Agenda item

Community Team Service Review (Agenda item 7)

Report of Alison Webb, Executive Member for Housing, Health and Communities.


The Executive Member for Housing, Health & Communities was very pleased to bring forward the Communities Team Service Review report.


The Team had been working extremely hard on this review to ensure that the Council had the right skills in the right place. The pandemic had fundamentally changed the way the Council worked with its communities and had brought this authority much closer to other organisations who had worked hard throughout to ensure that everyone was keeping safe and well.


The Inspiring Communities theme within the Council’s Corporate Plan set out the commitment to continue to harness the strength of working with community partners and organisations and to help them recover from the lasting affects of the pandemic. This was also in line with the upcoming Integrated Care system and the Government had recently published its vision for ‘levelling up’ the UK over the next decade.


This was a really exciting time working with Breckland’s communities but to enable this to be delivered effectively and to make the most of the partnerships and other opportunities, the Council need to make sure that the right skills were in the right place.  The structure that was required had been considered so that service outcomes could be met.


Samantha Armitage, the Community Services Manager was in attendance to provide further details and feedback from the consultation process.


This service focused on the Council’s communities and covered the prevention of vulnerability through early intervention services such as collaboration with the Team’s weekly multi-agency, multi-partner meetings, social prescribing services, which were in partnership with the NHS providing holistic support to people with non-clinical needs and tackling issues through the Inspiring Communities programme such as loneliness, mental health, domestic abuse and County Lines.


The Team were also focusing on addressing health inequality through the integrated care system to improve the health and wellbeing of communities through the key partnerships and community engagement.  Ensuring that Breckland residents had a safe place to live through the partnership it had with the Police in the Operational Partnership Team.


The proposed changes were highlighted (see section 1.5 of the report).  It was also highlighted that the proposal would result in some contractual changes but would be cost neutral and would not increase the establishment numbers.


Councillor Ashby asked how it was cost neutral when the Team was going to be increased by two new posts.


The Chairman explained that the two extra posts were being funded by grant funding as part of Breckland’s ongoing Inspiring Communities programme.


The Executive Member for Housing, health & Communities explained that £1m had been set aside for the Inspiring Communities programme and was being channelled into the areas to best help Breckland/s communities.  Now that the pandemic had eased slightly, all needed extra help and therefore this was the ideal opportunity to refocus the Team.  


The Community Services Manager explained that the budget line for the two additional 2-year fixed term posts had already been approved with the approval of the Vulnerability programme.


In response to a question the positions would be reviewed after two years.


The Chairman pointed out there were also 49 Members who were in close contact with their communities and could be of great assistance and urged Officers to work with them.


Members were informed that a framework and a structure was being built on how the Team was working with the communities and would be shared with Members.


Councillor Hambidge mentioned the need for training.


The Chairman agreed and pointed out after a Full Council meeting was always the best time for training session as most Members were already in attendance.


The recommendation was proposed and seconded, and it was:


RESOLVED that the implementation of the revised staff structure for the current Community Team as detailed in the report be approved.

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