Minutes of a meeting held on 16th January, 2012.


Present:  Councillor Miss. S.J.C. Williams (Chairman); Councillor J.W. Thomas (Vice-Chairman); Councillors Mrs. M.E.J. Birch, Mrs. M. Kelly Owen, Mrs. K.A. Kemp, N. Moore, C.L. Osborne, Mrs. M. Randall and Mrs. S.I. Sharpe.





This was received from Councillor Mrs. S.M. Bagstaff.



776     MINUTES -


RECOMMENDED - T H A T the minutes of the meetings held on 28th November and 12th December, 2011 be approved as a correct record.





No declarations were received.





Cabinet had, on 13th December, 2011 received the above progress report.  Cabinet had authorised the Director of Finance, ICT and Property in consultation with the Leader to negotiate terms and conditions for accommodating the Integrated Family Support Team in the Alps on a short term basis and referred the report to this Committee to ensure effective oversight of the way in which the Council was meeting its new statutory obligations.  Attention was drawn to the fact that the partners had given a commitment to the Welsh Government that the team would be operational in February 2012 (and not February 2011 as indicated in paragraph 9 of the report).


RECOMMENDED – T H A T the position be noted.


Reason for recommendation


To be aware of the current position.





As Members were already aware, the Social Services budget as a whole was projected to overspend potentially by £3.8m. in the current year.  There were provisions available to offset that position which would result in a net overspend of £3.1m.  The Directorate was committed to reducing the overspend and, to that end, a Budget Recovery Plan had been developed and a multi disciplinary team established to facilitate the process.  The Director referred to the written material which had been made available to Members at a briefing session held the previous week.  He undertook to ensure that the same was forwarded to all Members of the Committee at the earliest opportunity.




(1)       T H A T the aforementioned information be forwarded expeditiously and that the position in relation to the 2011/12 revenue and capital monitoring be noted.


(2)       T H A T the Director of Social Services take the necessary action to bring expenditure in line with the base budget.


Reasons for recommendations


(1)       To be aware of the current position.


(2)       To bring Social Services expenditure in line with the base budget.





Members were informed of the progress made in implementing the All-Wales Procedures for the Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA), the Vale of Glamorgan Area Adult Protection Committee (AAPC) Annual Report 2010/11, and the approach being adopted by the Welsh Government in considering changes to the partnership arrangements for safeguarding and protecting people at risk.  Details in relation to each of the above were contained within the report as summarised below:

  • Progress had been made in implementing the All-Wales Procedures for POVA.  Social Services within the Vale of Glamorgan had pioneered work to introduce single agency and multi agency audits to check compliance with the procedures. The audits had also identified where practice required to be improved and enabled agencies to respond swiftly in making the changes required.  Certain changes in practice in relation to the allocation of referrals had been successful in addressing workload issues.  Monitoring of referral trends had also identified that the highest number of referrals allocated to the Adult Services teams related to older people and not as previously predicted to adults with a learning disability.  Members noted that referral trends, together with the allocation framework, would be considered as part of ongoing reviews of the system for allocation. 
  • The AAPC highlighted an increase in the number of POVA referrals received by the Vale of Glamorgan in 2010/11 over that in 2009/10.  Current data for 2011/12 suggested that there might be a reduction and it was noted that the relevant figures for 2011/12 would be reported to this Committee in the next six monthly update report.
  • The Deputy Minister had reported that the detail of her proposals for safeguarding and protection had been informed by evidence from a wide variety of sources.  A copy of the statement from the Minister together with the report by the Welsh Safeguarding Children Forum were both appended to the report.  In setting an overall direction for change, it was considered that many of the proposals had considerable merit and there was a clear need for reform although more detail was required.  The WLGA and the ADSS Cymru had produced a joint local government response to 'Sustainable Social Services: A Framework for Action' which:

          §      questioned the likely benefits of a regional layer alongside national local arrangements in achieving

                  better safeguarding outcomes

          §      indicated that the final report of the Welsh Safeguarding Children Forum did not acknowledge

                  adequately the lack of consensus around the shape of any regional structure

          §      stressed the view that boards for adults and children should remain separate

          §      suggested that the Welsh Government should explore how far some of the recommendations in the

                  Munroe Report into Child Protection in England might help to achieve the improvements needed.


Attention was also drawn to the fact that the Deputy Minister expected that, in advance of any legislation, Local Safeguarding Children Boards would begin planning for the change and move onto a collaborative model as soon as possible.  Anticipating the debate about regional partnership arrangements for safeguarding and protecting people at risk, the Vale of Glamorgan LSCB and the Area Adult Protection Committee had taken a 'twin track' approach.  The Council's representatives on those bodies would be engaged in the ongoing debate and this Committee would be provided with updated information in advance of any changes in approach to ensure that there was a clear mandate for the proposed changes.




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


(2)       T H A T information concerning the work undertaken under the POVA arrangements continue to be reported to this Committee on a six monthly basis.


Reasons for recommendations


(1)       To increase awareness of the priorities, challenges and risks involved in this crucial area of work.


(2)       To ensure effective scrutiny of key functions undertaken by Social Services on behalf of the Council.





Members were advised of the progress made in relation to recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee for the periods April 2009 to March 2010, April 2010 to March 2011, July to September 2011 and October to December 2011.


Member's views relating to the progress against each recommendation was sought and it was subsequently




(1)       T H A T the following actions be deemed completed:


8 March 2010

Min No. 969 - Third Quarter Performance Monitoring (DSS)  Recommended

(i)         Children and Young People's Services


(1)       That a report on a proposed Social Services retention policy be presented to a future meeting of the Scrutiny Committee.

This issue is being dealt with as part of the Social Services Change Plan 2011-2014 within the Human Resources workstream and the Committee is provided with regular updates as part of the process for monitoring implementation - added to work programme schedule.


18 July 2011

Min. No. 199 - Modernising Day Care Services for Adults (DSS) Recommended

(2)       That a list of support services be made available for the public and forwarded to Members as soon as possible for information.

Information e-mailed to Members.


31 October 2011

Min. No. 549 - The 2010/2011 Annual Report by the Director of Social Services (DSS)  Recommended

(1)       That all Members be e-mailed with the details of any issues concerning the Meals on Wheels and Living Scheme Services.

Sent to Members on 8th November, 2011.


(3)       That full details of the increase in telephone call enquiries as detailed in the Annual Report be presented to the Committee.

E-mailed to Members 18th November 2011.


Min. No. 550 - Sustainable Social Services for Wales: A Framework for Action (DSS) Recommended

That the contents of the report be noted and that future updates be presented to the Scrutiny Committee when available.

Added to work programme schedule.


28 November 2011

Min. No. 630 - Pressure on the Social Services Revenue Budget 2011/12 and Budget Recovery Action Plans (REF) Recommended

That the recommendations of the Cabinet be noted with the view that further reports would be presented in the future.

To be presented in due course.  Added to work programme schedule.


Min. No. 633 - Initial Revenue Budget Proposals 2012/13 (REF) (DSS) Recommended

(1)       That the views of the Scrutiny Committee be forwarded to the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) and Cabinet.

Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) noted the views and referred them to Cabinet and the Budget Working Group.


Min. No. 635 - Delivering Integrated Social Care and Health Services to Meet the Needs of Local People (DSS) Recommended

(2)       That the Scrutiny Committee continues to receive six monthly updates, including delivery plans for individual work streams.

Added to work programme schedule.



(2)       T H A T it be noted that those actions relating to the Social Services Supervision Policy emanating from December 2010 were anticipated to be addressed by the Committee in March/April 2012.


Reason for recommendations


(1&2)  To maintain effective tracking of the Committee's recommendations.