Agenda and minutes

Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 22nd January, 2024 10.00 am

Venue: Bridges Room - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Kate Lowes, Tel: 0191 433 4244, Email: 

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 127 KB

The Committee is asked to approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 27th November 2023.


The minutes of the meeting held on 27th November 2023 were approved as an accurate record.


Final Report on Review of Leisure pdf icon PDF 243 KB

Report of the Director of Public Health





The Committee received a report explaining why Cabinet took a decision to close two leisure facilities in July 2023.


The final report was sent to the Committee for comment, and it was agreed recommendation 9 will be kept under review.



(i)            The Committee considered the information provided in the report.

(ii)          The Committee agreed on the final report.


Implementation of the Council's Fuel Poverty Action Plan pdf icon PDF 263 KB

Report of Strategic Director Housing, Environment and Healthy Communities


The Committee received a report to be updated on fuel poverty and the implementation of the fuel poverty action plan.


The National Energy Action (NEA) estimate there are currently 6.5 million households in poverty, unable to afford to heat their homes to the temperature needed to keep warm and healthy. This figure of 6.5 million significantly exceeds their previous prediction, which in October 2021 was 4.5 million.


The government uses the Low-Income Low Energy Efficiency definition to consider if a household to be fuel poverty. This means three important elements are used to determine if a household is fuel poor: household income, household energy requirements and fuel.


The fuel gap is used to provide additional income to bring a household to the point of not being fuel poor.


The most recent data available is from 2019 however, we estimate this will be much larger in 2024. The data tells us living in urban areas are most likely to be in fuel poverty whilst rural households have the largest poverty gap.


It is estimated that Gateshead has in excess of 12,000 fuel poor households, this is a conservative estimate and one we believe will continue to rise year on year. In response to this Gateshead Council created a Health and Wellbeing Implementation Plan within which there is a commitment to “develop local support and food networks to reduce food and fuel poverty.”


Gateshead Council have developed a fuel poverty action plan which has been supported from Council reserves. The priorities in the action plan and next steps are;


·         Information gathering and sharing.


  • Continue to develop our advice, information, and guidance around fuel poverty, increase our distribution network and signposting tools.


  • Create a Gateshead Fuel Poverty Forum to bring cross sector partners together to ensure we have a full understanding of all the work, opportunities, and challenges around fuel poverty in Gateshead and can respond in a targeted way.


·         Signals and targeting of groups most at risk.


  • We will continue to work with partners to maintain a programme of energy road shows.


  • We will continue to develop the tools available to support our Warm Space hosts to signpost and make good referrals.



·         Improving energy efficiency.


·         Income maximisation and reducing fuel costs.


  • Continue to fund advice, information, and guidance for Gateshead residents.


  • Seek to create a small grant programme to continually develop our Warm Space Network.


·         Ensuring adequate fuel/energy advice and support is readily accessible to residents.


  • Continue to develop and improve the on-line advice, information, and guidance resources on the Council’s website.


  • Continue to inform residents and provide signposting information through various communication channels.


·         Campaigning for policy change.


  • Recruitment of Service Manager for the Communities and Volunteering Team. We anticipate the eventual post-holder will play a critical role in the further development of policy and supporting senior officers to lobby effectively.


  • Develop a media campaign and communication strategy to identify and promote campaigning priorities.


The Committee discussed in detail how their residents can gain advice and information for their energy bills. The  ...  view the full minutes text for item CR23


Review of Community Wealth Building - Six Monthly Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Report of the Strategic Director Corporate Services and Governance


The Committee received a report to provide a summary update on action taken to implement the recommendations of the review on the Community Wealth Building.


In 2022 the Corporate Resources and Overview Committee agreed the scope for the Community Wealth Building review was focused on;


·         Making community wealth building central to Gateshead strategic direction through its strategy.

·         E-learning modules to be developed on community wealth building which are available via the intranet for all staff across the Council.

·         Review spend analysis of the top 100 suppliers to identify where contracts could be delivered locally, addressing gaps in the local supply chain and those opportunities offered to local suppliers.

·         Explore the development of social enterprises through the work of Economic Development.

·         Improve SME’s access to contract opportunities through improving our internet pages and having a greater presence on social media.

·         Supporting the development of a more inclusive economy by working with other organisations to embed community wealth building through the Community Practice meetings and discussions at Anchor institute meetings.


After a number of evidence gathering sessions the final report on 17th April 2023 identified 10 recommendations, those being;


·         Recommendation 1 – continue to drive community wealth building through commissioning and procurement, recruitment, and economic development activity.


·         Recommendation 2 – procurement documentation and communications should be reviewed to ensure that there are no barriers for local SME’s (where this is possible).


·         Recommendation 3 – undertake further investigation as to why local organisations do not engage with tender processes.


·         Recommendation 3(a) – further networking activity for local suppliers and CVS’s should be explored by Economic Development.


·         Recommendation 4 – ensure that all officers engaged in commissioning and procurement activity across the Council undertake the e-learning community wealth building module.


·         Recommendation 5 – continue with the engagement with anchor organisations to explore joint working on the following:

o   Commissioning and procurement activity

o   Recruitment drives and skills development

o   Reviewing of land and property assets held by anchor organisations in Gateshead to see if they could be re-purposed

o   Develop a carbon reduction/energy transition approach with anchor organisations

o   To undertake workforce analysis, identification of gaps with parts/cohorts of citizens more distant from the labour market –


·         Recommendation 6 – further develop the social value work through the newly appointed Social Value co-ordinator role and by working with the VCSE sector, schools, voluntary groups, and internal colleagues to maximise social value benefits through future procurement opportunities. Look to develop ‘Our Gateshead’ web page to include social value ‘asks’, this would allow VCSE’s, schools and voluntary groups, to submit social value requests and tenderers to see what those requests are and commit to deliver them during their contract period.


·         Recommendation 7 – Continue to develop and grow the generative economy working with local organisation to ensure they are fit to compete to maximise their success in future tender and quotation opportunities through pre- procurement market engagement sessions and by encouraging suppliers to attend the NEPO Business Club events.


·         Recommendation 8 – support the  ...  view the full minutes text for item CR24


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 127 KB

Report of the Chief Executive and the Strategic Director Corporate Services and Governance


The Committee reviewed the work programme and noted the following changes;


A report on Regent Funeral Services will be brought to a future meeting of the Corporate Resources OSC.




(i)            The Committee noted the proposed amended programme.

(ii)          The Committee noted the work will be brought to the Committee to identify any additional policy issues, which the Committee may be asked to consider.