Venue: REMOTE MEETING - MICROSOFT TEAMS
Apologies for absence were received from J Beard Co-opted Member.
Declarations of Interest (including whipping declarations)
Members are reminded of their personal responsibility to declare any personal and prejudicial interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government and Finance Act 1992 relating to Council Tax, the Local Government Act 2000, the Council’s Constitution and the Members Code of Conduct
(a) Members are reminded that they must identify the item number and subject matter that their interest relates to and signify the nature of the personal interest and
(b) Where Members withdraw from a Meeting as a consequence of the disclosure of a prejudicial interest they must notify the Chair when they leave
No Declarations of Interest were made.
To consider report of the Chief Officer Social Services
The Chair referred the Committee to the ‘Focus on the Future (2019/20) – Living Well Theme Update’ report.
Lisa Curtis Jones then led the Members in detail through the report and together with Councillor A Barry Cabinet Member and the Officers responded in detail to the following questions raised by the Committee:
· Paragraph 5.4 – Is the Department on track for all three outcomes – If not is Covid affecting the outcomes
· Paragraph 5.8 – Does this include Children Looked after – Was the increase expected or does it vary from year to year – Backlog of Court Cases – What is the effect on individuals and staff dealing with Covid
· Paragraph 5.14 – Case load numbers – Is there an average number for case loads and what is the number of cases and what should this number be
· Paragraph 6.3 – Additional Resources – Have the staff being employed – How many were employed and were they budgeted for
· Paragraph 6.17 – Financial Implications – Is this covered by any Covid grant or has the money come from the Social Services Budget
· Paragraph 5.1 – Nine Projects – One project being to develop further support for Carers – What is actually meant by this – What is it all about for Carers
· How much will it cost to do the nine projects
· Paragraph 5.6 – Percentage figures – Are enquiries prioritised – Are there any serious implications of the 25% not being answered in seven days
· Why has there been such a big increase
· Table 1 – Information and Advice – Explanation requested on percentages – Are the figures likely to improve this year
· Explanation requested on the figure for children supported to remain living within their family
· Explanation requested in relation to the Budget
· Can any savings be kept by Social Services
A suggestion was then made that any underspend be ring fenced and kept within Social Services
· Paragraph 6.9 – Cancelation of Services – Has there been any impact on job security and staff jobs
· Explanation requested on the 28 day rule
The Chair then then thanked the Officers for attending and the update to the Committee.
To consider the attached report
The Chair referred the Committee to the ‘Forward Work Programme 2020/21’ report and advised that representatives from the Citizens Advice Bureau would be invited to attend a future Committee Meeting.
A Member also referred to the Agile Working Policy and the Committee agreed that this be added to the Work Programme.
Scrutiny Referrals, Feedback and Follow up Actions
The Chair referred to the ‘Action Tracker’ and the questions that had been raised in relation to the opening of the Civic Centre and Unit Five to the Public and the response that had been given and that the action had been marked as completed on the ‘Action Tracker’.
The Chair further stated that she did not feel the response was sufficient and recommended that the action on the tracker be changed from complete and a report be made at the next Committee Meeting in relation to the risk assessment and the rationale and to give details on what plans were in place to reopen the Civic Centre and Unit Five to the Public.
A Member also enquired what neighbouring Authorities were doing and how public access had been dealt with by other Organisations.
The Committee then agreed that a report be presented to the next Scrutiny Committee Meeting in relation to the re-opening of the Civic Centre and Unit Five to the Public and that the appropriate Officer(s) be invited to attend this Meeting to present this report and update the Committee.
Reflection and Evaluation of Meeting
To receive an update from the Chair
The Chair and the Committee reflected on the issues that had been considered at the Meeting.
Any other business deemed urgent by the Chair
The Chair advised that the completion date for the Questionnaires had been amended to 16 December 2020.