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To confirm the minutes of the meetings held on 7 and 13 January 2020.
Councillors sought updates in respect of items in the minutes as follows:
· An update was provided in respect of work to be undertaken on transitions from Children’s Services into Adult Services
· Items on the committee forward plan would be looked at under the People Scrutiny Committee Forward Plan item later in the agenda
· Reference was made to the Outreach Youth Service and it was noted that this would be raised during the item on the Children and Young People and Families Plan
· The development of a toolkit in respect of domestic violence and abuse issues was raised and it was noted that this was being looked at with a multi agency approach and was a key part of the Children’s and Young People and Families Plan
· Reference was made to the role of scrutiny and of executive advisory panels (EAPs). It was noted that any councillor could attend a meeting of an EAP as an observer.
The minutes of the meetings held on 7 and 13 January 2020 were confirmed as a correct record and would be signed at a future date.
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of interest.
Councillor Roberts declared an interest as a contractor for adult services to Dorset Council.
To receive questions or statements on the business of the committee from town and parish councils and members of the public.
Please note that public speaking has been suspended during the Covid-19 crisis. Each question or statement is limited to no more than 450 words and must be electronically submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by the deadline set out below. The question or statement will be read out by an officer of the Council and a response will be given by the Chairman. All questions/statements and the responses will be published in full within the minutes of the meeting.
The deadline for submission of the full text of a question or statement is 8.30am on Wednesday 15 July 2020.
4 questions were received from the public.
A shortened version of the questions were read out by Lindsey Watson (Senior Democratic Services Officer) and responses to the questions were read out by Rebecca Kirk (Corporate Director for Housing). A copy of the full questions and the responses are set out in Appendix 1 these minutes.
To consider any items of business which the Chairman has had prior notification and considers to be urgent pursuant to section 100B (4) b) of the Local Government Act 1972. The reason for the urgency shall be recorded in the minutes.
There were no urgent items.
The People Scrutiny Committee are invited to consider the proposals for the development of the Children and Young People and Families’ Plan and provide feedback on the proposed priorities to enable the development of the final plan.
The Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Early Help presented the report which invited the committee to consider the proposals for the development of the Children and Young People and Families’ Plan and to provide feedback on the proposed priorities to enable the development of the final plan by the Strategic Alliance for Children and Young People before it was recommended by Cabinet for endorsement and adoption by the Full Council.
The Corporate Director, Commissioning, Quality and Partnerships provided an overview of the report and the work that had been undertaken to date. In order to deliver the vision in this area, a set of emerging priorities have been identified and classified into six themes which were set out in the report. The committee’s feedback was sought on the themes, which would assist in the development of the plan to be considered by Cabinet in September and onto Full Council.
The committee considered the issues arising from the report and during discussion, the following points were raised:
· A number of councillors thanked the leadership team in Children’s Services for their work undertaken to date
· Points were raised with regard to how resources could best be targeted, the importance of early intervention, issues around family breakdown and the recruitment of more foster carers, and the council’s work in these areas was noted
· The Corporate Director noted that the council, working with partners, aimed to give children the best start in life. Partners were fully engaged in the development of the plan
· There would be constant review of the action plan in this area and a regular process around tracking actions was welcomed
· A discussion was held in respect of the roles of the Strategic Alliance for Children and Young People and local alliance groups. The local alliance groups brought together a range of local organisations who could provide information at a local level and all councillors were encouraged to be aware of local alliance groups in their area and how they could assist in the promotion of these
· A point was raised as to how to include representatives of non-commissioned services. In response, the Corporate Director expressed a commitment to involving people in conversations and the encouragement of further engagement
· In response to a question, the importance of the council and partners working collectively was recognised. There was felt to be strong leadership across the partnership and that alongside the action plan, the measures were in place to ensure required outcomes
· The Corporate Director for Education and Learning noted that the council had built strong relationships with schools, with a shared understanding of working together to achieve better outcomes for all
· A point was raised with regard to the importance of data sharing in safeguarding issues
· Comments were made with regard to the language used in the plan and the need to ensure it was clear to read, the financial implications of the plan and the need for continued monitoring through scrutiny
· In response, the Executive Director for Children reminded councillors ... view the full minutes text for item 10.
The People Scrutiny Committee is invited to endorse the Youth Justice Plan so that Cabinet can recommend its approval to Full Council.
The Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Early Help introduced the report with regard to the Youth Justice Plan for 2020/21.
Councillors were informed that there was a statutory requirement to publish an annual Youth Justice Plan which must provide specified information about the local provision of youth justice services. The report summarised the Youth Justice Plan for 2020/21, with a copy of the Plan appended. It was noted that the Youth Justice Plan needed to be approved by Full Council.
Councillors considered the issues arising from the report and during discussion, the following points were raised:
· A point was raised with regard to what was being done to increase opportunities available through training providers and colleges. In response it was noted that a lot of work was being focused in this area
· A question was asked about whether an Equality Impact Assessment had been carried out. An updated Equality Impact Assessment had not been completed as the Plan did not reflect a change of policy or new strategy
· Further information was provided about work undertaken by members of the Youth Justice Team in respect of education issues for those in the service and a concern noted with the range of current provision
· This was a significant area for development and exploring opportunities within Children’s Services. Wider opportunities were being explored and it was hoped to utilise wrap around locality services in order to understand the requirements of young people better
· A question was asked in respect of resourcing for the service and a particular point made about the police contribution. In response, it was confirmed that the police contribution remained at the same level as previously but that this may not be clear due to the way the money was accounted for
· The importance of the speech and language therapy posts was highlighted which played a key role in understanding and responding to the needs of young people in the service. It was hoped that funding for these posts could be made permanent
· A discussion was held in respect of offending rates in the Dorset Council area. It was noted that the report was written from a pan-Dorset perspective and that the rate in Dorset was lower than in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area
· The report recognised nationally that young people from minority ethnic groups were over-represented in the youth justice system and in the youth custodial population. A point was noted that it was difficult to resolve issues in the criminal justice system alone but there was a need to be alert to potential issues in this area
· In response to a point raised, it was confirmed that information on the gender and ethnicity of staff in the service could be included in future plans. The workforce did not currently have any people from minority groups, however this was partly addressed through the use of mentors
· It was highlighted that it was hugely important to always consider if there was racism in a system. It was noted ... view the full minutes text for item 11.
To review a report which was considered at Cabinet on 30 June 2020.
The committee reviewed the report, ‘Covid-19: How well has Dorset Council responded to meeting the needs of vulnerable groups during ‘lockdown’, which had been considered at Cabinet on 30 June 2020. It was noted that Appendix 1 to the Cabinet report, had been updated as it had been formally signed off by the Equality and Diversity Action Group, who were responsible for reviewing and signing off EqIAs in Dorset Council.
The Portfolio Holder for Corporate Development and Change provided information on the associated round table discussions that had taken place with a number of groups.
Councillors considered the issues arising from the report and during discussion the following points were raised:
· It was noted that further analysis of the information was to be undertaken as part of the council’s equalities duties
· Issues around domestic abuse were raised and officers noted that concerns in this area could be added to the action plan. This was also something being discussed between the council and partners in terms of ensuring that the voices of carers and those living with dementia were heard
· In response to a point raised, it was noted that work was being done with organisations such as the Dorset Blind Association and citizens advice as to the best way to make information available
· There were still issues around community shielding that needed to be addressed and actions would be included within ‘business as usual’ work
· There was a strong group of community sector organisations working together as well as joined up working with colleagues in the CCG about how the council and organisations worked together in reset and recovery mode
· Issues were raised in respect of anti social behaviour associated with young people, number of referrals for free school meals and issues around older people and domestic violence. In addition, a point was raised about concerns expressed about the lack of information available to local community support groups which it was felt had not been addressed in the report
· Support for carers was being provided including making safe spaces available in day centres to support wellbeing groups
· Intelligence systems were being used to identify those most at risk of vulnerability, mental health etc.
The Portfolio Holder thanked the committee for their comments and noted that action points would be taken away from the meeting.
Continuation of meeting beyond 3 hours
In accordance with the procedure rules in the Constitution, the committee agreed to continue the meeting beyond 3 hours.
To note the People Scrutiny Committee Forward Plan.
To review the Cabinet Forward Plan.
Councillors considered the position with the forward plan for the People Scrutiny Committee. It was noted that this forward plan would be combined with the forward plan of the Health Scrutiny Committee to form new forward plans for the People and Health Overview and People and Health Scrutiny Committee from September 2020 onwards.
The items would need to be reviewed by both councillors and officers. The Chairman was keen that the meetings with housing associations take place in some form.
To move the exclusion of the press and the public for the following item in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of paragraph x of schedule 12 A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).
The public and the press will be asked to leave the meeting whilst the item of business is considered.
There is no exempt business.
There was no exempt business.