Agenda item

Barrow Area Planning Report

[Electoral Divisions: All Barrow]


To consider a report by the Assistant Director – Customer and Community Services (copy enclosed).


This report provides Local Committee with an update on its work and agreed activity since the last meeting of the Committee.  It also includes a financial statement in support of the work of the Local Committee for Members’ information.



Members received a detailed and positive report from the Assistant Director – Customer and Community Services which provided information from across the Community teams including Community Development, Archives and libraries, and provided an update on work and agreed activity since the last meeting of the Committee.


The Committee was informed that the Team continued to work to support area planning activity and priority areas of work including the cost-of-living crisis, Barrow Town Deal and Borderlands.


The local Member for Walney South asked for any updates regarding the planning application for the Earnse Bay Outdoor Centre.  The Vice?Chair of the Local Committee advised that a response was still awaited from the Secretary of State.


The Committee received a detailed update on the Dalton Borderlands Place Programme and was advised that the Project Initiation Documents (PIDs) had been received and reviewed by Ekosgen consultants who had been liaising individually with project leads to undertake a clarification process to ensure all relevant information was considered.  It was explained that the PIDs were submitted for consideration at the 2 March meeting of the Dalton Town Team where members of the Group had discussed the proposals and put forward their suggestions. 


Members were advised that the Borderlands programme would move across to the new Westmorland and Furness Authority.  The Committee was informed that the next steps would be for the consultants’ recommendations to be presented for approval to submit to the Borderlands Partnership and facilitate the process for schemes to move to the next stage of developing project level business cases.


The Chair, on behalf of the Committee, thanked Adele Mitchell, Programme and Project Officer, for her invaluable support to the Project.


Members were informed that the Community Prosperity Partnership was bringing together third-sector organisations who were supporting the communities in the Barrow Borough area to work collaboratively.  It was explained that this was focusing on the cost of living with three main key themes as part of its work – warm spots, food and fuel and emergency referrals.


The Committee was advised that the Partnership was keen to ensure the work it undertook was more sustainable and maximise funding through various sources.  Members were informed that many of the warm spots set up by community groups and volunteers were building up relationships and trust with residents; engaging and connecting residents, meeting needs and reducing social isolation noting that the partnership wished to see the provision of warm welcome spots all year round to enable those connections to continue.


Members were informed that organisations within the Partnership were starting to work together understanding each of their core offer and how they could all add value to each other’s organisations, services, and residents.  Officers explained that each organisation did not have to provide everything to each resident; there was a need for them all to be connected to support meeting the need of the individual resident using the right front door approach.


The Committee was advised that the Partnership was developing a collaborative project and had identified a need for a community connector/volunteer co-ordinator role to be the link between organisations and communities; a similar type of role having been identified through the Community Renewal Funding bid.  Members welcomed the positive discussions which had taken place with Cumbria Community Foundation with regards to a collaborative bid.


The local Member for Old Barrow suggested that engagement take place with local arts organisations to seek support for the provision of services for the community.  The Community Development Officer acknowledged the support which such organisations were able to provide and confirmed this would be part of the Community Connector role in the future.


Members were advised of the positive work being undertaken at the Boathouse which included a cycling workshop.


The Public Health Project Officer gave a detailed update on work being undertaken and informed the Committee of the Priority Wards work which included work being undertaken alongside NHS and Public Health colleagues focussing on the Central and Hindpool wards as a priority.  It was explained that those two wards were the most deprived nationally and had the highest non?planned admissions/attendances to A&E.  Members were advised that health funding would allow a 6-month project to be untaken to understand the issues around the greater admission rate.  Members were informed that all of the information would be collated and written into a report that would be presented to the Population Health Strategic Group to help them reshape service provision.


The Committee was advised of the imminent launch of a 12 weeks’ smoking support programme together with work being undertaken with the local maternity services for the provision of CO2 monitors.


Members received a positive update from the Barrow Libraries and Archive which highlighted a significant increase in people attending regular and one-off events in the libraries throughout December and January.  The Committee noted there had been a surge in new memberships across the Barrow network in December with more people joining the Barrow Group than any other library in the county.  It was explained that in December engagement, both in and outside the Library, had taken place with 1,931 people and 848 people in January.


The Chair, as well as individual members of the Committee, expressed their personal thanks and appreciation to all members of the Barrow Community Team for the phenomenal work they had undertaken, highlighting the successful projects in their divisions.  Members drew attention to their successful and well deserved Love Barrow Award and wished everyone well for the future.


RESOLVED,   that the report be noted.


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