To receive a report from the Leader of the Council and other members of the Cabinet on the conduct of Cabinet business since the last Council Meeting.
The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Policy, Finance and Devolution (Councillor Alex Ganotis) reported that in September Ofsted and the CQC conducted a joint inspection of SEND provision across Stockport. It was stated that there were a number of positives in that report that the Council can be proud of with particular regard to the dedication of staff; the quality of school provision for children with SEND; and the provision for children with the most complex needs. However, there was a lot in the report that needed to be addressed including how the whole system within the Council and outside worked together and focused in the importance of SEND and joint commissioning between the Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group.
It was further reported that since the last Council Meeting the Chancellor had announced a one-off increased resource for councils for social care funding which had resulted in an increased allocation for Stockport of £2.1 million pounds for the next financial year for social services.
Councillor Ganotis reported that following a motion which had been agreed by the Council Meeting in June 2018, a letter signed by all political groups on the Council and local MPs objecting to the closure of branches of the Royal Bank of Scotland had been sent to the Treasury. However, the response from the Treasury refuted the points which had been made in that letter and as a consequence had not arrested the ongoing closure programme.
It was then stated that a revised timetable for the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) would be announced shortly. Work was ongoing to ensure that the use of greenbelt land was minimised as far as possible and members would be offered the opportunity for briefings in advance of its publication and the public consultation to ensure that they were able to properly represent local residents. Councillor Ganotis reiterated his commitment that the GMSF would be subject to approval by the Council Meeting.
The Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing (Councillor Sheila Bailey) stated that members had been provided with information relating to the resources that were available for those people who were at risk of homelessness during the winter period.
The Cabinet Member for Education (Councillor Dean Fitzpatrick) reported that Ofsted and the CQC had conducted a joint inspection to judge the effectiveness of the area in implementing the Special Educational Needs and Disability reforms as set out in the Children and Families Act 2014. The inspection focused on how education health and social care met the needs of vulnerable groups. The report indicated significant areas where improvement was needed including concerns around overall leadership of education, health and social care to jointly commission provision, to identify and meet needs and the assessment of social care needs as part of the education health and care assessment process.
As a result of the findings of this inspection Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, the local authority and the area's Clinical Commissioning Group are jointly responsible for submitting a written statement of action within 70 days to the Department for Education.
Since the inspections, a parent feedback session had been held with more planned in December, and an all-councillor briefing on the matter would also be convened. The area will be subject to inspection again within the next two years, and during this period there would be regular meetings with the Department for Education and specialist advisers from NHS England to evaluate progress in addressing these areas.
The Cabinet Member for Health (Councillor Tom McGee) reported that there had been a meeting of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership in Stockport which had examined the performance of the Stockport health economy over the last quarter which had focused in particular on urgent case referral times and waiting times.
Councillor McGee then referred to the national shortage of flu vaccinations, but stated that Stockport now had the necessary supplies of the vaccine. Stockport had for a number of years been the best performing area for flu vaccination rates, which included not only the target groups but also front line services such as the police, fire and rescue service, care home workers and teachers.
The Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care (Councillor Wendy Wild) reported that the Council had been awarded £67,000 to maximise the use of assistive technology to keep people safe and independent in their own home.
It was then reported that the Active Ageing in Stockport initiative had recently been launched as a partnership between Life Leisure, Stockport Age UK, Stockport Homes and Greater Sport which aimed at helping individuals aged over 64 who have experienced a significant life event.