Issue - meetings

Community Resilience and Community Benefits Strategy

Meeting: 27/11/2017 - Organisational Change Overview & Scrutiny Committee (Item 28)

28 Community Resilience and Community Benefits Strategy pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Additional documents:


(a)       That the Committee supports the overall approach to developing Community Resilience; and


(b)       That the Committee supports the draft Community Benefits Strategy and the approach to implementation of this Strategy.


The Chief Officer (Organisational Change) presented the report which gave an overview of the work being done to build on previous work to grow the social sector through social enterprise development.


Achievements on Community Asset Transfers (CATs) and Alternative Delivery Models (ADMs) had helped to strengthen the social sector and community resilience.  This was supported by the work of the Public Services Board whose draft Well-being plan included a range of initiaties for the development of the sub-priority ‘Resilient Communities’ under the ‘Connected Council’ priority within the Council Plan.  The Community Benefits Strategy, recently approved by Cabinet, set out the benefits that could be used in all types of procurement contracts and was a tool to assess the level of benefit delivered by an organisation.


Councillor Shotton said that the report was wide-ranging and that the projects listed were linked to ambitions within the Council Plan.  The success of work to date had helped to build capacity and further development would help to encourage community ownership and promote local spend.  The achievements of social enterprise initiatives in Merseyside were an example where the Council could extract learning to the benefit of its local economy.


Councillor Hutchinson commended the running of Buckley library and leisure centre by Aura Leisure & Libraries.  In response to queries, explanation was given on issues including progress with the CAT for Buckley community centre to accommodate different groups and support available through the ‘Amser Babi Cymraeg’ social enterprise.


The success of the CAT programme was welcomed by Councillor Dunbar.  On questions raised, the Chief Officer spoke about building community resilience and skill sets as part of area based work previously supported by Communities First.  He also provided details of the partnerships within the Public Services Board.


In response to comments on Community Share initiatives in other parts of the UK, Councillor Shotton said that the principles of procurement with local firms was amongst the Council’s ambitions.  The Community Benefits Strategy incorporated certain aims that linked to those of Communities First but did not replace that programme which had been phased out by Welsh Government.


The Chairman welcomed the Council’s efforts to do the best it could to continue with work in those areas.


Councillor Heesom said that whilst he supported any mechanism for managing pressures on social services, he did not feel that the area based work would reduce demand on those services.  In response to further comments, Councillor Shotton explained that some of the themes behind Community Shares were about community ownership models of delivery.  Reducing demand on social services was part of the strategy, for example the ‘Toe to Toe’ community organisation which offered an affordable, accessible service in helping to prevent ongoing health issues.


The Chief Officer explained that on procurement contracts, the objective was for contractors to demonstrate value for money and deliver realistic community benefits.


Councillor Dunbobbin cited one of the largest independent co-operatives in Spain as a positive example of social enterprise.


Officers noted a request by the Chairman  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28