Venue: County Hall, Matlock, DE4 3AG
Contact: Juliette Normington
RESOLVED that the non-exempt minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet Member for Health and Communities held on 14 April 2021 be confirmed as a correct record.
The Cabinet Member was updated on organisations supported through the Public Health COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
The response to the COVID-19 pandemic had seen many organisations across Derbyshire working to ensure the basic needs of the most vulnerable residents were met. It had become apparent that a number of community and voluntary sector organisations had insufficient resources to maintain their response. Supporting the clinically extremely vulnerable, social isolation and requirement for activities to comply with social distancing guidance had compelled many organisations to quickly adapt their service delivery model to operate within the guidance, often requiring additional resources.
Funding up to a maximum value of £2,000 was available for constituted groups and £250 for non-constituted groups following the establishment of a Public Health COVID-19 Emergency Fund that supported voluntary and community sector organisations in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on local communities and to work to improve the health and wellbeing of local populations. The Fund was funded from the Public Health Grant so all applications must be linked to the Public Health work programme to allow the Public Health Emergency Fund to run concurrently. Authority for approval of applications was delegated by the Cabinet Member to the Director of Public Health, with quarterly update reports.
This was the fourth quarterly update covering organisations who had received funding from 22 February 2021 to 26 April 2021; these were detailed in the report.
RESOLVED – that the Cabinet Member to (1) note the allocation of the Public Health COVID-19 Emergency Fund to date;
(2) continue to delegate authority to the Director of Public Health to approve awards of no more than £2,000 to individual organisations; and
(3)receive details of further recipient organisations on a quarterly basis.
Approval was sought from the Cabinet Member to fund Citizens Advice Derbyshire for additional surge capacity to provide specific advice, information and resources that support individuals to successfully plan for and adhere to self-isolation requirements linked to COVID-19.
Local welfare assistance and advice provision was likely to be in high demand throughout the 2021/22 financial year where Derbyshire individuals would still be asked to self-isolate if they test positive for COVID-19 or had been identified as a close contact of someone who had tested positive, creating challenges in terms of financial hardship or concerns about their rights during this period. The proposed activity sought to proactively prevent this, ensure access to the £500 self-isolation support and a local solution was in place where required.
The report went on to explain the rationale and evidence used to support this approach including recent research by Public Health Wales which made several recommendations, including increased financial support should be made available to enable individuals to get essential items and support that helped to minimise the potential health and economic harm of self-isolation.
Derbyshire Citizens Advice had identified that securing additional capacity for a period of 12 months would allow to offer dedicated over-the-phone practical financial and specialist advice regarding employment rights and status. There was considerable evidence of the effectiveness of advice from Derbyshire Citizens Advice of improving local wellbeing and this was detailed within the report.
Collaborative pathways would be developed with the Derbyshire Welfare Rights Service, Derbyshire Discretionary Fund, local contact tracing team and Community Response Unit enabling staff to signpost individuals to CA support (and vice versa) as required as part of a more local and holistic response to supporting individuals to effectively self-isolate or plan for self-isolation. It was intended that by providing this advice and support, individuals would be less likely to challenge the rules, enabling them to self-isolate, work safely and provide accurate test and trace information as the financial jeopardy of doing so was substantially mitigated.
Funding would be allocated on a locality basis to the four Citizens Advice Offices covering Chesterfield, Derbyshire Districts (Derbyshire Dales, High Peak, Amber Valley, Erewash), Mid Mercia (South Derbyshire) and North East Derbyshire (Bolsover and North East Derbyshire). This would secure 7.4 additional FTE adviser capacity across the county at a cost of £223,358. Citizens Advice would monitor and evaluate the project and sample a small number of users to understand whether the advice provided was effective.
DCC had been allocated a total Contain funding grant of £20.182m of which £19.058 m had been rolled over to 2021-22. A further £3.958m of Contain funding had been allocated from the Department of Health and Social Care for 2021-22.
RESOLVED – that the Cabinet Member approve funding to Citizens Advice Derbyshire for additional surge capacity to provide specific advice, information and resources that support individuals to successfully plan for and adhere to self-isolation requirements linked to COVID-19.
EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC
To move, that under Regulation 4 (2)(b) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that in view of the nature of the items of business, that if members of the public were present, exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 would be disclosed to them.
RESOLVED that the public, including the press, be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the remaining item on the agenda to avoid the disclosure of the kind of exempt information detailed in the following summary of proceedings:
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS CONDUCTED AFTER THE PUBLIC, INCLUDING THE PRESS, WERE EXCLUDED FROM THE MEETING
32/21 RESOLVED that the exempt minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet Member for Health and Communities held on 14 April 2021 be confirmed as a correct record.