Greenwich Council

Agenda and minutes.

Venue: Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich SE18 6PW. View directions

Contact: Denise Kevern  Email: denise.kevern@royalgreenwich.gov.uk or tel: 020 8921 5145

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 38 KB

Members to declare any personal and financial interests in items on the agenda.  Attention is drawn to the Council’s Constitution; the Council’s Code of Conduct and associated advice.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Spencer Drury declared that he was a Director of Sixth Form and Head of Government and Politics Department at Colfes School.

 

Resolved –

 

1.     That the list of Councillors’ memberships as Council appointed representatives on outside bodies, joint committees and school governing bodies be noted.

 

2.     That Councillor Drury’s declaration be noted.

2.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members of the Panel.

 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Pauline Sheath (Church of England Representative), and Alexander Seadon (Parent Governor Representative).

 

Councillor Sarah Merrill apologised for having to leave the meeting at 20:00 (8pm).

3.

Urgent Business

The Chair to announce any items of urgent business circulated separately from the main agenda.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.

 

The Panel noted that item 9 of the agenda would be taken after item 5.

 

Councillor Rajinder James had resigned from the Panel and was replaced by Councillor Peter Brooks who was welcomed to the Panel.

 

Florence Kroll, Director of Children’s Services was welcomed by the Panel.

 

Members would be informed when the festive cards for Looked After Children were ready to be signed.

Action: Director of Children’s Services, Senior Corporate Development Officer

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Members are requested to confirm as an accurate record the Minutes of the meeting held on 28 June 2016.

 

No motion or discussion may take place upon the Minutes except as to their accuracy, and any question on this point will be determined by a majority of the Members of the body attending who were present when the matter in question was decided.  Once confirmed, with or without amendment, the person presiding will sign the Minutes.

Minutes:

Members noted that Councillor William’s Cabinet Member portfolio title was incorrectly recorded as Children’s Services in item 5 and it was agreed that this should be amended to Children and Young People.

 

Resolved -

 

That the amended minutes of the meeting of the Children and Young Peoples Scrutiny Panel held on 28 June 2016 be agreed and signed as a true and accurate record.

5.

Update on activity undertaken by Greenwich Young People's Council (GYPC) pdf icon PDF 41 KB

To note the activity of Greenwich Young People’s Council (GYPC).

 

To note the progress made in developing young people’s participation in decision-making in the Borough and the GYPC forward plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel welcomed members of the Greenwich Young People’s Council, who with the assistance of the Senior Participation Officer, made a presentation to the Panel.

 

The GYPC members explained that the GYPC was comprised of 18 Youth Councillors elected from 15 schools and youth organisations from across the Borough and the last elections took place in December 2015 at which there was a turnout of 50% of the eligible voters. It was noted that GYPC were currently recruiting for Youth Councillors to represent unrepresented schools and youth organisations in the Borough.

 

They described the induction residential at which they developed their manifesto, elected their officers and learnt more about being a Youth Councillor.

 

They detailed the Big Youth Conference held in June, attended by 68 young people from schools across the Borough, at which they discussed discrimination and hate crime, and possible solutions. The outcome was a list of ten project ideas that they thought would be effective in tackling discrimination in the Borough. Following on from this they held an open GYPC meeting in July and at which they voted for the top three projects to take forward. These were setting up anti-discrimination committees in schools, delivering peer education programmes in schools and increasing fundraising activities for anti-discrimination charities.

 

They had met with both the Children in Care Council and the ACE Disabled Young People’s Forum to ascertain how they could work together learn more about each other’s work. They had also taken part in the Police Youth Think Tank, attended the Police’s Stop and Search Consultation Group and spoken to OFSTED about their work. They had met with the Director of Children’s Services and the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, and also Matthew Pennycook MP and visited Parliament.

 

They said that membership gave them the opportunity to express their views and gave them a ‘voice’. They had participated in national consultations and events through the National Youth Council. They had attended public speaking workshops, and had also participated in the interview panels for the Director of Children Services.

 

They explained that they currently had 3 priorities which were; tackling discrimination, education for employment and community spaces for young people.

 

They said that being a member improved confidence, made them aware of other youth organisations in the Borough, enabled them to give a view and report back on their findings. They could help people and make a difference and they had developed their skills and increased their conversational capabilities.

 

The Chair thanked them for their presentation and asked for any questions.

 

The Panel asked the GYPC members to feedback what they would like to see improved in the Borough via the Senior Participation Officer.

Action: GYPC Members / Senior Participation Officer

 

The GYPC members provided a few initial remarks; that library work was important for school work but that libraries were not particularly quiet and there was a lack of quiet areas to use. They also highlighted the Vote 16 Campaign.

 

The Panel further asked what funding  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Cabinet Member Priorities 2016-17 Progress Report pdf icon PDF 65 KB

The Panel is asked to note progress in relation to the cabinet Member’s priorities for 2016-17 which are:

 

·                    To establish and maintain good schools for Greenwich children

·                    To deliver additional school places agreed by Cabinet and identify future options for expansion

·                    To ensure effective scrutiny of standards in Royal Greenwich schools

·                    To prepare for the forthcoming OFSTED Inspection and secure a ‘Good’ judgement

·                    To ensure robustness of social care arrangements and performance for children in need of help and protection, including countering child sexual exploitation.

·                    To deliver the budget savings agreed in Children’s Services.

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Children and Young People gave an update on her key priorities for 2016-17.

 

She highlighted the good outcome of the OFSTED inspection of services for children in need of help and protection, Looked After Children (LAC) and care leavers and the Review of the Safeguarding Children Board, and thanked the Directorate of Children’s Services for all their work.

 

The Panel noted that OFSTED had identified a number of recommendations and asked how these were being addressed. The Cabinet Member advised that they were being incorporated in to the Work Plan and all had been given top priority. In regard to the Children in Care Council, she said that the Council was well established, but membership was low at present, children in care were hard to engage with as many were living outside the Borough but continued efforts would be made. The Borough’s pledge to looked after children needed to be refreshed and Children’s Services were reviewing it with the GYPC.

 

The Panel asked how traveller children were being included as they were also a hard to reach cohort, and that there was a need to be sensitive to their backgrounds and needs as a group. They asked that needs be assessed to determine any risk and that assumptions should not be made. 

 

The Panel requested that the Educational Achievements 2016 report; that was scheduled for presentation to the January 2017 meeting; included commentary as well as the presentation of statistics.

Action: Director of Children’s Services

 

Resolved –

 

That the progress in relation to the Cabinet Member’s priorities for 2016-17 be noted.

7.

Children and Young People Plan Performance Monitor 2016-17 Quarter 1 pdf icon PDF 76 KB

The Panel are asked to scrutinise the performance of the partnership of services for children at the end of the first quarter in 2016/17.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report was presented by the Director Children’s Services and the Assistant Director Commissioning and Resources who provided an update of the Children and Young People Plan Performance Monitor 2016/17 for Quarter 1.

 

They explained that at 93% the number of Greenwich primary schools judged as good or outstanding remained above the London average and that secondary schools judged as good or outstanding at 76.9% (previously 69.2%) has also improved. Those schools which required further improvement were being supported through the Local School Improvement Strategy.

 

They said that the number of women who were smokers in Greenwich, at the time of delivering their babies, had seen a small reduction. There was now a smoking cessation advisor established at Queen Elizabeth II Hospital.

 

They continued that the rate of A&E attendances for children and young people had significant links to asthma and accidents, and had continued to increase and was above the national average. The Clinical Commissioning Group was developing a pathway for asthma prevention, engaging multi-agency action to try and reduce A&E admissions.

 

In regard to Early Help to avoid children being taken in to care, a Panel member drew the Panel’s attention to the Nil Recourse Service for people who do not have access to public funds. She said that it would be preferable to support families with nil recourse to public funds, where possible, to ensure that it was not necessary for their children to be taken in to care, because of a lack of support.

 

The Panel noted that the first time offender figures were still in the red and this was of concern. The Assistant Director said that they were aware that there were issues targeting these individuals when they were younger and that indicators of when things start to go wrong were being looked in to. An increase in the number of girls entering the Youth Offending Service had been noted. Further that there had been an increase of girls in gangs and they were not always the victims but increasingly the perpetrators. They said that Police triaging was working well in identifying problems and they were also working closely with schools to identify poor attendance and exclusions.

It was also noted by the Panel that under 18 conception rates also had a red rating, the Director said that they had found that strong education outcomes and aspirations for young women were key to reducing teenage pregnancy and the commissioning of girls only programmes was being implemented as well as mixed projects. A healthier relationships initiative was being led by Eltham Hill Girls School and St. Pauls was working with mental health ambassadors trained by Oxleas to talk to young people involved in unhealthy relationships. 

 

The Panel requested that they be provided with detailed information on the targeted activity (including commissioned activity) that was being delivered for higher risk groups such as those entering the Youth Justice System and also aimed at young women known to be at risk or have been involved  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Children's Services Complaints, Compliments and Representations Report 2015-16 pdf icon PDF 42 KB

To note the Annual Report 2015-16 regarding Children’s Services Complaints, Compliments and Representations.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report was presented by the Head of Complaints, Information Governance and Director’s Management Team (DMT) Support and the Director Children’s Services who updated the Panel on the Children’s Services Complaints, Compliments and Representations Annual Report for 2015-16.

 

They explained that informal resolution meetings were increasingly being used to resolve Children’s Social Care complaints resulting from the Children’s Act and this meant that fewer progressed to a formal complaint and therefore fewer were upheld. OFSTED had acknowledged the positive impact. There had also been a substantial decrease in Corporate complaints from 89 in 2014-15 to 48 in 2015-16.

 

The Head of Complaints, Information Governance and DMT Support advised that there had been a rise in the number of compliments received in 2015-16. 

 

The Panel asked if a standard procedure was followed for complaints. The Head of Complaints, Information Governance and DMT Support answered that there are two different procedures applicable depending on whether the complaint concerned was a function of a local authority under the Children Act 1989 or not. If it was, the complaint would be handled in accordance with the Statutory Guidance of the Children’s Act 1989 Representations and Procedures (England) Regulations 2006. This was a three stage process; stage 1, a local resolution, stage 2 involved the appointment of an investigating officer (from outside the service the complaint was against) and an independent person external to the Council; stage 3 involved a review panel consisting of 3 independent people. If the complainant remained dissatisfied they could complain to the Local Government Ombudsman for further investigation. Other complaints about Children’s Services followed a two stage process which was not subject to a panel review, and again if the complainant wished could be referred to the Local Government Ombudsman.

 

Resolved –

 

That the Children’s Services Complaints, Compliments and Representations Annual Report for 2015-16 be noted.

9.

Outcome of Public Health Nursing Commissioning pdf icon PDF 78 KB

To note the outcome of the commissioning process for the Public Health Nursing contract.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report was presented by the Head of Joint Commissioning and the Chair of The Greenwich Young Peoples Council who provided an update on the commissioning process for the Public Health Nursing Contract.

 

The Head of Joint Commissioning explained that a new contract would run from 1 September until 31 March 2020, with an option to extend the contract for a further two years, subject to performance and availability of funding had been awarded to Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust. There had been ten Expressions of Interest but only one bid received, from Oxleas, which had been evaluated by both an Officer’s Panel and a Young People’s Panel.

 

The Panel queried why there had only been one bid following ten Expressions of Interest. The Joint Head of Commissioning replied that there were only a limited number of bodies in this market and that service providers tended to be other NHS Trusts, although there were some private companies at the Expression of Interest stage.

 

In response to a question about the pricing model, the Joint Head of Commissioning explained that the applicant had to submit an extensive schedule detailing costs and Value for Money of their frontline delivery in order to score the 25% weighting.

 

The Chair of GYPC described how she and five other members of the GYPC had taken part in a mystery shopping exercise, undertaken training regarding assessing bids and interviewed Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, scored their bid, and provided input as to what was good and bad in the bid, and had given feedback. For example; the GYPC Panel agreed that the use of Instagram was not a good idea as it focusses on images so was not a good tool for providing information on the service.

 

The Head of Joint Commissioning said that following the contract award a phased mobilisation of the new service was underway, which included a reorganisation to remodel the service and ensure that communication of the changes were made to parents, children, schools, Children’s Centres and GPs.

 

The Panel asked how performance would be monitored and what penalties would be put in place if the service did not perform as expected. The Joint Head of Commissioning replied that Performance Indicators would be employed and quarterly monitoring reports would be undertaken. Feedback would also be sought from the young commissioners and from Healthwatch. The provider would be set actions and deadlines to improve any service problems.

 

The Panel questioned what level of risk assessment would be carried out. The Joint Head of Commissioning said that service users would be involved, Healthwatch would be asked to feedback and the onus would be for young people to own the assessment process.

 

The Panel asked that information be provided on how young people will monitor and assess the commissioned services.

Action: Director of Children’s Services

 

The Panel asked for clarification of what the Year 11 and 13 Touchpoints were, being delivered by Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT).The Touchpoints referred to were for example; birth, breastfeeding,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

In-depth Scrutiny - Scrutiny of Children's Health Services provided by Commissioned Providers pdf icon PDF 31 KB

The Panel is asked to note the project plan for in-depth scrutiny on Children’s Health Services provided by Commissioned Providers as set out at Appendix 1.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report was presented by the Senior Corporate Development Officer who asked the Panel to note that there would be an additional meeting jointly with the Healthier Communities and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Panel on 16 March 2017 to receive further evidence from Children’s Health Services stakeholders.

 

The Panel were also invited to attend the Healthier Communities and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Panel on 22 November 2016 at which an update on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) would be an agenda item.

 

The Chair explained that a timetable of visits to Children’s Centres was being drafted and asked for Panel Members to volunteer to attend. A matrix of visits detailing dates and times would be forwarded to the Members of the Panel to enable them to choose which visits they would like to be considered for.

Action: Senior Corporate Development Officer

 

Councillor Mardner and Monsignor Rothan volunteered to attend visits.

 

The Panel agreed that the attendees for each visit would meet directly afterwards to discuss their thoughts and observations.

 

Resolved -

 

That the project plan for in-depth scrutiny on Children’s Health Services provided by Commissioned providers as set out in Appendix 1 be noted.

 

11.

Commissioning Future Reports pdf icon PDF 37 KB

The Panel is asked to note the work items that are scheduled for presentation to the Corporate Parenting Panel 16 November 2016 and the Children and Young Peoples Scrutiny Panel 19 January 2017.

 

The Panel is asked to identify any specific themes or lines of enquiry to be covered in any of the reports outlined.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

The Panel noted the items scheduled for presentation to the Corporate Parenting meeting of 16 November 2016 and the Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel 19 January 2017.