Top

Top

Agenda Item No.

 

CABINET

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 29 June, 2015.

 

Present: Councillor N. Moore (Chairman), Councillors: B.E. Brooks, L. Burnett, C.P.J. Elmore and G. John.

 

Apologies: Councillor S.C. Egan.

 

Also Present: Councillors: J. James, P.J. Clarke.

                                                    

C2812                        MINUTES –

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 22 June, 2015 be approved as a correct record.

 

C2813            DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

The following Declaration of Interest was received.

 

Councillor C.P.J. Elmore

Agenda Item No. 10 – Central South Consortium Business Plan 2015/16

 

Reason for Declaration –

 

As a Council appointee he was Chair of the Central South Consortium Joint Committee. His interest was non-prejudicial and therefore he was able to speak and vote on this matter.

 

 

C2814                        RHOOSE POINT – MANAGEMENT AND MAINTENANCE UPDATE (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) on 21 April, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Visible Services and Housing.

 

The above matter had been part of the Scrutiny Committee work programme and the matter had been raised as far back as October 2013 whereupon at that time the Committee had requested a further report on the liabilities associated with the maintenance and management of land at Rhoose Point. 

 

A number of reports had previously been considered by Committees and Cabinet, most recently by the Cabinet at its meeting in July 2014, when the Cabinet resolved to progress an application to Welsh Government (WG) for the introduction of a range of bye-laws at the site aimed at reducing antisocial behaviour.  Whilst an application had been submitted to WG for consideration, WG had indicated that new legislation was shortly to come into force in Wales which would permit Local Authorities to impose their own bye-laws and to control bye-law breaches by means of a fixed penalty.  Consequently, the Local Government Bye-laws (Wales) Act 2012 was now due to come into force at the end of March 2015 and, therefore, officers were now seeking to progress the introduction of bye-laws for the public open space areas at Rhoose Point and a further report to Cabinet on the matter would follow.

 

The report in itself sought to deal with the various liabilities affecting Rhoose Point which fell into three categories, public open space, cliffs and coastline and foul and surface water drainage.  The Operational Manager for Parks and Grounds Maintenance referred to the various points set out in the report and in particular to matters relating to foul and surface water drainage and updated the Committee in regard to the proposed transfer of the sewage pumping station at Rhoose Point which was currently in the control of the Council.  He indicated that the planned transfer of the pump station by 25th March 2015 had not progressed due to technical issues.  A joint inspection with representatives of Dwr Cymru was now planned for 29th June and subject to matters being satisfactory, it was now anticipated that the pumping station would transfer to Dwr Cymru by 1st July 2015. 

 

The Operational Manager’s attention then turned to the financial implications since 2009 associated with the sewage pumping station and these totalled £107,764.  Details of the exact spend were set out in paragraph 23 of the report.

 

A Member, in referring to the report, indicated that the area was very attractive and well patronaged with the nature reserve in itself linking well with the Wales Coast Path network.  He compared the site to that of Cosmeston Country Park albeit he acknowledged that it was on a smaller scale and considered that the site should receive appropriate funding to maintain ongoing obligations / maintenance however a previous request by the Committee to the Cabinet for specific funding had not been supported.  He also welcomed the proposed introduction of bye-laws to assist with antisocial behaviour at the site, whilst these would help he considered that ongoing support would still be required by the Police and by the local community.  He considered that if the Council had any real desire to further develop tourist attractions in the Vale of Glamorgan, the decision not to provide funding was a lost opportunity and further efforts should be made to identify possible funding streams to support and develop the area. 

 

The Committee generally supported the views expressed and it was felt that the Cabinet should be approached again regarding the possibility of identifying grant funding and also to ascertain income generation opportunities which would assist and support the management of the site. 

 

A Member specifically referred to the lack of parking facilities at the site and the Operational Manager reminded the Committee that car parking had been provided on land south of the Rhoose Railway Station which he considered was currently under used.  The Member, in response, indicated that there was no signage apparent to direct the public to this area and suggested that this needed to be further investigated and requested the Officer liaise with the Council’s Highway Division to identify suitable signage. 

 

Discussion ensued regarding the progression of bye-laws for the site and the potential opportunity for Section 106 or Community Infrastructure Levy funding to be made available to support the management and maintenance of the site. 

 

The Chairman felt that these matters were worth exploring and accordingly it was

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the Cabinet be requested

 

(i)         To investigate income generation / commercial opportunities at the above site, including the provision of a visitor centre, with a view to assisting the management / maintenance of the site.

 

(ii)        To investigate the possibility of Section 106 / Community Infrastructure Levy funding associated with the planning application “Land North of the Railway Line, Rhoose†to support the future maintenance / management of the site. 

 

(2)       T H A T the Operational Manager for Parks and Grounds Maintenance in liaison with the Council’s Highways Department investigate signage, signposting the public to the car park south of the railway station at Rhoose.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To explore funding opportunities to support the maintenance and management of Rhoose Point.

 

(2)       To ensure that the public were assisted in accessing appropriate car parking at the location.

 

----------------------------------------------

 

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

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted and a more detailed report dealing with the issues raised by the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) be presented to Cabinet at a future meeting.

 

Reason for decision

 

To note the contents of the report and make a more informed decision at a later date.

 

C2815                        IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES AND WELL BEING (WALES) ACT 2014 (REF) –

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) on 21 May, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Social Services.

 

The Committee received its second monthly update in respect of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 (the Act) and the approach being taken to implementation.  On 13th April 2015 Members received and noted the Director of Social Services’ response to the consultation regarding the first tranche of regulations and guidance regarding parts 2, 3, 4, 7 and 11 of the Act as issued by Welsh Government in November 2014.  The Minister for health and Social Services, on 27th February 2015, provided a statement to Assembly Members about the emerging these from the first tranche of regulations, the related codes of practice and statutory guidance to be made under the Act.  More than 300 substantive written responses from a wide range of individuals, representative groups, local government and professional organisations had responded to the consultation.  The Minister stated that the overall response to the consultation was positive and that respondents were supportive of the principles and detail.

 

Work on analysing the responses in detail was still ongoing but a number of common themes had emerged:

 

·                The need for a comprehensive approach to learning and development to ensure staff across the sector and partners have the knowledge and skills to deliver the new requirements and organisations are supported to make the necessary cultural changes;

·                The need for a considered approach to transition to the new system;

·                The need to raise awareness among the public about the changes that will be introduced;

·                The need to ensure all delivery partners are fully engaged in considering the way resources are targeted on implementation;

·                The need to embed collaboration, not only in delivery through partnership arrangements such as Local Authorities and health boards, but also in policy delivery through different parts of the Act;

·                The need to continue to work together to embed new practice and arrangements beyond April 2016, including co-developing guidance around good practice.

 

There were concurrent pieces of work underway covering workforce readiness, awareness-raising among the wider population, and key regional implementation activity.  The Care Council for Wales was the lead body for workforce development, and would lead on the development and implementation of a national learning and development strategy.  This strategy was critical to implementation of the Act and would need sustained, deliberate and high profile leadership, which could reach out across a wide range of organisations and partners beyond the boundaries of the traditional social care sector.  It would include a training deployment plan and a one stop shop information hub, playing a key supporting role for the sector in ensuring its own readiness for the changes the Act and its regulations would bring into force.  It would be supported by £1m in 2015-16 from the social care workforce development programme.  A further £7.1m from the programme, together with the Local Authority match funding already in place (making a total of some £11m) would support the development and implementation of cross-sector regional training plans, which would align with both the national strategy and regional implementation plans.

 

On this basis, regional partners would be required to prepare a self-assessment of readiness to implement the Act.  The two Local Authorities, the Cardiff and Vale Health Board, Cardiff Third Sector Council and the Vale Council for Voluntary Services took part in the self-assessment, which had been submitted to Welsh Government on 30th January 2015.  This was considered by Members at the meeting held on 13th April 2015. 

 

In respect of preparations to ensure readiness to implement the Act, in order to support Local Authorities Welsh Government had made available the Delivering Transformation Grant in 2014/15, which totalled £1.5m across Wales.  The Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff were allocated £194,910 and this grant was managed by the Vale of Glamorgan Council on behalf of the partner organisations with the Director of Social Services in the Vale of Glamorgan acting as the Regional Lead Director.  The Quarter 4 / end of year report which had set out what had been achieved using the Delivery Transformation Grant 2014/15 was detailed in Appendix 1 to the report.

 

To reinforce collaboration between local government and the NHS, the terms of the 2014/15 grant included the requirement to develop regional governance arrangements which reflect the national steering and engagement structure, with a Partnership Forum and Leadership Group.  Locally, this had been established through the Integrated Health and Social Care Governance Board and a Strategic Leadership Group.  The terms of reference of the Board had been reviewed on 14th April 2015 and the revised terms of reference was contained at Appendix 2 to the report.

 

Further to this, the report outlined that these may need to be reviewed again in response to Welsh Government Guidance in respect of Part 9 of the Act, which deals with co-operation and partnership.  Draft guidance was likely to be available for formal consultation in May when the second tranche of regulations and guidance in relation to Parts 5, 6 and 9 of the Act would be issued, with a view of being laid before the National Assembly late in 2015.  The second tranche would seek to create a system which secured outcomes for Looked After and accommodated children; drives regional collaboration; puts in place a system of charging, financial assessment and paying for care; supports the making of representations and provision of advocacy and addresses the issues raised by provider failure.

 

One of the other key deliverables of the grant was the development of a comprehensive regional implementation plan by the end of the financial year.  This was contained at Appendix 3 to the report, which was submitted to Welsh Government on 31st March 2015.

 

In relation to funding for 2015/16, the report highlighted that the Welsh Government would continue to support local government and its partners in making the transition to the new arrangements.  It had doubled the funding available through the Delivering Transformation grant to £3m in 2015/16.  Subject to budgetary decisions, a further £3m in grant funding would be made available in 2016-17 to support the embedding process, with a view to transferring this sum into the Revenue Support Grant from 2017/18 in recognition of the ongoing change which the Act would be driving. 

 

From this grant, the Welsh Government had allocated £414,648 to the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff region to continue the delivering transformation / sustainable social services agenda during 2015/16.  Appendix 4 to the report set out a programme for delivery which would ensure the necessary resources were in place.

 

The Chairman queried progress made in relation to the creation of a Regional Citizen’s Panel.  The Head of Business Management and Innovation advised Members that the service had a duty to consult on the impact of the Act and had decided to consult about service user representation within the governance arrangements.

 

In response to the Committee’s query regarding the potential use of social enterprises, the Head of Adult Services advised that growth in this sector was one of the outcomes following the review into day opportunities within the Vale.  Examples of these were highlighted through the use of organisations such as Positive Images. 

 

The Committee further enquired about the percentage of care provided “in-house†by the Council, and was advised that within the domiciliary care sector, 95% of the service was provided by independent sector organisations. Members were also advised that 80% of the residential care sector was covered by private care organisations. 

 

In response to a follow up question as to whether this was likely to change, Members were advised that the Wales Co-operative Centre was looking into this and Members were asked to note that a review of accommodation with care provided to older people was underway. This would highlight what sort of service people would want and what the model would look like.

 

With regard to funding, the Committee was advised that there were three distinct funding streams, these being the Delivering Transformation Fund, the Regional Collaborative Fund (RCF) and the Intermediate Care Fund (ICF). 

 

The Director of Social Services stated that funding was one of the main challenges facing the service and he alluded to the Welsh Government’s stance around the Act being cost neutral, despite the scale of new responsibilities and new statutory guidelines that would come about.  He mentioned that the Transformation Fund was not a service development grant like the RCF and that the fund would be concurrent and would be integrated into the Revenue Support Grant.

 

A Member, referring to the delivery programmes detailed within Appendix 4 of the report, queried the current status of priorities 5, 11 and 14.  He stated that many priorities within the appendices had missed the related deadlines and queried as to what was being progressed.  In response, the Head of Business Management and Innovation advised that this was a significant dilemma for the service as the bids that had been submitted to Welsh Government had not been agreed and so some deadlines had slipped.  The service was hoping that a reply would be received from the Welsh Government very soon.  Further to this point, a Committee Member sought clarification as to how the service would operate when details around allocated money were received late within the financial year.  The Director of Social Services explained that this was why it was such a complex issue to manage, particularly as proposals needed to be approved on a regional basis.  The service would usually receive belated requests from the Welsh Government concerning how allocated funding should be used.  Many of these requests would be aspirational ideas of Welsh Government, for which advice was not always clear as to how these aspirations should be interpreted and the Director felt that in many instances the Council was always playing catch up.  Deadlines and actions could therefore never be fully set in stone but all the changes relating to the Act needed to be implemented by April 2016. 

 

In response to the Chairman’s query regarding progress made with the new Community Care information system, the Director of Social Services advised that he had been able to attend a trial seminar around the new system and most of the delegates that he had spoken to had been impressed as to how the system worked.  He alluded to the shortcomings within the current system but he offered a word of caution that the new system would not be installed quickly and that it may take between three to five years to be fully implemented.  He explained that this was an extraordinary opportunity for services within Wales and that the sharing of information was of critical importance.  It was also important to mention and recognise the good work that had been undertaken to get to this stage. 

 

The Committee subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the report be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the Scrutiny Committee continues to receive regular updates about implementing the Act.

 

(3)       T H A T the report be referred to Cabinet for information.

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1-3)    To ensure that elected Members are kept informed about fundamental changes in the policy and legislative framework which underpin the work of Social Services.

 

----------------------------------------------

 

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.

 

C2816                        DEPRIVATION OF LIBERTY SAFEGUARDS (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) on 21 May, 2015 considered the above report.

 

On 13th April 2015, Cabinet was updated on the emerging implications for the Council of the Supreme Court judgement on the Cheshire West and Surrey cases in March 2014, which related to the use of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards 2009, and the impact upon the Social Services Directorate’s capacity to meet statutory obligations under the safeguards.

 

The Cardiff and the Vale Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards / Mental capacity Act (DoLS / MCA) Team continued to fulfil the Supervisory Body responsibilities required for DoLS on behalf of Cardiff and Vale UHB, City of Cardiff Council and the Vale of Glamorgan Council.  This was overseen by a partnership management board consisting of senior representatives from each Supervisory Body.  On behalf of the three Supervisory Bodies, the team was responsible for the following:

 

·                Co-ordination of DoLS assessments as requested by Managing Authorities

·                Supervised and managed the workload of over 40 Best Interest Assessors

·                Advised and supported health and social care teams across the sector in relation to MCA / DoLS issues

·                Provided training for care homes and all in-patient sites across the hospitals of Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

Since the Supreme Court ruling, the team had seen a 10 to 15 fold increase in the number of referrals, particularly from Care Homes. 

 

It was notable that the number of referrals from hospital wards had not increased at the same rate. 

 

Table A within the report showed the number of DoLS referrals per Supervisory Body.  In terms of the Vale, the number of referrals had increased from 6 in 2013/14 to 401 between April 2014 and the end of January 2015.  This represented 30% of the team’s activity. 

 

Table B showed the number of completed DoLS assessments for each of the three Supervisory Bodies.  For the Vale, 119 assessments had been completed which had accounted for 21% of the overall team activity.  At present, there were still 282 outstanding assessments to be completed. 

 

Where a Managing Authority (Care Home for the Local Authority or hospital ward for the LHB) made an Urgent Authorisation following a sudden and unforeseen event, they were in effect authorising themselves to deprive a person of their liberty for up to 7 days.  The Managing Authority must request a Standard Authorisations from the Cardiff and Vale MCA / DoLS team at the same time as issuing their own Urgent Authorisation.  The team then had 7 days to undertake a full DoLS assessment to consider an ongoing Standard Authorisation. 

 

Standard Authorisation requests were made where a Managing Authority had reason to believe that they were depriving a person of their liberty or would deprive a person of their liberty within the next 28 days.  The Supervisory Body then had 21 days to undertake a comprehensive DoLS assessment in order to consider authorising the Deprivation of Liberty.

 

The report outlined that Supervisory Bodies were at risk of legal challenge for not complying with the statutory timescales within the DoLS process.  Essex County Council was recently ordered to pay damages of £60,000 following a breach of statutory timescales. 

 

A breakdown of team demand and capacity was provided, which was as follows:

 

·                Number of requests for DoLS Authorisations was between 150 and 200 per month

-       Each DoLS assessment would take between half and a full day to complete

-       Each DoLS assessment must be authorised by a senior manager within the Supervisory Body (half an hour per authorisation)

·                Team Best Interests Assessors (BIAs) were currently undertaking approximately 60 to 70 DoLS assessments per month

·                Rota BIAs were undertaking approximately 20 assessments per month

·                A shortfall of between 50 and 100 DoLS assessments per month was leading to an increasing backlog of outstanding referrals.

 

The team would require an additional two full time Best Interest Assessors to reduce the backlog of care home DoLS and to ensure compliance for all new DoLS requests.  This would cost the Cardiff and Vale Local Authorities in the region of £60,000 and £40,000 respectively.

 

In relation to people living in domestic settings, the report outlined that supported living arrangements provide care and support that may necessitate continuous supervision and control and require the person to live in a particular property where the support could be provided.  This would constitute a Deprivation of Liberty.  Within the Vale there were 150 people living in supported living accommodation with a potential that 75 of these cases to be deprived of their liberty.

 

Members were asked to note that people living in supported accommodation stood outside the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, so care managers / care co-ordinators for all identified individuals should consider an application to the Court of Protection for authorisation of the care regime.  On the basis of legal advice, Cardiff and Vale Councils had identified a number of individual care arrangements (4 and 2 respectively) to take to the Court of Protection for consideration.

 

The Court of Protection was experiencing significant challenges in hearing the increased volume of cases and it had recently revised application arrangements to speed up the process.

 

The Chairman queried whether the recruitment of two best interest assessors had been fully costed and whether the service would appoint them.  In reply the Head of Adult Services advised that the service would be getting the two new appointments, but the challenge would be in assessing whether this was sufficient to deal with the backlog. This would be something that the service would keep an eye on and report back to Scrutiny in due course.  Further to this, a Committee Member queried as to what the situation would be like during 2015/16.  In response the Head of Adult Services stated that in terms of personnel, this was something that the service could actively control and that there would be opportunity if needed for social work staff to be redeployed.  He commented that there must be a ceiling in terms of numbers of people within care homes as there were a finite number of places but he was not sure whether the ceiling had been reached within hospitals as the same level of increase had not been seen.  He also alluded to the need to review a person’s situation after 12 months, which would also have an impact upon resources. 

 

In answer to a Committee Member’s query as to whether the court’s verdict in respect of DoLS covered the whole of the United Kingdom, the Head of Adult Services stated that he was not sure as Scotland came under a different judicial system.  He agreed to clarify this and report back to Members.  He went on to make mention of the £25m made available to Authorities within England, and that no additional support had been made available by the Welsh Government.  For this reason, the Association of Directors of Social Services had made representations to Welsh Government, but as yet no decision had been made.  He also stated that there was a need to streamline the assessment process and to look at how work was undertaken. 

 

Further to this query, the Director of Social Services made a generic point in relation to the issue of how social services budgets were managed and the impact that case decisions made by Courts could have on services and resources.  The Council would need to decide how it could manage the situation.  It could either divert resources or increase funding. 

 

A Committee Member questioned as to why there was a need to review the case after a period of 12 months and whether this was down to a person’s condition worsening.  The Head of Adult Services advised that this may indeed be so but, regardless of this, after a 12 month period the service would have to re-examine a person’s situation to determine if it was still right to deprive the individual of their liberty.  The service could determine to deprive a person of liberty for a shorter period, but this was less common. The main client group would be people who were in nursing / residential care homes and those at the end of life stages.

 

A Member commented that depriving a person of their liberty was a very serious matter and queried as to where all these cases had come from.  In response, the Head of Adult Services explained that all referrals would come via care homes as this was something that the homes had to do when there were issues around a person’s mental capacity and they were unable to leave the home, often for their own safety.  These homes had a responsibility to bring these cases to light as, if they did not, they could be open to criticism.  He went on to state that following the change in law the service would need to make judgements between maintaining a person’s liberties or keeping them safe.

 

Officers were asked to clarify, in terms of cost, what could happen if the Council was taken to court.  The Head of Adult Services advised that a recent case within Essex in which the Local Authority had breached the statutory timescales had resulted in a £60,000 fine for that Authority.  He also advised that the backlog did present a significant risk for the Authority but that the Vale of Glamorgan was no better or worse than any other area within the UK. 

 

Having considered the reference, the Committee

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T Cabinet be requested to contact Welsh Government in order to seek financial support in view of the additional work that had been created.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

In order to address the need to mitigate the risks associated with deprivation of liberty safeguards within the Vale of Glamorgan. 

 

----------------------------------------------

 

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

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the Leader and the Cabinet Member for Adult Services, contact Welsh Government in order to seek financial support in view of the additional work that had been created.

 

(2)          T H A T the letter to Welsh Government be copied to the Welsh Local Government Association.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To address the need to mitigate the risks associated with deprivation of liberty safeguards within the Vale of Glamorgan. 

 

(2)          To determine if the Welsh Local Government Association can provide additional assistance.

 

C2817                        THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN AND CARDIFF INTEGRATED FAMILY SUPPORT SERVICE ANNUAL REPORT 2014/15 (REF) -           

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) on 21 May, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Social Services.

 

The Director of Social Services presented the report, the purpose of which was to provide Members with the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Integrated Family Support Service (IFSS) Annual Report for 2014/15 prior to its submission to the Welsh Government. 

 

As a background summary the report highlighted that through provision of its Flying Start, Families First and IFSS programmes, the Council would have in place a coherent framework for delivering the range of preventative, protective and remedial family support initiatives set out in relevant Welsh Government strategies.  By providing intensive and specialist help to families where risks were escalating, the IFSS had a key role to perform in reducing harm to children and also the volume of avoidable admissions to the Looked After Children’s service. 

 

The IFSS programme was intended to provide more holistic support to families by breaking down boundaries between local government and health, between adult services and children’s services.  It was delivered by a combination of highly skilled professionals form social care and health, acting as a single workforce.

 

Under the Children and Families (Wales) Measure 2010, local authorities and the NHS had a joint statutory responsibility for ensuring delivery of an IFSS in their region.  In July 2011, a consortium involving the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Councils and the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board made a successful bid to the Welsh Government to become one of two regions in Wales chosen to implement an IFSS under Phase II of the national programme.

 

In accordance with the very detailed regulations which prescribed the way in which an IFSS must operate, the three organisations established a Management Board chaired by the Director of Social Services for the Vale of Glamorgan.  The Management Board was supported by an Operational Steering Group which had responsibility for overseeing implementation and development during the first year of operation.  Cardiff Council was responsible for the direct management of the service.

 

The IFSS was based at the Alps and it had been operational since the end of February 2012.  The service had five principal functions:

 

·                Undertaking intensive direct work with families through the application of time limited, family focused interventions;

·                Providing advice and consultancy to practitioners and agencies on engaging complex families with parental substance misuse;

·                Working jointly with the case managers and others to ensure that the family can gain access to the services they need;

·                Spot purchasing services not otherwise available; and

·                Providing training on evidence based interventions for the wider workforce.

 

The report outlined that Section 64 of the Children and Families (Wales) Measure 2010 required an annual report on the effectiveness of the IFSS to be submitted to Welsh Government.  The report for 2014/15 was attached at Appendix 1 to the report and this had been approved by the IFSS Management Board. 

 

The Annual Report summarised the following:

 

·                Key achievements and outcomes

·                Effective partnership working

·                Challenges faced by the service

·                Priorities for 2015/16.

 

The Annual Report demonstrated that the IFSS was meeting expectations in terms of numbers of referrals and the outcomes achieved.  It outlined the robust systems of data collection and analysis in place to demonstrate how families were referred and prioritised for support and the impact upon key areas of wellbeing such as education, parenting, relationships, alcohol or drug cessation.  This was complemented by qualitative evaluation through service user and referrer feedback.  These results demonstrated that the IFSS was taking a lead role in strengthening services to support some of the most disadvantaged children, those who were in need or at risk because of parental alcohol or drug dependence. 

 

The main priorities for the year ahead would be to increase the number of referrals with which the team worked and to train the wider workforce in the IFSS model of intervention using Motivational Interviewing, Solution Focused and other cognitive behavioural techniques.  At a local level, there were plans to strengthen the maintenance phase that followed IFSS intensive intervention and to embed the system for formal review of cases.  In addition, the IFSS Board would continue to plan the structure and pattern of future service delivery and identify funding for the medium to long term.

 

The Welsh Government’s ten year strategy for Social Services included a commitment to a career pathway and ongoing qualification requirements for Social Workers, thereby enhancing professionalism and promoting high quality services.  The national career pathway was intended to retain more social workers in practice roles and it consisted of four levels:

 

·                Newly qualified social worker (years 1 and 2)

·                Social worker (year 3 plus)

·                Senior social worker practitioner (3 years post qualified)

·                Consultant social worker (5 years post qualified).

 

The consultant social worker role within the IFSS was demonstrating that specialist and evidence based social work interventions (as part of planned, systematic multi-agency involvement in the lives of families) could have considerable impact and deliver better outcomes.

 

The Director of Social Services explained to Members that the dilemma facing the service was that it was relatively expensive, it only dealt with a small number of families and it was highly resourced.  An important question may be whether this was the best use of resources and that a review of the service needed to be undertaken to assess whether it delivered value for money and the best outcomes for families.  He also explained that the main priority of the IFSS was in relation to tackling substance misuse but he questioned whether the service should broaden its focus. 

 

The Chairman, in questioning the allocation of resources, stated that on average each case would cost the service around £28,000.  In response, the Director of Social Services advised that the Council had to provide the service and that there was benefit of working in scale with its partners but discussion on the way forward for the service would need to take place.  He alluded to the highly prescriptive nature of the service that had to be provided in a specific and regulated way.  There was a need to look at all the evidence in order to show if there were opportunities to undertake this work in a more cost effective manner and it seemed unfair to exclude this service from exercises around budgetary reductions.

 

In response to a Committee Member’s query regarding the number of cases in which no spaces were available, the Director of Social Services advised that this was the biggest concern identified by the Council.  It would not mean that help was not provided to the families and the service would attempt to back fill cases when capacity was available.  He stated that a question that he would like to ask was whether there was a need for such an intensive service in order to affect change.  He considered that there was a need to test the methods used and to assess whether support needed to be undertaken this way and to identify if there were other ways of working. 

 

Further to this point, the Director of Social Services advised that the programme used within the IFSS service was time limited and that support provided could not go beyond a specified point. In his opinion, the service should be far more flexible and he questioned as to why the service needed to be so prescribed if families were co-operating.  He went on to state that the programme was entirely prescriptive and that results could be achieved in various ways and he questioned whether there was a need to always have the same level of professional input in all instances.  He stated that he would have liked to have seen more flexibility built into the system. 

 

A Committee Member then raised two questions regarding whether Welsh Government intended to review how the service operated and whether more qualitative data could be used in order to determine success.  In response, the Director of Social Services agreed that it would be more useful if better qualitative data was available, such as getting behind the reasons for families cutting themselves off from mainstream services.  In terms of outcomes, he was worried that a service like this may create dependency and that the service should be able to step back and provide continuous support but he recognised that this then created a danger of clogging up the system.  He reiterated his previous point regarding the highly prescriptive nature of the service that did not allow the Council to make any adjustments to the programme.  In terms of whether Welsh Government was aware of the Council’s concerns, he would need to consult with the Head of Children and Young People Services, but he would raise these points at the next Executive Board meeting of the Association of Directors. 

 

When asked if the number of cases which were refused was creating greater need, the Director of Social Services indicated that the IFSS provided a top tier service and that the situation at present was being managed quite well.  He alluded to the stability in terms of the number of Looked After Children which showed that services such as the IFSS did have a role, although in his opinion, he would like the service to be more regularly available and operate in a more flexible manner.

 

Having considered the report, it was

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the content of the Integrated Family Support Service Annual Report for 2014/15 be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the work being undertaken to provide intensive support to families, especially those where children were adversely affected by parental alcohol or drug dependence, be endorsed.

 

(3)       T H A T the report be referred to Cabinet for consideration.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1&2)  To ensure that the Council’s statutory functions in relation to providing an Integrated Family Support Service were fully met in accordance with Welsh Government guidance.

 

(3)       To draw Cabinet’s attention to the Committee’s assertions around the highly prescribed nature of the support work provided by the Integrated Family Support Service and the need to assess the cost effectiveness and impact of the service.

 

----------------------------------------------

 

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 any additional reports from the Integrated Family Support Service be referred to Cabinet for consideration.

 

(2)          T H A T the work being undertaken to provide intensive support to families, especially those where children were adversely affected by parental alcohol or drug dependence, be endorsed.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To note the contents of the report.

 

(2)          To recognise the work carried out by staff.

 


C2818                        VALE YOUTH CABINET – JANUARY – MARCH 2015 PROGRESS REPORT AND YOUTH REPRESENTATION ON SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (LIFELONG LEARNING) (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) on 18 May, 2015 considered the above report of the Managing Director.

 

The progress report attached at Appendix 1 to the report provided a brief outline on the work of the Youth Cabinet during the period January - March 2015 and advised of how many young people had been contacted to date.  The report referred to the number of meetings of the Youth Cabinet that had taken place, the meetings of the Vale Youth Forum and the consultation undertaken with the Youth Cabinet regarding the Vale Council’s Destination Action Plan.  The report also detailed the work being undertaken by the Point Team to encourage new membership of the Vale Youth Forum.  Committee was informed that the work of the Youth Cabinet had been well documented on social media and in the press with several articles having been published in the Barry and District and the Gem.  The report acknowledged that throughout the period young people had gained deep understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, its Cabinet Members and the process of democracy.  The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools stated that the Youth Cabinet had engaged in the process and had also shadowed Cabinet Members.  The Youth Cabinet had also developed an Action Plan and following a recruitment drive 14 new members had joined the Vale Youth Forum.

 

In order to further enhance the voice of young people in the decision making process, at the Scrutiny Committee Lifelong Learning meeting on 17th February, 2014 it had been recommended that a further report be presented to the Committee on the way forward for a member(s) of the VYF to be represented on the Scrutiny Committee. It was considered that such representation would enable young people of the Vale to provide information, suggestions or comments for consideration by the Committee.  The report therefore proposed that invitations be extended to the Vale Youth Forum to nominate two representatives from the Forum to sit on the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) to represent young people of the Vale.  If required to assist in the nomination process, officers from within Democratic Services would arrange a briefing session with Vale Youth Forum Members in respect of the role.  On appointment, a further briefing session would also be held with the appointed representatives.  It was noted that the nominated representatives would be afforded the opportunity to attend Scrutiny Committee meetings, receive agendas and reports for the meeting (subject to Access to Information requirements) and have the opportunity to speak on agenda items and provide views/comments on behalf of young people from the Vale.  The appointments, whilst in a non-voting capacity, would provide a further opportunity for the Council to further formally engage with young people.  The appointments were to be agreed on the basis that the representatives were Vale Youth Forum Members and subject to change by the Vale Youth Forum itself. 

 

The Lead Officer for Youth and Community Learning advised that it was his intention to ensure that a Participation Officer also attended the meetings to provide support to the youth representatives and that he welcomed the proposals as outlined within the report.  Members of the Committee who had been part of the Youth Provision Task and Finish Group which had initially recommended consideration of a Youth Cabinet and youth representation on the Scrutiny Committee also welcomed the report and supported the recommendations, following which it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the Vale Youth Cabinet progress report be noted and referred to Cabinet for information.

 

(2)       T H A T Cabinet and Full Council be recommended to approve that the Vale Youth Forum be invited to nominate two representatives to sit as non-voting observers on the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning).

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       Having considered the contents contained therein and to advise Cabinet.

 

(2)       To seek Cabinet and Full Council approval in order to allow for young people between the ages of 11 and 25 to provide information, suggestions or comments for consideration by the Committee.

 

----------------------------------------------

 

Cabinet, having considered the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning)

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the contents of the report be noted.

 

(2)          T H A T the principle of the Vale Youth Forum being invited to nominate two representatives, plus substitutes, as non-voting observers to Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning), be agreed.

 

(3)          T H A T a more detailed report be brought to Cabinet with a view to making a recommendation to Council in September and incorporating those recommendations into the report on the Council Constitution which would also be considered at that Council meeting.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To note the contents of the report.

 

(2)          To allow young people to provide information, suggestions or comments for consideration by the Committee.

 

(3)       To seek Full Council approval in order to allow for young people between the ages of 11 and 25 to provide information, suggestions or comments for consideration by the Committee.

 

C2819                        YOUTH ENGAGEMENT AND PROGRESSION NEET (REF) -

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) on 18 May, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Learning and Skills.

 

The Lead Officer for Youth and Community Learning provided the Committee with a progress update in respect of the implementation of the Welsh Government Youth Engagement and Progression Framework and the current levels of NEET (Not in Education, Employment of Training) young people.  The Committee had received a previous report in July 2014.  The key milestones that had been achieved since that date were noted as

 

·           The Early Identification tool had been uploaded on to the Vale Learning Portal and implemented in all 8 comprehensive schools.  6 schools had provision brokered as a result of the early identification system and a total of 132 young people were being supported.  Appendix 1 to the report provided the details of the early identification model and a data summary for each year group across comprehensive schools.

·           Through dedicated youth workers in schools, 6 level 1 Certificates in Success with Employment, Education and Training (SWEET) had been completed in Bryn Hafren School; 5 Level 1 Award SWEETs and 4 Level 1 SWEET certificates were achieved through Cardiff and Vale College (CAVC). 

·           Bryn Hafren had a youth worker in place to work with cohorts of young people in years 9, 10 and 11, offering individual / group support.  Appendix 2 detailed various case studies.

·           In St. Richard Gwyn, 2 groups in years 9 and 10 benefited from the Guidance to Engagement project 2 hours per week for 10 weeks, 14 young people out of 16 benefited from this provision and no longer require it, one group will be accessing learning through the sports and play project and one cohort will be integrated back into mainstream classroom settings.  This is in addition to the young person’s school learning, as a tool to improve behaviour and engagement. See Appendix 2 case studies. 

·           In Barry Comprehensive 2 youth workers had been in place since early October delivering the Guidance 2 Engagement programme (G2E).  There had been positive feedback in the main whereby 3 young people had returned to mainstream education, 2 were referred to the PRU, a number of accreditations in BTEC level 1 have been achieved by year 10 students, and level 2 BTEC by year 11 students.  Young people were also completing BTEC in Sports and Leadership Awards.  Two young people had secured work placements since being involved with the G2E programme.  There had been an overall improvement in attendance, behaviour and an increase in soft outcomes such as confidence, attitude, and self-esteem.  The Youth Construction Trust was introduced to the school to set up a taster day in plastering, plumbing and carpentry where 10 young people at high risk of becoming NEET will be selected to gain hands on experience with a view to enrolling onto a college course in September.  

·           In Llantwit Major, there were effective in-house provision arrangements in place, however, the school had been given the opportunity to access alternative provision through LA Youth Services such as the Guidance to Engagement Programme ˜Can Do’ and Pulse projects.  ACT training provision was being utilised by the school to provide courses for high risk NEET young people to access mechanical engineering.  The Military Prep College is very successful in engaging this cohort of young people.  

·           Stanwell School had low numbers of young people at risk of becoming NEET, however, the Youth Service project Emojis was introduced to the school to provide a service to young people with poor attendance, low self-esteem, and confidence.  Young people take part in a range of activities to improve their communication skills, express their feelings, and form better relationships with their peers and families and gain emotional understanding. 

·           Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg had a youth worker in place and would be delivering part of the Guidance to Engagement accreditation courses to young people. 

 

A 12 week Prince’s Trust Programme had also been developed with the Council and the Engagement and Progression Partnership which had been fully operational in the Vale since October 2014.  A Careers Wales Learning and Transition Coach had also been working with post 16 high risk NEET young people, and the Local Authority had piloted a Lead Worker and Common Area Prospectus training with the first session having been delivered in November 2014.  A dedicated website had been created providing access for lead workers to a directory of provision for NEET young people.  As a result of collaboration with partners and closer monitoring by the Local Authority the Vale’s NEET figure for 2014/15 had reduced from 3.8% in 2013 to 2.76% in 2014.  Appendix 3 to the report illustrated the Welsh Government five tier data and the Local Authority’s performance targets for 2014/15 as well as actual performance for 2014/15.

 

In commenting on the report, Members stated that they welcomed the report and were encouraged by the developments that were taking place.  In referring to the funding for the Engagement and Progression Officer until September 2015 they acknowledged that the role was key to the brokerage of provision and that it was a pivotal one of linking schools, Careers Wales and training providers to the Local Authority’s NEETS strategy.  Members further considered that this needed to be highlighted to Cabinet with a request that funding be continued for such an important position. 

 

It was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the progress made to date by the Council on the implementation of the Youth Engagement and Progression Framework be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the Committee receives further progress reports on a six monthly basis.

 

(3)       T H A T the report be referred to Cabinet in order to raise awareness of the funding position for the Engagement and Progression Officer post, it being the view of the Committee that this post was essential and should be continued to sustain improvement for the service by brokering provision and linking schools, Career Wales and training providers to the Local Authority NEETS strategy.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To apprise Members of progress.

 

(2)       In order that the Scrutiny Committee can continue to monitor the progress of Youth Engagement and Progression NEET.

 

(3)       For Cabinet to consider the funding position beyond September 2015.

 

----------------------------------------------

 

Cabinet, having considered the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning)

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the contents of the report and the importance of the work of the Council’s Engagement and Progression Officer on the Youth Engagement and Progression Framework, be noted.

 

(2)          T H A T Officers be congratulated for their hard work in reducing NEET numbers.

 

(3)          T H A T funding from the Learning and Skills budget for the Engagement and Progression Officer post be continued until the end of the financial year.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To note the work of the Council’s Engagement and Progression Officer on the Youth Engagement and Progression Framework.

 

(2)          To congratulate the Officers on their hard work.

 

(3)          To confirm funding of the Engagement and Progression Officer post until the end of the financial year.

 

 

 

 

C2820                        CENTRAL SOUTH CONSORTIUM BUSINESS PLAN 2015 / 16 (REF) –

 

The Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) on 18 May, 2015 considered the above report.

 

Cabinet had referred the draft Central South Consortium Business Plan for consideration which set out the Central South Wales Challenge vision, priorities of the Consortium, operating model, budget and performance monitoring arrangements.  The Business Plan evaluated progress in 2014/15 and included information about educational outcomes which had improved at every Key Stage on most outcome measures across the Consortium and in individual authorities since 2012.  The draft Business Plan was attached as an Appendix to the report and included information about progress of the first year of the Central South Wales challenge including

 

·                The launch of the School Improvement Groups (SIGs) to engage all schools to identify and build joint practice development.

·                The launch of two rounds of pathfinders including 60 schools.

·                The pilot of a 'peer review' leadership model.

·                The launch of the 'hubs' programme whereby schools provide quality assured and accredited programmes of support to other schools.

 

Members also noted that Estyn had recently carried out a Thematic survey of the work of the four consortia in Wales which was due to be published shortly and would provide further evaluation of work to date.  The Business Plan reiterated the targeted areas for improvement and incorporated updated targets for 2015/16 and 2016/17. 

 

The Director, in presenting the report, advised that every school in the Vale was part of a SIG. 

 

In considering the report Members referred to the Scrutiny of the Consortium and in particular the money the Vale paid for the service with a question as to whether the Council was receiving ‘value for money’.  It was noted that the Vale Councils contribution was £650,000 which it was reported was significantly less than the expenditure when the Council had its own improvement service.  It was also recognised that joined up learning approaches had been developed by the establishment of the Consortium with particular reference to paragraph 9 of the report and the roll-out of the peer review model which would be available to green level schools through the Challenge Framework.  Members of the Committee who had been part of the Schools Performance Panels within the Vale welcomed the increased focus in respect of teacher assessments and the support provided by the Consortium to the Foundation Phase.  However, Members reiterated in their view the need for co-ordinated scrutiny of the Consortium and although the Scrutiny Committee would be calling the Managing Director of the Consortium to account it was further suggested that Welsh Government be advised of the concerns of the Committee in relation to the need for co-ordinated scrutiny of the Consortium. 

 

It was also acknowledged that despite the initial scepticism by some schools when the Consortium had been established , the Director of Learning and Skills stated that since then schools were now advising that the support was better and that the Consortium was also working well in many respects.

 

Although aware that a thematic survey to provide details of Estyn’s and WAO’s view of the Consortium was awaited and that joint scrutiny arrangements of the Consortium had not been pursued by Welsh Government, it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T Cabinet be informed of the concerns of the Committee at the lack of co-ordinated scrutiny of the Central South Consortium.

 

(2)       T H A T the Central South Consortium draft Business Plan for 2015/16 be noted.

 

----------------------------------------------

 

Cabinet, having considered the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning)

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the contents of the report and the concerns of the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) at the lack of co-ordinated scrutiny of the Central South Consortium be noted.

 

(2)          T H A T the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) be reminded that they can call Officers or Vale representatives on the Central South Consortium to attend a meeting of the Scrutiny Committee at any time.

 

  Reasons for decisions

 

(1)          To note the concerns of the Committee at the lack of co-ordinated scrutiny of the Central South Consortium.

 

(2)          To remind the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) that they can invite Officers or Vale representatives to any of their meetings.

           

C2821                        END OF YEAR PERFORMANCE REPORT 2014/15 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEES – ALL) -

 

Cabinet was presented with the Council’s end of year performance results for the period 1 April, 2014 to 31 March, 2015.

 

Service Plans for 2014/15 focused on the achievement of key objectives within each directorate which in turn contributed towards the achievement of Corporate Plan and Improvement Plan outcomes.

 

Quarterly performance reports reflected 2014/15 Service Plans and were designed to ensure that the Council reported performance in the context of progress against its objectives. 

 

End of year (quarter 4) service performance reports were cumulative and comprised performance information covering the period 1 April, 2014 to 31 March, 2015.

 

Overall, the priorities in the Council's five year Corporate Plan were on track to be achieved. Of the 142 Corporate Plan actions for 2014/15, 77% (109) were completed at end of year, with a further 6% (9) on track, 17% (24) slipped. Details on slippage and proposed remedial actions were provided in the relevant service areas within the report.

 

The majority of priorities as outlined in the Improvement Plan Part 1 (2014/15) had been achieved with 83% (44) of actions completed, 8% (4) on track and 9% (5) slipped.

 

A detailed report of the Council's overall performance by Directorate for quarter 4 (end of year) 2014/15 was provided in Appendix 1 attached to the report and copies were also available on the Council's website and in the Members room.  Key performance results for each Directorate were also highlighted within the report as outlined in paragraphs 66 – 191.

 

After presenting the item, the Leader commented that it was a good report that highlighted the considerable amount of achievement that had been made throughout the Authority.

 

At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services endorsed the achievements of the Visible Services department for their outstanding performance in light of the current budget pressures.

 

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration drew attention to Paragraph 44 of the report, noting that the 500th NEET placement was due to the Council’s Work Programme Team, in addition to the 80 places organised by the Communities First Cluster.

 

The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools noted the outstanding GCSE results and the ongoing and completed capital projects that highlighted the improved education facilities for young people.

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety noted the improvements in delivering Disabled Facilities Grants and the excellent work undertaken in the areas of the Hygiene Ratings scheme and Trading Standards.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)          T H A T the significant achievements that had taken place to date be noted, and all the staff involved be congratulated, particularly during such severe austerity pressures that are being imposed upon the Council by the Westminster Government.

 

(2)          T H A T the progress to date in achieving key outcomes as outlined in the Corporate Plan 2013-17, Improvement Plan Part 1 2014/15 and the Outcome Agreement with Welsh Government (2013-16) be noted.

 

(3)          T H A T it be recognised that there are a very small number of improvements that need to be dealt with, and a further report be presented to Cabinet concerning these issues.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To recognise the significant achievements of the Council contained in the end of year performance report.

 

(2)       To ensure the Council was effectively assessing its performance in line with the requirement to secure continuous improvement outlined in the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.

 

(3)       To enable the Council to demonstrate achievement of its objectives and identify service areas for improvement work.

 

C2822                        REVIEW OF THE CORPORATE PLAN (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEES – ALL) -

 

Endorsement was sought of the proposals for reviewing the Corporate Plan.

 

The current Corporate Plan was approved in 2012 and set out a vision for the Council up to 2017. The Plan was structured around seven corporate priorities and associated objectives.  Given the changes that had happened since 2012 and in view of significant new challenges that needed to be addressed, it was considered essential that the Council took stock of its position and reassessed its priorities in the medium term.  A review of the Corporate Plan was therefore proposed, and the report set out the mechanics of undertaking that review.

 

The Corporate Plan was central to how the Council responded to a complicated and fluid environment.  It focused attention and resources on what the Council as an organisation needed to do as it dealt with a large number of often conflicting pressures.  The plan needed to be seen as part of a wider strategic context which included the Vale's Community Strategy and the partnerships that operated in the Vale, as well as the even wider regional context that involved working with other Councils. 

 

In undertaking a review of the Corporate Plan the first task would be to consider the vision, culture and corporate priorities as set out in the existing plan to ascertain their continued relevance.  It was therefore proposed that a workshop attended by Cabinet Members and Corporate Management team (CMT) was held in July to review the vision, culture and corporate priorities.  This workshop would be followed by workshops focusing on each of the agreed priorities which would be led by the relevant Director and Cabinet Member(s) and attended by senior officers.  The purpose of these workshops would be to develop appropriate objectives and actions to deliver the agreed priorities. 

 

The Corporate Management Team would then consider the draft plan before it was presented to Cabinet in November for the draft to be approved for consultation.  The plan would be amended as appropriate in the light of the consultation before being considered by Cabinet in January/February and by Council in March.

 

A breakdown of the timetable to review the Corporate Plan is provided below:

 

Action

Date

 

Vision, culture and priorities workshop

July 2015

Workshops with senior officers and drafting of objectives and actions

August/September 2015

Editorial and CMT

October 2015

Cabinet to consider draft with budget proposals

October/November 2015

Scrutiny

December 2015

Cabinet

January/February 2016

Council

March 2016

Translation and formatting

March 2016

Publication of Approved Plan

April 2016

 

The timetable would allow sufficient time for consultation and ensure that Service Plans for 2016/17 were drafted in line with the new Corporate Plan and that budgets were aligned to the priorities within the new plan.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision, although revisions to the Corporate Plan would require Council approval.

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the timetable and approach outlined for reviewing the Corporate Plan be approved.

 

Reason for decision

 

To ensure the Council had an effective and up to date Corporate Plan which set out the work to be undertaken across the Council.

 

C2823                        EXTERNAL FUNDING: INSPIRE2ACHIEVE AND INSPIRE2WORK ESF GRANTS, WELSH INDEPENDENT LIVING GRANT AND SPECIFIC WASTE MANAGEMENT GRANT (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –

 

Cabinet was informed of three externally funded projects being progressed, and approval for the work being undertaken and acceptance of the grants and associated conditions.

 

Both the Inspire2Achieve and the Inspire2Work projects were seeking European Social Funding (ESF) as part of a Competitiveness Regional bid for South East Wales.

 

Inspire2Achieve & Inspire2Work

 

The total funding sought for the Inspire2Achieve project was £656,573, made up from £347,481 in ESF grant, with £308,992 sought in match funding. The project would be a schools based intervention focused on reducing and supporting those at risk of disengagement under the age of 16. It aimed to provide a structured alternative learning environment in schools, where young people could engage in life style activities that aimed to improve simple skills such as time keeping, literacy, revision techniques and provided specialist support such as language or mental health assistance. The intention of the project was that these skills would support young people to re-engage with educational activities and maintain their learning through Key Stage 4 into Key Stage 5.

 

The total funding required for the Inspire2Work project had not yet been finalised. The estimated ESF grant sought was £150,000/£200,000, and £150,000/£200,000 was sought in match funding. Inspire2Work would focus on post 16 NEETs, with the Vale of Glamorgan plan concentrating on 18-24 year olds who were deemed the biggest area of concern given limited local provision.

 

Welsh Independent Living Grant

 

The Council would act solely as administrator of the Welsh Independent Living Grant   grant. The Welsh Government would be responsible for the scheme and its funding and the total fund allocation for the Vale of Glamorgan was £504,372. The Vale of Glamorgan had a lower than expected number of people currently in receipt of the fund compared to Welsh averages and the allocation was reflective of this. A project group had been restarted in Adult Services to ensure that key stakeholders were kept informed about the changes associated and to enable a smooth transfer of the fund.

 

Specific Waste Management Grant

 

The Specific Waste Management Grant funding was used to deliver against the key priorities of the Environment and Sustainable Development (ESD) Directorate within Welsh Government. This allowed each authority some flexibility to shape the funding to its own particular need and opportunities. The Vale’s grant allocation was currently used to meet Welsh Government statutory environmental performance targets which carry infraction fines.

 

The total grant funding sought was £2,617,164. Of this, £2,482,164 would be allocated to the Specific Waste Management Grant, £100,000 to Flood and Coastal Risk Management and £35,000 to the Tidy Towns project. It was hoped that the grant funding would be matched by Council Revenue funding.

 

All application grants were considered and supported by the External Funding Steering Group in May 2015.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Director of Learning and Skills, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools, to accept the European Social Fund grant to deliver the Inspire2Achieve and Inspire2Work projects subject to the required match funding being sourced. 

 

(2)       T H A T the changes to the Welsh Independent Living Grant, including responsibilities as lead body for the grant be noted. 

 

(3)       T H A T the proposed use of the Specific Waste Management Grant and acceptance of the funding and grant terms be approved.

 

(4)       T H A T in respect of resolution 3 above, the use of article 13.09 of the Council's Constitution (urgent decision procedure) be authorised to enable the Specific Waste Management Grant application to be submitted by the 30 June, 2015 deadline.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To allow funding to be granted to support the delivery of two projects that complement existing provisions currently delivered within the Vale's Engagement and Progression Framework.

 

(2)       To ensure effective oversight of proposed arrangements for the transfer of responsibility for the Welsh Independent Living Grant.

 

(3&4)  To enable submission of the application prior to the deadline to allow the Council to deliver a sustainable waste management service in accordance with the Welsh Government's Towards Zero Waste strategy.

 

C2824                        NON DOMESTIC RATES – RETAIL RATE RELIEF 2015-16 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Cabinet was asked to consider and recommend adoption of a new grant-funded Business Rates Discretionary Policy called Retail Rate Relief to support businesses in Wales who were responding to the challenges that resulted from the changing retail environment and contributed to the development of sustainable and vibrant town centres. 

 

As part of the Welsh Government's Business Rate Policy Developments the Minister for Economy, Science and Transport recognised that the retail sector was changing, particularly due to internet shopping and many high streets had to adapt to changing consumer preferences in how people shop.

 

The Welsh Government had announced that it would provide a grant of up to £811,113 to the Council to support retail rate relief of up to £1,500 on the business rates bill for all occupied retail properties with a rateable value of £50,000 or less in the financial year 2015/16, subject to State Aid limits.

 

It was intended that this scheme would operate from 1 April, 2015 to 31 March, 2016 subject to the acceptance by the Council of the associated grant offer. Due to the short timeframe for acceptance (30 June, 2015) this was exercised by the Managing Director using emergency powers. Consideration would be given by Welsh Government as to whether the relief would be made available for subsequent years during 2015/16.

 

The relevant hereditaments for the purposes of the scheme, shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments†were set out in the Appendix C as attached to the report.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the Retail Rate Relief Scheme 2015-16, in accordance with the provisions contained in Section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, to supplement the Council’s discretionary rate relief scheme be adopted.

 

(2)       T H A T the use of the Welsh Government grant of up to £811,113 in accordance with the model resolution attached at Appendix C to the report be approved.

 

(3)       T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Section 151 Officer (or in their absence the Deputy Section 151 Officer), in consultation with the Leader as Cabinet Member for Finance to operate the scheme.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1-3)    To enable the Council to implement the Retail Rate Relief scheme and utilise the Welsh Government grant in accordance with the scheme conditions in support of the local business economy.

 

C2825                        TELEPHONE LINES AND CALLS CONTRACT RENEWAL (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) -          

 

Cabinet approval was sought for delegated powers to let a contract for the supply of telephone lines and calls.

 

The existing Council contract with BT for telephone lines and calls had been in place for a number of years, had been largely trouble free and considerable savings had already been generated within that contract through negotiation.

 

The Crown Commercial Services (CCS) G-Cloud 5 Framework Agreement had been selected as the most appropriate procurement vehicle for the renewal of this contract.

 

The G-Cloud framework was an agreement between the government and suppliers who provided cloud-based services. The basic terms of use were agreed by both parties following a formal Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) procurement process. This saved public sector organisations and suppliers the time and cost traditionally associated with individual procurement contracts. Buyers and suppliers would need to sign a ˜call-off contract’ for each service procured through the framework.

 

Welsh Government had mandated that all Public Sector bodies should use framework agreements where appropriate so the procurement process in this instance had been greatly simplified for the Council.

 

The contract would be awarded for a period of two years, which was the maximum period allowed under the G-Cloud framework. Given the changes in technology and the reduction in prices in this market place, a shorter term contract meant that the Council would be able to keep pace with these changes.

 

The ICT telecoms team evaluated the offers received based on the cost and quality wrap of each proposal. Lines and Calls was quite a complex area, the Telecoms Team based their evaluation on their expert knowledge of our estate.

 

As a result of the evaluation, the Council’s existing supplier, BT, had been chosen as the most economically advantageous supplier.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED – T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Managing Director in consultation with the Leader to let a contract under the Crown Commercial Services G-Cloud 5 Framework Agreement for Council telephone lines and calls on the most economically advantageous terms to the Council.

 

Reason for decision

 

To have an appropriate contract in place for the supply of telephone lines and calls.

 

 

C2826       REQUEST TO USE THE PROJECT FUND TO CONSTRUCT A NEW RECEPTION AND EXPAND 6TH FORM PROVISION AT COWBRIDGE COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL (CSS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEES – LEARNING AND SKILLS AND CORPORATE RESOURCES) -           

 

Approval was sought for the use of funding from the Project Fund to construct a new reception at Cowbridge Comprehensive School to improve pupil safeguarding on site and to expand 6th form provision.

 

The new Cowbridge Comprehensive School opened in September 2010. Following close collaboration with the previous Head Teacher it was agreed that the school should have an open design. The reception was located in the main teaching block at the rear of the site and was accessed across an open plaza used by staff and children during breaks and lesson changes. In addition, once access was gained to the visitor's car park individuals could access all areas of the school site without having to report to reception.

 

The child safeguarding issues resulting from this open design were raised during the latest Estyn inspection of the school. The school's existing procedures were currently managing the risks as far as practicable but physical alterations to the buildings were required to reduce these safeguarding risks to an acceptable level. The school had already relocated the visitors' car park and the new reception would be adjacent to this. Through this relocation of the reception area it would be easier to monitor visitors access to the school site and remove the uncontrolled access for visitors through the plaza used by children during the day.

 

6th form numbers at Cowbridge Comprehensive had increased from 312 in September 2013 to 360 in September 2014 and were projected to be 406 in September 2015. Due to increasing numbers of 6th form pupils there were inadequate study areas in the school resulting in some pupils leaving site between lessons with the potential for a detrimental impact on their learning opportunities. The additional 6th form study area would provide a flexible space for pupils allowing them to stay on site during the day and it was anticipated that learning outcomes would improve.

 

Following a full assessment of the existing site layout and child safeguarding issues the school had appointed an architect to design a new reception block and extend the 6th form study area. These designs received planning consent in March 2015. The estimated cost of the proposal was £300,000.

 

If funding was approved, the building work would be carried out during the 2015 summer holidays.  As Council approval was required to include the scheme in the Capital Programme, Cabinet was asked to authorise the use of article 13.09 of the Council's Constitution (urgent decision procedure) to enable works to proceed immediately.

 

At the meeting the Leader referred to paragraph 9 of the report and requested that it be amended to include, that Cowbridge Comprehensive School would pay Circa £50,000 per annum into the project fund to take into account interest payments.

 

This was a matter for Executive and Council decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the use of £300,000 from the Project Fund to construct a new reception at Cowbridge Comprehensive School and expand 6th form provision with repayment of this sum, and the appropriate level of interest, by the school over a 6 year period, be approved and the report be referred to a special meeting of the Council before the recess for approval.

 

(2)       T H A T the use of article 13.09 of the Council's Constitution (urgent decision procedure) be authorised to present the report to a special meeting of Council before the recess and in sufficient time to enable the works to be undertaken during the 2015 school summer holidays.

 

(3)       T H A T the use of article 13.09 in resoulutions 1 and 2 above be reported to Council in line with article 13.09 (c) of the Council's Constitution.

 

Reasons for Decisions

 

(1)       To allow the construction of a new reception to improve pupil safeguarding on the school site by directing visitors away from the main pupil areas as well as meeting increasing demand for 6th form education at the school.

 

(2)       To amend the Capital Programme pursuant to article 13.09 of the Council's Constitution, in sufficient time to enable the works to be undertaken during the 2015 school summer holidays.

 

(3)       To comply with the Council's Constitution.

 

 

C2827                        CENTENARY FIELDS (VLS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -             

At the meeting the Leader withdrew this report as ongoing negotiations were taking place, and clarification would be sought as to the status of either or both parcels of land being considered.

 

C2828                        ADOPTION OF POLICY AND SITE CRITERIA FOR SCHOOL CROSSING PATROL SERVICE (R) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Approval was sought for the adoption of the Road Safety GB Guidelines for delivery of the School Crossing Patrol Services (SCPS).

 

School Crossing Patrols (SCPs) had been formally in existence for over 60 years.  There were 43 established permanent sites within the Vale of Glamorgan.  Whilst a number of sites were vacant, there were two mobile officers who covered the highest priority sites that were vacant at any one time. Some of the 43 sites were historical sites which had also been vacant for a number of years. SCPs had the power to stop traffic, provided they were wearing the approved uniform and exhibited the prescribed sign. If a driver failed to stop, he or she could face a fine of up to £1000, 3 penalty points and possible disqualification under the Road Traffic Act 1984.

 

The need to ensure the safety of children, especially on their journeys to and from school, was paramount to the Council’s aims of reducing road traffic casualties whilst encouraging active travel to school and promoting healthier lifestyles. The SCP service played a vital role in delivering these aims.

 

Road Safety GB (formerly the Local Authority Road Safety Officers Association) was a national road safety organisation that represented local government road safety teams across the UK. The Road Safety GB School Crossing Patrol Service Guidelines (2012) were nationally regarded as best practice, although were not statutory for use by Local Authorities. The formal adoption of the National SCP Guidelines would allow the Council to fairly and consistently review all existing sites as well as respond to requests for new SCP sites.  This would allow the Council to consider the future of sites when circumstances change (for example school closure, road or traffic changes or new road safety infrastructure provided or when an SCP officer vacated his or her position).

 

Before deciding whether to implement the School Crossing Patrol Policy including Site Assessment Criteria as outlined in the National Guidelines (attached at Appendix 1 to the report), Cabinet had previously approved that a consultation exercise be conducted with interested persons on their contents. Head teachers had been consulted on this policy as well as parents, governors and Town and Community Councils.

 

The report detailed the four consultation responses received and recommended that the Road Safety GB Guidelines be adopted in full with effect from 1 September, 2015.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the responses to the consultation process be noted and approved.

 

(2)       T H A T the adoption of the Road Safety GB Guidelines and its site assessment criteria be agreed with effect from 1 September, 2015.

 

(3)       T H A T the report be referred to Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) for consideration.

 

Reasons for Decisions

 

(1)       To advise Members of the results of the consultation process and the comments received.

 

(2)       To enable the Council to adopt the Road Safety GB Guidelines for delivery of the School Crossing Patrols to enable a fair and consistent approach to reacting to the demand for School Crossing Patrols at any locations within the Vale of Glamorgan area.

 

(3)       For consideration.

 

C2829                        SUPPORTING PEOPLE PROCUREMENT EXERCISE (HBMCS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) –

 

Approval was sought to undertake a procurement exercise for the provision of housing related support services in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

The Supporting People Programme Grant (SPPG) was paid by the Welsh Government (WG) in the form of a grant to the Council. The grant was ring-fenced for the provision of housing related support services only. Housing related support services were provided by service providers through contracts with the Council.

 

There were 23 contracts which would expire between 2015 and 2017. Formal tenders were required for the tendering and re-tendering of housing related support services in order to comply with Local Authority Contract Standing Orders and Financial Regulations. The total value of the contracts within scope of this exercise was £2.85million. The existing contracts ranged from £6,500 to £350,000 per year and included services for a number of client groups including, people experiencing domestic abuse, homelessness, mental health issues and older people. In addition to this, contracts needed to be put in place for any new or re-configured housing related support services.

 

In 2010 Cabinet approved the establishment of a four year Approved Provider List (APL) for the provision of housing related support services funded by Supporting People Programme Grant (SPPG) (Cabinet Minute C859 referred). The Approved Provider List (2010) had expired and consideration was therefore required as to the most appropriate approach to secure housing related support services for the coming five years.

 

In order to comply with relevant legislation and the Council's Standing Orders and Financial Regulations, a procurement exercise was required to be undertaken. Following an analysis of the resources and skills required, it had been determined that the most efficient and effective approach would be to work with in partnership with another organisation. Discussions with neighbouring Authorities had been undertaken and the City of Cardiff Council had indicated a willingness and ability to work in partnership with the Vale of Glamorgan Council to develop the APL.

 

It was proposed that the procurement process (in line with the specification and evaluation criteria developed by the Vale of Glamorgan Council) would be undertaken by the City of Cardiff Council who would undertake to publish a Contract Notice on behalf of the Vale of Glamorgan Council and comply with all public sector procurement regulations. The City of Cardiff Council would evaluate support providers' (suppliers') capacity and capability to provide housing related support services against each client group based on the past experience and current situation. A project team of Officers from both organisations would be formed to manage the process.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the establishment of an "Approved Provider List" for the provision of housing related support services funded by Supporting People Programme Grant (SPPG) through the corporate procurement process as outlined in the report be approved.

 

(2)       T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Director of Visible Services & Housing, in consultation with the Leader, the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety and the Head of Finance, to award contracts to the most economically advantageous suppliers resulting from the procurement process as described in the report.

 

Reasons for Decisions

 

(1)       To ensure that an Approved Provider List for the provision of housing related support services funded by Supporting People Programme Grant (SPPG) was undertaken within the financial year 2015-16 to ensure contracts continued to be in place for all housing related support services.

 

(2)       To ensure that the tendering of new housing related support services and re-tendering of existing housing related support services funded by Supporting People Programme Grant (SPPG) met Contract Standing Orders and followed the principles of the EC Treaty and where relevant comply with the European Commission's Consolidated Directive on public procurement, originally as implemented in England, Wales and Northern Ireland by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.           

 

C2830                        HOUSING BENEFIT AND COUNCIL TAX OVERPAYMENT (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Cabinet approval was sought to write off Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit overpayment debt. The report paralleled a Part II Cabinet report of the same title that was to be presented later in the agenda.

 

 

 This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted and be considered in connection with the Part II report later in the agenda.

 

Reason for decision

 

To allow the Part I and II reports to be considered together.

 

C2831           EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC -

 

RESOLVED - T H A T under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 4 of Schedule 12A (as amended) of the Act, the relevant paragraphs of the Schedule being referred to in brackets after the minute heading.

 

C2832                        HOUSING BENEFIT AND COUNCIL TAX OVERPAYMENT (L) (EXEMPT INFORMATION – PARAGRAPHS 13 & 14) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES)       

    

Cabinet approval was sought to write off Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit overpayment debt in respect of W.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the write off of outstanding Housing Benefit overpayment and Council Tax Benefit overpayment as detailed in the report be approved.

 

Reason for Decision

 

To deal with an overpayment to a Housing and Council Tax Benefit.

 

Share on facebook Like us on Facebook