Agenda and minutes

People and Health Overview Committee - Tuesday, 6th February, 2024 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Dorchester, DT1 1XJ. View directions

Contact: George Dare  01305 224185 - Email:


No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence.



Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Cathy Lugg and Howard Legg.


Cllr Ezzard attending the meeting virtually.




Declarations of Interest

To disclose any pecuniary, other registrable or non-registrable interest as set out in the adopted Code of Conduct. In making their disclosure councillors are asked to state the agenda item, the nature of the interest and any action they propose to take as part of their declaration.


If required, further advice should be sought from the Monitoring Officer in advance of the meeting.



There were no declarations of interest.




Minutes pdf icon PDF 90 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 30 November 2023.



Proposed by Cllr Holloway, seconded by Cllr Alford.



That the minutes of the meeting held on 30 November 2023 be confirmed and signed.




Public Participation pdf icon PDF 94 KB

Representatives of town or parish councils and members of the public who live, work, or represent an organisation within the Dorset Council area are welcome to submit either 1 question or 1 statement for each meeting.  You are welcome to attend the meeting in person or via Microsoft Teams to read out your question and to receive the response.   If you submit a statement for the committee this will be circulated to all members of the committee in advance of the meeting as a supplement to the agenda and appended to the minutes for the formal record but will not be read out at the meeting. The first 8 questions and the first 8 statements received from members of the public or organisations for each meeting will be accepted on a first come first served basis in accordance with the deadline set out below.  For further information read Public Participation - Dorset Council


All submissions must be emailed in full to by 8.30am on Thursday, 1 February 2024.


When submitting your question or statement please note that: 


·       You can submit 1 question or 1 statement.

·       a question may include a short pre-amble to set the context.

·       It must be a single question and any sub-divided questions will not be permitted.

·       Each question will consist of no more than 450 words, and you will be given up to 3 minutes to present your question.

·       when submitting a question please indicate who the question is for (e.g., the name of the committee or Portfolio Holder) 

·       Include your name, address, and contact details.  Only your name will be published but we may need your other details to contact you about your question or statement in advance of the meeting. 

·       questions and statements received in line with the council’s rules for public participation will be published as a supplement to the agenda. 

·       all questions, statements and responses will be published in full within the minutes of the meeting.   



Additional documents:


The Committee received a question, and the Portfolio Holder provided a written response.


The question and response are attached to these minutes.




Councillor Questions

To receive questions submitted by councillors.  


Councillors can submit up to two valid questions at each meeting and sub divided questions count towards this total. Questions and statements received will be published as a supplement to the agenda and all questions, statements and responses will be published in full within the minutes of the meeting. 


The submissions must be emailed in full to  by 8.30am on Thursday, 1 February 2024. 


Dorset Council Constitution – Procedure Rule 13



There were no questions from councillors.




Urgent Items

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.




Committee's Work Programme and Cabinet's Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To consider the Committee's Work Programme and the Cabinet Forward Plan.


Additional documents:


There were no comments from the committee on the work programme.


The next meeting on 19 March 2024 would be cancelled if there was no sufficient business planned for it.




Families First for Children Pathfinder Update pdf icon PDF 521 KB

To receive a report by the Corporate Director for Care and Protection.


Additional documents:


The Corporate Director for Care and Protection introduced the update report and gave a presentation to the committee. He outlined the 4 key areas of reform, the progress since the last update, the £4.9 million funding for the pathfinder and the investment areas for the funding, and the approach to the new model becoming live. The presentation is attached to these minutes.


Committee members discussed the report and asked questions of officers and the Portfolio Holder. The following was discussed:


·       Officers were working with senior officials at the Department for Education and the pathfinder was very important for transformation of children’s social care. There was an acceptance that there needed to be a new settlement for local government children’s services. Other local authorities would need funding in order to deliver the reform.

·       The process to become a special guardian was currently not a good experience for families. The council was looking at bringing the service in house to offer a better assessment process with enhanced support.

·       There were representatives of 2 voluntary sector organisations on the programme board and there would also be a representative on the Safeguarding Partnership Board.

·       The Family Hubs Programme has engagement with the voluntary sector on a local level.

·       Due to the funding, Dorset Council was in a better position than other local authorities to deliver the work.

·       Children’s services was an attractive place for people to work so it was likely the new family help posts would be recruited.

·       The Department for Education had commissioned a evaluation partner which would evaluate the experience of children and families, as well as costs.

·       There were resourcing challenges for partners, particularly Dorset Police.


Members noted the update.




Childrens Sufficiency Strategy 2024-2027 pdf icon PDF 320 KB

To consider a report by the Interim Corporate Director for Commissioning and Partnerships.


Additional documents:


The Corporate Director for Care and Protection introduced the Children’s Sufficiency Strategy and gave a presentation, which is attached to these minutes. He explained the sufficiency duty and what the sufficiency strategy was for. The seven priorities of the strategy and measures to see whether it was successful were outlined.


Members discussed the report and asked questions. The following points were raised:


·       There was no work done on the 20 self-contained units for care leavers. Officers were open to suggestions of appropriate places for them.

·       There were currently 5 care leavers in B&B accommodation.

·       There were commercial arrangements with B&B’s however young people would receive wraparound support from multi-disciplinary professionals.

·       The increase in children’s home places were from additional provision from existing children’s homes and through residential providers.

·       Some care leavers will be receiving a service form the council whereas others will only have contact with the council when needed. Not all 309 care leavers receiving a service from a Personal Advisor were in staying put arrangements.


Proposed by Cllr Batstone, seconded by Cllr Holloway.



That the Sufficiency Strategy and related action planning be recommended to Cabinet for approval.




Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Strategy pdf icon PDF 300 KB

To consider a report by the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer.


Additional documents:


The Chairman read the following statement:


As agreed with senior officers and with Cllr Jill Haynes, Portfolio Holder for Corporate Development and Transformation, the EDI Strategy and Action Plan will be deferred for discussion at a People and Health Overview committee to be held later in the year. 


The reason for this is that officers have recommended waiting for the Department for Education's current consultation on “Gender questioning children: draft schools and colleges guidance” to be completed and their report published, so we can consider the finalised guidance and align Dorset Council’s position appropriately”.




Family Hub Network Development pdf icon PDF 332 KB

To consider a report by the Family Hub Programme Lead.


Additional documents:


The Family Hubs Programme Lead introduced the report and gave a presentation to the committee, which is attached to these minutes.


Members considered the report and asked questions of the officers. The following points were made:


·       Officers were aware of the issues in the East of the county. They were working with the VCSE to develop financial model.

·       The most appropriate sites for family hubs in some areas have been identified as the existing children’s centre.

·       Specific requirements, such as confidential spaces, in hubs would require some adaptations to be made in some buildings.

·       There were 4 hubs currently open, and it was aimed that 8 hubs would be open by September.

·       Library buildings were varied so the offer in each one would be varied. Work to look at assets was not yet completed.

·       Library sites would have a core offer which is trained staff being able to signpost to services. Options to enhance offers at libraries were being looked at where possible.

·       The Beaminster Library was not good for this type of service, but there was another Dorset Council building nearby that would be more suitable. The member sought assurances that this alternative building was being looked at. It was requested that further details be provided for Cabinet about intentions going forward.


Proposed by Cllr Alford, seconded by Cllr Dunseith.



That the proposed development of Dorset’s Family Hub Network be recommended to Cabinet for approval, with the additional information requested on libraries.




Exempt Business

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 are no exempt items scheduled for this meeting.



There was no exempt business.