Agenda item

UPDATE ON FUTURE GRENFELL SUPPORT CONSULTATION (2024-2028)

Report to follow.

 

Minutes:

Callum Wilson, the Strategic Director of Grenfell Partnerships and Corporate Transformation and Councillor Sarah Addenbrooke. Lead Member for Communities and Community Safety, updated the Committee.

 

The report provided an overview of the consultation and the timescales for the next phase. Mr Wilson expressed his thanks to the local community for attending the consultations and providing feedback.

 

The consultation posed challenges when dealing with circa 800 people closely affected by the Grenfell tragedy whose needs, experiences and expectations differed.

 

The Committee heard that restorative justice had been helpful as had conversations relating to prioritisation. The consultation looked not only at what did and did not work, but also examined whether programmes that did work would be appropriate in the future. 

 

Mr Wilson took the committee through the remaining process in relation to the existing consultation. The finalised report will go to the Leadership Team before it is presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 17 July 2024.

 

In response to questioning from the Committee, Mr Wilson confirmed that the External Scrutiny Team (EST) had started their consultation though most of the work would not be undertaken until the model of future services was established. It was envisioned that the future scrutiny programme would see greater control given to residents.

 

Future funding of organisations that had previously received Grenfell related funding was discussed with Mr Wilson disclosing that most of the funding was spent on the voluntary sector. The next phase may see less expenditure on voluntary organisations following community consultation which appeared to favour other priorities; though Mr Wilson cautioned that the consultation had not concluded. Voluntary organisations had already been informed that they may not secure replacement funding. 

 

In response to questioning from the Committee, Mr Wilson said that attendees at the consultation suggested funding for new approaches such as alternative therapies, drama/arts, additional support for children, additional support for adults and respite provision enabling community members to spend time outside the area. However, there was no consensus though the community wanted more control which had been factored in. Mr Wilson said that this did not preclude the involvement of voluntary organisations but that the model would be different. 

 

During the consultation residents had highlighted housing and health issues as a priority. However, the Committee questioned whether the allocated budget on Grenfell should be used on housing and health as these were statutory requirements of the Council already. The Committee also noted the proposal to fund advocacy, though the Council already provided funding to the Citizens Advice Bureau for this purpose.

 

The Committee recalled that the NHS was also carrying out a review of its Grenfell related support and, in response, Mr Wilson said that they were seeking to co-ordinate with the NHS. To facilitate this, the NHS sent officers to observe the consultations held by the Council to learn from, and avoid duplication of, the Council’s approach. The Committee requested that the NHS be invited to provide a report on their future plans for Grenfell related support and for representatives to attend.

 

Action: Scrutiny Manager

 

Discussion moved to the lessons that had been learned and how the process would be applied again when it comes to consultations. Mr Wilson emphasised that high levels of outreach were important most notably door knocking highlighted that since the publication of the report on 3rd May 2024, 100 additional responses had been received following a door knocking exercise.

 

The length of consultation was important with Mr Wilson, by way of an example, drawing a distinction between a ten-minute conversation on the doorstep and a two-hour workshop; both approaches have merits, and it was important to determining which was appropriate. Consultation approaches taken by other organisations and Councils had also been examined and, where appropriate, incorporated.

 

Councillor Dr Mona Ahmed, as representative of Notting Dale Ward and at the invitation of the Chair, commented on the report emphasising that development of new models needed to empower residents with knowledge; especially if these models gave residents control of personal grants and overseeing budgets.

The Committee asked for the Leadership Team report to be circulated for comment. The Committee also said it wanted to hear more in the future about what had been applied and where.

Action by: Strategic Director of Grenfell Partnerships

 

The Chair concluded the discussion.

 

Supporting documents: