Agenda item

Cabinet Member Updates


Councillor Mark Coker (Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport) provided the following updates:

a)    1,213 Velocity repairs had been made in its first month with South West Highways (SWH) achieving a further 563 Highways Defect Repairs as well which totalled 1,776 repairs over 2 months and based on these figures, it could be expected that 17,934 Highways Defect Repairs could be achieved 2023/24, although it was weather dependent;

b)    He had attended an LCRIN (Local Council Innovation Road Network) meeting in Lincoln where velocity was shown via video and there had been a lot of interest from others at the meeting.


Councillor Sue Dann (Cabinet Member for Sport, Leisure and HR & OD) provided the following updates:


c)    Following the administration’s pledge to develop a Cost of Living Action Plan within its first 100 days, there would be a city-wide event on 25 July 2023 to ask a wide range of representatives across Plymouth to identify actions that could make a real difference as it was important for the action plan to be as robust as possible;

                      i.        If anyone else felt that they could contribute and wanted to be invited they were encouraged to contact Councillor Sue Dann via email;

                     ii.        167,000 people had accessed the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) website for cost of living support with 5220 people from Plymouth asking for support and 64% of those requests linked to cost of living issues;

d)    A full-sized replica of a 17th Century Spanish galleon would visit Plymouth in August, moored with Cattewater, and would be open to the people of Plymouth and visitors to the city, to step onboard and experience the ‘living museum’;

e)    Tennis Courts at Devonport Park, Hartley Park and Tothill Park had been refurbished with new Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) approved surfaces as well as new nets and posts and would run in similar way to the Central Park and West Hoe courts with a Clubspark online booking system and the Council would be working with the LTA to deliver a range of activities across the sites, including weekly organised free park tennis sessions for all ages, playing levels and experience, where equipment would be provided.


Councillor Chris Penberthy (Cabinet Member for Housing, Co-operative Development and Communities):

f)     Since 2021, Plymouth City Council had been part of the National Changing Futures Future programme and had received £2.1 million to support work for 3 years and was due to finish in March 2023 but would continue to March 2025 thanks to further funding and the programme included;

                      i.        Support for women involved in on-street prostitution, or other abusive situations through the Trevi Spark project to help them take steps to a safer and better life;

                     ii.        Support for men who had perpetrated domestic abuse and young people displaying harmful behaviours through Ahimsa’s behaviour change  programme to prevent future harm;

                    iii.        Support for women who were rebuilding their lives after substance misuse, homelessness and contact with the criminal justice system by connecting them with new laptops and mobile phones as they start their journeys back into the world of work through the Gifted Women programme;

                    iv.        Support for young people making the transition from children’s services to adult services;

                     v.        Support people leaving prison by connecting them with people with similar experiences and supporting them to reduce the risk of them re-offending and being returned to prison;

g)    He had worked with Young Devon to bring forward provision of supported accommodation for vulnerable young homeless people with a home for 4 people going ‘online’ over the course of the summer;

h)    The Council would be renewing its registered provider status and increasing the amount of housing it owned;

i)     Plan for Homes funding would be awarded to Plymouth Community Homes to develop the former North Prospect Library site;

j)     £2,813,781 would be added to the capital programmes for the provision of Disabled Facilities Grants to help people to enjoy a better quality of life and stay in their own homes for longer;

k)    The work to support co-operative development would be reinvigorated and a new strategy would be launched on the next International Co-operatives Day;

l)     The focus on investment from the Inclusive Economy Fund would be on the green/blue co-operative economy and the Council wanted to be innovative in its approach with more details to be announced with a potential investment of £150,000.


Councillor Sally Cresswell (Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Apprenticeships) provided the following updates:


m)  She had visited several education settings since taking on the portfolio and looked forward to visiting more in the Autumn term;

n)    Mission Mammoth STEAMFest 2023 took place in the week commencing 26 June 2023 in partnership between Building Plymouth and The Box and Arts at University Plymouth, which involved 514 Year 5 and 6 children in creative experiences designed to raise aspirations, opportunities and attainment, with the involvement of 81 construction professionals who volunteered their time;

o)    The school attendance campaign was due to be launched in the new September term and the Plymouth Attendance Strategy had been refined.



Councillor Tom Briars-Delve (Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change) provided the following updates:


p)    Feedback from the public and councillors had been listened to and there were 3 priorities in relation to grass cutting; safety at busy junctions, cutting grass in play parks to give families pleasant areas for recreation and public engagement on biodiversity benefits of wildflower meadows;

                      i.        Additional flail decks had been purchased for ride on mowers and flail decks for pedestrian mowers which were better suited for cutting long grass;

                     ii.        The Council had recently established a separate cemeteries grass cutting team and the feasibility of a similar approach to play parks was being explored;

                    iii.        A business case would be developed for the next grass cutting season;

                    iv.        The next higher risk highways verge cut was scheduled to commence that day and would take approximately two weeks;

q)    Plymouth had been allocated £7.1million in grant funding to improve thermal efficiency of social housing in partnership with LiveWest and Plymouth Community Homes and an executive decision would be taken later that week and retrofitting was key in the route to net-zero, including supporting homes with the cost of living crisis who could save £300 a year.


Councillor Mary Aspinall (Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care) provided the following update:


r)    The first Dental Task Force meeting had taken place as a proactive step to working better together to improve local services for local people;

                      i.        NHS Devon committed to working with the main provides of NHS dental care in Plymouth to look at the possibility of local underspends in other areas of NHS dental provision could be re-prioritised;

                     ii.        NHS Devon agreed to work with Peninsula Dental School’s new high street practice in the city centre as well as Livewell South West agreeing to work with the dental school to increase capacity across their organisations;

                    iii.        Plymouth City Council would work with the NHS to find other opportunities in the city to locate a service for the funding for the five dental chairs initially meant for the health hub at Colin Campbell Court that had been planned.