Venue: 3 Shortlands, Hammersmith, W6 8DA. View directions
Contact: David Abbott Email: David.Abbott@lbhf.gov.uk
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Nicole Trehy and Helen Rowbottom.
Apologies for lateness were received from Councillor Rebecca Harvey. She joined the meeting at 7.20pm.
Declarations of Interests
If a Councillor has a disclosable pecuniary interest in a particular item, whether or not it is entered in the Authority’s register of interests, or any other significant interest which they consider should be declared in the public interest, they should declare the existence and, unless it is a sensitive interest as defined in the Member Code of Conduct, the nature of the interest at the commencement of the consideration of that item or as soon as it becomes apparent.
At meetings where members of the public are allowed to be in attendance and speak, any Councillor with a disclosable pecuniary interest or other significant interest may also make representations, give evidence or answer questions about the matter. The Councillor must then withdraw immediately from the meeting before the matter is discussed and any vote taken.
Where Members of the public are not allowed to be in attendance and speak, then the Councillor with a disclosable pecuniary interest should withdraw from the meeting whilst the matter is under consideration. Councillors who have declared other significant interests should also withdraw from the meeting if they consider their continued participation in the matter would not be reasonable in the circumstances and may give rise to a perception of a conflict of interest.
Councillors are not obliged to withdraw from the meeting where a dispensation to that effect has been obtained from the Standards Committee.
There were no declarations of interest.
To approve the minutes of the previous meeting as an accurate record and note any outstanding actions.
The minutes of the meeting held on 18 September 2023 were agreed as an accurate record.
This report provides an update to Policy and Oversight Board on recent developments to strengthen the reach and impact of youth voice in Hammersmith & Fulham. It explains the approach adopted by the Youth Council (with support from officers and community partners) to research, define, and action the priorities of our young people on their key areas of focus:
· Mental health and emotional wellbeing
· Life skills (preparation for adulthood)
· Staying safe
· Work experience and work readiness
The report also outlines progress to date and next steps.
Brenda Whinnett (Youth Voice Coordinator) introduced the item that covered recent developments to strengthen the reach and impact of youth voice in Hammersmith & Fulham.
Brenda was joined by Anastasia, the borough’s Member of Youth Parliament, and Youth Councillors Ealaf, Precisa, Adam, and Ellaria. They discussed the work they’d undertaken during the year with officers and partners to research, define, and action the priorities of young people on the following areas of focus:
Councillor Nikos Souslous asked about young people’s fear or lack of trust in the police and what could be done to improve it. Anastasia said the Youth Council held a workshop with young people and the police to help build trust and they wanted to do more in future.
Councillor Rory Vaughan asked how the Youth Council identified their priority areas, how they communicated their work to young people, and how they judged if their initiatives were successful. Anastasia said there had been youth elections in March 2022 and candidates ran on a range of issues. Once elected, they had produced a video on key topics, gathered responses from young people, and then met with professionals to see where the gaps they had identified could be bridged. She noted that in many cases the services were there, but young people didn’t know how to access them. Brenda Whinnett added that they always provided young people with feedback on their work. She said they had undertaken a large inclusive research project over the summer where they had spoken with over 2,000 young people to identify their needs.
Councillor Natalia Perez asked if there were any groups that were particularly hard to reach and what the main requests from young people were about.
Brenda Whinnett said they had been working more with young carers and were working with Jack Tizard School to engage non-verbal young people. To that end, they ran a youth voice art in the park session during the summer attended by Disabled young people and care experienced young people. Regarding the most common requests, she said sexual health was a focus.
Jacqui McShannon (Director of Children’s Services) said it would be helpful to involve health colleagues and look at healthy relationships and health and wellbeing more generally when procuring health services, rather than focusing purely on physical health. Members suggested this as an area for the Health and Adult Social Care Policy and Accountability to consider.
ACTION: David Abbott / Councillor Natalia Perez
Councillor Jacolyn Daly asked if housing and homelessness was one of the priorities and felt it was important to include the voices of young people in temporary accommodation given the impact on their education and wellbeing. Brenda Whinnett said it was not one of the current priorities but recognised it was an important issue and said it would be considered next year (2024).
ACTION: Brenda Whinnett
Councillor Vaughan said he welcomed feedback from the ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
This report shows the continued priority the Council is giving to supporting residents and businesses through the Cost-of-Living crisis. It describes the range of new and continued statutory, discretionary and partner schemes that form part of our response programme under a six-point plan. This includes building blocks to develop a longer-term strategic approach to prevent poverty and its impacts, one of the key priorities in the Council’s new Corporate Plan for 2023-26.
Matthew Sales (Assistant Director, Programmes, Assurance and Analytics) presented the report which showed the continued priority the Council was giving to supporting residents and businesses through the Cost-of-Living crisis, working with local voluntary and community sector organisations and local partners as part of the Cost of Living Alliance. It described the range of new and continued statutory, discretionary and partner schemes that formed part of the Council’s response programme.
The Chair welcomed Sarah Lumgair (People Arise Now), Stephan Wiedmer (Crosslight), and Phil Storey (H&F Food Bank) to the meeting and asked them for their insights into the level of need in the borough and what support was required.
Phil Storey said food bank usage in the borough had doubled from 2022 to 2023, with over 2000 clients per month. He said the need for food and fuel was high. He noted that the Cost of Living Alliance approach had been positive, with the voluntary sector, public sector, and business working together. He also noted that the task and finish group approach had been productive. He gave the example of a group tasked with looking at a signposting tool. The group pulled together providers, looked at signposting tools on the market, and presented a business case. The project was at the procurement stage at the time of the meeting.
Stephan Wiedmer said Crosslight had a high level of enquiries, with no drop over the summer as there had been in previous years. He noted that due to the housing crisis they saw more private sector clients, and families in particular. He said the Alliance had been positive but felt the partners could be more proactive about promoting available family activities and support.
Sarah Lumgair said People Arise Now aimed to help communities thrive, particularly focusing on family members of offenders. She thanked the Council and the Alliance for their support and highlighted Councillors Nikos Souslous and Ben Coleman in particular for their help and guidance. She noted that a significant amount of her time was spent on the phone to the Council to try and help people get answers about their benefits. She felt customer service for certain services had gotten worse, with longer wait times.
Councillor Rebecca Harvey (Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion and Community Safety) said she was working closely with officers to improve customer services. She said the Council was keen to listen to residents and partners, and had held cost of living events to gather feedback to improve the services and support available.
Councillor Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler asked where the funding for the pre-payment vouchers came from. Matthew Sales said they were purchased from the fuel bank foundation using Cost of Living funding and the fuel bank foundation had also secured funding from energy companies.
Councillor Brocklebank-Fowler noted that utility companies had their own hardship funds and asked how the Council determined people had applied for the appropriate fund. Matthew Sales said the support provided by the Council was for residents who had been ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
This report outlines the areas of work and reports considered by each of the Council’s six Policy and Accountability Committees at their meetings in November 2023.
This report outlines the areas of work and reports considered by each of the Council’s six Policy and Accountability Committees at their meetings in November.
Councillor Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler asked why the Children and Education Policy and Accountability Committee hadn’t considered a report on the borough’s exam results. Officers explained that the Committee received an annual school performance report in March. Councillor Brocklebank-Fowler asked that future reports included leavers destinations.
ACTION: David Abbott
Councillor Natalia Perez highlighted that the Health and Adult Social Care Policy and Accountability Committee had requested a task and finish group to look at improving vaccination rates in the borough.
For the Board to note the draft work programme and suggest any amendments.
Councillor Jacolyn Daly asked that the Voter ID report included information on the Central Government budget grant for publicising the new requirements.
The Chair suggested the following item to add to the work programme:
Dates of future meetings
To note the following dates of future meetings:
· 23 Jan 2024
· 29 Apr 2024
The following dates of future meetings were noted: