Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: COUNCIL CHAMBER

Items
No. Item

633.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

The Chair noted apologies for absence from the Cabinet Member for Social Services Councillor C Davies who was undertaking other duties as the Children’s and Young Persons Champion.

634.

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

 

Note:

 

(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

Minutes:

No Declarations of interest were received.

635.

Corporate Self-Evaluation - Question 2 (Provision and Service Delivery) pdf icon PDF 678 KB

To consider report of the Chief Officer Social Services

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Lisa Curtis-Jones introduced the item to the committee and explained that it was in relation to Corporate Self Evaluation Question Two and highlighted the salient points within the report.

 

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

 

·         Due to efficiencies and staff leaving the department were you able to maintain the same level of service as in previous years

 

·         Are there still gaps in staffing within Social Services that need to be filled and do you have difficulties filling particular vacancies

 

·         Clarity was sought in relation to Social Services (Adult Services) relationship with the legal services department and whether the situation could be improved with training or whether regional working would be beneficial

 

·         Clarity was sought in relation to Human Resources policies and procedures in relation to recruitment of specialist posts within Social Services

 

·         Do you agree that it is always better to advertise vacancies internally

 

·         The report highlights issues within Adult Services where HR advisors were providing differing interpretations of the guidance, what measures are in place to resolve these issues in the future

 

·         Concerns was raised in relation to the lack of information and detail contained within the Areas for Development for both Children’s Services and Adult Services

 

·         Concerns were raised in relation to the lack of capacity within specific areas and the fact that it isn’t highlighted within the Areas of Development so therefore doesn’t seem to be a priority

 

·         Is it possible that in future the report could delve a little deeper into individual areas within Adult and Children’s Services which would provide the committee with more opportunity to scrutinise

 

·         Could the feedback from the managers in the individual areas within Adult and Children’s Services be provided as appendices to allow the committee to better understand the process and understand how they self-evaluate their service area

 

·         Regional Board Meetings – Do you receive feedback form the meetings and can the information be brought to the committee to show what the priorities are

 

·         The Chair raised concerns around the staffing issues within Social Services

 

·         In relation to Housing, is that the Authorities Housing Department or do you liaise with Registered Social Landlords

 

·         Clarity was sought in relation to grant funding, how they work, what grants are available, and the length of time the grants are available

 

·         The Chair suggested a workshop to discuss the staffing issues and to be able to delve a little deeper in to individual service areas

 

·         Under Human Resources – Children’s Services the report states that the online application process is a barrier to recruitment, can you explain to the committee how this is a hindrance

 

The Chair thanked the offices for the report.

636.

Adult Social Care Strategies pdf icon PDF 741 KB

To consider report of the Chief Officer Social Services

Minutes:

Angela Edevane introduced the item to the committee and highlighted the salient points within the report.

 

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

 

·         Can you provide the committee with a brief outline of the sort of queries you receive from the people being supported by the ‘stay well at home’ scheme and whether you think that the scheme should be a 24 hour around the clock service

 

·         Clarity was sought in relation to the repeated use of the word ‘Continue’ in the What We Need To Do Next section of the report

 

·         How much money was received through the Transformational Funding from Welsh Government

 

The Chair thanked the officers for the report.

 

637.

Corporate Parenting Board Update pdf icon PDF 316 KB

To consider report of the Chief Officer Social Services

Minutes:

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 were responded to in detail by the officers in attendance.

 

·         Clarity was sought in relation to the figures quoted in 5.9 Age Range Profile as at 31.03.18 and at 31.03.19 and whether the increase in 0-4 age group is a developing crisis

 

·         At the end of quarter 2 2019 -2020 what is the actual number of looked after children

 

·         Clarity was sought in relation to 5.6 of the report which stated at quarter 2 end 2019-20 we noted a reduced demand for looked after services and the rate of which children have become looked after has reduced by 50%, as the figures do not reflect this

 

·         Can you confirm that there has been a significant increase in Merthyr Tydfil Foster Carers during the period 31.03.18 to 31.03.19

 

·         Clarity was sought in relation to the figures in 5.10 and whether the change of placement was connected to inexperienced foster carers

 

·         An update was sought in relation to a question that was raised when the committee received the first annual report for corporate parenting last year in relation to what early intervention work has been carried out in relation to care leavers to stop the perpetuating cycle of poor outcomes for children

 

·         What are the roles and responsibilities of elected members as corporate parents given that only six of the thirty three members sit on Social Services Scrutiny, as officers what do you expect from members and what boundaries should members be aware of

 

·         Clarity was sought in relation to how many children are placed in care homes outside of the County Borough

 

·         How many children are currently in Residential Care

 

·         As Corporate Parents are Councillors expected to carry out visits to these homes

 

·         Clarity was sought in relation to the care home which was stated as being ‘Out of the Country’

 

The Chair raised concerns in relation to the current figure of Children looked after especially the figures in the 0-4 year age group which would also mean there are young parents who would need support and assistance.

 

·         In relation to the significant increase in the 0-4 year olds have you considered looking deeper at the profile of these children and mapped where these children are within the local authority and overlaid the findings with the level of support services available to see if the needs are prevalent in particular areas within the Borough  

 

The chair thanked the officer for a very informative report.

 

 

 

 

 

638.

Budget Update for Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 418 KB

To consider report of the Chief Officer Social Services

Minutes:

Lisa Curtis-Jones provided the committee with a budget update on the Month 7 position and highlighted the key points within the report.

 

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

 

·         Supported and Accommodation Services for the elderly is currently showing a possible overspend of £310,000. In many cases the elderly have a debt to the authority, when they pass away and debt is reclaimed by the authority is that included in the figures in the report

 

The Chair thanked the Officers for the update.

 

 

639.

Forward Work Programme 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 621 KB

To consider report of the Chief Officer Social Services

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Scrutiny Officer updated the committee on the work programme and explained that the additional items could be slotted in before the end of the municipal year.

640.

Scrutiny Referrals, Feedback and Follow up Actions

To receive an update from the Chair

Minutes:

The Chair advised the committee that no referrals, feedback or follow up actions had been received.

641.

Reflection and Evaluation of Meeting

To receive an update from the Chair

Minutes:

The Chair and the Committee reflected on the issues that had been considered.

642.

Any other business deemed urgent by the Chair

Minutes:

No other business was deemed urgent by the Chair.

 

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