VOLUNTARY SECTOR JOINT LIAISON COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 3rd October, 2018.

 

Present:  Councillor Mrs. C.A. Cave (Chairman); Councillors L. Burnett and Ms. A.M. Collins.

 

Also present:  Councillor L.O. Rowlands.

 

Representatives of the Voluntary Sector: Ms. H. Jones (Atal y Fro), Ms. L. Newton (Cardiff and the Vale Action for Mental Health), Ms. R. Connor (Glamorgan Voluntary Services) and Councillor Mrs. A. Barnaby (Town and Community Councils).

 

 

374            APPOINTMENT OF HONORARY VICE-CHAIRMAN -

 

AGREED - T H A T Ms. H. Jones be appointed Honorary Vice-Chairman for the current municipal year.

 

 

375            APPOINTMENT OF STRONG COMMUNITIES GRANT FUND EVALUATION PANEL REPRESENTATIVE -

 

AGREED - T H A T Ms. R. Connor be appointed the Strong Communities Grant Fund Evaluation Panel Representative for the current municipal year.

 

 

376            APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE -

 

These were received from Councillors. M. Lloyd (Vice-Chairman), G.C. Kemp, M.J.G. Morgan, N. Moore and Mrs. J.M. Norman.

 

 

377            MINUTES -

 

AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 7th February, 2018 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

378            DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

379            ANNOUNCEMENTS -

 

The Chairman took the opportunity to welcome Ms. Evee Freitag from Gofal as a guest speaker supporting the presentation on the Mental Health Forum.

 

 

380            PRESENTATION - THE MAYOR’S FOUNDATION -

 

His Worship the Mayor provided a presentation to the Committee to apprise Members of the Mayor’s Foundation recently established in May 2018.  The Mayor’s Foundation Grant Fund offered grants to Community Groups, the Voluntary Sector and not for profit organisations towards the costs of initiatives within the Vale of Glamorgan helping the organisation to support the Council’s vision of ‘Strong Communities with a bright future’.

 

The Mayor advised that the funding available each year, as part of the grant scheme, was £5,000 and allocated in either £100 or £250 amounts to enhance the work of voluntary and charitable organisations within the Vale of Glamorgan.  Successful examples to date were: 

  • Barry Round Table - to increase the organisation’s membership;
  • Barry Youth Cricket Club - to fund an annual youth award event;
  • The Barry Soroptomists - to purchase a public audio system to help facilitate demonstrations promoting the organisation and to loan to other organisations when not in use.

With regards to making an application to the fund, applicants were required to complete a Mayor’s Foundation Application Form which was available from the Mayor’s Office at the Civic Offices and/or via the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s website.  It was important to note that incomplete applications or applications submitted without the correct supporting documentation could not be considered. 

 

In conclusion His Worship added that the grant fund was open to applications from all Community Groups, Voluntary Sector and not for profit Organisations and copies of the application form were available at the meeting for Members to take away.

 

The Representative for Glamorgan Voluntary Services (GVS) asked whether the grant fund was an all-year opportunity and/or whether there were routine deadlines in place, to which, the Mayor advised that he was happy to accept applications at any time during the calendar year. 

 

As a supplementary point, the Representative for GVS advised that her organisation welcomed the scheme and would be happy to circulate details of the scheme to partner organisations of GVS.  The Mayor thanked all of the Voluntary Sector Representatives for their support and shared his pride in the fact that the Foundation Grant Fund allowed his office to support several different organisations in a way unique to each and all and at the same time. 

 

The Chairman thanked His Worship for his presentation and advised that copies of the Application Form as well as the presentation slides delivered would be made available electronically following the meeting. 

 

 

381            PRESENTATION - MENTAL HEALTH VOLUNTARY SECTOR SERVICES IN THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN -

 

The Representative for Cardiff and the Vale Action for Mental Health (CAVAMH) introduced Ms. E. Freitag from Gofal.

 

The Representative began by providing members with contextual facts highlighting that mental health problems were the largest global cause of years lived with a disability and that 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 10 children were likely to have a mental health problem in any year.  It was also likely that people with severe mental health problems died 15 to 20 years prematurely and that 70% of children and adolescents who had experienced mental health problems had not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early stage.  According to the Mental Health Foundation publication ‘Fundamental Facts About Mental Health’ 2015, 30% of people with a long term physical health problem also had a mental health problem.

 

Ms. Freitag also wished to address the growing issue of dementia and advised that there were 850,000 people living with dementia in the U.K., with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025.  Two thirds of the cost of dementia was paid by people with dementia and their families and unpaid carers supporting someone with dementia saved the economy £11 billion per year.  Therefore, it was of no surprise that dementia was one of the main causes of disability later in life, ahead of cancer, cardio vascular disease and stroke. 

 

The Representative from CAVAMH advised that the Cardiff and Vale Mental Health Forum was made up of 20 voluntary sector groups with an interest in mental health operating within the Vale of Glamorgan and that each organisation had signed up to the Mental Health Charter for Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan and its core principals.  The Representative apprised the Committee of the 12 principals of the Charter and highlighted that the main ethos of the Charter was that every person in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan had the right to mental health services. 

 

A great benefit of the Mental Health Forum was that several organisations were able to work in collaboration which was key to providing cost effective services and avoiding duplication in services. 

 

In conclusion, both Representatives advised Members of existing services within the Vale of Glamorgan that promoted social inclusion and recovery through resource and day opportunities as well as opportunities for vocational and training initiatives, such as Travellers in Mind café/gallery and Mind in the Vale Resource Centre.  There were also volunteering initiatives and services to support individuals with their income, debt and benefits advice as well as those from ethnic minority communities. 

 

Ms. Freitag highlighted that each individual approaching the service would have a different story to tell and unique needs.  Therefore, there was a vast variety of services available to try and cater for each individual, such as: 

  • Carer and peer support;
  • Support for young people;
  • Dementia friendly services;
  • Community and respite services for older people;
  • Counselling and psychological therapies;
  • Drug and alcohol services;
  • Supported housing services;
  • Domestic abuse; and
  • Veterans support.

Furthermore, it was important that service users and carers became involved in the development of services available and organisations such as Sefyll, Nexus and Join the Dots supported this approach.  As a Member of the Committee, she welcomed further conversations and relationship building with all Elected Members and highlighted that there were several avenues for finding out information with regards to mental health support which were crucial as the demand on services was increasing. 

 

The Chairman echoed the Representative’s point that tackling mental health was a huge challenge and thanked both representatives for sharing the raft of services currently available.  As a supplementary point, the Chairman added that it was important to reflect on the fact that every individual had mental health but sometimes this could be overlooked by physical issues. 

 

A Member asked if when a referral was made, how long did it take for the individual to receive the necessary support, to which, the Representative for CAVAMH advised that if support was obtained via the individual’s G.P. it was approximately one month’s wait.  However, if the individual were to contact the services directly then this may make the process quicker.  However, since the 2012 Mental Health Measure, demands on services had grown significantly; therefore the turnaround times involved in services such as the Mental Health Crisis Service had increased due to the sheer numbers of individuals using the service. 

 

As a supplementary question, the Member asked that if a person had been referred to the service but was hospitalised in the meantime, would the process of referral become any quicker.  The Representative for CAVAMH advised that if the individual had been referred to the Cardiff and Vale Mental Health Team in the last three years then they would be entitled to a re-assessment. 

 

A Member stated that the Carers Booklet, produced by CAVAMH, was extremely helpful and the efforts of the Voluntary Sector made a huge difference to that of carers. It was reassuring to see information from the Council as well as the Voluntary Sector coming to light in support of carers.  It was also important to recognise that the increasing strain on statutory health services was having a significant knock-on effect on Voluntary Sector services and that if a behaviour was obvious to mental health professionals then it was important that the Council and the Voluntary Sector figured out the story behind the individual’s behaviour in order to provide the most appropriate support.  On a final point, the Member suggested that it was an appropriate time to relaunch the Council’s Charter regarding mental health and that the Learning and Culture Scrutiny Committee would be looking at the psychological effect on a young person’s education due to mental health issues in the near future. 

 

The Head of Performance and Development advised that the Council was already looking to reassess the Mental Health Charter in the near future and in response to the Member’s further suggestion of training being provided to Members as part of the ongoing Member Development Programme, welcomed the suggestion.

 

In conclusion, the Chairman advised of the excellent work being undertaken by ‘Time to Change Wales’ and in particular its champions who could offer a viable insight into updating the Council’s Mental Health Charter. 

 

 

382            VOLUNTARY SECTOR COMPACT - ANNUAL WORK PLAN UPDATE (MD) -

 

The Head of Performance and Development presented the report to provide the Committee with an opportunity to consider the Annual Work Plan and associated action points in line with the Voluntary Sector Compact. 

 

The Officer began by advising that in February 2017, the Committee considered and endorsed a revised Compact between the Council and the Voluntary Sector and the aim of the Compact was to provide a local framework within which the Voluntary Sector and Council could work together in ways which were mutually beneficial, enabling each to contribute fully and effectively to delivering wellbeing for communities in the Vale of Glamorgan.  The Compact was structured around four themes which were: 

  • Communication, consultation and participation
  • Partnership working
  • Funding and resources
  • Volunteering.

The Officer highlighted that the Work Plan was not a time bound action plan but demonstrated the joint partnership between the Local Authority and Voluntary Sector and subsequent projects.  Also worth noting was the fact that the Strong Communities Grant Fund had now been established and that Cabinet had endorsed the next round of applications very recently.  Community Asset Transfer Guidance was currently being reviewed to make the process more accessible to the Voluntary Sector.

 

The Representative for Glamorgan Voluntary Services (GVS) added that she was glad to see that Community Asset Transfer Guidance was being simplified and that the Compact was highly valued by all Voluntary Sector organisations in the Vale.  The Compact was imperative to ensure that partnership working would take place to better manage an increase in demand with less funds available and GVS was proud that the Compact existed between the Local Authority and Voluntary Sector which was not known to be the case in other Local Authorities. 

 

The Chairman thanked the Officer for his presentation of the report and the Voluntary sector for their comments and stressed that it was imperative that a partnership approach remain the case when updating the Work Plan. 

 

AGREED -

 

(1)       T H A T the content of the report and verbal updates provided at the Committee meeting be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the Committee continues to monitor progress against the actions contained in the work plan and advise of any additional actions that are required to progress the objectives of the Compact.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To provide the Committee with an update on the work underway in relation to the Voluntary Sector Compact.

 

(2)       To ensure the appropriate activity is undertaken to progress the themes contained in the Compact.

 

 

383            LOCAL AUTHORITY FUNDING OF THIRD SECTOR SERVICES - WALES AUDIT OFFICE REPORT (MD) -

 

The Head of Performance and Development presented the report to provide the Committee with an opportunity to consider the Wales Audit Office (WAO) report relating to Local Authority funding of Third Sector services and the proposed approach to progressing the national recommendations. 

 

The Officer began by advising that in January 2017, the WAO published a national report on the funding of Third Sector services and that the Council undertook to review all national reports published by the WAO and where applicable, progress the recommendations contained within the reports.

 

The Officer drew the Committee’s attention to the WAO report attached at Appendix A to his report which concluded that nationally, Welsh Local Authorities were ‘not always making the best use of the Third Sector nor doing enough to ensure it was securing value for money.’  The report was structured in four parts based on the following conclusions of the WAO’s All Wales Review: 

  • Local Authorities mostly do not have an effective strategic approach to working with the Third Sector;
  • Inconsistencies in Local Authority’s arrangements for funding the Third Sector make it difficult to demonstrate value for money;
  • Local Authorities are unable to consistently evidence the impact of their work with the Third Sector;
  • Changing expectations of the Third Sector present both opportunities and risks which need to be carefully managed if the anticipated benefits are to be realised. 

With the following recommendations being raised by the WAO following the review:

 

1.         To get the best from funding decisions, Local Authorities and Third Sector bodies need to ensure they have the right arrangements and systems in place to support their work with the Third Sector. To assist Local Authorities and Third Sector bodies in developing their working practices, we recommend that Local Authority and Third Sector officers use the checklist in Appendix 3 to:

 

•      self-evaluate current Third Sector engagement, management, performance and practice;

•      identify where improvements in joint working is required; and

•      jointly draft and implement an action plan to address the gaps and weaknesses identified through the self-evaluation.

 

2.         Poor performance management arrangements are weakening accountability and limiting effective scrutiny of Third Sector activity and performance. To strengthen oversight of the Third Sector, we recommend that elected members scrutinise the review checklist completed by officers, and regularly challenge performance by officers and the Local Authority in addressing gaps and weaknesses.

 

3.         To support Local Authorities and the Third Sector in delivering the expectations of recent policy and legislative changes such as the Social Services and Well-being Act and the Well-being of Future Generations Act, we recommend that the Welsh Government provides commissioning and co-ordinating guidance and support clarifying its expectations of Local Authorities. This could be delivered jointly with the Wales Co-operative Centre and/or WCVA.

 

In consideration of the three recommendations above, the Officer advised that the Council needed to be particularly mindful of the first two as these were the responsibility of the Council to progress. Therefore, in order to ensure the recommendations were appropriately considered, it was proposed that the Reshaping Services Voluntary Sector and Town and Community Councils Project Team (which was comprised of Council officers and representatives from the Third Sector and Town and Community Councils) review and complete the checklist at Appendix 3 (page 71) of the WAO report.

 

The checklist comprised a variety of questions relating to strategic arrangements, funding processes and managing performance which once completed, would be considered by the Committee in order to discuss any follow-up activities that may be required.  The Project Team would consider existing arrangements including the revised Compact approved by the Committee in 2017 and any follow-up activity (subject to approval by Cabinet as required) would then be incorporated into the Work Programme associated with the Compact between the Third Sector and the Council and monitored by the Committee.

 

In conclusion, the Officer added that the overall progress against the two recommendations for the Council would be overseen by the Audit Committee and Cabinet, with regular updates provided to the Insight Board.

 

A Member referred to Part 3 of the report which set out that Local Authorities were unable to consistently evidence the impact of their work within the Third Sector and stated that it was crucial that the points made within this section were actioned upon correctly by the Council and that it was not just crucial for the Council but also for the Third Sector as a whole.  The Council had the opportunity to engage in some ground breaking work which would allow the Local Authority and Voluntary Sector to work out what outcomes they would require in partnership working, what was currently missing, what was possible and what actually mattered to the service users. 

 

The Representative for the Glamorgan Voluntary Services (GVS) advised that the Voluntary Sector welcomed a new approach and as the Third Sector was bringing funds into the Vale of Glamorgan it was important that the Local Authority and the Voluntary Sector understood each other’s ways of working and ethos.  With funds reducing but an increase in service demand, the repeated issue tended to be that money was put into developing a project such as ‘Pave the Way’ which was an excellent partnership project but unfortunately just when the demand for the service was reaching a pinnacle then the funding was withdrawn.  In response to the WAO report both the Local Authority and Voluntary Sector needed to be very clear exactly which services they wished to provide on a long term basis.

 

The Chairman acknowledged the Officer’s suggestion of the Appendix 3 checklist being completed; however, recommended that a work shop would be a more interactive way for all parties to contribute.  The Committee subsequently agreed the Chairman’s recommendation.

 

AGREED -

 

(1)       T H A T the content of the Officer’s report and appendices be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T a work shop be undertaken to support the Reshaping Services Voluntary Sector and Town and Community Councils Project Team to complete the WAO checklist.

 

(3)       T H A T the Committee considers in due course, the draft completed checklist and any follow up actions that can be included in the work plan associated with the Compact between the Voluntary Sector and Council.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To provide the Committee with an update on the work underway in relation to the Voluntary Sector Compact.

 

(2)       To ensure that the Local Authority gets the best from its funding decisions and the right arrangements and systems are put in place to support their work with the Third Sector.

 

(3)       To ensure the appropriate activity is undertaken to progress the themes contained in the Compact.

 

 

384            WELFARE REFORM - PROGRESS REPORT (MD) -

 

The Head of Finance presented the report to update Members on the work undertaken by the Council in the implementation of the U.K. Government’s Welfare Reform Agenda in light of Universal Credit (UC) being implemented in the Vale on 22nd February 2016. The roll out however was paused at the end of December 2017 and the Full Service Roll Out, that was due to begin in June 2018, had been postponed to October 2018.

 

The Officer advised that the roll out that was carried out during these dates had had limited impact on Housing Benefit claimants in the Vale of Glamorgan and customers remained entitled to Council Tax reduction whilst on UC even if their Housing Benefit award had been stopped. The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions had stated that the managed migration of existing Housing Benefit claimants to UC was intended to commence in July 2019 and be completed by March 2023.

 

With regards to the Vale of Glamorgan, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) had advised that there were 535 UC claimants at the end of June 2018.  UC claims were administered by the local Job Centre Plus and these had been claims from new single claimants who would otherwise be eligible for Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) including those with existing Housing Benefit and Tax Credit claims.  The Officer added that Representatives from the DWP had engaged with officers of the Council on the implementation and liaison for delivery of UC in the Vale based on a proven track record of close liaison for the benefit of the local community and that the DWP roll-out of UC was to be supplemented by the locally delivered “Universal Support” to provide advice and support to UC claimants.

 

In addition, those requiring personal budgeting support were identified by the Jobcentre work coaches and a referral was made to the Housing Benefit service to attend an appointment with the customer with initial appointments being carried out in the Jobcentre. Since June 2017, there had been 45 Personal Budgeting Support Referrals of which 31 customers had attended appointments and this was an improved attendance figure to that previously reported and the numbers were expected to increase when UC full service rolled out in September 2018.

 

The Officer apprised the Committee on Personal Budgeting Support in that the DWP had given an overview of how support would operate for Universal Credit.  On the provision of personal budgeting support, the DWP identified two main elements to such support: 

  • money advice to help claimants cope with managing their money on a monthly basis and paying their bills on time; and
  • alternative payment arrangements (APA) for some claimants who genuinely cannot manage the standard monthly payment and where there is a risk of financial harm to the claimant or their family.   This might include rent paid directly to the landlord, a more frequent than monthly payment or a split payment between partners.

The Officer also advised the Committee of a further significant change to the Benefit Cap threshold which was introduced to the Vale of Glamorgan in November 2016. The DWP had advised that the overall household benefit cap applying to Tax Credits, Universal Credit and Housing Benefit would be reduced from £26,000 to £20,000 in Wales and at the end of July 2017 there had been 114 households affected in the Vale of Glamorgan. This ranged from a reduction in Housing Benefit of £2.18 per week up to the £159.50 per week.

 

With regards to supporting the individuals whom the benefit cap had affected, the Officer advised that all those affected had been offered help via Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) to allow them time to look at their personal budgets and to negotiate debt repayments. The effect was to increase the use of the Discretionary Housing Payments fund by assisting those affected until they modified their personal finances and the level of spend on DHPs was detailed in Appendix A to the report. It was important to note that DHPs were meant as a transitional means of adapting to the benefit cap however, the Council recognises the transition may take some time therefore; repeat DHP applications would not be refused.

 

The Housing Services Income Team had continued to monitor income levels and to support individuals who had experienced difficulties in paying their rent. The Officer drew the Committee’s attention to the data below which highlighted the statistics related to recovery action for the period April 2017 to March 2018 and pointed out that the Vale of Glamorgan was performing well in comparison with other Local Authorities:

 

 

No of tenants subject to formal recovery actions 2016/17

No of tenants subject to formal recovery actions 2017/18

Introductory Tenancies – Notice of Possession Proceeding Served

 

 

117

 

96

Secure Tenancies – Notice of Seeking Possession

 

869

638

Rent Possession Proceedings

 

64

34

Evictions

13

8

 

The Officer apprised the Committee on the work of the Income Team and began by advising that, over the last year, three advisors had made 1,306 home visits to clients (an increase of 23% on last year) which resulted in £308,673 in additional money to tenants. This came from a variety of sources including written off debt, additional benefits, preferential tariffs, backdated claims and grants / loans.  Money advisers ensured the service was as accessible as possible by visiting tenants in their homes and offering appointments at Council offices and community spaces and assistance was often provided at short notice, ensuring crisis situations could be avoided and tenants were able to sustain their tenancy.

 

The Income Team had also developed detailed plans to support and assist tenants moving onto UC with 32 Council tenants now receiving UC and these were in higher arrears on average than other tenants. The Officer added that the roll out was scheduled to start from October 2018 in the Vale and the team were increasing their work in this area. Staff had received comprehensive training and a publicity campaign had been developed in order to raise awareness amongst tenants. The campaign was focused on an animated character called Carl and the line "Carl was ready….." was the opening line for much of the information being provided to tenants. The information also advised tenants about practical steps they could take to be ready for UC including getting on line, opening a bank account and having money advice.

 

The Officer advised that due to the changes in the benefits system, some clients who previously received a free service were now being assessed as able to fund part of their care, and this was as a result of the charging system previously disregarding the income received from the DLA Care Higher Rate. The Personal Independence Payment (PIP) no longer differentiated between day and night time care and as a result some clients now had a charge of £24.60 per week.  Of the 77 reviews undertaken to date, 14 of the clients had either started paying for their care where they previously were assessed as not having to contribute to the cost of their care or they had seen an increase in their care costs. In this circumstance, there was an appeals process through which individuals could appeal against their charge on the basis of financial hardship and, to date, two clients had appealed their revised assessed charge.

 

As a supplementary point, the Officer added that PIP was awarded up to the age of 65, so, once someone reached 65 they would claim Attendance Allowance.  Attendance Allowance was still being split into day and night care needs, therefore, it was possible to distinguish which element to take into account for the financial assessment. 

 

In conclusion, the Officer advised that as the impact of the Welfare Reform became more apparent, more regular update reports would be presented to the Corporate Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee following a request from that Committee.

 

The Representative for Atal y Fro stated that if there was anything that her organisation could do to support the Local Authority with case studies to inform its approach then the organisation would be more than happy to help.  It was also important to note that Universal Credit disproportionately affected women and there was a huge gap between an application for Universal Credit being made and when the individual received the financial support.  On this point, the Representative asked what work the Council would be doing to minimise this effect and therefore alleviate support required from the Voluntary Sector services. 

 

The Head of Finance advised that the delay in payments being received was an issue that the Council needed to address as it moved forward and as the impact of the changes became clearer.  It was therefore widely felt that a forum needed to be established to address that particular aspect. 

 

The Representative for Glamorgan Voluntary Services wished to add that the Welfare Reform changes may also impact individuals suffering with mental health issues as the lack of funds could cause significant stress for the individual.

 

The Chairman thanked the Officer for the comprehensive report and for all input received from the Voluntary Sector Representatives and moved that the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee also receive an update report on Welfare Reform in line with those provided to the Corporate Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee. 

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T regular Welfare Reform update reports be provided to Committee in line with those provided to the Corporate Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee. 

 

Reason for decision

 

To ensure that Members are kept updated.

 

 

385            GLAMORGAN VOLUNTARY SERVICES (GVS) ANNUAL REPORT (VS) -

 

The Representative for Glamorgan Voluntary Services presented the report to provide the Committee with information of the work of GVS throughout the year April 2017 - March 2018. 

 

The Representative advised that the report was a rolling item on the Forward Work Programme for the Committee as it was a statutory requirement of Glamorgan Voluntary Services to inform the Local Authority of its progress as a result of funding received from the Local Authority.  The comprehensive report set out the activities undertaken by GVS for the period April 2017 to March 2018 which advised that an impact report would be presented to the Committee in the near future following the Glamorgan Voluntary Services Annual General Meeting (AGM) which was being held slightly later in the calendar year than usual. 

 

The Representative was delighted to report that GVS had had a very successful year and was proud to be part of an organisation that allowed individuals to gain skills and become less socially isolated through volunteering activities. 

 

At this point, the Chairman wished to add that the Committee fully welcomed the in-depth nature of the report and was pleased to see that a good quality of work had been undertaken during the period stated. 

 

A Councillor asked when the GVS Annual General Meeting would be taking place, to which, the Representative advised that the AGM was scheduled for 7th November, 2018 and that the Deputy Charity Commissioner would be attending as a guest speaker.

 

The Chairman thanked the Representative for the interesting and in-depth report and requested that details of the GVS AGM be forwarded to Members following the meeting. 

 

AGREED - T H A T the information regarding the work of the Glamorgan Voluntary Services from April 2017 to March 2018 be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

As required by the terms of the Vale of Glamorgan Council/Glamorgan Voluntary Services Deed of Grant.

 

 

386            ECONOMIC VALUE OF VOLUNTEERING WITHIN THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN (VS) -

 

The Representative for Glamorgan Voluntary Services presented the report to provide an annual report on the economic value of volunteering within the Vale of Glamorgan. 

 

The Representative advised that the content of the rolling report was based on the findings of a questionnaire that was distributed to Glamorgan Voluntary Services volunteers and was used to work out the monetary value of volunteering.  In comparison with the previous year the monetary value of volunteering had risen from £39,102,861 to £40,446,224.  This was an increase of £1,343,363. 

 

In conclusion, the Representative stressed the importance of recognising the value around voluntary service activities and hoped that the report allowed the Committee to recognise the value from the voluntary sector’s point of view.

 

The Chairman thanked the Representative for the greatly valued report and advised Committee that another volunteering fair would be coming up in the near future which was an excellent tool for recruiting individuals and promoting the excellent work already undertaken. 

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the report on the economic value of volunteering within the Vale of Glamorgan be noted in acknowledgement of the 71 fold return on the Council’s investment to voluntary activity alone. 

 

(2)       T H A T the report be referred to Cabinet and other Members of the Council for information.

 

Reason for decisions

 

(1&2)  To acknowledge the contribution that volunteers make to the Vale of Glamorgan and to provide an annual update on the Compact Action Plan.

 

 

387            VALE THIRD SECTOR ‘WELLBEING IN ACTION PROJECT’ - END OF PROJECT REPORT (VS) -

 

The Representative for Glamorgan Voluntary Services presented the report to advise Committee of the work of the Vale Third Sector ‘Wellbeing in Action’ Project funded via Public Health (Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan). 

 

The Representative advised that the overarching purpose of the project was to develop a dynamic health and wellbeing network for the Vale of Glamorgan which recognised, linked up and expanded the assets the Council had in its communities to support its population’s health and wellbeing and to foster individual community resilience.  To achieve this, funding of £25,000 was made available from Public Health to enable Glamorgan Voluntary Services to undertake the project and the funding was used to employ a part-time (21 hours) Wellbeing in Action Co-ordinator to develop the network. 

 

The project was focussed on the Gibbonsdown Ward in the Vale of Glamorgan and was identified in partnership with the Public Health Team and utilising data from the Population Needs Assessment and Wellbeing and Future Generations Needs Assessment in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

The Representative added that the project was designed to be a community led project to continue once the project support had ended.  At the time of writing the report no one in the network felt confident enough to lead the network due to barriers such as funding, lack of leadership, time for meetings and availability of people to attend, time management and commitment of person(s) running the group.  With the key aim of the project to develop a network of local people to spread the messages from the Public Health Sector the project was very well received by the public.

 

The Representative drew the Committee’s attention to Appendix 1 of the report which contained a very in-depth overview of the project and wished to add that 11 months was not a long enough period to feel the full benefit of the project. Therefore, the Glamorgan Voluntary Services were urgently seeking additional funding to continue the project.  Glamorgan Voluntary Services supported the model and wished to open up the model across the Vale and it was evident from the content of Appendix 1 that the project was extremely interesting and beneficial for members of the public. 

 

The Representative for Town and Community Councils advised that she was a Member of the St. Athan Community Council and given that the St. Athan community was unique a project such as the Wellbeing in Action: Health and Wellbeing Network Project would help to bring the community together.

 

A Panel Member advised that similar work to the project had taken place as part of the Creative Rural Communities Project and that it would be advantageous to tie in the aspects of the project with that of Community Mapping. 

 

The Chairman also wished to add that if the project was to be extended to the St. Athan area there may be a possibility to link in with Section 106 funding due to the scheduled housing developments in that area.

 

The Chairman also thanked the Representative for another positive and detailed report.  It was evident from the Appendix document that the model was successful however; there was a need for additional funding to be found in order to continue.

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the information on the work of the Vale Third Sector ‘Wellbeing in Action’ Project funded via Public Health (Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan) be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To provide the Committee with information about the project and the project outcomes.