CONWY AND DENBIGHSHIRE PUBLIC SERVICES BOARD ANNUAL REPORT 2018-19
- Meeting of Conwy and Denbighshire Public Services Board Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Tuesday, 21 May 2019 2.00 pm (Item 6.)
To consider the Annual Report of the Conwy and Denbighshire Public Services Board (PSB) for 2018/19 (copy attached) and provide feedback and/or recommendations to the Board as appropriate
2.10pm – 3.10pm
Iwan Davies, Public Services Board Vice Chair (PSBVC) advised members that as of June 2019, Sian Williams, Head of North Wales Operations for Natural Resources (HNWONRW) would be the Chair of the PSB and Judith Greenhalgh, Chief Executive of Denbighshire County Council would be the PSB Vice Chair.
The PSBVC introduced the report and presentation (previously circulated) to presenting members with the PSB’s Annual Report for 2018-19. He explained that every local authority area had a legal obligation to establish a PSB. As Conwy and Denbighshire had previously established a joint Local Service Board (LSB), the PSB’s predecessor, it was agreed to continue this partnership by establishing a joint PSB. The membership of the PSB included both Councils, Police, Police and Crime Commissioner, Fire and Rescue Service, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), Natural Resources Wales (NRW), Welsh Government (WG), North Wales Probation Service, Public Health Wales (PHW), the Wales Community Rehabilitation Company and the Voluntary Services Councils in both counties (CVSC & DVSC) etc. Other public type organisations could be invited to participate with the PSB’s work if it was deemed appropriate. The PSB’s role was to improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of both county areas by working to achieve the seven well-being goals outlined in the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 (WBFG (Wales) Act 2015).
Members were advised of the process followed to draw up the PSB’s Well-being Plan. As part of this process the Public was approached in the summer of 2016 using the County Conversations approach. The purpose of this was to gain an understanding of what worked well in the different areas and what required to be focused on for the benefit of future generations. Between the summer of 2016 and April 2017, the Wellbeing Assessment was compiled.
The PSB decided that it should not duplicate the work that other organisation had done or would be doing, therefore the PSB identified 6 themes that could be reviewed. These being;
1. The First 1,000 days of life
2. Promoting community hubs
3. Promoting mental well-being for all ages
4. Promoting resilience in older people
5. Promoting environmental resilience
6. Raising resilient and aspirational young people
Via the County Conversations process the PSB consulted with the public on these themes and based on the feedback received decided to rationalise the number of priority themes from 6 to 3. That was done by assessing the impact, long term implications and exploring whether work had already taken places elsewhere in relation to them. Following this process the Wellbeing Plan itself was approved by each of the statutory partners prior to being approved by the PSB in April 2018. This final Plan identified a total of three themes that the PSB should collectively address, these being:
1. People – Supporting Good Mental Well-being for all ages
2. Community – Supporting Community Empowerment
3. Place – Supporting Environmental Resilience
The PSB also committed to 4 additional principles which support the 3 priority themes:
a. To tackle inequalities and treat everyone equally
b. To support and promote the Welsh Language
c. To support people so they can access healthy, safe appropriate accommodation
d. To avoid duplicating work.
The Head of North Wales Operations for NRW explained that at the beginning the PSB wanted to approach the project from a different angle, instead of having specialist in their relevant areas leading on delivering the priorities they would adopt a different approach by appointing specialists from other subject areas to lead on priorities outside of their specialist areas i.e. NRW to lead on mental health. The aim of this was to allow different perspectives on the themes, in the hope that new questions could be asked to gain a different and better outcome. Practice found that this approach had not been as effective as originally anticipated. Therefore from now on the specialist organisation would lead on the relevant themes to continue research.
The first priority, Supporting Good Mental Well-being for all ages proved to be a bigger theme than anticipated. The incoming PSB Chair advised the Committee that a PSB Sub Group was created to gain an understanding of what work is already being done in the area via Local Boards and Partnerships.
As per the enclosed report, Page 31. The first 2 stages of the Supporting Good Mental Well-being theme had been completed with the third stage in progress. Members were made aware that during the previous PSB meeting it was agreed to hand over the work stream to Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB). There would now be a need to identify short, medium and long-term goals in relation to the themes delivery.
The PSB’s Vice-Chair suggested to the Committee that it, as part of its future work programme, may want to assess the progress achieved to date in relation to this particular theme.
Denbighshire’s Strategic Planning Team Manager (SPTM) presented the second priority; Community – Supporting Community Empowerment to the group.
She explained that the outcome had been formed by taking information from Public Workshops. The 3 areas identified were;
Ø Dementia Friendly Communities
Ø Social Prescribing
Ø Support for Homeless and Unstable Tenancies
Members were advised that although Denbighshire took the lead on the theme Community Empowerment, they had plenty of support from departments in both Denbighshire and Conwy. During the workshops one partner of the PSB, Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council’s (DVSC) advised that they had received Welsh Government funding to deliver a Dementia Aware Community Led Programme, the PSB would support the programme and receive updates throughout year 2 of the plan.
Originally the goal for Social Prescribing was to look at the provisions and formalise the offers to the public. SPTM said that during recent months the agenda had changed and the current focus for Social Prescribing was Weight Management. The intention would be to create a local plan for both Denbighshire and Conwy to help people manage their weight. The PSB was now seeking to develop a programme around weight management.
Members were made aware that the third area, Support for Homeless and Unstable Tenancies did not receive the same attention as the previous two areas this was due to capacity within the team. However the SPTM explained that they were aware of support that was currently available and would focus more on this area in the next financial year.
Conwy’s Corporate Performance and Improvement Manager (CPIM), presented the third priority, Supporting Environmental Resilience. She explained that one area they felt there was a gap in terms of partnership working was the urgency regarding climate change.
The PSB felt that more work was required in relation to empowering communities to address the climate change problem and how the public sector could assist them. There was also a need to view the topic from a strategic level, through procurement processes, planning applications and waste services.
CPIM explained that 2 sub-groups had been established to focus on separate themes. The first group would consist of environmental experts developing a policy statement that outlined what frameworks all would work towards, including areas of good practice and steps to take. The second group would bring together environmental experts to develop community green pledges. The outcome being encouraging communities to assist. Research had found that some communities had already developed successful initiatives. Some community pledges had been drafted, these could be used as guides to suggest ways of being greener.
CPIM advised members that town and community councils would be consulted during the summer of 2019.
Another subject the PSB would be addressing would be environmental risks. Although this was in its infancy. Members were advised that discussions were underway. It was also noted that there was an intention to work regionally, to ensure all councils could share ideas and implement them across North Wales.
PSBVC praised the PSB on the progress made, noting that certain aspects of the Board’s research would need more time and attention. He also highlighted a positive result of the PSB, that being the positive working relationships with other organisations, which was reaping dividends in various aspects of public sector work in the area.
The SPTM for DDC added that there had been new changes in terms of housing legislation which had put pressure on Local Authorities. In terms of Denbighshire, they wanted to ensure the current process was correct before working with partner organisations, she confirmed this was why there had been a delay in relation to progressing the Housing element of the Community Empowerment theme.
Members recognised that there would be many things that could be shared between the both counties. A particular concern was the need to consider the effects and benefits for both counties of developments along the county border areas. The PSBVC advised members that work had been done with the Local Development Plan (LDP), to ensure both LDPs were aware of each other’s County border concerns.
Members agreed that Conwy and Denbighshire should be working together on a number of issue. Flooding was a major concern for both Counties and more work could be done collaboratively. Bodelwyddan having been identified in the North Wales Growth Bid as a development area had the potential to cause issues for both Denbighshire and Conwy. The PSB had recommended boards work regionally on the flood risk situation. NRW had already established groups to work together on flooding and associated matters – Gwynedd and Anglesey would be collaborating on flooding and climate change, whilst Denbighshire and Conwy would be working on the impact of these on communities across the region. The findings of this work would be brought together and shared regionally.
Members enquired what added benefits the PSB would bring to the people, also how the PSB could influence other services/organisations to assist. Explaining that the PSB would need to challenge the Welsh Government to provide resources to ensure that the priorities the PSB has identified can be addressed. PSBVC explained that the priority areas were developed jointly, but acknowledged that ensuring other services/organisations deliver their commitment can be challenging as their governance arrangements were different to those of local authorities. Challenging senior officials of partner organisations on their commitment to delivering the PSB’s priorities and plans was the Committee’s role. Denbighshire’s Scrutiny Co-ordinator advised the Committee that it had powers to report to WG Ministers, the Auditor General for Wales and the Future Generations Commissioner on its opinion of the PSB’s work in delivering its priorities and its governance.
HNWONRW reminded members that the PSB was conscious of ensuring that it did not replicate ideas or changes that other services/organisation had already implemented. The PSB would look at work that had not been achieved in the past and assess whether a joint partnership approach would be able to deliver it.
Members highlighted the fact that the plans for Wylfa Nuclear Power Station would not go ahead, therefore the PSB should look at how it can support the green energy agenda. Denbighshire and its neighbouring counties had potential for hydropower schemes therefore that could be something the PSB could be involved with and encourage. HNWONRW noted the comments made and advised that there may be potential in exploring community green energy schemes. She undertook to raise the above matters with the North Wales Energy Group
Members commented on how they felt the PSB could pull together and make things happen. They highlighted that there were plenty of subjects where there were issues that would benefit from being addressed jointly. Officers advised that whilst the PSB did not have its own dedicated budget its benefit was around building relationships and increasing levels of trust to enable projects to be delivered and in doing so maximising the impact and benefits of those projects for all..
HNWONRW gave members an overview of an ongoing project with the National Trust. The project started 3-4 years ago and it concentrated on the landscapes at the top of Conwy Valley, on the Migneint moorland. Conwy County Borough Council were involved from a health referral perspective. She commented on the benefits gained from working relationships through the PSB to deliver this project and deliver health, well-being and environmental benefits.
Committee members endorsed the three chosen themes to be prioritised by the PSB.
PSBVC praised the progress the PSB had made to date but also highlighted the need for further work on particular subjects.
CPIM advised members that they were in regular contact with the Future Generations Commissioner’s office in relation to the plan and its delivery. The Wales Audit Office’s (WAO) project brief had been released in relation to the audit work on the Plan that would commence during late summer/early autumn 2019.
Members praised the statistics on animals and the environment as it is an area that needs more attention. They also queried the statistics from the County Conversation as the ages and subject had a massive difference between each county.
The SPTM explained that Denbighshire had visited school councils to gain the younger persons view, they had also gained a lot of information from focus groups. Therefore depending on where Conwy gained their information, there may be a difference in age and subject matters.
Resolved: - that the Committee;
(i) receives Conwy and Denbighshire Public Services Board (PSB) Annual Report for 2018/19, endorsing the three priority schemes approved by Board and the plans in place to deliver them; and
(ii) supports the progress made to date with their delivery and the proposed measures to progress the delivery of the PSB’s Well-being Plan during 2019/20
- Cover report - C&D PSB Annual Report (v3), item 6. PDF 366 KB
- Appendix A - CD PSB annual report 18-19 (English - graphic design version), item 6. PDF 8 MB
- Appendic A - CD PSB annual report 18-19 (English - word version), item 6. PDF 743 KB
- Appendix B - C&D PSB - Well-being Plan, item 6. PDF 1 MB
- Appendix C - County Conversation monitoring, item 6. PDF 296 KB