09/2021 – Community Funds: Supporting local response and recovery to Covid-19

The Commissioner has decided to award £30,810.00 from existing community funds underspend to support local initiatives which enhance the Covid-19 response and recovery work delivered by Local Authorities, increasing community safety across the communities of North Yorkshire.

DN 09/2021      Date 15/03/2021

Background

Ahead of the funding announcement in October 2020, for policing and Local Authorities (LA) response to the Covid-19 crisis, the Commissioner met each of the nine LA Chief Executives across York and North Yorkshire over a two-month period to discuss local needs and explore any additional support requirements.

Work continues with all LAs and this decision record sets out those LAs who have made a specific request for support funding from the Commissioner following on from the exploratory meetings.  To date, three Local Authorities have put forward proposals as to how the additional funds would further support their local Covid-19 response and recovery delivery plans.  Each of the proposals have considered how resourcing and initiatives will be flexible and agile in their development to ensure the pandemic response and/or recovery work is delivered where it is needed according to the local issues.

The £60 million Government funding released in autumn 2020, was split equally to police and LAs for Covid-19 compliance and enforcement activities.  The £30 million allocated to all district and unitary authorities provided LAs the opportunity to enhance their COVID-19 related response and recovery activities.  The allocation of funds varied across York and North Yorkshire and for many LAs they felt this provided sufficient opportunity to deliver or enhance their local Covid-19 compliance and enforcement plans.  Several LAs have Covid-19 specific resources and initiatives in place which adapt to the changing needs of the local area and for some, there was evidence that resources needed to be increased to effectively engage, explain, encourage and enforce the Covid-19 rules and regulations.

The three LAs who actively pursued the Commissioner’s offer of support and provided detailed proposals were Ryedale District Council, Scarborough Borough Council and Harrogate Borough Council and their funding requests are set out below:

  Name of project Name of Local Authority Funding Amount
1 Covid-19 Ambassador Role Ryedale District Council £ 8,310.00
2 Covid-19 Marshalling Scheme Scarborough Borough Council £15,000.00
3 Mobile Covid-19 Communications Harrogate Borough Council £ 7,500.00
TOTAL £30,810.00

Ryedale District Council requested a contribution from the Commissioner to support the newly developed Covid Ambassador role supplementing the award from the Government Covid-19 grant to meet the salary for one FTE required for this post to be in place for one year.  The purpose of the Covid Ambassador role is to provide a visible presence in Ryedale offering help and guidance to ensure businesses and the public are complying with coronavirus legislation and taking other practical measures to help reduce the transmission of the disease.

Scarborough Borough Council requested a contribution from the Commissioner to support the already established Covid-19 Marshalling scheme which plays a pivotal role in relation to compliance of the Covid-19 rules and regulations at key times and in high footfall areas across Scarborough, Whitby and Filey.

Harrogate Borough Council requested a contribution from the Commissioner to enhance the local communications across the district including to reach those more rural areas.  The proposal for support funding delivers a programme of targeted mobile communications across the local area to reach out to communities, ensuring guidance is promoted about how to keep safe and comply with regulations.

The Commissioner continues to work with all LAs on the local Covid-19 response and recovery activity and discussions have taken place to understand if there would be scope to develop a countywide Covid-19 Ambassador role.  By having countywide Covid-19 Ambassador resource(s) in place, similar to the role developed by Ryedale District Council, this would allow flexible deployment across the county based on need.  This concept requires further engagement with LAs and specifically North Yorkshire County Council and will be assessed in the next phase of the Covid-19 response and recovery work.

The Commissioner presented her findings from her exploratory meetings with each LA and her intentions to fund the proposals received at the end of 2020, to the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Panel on 14th January 2021.

All three proposals as set out in this Decision Record are for grant funding and will be subject to ongoing monitoring arrangements by the Office of the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner.  All successful proposals are required to evidence how the money has been expended, and the Commissioner may request to visit one or more of the initiatives supported by the Community Funds grant.

Decision Record

The Commissioner has decided to support the requests received to date by those Local Authorities who have requested additional funds to support local initiatives which enhance the Covid-19 response and recovery work delivering community safety across the communities of North Yorkshire.  The Commissioner has approved the use of £30,810.00 from resources available from  PFCC community funds, to support these locally delivered initiatives.

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Julia Mulligan

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire

Statutory Officer Advice

Legal, Management and Equality Implications

The Commissioner’s Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer, having read this report and having considered such information as has been provided at the time of being asked to express this view, is satisfied that this report does not ask the Commissioner to make a decision which would (or would be likely to) give rise to a contravention of the law.

Financial and Commercial

The Commissioner’s Chief Finance Officer and S151 Officer has advised that there is sufficient community funds available within the underspend to support the local initiatives set out within this decision record to enhance the Covid-19 response and recovery work and therefore the funding to support all of these projects is affordable.

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