[Electoral Divisions: All]
To consider a report from the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services
This report provides Local Committee with an update on the work of each area, identified activity against priorities, highlights current issues and provides an overview of the budget position
A report was considered from the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure regarding Area Planning in Eden which brought together information from across the community teams including community development and services as well as public health. The report provided Local Committee with an update on the work of each area, identified activity against priorities, highlighted current issues and provided an overview of the budget position.
The Area Manager presented the report. He drew members attention to the decisions to be made and reported on the budget position on a number of budget lines. The Area Planning Budget underspend would be carried over to the next financial year. The Children and Young People Working Group was thanked for its support in fully committing budgets for youth provision. The COMF budget was fully committed to third sector projects and this had been a significant task. The Environment Fund was fully committed. Funding allocations for the ensuing financial year would be considered at a member workshop. Officers were now working with community groups on cost of living schemes to promote support available and encourage people to access it. The virement of money from School Crossing Patrols to the Area Planning budget was highlighted.
A member referred to a development at Portland Place which had been welcomed by residents but highlighted their concerns about the road width. The member also wanted to understand the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan timetable. The member reported on a meeting with partner organisations which was looking to identify the gaps in provision and the issues relating to the availability of facilities available for young people in Penrith. The Area Manager talked about the sharing of information which would take place on youth provision following the development of the Eden Youth Hub. It was noted that the cost of living was becoming a big issue for residents. The member asked that the Town and District Councils share information with the County Council so that residents could be provided with information on where they could go for help on that matter. The Chair commented on how the Community Team would be working on a response to the cost of living crisis.
The same member was concerned about the safety of the Lollipop Lady at Bell Lane pedestrian crossing. Discussion ensued on the lack of information given to her on roadworks in the area, on the Health and Safety issues arising from them and bad driving behaviour in the area. The member urged that the issues be addressed before the start of the Summer school term. The Traffic Management Team Leader - Eden undertook to review the placement of the pedestrian crossing and advised that associated traffic issues would be raised at the Eden CRASH Group. The Vice Chair undertook to draw the matter to the attention of the Police and Crime Commissioner. The Area Manager undertook to raise the issue with Orian regarding the Health and Safety Issues. The same member asked that the tree planting scheme at Carleton Park be financially supported using the Environment Fund.
Another member talked about the year on year underspend in the Area Planning Budget and referred to the underspend in the Community Grants Budget. The Area Manager explained the time lag in identifying projects spending the Community Grants money, adding that money was rolled over to the next financial year should it not be spent. Reference was made to the year on year underspend in the School Crossing Patrol budget. The Area Manager explained that such an underspend was unlikely as the amount awarded for school crossing patrols did not fully cover the cost of the service. The Chair reported on how COMF money had enabled local priority projects which contributed to the area planning underspend.
A request was made for further information about the observatory at Alston Moor. Discussion ensued on the ability of Local Members to report on matters local to their division, should other members require it. It was noted that Mr Hughes would speak to Ms Driver on the matter of the observatory with additional information being provided from the Community Development Officer, if necessary. The member asked about the location of suicide awareness training. This would be responded to outside of the meeting, by the Area Manager. The member was interested to know if there was still an exodus of young people leaving Eden and if so, what was the impact. The Chair asked officers to respond outside of the meeting on this matter. Responding to comments on project updates from other divisions, the Area Manger reassured all members that they would be updated on projects impacting the entire district – such as Borderlands and the Penrith LCWIP – in an appropriate and timely manner.
A very short discussion took place on the practice of Local Committees funding Housing Associations. The Chair advised on the reasons for supporting the Eden Rural Foyer in Penrith and what the positive outcomes would be.
The Chair thanked the Community Development Team for spending the COMF money efficiently and effectively and proposed the recommendations as set out in the report. These were agreed by assent of the Committee.
(1) the following be noted:-
(a) the budget allocations for 2021-22 and the commitments and expenditure recorded to date;
(b) the provisional unallocated resources in the 2021?22 Communities Revenue Budget of £31,413 as at 28 February 2022;
(c) the area planning update (as detailed in paragraphs 4.5 to 4.36 of the report);
(2) £4,617 be vired from the School Crossing Patrols to Area Planning.