Agenda and minutes


No. Item


Apologies for absence


The Chair opened the meeting by introducing the new co-opted member Michael Elford and asked the committee to introduce themselves.


Apologies were received from Howard Jones (Scrutiny Officer) and Brian Lewis (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 Declaration of Interest were received.


Cwm Taf Violence against Women Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Strategy pdf icon PDF 123 KB

To consider the attached report

Additional documents:


Debbie Evans introduced the item and highlighted that Cwm Taf now has a Violence against Women Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Strategy (VAWDASV) which was developed after the Violence against women Act 2015.


The following questions were raised by the committee and responded to in detail by the appropriate officer.


·         In relation to the sample data from Cwm Taf Services in 2015-2016 are you able to provide stand-alone figures for Merthyr Tydfil


The Chair requested that the figures for Merthyr Tydfil be provided to the committee.


·         Is there a plan for the committee to receive regular updates in relation to VAWDASV


The committee requested that all quarterly updates in relation to VAWDASV be circulated to the committee members as a matter of urgency and that the item be added to the Social Services work programme.


Annabel Lloyd explained that the committee will receive a yearly report that is provided through the Multiagency Safeguarding Hub in relation to high risk domestic abuse.




The contents of the Strategy and Delivery Plan be noted.


That Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council continues to be an active participant in the delivery of the regional VAWDASV Strategy.


The Chair thanked Debbie Evans for attending and she left the meeting.



Budget update for Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 157 KB

To consider the attached report


Lisa Curtis-Jones introduced the item to the committee and highlighted the salient points in relation to the areas where Social Services are currently overspending and the measures that have been put in place to help reduce overspend within the department.


·         With Park View and Glendere being outsourced we were told it would save the authority money but the report highlights that it is now costing more. Can you explain the reasons for this


·         With this increased cost would it be better for the Local Authority to take back these services or would it cost more than we are currently paying


·         Can figures be provided to show the differences in costings if the service was run in house compared with the not for profit service we currently use


·         With regards to Children Looked After in Residential Placements can you confirm that these placements are outside of the County Borough


·         Are you confident that with this new Looked After Children (LAC) Strategy that we are still providing a good service and that the Children Looked After won’t be negatively affected.


·         In relation to Independent Domiciliary Care you planned for 2,860 delivery hours per week however the current outturn projection is reflecting actual service demand at an average of 3,247 hours per week. Given how you cannot control demand, how do you propose to bring that budget back into line


·         Supported and Accommodation Services - MTCBC Homes for the Elderly, Northern Home currently has an empty unit and an overspend in this area, what plans are in place to reduce the cost and has the issue been raised with the Cwm Taf Health Board in relation to Dementia Services using the unit


·         Supported and Accommodation Services – MTCBC Homes, Northern Home. The report states that there is an overspend on Agency staff; is there a specific reason for this


·         Supported and Accommodation Services – MTCBC Homes, Northern Home. The projected loss of £70,000 in income; is that down to under capacity


·         Supported and Accommodation Services – MTCBC Homes, Northern Home. This year’s figures show a loss in the region of £177,000, what were the figures last year


·         In relation to the overspending on agency staff and overtime, is there monthly reporting to help identify trends and reduce the amount of overspend


·         Have we seen any benefits from the investment into the regional adoption team


·         Has there been a positive impact on our looked after population with the investment into the enhanced child in need service


·         In relation to Intake and Family Support Group where are we with Carers (youth and adult). Can the findings be shared with the committee


·         What are SGO (Special Guardianship Order) and Residence Orders


·         What is the difference between Kinship Care and Special Guardianship Order




The contents of the report be noted.



Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014


Lisa Curtis-Jones provided the committee with an update in relation to the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.


The population needs assessment has been completed and as part of that the regional plan was developed and agreed with Cabinet last week. The pooled budgets must be in place by 1st April and good progress has been made and a report will be brought to Cabinet or Council by the end of March.


In relation to the evaluation from Welsh Government the template is yet to be received but once completed it will be shared for Scrutiny to monitor where we are as an authority with the Act.


Scrutiny Referrals, Feedback and Follow up Actions


The Chair advised the committee members of the time and date of the meeting with Drug Aid which was a point of discussion in the previous Social Services Scrutiny Meeting.




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.


Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 151 KB

To consider the attached report

Additional documents:


The Chair advised the committee that he would meet with the Scrutiny Officer in relation to adding the following items to the future work programme.


·         Violence against Women Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Updates

·         Social Services Budget Updates and a report into the outsourcing (Group Home) Business case and whether it would be cheaper for the Authority to take back this service


Any other business deemed urgent by the Chair


The Chair advised that there was no business deemed urgent and closed the meeting.



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