HUTT CITY COUNCIL

 

Community Services Committee

 

Report of a meeting held in the Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road,

Lower Hutt on

Thursday 4 May 2017 commencing at 6.00pm

 

 

 PRESENT:                       Cr G Barratt (Chair)

Cr L Bridson                               Cr S Edwards

Cr M Lulich                                Cr G McDonald          

Cr C Milne                                  Cr L Sutton

 

APOLOGIES:                  An apology was received from Mayor WR Wallace and
Cr J Briggs.

 

IN ATTENDANCE:       Cr MJ Cousins

Mr T Stallinger, Chief Executive (part meeting)

Mr M Reid, General Manager, Community Services

Ms M Laban, Community Projects and Relationship Manager

Mrs D Hunter, Community Advisor Funding and Community Contracts

Mr M Mercer, Divisional Manager, Community Hubs (part meeting)

Ms S Lytollis, Communications and Marketing Advisor

Ms H Clegg, Minute Taker

 

PUBLIC BUSINESS

 

The Communications and Marketing Advisor opened the meeting with a Karakia.

 

1.       APOLOGIES 

Resolved:    (Cr Barratt/Cr Sutton)                                    Minute No. CSC 17201

"That the apologies received from Mayor Wallace and Cr Briggs be accepted and leave of absence be granted."

 

2.       PUBLIC COMMENT

Comments are recorded under the item to which they relate.      

 

Resolved:    (Cr Barratt/Cr Milne)                                           Minute No. CSC 17202

"That in terms of Standing Order 15.2, the time limit for public comment be extended to allow for all those present to speak."

 

3.       CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATIONS

There were no conflict of interest declarations.

4.       Recommendations to Council - 23 May 2017

a)

Review of Community Funding (17/656)

Report No. CSC2017/2/107 by the Community Projects and Relationship Manager.                                                                                

 

Speaking under public comment, Mrs B Hay, representing the Stokes Valley Community House and Mrs A Godfrey, representing the Petone Community House and Board expressed concern with the proposed Community Funding Strategy.  They explained they had been working closely with Council for the past three years under the existing strategy and were concerned the proposed strategy could undermine the good work undertaken to date.  They were appreciative of the proposed 3-5 year funding cycles in the proposed strategy, but considered the total amount of funding available ($700,000), was not a lot of money. They believed that if Council partially funded a number of projects, not all projects would be fully completed.  They acknowledged there were additional avenues that not-for-profit organisations could apply to, but that these funds were strongly contested.  They expressed further concern at the weight given to the 2016 survey and considered the survey was a missed opportunity to fully understand the value of what community groups accomplished.

 

Mrs Hay and Mrs Godfrey expressed further concern that there had been limited consultation about the proposal.    They asked members to delay recommending the funding review proposal until consultation with all the users had occurred and the full implications were investigated and understood.

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr A Sainsbury, on behalf of the  Citizens Advice Bureau, Lower Hutt (CAB) considered nothing was wrong with the existing contestable funding model, with room for improvement in the way it was used.  He expressed concern that the CABs of the City may not fit into the proposed strategy, and believed the new strategy was inequitable as the CAB leases a Council building.  He stated further concern with the lack of consultation and was unclear how the CAB could continue to provide an on-going service to the community, under the proposal.  He asked members to delay recommending the funding review until further consultation and consideration had occurred.

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking under public comment, Ms I Rangiwhetu, represenging the Petone Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) supported Mr Sainsbury’s comments.  She considered the CABs should be adequately funded under the proposed funding system, and maintained there was no information as to issues with the current system.  She acknowledged that ongoing secured funding allowed the CAB to operate.  She considered historical funding of CABs showed they were an important vehicle to provide services and should result in CABs being treated differently.  By way of information, Ms Rangiwhetu advised under New Zealand CAB’s policy all CABs must apply to separate entities for funding, which greatly reduced the options for applications.  She concluded CABs were vital and neutral.

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr K Buck, Co-ordinator CAB Petone, stated there was no evidence that the current funding model was not working, or that change would provide a better service.  He stated one positive outcome of the proposal was the certainty provided by the five year contracts.  He asked that there be further community involvement before Council made a final decision.

 

Speaking under public comment, Ms A Black representing Youth Inspire considered the proposal created a level playing field and could create collaboration between community groups.  She said that it would focus funding into areas that needed it the most and provided opportunities for new initiatives.  She added that the proposal would impact on Youth Inspire, and would bring the Council funding regime into line with other funding providers.  She believed the proposal was a targeted, focussed approach and outcome based.

The Community Projects and Relationship Manager elaborated on the report.  She explained the existing funding model had been reviewed to create a more strategic funding approach.  She highlighted the survey results indicated support for change, and acknowledged the concerns raised under public comment regarding the consultation process.

Ms K Frykberg, previous Chair of  Philanthropy NZ and now a member of the Sir Edmond Hillary Fellowship Board, said she had provided advice during the review.  She noted that improved transparency and an assurance that Council’s overarching vision was met, were ideal goals for a funding review.  She advised that demand for community funding would always exceed supply.

The General Manager, Community Services acknowledged the work the officers had undertaken to date. He said the purpose of the review was to find ways to compliment Council’s other spending within communities.

In reponse to further questions from members, the Community Projects and Relationship Manager explained the formation of positive working partnerships with community groups was essential to being able to provide ongoing support and monetary assistance.  She said that having time limit to funding helped to develop diversity and the ability of organisations to adapt to a changing environment.  She elaborated on the collaborative partnership model, explaining joint applications from groups offering similar or complementary initiatives would be welcomed.  She added that if Council approved the proposal, officers  would begin developing more detail, with a view to discussing this with affected groups within six months.  She assured members that any groups that may not fit within the new model, would be assisted to obtain other funding streams in the community.

The General Manager, Community Services advised that if the proposal was approved by Council, officers would hold regular discussions with affected groups to assist them in preparation for the 1 July 2018 commencement date, and in exploring innovative options for cost reductions.

Members noted that while there was no evidence the current model was not working the proposal may show a better way of allocating funding.  They acknowledged the good work the CABs undertook, and were assured by officers that this would be taken into account under a new system.

 

Members asked that officers to provide six monthly progress reports to the Committee.

Members considered the proposal would provide opportunities for new organisations to be heard; for innovation in the delivery of community services to be developed; for collaboration between organisations seeking funding; and for collaboration between funding agencies to be encouraged.  It was agreed that a time limit for funding should be imposed, and that Council should not be seen as the only source of funding.

 

 

RECOMMENDED:  (Cr Barratt/Cr Milne)                  Minute No. CSC 17203

“That the Committee recommends that Council:

(i)        approves the 2017/2022 Community Funding Strategy, attached as Appendix 2 to the report, effective from 1 July 2018;

(ii)       notes that changes to the existing funding arrangements will be made incrementally over 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20; and

(iii)      notes that the existing Community Funding Policy will be amended to ensure it aligns with aspirations and requirements of this proposed Community Funding Strategy.”

Cr Lulich abstained from voting on the above matter.

The meeting adjourned at 7.23pm and resumed at 7.30pm.

b)

Review of Community Committees (17/661)

Report No.CSC2017/2/108 by the Community Projects and Relationship Manager.

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr M Ellis expressed support for the Community Panel proposal as he believed the proposal would assist in better decision making.   He expressed concern that the three panel areas were inequitable, with the North-East being too large an area.  He explained this area had too many issues and facilities to be understood fully by one panel. 

 

In response to questions from members, Mr Ellis explained the panel members would need to ensure proper networks were established within its areas, especially through the sports clubs. 

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr T Heslin expressed support for the Community Panel proposal, as he believed it would provide communities with a way to complete projects within its areas.  He expressed concern at the large size of the North-East area, believing this area should be split into two separate panels.

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr F Allen, also speaking on behalf of Mr G McKenna, spoke of his opposition to the Community Panel proposal as he believed it undermined the current third tier of local government, and was contrary to the Local Government Act 2002.  He believed the current system worked well and that communities currently had representation through Wards and Community Committees.  He expressed concern at the small level of remuneration proposed for members of the Panels, and that previous delegations were removed. 

 

Speaking under public comment, Ms S LaFrentz and Ms D Mulligan expressed concern at the changes proposed.  Ms LaFrentz considered the previous community committees were valuable and important to residents, and enabled members to act as advocates.  She asked that four community committees be re-established. 

 

Ms Mulligan supported comments made by Ms LaFrentz.  She asked that Council maintain fairness and equality, stating democracy was important.  She expressed concern about the consultation undertaken to date.

 

 In response to questions from members, Ms LaFrentz and Ms Mulligan agreed the proposal may result in more funding being available for community projects, but that this was at the expense of equality and democracy. 

 

 

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr M Shierlaw expressed support for the  proposal.  He believed the re-allocation of salaries into the funding budget was a good idea, but was unclear why the previous delegations were removed. 

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr M Fisher believed the current proposal was an emasculation of the powers of communities and represented a loss of democratic rights to communities.  He acknowledged the idea of the community funding proposal was exciting, but not at the expense of the Panel’s delegations.  He considered that making the Panels too informal and could lead to them becoming “citizen lobby groups”. 

The General Manager, Community Services elaborated on the report.  He acknowledged the public comment and applauded the work the Community Committees had carried in the last triennium.  He explained the review was about finding a better way to obtain value out of rate payers’ dollars.  He said the concept was borne out of communities previously applying through the Annual Plan process and not being able to get funding.  He considered that representation would not be compromised. 

In response to further questions from members, the General Manager, Community Services advised that if the proposal was expanded to four Panels each Panel would receive approximately $120,000, reducing the amount of monies for the actual community fund.  He confirmed that the North-East Panel would cover the largest area, and could have a higher workload.  He added that the honorariums, administrative costs and amount of funding available would be the same as that for the other two Panels.  He said each Panel would have a certain amount of money to use at its discretion, but within a flexible set of criteria, with all projects receiving funding having to be aligned to Council priorities. 

MOVED: (Cr Barratt/Cr McDonald)

“That the Committee recommends that Council:

(i)      approves the establishment of three Community Panels; and

(ii)     notes the new Community Panel approach would be reviewed after
          12 months
.”

AMENDMENT MOVED: (Cr Bridson/Cr Sutton)

“(i)    approves the establishment of four Community Panels; and

(ii)     notes the new Community Panel approach would be reviewed after
          12 months
.”

The amendment was declared CARRIED on a show of hands.

MOVED:  (Cr Bridson/Cr McDonald)

“Approves the delegations be transferred from the previous Community           Commitees to the new Panels.”

The motion was declared LOST on a show of hands.  Cr Lulich abstained from voting on the matter.

The Chair agreed to investigate how the previous Community Committees would be recognised for their work in the last triennium.

 

 

recommended:    (Cr Barratt/Cr McDonald)       Minute No. CSC 17204

“That the Committee recommends that Council:

(i)    approves the establishment of four Community Panels; and

(ii)   notes the new Community Panel approach would be reviewed after
12 months
.

 

5.

Community Development Fund Recommended Allocations 2016/2017  (17/639)

Report No. CSC2017/2/125 by the Community Advisor Funding and Community Contracts

 

The Community Advisor Funding and Community Contracts elaborated on the report. 

In response to questions from members, the Community Advisor Funding and Community Contracts explained the allocation of funds criteria included the footprint of delivery of the applicant. She further explained that officers had regular discussions with other funding agencies to benefit all applicants and to ensure there was no “double dipping”.  She noted that unsuccessful applications were directed to other funding agencies.

 

Resolved:    (Cr Barratt/Cr Lulich)                                     Minute No. CSC 17205

“That the Committee agrees to the recommended allocations for the Community Development Fund 2016/2017, attached as Appendix 1 to the report.”

 

6.

General Manager's Report (17/512)

Report No. CSC2017/2/127 by the General Manager Community Services

 

The General Manager Community Services elaborated on the report.

In response to questions from members, the General Manager, Community Services agreed to provide six monthly updates on the funding issues for the Panels.  He agreed that actual measurement of all activities against the objectives was difficult for some workstreams.  He noted that other agencies may hold data that could be helpful to measure success of some Council initiatives. 

Members noted that in areas where hubs had not been developed, the communities were seeing the value of the investment and benefits in those areas.  It was agreed measurement of the results of expenditure was crucial to justify the monies spent, and that reporting back to the communities was vital.

The Chair expressed the Committee’s appreciation of the value of the work by the Community Services Division, particularly in the Youth area.

 

Resolved:     (Cr Barratt/Cr Lulich)                                    Minute No. CSC 17206

“That the Committee notes the updates contained in the report.”

 7.      Information Item

 

Community Services Committee Work Programme (17/630)

Report No. CSC2017/2/71 by the Senior Committee Advisor

 

Resolved:   (Cr Barratt/Cr Bridson)                          Minute No. CSC 17207

“That the work programme be received.”

8.       QUESTIONS   

There were no questions.

9.       EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC

Resolved:   (Cr Barratt/Cr Sutton)                                        Minute No. CSC 17208

“That the public be excluded from the following parts of the proceedings of this meeting, namely:

10.     Arts and Culture Subcommittee recommendations - 11 April 2017 - Community Representation on Arts and Culture Subcommittee (17/665)

The general subject of each matter to be considered while the public is excluded, the reason for passing this resolution in relation to each matter, and the specific grounds under section 48(1) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 for the passing of this resolution are as follows:

 

(A)

(B)

(C)

 

 

 

General subject of the matter to be considered.

Reason for passing this resolution in relation to each matter.

Ground under section 48(1) for the passing of this resolution.

 

 

 

Arts and Culture Subcommittee recommendations - 11 April 2017 - Community Representation on Arts and Culture Subcommittee.

The withholding of the information is necessary to protect the privacy of natural persons. (s7(2)(a)).

That the public conduct of the relevant part of the proceedings of the meeting would be likely to result in the disclosure of information for which good reason for withholding exist.

 

This resolution is made in reliance on section 48(1) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 and the particular interest or interests protected by section 6 or 7 of that Act which would be prejudiced by the holding of the whole or the relevant part of the proceedings of the meeting in public are as specified in Column (B) above.”

 

 

The Communications and Marketing Advisor closed the meeting with a Karakia.

 

 

There being no further business the Chair declared the meeting closed at 8.20 pm and the non public portion of the meeting finished at 8.28 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cr G Barratt

CHAIR

 

 

 

 

 

CONFIRMED as a true and correct record

Dated this 23rd day of May 2017