Agenda item

Cabinet Member Updates


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


a)    Over the summer, free or holiday clubs had been offered to local children on a variety of subjects such as water sports, science, sports, dance and theatre, as well as a forest school; 

b)    10 new holiday club providers had been worked with and 8 special educational needs specific holiday clubs were run; 

c)    Full, fit and fed programs had been delivered, and over 4 park events, over 2,500 lunches were handed out; 

d)    The council had worked with Melanoma UK to provide free sun safety and protection to families; 

e)    The council had also worked with Fair Share to provide takeaway bags on Friday evenings to some older young people; 

f)     Budget friendly cooking workshops had been provided; 

g)    At events, cost of living leaflets were shared to signpost people who might need support; 

h)    Plymouth Active Leisure had had a cost of living summer program with free and low-cost taster sessions; 

i)     Over 420 people attended the Mount Wise pools for a family fun night, organised by Ward Councillors and Plymouth Active Leisure; 

j)     People could visit Cost of living | PLYMOUTH.GOV.UK for support with the cost of living. 


Councillor Jemima Laing (Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care, Culture, Events and Communications) gave the following updates: 

k)    Bonfire Night 2023 would take place on The Hoe, which was a centrepiece of a free fun campaign, part of the Action Plan, to ensure there were activities that families could enjoy without worrying about additional costs; 

l)     It had been important to bring back Bonfire Night as it was an event that brought communities together to enjoy the evening, around 25,000 people in attendance. 

Councillor Sally Haydon (Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Libraries, Cemeteries and Crematoria) updated Cabinet on the following: 


m)  Freshers Week was approaching, and street marshals would be starting on 8 September 2023 to provide additional support to students, and would be linked up with the CCTV system to enable them to be deployed to the areas where they were most needed and would also be linked in with the Police, Street Pastors and the night bus, all funded through Safer Streets funding awarded to the University of Plymouth; 

n)    The first Time for Change conference had been held in Plymouth, which explored the role of masculinity for a better future; 

o)    There had been an increase of 23% in engagement with the summer reading challenge through Plymouth Libraries, library visits were up by 19% and Rhyme Time was up 49.64%. 


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

p)    The previously unused top deck of the Theatre Royal Car Park now housed a large solar array and was powering the car park, with surplus energy being exported back into the local grid, with the possibility of using this additional energy to power heat pumps at the Guildhall and Council House being explored. 


Councillor Chris Penberthy (Cabinet Member for Housing, Cooperative Development and Communities) provided the following updates: 


q)    Westwood were developing a site in Plympton into 5 bungalows, 2 of which would be affordable home-ownership, and the other 3 for social rent; 

r)    Moses Close in Southway development was underway on 13 affordable homes for rent; 

s)     10 new eco-friendly homes were nearing completion in Plymstock, invested in by Plymouth City Council, with the profits from the project going into the investment fund for homes to support more affordable homes in the city, and a tree would be planted in the village green at the site with a plaque in memory of the late Alderwoman Councillor Vivien Pengelly, who had been involved in the project. 


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


t)     Plymouth City Council had been proactive in communicating with school leaders on the use of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in schools buildings, with surveys being undertaken since 2018 in all 14 schools and none were found to contain it; 

u)    Academies and Trusts were responsible for their own school buildings and had been contacted by the Department for Education earlier in the year and it had been understood none contained RAAC. The education team did contact the chief executives of academics to confirm relevant checks had been undertaken and offer support if needed; 

v)     The Area Inspection of Plymouth Local Area Partnership took place from 16-30 June 2023 and the report was published on 22 August 2023 and the council have fully accepted OFSTED’s findings; 

w)   Five areas of priority action had been identified, one to vulnerable children living in residential special schools and children’s homes at a distance and children receiving short breaks, was addressed immediately to ensure reassurance about their safety; 

x)    Cross partnership work was underway to communicate about the report and get engagement in developing and implementing an action plan for improvement which would be published on 29 September 2023; 

y)    The Short Breaks Innovation Grant programme was designed to support young people with additional needs to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to transition to adulthood, securely, and in a way that maximised life chances, and a 3rd round of funding was being applied for to enable 200 young people aged 14-25 to access the program, which was running in partnership with a number of providers across the city; 

z)    A school attendance campaign had been launched at the beginning of September as attendance levels had become a national issue following the COVID19 pandemic, increasing in Plymouth from 4.9% pre-pandemic to 8.8% post-pandemic, and the campaign was working with schools and to help them to support their parents and carers, which had received largely positive feedback, had been covered by ITV Westcountry News, and would enter its second phase later in the year.