working but Guy Hird one Council Officer coded to me I'm in May to say that the some of the remote working by officers which they had been working at three or four years was achieved in six weeks and in other words it takes a crisis in order to get people now I'm not saying there was inertia but took two for people to understand just how important it is to met to make some of these great leaps particularly in an era where of the technology is potentially available to us thanking here and I see cause the Slaters hand up I'll see in you so after Castlerock burn your in Jonathan
I'm thanks to the at first things I should declare a non-pecuniary interest as I thought a role at anything like green motion at Manor House Library where I'm never the management team on slices question for Tom more than David arm offer any service areas I suppose we were looking at whether or not we can continue to provide that not only service areas such as services of the sleepers statutory duties which the Council provides and was non-statutory with the level of budget giant were facing are the services which we may simply have to cease providing to the community going forwards just as by no longer possible within our financial limitations
your muted Tom we can't hear you
apologies I took the Chair took the camera of a switch the camera not the microphone it it's a it's a really difficult question I think that for this year that we are not looking at stopping anything but of course going forward I think we need to look them at not just what we do but also how are we doing it picking up on Councillor Mallory's be very pertinent point we managed to go from nought to 60 in digital working in a matter of weeks
I think we need to apply that same sort of challenge to doing things like addressing the digital divide are buildings the best solution or is technology in the way of the review of of are getting learning and library opportunities out to people the Adult Learning while it was during lockdown had better attendance rates them than it ever has your significant but I've got Liz Dart here who can speak to the detail of some of that so there's been a lot of stuff that we've that we've learned but going forward having to date would have to comment on the detail we can't say for definite at this point that we won't stop doing things but I think what has offices we will need to do is to give you as members a range of of of of thoughts and opportunities to you to make it awful decisions about
and I think that acknowledges Katamari point of you know the challenges amended and everything has to be looked at so those officer proposals that will be looking to bring back in November we'll have you know ranges of options that go to the very unpalatable and that will be the discussion at that point but this is to set the scene seemed now just come back to Councillor Hanley's question about assets one of the one of the in terms of the approach of how we're doing looking at a thematically one of the themes is around assets which ones do we need to keep which was to how we might use them and when we're not keeping them what what what do we do with them because the clearly there's also the this strategic priority about preserving assets where when where relevant to the strategy of the Council so that that's in there is a strand of that thinking is is is ongoing to to answer your question term I think I think that probably covers the three points thank you thank you David and Councillor S later
in order to start a pickup of the of the gym mentioning my name and see you know in terms of the library service and assemblies which come under my portfolio I mean my thoughts are is that in terms of what Tom was saying you know we had to close all the libraries down when we started lockdown and actually with the exception of Lewisham and Cat for which is the to that Thomas referring to most of the other two hub libraries as well as most of our community libraries are hollow with the business but just on a click and collect basis but I do think going forward libraries are here to stay for sure because for one their statutory obligations Councillor also libraries play such an important part in being a kind of I think the key conduit between our residents and as a Council we did a we we commissioned some research consultants shall intelligence who did who looked into this and I think what I took away from that was the fact that actually you need a mixture of both both digital and the physical in terms of supporting people moved forward and I think certainly in terms of the digital divide we're going to need buildings and we're going to need staff so when we can open up more to members of the public in a safe way people will still needs in old who need to do applications to universal credit who might want to be doing la finding it more about adult learning courses will still need those physical buildings where the not able to access insert or broadband services at home so for me
there's going to have to be a a a mixture of provision I think going forward and that's why I'm very excited also that adult learning him over to my portfolio at the stadium I do think this real opportunities to look at how we can integrate more services and the one the takeaways I took from the way that the voluntary sector and the Council work together in terms of response the pandemic in terms of supporting the shielded was that single point of contact and how people were able to you know who thought they needed support whether it's a food package of offending spot also does wants to volunteer which is able to go to that single one concert and I feel that we need to do that across all services so someone goes to food bank some goes to the library some ghost underlying Senator if they have other needs than those needs should be able people should be able to be signpost this straightaway rather than expecting the individual to go out and find out themselves finally on assemblies I'm actually quite interested in terms of thinking about and this is where I think you know obviously will have discussions tomorrow as well as tonight but moving forward is how we do community consultation in the new normal because I am beginning to think that even if we did have a vaccine and we didn't worry about a second peak would we actually want to go back to the way some of these Mets her as they were March I think there's opportunities to think about other ways of consultation may be looking more hybrid ways of working both having the physical meetings but also
doing it as a mixture of digital as well so that we're getting a much wider spectrum of residents involved I think for me one of the things I was quite interested in was how many people signed up through Lucian local who probably haven't volunteered before and I see the same opportunities to may be getting a wider spectrum of residents to turn to come to Sandy meetings as well because I think some of these are great but you know sometimes as war cancers we feel raw is having the same conversations with the same people so maybe it's a real opportunity to think about how we do cute consultation better and certain us one of the things we can think about gum going forward
flee thank he and a case so final question on this or quick comment from Cockle thank you
the still me at it's OK thank you Chair just just to Jonathan barely mentioned about the lot of mutual Irie's been still open or click and collect and and the two main months cos she possible that they can use robberies could actually be open longer and if that's a safer way of operating revenue two main libraries closed and that way you got more scope for people to actually access the books fact
shall come back on that Juliet yes know if it were I can speak to Liz and Tom see that we've got a course you know we're working with voluntary sector partners like iv 22 and yeah eco communities as well so we'll have to work with them but yeah I mean that's something we could definitely explore I know that the 3 22 libraries are are all open on a click and collect basis I believe Crofton Park his as well I don't think we've parkas and and neither is New Cross learning but yeah but I'm I'm happy to take that away and have a discussion officers to save if we can't obviously reopen Catford and Lewisham until end of March then definitely we can see about whether we can get community libraries and the the to apply reason that fit down and to maybe have extended hours
13 30 thank frontage on the thing and thanks to filling those gaps and I occurs with your views particularly on how we do things and how we can perhaps very them in the future thank you very much if there are no other questions on this particular item we're going to move on and I wanted to say before we moved on

7 How the Council embeds Equalities across its service delivery - Draft Report

is thank you very much David thank you very much to all the officers who have contributed to the financial report we know that you are doing an incredible job and we know that these are very challenging circumstances that we find ourselves in and the job was enormous but we'd really do appreciate what you do in and we are looking forward to what you're future plans are and the options that are going to give us a De turning the air so thank you for that we are going to move on to item 7 on the agenda now and this is around the in-depth review that we carried out
and Katy will introduce the report for us he thank you Chair and say this is the draft report of the Committee's in-depth review into equalities and it collates all the information and evidence received by the Committee during its review over the 2 thousand 19 20 municipal year and Members are asked to consider the report and to agree the review's recommendations the report recommendations will then be then the Mayor and Cabinet
I can so the committee members have had the opportunity to have a look at the recommendations and these are recommendations based on the evidence that we see throughout the review so the Vice Chairman staff have come up with draft recommendation are asking committee members to accept them and agree them obviously we're not able to table them for anybody who is not a member of the Committee so what I'm going to do for the purpose of that he is and an read them out they're not that long but I felt that it would be a shame that people are here and not being able to know what the draft recommendations are safe he just bear with me we've not caught with too many we've got five recommendations they do have some evidence so here we go I'm going to read them out so the first recommendation from the in-depth review is that a fair solution duty should this that should be established required the Council to consider socio economic disadvantage in its decision making process so all equality impact assessments should consider socio economic disadvantage on the basis on the same basis as the 9 statutory protected characteristics Lewisham Council should produce clear guidance for staff Councillors partner organisations and the public explaining the fairly Isham duty with reference to the interim guidance for public bodies produced by the Scottish government
the second recommendation is intersectionality should be considered as part of the inquiry equalities process each department and all project leads should consider issues of intersectionality and arrange of diverse groups and their needs the conscience should listen to include and meaningfully collaborate with diverse groups there should be diversity of individuals and diversity organisations because as we know one voice cannot speak for all in funding designing and commissioning services the Council should taking to should take an intersectional approach and this could include ensuring diverse organisations closest the ground take the lead on project design and implementation recognise interest expertise and lived experiences of organisations and movements especially those representing marginalised groups
funding diverse organisations and movements to facilitate safe spaces safe spaces where particularly marginalised communities can feel empowered to speak and speak freely the council should build a senior management team with a quarter of inclusion that reflects the diversity of communities and the overlapping identify identities indication and the Casa should create a culture that celebrates difference by appreciating the contributions that everyone can make the third recommendation is a more proactive approach should be taken to address the public Sector Equality Duty Equality objectives should be specific achievable immeasurable
equality objectives should be readily understandable to the public equality objectives should identify areas of work Fire which improvements inequality can be made and progress on these areas of work should be monitored and reported the fourth recommendation we spoke about the stuff diversity forums and that they should be empowered within the council so Forum should have a very clear remit as to their purpose and how they contribute to the improvement the council forums should have a set time to meet and to discuss promote their concerns
sorry form should have a set time to meet to discuss promote an air concerns staff may have affecting equality in the council and this should be adequately resourced and supported by the Council formally should be given specific time away from their substantive role to plan prepare and carry out their Forum activities this should be protected time which wouldn't impact on their hours of work for a member should be given the time to participate in activities and they should also be given the opportunity to meet with senior staff and senior management and to communicate to communicate the experience of the needs of staff and the fit and found a recommendation is that the Council should adopt an open data approach for equalities
data sharing across the organisation could be improved and should be improved it shouldn't be a challenge to access data that so ready being collected by different teams and different Departments Guidance for producing equality impact assessment should be clear equality impact assessment should be data-driven every equality impact assessment should be locked by corporate services and published on the Council website to may trace accessible to all and the final recommendation within this data approach is steps should be made to ensure individuals are confident in sharing their data with the Council to help improve services and at the point where individual shared their data agreement should be in place to allow for this to be anonymous and shared where necessary
so I read those quite thickly I didn't want to do than quickly birth it was unjustifiable sitting there lead me to myself and seeing is the key now going sideways but
so they are the recommendations I've recommendations with a good few and site headings happy to take up comments and questions and also if there anything that any of the members of the Committee thing that could be improved upon all changed or whatever coming
so I see Councillor Mallory and if you got your sorts Aquino yeah that's the Malory I'm Skinner
thank you muted Burgess verification and count from the comment track column is is Councillor response follow up for this or as at the previous item
and this is the easiest putting up OK that was the previous one year and he's not impossible said Percival well done to yourself and the Vice Chair on the work you've done
because I had I wouldn't care and we anybody having to undertake such a comprehensive look at but I just wanted to in particular draw attention to a number 1 books I got a call it back on screen on basically on socio-economic factors and the need for a Kernick equality impact assessment for those I mean because essentially what it is it's class and and I've always felt that class took a beating from I mean we've we've all want with all supported the need for the individual identity the characteristics to be supported to have
full equality treatment of all of them but underpinning so many of them of the exercise economic factors and yet perhaps because it sounds a bit too Marxist were not allowed to mention the word class and so I am happy to have it as socio-economic but for me it's a well overdue in world on for for achieving another banging on for so long about probably for longer than some people of her bedroom and this room have been alive but there I won't go there for for very long anyway thank you very much thank you Councillor living Councillor shake cows Mali as long as you're making the comments about your age are not our say
you actually took the words were out of my mouth I just wanted to congratulate Councillor Campbell and Councillor Rathbone on the fantastic work and really proud of please the this has come to the Committee for us turf to Parson just again against the was at my mouse Councillor Mallory I wanted to say that I am particularly excited to see our recommendation 1 round the fairly open duty I think it's a real obvious and painful emission from national equalities policy as a protective characteristic in I think from the evidence collecting that yourself and Councillor Atha had been doing and that you took a trip up to Scotland it's really great to see bring learnings from their so yeah we warmly welcome this and I hope maybe you you'd be up for doing a road trip and a road taught get lots of the Council's on board we bow to be bored sort of ground upwards on this because I think it has yet very exciting barium forward-thinking thank you thank you see that constant plan once make a comment on thank you Juliet I was largely going to this chipping to say that I think Katie and deserves off the an awful lot of that thanks
Judith myself he worked very hard on this but Tati's work even harder she's also 1 Robson had to collate all the evidence and produce the report so yes recommendation 1 relating to a fair Lewisham duty it wasn't something I think we had planned or 14 advanced when we set out it was something very much which we picked up as we were looking into court his policy and also obviously effective because his act I wouldn't personally call it's much class as deprivation or poverty obviously though this elements of class emit him that people from lower class backgrounds are more likely to be in New deprivation to have a deprived background but really it is about the fact that the assets you have access to both in financial cultural you know whether or not you can afford for example to buy all the text that she might need for revision back can have huge Cauty impact on an individual's 2 am life chances you know whether or not your parents are having to work you know to jobs to make sure was food on the table that means they're not going to be able to give you know because of help with your work you might be able to all saucepans to looking into child obviously as a student we all know that poverty is you know a huge huge issue in regard to equalities but it's not recognised national legislation in the UK it's unfortunate it had originally been planned to be part of the Equalities Act as one of protected characteristics unfortunately be a change of government in 2 thousand and 10 led to it being dropped on Scotland was the only part of UK which chose to retain it with record do via devolved powers
legally there is absolutely no reason why we can't consider characteristics beyond the 9 specified in the Equalities Act services something we can do I think it's something we should do obviously we don't set out to you everything we do as a Council we're trying to improve the quality were trying to crease you improve a recordable just trying to Trieste Brett deprivation but I think it's really important that we formalise that as part of the process you know it's certainly something we set out to do but you know we're not scientific about it and saying that that is going to be one of our key corporate priorities from Acourt his perspective that we actively seek to an improved social come to ban cage and reduce deprivation I think is very important
thank you and thank you all for your comments and again out to say them we we didn't start off thinking around social economic and deprivation or disadvantage but it did come through the the work intersectionality was a big part that became a really key parts of the findings that we had in how those protected characteristics overlap in many ways and have a big impact and I think if we are able to recognise that overlapping of the protected characteristics we will be in a better position to really attack or address some of the inequalities that we face and then you know number 3 was a big issue for me been very proactive in how we address our public sector equality duty you know we want to make sure that we're moving forward we want to make sure that we know this is where we are now these the steps that we've taken and this is where where we're planning to go we need to make sure that what we're doing is measurable and we also need to really work on our monitoring but other than that I won't say anything more I'm really pleased that the Committee I'm taking the Committee's happy with the recommendations and that they will go through so thank you very much
and that was the last item on the agenda so Katie is it time for me to
I was changed to thank you for coming first of all I always forget to thank people but thank you all all very much for attending and thank you all very much for your contribution to the meeting as well and the next meeting will be on Tuesday the first of December that's an exception stronger meeting and thank you very much in our last James to N end the webcasting James or let us know when it's