Agenda and minutes



No. Item


Apologies for absence pdf icon PDF 71 KB


No apologies for absence were received as all members of the committee were in attendance.


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 received.


Budget Update for Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 376 KB

To consider the attached report


Lisa Curtis-Jones provided the committee with an overview of the Budget Update and highlighted that it has been a very difficult process due to Covid-19.


The following questions were raised and answered in detail by the officers in attendance:


·         There is currently an underspend in Integrated Community Equipment Store (ICES) is this in anyway causing delays in discharges from hospital and therefore blocking beds. What is the reason for the underspend


·         If there is an underspend at the end of the year in relation to ICES does the money stay with the local authority


·         There is currently a very large overspend in Children’s Residential Placements, wouldn’t it be better to put more funds into the budget at the start to reduce the chance of further large overspends in the future


·         Can the budget tables include the figure that the budget was set to at the start of the year so that the committee can better understand the figures


·         In relation to 7.3 of the report it mentions additional services through the integrated care fund and the transformation fund to allow innovation to continue across the region which includes developing phase two stay well at home programme. Can you provide more information about this and the impact it will have this winter


The Chair thank Lisa Curtis-Jones for the excellent report in light of the current and ongoing situation with Covid-19. The Chair also commented on the excellent work that is being carried out by Social Services Staff on a daily basis under very difficult circumstances.





Transition of Young People Leaving Care pdf icon PDF 476 KB

To consider the attached report


Taryn Hudd provided the committee with the salient points within the report and an insight into the transition of young people leaving care.


The following questions were raised by the committee and responded to in detail by the officers in attendance.


·         In an average year how many Care Leavers come out of the system in Merthyr Tydfil 


·         In relation to Children Looked After and positive results from GCSE etc there is a lack of figures. This would be useful to see how many sat exams and what the results were as this would allow us the celebrate the achievements and also see where the gaps are if exams were not sat or if the results were very low.


·         Item 5.7 of the report states that in 2021 you aim to place 4 care experienced young people in Council settings to undertake work experience. Has this happened and can you provide details of where this work experience is taking place in the Council


·         A requested was made that future reports include a more detailed breakdown to show what settings the work experience is taking place in


·         In relation to the Pathway to Work Scheme, can you confirm if Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council have signed up to the Governments Kick Start Scheme for young people. The scheme provides 100% of funding for a six-month placement for 25hrs per week which would be ideal for our Care Leavers.


·         In relation to The Pathway to Work Project is it a rolling programme as it isn’t clear. It shows in year one there are four work experience placements, so are there four new placements in year two or only the traineeship available


·         The report states that there has been a decline in face-to-face contacts in line with the Welsh Government restrictions, is this have a detrimental effect on the scenario of transition planning for our young people


·         Can Social Services push to receive the support of the Local Authority as a whole to be able to provide job opportunities for the young people of Merthyr Tydfil


·         How strong are the links with Council Departments in relations to creating job opportunities and is there something that can be done to make them even stronger moving forward


The Cabinet member for Social Services addressed the committee and highlighted the good work that is being carried out in relation to The Pathway to Work and the excellent challenges put forward by the committee members in their questioning of the report. It was also suggested that the Pathway to Work Programme be shared with the committee to provide a better understanding of the plans going forward.


The Cabinet Member also assured the Committee that he would follow up on the Councils plans in relation to the Government’s Kick Start Scheme for young people.


·         When a young person begins to live independently what issues do you face from negative peer pressure and how do you deal with the issues


The Chair thanked Taryn for the excellent report.




Forward Work Programme 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 622 KB

To consider the attached report

Additional documents:


The Scrutiny Officer provided an updated to the committee in relation to the Forward Work Programme and what items will be coming to the next meeting in January 2021.




Scrutiny Referrals, Feedback and Follow up Actions


The Chair advised that there were no referrals, feedback or follow up actions.


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.



Any other business deemed urgent by the Chair


The Chair requested a verbal update from Lisa Curtis-Jones in relation to the current Covid-19 situation in  Merthyr Tydfil Care Homes.


Lisa Curtis-Jones provided a short conscise update in reation to how Care Homes are currently coping with the Covid-19 pandemic.


The Chair requested that a verbal update be provided at every meeting of the committee going forward.


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