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Agenda Item No.

 

CABINET

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 6 October, 2014.

 

Present: Councillor N. Moore (Chairman), Councillor S.C. Egan (Vice – Chairman); Councillors: B.E. Brooks, L. Burnett, R. Curtis, C.P.J. Elmore and G. John.

                                                    

C2474                        MINUTES –

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 22 September, 2014 be approved as a correct record.

 

C2475            DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

The following declarations of interest were received

 

Councillor G. John

Agenda Item No. 10 - Adult Community Learning Service Restructure.

 

Reason for Declaration –

He attended Welsh classes provided by the service.

 

 

 

C2476                        REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL 2014 TO 31ST JULY 2014 (REF) -          

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) on 1 September, 2014 considered the above report of the Director of Social Services.

 

The Operational Manager – Accountancy presented the report, the purpose of which was to advise Members of the position in respect of revenue and capital expenditure for the period 1st April to 31st July 2014.

 

Revenue

 

The current year end forecast for the Social Services budget was an overspend of £800k.  In addition to increased demand for services, there was pressure on the Directorate to achieve its savings targets for 2014/15 onwards. 

 

Children and Young People's Services – This service was currently anticipated to outturn £200k under budget at year end.  The major issue concerning this service continued to be the pressure on the children’s placements budget.  At present, it was currently projected that the Joint Budget for Residential Placements for Looked After Children would outturn within budget at year end.  However, it still remained early in the financial year and therefore this position would need to be monitored closely as any increase in the number of children becoming looked after by the Council over the remainder of the year could have a significant impact on the budget, particularly if they required high cost residential placements.  The areas of projected underspend in the budget were currently legal expenses, adoption income and reduced expenditure as a result of the current cohort of children. 

 

Adult Services – This service was currently anticipated to outturn £1m over budget at year end.  This was due to a projected overspend on Community Care Packages of £1.2m as a result of increased demand for services, particularly for frail older clients.  The service would strive to manage demand, not only to avoid a further increase in the overspend, but also to reduce the overspend.  Whilst every effort would be made to improve this position, it could not be guaranteed that this position would not deteriorate further by year end as this budget was extremely volatile and under great pressure.  The annual deferred income budget for 2014/15 had been set at £725k and at 31st July 2014 it was £58k behind target.  It was therefore being projected that this budget would underrecover by £150k at year end and this position was included as part of the projected overspend on the Community Care packages budget.  The areas of projected underspend in the budget were currently staffing and related travel costs and premises.

 

Capital

 

Attached at Appendix 2 to the report were details of financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 31st July 2014. 

 

For all schemes where it was evident that the full year’s budget would not be spent during the year, the relevant officers were required to provide an explanation for the shortfall and this should be taken to the earliest available Cabinet meeting. 

 

Appendix 3 to the report provided non-financial information on capital construction schemes. 

 

Social Services Budget Programme Update

 

On 5th March 2014, Council approved the savings targets for 2014/15 and the initial savings targets for 2015/16 and 2016/17. 

 

As part of the Medium Term Financial Plan, approved by Cabinet on 11th August 2014, it was agreed that the service remodelling savings, included in 2015/16 and 2016/17 would be rephased.  These savings were to be found through collaborative working and it was considered that a longer time frame would be required for these savings to materialise in cash terms and therefore the current savings target of £475k in 2015/16 and £495k in 2016/17 were to be re-profiled to £320k in 2017/18, £320k in 2018/19 and £330k in 2019/20.

 

The Directorate was currently required to find savings totalling £3.97m by the end of 2019/20.  The surplus shown was as a result of the foster carer recruitment project and could be used to mitigate any additional savings to be found in future years.

 

The following table shows the approved savings targets and the savings identified by year.  It includes the £293k identified in 2012/13 in excess of the saving target for that year.

 

Year

Savings Required

£000

Savings Identified

£000

In Year Surplus/ (Shortfall)

£000

Cumulative Surplus/   (Shortfall)

£000

Previously Identified Savings

 

293

293

293

2014/15

713

454

(259)

34

2015/16

1,125

1,201

76

110

2016/17

1,162

1,238

76

186

2017/18

320

320

0

186

2018/19

320

320

0

186

2019/20

330

330

0

186

TOTAL

3,970

4,156

 

 

 

Appendix 4 to the report detailed the latest progress for each savings project currently identified. 

 

Specific to the projected overspend within Adult Services, the Head of Adult Services advised the Committee that it was of some concern to be in this position at this current stage of the financial year.  There was a need to fully evaluate and understand the level of risk facing the service.  Budgetary pressures identified within Quarters 1 and 2 were similar to previous years and it had been identified that there was increased demand within older people’s services and for young people transitioning from Children’s to Adult Services.  There was a need for further detailed analysis of the demand for services, similarly to that which had been carried out previously.  Aspects which affected the budget included the £55 cap for the charging of services, the reorganisation within the Health Service and the changes by Health to continuing health care guidance.

 

A Committee Member enquired if there was any way to get the budget plans back on track.  In response the Head of Adult Services advised that this was a difficult undertaking but there was a need to review whether the service had over-provided care.  In response to a query regarding the arrangements regarding contracts for domiciliary care, the Committee was advised this would move away from spot purchase for domiciliary care support for adults in the community, the savings being realised in 2015/16. 

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the position with regard to the 2014/15 revenue and capital monitoring be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the progress made in delivering the Social Services Budget Programme be noted and referred to Cabinet for information.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       That Members are aware of the position with regard to the 2014/15 revenue and capital monitoring relevant to this Scrutiny Committee.

 

(2)       That Members are aware of the progress made to date on the Social Services Budget Programme.â€

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Cabinet having considered the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health)

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted.

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the contents of the report.

 

C2477                        PRESENTATION: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES (CAMHS), MRS R WHITTLE, COMMISSIONING LEAD - CARDIFF AND VALE (CAHMS) AND DR J DOWNEY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY LEAD - CAMHS NETWORK (REF) -                    

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) on 1 September, 2014 considered the above report and presentation.

 

The Commissioning Lead for the Cardiff and Vale CAMHS Network commenced the presentation by providing a brief background summary of the situation.  In October 2012, the Welsh Government published a document entitled Together for Mental Healthâ€.  This replaced previous age specific guidelines. 

 

Childhood mental health problems were common, with one in ten children having a diagnosable emotional health problem.  The level of emotional mental health problems in our young population was increasing.  The main increase had not been in severe functional illness but the recognition of stress, anxiety, depression and behavioural issues including risk taking which may develop into enduring problems.  Support required was complicated by the need for a multiagency approach, local authority services, third sector, carers and families.  Education, parenting services and health all had a vital role to play as well. 

 

CAMHS services for children and young people were provided by the Managed Clinical Network hosted by the Cwm Taf Health Board.  They linked closely with child health and adult mental health services provided by the Cardiff and Vale UHB.  The Network provided:

 

·                Primary mental health services

·                Community CAMHS services

·                Community Intensive Treatment Team (CITT)

·                In-patient Tier 4 services to five health boards – as above and Hywel Dda Health Board (HDHB), Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Board (ABHB) and lower Powys

·                Forensic Adolescent Consultation Team (FACT) – all Wales.

 

In describing the drivers for change, the Commissioning Lead informed the Committee that the service was relatively small and was facing increased demand.  Health Inspection Wales and Welsh Audit Office reports on CAMHS would help drive the service forward as would children and young people committee reviews.  Ministerial questions and concerns were also a factor, as were complaints from referrers and agencies about delays, referral not being accepted and lack of services.  Increase in admissions via Accident and Emergency was a considerable factor along with the lack of support to specific groups with mental health problems but with no functional mental illness (e.g. Looked After Children, Youth Offending Services and difficult behaviour). 

 

In October 2013, the UHB commenced a work programme to agree a sustainable service model for emotional and mental health services.  It was clear that there were many complex issues with multiple perspectives relating to the need and the service delivery model.  Every partner had a different expectation and perception of what CAMHS and other partners should provide.  The workshop in January 2014 identified five key areas of work to be taken forwards. 

 

The first area related to primary mental health support. Currently, two services were providing different functions, these being the Primary Mental Health Team and the Part 1 Team.  This created confusion among referrers and service users. A main aim of the programme was to create one integrated service combining both functions that included a clear referral pathway. 

 

The second area of work was specific to clients whose behaviour involved risk-taking.  It was considered that this was everyone’s business, not just the specialist CAMHS service.  Young people tended to bounce around the system and not get the help they required.  The programme aim was to develop and implement a multi-disciplinary / multiagency response to support those children and young people where a professional judged that they need urgent assessment and support.  This included those with risky behaviour who today were likely to present at the Emergency Unit.  These young people required:

 

·                mental health assessment / risk assessment

·                a place of safety

·                a multi-disciplinary strategy meeting

·                a risk management plan (including support package).

 

The third aspect of the area of work revolved around specialist NHS CAMHS services.  These are provided to children with an identified psychiatric disorder (e.g. depression, psychosis, ADHD, etc.).  The aim of the programme was to create a clear service specification for the population to enable appropriate commissioning. 

 

The fourth area was around improving links to specialist services at Tier 4.  Currently, the inpatient unit (tertiary service) Wales was based at Ty Llidiard, Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend.   When it was built, the unit was made up of two wards, one a 14 bed unit and the other a 5 bed unit.  Presently, only the 14 bed unit was staffed and this provided a discharge liaison service.  The aim of the programme was to work with Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee (WHSSC) to commission and secure the necessary services to meet the needs of the population. 

 

The final area of work related to Service User engagement. It was the aim of the programme for commissioning to be informed by what young people had told the service.  It was important for close working arrangements with third sector partners to run focus groups and, working through partners, to access young people to gather feedback. 

 

A Committee Member raised concern regarding delays in arranging appointments for children to see a consultant and the impact this could have on the young person’s school education.  The Commissioning Lead informed Members that they recognised a number of issues that were raised by the Committee Member and that they had dealt with a number of complaints relating to access.  The service was currently looking at the appropriateness of responses and it was important to recognise mental health issues and the need to look at the whole range of support services available.

 

At this point, the Clinical Psychology Lead advised Members that the availability of services had been affected by the current level of budget cuts.  At present, the service was made up of 12 full time equivalent posts and 5 medical practitioners to cover the whole of Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.  All clients were assigned to the CAMHS service and the new legislation had affected how the service performed. 

 

In response to a query concerning the support of those individuals who may not be appropriate for CAMHS support, the Committee was advised that the Part 1 team was required to provide a brief assessment and provide short term intervention to individuals.  There was a recognised gap for children and young people who suffered with risk-taking behaviours, but the service did not want to negatively label children with a mental health problem.  In essence, the current programme was around unpicking all the pieces of the service and putting it back together and there was a need to evaluate whether adequate resources were available.  There was also a need to look at the population group where the main risk factor had been identified.  However, it was impractical to expect 12 full time equivalent staff members to handle the current level of service demand. 

 

A Committee Member, in referring to previous comments regarding the funding of the service within Wales, sought clarification as to whether there was any evidence to support this view.  The Clinical Psychology Lead stated that they had recently looked at benchmarking for comparable areas and it had been identified that there was a 60% budget deficit compared to areas within England.  The only way to improve the situation was for an integrated and multi-agency approach that worked with all agencies, particularly with schools and youth services.  Further to this point, a Committee Member questioned as to who was responsible for the lack of funding and whether there were any suggestions that would improve the situation.  The Commissioning Lead advised that the funding issue was very well known within Health.  The service needed to undertake a review to assess the resources available. 

 

Following a query regarding the timescales of the programme, the Committee was advised that there was a need to wait for formal feedback, but in terms of providing mental health services there was a requirement to prioritise where the service was best hosted. The service currently worked with all age ranges and the service may need to assess whether it focused on children’s service.  The evaluation of options would be concluded by the end of September and the current work was focused on the risk-taking behaviour of children and young.  This was going to be long and complicated and would include a pilot on a small scale.  There was a need to identify when peak time for demand occurred. The service was aware that many young people appear in A&E between 14:00 and 15:00 hours on a Monday and Tuesday, but the service needed to properly assess what triggered episodes in children and young people. 

 

The Director of Social Services advised that a briefing note will be distributed to Members, outlining the Council’s perspective in respect of the issues raised during the presentation.

 

The Committee expressed a desire for an update report detailing progress to be provided within 12 months’ time. 

 

Having considered the above, the Committee

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the presentation and minutes from this meeting be referred to Cabinet.

 

(2)       T H A T a further update report be presented in 12 months’ time.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To inform Cabinet of the changes to the CAMHS service and to highlight issues affecting an important service area.

 

(2)       To provide oversight and scrutiny of an important service area.â€

 

 

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Cabinet having considered the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health)

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the contents of the report be noted and the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) be thanked for forwarding this report to Cabinet.

 

(2)          T H A T Cabinet receives a further update report  in 12 months’ time.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To note the contents of the report.

 

(2)          To keep Members updated.

 

 

C2478               THE YOUTH JUSTICE PLAN 2014/15 (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) on 10 September, 2014 considered the above report of the Director of Social Services.

 

Committee was informed of the Vale of Glamorgan Youth Justice Plan 2014/15. 

 

The success of the Youth Offending Service (YOS) in reducing or diverting young people out of the Youth Justice System has meant that those now entering the system present more complex and / or acute needs.  The increasing complexity of YOS service users had been recognised by the Youth Justice Board.  Work was currently taking place nationally to enhance both the quality of assessments and interventions delivered to young people to effect change.  By introducing new models of working, Youth Justice Services were attempting to take the next step in breaking the cycle of offending and reoffending by young people which could result in periods of custody and young people moving through the system to become prolific adult offenders.  A success of preventative services had demonstrated that it was more cost effective and beneficial to individuals and society if the Council worked in partnership to tackle the causes of offending and reoffending. 

 

At a strategic level, the YOS Management Board would continue to engage all partners in highlighting the need for YOS resource commitment to be maintained, despite the reduction in numbers of young people;  and to facilitate young people’s access to the mainstream services that would prevent and / or reduce their offending.

 

Outlined within the Youth Justice Plan in Section 2 were the operational activities the YOS was planning to undertake during the next 12 months, i.e. reviewing all its current systems, training managers and staff in readiness for the introduction of the new assessment model, introducing specialist tools i.e. screening for speech, language and communication difficulties.  The changes were designed to ensure that staff were competent and capable of making effective risk management and safeguarding decisions and exercising the flexibilities and freedoms outlined in revised National Standards 2013.

 

The YOS expected to face considerable challenges in delivering these changes when all agencies were faced with financial constraints and competing pressures.

 

Members observed that the YOS was being faced with a combination of increased workload and reduced resources. 

 

Members enquired as to what extent the Management Board was working to find a solution and were informed that the Management Board was taking a very robust approach.  The Head of the Youth Justice Board Wales had been invited to its meeting in June 2014 and the Management Board had voiced its concerns to him about the levels of funding and additional areas of responsibility being devolved to the Local Authority / Youth Offending Service.  This was based on the fact that the levels of funding being received were insufficient to meet demand.

 

The Head of the Youth Justice Board Wales had stated that he would be prepared to attend Cabinet to answer questions if so required.

 

Additionally, the report before Members today was to be reported to Cabinet. 

 

The report had also been discussed in CMT, and agreement had been reached that the Managing Director write to all statutory partners following today’s meeting.

 

Having considered the report, it was

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the Youth Justice Plan be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T Committee recognise the potential risks should the contributions to the Youth Offending Service from key agencies continue to reduce and that Cabinet be informed of these concerns.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To meet the statutory requirements of grant terms and conditions provided by the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales, to achieve continuing improvements in the performance of the Youth Offending Service and to ensure that Members can exercise oversight of this key area of work for the Council. 

 

(2)       To advise Cabinet of the concerns of this Committee.â€

 

 

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Cabinet having considered the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection)

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T Cabinet note and share the concerns of the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection).

 

(2)          T H A T the Managing Director write to all statutory partners about their contribution to the Youth Justice Service.

 

(3)          T H A T a further update report on the Youth Justice Plan 2014/15 be presented to a future Cabinet meeting.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To note and share the concerns of the Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection).

 

(2)          To inform all statutory partners of progress.

 

(3)          To receive a further update report on the Youth Justice Plan 2014/15, when further information is available regarding funding.

 

C2479                        MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL PLAN 2014/15 – 2017/18 (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on 16 September, 2014 considered the above report.

 

Cabinet had, at its meeting on 11th August 2014, referred the draft Medium Term Financial Plan to the Scrutiny Committee for information.  The Head of Finance stated that the purpose of the Medium Term Financial Plan was to link the Council’s strategic planning process with the budget process, to ensure consistency between them, to inform Members and to suggest a way of dealing with the future financial pressures facing the Council. 

 

The draft Medium Term Financial Plan for 2014/15 – 2017/18 was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  The Plan attempted to identify the main financial implications resulting from the increased pressure falling upon Council services, including pay and price inflation, legislative and demographic changes, and to estimate the reduced financial resources that would be available to the Council to meet these demands in light of the letter issued on 24th June 2014 by the Minister for Local Government and Government Business to all the Welsh Local Authorities regarding future funding settlements.  The Plan also attempted to match the predicted expenditure and resources and provide a framework to develop a financial strategy towards achieving a balanced budget for the next three financial years.  An Executive Summary was included at pages 2 – 6 of the Plan with the exception of the Minister’s letter, Welsh Government had also not yet given any indication of local government funding levels for 2015/16 to 2017/18. 

 

However, it was noted that the Council’s timeframe for the budget process necessitated the use of the best available information at the time if a balanced budget was to be achieved by the statutory date.  The assumptions made in the Plan were, therefore, based upon the contents of the Minister’s letter and the subsequent views of key commentators (including the Welsh Local Government Association) and the prospects for local government funding over the next few years.

 

Initial estimates presented the following picture which showed a projected savings target between 2015/16 and 2017/18 of £32m, comprising of £18m of savings already identified and £14m yet to be allocated. 

 

 

Matching Predicted Resources to Expenditure

2015/16

£000

2016/17

£000

2017/18

£000

Real Term Decrease in Resources

9,210

8,170

5,070

Cost Pressures

1,303

6,316

3,422

Identified Savings

(8,857)

(8,706)

(645)

Costs to be met within Schools

(362)

(371)

(380)

Additional Shortfall

1,294

5,409

7,467

 

The matching exercise indicated that there remained £1.3m of savings to be identified for 2015/16 and this was after already identifying £8.8m.  The achievement of the identified savings was by no means guaranteed, but failure to deliver this level of savings would significantly impact on the Council achieving its required financial strategy which would now be based on an estimated reduction of £32m by 2017/18.

 

As a result of the high level of savings required, there would be difficulties in maintaining the quality and quantity of services without exploring opportunities for collaboration and alternative forms of service delivery.  The only realistic option facing the Council in future years was to commence a programme of reshaping and transforming services.

 

To ensure that the budget set for 2015/16 continued to address the priorities of Vale residents and the Council’s service users, the budget setting process would incorporate in-depth, targeted engagement with a range of key stakeholders.  This would be a process of collaboration – with staff, trade unions, public sector partners, the voluntary sector, service recipients and the Vale’s communities (including its Town and Community Councils).  

 

A key outcome from the 2014/15 budget process was to re-examine the relative priorities between different services given the financial challenges which lay ahead and to reaffirm the specific financial strategies for Education & Schools and Social Services.  In light of the level of savings to be found by 2017/18, a further review would be necessary in order to ascertain whether it was viable to continue with these financial strategies.  

 

Other options recommended within the Plan for exploration as part of the 2015/16 budget process were:

 

·                Consider the results of the budget engagement process in determining priorities for future savings and service delivery

·                Review the appropriateness of the current financial strategies for Education and Schools, Social Services and Other Services

·                Review feasibility of increasing  the use of the General Fund Reserve as part of the financial strategy

·                Further reviewing the level of cost pressures with a view to services managing and reducing demand and mitigating pressures

·                Services funding their own residual cost pressures through reviewing their existing budgets and revised / alternative means of service provision

·                Services meeting their own pay and price inflation, superannuation increase etc., through reviewing their staffing structure in line with changes to service delivery and workforce planning requirements

·                Reviewing the priorities for funding statutory and non-statutory services, including establishing minimum levels of services provision

·                Pursuing options for reshaping services including means of alternative service delivery in order to attempt to maintain the level of service while reducing the cost of provision. 

 

In presenting the report the Head of Service advised that the Council was aware of certain issues that may impact on the Plan, for example the Housing (Wales) Bill, but that there could be others that the Council may not know about, although as soon as any new information was received the Plan would be amended as appropriate.  The Head of Service also tabled a presentation slide which referred to the Council’s current financial context i.e. where we are, the £61m savings required over 8 years, excluding schools, and future funding.  On the reverse the document detailed a graph highlighting future funding and spending for the average local authority in Wales as published by the WLGA.

 

In recognising that the next agenda item on the Committee’s agenda related to Reshaping Services, the Head of Service advised that the Council could not continue as it was and needed to look at how it provided services now and in the future to address the situation. 

 

Members queried the possibility of the Council being able to consider the use of the   Education budget as part of the process, as they felt that all service areas should be included in the budget planning process and many had in their view “been cut to the boneâ€.  Members also asked whether there was anything that they could do to assist with achieving the required savings.  In response the Head of Service stated that there would be hard decisions to make in the future for Members about service provision but that with regard to schools it was anticipated that Welsh Government would continue to direct the Council into how it spent that budget.  Members however, considered it was important that Education and Social Services took full part in the process and in particular it was essential that all staff be involved in the reshaping services exercise, as they may be able to offer suggestions for ways forward in the future.  Aware that many services were mandatory services, Members considered that the actual processes of how they were undertaken could be challenged and reviewed.

 

In referring to other savings suggestions for example energy aware that these were ongoing they also queried water consumption with the response that a report was currently being prepared for Cabinet and Scrutiny Committee on this matter.

 

Following consideration of the report it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the quarterly monitoring reports to the Scrutiny Committee include reports on the savings achieved to date and future savings identified for each service area.

 

(2)       T H A T Cabinet be asked to ensure that the information outlined in Recommendation (1) is reported to Scrutiny Committees and Cabinet on a quarterly basis. 

 

(3)       T H A T the remaining resolutions of Cabinet be endorsed.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1&2)  To allow for consideration by Members.

 

(3)       In view of the contents contained within the draft Medium Term Financial Plan.â€

 

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Cabinet having considered the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources)

 

RESOLVED – T H A T quarterly monitoring reports be reported to Cabinet, which should include the savings achieved together with an indication of the further savings identified for each service area.

 

Reason for decision

 

To allow for consideration by Members.

 

 

C2480                        RESHAPING SERVICES – A NEW CHANGE PROGRAMME FOR THE COUNCIL (REF) -                      

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on 16 September, 2014 considered the above report.

 

The report provided Members with details of the process by which the Council intended to address the challenges in the Medium Term Financial Plan and  proposed a Reshaping Services Strategy and associated change programme for the Council which was detailed at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

The Head of Performance and Development , in referring to the background to the report, advised that Central Government’s austerity drive had created a period of unprecedented financial pressures in the public sector and the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s budget had already been squeezed for 2014/15 with further substantial savings necessary in 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18.  Failure to deliver the required level of savings would not be an option for the Council and it was clear that the scale of the challenges to come would mean that business as usual, however well managed, would not be enough.  The challenge was therefore to consider alternative delivery models for services across the Council and only in this way could the Council hope to maintain a broad range of services and to an acceptable standard. 

 

The report highlighted that given the Council’s traditional low funding base (20th out of 22 local authorities in terms of funding per head of population) the Authority was well versed in working together to find savings and had a long established track record of achievement in this respect which would stand it in good stead in tackling future challenges.  It was anticipated that the programme as outlined would be driven and largely conducted in-house with existing staff.  However, additional external expertise would be required to advise in areas where in-house expertise was lacking, particularly in untried (for the Council) models of service delivery.  It was not possible at this preliminary stage to estimate what the costs would be, but it was anticipated that they would be met from existing resources. 

 

In relation to consultation, the report advised that given the scale and scope of the Change Programme, it was essential that the public, the Council’s partners and staff and other stakeholders were fully involved in its development.  Proposals for undertaking engagement were outlined in Appendix 1 under “Engagement with Stakeholdersâ€.  The report had been discussed with trade unions, however continual engagement would be crucial to the success of the programme and the exact mechanisms for engaging staff and trade unions would be brought back to Cabinet in the Autumn 2014.  Members were informed that a special meeting of the Community Liaison Committee had been arranged to discuss the report on Wednesday 17th September and the Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee would be considering the report on 23rd September 2014. 

 

Members, in welcoming the report and the need for the Council to be radical and innovative in its thinking, raised concern about the proposed timetable of between three to five years.  The Head of Service stated that the timetable reflected the considerable amount of work required to be undertaken in order to ensure all service areas were covered and any recommendations addressed.  He also emphasised that the nature of the changes would vary widely between services; it was not simply a matter of implementing a single solution.  Some Members raised the issue of competitive tendering and the need to raise awareness of the issues facing the Council in order that the implications and budget situation of the Council could be understood by all. 

 

It was further suggested that the risks of each of the models would need to be carefully explained in conjunction with the benefits.  It was recognised that the reshaping services programme would be a complicated programme that would require careful consideration, with Members agreeing that staff engagement with the process would be essential to its success.  Following the comment that any suggestions by officers would be channelled through the Scrutiny and Cabinet process, it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the proposal for a “Reshaping Services†strategy and change programme to be instituted be agreed in principle.

 

(2)       T H A T a further report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee in the Autumn providing the proposals for a more detailed way forward and apprising Members of comments received as a result of any initial engagement with stakeholders.

 

(3)       T H A T Cabinet be requested to consider developing a Communication Strategy for the Reshaping Services programme in order to educate stakeholders and encourage engagement.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1&2)  To enable the Council to respond constructively to significantly diminishing resources by developing alternative means of service delivery in partnership with stakeholders.

 

(3)       In order that stakeholders can be fully apprised of the Council’s Reshaping Services programme.â€

 

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Cabinet having considered the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources)

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted and it be highlighted that the development of a communication strategy was addressed in the 11 August, 2014, Cabinet report.

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the contents of the report.

 

C2481                        RESHAPING SERVICES – A NEW CHANGE PROGRAMME FOR THE COUNCIL (REF) -          

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) on 2 September, 2014 considered the above report.

 

Cabinet, on 11th August 2014, had agreed in principle to institute a “Reshaping Services†strategy and associated change programme. 

 

The Director of Development Services, in presenting the report, advised the Committee that Central Government’s austerity drive had created a period of unprecedented financial pressures within the public sector.   The latest draft Medium Term Financial Plan estimated there would be a £10m reduction in the budget in 2014/15 and £32m in total over the next three years.  Failure to deliver the required level of savings would not be an option for the Council and according to many analysts, a period of “permanent austerity†was now likely for Councils for the foreseeable future. 

 

It was clear that the scale of the challenge to come would mean that “business as usualâ€, however well managed, would not be enough.  Continued incremental cuts to budgets would simply lead to a steady decline in the quality and availability of public services, dissatisfaction among those who use the services and poor staff morale. 

 

The challenge for the Council therefore was to consider alternative delivery models for services across the board and this was seen as the only way to maintain a broad range of services and to an acceptable standard.

 

Shown under Appendix 1 was a strategy encompassing the various models for service delivery and how these proposals were to be considered. 

 

In referring to page 2 of Appendix 1 of the covering report, Members noted some of the solutions to be considered.  These included:

 

·                Joint provision with other public sector bodies, examples being the Central South Education Consortium, Prosiect Gwyrdd, Integrated Health and Social Care and Regulatory Services.

·                Delivery by external partners – this could mean delivery by a private sector company, a third sector organisation or other external body.  The Council had already used this option for some services e.g. Parkwood for Leisure services and also the transfer of Dyffryn House to the National Trust.

·                Council-owned companies – this being the splitting of a Council service from its parent and making it a separate, stand-alone company.  The main variants of council-owned companies were joint ventures, where the Council and a private sector company form a new jointly owned company to sell and deliver the service.  Other examples include Local Authority Trading Companies and Employee / community owned companies.

 

In summarising the strategy the Director of Development Services advised that it would be necessary for the Council to look at both statutory and discretionary services in order to identify alternative delivery models and also areas of increased income generation.  It was important to consider the ramifications of changing the delivery model for services.  For example some services were grant funded by the Welsh Government and in some cases the size of the grant was equitable to 95% of the total cost and the contribution provided by the Council was relatively small.   The Council would be faced with making many tough and hard decisions and it would be important to gauge public reaction if certain services were withdrawn.  The role of Members in this process was seen as very important and as a way of expressing the views and wishes of the local community and residents. 

 

At this point the Director of Visible Services and Housing emphasised the size of savings required over the next few years and if the Council’s decision was to protect Social Services and Education, then this would have a severe impact on certain services, some of which would no longer be undertaken.  He asked Members to be mindful of the decision taken back in 2000 to stop cutting grass during certain periods of the year and the problems and issues that this decision had incurred. 

 

Referring to income generation and car parking Members were advised that the service was closely considering anything where a levy or a charge could be introduced.  It was officers’ responsibility to provide the services within budgets set and it was important for the Authority to maximise charges and car parks had been an area to be reviewed.  A Committee Member stated that in their opinion it was clearly evident that staff within the Council were the people that knew best, when it came down to deciding changes to service models.  The Member advised that Cabinet should consider the creation of a Working Group, led by a Cabinet Member and made up of staff along with non-executive Council members.  The remit of such a group would be to oversee any proposals and to evaluate the impacts.  The Committee, in discussing this proposal, was content for the exact arrangements and remit to be decided by Cabinet, which may involve various sub-groups.

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the “Reshaping Services†strategy and the associated change programme for the Council be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T Cabinet considers options regarding the creation of either a Working Group or various Sub-Groups, the exact make-up and remit of which should be clearly defined and agreed by Cabinet.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To note the proposals of the “Reshaping Services†strategy.

 

(2)       To oversee and monitor any proposals made regarding changes to service models and to evaluate their potential impact.â€

 

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Cabinet having considered the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment)

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted and it be highlighted that the Cabinet Working Group had already been set up as a result of the 11 August, 2014 Cabinet report.

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the contents of the report.

 

C2482                        ADULT COMMUNITY LEARNING SERVICE RESTRUCTURE (AS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – LIFELONG LEARNING) -

 

During consideration of this item the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development  left the room and took no part in any discussions that took place.

 

Cabinet was provided with feedback from the consultation on the proposed new staffing structure for the Adult Community Learning (ACL) Service.

 

The Adult Community Learning Service delivered Basic/Essential Skills (Numeracy Literacy & ITC) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) funded by Cardiff and Vale College (CAVC) through a franchise agreement. The funding covered the cost of tuition, qualification/ accreditation fees, hire of premises, crèche facilities and the management of the learning programme.

 

To meet Welsh Government requirements and for the ACL Service to be effective in addressing the recommendations of the February 2013 Estyn Inspection of the Vale's Adult Community Learning Partnership, it was essential that an outcome-based service delivery model was developed. The service must focus resources on subsidising the learning offered to the priority groups identified by the Welsh Government's Adult Community Learning Policy. 

 

Cabinet had considered proposals to re-structure the service on 14 July, 2014 and approved the recommendation to commence consultation. The proposed restructure of the Adult Community Learning Service was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Adult Services commented that the indication from Estyn was that they were happy with the progress being made.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the reconfiguration of the Adult Community Learning Service be approved.

 

(2)       T H A T updates on the operation of the Adult Community Learning Service be presented to future Cabinet Meetings on a regular basis.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To reconfigure the service to adapt to financial challenges and to ensure the service met the standards expected by Estyn as no major objections or alternative suggestions to the restructure had been raised during the consultation.

 

(2)       To monitor the progress of the service post reconfiguration and to ensure that there was positive and proactive progress in meeting Estyn recommendations and expectations in the future.

 

 

C2483                        SCHOOL PERFORMANCE REPORT 2013/14 FOR END OF FOUNDATION PHASE, KEY STAGE 2 AND KEY STAGE 3 AND AN OVERVIEW OF THE LITERACY AND NUMERACY ASSESSMENTS (CS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – LIFELONG LEARNING) -   

 

Cabinet was informed of pupil attainment and school performance outcomes.

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council's ambition was that educational outcomes in the Vale were the best in Wales and matched those of the most successful authorities in England with similar socio-economic profiles.

 

In general, the Vale of Glamorgan was advantaged in terms of socio-economic deprivation.  The proportion of pupils entitled to receive free school meals (FSM) was used as a proxy indicator of socio-economic deprivation. In 2013 -14 the Vale ranked 6th lowest overall for the proportion of pupils entitled to receive free school meals (4th lowest at primary level & 6th lowest at secondary level). The findings indicated that the aggregated performance of Vale schools should be significantly higher than for Wales as a whole and always ranked in the 6 highest performing Local Authorities (LAs), as a minimum expectation.

 

Progress in the Foundation Phase:

 

Indications were that the standards, at Outcome 5 for all PIs, had continued to improve as outlined at Appendix 2, attached to the report.

 

The proportion of schools performing in the high or highest benchmarking quartiles for Language Communication Welsh (LCW) and Foundation Phase Outcome Indicator (FPOI) had increased; however, the proportion of schools performing in the  high or highest benchmarking quartiles had marginally decreased for Mathematical Development to 50%.   This decline was replicated in Personal Social Development (PSD) and Language Communication English (LCE) which fell slightly below 50% of the highest and higher benchmarking quartiles 47% and 49% respectively. 

 

Performance exceeded targets at all PIs at outcome 5  as outlined in Appendix 3, attached to the report. The Council's rank position for Foundation Phase, at the expected outcome 5, compared to the rest of Wales is 4th for the FPOI, 2nd for PSD, 4th for LLCE, 1st for LCW and 3rd for MD.

 

Attainment at the higher Outcome 6, increased for all PIs with the exception of Welsh and PSD.  The proportion of schools benchmarked in the high or highest quartiles had increased for LCW and PSD, however the proportion was under 50%.  The percentage of schools in the higher or highest quartiles had declined for LCE and MD, however the proportion for MD is 50%.

 

Performance at Outcome 6 exceeded targets for LCE, MD and PSD.  Performance did not meet the target for LCW (target 38.28% and performance 35.8%).

 

11.       To secure greater improvement there was a need to:

 

Increase the proportion of schools performing in the high or highest benchmarking quartiles at Outcome 5, particularly PSD, LCE, and MD to above 53%.

 

Increase the proportion of schools performing in the high or highest benchmarking quartiles at Outcome 6 in all PIs to above 50%.

 

Progress in Key Stage 2:

 

Standards had continued to improve at Level 4+, for all PIs and reading writing and mathematics in combination (RWM) (Appendix 4).

 

The proportion of schools, at L4+, performing in the high or highest benchmarking quarters, had increased from 56.8% to 61.3% for English and Science, 60% to 80% for Welsh, 50% to 65.9% for Mathematics and 61.3% to 68.1% for the Core Subject Indicator.

 

The Council's ranked position for L4+ compared to the other 22 local authorities was 2nd for all PIs

 

Standards had marginally increased, at L5+, in KS2 for all PIs.

 

The proportion of schools, at L5+, performing in the high or highest

benchmarking quarters, had increased from 63.6% to 70.5% for English and from 61.4% to 70.5% for Science. The proportion for mathematics had marginally decreased from 68% to 66%.

 

To secure greater improvement in standards in Key Stage 2 there was a need to:

 

Increase the proportion of schools performing in the high or highest benchmarking quarters, at Level 4+ year on year.

 

Increase the proportion of schools performing in the high or highest benchmarking quarters, at Level 5+ year on year particularly in maths.

Progress in KS 3:

 

Standards had improved significantly at L5+ in all core subjects with the exception of Welsh.

 

Performance targets for L5+ were met for English, Welsh, science and the CSI. The performance for mathematics 89% was slightly under the target set 89.83%.

 

The LA rank positions for core subjects with the exception of maths were all below the minimum expectation of 6th.

 

The proportion of schools performing in the high or highest benchmarking quarters, at L5+, for mathematics and Core Subject Indicator (CSI) had improved to 75% (compared with 62.5% in 2013) of schools were placed in the high or highest benchmarking quarters. For Science 62.5% of schools (compared with 50% in 2013) were placed in the high or highest benchmarking quarters.  However, for English and Welsh the proportion had fallen from 75% to 62.5% for English and for Welsh (1 school fallen from quarter 2 to quarter 4).

 

Standards had improved in KS 3 at L6+ in all PIs.

 

The proportion of schools, performing in the high or highest benchmarking quarters, at L6+ had improved for Maths from 50% to 75% and stayed at the same level for English at 37.5%, Welsh 100% and Science at 75%.

 

Standards at L7+ had improved for mathematics and Science from 50% - 62.5%, remained the same for English and decreased for Welsh.

 

The proportion of schools at L7+ performing in the high or highest benchmarking quarters had improved for maths to 62.5% and science to 62.5%, but remained static for English at 37.5%.  Welsh remained below the median in the benchmarking quarters.

 

To secure greater improvement in Key Stage 3 there was a need to:

 

Increase the proportion of schools performing in the high or highest benchmarking quarters, at L5+, L6+ and L7+ for all PIs with focus on English and Welsh.

 

All secondary schools needed to perform well above their Free School Meals (FSM) predicted performance estimates, exceed Welsh Government Model estimates and the most challenging FFT estimates of predicted performance based on prior attainment.

 

Additional support bespoke to the needs of School would be a crucial feature of the improvement work, if standards were to continue to improve. Attainment of Free School Meal (FSM) pupils in comparison with Non Free School Meals pupils(Non FSM)

 

CSI data comparing the performance of children in receipt of FSM with all other pupils was very encouraging. as outlined at Appendix 5, attached to the report.

 

At the Foundation Phase, over a three year period, the gap in performance of children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and those not eligible for FSM closed by 8.4% whilst overall performance increased by 6.3%

 

At Key Stage 2, over a three year period, the gap in performance of children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and those not eligible for FSM closed by 1.3% whilst overall performance increased by 4.5%

 

The improvements continued into KS3, over a three year period, the gap in performance of children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and those not eligible for FSM closed by 12.5% whilst overall performance increased by 11.2%

 

In summary the performance of children eligible for FSMs improved compared the performance of children not eligible for free school meals at Foundation Phase, Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 whilst at the same time the performance of all children improved.

 

Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Overview.  

  

The tests assess attainment in reading and numeracy and report in the form of an age standardised score (SS). Scores were categorised to indicate relative competence across an ability range. Scores of less than 85 were regarded as being below the national average range, while scores greater than 115 are regarded as being above the national average range.

 

The national reading test results in English and Welsh for the Vale indicated that the proportion of pupils with a score less than 85 was, with another authority, the lowest in Wales for English and the lowest for Welsh; whilst the proportion of pupils scoring above 115 was the 2nd highest in Wales for English and Welsh.

 

The Numeracy test consiststed of two papers, a procedural component and a reasoning component.

 

The procedural assessment results indicated that the proportion of pupils with a SS of lower than 85 was the 3rd lowest in Wales and the proportion of pupils scoring greater than 115 was the 2nd highest in Wales.

 

In the reasoning component the proportion of pupils scoring less than 85 was the 5th lowest in Wales and the proportion scoring higher than 115 is the 5th highest in Wales.

 

Additionally, when available, the data was further broken down to individual school, year group and pupil level; such information was used to inform the type and range of improvement needed by the individual school. School access support from a range of sources including that brokered by the challenge adviser. Progress was closely monitored on a regular basis by the LA and challenge adviser.

 

A large degree of coherence must be designed into the overall programme so that one element compliments and reinforces the other.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T pupil attainment and school performance outcomes be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the report be referred to Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) for information.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To note the attainment of pupils and the performance of schools in 2013/14.

 

(2)       To ensure Scrutiny Members considered the pupil attainment and school performance outcomes report.