Agenda and minutes


No. Item


Apologies for absence


No apologies for absence were received.


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.



Medium Term Financial Plan 2019/20 to 2022/23 – Additional Demands pdf icon PDF 351 KB

To consider report of the Chief Officer Social Services


Steve Jones introduced the report and highlighted that the report follows on from the report that went to Full Council in November where it was identified that for the budget setting for next year the authority had to include £2.599 million of growth in respect of social services.


Steve also highlighted the current budget deficits and the projected deficits from 2018 to 2022.


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



·         Clarification was sought in relation to the funding for the full year residential placements and whether the cost each placements is £200,000


·         What services are provided and where are the placements


·         Has the local authority given any thought to possible collaborative working with other neighbouring authorities to build a local authority run facility for residential placements


·         Are there viable alternatives due to the current cost implications


·         Are there any in house residential placements in the County Borough


·         What is the cost difference between going through an agency and our own foster carers


·         Projected overspend of £261,000 in Independent Domiciliary Care as a result of ongoing winter pressures continuing through the year, do you now expect this to be a pattern for the next few years


Councillor David Hughes addressed the committee in relation to funding via Welsh Government and the Chair suggested that a letter of support from the committee be written and sent to Welsh Government.


·         Clarification was sort in relation to the lack budget figures for the Cwm Taf Reflect Service for 2019/20


·         Can you provide the committee with the figures of how many women in Merthyr Tydfil have experienced compulsory removal of a child from experiencing a repeat pregnancy in the short term


·         Welsh Community Care Information System is budgeted at £34,000 over two years, how isn’t this included in the breakdown as a sustainability aspect as it came out of the Intermediate Care Fund (ICF) grant


·         In relation to the two and a half million pounds in 2019/20 additional budget demands does it include an amount for inflation as opposed to new demands and if so can you provide the committee with the figure


·         Clarification was sought in relation to the budget figures for MTCBC Homes for the Elderly


·         Each additional demand in the report states service and / or Budget Risk if not approved can you highlight what the risk is to the authority if these services or budgets are not approved


Resolved that:


The content of the report be discussed and noted.


The Chair thanked Steve Jones for the report all the hard work he has carried out over the last couple of months. The chair also thanked Lisa Curtis-Jones for all her input into the report.


Tackling Poverty pdf icon PDF 244 KB

To consider report of the Chief Officer Social Services


Lisa Curtis-Jones introduced the report to the committee and highlighted that the report is providing an overview of the work being undertaken both across the council service areas and wider to tackle the poverty agenda.


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


·         Rent Smart Wales Enforcement – Is funding being provided by Welsh Government carry out this piece of work


·         Is there going to be a real focus on early intervention and prevention otherwise it will become a vicious circle


Resolved that:


The content of the report be discussed and noted.


Corporate Parenting Board Annual Report pdf icon PDF 332 KB

To consider report of the Chief Officer Social Services

Additional documents:


The Chair advised that Item 5 would be heard first.


Annabel Lloyd introduced the item to the committee and explained that it is the first report of its type and highlighted the main points within the report and provided analysis of the data contained within the trend tables.


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


·         Table two contained within the report shows that a greater number of children are placed out of county as at quarter 2 end 30/09/18 can you provide an explanation for this


·         How do our figures compare with other local authorities in relation to the number of children being sent out of count


·         Can you provide an explanation in relation to the figures involving agencies in table 5.8 on page 32


·         Can you confirm that the figure of 100% in relation to the percentage of care leavers who are in education, employment or training 24 months after leaving care is correct


Councillor Rogers congratulated the officers on achieving this figure and their excellent work in relation to Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) care leavers.


·         The report states that you have seen a 30% increase in care proceedings, can you confirm if the threshold where you would take proceedings has been lowered


·         What are the actual figures that make up the 30% increase


·         Table 1 (5.5) shows an increase in the number of looked after children up to December 2018, how much further do you expect these figures to rise


·         Table 1 (5.5) shows a significant rise from 2016 to 2018, what do you feel is the biggest cause of this rise


·         Are these increases caused by neglect through poverty


Councillor Jago thanked the officers for the report and the inclusion of figures and percentages.


·         Under what we need to do next the report mentions implementing the Pathway to work, and employment options for care leavers within the Council. Can you elaborate on this and whether it involves apprenticeships schemes

·         Can you confirm if work has started in this area or is it aimed more at 2019/2020


·         It is clear that there are increased demands and pressure on the service, are there risks to the service area with the new way Welsh Government are awarding funding from 2019/2020 onwards (e.g. communities and children’s grants amalgamated) does this cause concern


·         Are there designated officers within the department to attend all the necessary board meetings and is there capacity to carry out the duties


·         Following on from the question in relation to poverty, do we provide support at the first point of contact with families to ensure they claiming the correct benefits and are not missing out on something they are entitled to claim


Resolved that:


Scrutiny committee receive the report and raise any questions or challenge that may lead to improvements for care leavers.


The Chair thanked the officers for the excellent report and raised the query of whether the report could be six monthly rather than  ...  view the full minutes text for item 753.


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

To consider the attached report

Additional documents:


The Chair updated the committee in relation to the changes to the work programme. Violence Against Women had been moved due to officers being unavailable and it is now tabled for 23rd April 2019.   


Scrutiny Referrals, Feedback and Follow up Actions

To receive an update from the Chair


The Chair advised that there was no update on this item.



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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