Overview and Scrutiny Board Minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Board Minutes

Date:
Tuesday 11 December 2012
Time:
4:00 p.m.
Place:
Mandela Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough
 

Attendance Details

Present:
Brunton (Chair), Councillors Arundale, Harvey, C Hobson, Kerr, P Purvis, J Sharrocks (as substitute for Councillor Cole) J A Walker
Invitees:
Councillor N J Walker, Executive Member for Streetscene Services and Transport
Officers:
J Bennington, C Breheny, S Brown, P Clark and J Ord.
Apologies for absence:
were submitted on behalf of Councillors Cole, Dryden, Mawston and Sanderson
Declarations of interest:

There were no declarations of interest at this point of the meeting.

Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
12/66 MINUTES - OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY BOARD 13 AND 22 NOVEMBER 2012

The minutes of the meetings of the Overview and Scrutiny Board held on 13 and 22 November 2012 were submitted.

 

Following a Members' question it was agreed that further clarification would be sought regarding the number of staff working at Ayresome Industries a matter which had been raised at the meeting of the Board held on 22 November 2012.

 

ORDERED that the minutes of the meetings of the Overview and Scrutiny Board held on 13 and 22 November 2012 be approved as a correct record.

12/67 ATTENDANCE OF EXECUTIVE MEMBERS - EXECUTIVE MEMBER FOR STREETSCENE SERVICES AND TRANSPORT

In a report of the Senior Scrutiny Officer the Board was reminded of arrangements for Individual Members of the Executive to attend meetings of the Overview and Scrutiny Board to provide updates on their respective work in terms of their aims, aspirations, objectives, priorities and any emerging issues or pressures. The process was part of the scrutiny arrangements of holding the Executive to account and also provided the opportunity for the Board to identify or highlight any issues of concern or difficulty.

 

The Chair welcomed Councillor N J Walker, the Executive Member for Streetscene Services and Transport to the meeting who indicated her intention to focus on budget related issues.

 

One of the main focuses of attention was how to deal with the Mayor's current budget proposals. It was pointed out that there had been a lower level of responses on such measures during the consultation period across the Council compared to 2011/2012.

 

An important consideration was considered to be the need to manage the public's expectation in response to the impact of a reduced budget and to clearly advise that as a consequence the service would be more demand led in the future.

 

The Board's attention was drawn to the impact of last year's budget cuts with regard to a number of specific areas including the introduction of charges for replacement wheelie bins and junk jobs. It was reported that there had been a 50% reduction in wheelie bin replacement costs. It was also confirmed that the level of fly tipping had so far not increased in general terms.

 

Specific reference was made to increased allotment charges. The matter had been referred to the Local Government Ombudsman who had concluded that the charges were considered reasonable in comparison with other charges.

 

Reference was made to the current winter maintenance operational arrangements which remained the same as in 2011/2012.

 

Although there were inevitably difficulties as a result of a reduced budget the Board's attention was drawn to the successful bids by the Department in attracting investment by means of grants and other available sources such as £1.5m for Bus Station improvements, £2.6m Heritage Lottery Fund for the Transporter Bridge and £3.5m for improved green waste collection.

 

The Board sought clarification on a number of areas including the importance of how to make the public aware of the impact of changes to the service and the reasons for such changes.

 

In response, the Executive Member confirmed amongst other steps referred to the regular attendance at Community Council meetings and involvement with certain One Stop enquiries.

 

Specific reference was also made to a report which had been considered by the Executive at its meeting held on 9 October 2012 regarding pavement and verge parking and in particular the establishment of a procedure to respond to the demand for the provision or regulation of parking in residential areas and an approach that categorised parking requests and a system of prioritisation of any resultant action.

 

ORDERED that the Executive Member for Streetscene Services and Transport be thanked for the information provided.

12/68 EXECUTIVE FORWARD WORK PROGRAMME

As part of the Board's remit in terms of holding the Executive to account a report of the Executive Office Manager was submitted which identified the forthcoming issues to be considered by the Executive as outlined in Appendix A of the report submitted.

NOTED

12/69 NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH - FINAL REPORT OF THE COMMUNITY SAFETY AND LEISURE SCRUTINY PANEL

A Final Report of the Community Safety and Leisure Scrutiny Panel regarding a scrutiny investigation into  Neighbourhood Watch had been circulated.

 

ORDERED that consideration of the Final Report of the Community Safety and Leisure Scrutiny Panel regarding Neighbourhood Watch be deferred to the next ordinary meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board.

12/70 INTEGRATED OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY SERVICES - FINAL REPORT OF THE SOCIAL CARE AND ADULT SERVICES SCRUTINY PANEL

The Chair of the Social Care and Adult Services Scrutiny Panel outlined the Panel's findings, conclusions and recommendations following a scrutiny investigation into the Integrated Occupational Therapy Service.

 

The Board considered the following recommendations of the Panel based on the evidence submitted:-

 

(i) That the Department of Social Care critically evaluates the IOTS and its membership of the partnership, in light of expectations it would have of such a partnership for the next five to ten years. Specific attention should be paid to the delivery of high quality and efficient services to clients, value for money and the sustainability of the service.

 

(ii) If, after that exercise, the Department’s clearly articulated and numerous concerns cannot be dealt with through work to the existing partnership, the Department should withdraw from the partnership. It should then seek to establish a new methodology of integrated working with key partners, that utilises specialist skills more appropriately, improves the service on offer, provides better value for money, reduces waiting times and is able to respond quicker to respond to changing demands and pressures.

 

(iii) Whether the outcome of the above work is to develop and change the IOTS, or look to a new model of working, the Panel would like to see patient/client outcome measures taking a more important role in the assessment of the functions work, alongside activity measures. In addition, the Panel would like to see a clear mechanism for the controlling of costs introduced. It has seen no evidence of this so far.

 

(iv) The Panel would seek updates on the above work at appropriate junctures.

 

(v) The Local Authority should also be mindful of ensuring that a move towards less people being admitted to hospital, or at least spending less time in hospital, is accompanied by the reassignment of resources within the system, towards community based services. If the local health and social care economy fails to ensure that this happens, the Department of Social Care will be placed, over time, in an impossible position of increasing demand (in numbers and complexity), with a relatively ever dwindling financial allocation. It is recommended that the full weight of the local authority supports the Department of Social Care to ensure that this does not happen.

 

(vi) The local authority should also be vigilant to ensure that financial resources allocated to support community services in Teesside are not used to improve community services in North Yorkshire, via the shared service arrangement of the two areas.

 

(vii) That the process for Middlesbrough residents requiring Occupational Therapy, being repatriated to Middlesbrough from out of area hospitals, is examined to ensure that they are not placed at a disadvantage and that the necessary communication can take place between the out of area hospital and Occupational Therapy. This is particularly true for patients referred to clinical specialities in Newcastle.

 

ORDERED that the findings and recommendations of the Social Care and Adult Services Scrutiny Panel be endorsed and referred to the Executive.

 

12/71 SCRUTINY REVIEW REQUESTS

It was confirmed that no scrutiny requests had been received since the meeting of the Board held on 13 November 2012.

 

Reference was made to a meeting of the Board to be held on 18 December 2012 to consider the methodology of undertaking Stage 2 of the Electoral Review by the Boundary Commission. Members reiterated that the Board's report in respect of Stage 1 of the Electoral Review had been well received.

 

NOTED

12/72 SCRUTINY PANELS - PROGRESS REPORTS

A report of the Chair of each Scrutiny Panel was submitted which outlined progress on current activities.

 

It was confirmed that arrangements were being made for a demonstration to be provided of IT equipment at the next meeting of the Ad Hoc Scrutiny Panel.

 

NOTED

12/73 CALL-IN

It was confirmed that no requests had been received to call-in a decision.

 

NOTED

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