Venue: REMOTE MEETING - MICROSOFT TEAMS
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
Councillor B Smith declared a personal and prejudicial interest in Item 3 Community Occupational Therapy Service 2021-2021 – Disabled Facility Grants as he is the Chair of Social Services Scrutiny Committee and the Chair of Cwm Taf Care and Repair.
To consider report of the Chief Officer Social Services
Cllr B Smith turned off his camera and microphone for this item as he declared a personal and prejudicial interest.
Councillor S Jago took the Chair for the Item.
Angela Edevane introduced the report to the committee and highlighted the salient points for the committee.
The following questions were raised by the committee and responded to in detail by the officers in attendance.
· Pleased to hear that you have now appointed a Senior Occupation Therapist. Can you confirm what grade this post is and was the decision to appoint the Senior Occupational Therapist down to the Improvement Board and was it a departmental decision
· In relation to Disability Facility Grants (DFGs) – is there a reluctance from registered social landlords to undertake or allow adaptations to take place in their properties or are they obliged to let them happen
· Are adaptations left in a property once someone moves and if so are those adaptations then matched against the needs of future tenants so that money isn’t spent unnecessarily
· The report states that the grants team was disbanded with the work being passed to RCT why was this decision made and why did you not restore you own grants team to full capacity
· Paragraph 3.4 refers to bathing aids, can you confirm what would be a medical or a non-medical reason to support such a referral and why would someone apply for bathing aids if they didn’t need them and if they can’t have them sooner or later wouldn’t it become a medical problem
· In Paragraph 3.3 it refers to the average number of referrals a month being between 35-40, which would equate to roughly 420 a year, would that be reflective of the past year or is that a general statement of monthly assessments or is it an exact figure for the year 2021
· Out of the assessments that were undertaken 37 led to referrals for grants for adaptations etc. Can you give an example of a previous year so a comparison can be made
· In relation to the grants via Enable Care – do they report the numbers back into the Local Authority so that there is an overall picture for the County Borough
The Chair requested that future reports include the all the figures relating to grants in the County Borough to provide a better overall picture of the work being carried out across County Borough
· At the time of the transfer to RCT 54 cases were with our grants department, what are figures like now bearing in mind the coronavirus pandemic
· In paragraph 4.4 the report states that new requests for DFGs were not progressed from June 2019 onwards, this was before the Coronavirus pandemic so can you please explain this
The Cabinet Member for Social Services addressed the committee and provided an update on his role and the role of the Cabinet in relation to DFGs and COTs.
The Chair thanked the members for their questions and Angela for the report and her responses.
To consider the attached report
The Chair updated the committee in relation to the Forward Work Programme and explained that a meeting was scheduled for May 14th to finalise the programme for next year. The Chair also requested that if members of the committee wish to add items to the programme that they do so via email to either himself or the scrutiny officer.
Scrutiny Referrals, Feedback and Follow up Actions
The Chair and Vice Chair provided an update in relation to a referral that was received relating to when the Local Authorities Safeguarding policy was last updated.
A response had been received from the Monitoring Officer however it was agreed by the committee that a Review and Revision page should be added to all policies to show that as an Authority we are adhering to a good governance structures and to ensure that there are policy reviews in place.
The Cabinet Member for Social Services agreed to take this up with the Cabinet and Senior Management Team.
Lisa Curtis Jones updated the committee in relation to the Corporate Safeguarding and Whistleblowing Policy being taken to the Corporate Safeguarding Reference Group.
It was confirmed that the Corporate Safeguarding Policy was reviewed and updated which has also been shared with auditors and that a front sheet showing the Review and Revision information would be added in due course.
The Whistleblowing Policy has also been reviewed but Legal confirmed that there was no requirement to update or revise the policy as there had been not update to the legislation. It was confirmed that a Review and Revision front sheet would be added in due course as requested.
Reflection and Evaluation of Meeting
To receive an update from the Chair
The Chair and the Committee reflected in detail on the matters that had been discussed at the Meeting
Any other business deemed urgent by the Chair
The Chair had no other business and he thanked the members for their attendance and close the meeting.