16 November 2022




Since the Chairman’s last statement to Council in July 2022, the Corporate and Partnership Overview and Scrutiny Committee has met once on 24 October 2022.  The following items were considered:


·         Stronger Communities Update

·         Introduction to the Use of Food Banks

·         Parish Portal Member’s Dashboard and Parish Council Engagement Update

·         Youth Justice Services Performance Update

·         Resilience & Emergencies Update

There were in-depth discussions around the following:


·      The findings from a world café event held in June 2022 which explored why the Community Support Organisation model had been so successful and how best to build upon it for the future.  The Committee agreed that a key factor had been them being locally rooted in place, and built on existing local assets;


·      The Holiday Activities and Food Programme for free school meal eligible children (DfE funded).  The Committee was disappointed to note the low take-up from the 11,000 eligible children, noting at primary school it was no more than 30% and secondary school even lower;


·      The ongoing use of volunteers across a range of Service areas.  The Committee welcomed the ongoing corporate Volunteer Project, which is focussing on maximising and optimising the use of volunteers across all council services, creating consistencies in: marketing, recruitment, induction, expenses, training, ongoing support and efficient volunteer processes with the purpose of optimising the use of volunteers and through positive volunteer experience aid



·      The additional funding made available to deliver the Food for the Future programme, aimed at embedding local sustainable food support options, which also supported beneficiaries to build their levels of confidence and independence. Also, the joint piece of insight work being scoped, working with a range of agencies, local charities and people with lived experience to understand the efficacy of a range of established and emerging solutions in relation to food insecurity.  The Committee has agreed to undertake a scrutiny review on the use of Food Banks and other food support services across the county, and have agreed the review should focus on the medium–long term.  A Task Group has been set up to lead on the review, and as part of the review, all Committee members have committed to visiting their local food support services and feeding back their findings to the Task Group.


·      The work recently commenced to consider community support in relation to the rising cost of energy, such as identifying ‘warm spaces’ or ‘warm places’ and developing options on how both the Council and other partners such as the District Councils can work on a coordinated offer.


·      The ongoing problems with the Parish Portal Member’s Dashboard and the need for a new and improved system for Members’ as part of LGR, to ensure better support for Councillors who are likely to have an increased workload post vesting day.  The Committee recognised the value of the weekly surgeries held for Councillors, and the need to continue to promote use of the Parish Portal to Parish Councils.


·         Future Resilience & Emergencies Updates – the Committee agreed they should provide a brief overview of any recent incidents with a focus on the lesson learned etc.


County Councillor David Ireton

Chairman, Corporate & Partnerships Overview & Scrutiny Committee


2 November 2022