Members of Knowsley Council will meet tonight – a Special Council meeting convenes at 5.30pm and then Council at 6pm.
All the papers from the meeting can be found on the council’s website – but here’s our guide to what was on the agenda.
Special Council – Conferment of the title of Honorary Alderman
Former Leader of the Council, Ron Round, will be given the title of Honorary Alderman, for his 29 years service to the Council and the local community.
Liverpool City Region Housing Tenancy 2016 – 2019
Across the City Region, there are currently more than 100 registered providers managing more than 150,000 properties. Many of these providers operate across local authority boundaries. Council will consider the proposal to formally adopt the Strategy which will apply across the region and give registered housing providers consistent guidance to help them prepare their tenancy policies.
The proposed Liverpool City Region Tenancy Strategy builds on the existing local authorities’ strategies by favouring lifetime tenancies, whilst recognising that there are circumstances where the new tenure flexibility provides an opportunity for registered providers to make the best use of their housing stock.
Healthy Weight Declaration
Councillors will be asked to endorse the pledges in the Healthy Weight Declaration – developed by the Health Equalities Group to be adopted by local authorities across the North West. The declaration includes key pledges aimed at reducing obesity and outlines what the council and its partners can do to help residents make healthier choices.
The pledges include developing the responsible retailing scheme to discourage selling unhealthy food and drinks to under 18s, controlling the clustering of fast food outlets – particularly around schools, ensuring healthy food is available at public buildings and developing a policy for the marketing and promotion of food and drink to children in council settings.
Signing the Declaration would demonstrate the Council’s strategic commitment to reducing obesity and underpins current initiatives aimed at promoting a healthy weight.
Knowsley Safeguarding Children’s Board Report 2015/16
Councillors will be presented with the 2015/16 annual report from the Knowsley Safeguarding Children’s Board (KSCB). The report provides a comprehensive picture of safeguarding services across the borough as well as the work undertaken by KSCB between 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016.
The annual report highlights areas which the board will focus on during 2016 to 2018. The priorities include children in the borough are safeguarded and protected from harm, including abuse, neglect and exploitation; the voices and experiences of children and young people are fully embedded in practice and service planning; embed the learning from serious case reviews through delivery of robust action plans. KSCB has developed a business plan to facilitate the delivery of these priorities.
Appointment of Independent Person
The Council must adopt arrangements to deal with allegations of a breach of its Code of Conduct at any of the Borough’s councils (including the Borough’s five Parish or Town Councils). As part of these arrangements, the Council is required to appoint at least one independent person that must be consulted before a decision can be made on an allegation which it is investigating.
Earlier in 2016, the Council conducted a process to recruit independent persons to fulfil these roles. Following a recruitment process, it is proposed that Christopher John Whittle is appointed. Whilst we are one independent person short of the requirements, there is an informal understanding in place to access independent persons from a neighbouring local authority if necessary.
With effect from 6 December 2016, the Leader announced new arrangements for the Council’s portfolio areas. Notably, a new City Region portfolio has been created to reflect the development of City Region working and securing the Devolution Agreement – signed by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and the Government in November last year – which is in the process of being implemented.
Notice of Motion – Asylum Seekers
Knowsley Council Leader Cllr Andy Moorhead will propose a motion regarding Knowsley’s involvement in the Government’s National Transfer Scheme for unaccompanied asylum seeking children and young people.
The motion calls on the Government to cover all costs to local authorities attributed to supporting this group, and asks them to work with the council to develop an alternative approach that avoids them entering the formal care system.
The North West Regional Strategic Migration Partnership (RSMP) is responsible for managing the asylum seekers programme. This includes liaising with the Home Office and agreeing the appropriate placement of referrals with local authorities. Initially, the NW Region has committed to receiving approximately 100 unaccompanied minors.
Notice of Motion – Health Funding
The Council is calling upon the Government to review funding for health services to ensure that it is adequate to meet current and future rising demand of an aging population.
It is also requesting that public health funding and adult social care funding is recognised as critical to supporting core NHS business and is increased accordingly and that the recently published Sustainability and Transformation Plans reflect the local funding requirements for both health and social care.