Making Fife Fairer
The ‘Fairness Matters’ report identified a number of areas that would help create a fairer Fife.
Inspiring and effective leaders on improving fairness over the next 15 years
Eradicating deep and persistent poverty for individuals and families
- Fair work
Championing work as a route out of poverty and to progression and advancement
Tackling the cost of living crisis to ensure everyone has suffi cient resources for a decent and fulfilling life
Driving the universal availability and access to the opportunities and benefi ts offered by digital technology
Engaging and offering local control as the key to improving local public services and delivering better outcomes for citizens
Protecting and promoting the life chances of young people to escape a generational poverty cycle
Strengthening the understanding of what works in reducing health inequalities and scaling up and sustaining proven activities
Getting Fife online
Fife Partnership will extend the availability of free, public Wi-Fi across community and public buildings throughout Fife.
Fife Partnership will extend digital champion and volunteer approaches, building on successful models already developed in Fife, to support many more people to help their friends and family develop basic digital skills.
- Digital Participation Strategy Group terms of reference updated to focus on Fairer Fife recommendations; membership refreshed.
- Baseline information gathered on current open public wifi spots.
- Information about to be published on Fife Direct in an easy reference (map) view.
- BTS are developing a tender for sites where there is no existing Council connectivity
- Volunteer training programme developed (need clarification on future funding for Co-ordinator to enable roll out).
- Proposals for a Digital Panel drafted to sense check and ensure that developments help reach and benefit those currently digitally excluded
- Meetings with key individuals to ensure synergy with Integrated Community Assets programme and Customer Services Strategy.
Fife Partnership will develop plans in collaboration with Housing Associations for non-commercial tariff for digital broadband to be made available to all social housing tenants.
- Works programme received from Virgin Media; the programme of installation is slightly behind schedule and will take longer than anticipated.
- This numbers with the infrastructure being delivered will increase after the second phase in October 2017. At present virgin media are intimating that we may have higher numbers than anticipated already with access to broadband or some service.
- Offer the BT basic package to new tenants and Housing Services are working to gather data on tenants across housing providers who have access to broadband.
- The rollout to social housing will not formally see progress until the later part of the year, we are awaiting programme from Virgin Media.
Fife Partnership will establish an apprenticeship for every £1 million of public expenditure. This will be augmented by the development of an apprenticeship scheme for public bodies to sponsor apprenticeships in SMEs.
- An initial scope has been considered by the council’s Economy board.
- Further work taking place to refine the approach and identify resource implications – agreed approach with Corporate Procurement and resourcing/business plan being finalised.
- Approach being trialled in selected current tenders
Identify local area to consider Living Wage
- Report to Fife Partnership Board
- Project team being established
- Survey to businesses being completed for issue via Business Gateway Fife.
Fife Partnership should rebalance its employability programmes to primarily focus on those with physical or mental health challenges and those requiring basic adult-learning support.
Fife Partnership will develop a clear focus on health and employment, to increase employability capacity and sustain employment for people with health problems.
To date, group have identified and undertaken key actions, including mapping of Disability Specific Employment provision, Disability Confident open days, producing information for employers in Fife as a means to reduce duplication and create seamless transitions.
Fife Partnership should rapidly develop social approaches and parent-led childcare in communities, with highest concentrations of low-income families based on need rather than the ability to pay-market rates, and designed to support parents attend learning and training and jobs.
- Steering Group established
- Initial discussions have taken place regarding some options for test sites
- A group of parents are waiting in the wings to support the consultation and research stage
- External meetings with specialist has taken place.
- Visit to OPFS project in Aberdeen organised for end April.
- Researchers contacted and plans and methodologies to be agreed.
- Draft process map produced for steering group on 21 April.
- Fife Council Big Lottery bid to the Improving Futures fund by July 2017.
Fife Partnership will further develop a localised approach to employability including devolution of the delivery of the Work Programme to Fife.
Growing our capacity to make a difference
The Third Sector Strategy Group in Fife will develop an agreed strategic approach to the community and voluntary sector’s role in tackling inequality and promoting fairness.
- Completed first draft of TSSG’s Framework for a Fairer Fife
- Secured funding from Fife Council towards TSSG’s work to plan & deliver:
- Third Sector conference for a Fairer Fife on 29 March 2017
- Next phase of strategic development work to November 2017
- Initiated recruitment of a worker to support the development of the third sector’s strategy towards Fairness in Fife
- Appoint development worker to support/strengthen TSSG’s work in 2017.
- Complete preparation and delivery of a successful conference on 29 March
- Prepare and circulate conference report
- Review priorities and goals in the light of the conference with newly appointed development worker in post.
Fife Partnership will implement poverty-training for front line staff in partner organisations
- Training has been awarded to a consortium led by the Poverty Alliance and also involving CPAG in Scotland and One Parent Families Scotland.
- A training programme has been produced covering the timescale March –June 2017 and training is underway.
- Managers across all partner agencies are asked to support and encourage staff to attend relevant training and to undertake the elearning course.
- Lack of uptake from Education and Children’s Services despite relevant course content and tailoring of sessions to fit with working hours
- Promotion of elearning throughout partnership
To promote the benefits-to-all of volunteering, the opportunities for doing so and to significantly increase the number of people who volunteer in Fife.
- ‘My Story’ campaign is being finalised; bringing together testimonials about volunteers’ experiences, and encouraging people to get involved. It also looks at unintended benefits, dispelling myths and celebrates volunteers as being the ‘golden threads’ that underpin our communities (to quote Cabinet Secretary Angela Constance MSP). Campaign due to be launched at the start of June.
- Working closely with the Community Investment Team at Fife Council on how to benchmark current levels of participation. Forms for recurring and non-recurring grants forms now include a question specifically relating to the number of volunteers (including trustees) with the organisation making the grant application(s). This will allow Fife Council and FVA to start to build a picture of how many volunteers are in the sector. This piece of work will also be highlighted as a good practice example by the Scottish Volunteering Forum which consists of a group of organisations passionate about increasing volunteering participation in Scotland.
- Steering group established
- Tracking system agreed
Fife Partnership will establish a Knowledge Hub to become a centre of excellence in translating data on fairness in Fife into practical action.
- 0.5 WTE Co-ordinator recruited and commenced employment in September. Steering group formed with initial work plan set out at first meeting. Promotional material produced.
- Work ongoing producing the report summarising the key findings from the stakeholder interviews for the March steering group. Using learning from stakeholder interviews a website was discussed with the Design & Marketing Team and is now in development.
- Agree actions required from findings reported from interviews
- Ongoing development of the hub website
- Forming Researchers’ Alliance
- Developing the hub network
Fife Partnership will invest in a strong local pilot for devolution by identifying a local area to receive significant public expenditure to be devolved to locality level and use participatory budgeting to guide spending.
- ‘Oor Bit Places and Spaces’ completed and evaluated with reports presented to Cowdenbeath Area Committee (CAC) and FPEG. Further evaluation undertaken with Democratic Scotland, awaiting findings.
- Draft communications strategy in place for the next Cowdenbeath Area PB exercise and Fife-wide communications strategy requested.
- Suggestion from CAC Chair that FC consider utilising 1% of the Capital Budget in PB exercises.
- The Forward West Fife participatory budgeting project received £30k from Scottish Government Community Choices Fund, matched by the South West Fife Area Committee = total £60,000.
- Steering group in place and criteria set, drawn from CRT Longannet Area Initative Report on headline priorities: heritage and tourism, access to services and local economy.
- 23 applications, seeking over £140,000 in total. 20 met criteria.
- Community Gathering Decision Day event on 4th March at Tulliallan Castle. Almost 60 people representing 19 projects from the target communities of Kincardine, Saline & Steelend, Culross, Low Valleyfield, High Valleyfield, Newmills & Torryburn.
- Projects pitched using ‘speed-dating’ exercise, with discussion and agreement as a group on how to distribute votes across projects.
- 11 winning projects - funding support and advice provided to unsuccessful projects.
- Progress to be reported back through the Area Committee in November 2017.
- Establish Fife-wide PB Comms Strategy
- Secure funding for Fife-wide PB exercises in 2017-18
- Get buy-in across Fife Partnership
- Establish strong Fife PB brand
- Needs Senior Officer support/Champion
Supporting people on Benefits and on lowest income
Fife Partnership will strengthen the partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions to rapidly improve function of welfare system in Fife, critically to include greater trust between job seekers and job centres.
- DWP now on Fife Partnership Board and represented on partnership groups at strategic and local levels
Fife Partnership will explore if a town in Fife can be selected to test and evaluate a highly innovative ‘Basic Income’ pilot, learning from leading practice around the world.
- Several exploratory events
- Discussions on grant from Carnegie UK Trust to research and develop pilot activity
Fife Partnership should implement a harm reduction policy for benefits sanctions, ensuring people have the information and support needed to avoid sanctions, challenge sanctions decisions and apply DWP Hardship Payments if they are sanctioned.
- Development of a shared ‘Keeping Your Benefits Guide’ with DWP and CARF. First in the UK used in DWP Job Centres
- 25,000 copies in circulation
- Evaluation on its use underway
- Related – proactive work in supporting families affected by the new lower Benefit Cap
- Effective communications strategy on informing front line staff and directing claimants, those receiving sanctions and general those on lowest incomes gain an understanding of and know how to access hardship funds
Fife Partnership is inspired by the Glasgow Cost of School Day project and will invest in a local programme to reduce financial barriers affecting participation and experience at school for children from low income households.
- Fife wide survey of schools with regard to additional school costs
- Focus qualitative research in some schools to explore impact of additional costs on families and children
- Recommendations made to the Education, Children, Young People and Families Policy Advisory Group on next steps
Fife Partnership will consider the establishment of a social enterprise lending organisation (Community Developed Finance Initiative) to offer borrowing and money advice to low income, high-risk groups who would otherwise use higher cost alternatives.
- Consortium arrangements established
- Preferred supply identified – 5 Lamps
- All three local authorities with permission and funding to proceed
- £100,000 grant awarded by UK Money Advice Service
- Inception meetings with provider
- ‘Shops’ chosen and staff employed
- Embedding with local advice and support agencies
- Go live online and telephone June 2017
- Go live shops July 2017
Fife Partnership will design advice and support services for those living on low incomes for maximum usage by being based in places and services that people already use.
- NHS Fife managers actively considering next steps to establish advice and support services in health settings
- Re-check lead arrangements
Affordability in Housing
Fife Partnership will pilot a ‘Living Rent’ programme in partnership with the Scottish Government, where average rent-setting is linked more closely to local median wages.
- Housing Services in line with Fife Housing Partnership are looking at not just the living rent but at “real” household costs. This work is ongoing.
To set an ambition to eliminate fuel poverty in Fife through the provision of energy efficient homes and options for affordable warmth’
- Diary of events to raise awareness and promote assistance with Fuel Poverty.
- Planned advertising campaign on council vans, promoting services that can assist with fuel poverty.
- Awareness raising sessions have been delivered to Council/partner teams and we are promoting Cosy Kingdom to encourage as many people as possible to take up the offer of a visit by an energy advisor. All households who make contact will receive an assessment of need and advice/assistance in relation to fuel poverty.
- We are encouraging people to “switch” supplier and are promoting switching as a means of ensuring the best deal.
- Headroom in the budget to accelerate EESSH - advise on progress after setting budget and finalising business plan
Communicating our progress
Fife Partnership will report in a regular, accessible, and timely fashion on progress towards a Fairer Fife.
- Strong Fairer Fife web site being established
Pledge approach being rolled out
- Sharing of success (ad-hoc) through social media and mainstream channels
- Greater profile for the Fairer Fife Action Plan and progress against it
New ways of working
- Four workshops held with Fairer Fife Leads Group.
- Created a narrative for our common goals.
- Undertook a process to risk ensure our actions against potential setbacks.
- Conducted three action learning sessions.
- Continue monthly action learning sessions for Fairer Fife Leads.