Agenda and minutes

Children & Families Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 18th December, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 2, Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Charles Yankiah  (0161 474 3206)

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 136 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 30 October 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes (copies of which had been circulated) of the meeting held on 30 October 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Councillors and officers to declare any interests which they have in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillors and officers were invited to declare any interests they had in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.

 

No declarations of interest were made.

3.

Call-In

To consider call-in items (if any).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no call-in items to consider.

4.

Safeguarding Children's Annual Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To consider a report of the Stockport Safeguarding Children Board.

 

This report sets out information about the work of Stockport Safeguarding Children Board (SSCB), how the SSCB has conducted its business during 2018-19, what has been achieved, and the SSAB’s relationship with other partnerships.

 

The Board is invited to comment on the report.

 

Officer contact: Nuala O’Rourke, 0161 474 5659, nuala.orourke@stockport.gov.uk

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair of the Children’s Safeguarding Partnership attended the meeting and submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) outlining the work of Stockport Safeguarding Children Board (SSCB) and how it conducted its business during 2018-19, what had been achieved and the SSCB’s relationship with other partnerships.

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:-

 

·       Clarification was sought in relation to one of the four priorities in the Strategic Plan and the progress to date on whether children who had witnessed domestic violence was included in the progress update. In response it was commented that the progress update did include the children who had witnessed domestic violence and that funding had been received from the Home Office for children affected by domestic abuse to support projects, toolkits, schools, training and to raise awareness among the champions and workers throughout the organisation.

·       Clarification was sought on what was being put in place to address the health trends identified on page 23 of the report. In response it was commented that it had been referred to Public Health who had been asked to put together a plan relating to “movement” for children.

·       Clarification was sought on what was being done with looked after children transitioning to adult services in relation to the areas of weakness identified in the Ofsted Inspections in the SEND provisions. In response it was commented that a written statement of action was received and work was underway to address the issues raised with the SEND Improvement Board, with SEND Social Workers and Transition Social Workers and regular reviews were taking place with the Department of Education. The overall strategy was also being looked at with partners and an overarching action plan has been produced.

·       Concern was expressed that the area that was below the national average was hospital admissions for asthma for under 19 and whether any consideration had been given to where the young people were from and whether this correlated with those areas that had poor air quality e.g. A6, A34. In response it was commented that the data was included to get a feeling of what the children were experiencing in Stockport, but further information would be requested from Public Health to see if there was any correlation between the hospital admissions and where people live.

·       Councillors welcomed the work being undertaken with young people relating to the transition of leaving the children mental health services to go in with the adults and the need for a more age appropriate place for young teenagers to go and receive their therapy.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

5.

Medium Term Financial Planning - Budget Choices 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 339 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Resources, Commissioning & Governance.

 

Earlier this year, in September, the Cabinet presented a series of proposals in response to the summer review of the Medium Term Financial Plan undertaken earlier this year. The review highlighted the continued uncertainty, complexity and volatility facing local government funding - presenting significant challenges for local citizens and their local public services. The Cabinet’s proposals were developed in line with the medium term strategy (fig.1) which was introduced in 2018[1] to frame the choices the Council will make about its budget, both next year and in future years.

 

Since this report there have been further developments nationally, such as the 2019 spending review which will inform the local government finance settlement expected to be announced in December

 

The Cabinet remain committed to engaging widely on proposals and this report includes an update on those draft proposals that fall within this Committee’s remit. Since they were originally presented to this Committee for discussion and comment, further development on proposals have been undertaken. The updated proposals presented as part of this report also now reflect further engagement, or where appropriate consultation, with partners, citizens and relevant groups. These proposals are being presented to Scrutiny for further comment before being considered by the Cabinet on 6th January 2020 for inclusion within the Budget.

 

The Cabinet are keen to seek views from Scrutiny on these plans ahead of decision making in January 2020.  In order to enable broad engagement on Cabinet’s plans, Scrutiny Committees are receiving this report and suite of appendices relevant to their remit.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is invited to comment on the proposals and consultation results presented within the report relevant to the remit of this committee.

 

Officer contact: Holly Rae on 0161 474 3014 or email: holly.rae@stockport.gov.uk

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Children, Family Services & Education (Councillor Colin Foster) attended the meeting and submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) detailing a series of proposals in response to the summer review of the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) undertaken earlier this year. The updated proposals reflected further engagement, or where appropriate consultation, with partners, citizens and relevant groups.

 

The following comments were made/ issues raised:-

 

Manage demand on Adult Social Care and Children and Young People Social Care

 

The following issues were raised in relation to the proposals:-

 

·       Clarification was sought on the impact on Looked After Children In relation to reducing demand and being able to access care. In response it was commented that to address the issues of demand Stockport Family had been working on early interventions and have been using the Multi-Agency Safeguarding and Support Hub (MASSH) with early referrals and the involvement from the schools. It was also commented that the number of children looked after in Stockport was the lowest in the North West and lower than the national average and it was mainly due to the approach that Stockport took to nurture and support children, which could not be replicated in public care. The reduction referred to a contingency that was specifically set aside to manage future demand growth.

·       It was commented that in relation to the increase in the number of Looked After Children at Stockport there was a trend year on year that affected the number that the Council had no control over and it seemed a risk to want to reduce the numbers without affecting the children themselves. In response it was commented that the local trend had been upwards in line with the national trend, however, a number of changes had been put in place the last five years relating to core practices at no cost to the Council, e.g. changes to the legislation and timescales for the court process.

·       Clarification was sought on the how the data was presented and the inclusion of special guardianship. In response it was commented that there had been an increase in the special guardianship numbers being increased but those figures had not been included in the figures in the report. It was also commented that with regard to those children who had been placed in their parents’ home, this was mainly due to court orders which were at no cost to the Council.

·       Clarification was sought on the reference groups relating to the “sufficiency and capacity” that had been suspended due to the need for data in the review of the dedicated schools grant. In response it was commented that it related to data scientists that had been employed by the Corporate & Support Services area, to look at further data, trends and forecasts over a 5-10 year plan for the general pupil population for the percentage of pupils that would require SEND needs and would provide information relating to capacity and to developing a more long term strategy.

·       Clarification was also sought in relation to the current pupil referral unit and what it meant in practical terms to “ensure that it complimented the new inclusion agenda”. In response it was commented that the pupils are taken from mainstream education and the provisions that meet the needs of the pupils whether it is in school or off-site. It was also commented that the references to the pupil referral unit and the dedicated schools grant (DSG) should imply that it is a genuine overall, detailed comprehensive review of all the spend of the DSG that looked at the impact and improvement of children’s outcomes and a refresh of the Inclusion Strategy for Stockport.

 

Getting More Out of Our Spending

 

The following issues were raised in relation to the proposals:-

 

·       Clarification was sought In relation to the saving of £0.175m which was identified through Council Tax discounts. In response it was commented  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Agenda Planning pdf icon PDF 127 KB

To consider a report of the Deputy Chief Executive.

 

The report sets out planned agenda items for the Scrutiny Committee’s next meeting and Forward Plan items that fall within the remit of the Scrutiny Committee.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is invited to consider the information in the report and put forward any agenda items for future meetings of the Committee.

           

Officer contact: Charles Yankiah, 0161 474 3206, charles.yankiah@stockport.gov.uk

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Deputy Chief Executive submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) setting out planned agenda items for the next meeting and relevant entries in the Forward Plan.

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:

 

·       Clarification was sought relating to the scrutiny reviews that had been previously discussed by the Committee and if there had been any progress to date. In response it was commented that it would be looked into and an update would be provided to the next meeting of the Committee.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.