Councillor Jane Gebbie - Deputy Leader of Council and Cabinet Member for Social Services and Health
Councillor Neelo Farr - Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Wellbeing
Claire Marchant - Corporate Director - Social Services and Wellbeing
Sophie Moore - Wellbeing Manager - Healthy Living
Karen Winch - Wellbeing Manager - Active Young People
Simon Gwynne - Partnership Manager
The Corporate Director, Social Services and Wellbeing presented the report, the purpose of which was to provide the Committee with information on how services and opportunities being delivered in partnership with Halo Leisure and Awen are supporting individual and community wellbeing and contributing to the Council’s wellbeing objectives, and to provide information on the partnership working being developed with BAVO and the broader third sector to support people within their communities and to develop healthy and happy communities.
The Invitees from partner organisations, Halo Leisure, Awen and Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations (BAVO) introduced themselves and provided brief summaries of their organisation’s association with the Council.
The Chairperson thanked the Corporate Director, Social Services and Wellbeing and Invitees and Members discussed the following:
· The importance of leisure and cultural facilities within communities, how libraries could be better promoted and the available resources at local libraries including books, DVDs, historical and archive information and ICT facilities.
· The areas covered by the ‘Books on Wheels’ mobile library service and a possible Member’s visit to the facility.
· The health and financial benefits of providing non-statutory leisure and cultural services, the extent to which prevention and wellbeing services prevent escalation to statutory services and Welsh Government’s appreciation of the early intervention programme.
· Importance of sustainability and localisation of services, social return on investment and understanding of and misinformation around the 15-minute agenda.
· Pre- and post-pandemic visitor levels to leisure facilities and community hubs, the benefits of free and concessionary memberships available and aspirations to grow participation.
· Ensuring accessibility, particularly given the cost-of-living crisis, the pressures of increased energy costs and inflation, and ensuring that valued services are underpinned by grant funding and investment, including investment to ensure energy efficiency.
· Reports of closure of particular centres and how often customer satisfaction is measured.
· The Levelling Up Funding to secure the future of the Grand Pavilion and extent of the proposed refurbishment.
· Benefits and effective advertisement of referral schemes and specific programmes such as Active Bridgend Young People, Healthy Living Partnership, Super Agers, Ascent and Family Active Zone.
· The importance of groups and services provided by charitable and volunteer organisations, supporting communities to do more for themselves and the roles of BAVO and Local Community Coordinators.
· Long term sustainability and resources and the importance of successful collaborative and partnership working in contributing to person-centred objectives and corporate parenting responsibilities.
· The recently launched Summer Reading Challenge and other initiatives to encourage and support literacy.
· Lessons learned from warm hubs.
The Chairperson advised that there were no further questions for the Invitees, thanked the Invitees for their attendance and, advised that if they were not required for the next Item, they may leave the meeting.
RESOLVED: Following detailed consideration and discussions with Officers and Cabinet Members, the Committee requested:
1. That a visit be arranged for Members of the Committee to the Books on Wheels mobile library service to provide them with an understanding of the areas it covers and what is currently available.
2. A breakdown by characteristic of the number of participants that access leisure facilities that receive free or subsidised membership/access.
3. A copy of the presentation to be shared with all Members, demonstrating the vision and work to be undertaken at the Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl, utilising the Levelling Up Funding.
With regard to the partnership working with Halo Leisure and Awen, whether there are plans to bring the timelines into alignment, as the Healthy Living Partnership with Halo Leisure was established for a 15-year period in 2012 and the partnership agreement with Awen runs until 2035.