Agenda and minutes


No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor G Richards.


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.


Children’s Services Inspection pdf icon PDF 217 KB

To consider report of the Chief Officer Social Services


The Chair welcomed Duncan Marshall from Care Inspectorate Wales to the meeting.


Annabel Lloyd introduced the item to the committee and highlighted the salient points within the report.


The following questions were raised by the committee and responded to by the appropriate officers:


·         In relation to item six of the Post Inspection Action Plan it states staff contribute to staff briefings where we develop our service strategy. Hasn’t this been introduced previously and is there any change in the process


·         Can you provide the committee with an explanation of the 1 minute guide for staff briefings


·         In relation to item 3 of the Post Inspection Action Plan is there a transition period when care leavers reach 16 years of age and leave children’s services.


·         Referring to the outcome Manageable caseloads can you inform the committee of the situation with caseload size previously and what the caseloads size is currently


·         Is the number of children and the complexity of each individual case assessed to distribute the workload evenly


·         Care leavers are supported by personal advisors from the age of 16, where does the statutory responsibility for these children having a social worker end


·         How many personal advisors are employed by Merthyr Tydfil CBC and is there a ratio of how many individuals they work with


·         Why are not all 16 year olds in Merthyr Tydfil having personal advisors


·         RAG (Red, Amber & Green) status can’t be identified can the name of the colour be printed for ease and also there is a distinct lack of information in the update/review column can this be populated for future meetings


·          Can you provide a description of what the colour status represents along with the colour status on future reports


·         Item 2 of the Action Plan states that a Quality assurance group will oversee development of a guide to staff about assessment and analysis - setting out what good looks like. Who will be included in the group and how are they qualified to say what good looks like


Councillor Ian Thomas left the meeting.


·         When will an update be provided to this committee


The Chair thanked Annabel Lloyd and Duncan Marshall for the report and their attendance at the meeting.




Cwm Taf Safeguarding Board Annual Report 2017-2018 pdf icon PDF 344 KB

To consider report of the Chief Officer Social Services


The Chair advised the committee that Item 4 Cwm Taf Safeguarding Board Annual Report would be presented first while waiting on the arrival of another officer.


Nicola Kingham (Business Manager for the Cwm Taf Safeguarding Board) introduced the item to the committee and highlighted the key points within the report.


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


·         The is a lack of figures and percentages within the report to allow comparisons and scrutiny of data, can this be rectified in future reports


·         In relation to the number of delegates who attended the 150 multi-agency safeguarding training would you have the breakdown of how many delegates were from the Merthyr Tydfil area


·         Is the service meeting the safeguarding demands for our  practitioners across Merthyr Tydfil and the Cwm Taf area


·         In relation to the priority outcomes listed in the report for 2018/19 where were the outcomes decided and agreed and who was involved in that process


·         In relation to safeguarding individuals how long is contact maintained once it is established they no longer need intervention


·         In the linked report the percentage attendance for four Board meetings is listed and the figures show 0% attendance from Merthyr Tydfil Education, Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association and Public Protection attended 50%. Are there plans in place to get all agencies to come together and attend these meetings


The Chair requested that the concerns of the committee be raised in relation to agency attendance at the next Board Meeting.


The Chair thanked Nicola Kingham for her report and attendance at the meeting.


Resolved that:


The scrutiny committee noted and endorsed the content of the Cwm Taf Safeguarding Board Annual Report for 2017-18


Annual Report on Social Services 2017-2018 pdf icon PDF 215 KB

To consider report of the Chief Officer Social Services

Additional documents:


Lisa Curtis-Jones introduced the report to the committee and stated that it is a reflection on 2017/18.


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


·         Concerns were raised in relation to the amount of funding being received from Welsh Government. If the funding doesn’t match the plan for 2018/19 will a new plan be developed


·         In future could the report reflect the monetary value of what the service costs or what percentage of the budget is available to Social Services as this would influence decision making. Also could it also highlight what has been spent in each financial year


·         As a new member of the committee it was difficult to compare the data as there was a lack of quantitative data within the report which shows the journey of where you were and where you are now. If this is unachievable could a RAG (Red, Amber, Green) status be included to aid members


·         Under the title ‘Taking steps to protect and safeguard people from abuse, neglect or harm’ a key piece of data that could be used to measure the success is the percentage of re-registrations onto the child protection register. Is this data available for 2016/17 and 2017/18


·         On page 43 under the title ‘Encouraging and supporting people to learn, develop and participate in society’ what percentage of care leavers in education, employment or training are still in education, employment or training twelve months after they leave the care system


·         Page 45 ‘How far did we succeed and what difference did we make’ Do you know why demand has increased, also are more preventative services required, and are we not meeting the needs of the service


The Chair thanked the officers for the excellent report and they left the meeting.


Resolved that:


The committee members note the contents of the report



Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 362 KB

To consider the attached report

Additional documents:


The Scrutiny Officer provided the committee with an update in relation to the following items being added to the work programme:


·         Vale, Valleys and Cardiff Adoption Collaborative Annual Report – January 2019


·         Corporate Parenting Update Report – January 2019



·         Children’s Services Inspection – March 2019


Scrutiny Referrals, Feedback and Follow up Actions


The Chair raised the issue around the local authority and outside agencies reporting crimes and it was agreed that Councillor Sammon will take it forward.


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


No other business was deemed urgent by the Chair. 



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