Driving improvement in public services
This year the Economy and Environment Scrutiny Panel decided to look in-depth at how the Council was supporting economic regeneration in Calderdale. Members gave this such priority that all seven of them joined the review team!
As well as meeting together, Councillors did research on their own, including attending a breakfast meeting to learn the views of local business people. We also heard from both the Cabinet Member and the Director of Economy and Environment, as well as a town councillor.
The Panel recommended that a Member Champion should be appointed to champion apprenticeships; and that Cabinet should put specific signposting opportunities and funding sources guidance in place for inclusion in the Youth Strategy for apprenticeships and work placements, in support of people over 25 who want to become an apprentice.
And we want to see all those businesses that the Council buys services from encouraged to take on apprentices as well.
Economy and Environment Scrutiny Panel also set up a review group to look at the green economy.
They met several times including arranging two “drop-in” sessions at Halifax Town Hall, where a number of private businesses gave us their views.
Members also did a lot of work outside the meetings and three of them joined the Our Energy Future event at Calderdale College.
During the review we heard from the Council’s Sustainability, Business and Economy, and Corporate Assets and Facilities Management (CAFM) teams, who told us about their work and its relationship with the green economy and about current and planned developments.
We made ten recommendations to Cabinet including; asking that a greater emphasis is placed on championing the Green Economy as a key sector by Leeds City Region; a re-launch of “Green Champions” to encourage our staff to adopt more energy-conscious practices while they are at work; and the possibility of applying exemptions and not charging parking fees for electric cars in the Council’s car parks.
Diabetes is a growing health problem across the world and Calderdale is no different. Councillors spent time outside their normal meetings examining; the role that community pharmacy can play in identifying people at risk of developing diabetes and in helping them manage the condition; and how effective Calderdale has been in implementing NHS health checks.